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Electric Car Considerations
Old 07-04-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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Electric Car Considerations

Our Echo is still going strong, but at 240,000 miles I'm starting to consider options for a new car.

I know gas prices are low, but I think we'd enjoy an electric car, partly just for the fun of it. Also, being a minimalist, I like owning a car which is much less complex than a gas-powered vehicle.

We test drove a Leaf recently, and enjoyed it.

What are some things I should be considering?

For example,

1. Would there be any reason (other than fun-ness) to buy one now rather than wait for the Echo to die?

2. Big improvements in range might be right around the corner.

3. Could a Tesla be worth the extra cost?
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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Unless this is a "green" thing, my overall considerations when looking for a car are 1) Cost per mile 2) reliability 3) safety.

Clearly, cost per mile will be higher for most new cars vs (gently) used - though the electric aspect muddies the energy cost per mile.

New is typically better in the reliability arena but "electric" adds some unknowns IMO.

Safety is often "weight" related, but that's not a given anymore, now that safety is being engineered into cars (air bags, crush zones, etc.)

Specific to all-electric cars, of course, range "anxiety" should be considered.

Can't think of anything else, so YMMV. Have fun!
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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The Chevy Bolt is on the way. A big plus is it's supposed to go 200 miles before needing a charge.

Quote:
Last week saw General Motors GM +0.58% come out swinging in its bid to win over — preemptively — car buyers waiting for the Holy Grail of electric vehicles.

That would be a 200-mile-range all-electric sedan that doesn’t break the bank.
The Non-Elitist Electric: GM Revs Up Marketing Message For Chevy Bolt - Forbes

The Leaf looks like a nice fun, short distance EV car.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:44 AM   #4
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My cost concern is how often you would have to replace the battery for some outrageous sum of money. That would seem to negate any gas savings.

Unless you can sell the Tesla Model S as a collector car when you are done with it, I doubt it has any economic rationalization other than you really want it. The Model 3 might be another story. I would like to wait for more self-driving features. And I would think batteries will only get better and cheaper as you wait.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #5
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I've had fun with my hybrid, even just from a "gee whiz" standpoint, so I can appreciate that part of it. Used Chevy Volts seem to be a deal on the used car market and they allow you to be electric for all the local running around, yet take a longer trip or never worry about running out of juice when you are near the limits of its electric range. Not a particularly exciting car, but practical in terms of size and capability.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Not a particularly exciting car, but practical in germs of size and capability.
+1

Nothing worse than impractical germs...
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Unless this is a "green" thing, ...
Since he didn't mention it, I won't go there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
...
What are some things I should be considering?

For example,

1. Would there be any reason (other than fun-ness) to buy one now rather than wait for the Echo to die?

2. Big improvements in range might be right around the corner.

3. Could a Tesla be worth the extra cost?
1) Tax credits running out (I don't know if they are even close)? The newer models coming out in the next 2 years (new Tesla model and Chevy Bolt) - more choice/competition?

2) I doubt it.

3) Personal decision.

Is the range of the Leaf OK for you? I thought you had a pretty long drive to a lot of shopping?

-ERD50
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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+1

Nothing worse than impractical germs...
+1
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:44 PM   #9
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My choice will be the Volt if you like toying with cars.


My ideal car will be a Volt but on a small SUV form like a CRV.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:39 PM   #10
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from Echo to Tesla, owww, you're making my head spin, T-Al!

OK, here's what you can do:

Buy the Nissan Leaf.
Buy or build a very small two-wheel trailer.
Buy one of those cheap generators from Northern Tool or the like.
Mount it and a gas tank onto the trailer.
Connect a 240 Volt cord from the generator's output up to the recharge port on the Leaf.
Fix up the generator with a remote start kit.

When you need to drive somewhere further away, hook up the trailer and go. When the Leaf's charge gauge is getting low, just pickup the remote start's fob, and start'r up.

There ya go, bud!
And maybe you could use the idea in one of your books.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I've had fun with my hybrid, even just from a "gee whiz" standpoint, so I can appreciate that part of it. Used Chevy Volts seem to be a deal on the used car market and they allow you to be electric for all the local running around, yet take a longer trip or never worry about running out of juice when you are near the limits of its electric range. Not a particularly exciting car, but practical in terms of size and capability.
+1.... I would think Volt first off just for the ability to drive farther... also, if you forgot to plug it in...

There was a thread about buying a used Leaf... seems that they go pretty cheap a couple of years old... maybe Volts are the same...



Edit to add... looked up Leaf and you can buy for around $12K.... and less than 20K miles...
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Electric Car Considerations
Old 07-05-2015, 03:29 PM   #12
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Electric Car Considerations

How about the new BMW?

http://www.caranddriver.com/bmw/i3
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:37 PM   #13
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or the E-Golf.

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Photos and Info – News – Car and Driver

Not a lack of choice these days in the Nissan Leaf segment, it seems.
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:52 PM   #14
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Here ya go - Volt for $14K with 19K miles. 2012 Chevrolet Volt Base, $13,990 - Cars.com
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:06 PM   #15
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The problem with the volt is that it still has a gas motor.

The problem with electric cars is the technology is changing so fast that if you buy any electric vehicle it has horrible depreciation. My friend wanted an e-golf and after 3 years it would only retain 34% of it's msrp. That's land rover depreciation territory.

My advice is to lease a sonic ev or the leaf, low payments, walk away in 3 years.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:17 AM   #16
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have a volt and a BMW i3. Plan to keep them a long time and run them into the ground. A risk with the current battery tech but have home solar and love not having the gasoline bills.


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Old 07-06-2015, 07:55 AM   #17
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The problem with the volt is that it still has a gas motor. ...
But that's also the solution - to range anxiety.

Or to state it another way - The problem with the [insert any affordable full EV] is that it still has a limited range before a long charge time is needed.

-ERD50
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #18
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I think if you take in resale value, you will get a Tesla for a small premium, especially if your travels are along the charging station corridors. One driver drove from San Diego to Whistler and only experienced range anxiety once.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:27 PM   #19
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If the government kickback incentive is a consideration, this might be interesting:

California's ZEV Tax Rebates Are Now Income-Dependent

Quote:
As of July 1st, average-income families will get a bigger tax rebate on the purchase of new fuel cell, electric, or plug-in hybrid cars. There's just one catch: The rebate disappears completely for high-income buyers.
The cut off it pretty high ($250K for individuals), so I doubt you'd have to manage your income too severely to qualify...
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:03 PM   #20
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Is the range of the Leaf OK for you? I thought you had a pretty long drive to a lot of shopping?

-ERD50
It's 25 miles to the closest real grocery store, and our Saturday shopping/errand trips usually rack up 70 miles. So, that's doable.

My neighbor up the street has a leaf and it works well for him.
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