Electric Vehicles (or EV's) - We'd love to know what you think!


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The first all electric car to be built in the UK was back in 2013, but recently, Electric Vehicles (EV’s) have been a hot topic.

In the Queen's Speech yesterday, her Majesty announced that mandatory charging points will be at motorway services and full stations to encourage the use of electric vehicles, but do you think this is a good idea?

Do you have an EV? If you do, comment below to tell us about it, why did you buy it? How do you find it day to day, any issues you've come up against? If you don't have one, what would prompt you to purchase an EV? What do you see the benefits are?

Get posting your thoughts and if you have an EV why not share a picture as part of your comment!

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I don't have an EV, but did look at hybrids when I last changed. I wish I could manage with one. Compared to normal cars, their boot space is too small for me. I need to be able to carry a set of golf clubs and an electric trolley, shoes and sundry bits - all out of sight else my insurance is void. I had thought the Mitsubishi PHEV would be ideal, but they didn't fit in.

Potentially, I could charge an EV from my solar panels, but in that case I would want a bigger panel installation. Many of my journeys are under 10 miles, so a pure EV would be ideal. But 90 miles and often more once a week with a lot of stopping and starting, heater on in the winter and air con in the summer for the full 5 hours I'm out, would be pushing it.

My elderly neighbours (both sides) only very rarely go more than 20 miles, so EVs would be perfect for them. But they perceive them as expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and to replace batteries, and worry about the technology - they struggle with the clocks in their cars which need changing twice a year!

For longer journeys there is fast charging. But Fast charging means stopping at a charging point for half an hour every hundred or so miles. Then there have to be enough of those.

I think EV is a great idea, but we need a cultural change and better battery technology for more widespread use.
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Thanks for your comments @EverythingNeedsAUserName, very helpful.

It's interesting the different factors that determine peoples need/want for an EV. You clearly have an appetite to get one, but maybe they are not quite there yet in terms of practicality to fit your particular needs.

My mother in law has a hybrid, a Prius. She loves it and spends hardly any money on fuel.

I would definitely consider an EV but as a purchase they are still quite pricey so that's the only major barrier right now for me.

Be great to hear from @mjcharlton71 as I believe he has an EV. Be great to know how you are finding it?

Darran
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Hey @Fred Rick, good to see you've joined the forum!

This is the EV topic that I mentioned when you joined at us at OVO HQ on Friday!

Be great to get your thoughts on this one!

Darran
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I read in the news the other week that by 2035 all new cars sold in Europe could be electric!!

That's an exciting fact, and one that's not too far away!

Anyone thinking about getting an EV? I'm definitely interested more and more as time goes by, definitely seeing more charging points popping up around the country (there's even one at my local train station car park now!)

Keep sharing your thoughts on this, its a subject that's definitely gaining more momentum!

Darran
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Hi everyone.

I am the delighted owner of a PHEV (PetrolHybridElectricVehicle) and thought you may be interested in some of my experiences with it.

In the past 9 months I have driven well over 4K miles on electricity alone and saved being nearly 500 litres petrol. Quite a saving I think you may agree, and I have not used a drop of petrol or directly produced a gram of CO2 when driving through the city.

Most of my driving is local and so the 18 miles at best electric range is never an issue and the 40 litre petrol tank and 2 litre engine are more than adequate to take me on long journeys as well.

It achieves lively performance with outstanding economy. If I drive local only I do not need to use any petrol at all. When local driving is mixed in with longer trips I achieve about 85mpg.

To be as green as I can, at home I use OVOs 100% renewable electricity tariff.

Most of the 7Kw charging stations in the Bristol Bath area are council provided and free to use. The electric range can be considerably extended by connecting to one of those whenever I use the Park and Ride, Sainsbury's and a growing number of car parks.

Comments or questions.....I would love to hear them. And remember my reply to you will be based on real experiences, not opinions formed from what has been read in the press.
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This was brilliant to read @Fred Rick. I can’t believe you’ve saved using nearly 500 litres of petrol (that’s quite a saving on cost too!) as that will do wonders for the environment.

It’s also really insightful to know that most of the charging stations in the Bristol and Bath area are free to use - something I didn't know which could possibly encourage people in that area to seriously consider having an EV.

Thanks for your feedback! Let’s hope our other users get involved in the conversation too.

Lucy
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I own a BMW i3 and expect to save in excess of £2,500 on petrol and vehicle excise duty over 12 months compared to my previous internal combustion vehicle (ICE) based on 15k miles per year. Many people complain about the high cost of purchasing an EV without offsetting the running costs.

There are many urban myths about owning and running an EV that seam to be perpetuated by the media including National newspapers (especially The Times) If anyone would like to ask questions I will try to help with honest answers!
Userlevel 2
We been EVing for over three years now. First with a used Renault Zoe and now with a leased new BMWi3. Total over 40,000 miles.
From our experience range anxiety exists more in the mind of potential EVers than with those with experience. You have to remember that with a home charge point every journey starts with a full battery. We only charge about 11 times a year, holidays and family reunions, that equates to once every 1500 miles, although on some long trips we charge twice in a day and then sometimes we go for a couple of months without charging at a public charge point.
Granted we cut our teeth on a Zoe which only had a range of about 85 miles and the charging infrastructure was not as well populated.
We are now so comfortable with managing range that we opted for the BEV rather than have the insurance of the Rex.
Userlevel 1
Dan W wrote:

We been EVing for over three years now. First with a used Renault Zoe and now with a leased new BMWi3. Total over 40,000 miles.
From our experience range anxiety exists more in the mind of potential EVers than with those with experience. You have to remember that with a home charge point every journey starts with a full battery. We only charge about 11 times a year, holidays and family reunions, that equates to once every 1500 miles, although on some long trips we charge twice in a day and then sometimes we go for a couple of months without charging at a public charge point.
Granted we cut our teeth on a Zoe which only had a range of about 85 miles and the charging infrastructure was not as well populated.
We are now so comfortable with managing range that we opted for the BEV rather than have the insurance of the Rex.

Userlevel 1
Nice to hear from a fellow i3 owner! Mine is also a BEV. Have you found the i3 forum on Facebook?
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Yes, and posted a few times there too.
Agreed, there is a risk of being swamped by Leaf and overwhelmed by Tesla owners. We i3ers need to stick together
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Great to see some good discussion here on all things EV! Those MPG savings are impressive!

I have seen a few Leaf's around my way and only one Tesla. I think Renault have one as well called the Zoe, don't know if anyone has experience of that at all?

Darran
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Darran_OVO wrote:

Great to see some good discussion here on all things EV! Those MPG savings are impressive!

I have seen a few Leaf's around my way and only one Tesla. I think Renault have one as well called the Zoe, don't know if anyone has experience of that at all?

Darran

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The Renault is the biggest selling EV in Europe Darran.
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/30/europe-electric-car-sales-54/
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@aquafambublish Thanks for sharing!! Good to know. Haven't seen that many in the UK though, definitely seen quite a few BMW's and Leaf's.

That's some pretty big sales numbers in the EU versus the other competitors, am guessing it might be more affordable than some of the others on the list.

Darran
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In reply to Darren.
We enjoyed our Zoe so much that we treated ourselves to a BMW13.
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Nice @Dan W - Good to know your experience with the first EV was so good you bought another one!

Darran
Userlevel 2
Spotted in sleepy old Malvern.
5 Teslas
3 Zoe's
At least 4 Leafs
4 BMWi3s
Mine is the black one, common as muck.

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Ha @Dan W!!

They are definitely becoming more popular. Maybe when our family wagon comes up for renewal, we will have to look to see whats available in our price range!!

And for those of you with EV's, have you heard about our new tariff? You can find out more here:
https://forum.ovoenergy.com/all-about-energy-24/ev-everywhere-what-s-it-all-about-547

Darran
Userlevel 2
Why wait?
There are bargains to be had with used Leafs and Zoe's now.
The imminent 200 miler Leaf means the current spec is being discounted, which depresses the used market. Similarly the 200 miler Zoe .
You can get a nice used Leaf or Zoe for well under £10k.
I bought my second hand Zoe for £9.5k and sold it 35,000 miles later for £4.5K.
Running costs are peanuts compared with running an ICE
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Well you are tempting me @Dan W! (logs onto a well known car selling site....)

Have to find something big enough for my family and the kitchen sink. :)

Darran
Userlevel 2
Darren,
How do I do that?
meanwhile: BMW i3 (BEV) on lease, formerly owned a Zoe. I Liked the Zoe so much I treated myself to an 13 for my 80th birthday!
Secretary of ElectrAA (Electric Automobile Association). Active promoter of the use and enjoyment of electric cars, with emphasis on enjoyment
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Dan W wrote:

Darren,
How do I do that?



Just click on your picture, top right and then click your name. You will be able to add a profile pic and see the profile fields you can fill in. Helps us get to know you and what you are interested in so we can guide you to relevant content. Also helps other users get to know you a bit better!

Wow you really love your EV's! Glad you are enjoying Bev!

Darran
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Great job updating your profile pic @Dan W!

Darran
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EverythingNeedsAUserName wrote:

I don't have an EV, but did look at hybrids when I last changed. I wish I could manage with one. Compared to normal cars, their boot space is too small for me. I need to be able to carry a set of golf clubs and an electric trolley, shoes and sundry bits - all out of sight else my insurance is void. I had thought the Mitsubishi PHEV would be ideal, but they didn't fit in.

Potentially, I could charge an EV from my solar panels, but in that case I would want a bigger panel installation. Many of my journeys are under 10 miles, so a pure EV would be ideal. But 90 miles and often more once a week with a lot of stopping and starting, heater on in the winter and air con in the summer for the full 5 hours I'm out, would be pushing it.

My elderly neighbours (both sides) only very rarely go more than 20 miles, so EVs would be perfect for them. But they perceive them as expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and to replace batteries, and worry about the technology - they struggle with the clocks in their cars which need changing twice a year!

For longer journeys there is fast charging. But Fast charging means stopping at a charging point for half an hour every hundred or so miles. Then there have to be enough of those.

I think EV is a great idea, but we need a cultural change and better battery technology for more widespread use.



It's interesting to read that your requirements are not met by the current range of EV and PHEV's.

If you need space to carry large items and the battery has already reduced the size of the boot I can see theres a problem. My PHEV does have a slightly smaller boot but with fold down rear seats I can easily transport all the paraphenalia needed to support a toddler.

I wonder if your elderly neighbours perception of the current range of EVs is maps onto my user experience. Mine was not the cheapest car available but it is litle different in price to its petrol or diesel equivalent. The £2500 governmet grant certainly helped, as does the £70 i save in running costs each month by not visiting a petrol station so often. The battery has a 7 year warranty so that does not bother me and Im not sure why it will be expensive to maintain. As most of my journeys are sub 20 miles and completed using electricity the petrol engine has only been used 2k miles in the last year and the electric motor 5k. Hopefully the engine's life will be extended.

In terms of use all the owner needs to know is how to plug it in and press te start button. Just as with a computer only experts need to know what's under the bonnet, The rest of us just plug in to use. The design and implementation is in my view perfect. In almost a years use it has not blinked once!

I do agree that currently the charging situation for pure EVs is less than perfect. In my view there are too many companies offering too few charging points with contracts and charges at wildly varying prices. Mergers are needed together with standardisation of charging technology. IMHO some of the charging systems are most certainly neither user friendly nor dependable. If you are in Bristol try the ones at Brislington Park and Ride....Then try the ones at Bath Newbridge Park and Ride. One offers a great experience and the other......Whenever I can I charge in Bath! POD points are great.

With the sales of EVs soaring the charging infrastucture needs intelligent planning and rapid implementation. This is especially inportant for users of pure EVs. I have a 4Kw charge point at home so together with a 2000cc engine I never have range anxiety. Not always so for others totally dependant on electricity.

To further cut my costs and reduce my carbon footprint I am considering a rooftop solar installation which charges batteries in my garage. That way I will have greater flexibility over power generation / use and not be forced to sell my surplus power back to the grid. This will also possibly reduce the potential power supply problems arising from simultaniously charging too many EVs in a small geographic location.

To finish, I do understand Everythingneedsausername loves golf. I wonder though have they tried long walks in our wonderful hills and countryside. all they need is a waterproof, a pair of walking boots and a companion. (dont forget the map) Its a great day out and saves the club subscription, expensive golfing kit, buying a car with big boot and the risk of being injured by a stray golf ball. Cheers, Fred

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