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I'm an Electric Vehicle owner AMA

101 replies

Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 07:07

Seen a lot of myths on MN so I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Have had an EV for 6 years. We are all going to have to switch to them eventually.

OP posts:
FiveGoMadInDorset · 10/08/2021 07:14

How much extra on your bill does it cost you to charge it. That’s one thing I can never find the answer to

pinkmoon18 · 10/08/2021 07:17

What happens if you run out of charge and there's no charging stations near you?

I can never get my head round electric cars Blush😂

MyFavouriteIsland · 10/08/2021 07:19

How much does it charge for a full charge when charging at say Tesco or Asda

Lumpwoody · 10/08/2021 07:22

How many charge points are near you? Do they all work all the time ? (Saw the guy Martin programme last night and it seems to be an issue?)

CovidCorvid · 10/08/2021 07:29

Could you tow a caravan from the Midlands to the south west without stopping?

CovidCorvid · 10/08/2021 07:29

If you do need to stop on a long journey to charge how long does it take?

BeetleyCarapace · 10/08/2021 07:32

Are you worried about the rapidly advancing tech with batteries rendering your car obsolete in a few years? The impending arrival of solid-state has given me pause, I must say.

ajus · 10/08/2021 07:44

How often do you do journeys of 2+ hours?

Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 08:49

Some great questions...

I have not compared my electric bill before and after, but it costs around 3p a mile on electricity. Some Green electricity suppliers have special EV tariffs which allow you to charge only when the rate is low (typically overnight) but I haven't switched to one of those yet.

If you go on a long journey you plan in advance when you are going to stop to charge, and always have a backup plan in case the charger you are aiming for is out of order - although you can check its status online before you get there.

Don't know about Tesco or Asda, but DH charged my car from 0 to 80% (we don't usually go over that as the last 20% is much slower) for £4.86 at a BP Pulse charger at a hotel. It took 20 minutes. My current car is 6 years old though so battery is smaller. A newer, larger battery car would take longer to charge on the road - but can go further without stopping.

Don't know how many charge points are near me as we only charge at home. There are issues with reliability but the infrastructure is getting better all the time. There is an app called Zapmap which shows where all the chargers are.

With some of the new electric SUVs on the market (e.g. VW iD4 GTX, Skoda Enyaq) they have a range of over 200 miles. Not sure how far it is from West Midlands to Cornwall, you'd probably want to stop once for lunch on the way as towing a heavy load will impact your range.

My current EV is 6 years old, DH is about to buy a much longer range EV as battery tech has improved a lot. But my current car still suits my needs perfectly, so I'm not worried about technology changing. The UK is investing heavily in EV infrastructure and the manufacturers in EV technology and I think they will be around for a long time.

Post Covid I have not done many 2h+ journeys. But pre-Covid I was travelling regularly for work on 3h journeys. Often had to stay overnight & chose a B&B which had an EV charger.

OP posts:
BeetleyCarapace · 10/08/2021 08:53

Ooh I have another one. Compared to a car with a petrol or diesel engine, what are the differences in terms of how it drives? Ie does the accelerator, braking etc work differently, or feel different?

RuthTopp · 10/08/2021 08:53

Have you looked at the cost of replacement batteries , as with other batteries , they all need replacing one day ? I've heard in some cars up to £5,000 !

fruitpastille · 10/08/2021 09:30

Do you own the car or lease it? Dh is very keen but we usually buy cheap second hand cars for less than 5 grand. Electric are very expensive in comparison.

Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 12:39

Drive is very smooth and acceleration is quick. My car has regenerative braking, which feeds power back into the battery and takes a bit of time to get used to - to slow down you just take your foot off the accelerator. Otherwise it just feels like an automatic car, but much quieter.

I think the lifetime of a Li-ion battery is 15 to 20 years, so not going to need replacing any time soon. There is a good scheme for recycling them. As I said upthread, after 6 years I haven't noticed any deterioration at all.

I own my car as I was able to buy it through my business and get some tax breaks on it. You might be able to get an early model 2nd hand EV for £5k, but if you could spend a bit more you would get a much better car. They hold their 2nd hand value well, despite the fact that technology has improved so much.

OP posts:
Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 12:41

To add, I bought it originally on a PCP-type agreement. When the deal was up it's resale value was higher than the balloon payment, so I bought it outright.

OP posts:
CatCup · 10/08/2021 12:43

How do you charge it at home? Just plug it into a normal outdoor plug?

ImperfectTents · 10/08/2021 12:44

What do you think folk who live in apartments should do? Or the very rural? I don’t think they are practical and I hope hydrogen engines become affordable

Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 12:47

We're a 2 EV household here and we would never go back, they're just awesome.

Our electric bill has gone up by approximately £30 a month per car.

The cost to charge it at a rapid charger is about £5-8 which wil give you about 200 miles of range and I'm saving approximately £200 a month on fuel. The slight increase in monthly cost to lease a brand new car was just £50 compared to my old diesel car.

They're rapid, they're smooth, quiet and my daughter still enjoys the novelty of plugging in. We've done several long distance drives, including 2 holidays and thanks to the Tesla network it was a breeze. I'm not sure how I'd feel if we had to do it in the Renault though. The charger network is not up to scratch AT ALL. Thats my only bugbear. Too many providers, all different systems, often they don't work and over the last year I've noticed a massive jump in users, we're going to have huge issues in capacity if the providers don't pull their fingers out soon.

Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 12:49

@ImperfectTents how do you think being rural is an issue? We live in a village miles from anywhere. Both our EVs do over 200 miles on a single charge. Your daily commute would have to be over 100 miles to be an issue, and even then you could always charge up at work..

ImperfectTents · 10/08/2021 12:51

@Treacletoots fair enough.

Potatoy · 10/08/2021 12:53

Do you live in a house with it's own drive? Where do you charge it? I don't know how it works if you live in a flat, can I charge it anywhere.

Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 12:54

@ImperfectTents Grin

The petrol giants have been carrying out propaganda for years to scare people I'm sure. Renault did a trial a while back giving residents of the most remote village in France a Zoe for a year each, to prove this point, and they loved it.

HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 12:55

Great thread. Was parked up by charging points last week in service station and was wondering about loads qs above which you’ve answered.
Can you use any charging point? Any brand and are there differing speeds or voltages ? I was next to very heavily branded Tesla points and noticed all cars charging were Teslas. Had assumed they were universal plugs?


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Indecisivelurcher · 10/08/2021 12:57

We've got an EV MG5 estate. We chose to lease it for 4yrs as there are not many second hand ev estates out there yet and we wanted a good range, which means getting a new car. It does 215 miles on a full charge. It costs us £250 a month to lease. Obviously we will never own it, but we don't have to service or MOT either. It seemed a good test to us. We have got a home charging point, which I think cost £1000 so is an investment. It seems to cost about £2/£2.50 to charge the car overnight using a special tariff through Octopus, which is a renewable energy provider. We haven't had to charge out and about yet but are heading on hols in 2 weeks so it's on the cards. Have planned a route using Zap Map app on my phone, which plots my route and shows rapid charging points along the way. Am aiming for one at McDonalds to keep the kids happy!

HarryLimeFoxtrot · 10/08/2021 12:58

how do you think being rural is an issue? We live in a village miles from anywhere. Both our EVs do over 200 miles on a single charge. Your daily commute would have to be over 100 miles to be an issue, and even then you could always charge up at work..

If you live somewhere with no off-road parking and no charging points (fairly typical of rural locations), then surely it’s impossible to run an electric vehicle? How many workplaces have charging points? (Mine doesn’t - I’ve just asked all 3 of my siblings and they said the same).

Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 12:58

@Potatoy we actually moved house to one with a drive and this was one of the main factors.

There are schemes in place (apparently) to turn lampposts into charging points for people without parking. Although I tried to get our local authority to look into this and they gave 0 fucks, they weren't interested at all.

A lot of charge points going in are also far too slow. They're cheaper obviously, but what people need are rapid chargers to boost their power in minutes. That's the issue right now.

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