BMW i3 vs Renault Zoe.

Discussion in 'Hybrid, PHEV & EV Electric Cars Forum' started by PRESSTOG, Nov 15, 2017.

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  1. PRESSTOG

    PRESSTOG
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    Well its time to do the comparison.

    Having had my BMW i3 60ah (19kwh) Rex for 13 months and 41k miles, I decided it was time for something with better range.

    3 Days a week I do M1 Jnc28 to Central London and back (142 Miles each way). The i3 is great but it takes a charge stop each way (Milton Keynes) which is 89 Miles from Home, and I have to drive at 58mph to get there on the battery in the summer and in winter I still end up using the Rex engine for a few miles.

    So decided a larger battery EV would allow me to do the journey nonstop saving a 30min charge stop each way and also be able to drive nearer the speed limit.

    At first I was going to upgrade the i3 to the newer 90ah (30kwh) Rex, but the cost to change was insane, getting a car just a month or 2 newer but with the bigger battery was going to cost me 10k.

    So I started looking at the Renault Zoe ZE40. I was initially put off by the fact the battery is on lease so as well as buying the car you need to lease the battery at £110 a month, that was not going to work for me.. But I found out Renault also sell a battery owned version for £5k more. So to crunch the numbers.

    The Zoe I decided on was the top spec Signature Nav, Along with the Q (Rapid Charge System) £750 extra, and Metallic Paint £600 extra. So the total OTR was £31800, take off the £4500 OLEV Grant and a very good Dealer Discount Of Over £7700 (Carwow). Brought the entire OTE down to £19400

    As I will be doing 150k miles over 4 years my idea is to fully depreciate the car over that period (£5k per year), and at the end of 4 years scrap the car and reuse the battery with whatever capacity is left as a home energy storage system..

    With my work allowances for travel parking and CC I will be well in profit on the car after year 2, so if it does not make it to year 4 no issue.

    Anyway enough waffle down to the cars.

    The i3 is a very marmite car. Personally I love it design drive, all of it its the dogs danglies to me. (I know to a lot of others its Mhhhh)

    I find the interior is a calming place to be but its fun to drive and fits my needs perfectly.

    So why buy a Zoe (At this point I admit I bought it without driving it or even ever sitting in one), it was the range that sold it.

    In My i3 on a good day I can get from Home to Alton Towers and back again (85 Miles) and just get home before the battery dies, (Eco Mode with All Heating Off)

    In the Zoe today, I went from Home To Alton Towers, Alton Towers to Derby, Derby to Sheffield, Sheffield to Home ( 172 Miles) and came home with 30 miles range remaining

    Thats it the entire reason.. Miles in the tank.

    So how does the Zoe Compare

    Design BMW i3 WINS
    Zoe its bland and very "car like" if you dont like driving its the perfect car for you.
    Interior, So much cheap hard plastic, Shiny slippy leather seats. No Storage,

    Technology ZOE WINS Entertainment/Computer, Zoe much better than the i3, having a TomTom based system rather than the BMW idrive its easy to use and seems to keep a better route option if there are jams, the i3 goes bonkers. Being touch screen its much better to use.

    Heating/Cooling. ZOE Wins nice easy to set AC/Climate and a low energy heat pump as standard across the range (£750 extra on i3)

    Ride. i3 WINS. The Zoe is sluggish feels like a normal car, the i3 is eager nippy and holds the road well

    Rattles and Interior Noise. ZOE WINS (Bit of a surprise), in the i3 there is always a rattle from somewhere, in an EV very irritating in the quiet environment, in the Zoe its been perfect. Very surprised considering the cheap interior.

    Range. ZOE WINS (Obvious more than double the battery and range).

    Charging. BMW WINS. Difficult this as the Zoe has no DC Rapid Charge at all, it only charges on AC, the standard Model can charge on upto 32amp 3 phase (22Kw/Hour) And the Quick Model can charge on 64amp 3 phase (43kw/Hour), which is as quick as rapid DC, but it seems a faff and the Zoe is a very picky about what chargers it likes the i3 on DC is just plug and go.

    COSTS TO CHARGE - It all depends on what Supplier you use, but I charge on Eco7 overnight, the 19kw i3 uses about 21kw from empty to full including charging losses in the system, as i pay 5p kwh it costs about £1.05 to charge for 85 miles range. The 41kw Zoe uses about 46kwh including charging losses so costs £2.30 to full charge but gives over double the range of the i3, so on both cost per mile is around 1.2p

    On a straight costs basis the Zoe is a clear winner being the biggest battery EV on the UK Roads (Except Teslas) and coming in under £20k battery owned for a top of the range £16k for a mid range. Makes it a great starter EV..

    I will be happy driving my Zoe to London and back for the next couple or years, but wish BMW had come out with a 40kwh i3 last year

    SO ZOE WINS ON
    Price
    Range
    Seats 5
    Tech

    i3 WINS ON
    Looks
    Speed
    Comfort
    Quality
    Ease of Charging

    Luckily I am keeping my i3 as my weekend fun car, and the Zoe as the Weekday Motorway Mule, so I can have the best of both worlds.

    What says it all is I will put up with a car that does not push all my buttons to save time stopping to charge,

    I purchased the car from a dealer in Salisbury Wilts (185 Miles from home). (Was the best Price by Far).

    Vicky drove the i3 back home and I drove the Zoe, Both were fully charged in Salisbury, She had to stop at Abingdon, Warwick for rapid charges, and a topup at Leicester Forest East Adding 2 hours to the journey, the Zoe made it home on a single charge.

    Life is too short for that many charge stops.

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  2. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Where in Abingdon? was it Waitrose?
     
  3. PRESSTOG

    PRESSTOG
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    Yes we tried the Harvester at Didcot but the touchscreen had been smashed so had to move on to Waitrose Abingdon. Nice location not been there before
     
  4. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    Great to see that sensibly priced EVs are improving in leaps and bounds.

    Great to finally get some info on how much time charging adds to a journey - something I could not live with.

    I've just bought a new Golf GTi, which will be the last ICE car I ever buy. I'm planning to hang on to it for at least 10 years by which time you'd be silly not to buy an EV.
     
  5. PRESSTOG

    PRESSTOG
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    This larger battery has really made a difference, I went from Sutton in Ashfield (M1 Jnc 28) to Brighton on Thursday, 202 Miles there and 223 Miles Back

    From Home car was saying 195 miles range, I figured I could make it without a charge if I drove on eggshells, but decided to go faster and stop for a charge. Came off the M25 and Charged on the Free Polar Ultracharger near Chessington. 30mins was more than enough so set off again, got into Brighton and used the Free Charger with Free Parking outside the Sealife Centre on the Seafront (Madiera Ave). Was in Brighton for 4 hours, battery was full when I got back to the car. came home a longer way up the M40 as I needed to pop into Warwick Castle, Popped the car on the Free Ultracharger at Harvester Warwick for 30mins while having a pee break and grabbing a coffee.

    Got home with plenty of charge left. Total 425 Miles, Time wasted charging 0 as both short stops were timed in with dashes for a pee and coffee.

    In the shorter range i3 this would not have been possible and it would have been multiple stops on paid chargers, the long range Zoe allowed me to time my stops on free and convenient chargers

    425 Miles Total Cost for Charging £0.

    Although my current plan of doing 125k miles in the car over 4 years could be way under.

    10 Days of ownership so far and

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017

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