Forums General Chitchat Which electric vehicle?
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  • #1468
    JGC
    16 Posts

    Does anyone have any advice for a first time electric vehicle buyer?

    We need to replace our second car and I thought we may as well go electric. It’s used mostly for short trips to the station (4 miles each way) and to my wife’s work. (10 miles each way). If it’s big enough we could use it at the weekends but needs to get 2 kids and all the paraphernalia in it too. So a range of 100 miles or so would be plenty.

    We have off road parking so could install our own charge point. There are two rapid charge points in a nearby carpark too.

    We have a diesel Octavia estate as our main car so can use that for proper trips.

    To clarify, yes we do need two cars. No, we can’t make do with a bike.

    Does anyone have a Renault Zoe?

    Ta!

  • #1469
    Irk
    10 Posts

    A 2-3 year old Leaf (owned not rented battery) will set you back ~ £10k and has a big boot and roomy back seats.

    Nissan dealers were doing great deals on lightly used ex-PCP stock.

  • #1470
    Dave b
    6 Posts

    I’d get a leaf – I know lots of people with them, I’ve driven one and plan to buy one.

    Haven’t tried a Zoe

  • #1471
    Harvey
    9 Posts

    e-golf. Guy at work just got one and it is awesome. Like a fricken spaceship on the inside, but the outside is indistinguishable from a normal Golf. Got a huge deal on it through government schemes, trade-ins and so on. The government also funded a charging point at his house, and will pay for (up to four?) points at work (yet to happen). Not only do they fund the installation costs, they (currently) also pay for the electricity! So depending where you charge up you can have £0 running costs (bar maintenance). For anyone considering, its a no-brainer. I would be buying tomorrow, the problem is the initial cost!

    Just a note about the Leaf, I heard they had a problem with battery cooling. It means on long drives when you run the battery from full to empty then want to re-charge to continue, you can’t charge up warm so have to wait for the battery to cool, in addition to waiting for the charging.

    • #1476
      Mikeisright
      5 Posts

      The government also funded a charging point at his house, and will pay for (up to four?) points at work (yet to happen). Not only do they fund the installation costs, they (currently) also pay for the electricity!

      Is this the UK government????

    • #1477
      Harvey
      9 Posts
    • #1478
      Irk
      10 Posts

      Yup. I had a good dig around the free 16A 230V charge point they gave us for our used Leaf. They come with a string attached – a remote kill switch for use in grid balancing emergencies. I think the OLEV scheme is really motivated by an attempt to gain some clue about what high demand appliances are being installed on the grid and some control over them.

      Despite my smart meter paranoia, I don’t have a problem with this – I think it’s important and there’s always the dumb lower rated charge block that came with the car as a fallback.

    • #1483
      JGC
      16 Posts

      Surely it’s more about incentivising low emission vehicles, whilst retaining the right to make use of a potentially huge power store for demand surges.

    • #1484
      Irk
      10 Posts

      For sure. here’s nothing in the current OLEV funded units to do surplass activated charging however. But it does allow the government to have an idea or how many charge ports are out there, and a list of contacts if they want to offer upgrades to demand activated charging in the future. I don’t think that the whole system of the car, it’s onboard charger and the OLEV funded AC intake unit – not actually a charger – have the smarts or communications protocols to do flexi-smart changing type stuff. The intake unit doesn’t know the state of charge of the battery, and the vehicle doesn’t know about grid status, and the only communication between them is the intake unit telling the car’s charger how much current it’s allowed to draw.

      A flexi system needs to know what minimum level of charge you demand over night and how much is available/spare for flexi-charging. That needs user interaction and an override switch none of which is out there. Then there is the battery life time versus state of charge curve to consider – Running a car at say 50% normal leaving the other 50% for Flexi charging will start to degrade your battery pack faster…

      I think eventually it will be implemented through the car talking over networks to the grid control centre, but ominously there doesn’t seem to have been any standard or serious thought about this before EVs started rolling out big time with Nissan and then Tesla and now everyone and the dogs…

  • #1472
    JGC
    16 Posts

    Thanks all, I think the Leaf is out of budget for a second car. Are there any reasonable 2nd hand electric cars for 5k or less?

    Not bothered by range, it will never go far.

    The Zoe is the only one I’ve found so far

    • #1473
      Irk
      10 Posts

      As far as I know, only the Leaf and Zoe and then only if you go down the battery rental route where you have a seperate contract for the battery.

      Nissan were doing 0% HP on used Leafs, contract over 3 years; could change things if you’re intending to sell after 3 years.

      There’s always the Twizzy…

  • #1474
    john2
    2 Posts

    How often do you want to spend £5k ?

    This one is £7k over 3 years even before negotiating.

    https://www.nissanretail.co.uk/used-cars/nissan/leaf/acenta-5dr-auto-24kwh/nissan-bolton/detail/lr14xlp/

    Edit. Actually you can get that for £5k. Put £4k deposit down, with 5000 miles /year -the PCP comes out at £5088. But after 2 years no car.

    Put the £5k down on a 5 year deal, and the monthly payments are £48 and if you do 20 miles a day your petrol will be more than that. Gives you 5 years to save for the next one.

  • #1475
    Mikeisright
    5 Posts

    Going off at a tangent, what are the carbon footprints of EVs in Britain like?

    I realise CO2 emissions from the vehicle are zero but what about the electricity they use? Does anyone have any CO2 per mile figures?

    • #1479
      Mikeisright
      5 Posts

      It’s been a quiet afternoon which included a long and tedious conference call during which I used the interweb and a calculator to answer my own question.

      A Nissan Micra generates between 85 and 104 g CO2/km.

      A Leaf generates about 74 g CO2/km.

      Not as much a saving as I’d imagined.

    • #1481
      Norman
      6 Posts

      I can’t see your working out so making assumptions, but is this like for like?

      A Nissan Micra generates between 85 and 104 g CO2/km.

      Which I assume refers to the actual amount of CO2 that comes out of the exhaust pipe only?

      A Leaf generates about 74 g CO2/km.

      But zero CO2 and particulates (save for brake disc and tire dust) are emitted into the environment. I assume you’re referencing the CO2 involved in generating the electricity?

      Not as much a saving as I’d imagined.

      Electricity generation should only ever get cleaner. I live in France and most of our electricity is nuclear, and goes to waste at night during off-peak times so EVs are actually a good store of this energy.

      If you’re referencing the pollution in the production of the energy (electricity), then you should do that too for the petrol. Drilling the oil out of the ground, shipping it round the world (not to mention paying for wars to secure access to the oil fields) and refining it all generate an incredible amount of pollution – we just don’t see it.

    • #1482
      JGC
      16 Posts

      The analysis has already been done. Look at the appendices for the Road to zero strategy. There’s a really neat series of graphs plotting vehicle fuel type on a CO2/NOx graph.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-road-to-zero-strategy-to-lead-the-world-in-zero-emission-vehicle-technology

    • #1485
      tomtom
      6 Posts

      Where does France store it’s nuclear waste?

      Is this factored into the cost of energy production?

    • #1486
      Irk
      10 Posts

      Where does the UK store is oxidised carbon waste?

      What do you think would happen if the total cost of global warming was factored in to energy production?

  • #1480
    neb
    6 Posts

    Slightly deviating from the OP I wanted an EV for a 130 mile commute and concluded that a) few cars found do it and b) the economics don’t yet stack up. Nissan themselves admitted that the Leaf would not do 130 miles in winter in the dark and rain without charging. Secondly the battery life degraded surprisingly rapidly (Nissan again) with ‘up to’ 50% loss of charge in 75k (3 years). I’m not buying a Tesla as the company’s lauded battery replacement scheme goes down the pan if and when they go bust. Factoring in battery costs and I was cheaper with a 4 year old diesel. Also worth noting that on many occasions in the last year I’ve seen pretty long queues (several hours) at charging stations on major roads.

    Cant wait for them to be viable though.

  • #1487
    Raff
    9 Posts

    Been in exactly this position a year ago and ended up with a used Leaf. The alternative was an ecoboost Fiesta which is also £0 tax but we figured the difference in price was effectively buying three years fuel upfront (but with less emissions). You can borrow a Leaf for four days to see if you get on with it and it turns out it’s about the same size as the focus it replaced (boot is a bit smaller, cabin is a bit bigger).

    Nissan also giving really good deals on them, we got

    0% HP over three years (assuming you put 35% down)

    £1k off for using Nissan finance (you can cancel in 14 days and still get this)

    Free PodPoint (they pay the extra £279 to complement the goverment’s £500)

    2 free services

    2 MOTs

    I had looked at the cheapest Leafs on Autotrader but they were still £6.5k and were quite a lot older and had done much larger mileages where as the ones from Nissan where 2 years old and had done 20k ish miles and were still in warranty (1 year on the car and 3 on the battery remaining). We reckon we’ll keep it for 6-8 years and by them there might be a suitable replacement that might negate the need for a diesel altogether.

    And it’s really good fun to drive! I’d expected it to be quite milk floaty but it’s acutally quite nippy and much nicer to drive in town.

    Hope this helps

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