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Should you buy an electric car? How we came to our decision to buy one.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Stuart Wright, Mar 9, 2017.

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  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Electric Hyundai Ioniq owner's vlog #1:...


    We’re changing our Audi A4 Avant (diesel estate) for a newer car and I started researching the options using Parkers and Autotrader to see what’s about. We’ve owned the Audi for over 7 years. It’s served us well and as our main family car and we want something safe, spacious and comfortable. We were thinking of an SUV because
    • Our drive is hard to get up when it’s covered in snow
    • We’re used to the capacity of the estate
    • We occasionally carry bales of hay when the wife helps look after a friend’s pony
    • She occasionally drives through big puddles in the lanes
    • I’m over 6 foot tall and our son is heading that way
    • We’ve never had an SUV and like the idea of owning one
    So based on the advice of our mechanic brother-in-law, we started looking for a used Hyundai Santa Fe at around the £20k mark. When browsing at a Hyndai dealership, the wife spotted an Ioniq and commented how nice she thought it looked, but it was not on our radar, so we moved on. The Santa Fe looked ok, but nothing exciting.

    We stopped on a whim on the way home at a Mitsubishi dealership and got talking about the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). It’s quite looking, has plenty of interesting technology and is the biggest selling green car. They told us about the green incentives like lower road tax and if bought as a company car, the small benefit-in-kind tax. And if purchased new, the £2,500 government payout for hybrids and 100% write off in the first year.

    A PHEV would suit us because
    • We have off-road parking for plugging it in
    • Almost all our journeys are short (like most people)
    • We have solar panels
    • I’m keen on being green
    • A brand new car would have nice tech in it that I’d appreciate
    Our accountant confirmed the advantages of buying a brand new green company car and after a couple of test drives we were about to push the button on a G4h when someone suggested getting an all electric car.

    More research led to looking at the Hyndai Ioniq EV. It’s the first car available as hybrid, PHEV and EV variants and the EV is the fastest and greenest.

    Hyundai IONIQ electric | Fully Charged


    Knowing that the wife likes the look of it, I had a test drive and liked it. Performance in sport mode was good enough. The big factor is that the top spec model, after the £4,500 (all EV) government incentive and negotiated discount from the dealer comes out at £9,500 cheaper than the Outlander. Tackling the reasons why we were going for an SUV:
    • If it snows, and it hasn’t in the last two years, we could fit winter tyres
    • The Ioniq has reasonable capacity and we only ever need more when going to the airport and we could get a taxi for that
    • Bales of hay would still fit
    • Big puddles wouldn’t really be a problem. She currently does them in the Hyundai Coupe
    • Me and the lad fit now in the car and would fit even if he’s over 6 foot tall
    • The prospect of owning an electric car is to me, frankly, more exciting than owning an SUV
    The Pros:
    • It’s an electric car! It has lots of cool features and technology including Apple Car Play, a decent sat nav, driver safety assist features, tyre pressure monitors and loads more. The only things we wanted which it doesn’t have compared to the Outlander are a bird’s-eye camera and a sun roof.
    • It looks nice. Most importantly the wife thinks it looks nice.
    • 120 practical range is more than enough 99% of the time
    • Cheap to run and maintain. Solar panels mean in the summer it would be even cheaper
    • Performance is adequate. Decent torque. I’ve owned an Elise. I don’t want another sports car.
    • It’s good value for money.
    The Cons:
    • Brakes will take some getting used to. They are not linear in application because the car recovers some of the energy.
    • The Hyundai Ioniq EV is a new car and that would cause me a little concern knowing that early adopters tend to do debugging. But Hyundai has a great reputation for reliability. The car also has a 5 year warranty and 8 years on the battery.
    • I am concerned about residual value. Newer cars will have longer range because of the fast pace of battery technology development. In a few short years we will probably have batteries which charge in 5 minutes and take us 300+ miles on a single charge. So our 2017 Ioniq will depreciate quite a lot. Maybe Hyundai will offer a battery replacement service.
    I placed an order for a white one in February. The biggest issue is that delivery won’t be until June August/September (delayed from June) I can’t wait.

    Should you consider an electric car? If you
    • Have off-road parking
    • Do less than 100 miles a day most of the time
    • Like technology and being an early adopter
    • Want to be greener
    • Are happy with an mid-sized family car
    • Have solar panels - it's a bonus
    then I would say at least have a test drive.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  2. delanoster

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    The Ioniq is on my radar for replacing my car when the lease runs out in April 2018. The 120mile range puts me off right now though; I'd be happy with 200 real miles to cover long days out.
    I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts as an owner.
     
  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I'll be posting them.
     
  4. choddo

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    I've already got one. Had 2 BMW i3s since 2014. Could never go back.

    If it helps, the regen braking is probably my favourite thing about them. One pedal driving. (And the instant stealth torque)

    I like the look of the Ioniq and with things like the 250mile Zoe, VW's commitments, the model 3, the Bolt and these new 170-350kW chargers on the horizon, it's looking very promising for the EV market in the next few years.
     
  5. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Have you had occasion to use its sat nav to find a charge point? Is it reliable? Or do you have to plan them in advance?
     
  6. choddo

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    Bit of both. In the early days ecotricity (for example) weren't on there so you learned to use Zap-Map or Plugshare. Most are on there now but I still do a bit of planning beforehand if it's a new location.

    The comments from other people on both those apps are very useful, either for finding a point in a multi-storey or getting an idea of reliability.
     
  7. a l e x

    a l e x
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    We bought a leaf a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely love it. We have a "normal" car too so we don't use it for long journeys but my wife has used it to go to work every day. Can't see us not having an electric car in the future. We've found a few charging points using the sat nav locations and seems pretty accurate for us.
     
  8. gangzoom

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    @Stuart Wright :The IONIQ looks like a fab car, its the only EV I haven't driven but I suspect its just as good as all the others.

    The next 12-18 months is going to see much more choices become available. Next gen Leaf all but confirmed for 2018 delivery, Tesla Model 3 production will start, Volvo will announce new EVs, electric Mini due, Jaguar iPace due.....The list is almost endless and growing by the day.

    Battery tech wouldn't evolve that much, faster charging beyond 150KW is unlikely to happen with existing Lithium-ion tech as higher temperatures related to rapid charging directly correlate to degradation. Infact only Tesla have public rapid chargers that can deliver 120KW, and even than that rate of charge is only for a few minutes before tapering to below 100KW to protect the battery from over heating.

    But prices of larger packs will fall, whilst at the moment only Tesla will sell you a 100kWh pack for about £100k, come 2020 that price should be nearly halved.

    There are emerging battery tech in the horizon but given Sony first released commercial Lithium-ion cells in 1991 and its taken till now for prices to fall enough to become viable for automotive use, those bench side new battery tech wouldn't be finding their way into EVs for another decade at the earliest.

    As with all tech been an early adopter isn't always the best financial decision, but somethings in life is worth spending extra money on to experience. I look forwards to the day of telling my grandkids I had one of the first mass market EVs around and the pitiful range it could do on one charge :).

    New Nissan Leaf Coming In September, On Sale In 2017
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  9. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I've been reading about sodium ion batteries as an alternative to lithium ion.
    Sodium-ion device could compete with lithium-ion batteries - nanotechweb.org

    Those photos of the concept Leaf make me think it looks a lot like the Ioniq which looks a lot like the Prius which is what you get when you design a car for a better drag coefficient.
    Maybe the leaf will be the replacement for the wife's Coupe.
    A two electric car family. In for a penny...

    When the Tesla Powerwall drops to £2k installed I'll have one for the solar panels. Hopefully won't be long.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  10. gangzoom

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    I really wouldn't worry about 'future' battery developments. Lithium ion is good enough already both interms of longevity and performance....

    Why do you need newer tech when Lithium Ion cells powered cars can match the quickest most complicated combustion drive trains.... All without the risk of the engine imploding on itself, the end of the clip sum up why the combustion engine really does need to be relegated to the history books ;).

    Hellcat Blows Parts Everywhere vs Tesla P100D...


    The only real barrier is cost, and that has already fallen in the last few years and will continue to do so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  11. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Well Lithium is not so common a material, which is one of the reasons why Lithium Ion batteries are still expensive. So finding a more abundant, cheaper alternative would obviously mean better batteries accessible to more people.
    And its charge time is very long, which is why I think we need research to discover the best combination of chemicals to allow 'instant' charging'
    And its energy density could be improved also so that smaller, lighter batteries reduce the size and weight of everything which uses them. The battery in a smartphone is usually the biggest single component, isn't it? And the Ioniq EV is the heaviest of the three variants. So the battery/batteries and electric motor of the EV weigh more than the battery, petrol engine and gearbox of the hybrids.
    So I think there is plenty to be done in the world of rechargeable batteries.
     
  12. gangzoom

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    ^ I would love to see battery packs with cheaper cost, more density, faster charging. But there is absolutely nothing remotely close to mass production suitable that can better Lithium ion packs.

    Lithium is actually very common and you need tiny amounts in a cell. The reasons costs are high is because mass production has been on a much smaller scale than what's required for automotive use.

    As I've mentioned, Tesla already have a family saloon that has a real world range of more than 300 miles, charge at a rate of nearly 400 miles per hour, battery degradation at 100k miles is less than 10%, and you can buy one right now to use, all based on existing cell technology.

    All the various 'future' cell technology banded around are no where near masa production and none have any real world data interms of degradation, safety etc. Just look at the problem Samsung had with their note batteries, Lithium ion technology, but clearly rushed to market with major over heating issue.

    Personally I wouldn't plan my EV purchase based on potential future battery tech. Current tech is already superior to combustion engines, and there really is no need to delay the transition away from fossils fuels.
     
  13. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Well I'm not delaying my decision as the order is placed with Hyundai.
    However, the residual value of 2-3 year old EVs is a concern.
    Look at the going rate for older Nissan Leafs. With new models with better batteries and longer range coming along regularly, this is not a factor to be ignored.
    Used Cars for Sale - Auto Trader UK
     
  14. a l e x

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    You'd be mad to buy a leaf outright. They are definateky geared towards PCP purchases. We have ours for 2 years, the final payment is ridiculously high. High final value keeps the monthly amount much lower which is what the majority of people are interested in. The salesman even said to us, "just hand it back, no one buys them at the end!"
     
  15. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    If it's a company car, though, you get
    • a benefit in kind tax of 7% this year, 9% next and rising, but still lower than the percentage you'd pay if buying personally
    and when when buying new you get
    • the £4,500 goverment payout off the price
    • 100% write off of the vehicle in year one
    which is what made it a no brainer for us.
     
  16. a l e x

    a l e x
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    You get the government grant for a PCP too. I'm not buying for a company car so not really in my thoughts to be honest. I didn't aim my message specifically at you, I mean in general. I doubt many individuals buy a leaf outright for themselves when PCP deals make so much more sense.
     
  17. Alan CD

    Alan CD
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    I'm pleased to see a firm like Hyundai have decided to take the risk now and push out electric car variants at a fairly decent cost. Hopefully this will be a trend with most major car manufacturers because the EV market will become much more competitive.

    If only they can crack the battery problems: poor mileage, heavy, expensive, not 'green'.
     
  18. gangzoom

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    The current Leaf used values are low because Nissan discounted them so much when new. You can pick up a pre-reg car for not much more than £18k compared to a list price of over £25k.

    The current Leaf is also range limited, there is no way around that fact, and as battery degradation sets in that just gets worse. Having said that used prices on the Leaf have bottomed out as many people are realising what a bargain a light used version is interms of long term ownership.

    Used Tesla prices are the opposite, a 3 year old Tesla with 40-50k on the clock are still going for £50-60k, when a brand new one is barely any more expensive at £60k!!

    The next big release is the next gen Leaf which has been many years in development. Nissan has now finally given a release date, battery size should be around 60kWh for 200 miles of range. If Nissan can keep prices at £25-30k they are on to a winner, bare in mind a 60kWh Model S is £60k so the Leaf would be a bargain in comparison.

    Nissan says it will unveil next-gen LEAF with 200+ miles of range in September, ship it soon after
     
  19. JUS

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    Don't quite agree with those new tesla prices. £60k doesn't get you anything brand new. I speced one out and it was over £90k

    Really looking forward to the model 3. I'm a bit of a petrol head and tech nut. So I don't think I can accept anything slower than 6 seconds 0-60 or without autopilot. Just got to Dave a little
     
  20. choddo

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    Actually the chancellor altered that madness in the last budget. From 2020 it will drop back down to 2% again for pure EVs.
     
  21. Stuart Wright

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    Which networks do you subscribe to and which do you find you use?
     
  22. choddo

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    Polar. Still have a CYC card but they have merged now.
    Source London
    Ecotricity
    I have the PodPoint app but so far have never had to use it. Always got free power from those.
     
  23. LV426

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    I test drove, for a few hours, a Hyundai Ioniq electric a week or so back. It was such an enjoyable thing to drive. I was expecting it to be "odd", but it wasn't. Just like driving an automatic but without the hesitation on gear changes or kickdown etc. And without the noise, of course.

    I was drawn to the Hyundai by a combination of its pricing, its range and its looks. The latter especially because, aside from the solid low resistance moulding where the radiator grille is on models with an engine, it doesn't look odd; doesn't shout out that it's electric. It looks.......like a decent sized car.

    Inside, it's got plenty of toys, seems to be well enough assembled (which was my expectation anyway) and, importantly, has plenty of room. It's got enough width to be comfortable and the back seats have easily enough legroom. Fold them down and our two bikes will go inside (with a wheel removed, of course). It's all good.

    Do I get one? Well there is the little matter of range. It's all very well having a map of roadside rapid chargers - as long as there are rapid chargers where you are headed. And ONE of our regular trips (maybe 9x per year) is ~85 miles each way with no roadside chargers of any speed en route (if we go the way we prefer to go) and, in this particular case, no option to charge it at destination either. We may be able to negotiate on the latter; if not then unless we choose a different (usually much busier, more "fraught") route and/or until there is another point installed somewhere, that's going to be problematic.

    That said, aside from this one journey, we virtually NEVER travel more than the expected real world 130 mile range of this vehicle would take us, so we'd be good to go for just about everything else.

    We presently have a 13 year old diesel SUV which isn't ailing much. We weren't going to swap it just yet, but the appeal of the Hyundai is huge. And the government grant of £4500 off the car and £500 off the in-home 7kw charger are sweeteners that may well not last - who knows?

    Decision:
    I have ordered a white Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium SE. I don't expect to actually see it until August or September. It's costing close to £1500 off the list price and there is a free 7kw charge point installation as well - part government funded; part by the dealer or manufacturer.

    I will, however, hang on to the old SUV for the time being. It's practically worthless anyway so its primary costs are down to servicing and tax. We've never had a car each; maybe we'll get to like the idea too much. In any case, I'll probably drop the SUVs insurance to 3rd party only when it renews; won't fix anything costly but unnecessary (eg the rear screen washer).

    I'll use the Ioniq wherever I can, and I'm expecting to gain confidence in longer trips and a better understanding of just how far it will go with real experience. The goal is to dispose of the diesel completely, and possibly rent something else on the one occasion in 10 years when I have to go to Cornwall and back via the Cotswolds (or similar!)....... It may be, of course, that an improved understanding and confidence, plus an improved roadside network, will make even that unnecessary. We'll see.
     
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  24. IronGiant

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    We're a two car family so we were happy to go for a low range Leaf on the grounds we can use the CRV for longer trips, of which we do a handful a year. Be interested to hear how you find the Ioniq.
     
  25. choddo

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    Don't think you'll regret that decision :)
     
  26. outoftheknow

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    Re the rear screen washer - isn't visibility there a legal requirement? Ok if you clean it as you go of course but I've lost count of the number of SUVs where the entire back is coated in dirt. Maybe because they are used on dirt tracks a bit more often than other types of cars.

    It is worth doing the maths for the out of the ordinary trips as well. The cost of having a car ready to go gets a few hire cars in the year. The Hyundai and hire cars may be cheaper (and more reliable).

    Also a changed route for the occasional trip with no chargers currently may not have to be fraught. Again it may be worth the change to get rid of the cost of the SUV. Chargers should be added more and more nowadays you would imagine as well.
     
  27. LV426

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    Rear washer - I doubt it's a legal requirement otherwise the Ioniq (and various Honda Civics before them) would never have got type approval. In any case - if you drive a van, or fill the back up with cargo.......

    As to the no-charger trip - by "fraught" I mean stupidly busy with traffic; slow, tedious etc etc... That would be the ONLY alternate route with charging opportunity for this particular trip. And it would be NO fun to do.

    And yes, occasional rental of something more conventional is certainly on the cards, if/when we dispose of the SUV. Its costs aren't so great that I feel I need to so do right away, but it may well happen - esp if it needs something costly. I'm keeping open to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  28. gangzoom

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    @Stuart Wright, @IronGiant, @LV426

    Will be great to see how you guys get on with EVs, my personal experience with the Leaf was once you get use to EV motoring you simply don't want to go back to the combustion engine, and essentially will try to use the EV as much as possible.

    One massive advantage you guys have compared when I first got an EV 2 years ago is choice and increasing range. I fully expect with-in the next 12 months 150-200 mile range EVs will become 'affordable', where as back in 2015 it really was Tesla or nothing else.

    Interms of public charging things are still as bad as they were, and unless you have access to a Tesla and their supercharging network I really wouldn't bother with public charging unless your desperate.
     
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  29. outoftheknow

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    No worries - I didn't mean you must have a rear washer. I meant rear visibility. Yes vans don't have I think but they have bigger side mirrors and I'm fairly sure the rear view mirror is a requirement in a car. Anyway it emwanst a major point - just mentioning hiring a car seems expensive each time but often it is cheaper than having the car :)
     
  30. choddo

    choddo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
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    I wouldn't have that much of a downer on public charging. I use it quite a lot (not as much as the posts at work but I've probably used a CCS 200 times by now) and it's a 7/10 service I'd say.
     

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