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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.

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Undersnatch · 11/08/2021 21:41

Thanks for this thread. We are like a pp and tend to buy second hand bangers for under 3k and run them til they die. To spend so much on a car feels crazy but then I’d love to be part of the environmental benefits ASAP. Where do people who lease them lease from, any pointers in that? What are the pros and cons of leasing/buying?


Indecisivelurcher · 11/08/2021 21:52

@Undersnatch we lease our EV estate through jet. Previously gave had cars we've had years until they died, so same as you. This time we found second hand estates the prices have really gone up. We would have been looking at spending £12-15k. Instead we went EV and leased for 4yrs, it'll cost £13k and we'll never own the car, but we don't have to spend anything on mot, service, anything that goes wrong, or petrol! Hoping more EV cars become available second hand for next time.


Dinosauratemydaffodils · 11/08/2021 21:58

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.

We live in a fishing village where most houses have neither front gardens or drives. The lampposts are pretty infrequent too. The one almost opposite our house would have to serve at least 8 properties. We're planning on buying a new car next year and considered electric but that seems a bit insurmountable atm. Plus our current car can do 700 miles on it's relatively small tank...even though we do stop a lot, changing mindset is hard.


Knitwit101 · 11/08/2021 22:00

If you lease you can trade up every few years as technology improves. That's the main benefit for us. If we had bought our first car we would be stuck now with a car with only a 60-80 mile range and virtually no second hand value
We lease ours through dh's company car scheme. There are (or were when we last signed up) good tax breaks on electric company cars, usually the high tax makes them not worthwhile.


Berkeys · 11/08/2021 22:44

@UrbanRambler from the research we did, even if an EV is powered by electricity solely from fossil fuel sources, it is still lower carbon than a petrol/diesel. The energy transfer is more efficient than burning fuel in each individual car.

We have a 100% renewable energy tariff though. You can also hook up a power wall to your solar panels and although it takes an initial outlay for those, you can charge your car free and wholly from the sun. We only charge away from home on long trips really so it could make a difference. One day…


UrbanRambler · 12/08/2021 01:09

@Berkeys Ah, so there is a sort of economy of scale, that's interesting.

We do most of our food shopping online now, and apparently that is better for the environment as it reduces emissions by reducing individual car journeys. I wonder what the roads will be like in 10 years' time - perhaps mostly electric cars and maybe some driverless cars, to use as taxis?


worriedatthemoment · 12/08/2021 12:12

I take it you have a drive to charge it on?
How will many if us who park away from our property or live in high rise flats with little parking charge our cars ?


HeronLanyon · 12/08/2021 12:25

I’m now dreaming of some kind of bookable mobile charging service. Understand the electrical aspect buggers this up.
OR a portable charged battery (bit like the old can of petrol in the boot) in your boot - but I understand the size and weight and environmental toll producing anyway mean this is a non starter.
Even solar charged (seen the new musk development in Florida) will have these as standard isn’t mobile.
Pretty sure in who knows how many years people will look back at these teething problems with wonder - if there is a ‘people’ still to do so !


Tulipomania · 12/08/2021 13:07

I think in future we will see fewer cars on the road in general.

There will be more car clubs in densely populated areas which will help with the issues of people who don't have off road parking. And also offset the higher upfront costs of EVs, although the industry says they are coming down.

And people who still drive ICE cars will be the ones who are wondering where they can fill up their vehicles with dino-juice as petrol stations won't be viable any more!

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Tulipomania · 14/08/2021 09:30

Just come across this article about towing a caravan with an EV, in case it is useful:

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HeronLanyon · 14/08/2021 10:13

I looked at that too op not that I will ever have a caravan but I seem to be rather interested in this. I then thought so will there be electric motor homes and sure enough, there are. Wondered if caravans will become more static or locally stored and towed short distances rather than towed distances on motorways ?


StrongLegs · 26/09/2021 21:29

Silly question, I know, but do you miss the "Vroom Vroom" noise and the vibration? I test drove several EVs when we bought our last car, but I couldn't get my head around the silence and the lack of vibration. Also the cars tended to rock from side to side, and brake when I take my foot off the accelerator. Also the BMW one emitted a high pitched whine. I'm an ASD person and the sensory side of moving from petrol to EV is the biggest challenge for me.

I rode in a Lexus SUV EV in America once, and I don't remember that being a problem, but that was before I was a highly strung Mum.


Peggytheredhen · 26/09/2021 21:42

Great thread. I have an i3 too.

I found the lack of noise odd at first too StrongLegs but after a few drives I didn't notice it anymore. EVs are generally very smooth, stress-free cars to drive esp in traffic.


PermanentTemporary · 26/09/2021 21:43

I live on a terraced street with a few EVs. The Victorian pavements have metal-edged drain troughs in them, which have turned out to work for EVs as people run the charging cable in through their front windows and it's under the pavement. The council have also installed a bollard charger on the next street though I'd imagine as numbers increase it will be under pressure.

I'm planning to join a car club as and when my current car gets uneconomic. I'm hoping car clubs will switch to EV too.


Dreamstate · 02/10/2021 21:05

Oh no ev cars are automatics! Sad times i love driving with gears, im gonna hang on to my old car until the end then


Dreamstate · 02/10/2021 21:07


Great thread. I have an i3 too.

I found the lack of noise odd at first too StrongLegs but after a few drives I didn't notice it anymore. EVs are generally very smooth, stress-free cars to drive esp in traffic.

Except if your blind and then you try and cross a street and can't hear a car coming. Or even partially deaf.

I whilst I always look before crossing because I can see its quite disturbing when I suddenly see a car but never heard it!

I hope they add engine noise back

Peggytheredhen · 07/10/2021 18:41

Yes, I am in favour of engine noise in all EVs for this reason @Dreamstate.


52andblue · 17/10/2021 23:11

placemarking to read later.
thanks for thread, OP.


Keladrythesaviour · 17/10/2021 23:24

I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but I'm a fellow BMW i3 driver (1.5years in) and I will never look back.
For anyone interested we have a drive way, installed our own charger (DH is an ex-electrician), use Octopus Go (so cheap over night charging) and pay about £100 DD a month for electricity, but that leaves us in credit.
We frequently drive from Wiltshire to Shropshire in it and even do North Wales - but the Welsh charging infrastructure is god awful. Had no problems anywhere else. When staying with friends and family we either find a nearby charger or use the granny lead through a window.


Hodibiddy · 18/11/2021 08:54

My DH has a hybrid at the moment but it only charges at 7kw (apparently! I’m rather a dinosaur and only now getting my head round buying our next EV)
He’s looking at a Tesla.
Has anyone any pearls of wisdom regarding these please?
I’d love to learn more so I can wow him with my knowledge.


Tulipomania · 18/11/2021 09:08

I didn't notice this thread had been resuscitated!

I've now traded in my i3 for a VW id4. 270-mile range. We drive to Europe a couple of times a year and reckon it will make that trip much easier. It's a lot bigger than the i3 so feels less nippy to drive, plus quite a complicated computer to get used to, but feels very comfortable to drive.

Hodibiddy DH had a Tesla a few years ago. Great to drive and the free charging network was far superior to what was available at the time. However Tesla are now planning to open their chargers to all EVs so that advantage will be less now. There are a lot more good alternatives around now, so I would suggest he also looks at other EVs in the same price bracket.

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Hodibiddy · 18/11/2021 09:15

Thank you. He has about 5 in his list, and he’s like a kid in a toy shop!
He lives his cars - he’s had so many including Porsche, Range Rover and Mercedes so is spending literally hours/days doing his research!


FixTheBone · 18/11/2021 09:27


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?

The plugs are all pretty standard now (some older cars (LEAF esp.)) had type 1 charging sockets.

Virtually everything now comes with a type 2 socket, and the vast, vast majority have an additional two pins to plug CCS in, which is much faster.

The Teslas (I have one) will charge anywhere everyone else can, but have the advantage of being able to use the dedicated tesla supercharger network as well which is generally faster, more likely to be working and linked to the car so you dont have to faff around with payments.

FixTheBone · 18/11/2021 09:34


Can I ask about home charging for a Tesla? We're in the process of buying one but the installation firm insist it needs to be connected to the main fuse box which is the the kitchen so will be a big hassle.
We have a garage with a power supply.

My other question is about icy roads and snow, how does it handle?
If you're aware of any quirks I'd be grateful to know.

Definitely needs a dedicated cable run from the electricity consumer unit - a 7kW podpoint - is a high power device running potentially for 4-12 hours continuously - that can cause heating or even fires in inadequate cabling.

I have a detached garage with power and it cost about £3000 to have a podpoint installed - 15m underground cable that needed trenches etc and part of the drive relaying.

As for the snow and ICE - I have the model 3 performance which is all-wheel drive, the LR also is, and I've had no issues in snow - despite ridiculous summer tyres and it being a stupidly high power car - the traction control and handling has been exceptional.

Tulipomania · 20/11/2021 09:27

When we had our Tesla charger installed a few years ago it was only a few hundred quid. We got a grant though, not sure if they are still available.
It was annoying because we had to have an ugly cable attached to the house but I've got used to it now.

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