Looking to buy my first EV

Discussion in 'General' started by bubbleboba, Sep 14, 2020 at 7:37 AM.

  1. bubbleboba

    bubbleboba New Member

    Hi i havebeen looking into the world of EVs.
    Not gonna lie I aint got a clue.
    My question is what cars sholud i be considering and what cars to stay clear of???
  2. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    I guess the first question is, what are your needs, and what is your budget?

    Are you considering used or new?
    Clamps likes this.
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Let me suggest a requirements analysis:
    • Do you have a parking place where you can charge the car overnight?
    • What are the longest vacation and family visits?
    The first is a universal requirement for any EV. The second is the charging network you buy into with the car.

    Bob Wilson
  4. briloop

    briloop New Member

    Another question: Where do you live? EV availability depends on where you live.
  5. Where you live also relates to the availability of public charging stations. Networks are expanding, but there are still places where finding one may be a hassle. How important that is to you depends, as others have noted, on things like how much and where you drive and your ability to charge at home. Most people I've known who can't charge at home end up with plug-in hybrids. I don't drive a lot and charge in my garage, so I don't worry about commercial charging stations, though they are plentiful near me.
  6. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Great questions above.

    Here are my two

    What makes you interested in the EVs? Speed? Environment? Incentive?...

    Second question

    What are your usage patterns? Do you drive 20 miles a day? 50 miles a day?..... Do you drive in a big city or om rural areas? Carry big loads or have a big family?
  7. bubbleboba

    bubbleboba New Member

    Thankyou all for the feed back got about 20k to spend i do about 80miles a day and i have a 3 kids, but they wouldnt be in it at the week. i can charge at home and at work.
  8. Spoonman.

    Spoonman. New Member

    How big are the kids, and how big are you? We fit three rear-facing in a C-Max Energi for a while, but we are small people.

    Depending where you are, a recent (2019+) e-Golf with ~125 miles of range can be a great deal - it has a good set of modern safety features, too.

    You might also be able to get a new Leaf (not a Plus) down to the $20k level.
  9. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    The Leaf doesn't have good thermal management of the battery - I would always hesitate to recommend that to someone unless I know they are in a cooler climate.

    At one point, one could score a Bolt for under 20K.
  10. I was thinking Bolt, new or used as well. Just make sure it has DC fast charging if used. I recall it was an option on some Bolts. Not sure what used Ioniq’s are going for but it is an excellent car.
    Spoonman. likes this.
  11. Spoonman.

    Spoonman. New Member

    Ooh, you can also get an Ioniq EV for ~$20k.
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    • about 20k - shop for a used or end-of-lease as $20k is outside of the new car range. Fortunately, some end-of-lease cars will still have manufacturer warranty remaining. AVOID first model year as they can have latent defects that may need repair.
    • about 80 miles a day - suggests add at least 20 miles reserve to handle foul weather. You may want to consider a range-extended hybrid as this can provide long legs for vacations and day-trips.
    • 3 kids but they wouldn't be in it at the week - not sure what "they wouldn't be in it at the week" means. One challenge is kids often need cargo space but that varies. Then there may be the occasional 2nd adult who may need to come along so the seat count may become driver, adult guest, and three kids. NOTE: I am OK with a second car but consider rental of a larger car to be not my style.
    • can charge at home and at work - as long as you have home charging, other charging locations are easy. Use "plugshare.com" to see a map of local charging locations and free or fee and reliability. You'll need to understand J1772, CCS-1 (North America), and Tesla style charging which are filters with the free, plugshare account.
    For the most part, electric vehicles (EV) will come with a 100,000 mi / 8 year warranty. But when shopping for a new or end-of-lease car, the usable range will typically decrease by the following schedule:
    1. 3-5% after first year
    2. 1-2% second year, total 7% loss (*)
    3. 1-2% third year, total 9% loss
    4. 1-2% fourth year, total 11% loss
    5. 1-2% fifth year, total 13% loss
    6. 1-2% sixth year, total 15% loss
    7. 1-2% seventh year, total 17% loss
    8. 1-2% eighth year, total 19% loss
    (*) - The actual range loss is a function of climate, heat is the enemy, and battery temperature management, the air cooled ones suffer more than liquid cooled.

    Selecting EV

    The EPA web site, www.fueleconomy.gov, has a power search function:
    • set Model Years to 2015-2019 ... this leaves open remaining battery warranty
    • set Fuel Type to electricity ... this gives list of cars with mileage specs including model years
    You can select up to four cars for a head-to-head competition. Select the most recent, Model Year, version of any that appeal for now. The key is the car style may be OK or 'H*ll NO' so use this as a catalog of EVs (and includes some range extended) to find what appeals to you.

    Having found candidate EVs, search for free, owner forums for that car. Read some of the forum posts and share your requirements in your introduction post. NOTE: some forums have less friendly posters so feel free to sample a second forum. I avoid manufacturer sponsored forums that can be too rosy.

    Finding That Car

    Edmunds and Kellys have a used EV options ... as does INSIDEEVs. I prefer Ebay motors because they have the "completed sales" section that reflects the current fair-market-value. The commercial, used EV services tend to be a little too high for my taste but they may include other features such as accident history.

    My History
    • 2014 BMW i3-REx (42,602 miles) - 72 mi EV, liquid cooled, with 640 cc motorcycle engine for 78 gas miles. I still own this as backup for the 2019 Tesla Model 3. However, in Mississippi it is considered a UFO and I get about 10 positive compliments with 1 *asshole in traffic. It has four seats and serious scoot. We've driven 700-750 miles in a single day using motorcycle style: drive 1 hr 15 minutes and stop for ~2 gallons and bathroom break. Forum: https://www.mybmwi3.com/forum/index.php?sid=34b54e8908e8baab71987adfbe8cd1b0
    • 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (16,000 miles) - 25 mi EV, air cooled battery, it does not have a fast DC charging option. Usable with a fairly efficient engine, it does tend to run the engine more frequently than I wished. It seats five in a hatch back. We traded this one in for the Tesla and kept the BMW. Forum: http://www.PriusChat.com/
    • 2019 Standard Range Plus Model 3 (28,489 miles) - my favorite ride but even the used ones are going to be above $30k. Tesla sells used ones which is going to be a good start for a strong car. There are some independent sources available but they tend to sell fast. Forum: https://teslaownersonline.com
    Engineering rule of thumb: GOOD, FAST, CHEAP ... pick two.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM
  13. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    We still don't know where the OP lives. Ranges in the winter can be significantly reduced, so that needs to be considered as well.
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    If they go to an owners forum, they can get specific, accurate climate advice. Just having at least 20 miles is my rule of thumb in Huntsville AL.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 10:58 AM
  15. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I believe you are in the UK, so I wouldn't be too concerned about non-liquid cooled battery vehicles, ie. Nissan Leaf, 1st-gen Kia Soul EV, etc. Better to focus on getting the size and range right. With under 20K in the budget, you're looking at the used market, but there are a bunch of vehicles that might work for you.
    There's the Nissan LEAF and NV200 (with 40-kWh battery), the Kia Soul EV, the Mercedes-Benz B Class B250e, the e-Golf, Renault Zoe (maybe a bit small). I even saw this MG ZS for under 20k on Autotrader.
    Clamps and Bruce M. like this.
  16. cmwade77

    cmwade77 Active Member

    Actually, the first isn't a universal requirement......I have no place to charge at home. With my Kona I charge about once a week at a public charging station. Not an issue at all.
  17. cmwade77

    cmwade77 Active Member

    It really depends on where you live, you could get a new EV for substantially less than 20K after all incentives are said and done, especially if you have a gas vehicle to trade in. For example in parts of California you could potentially get the cost down to about $10k after incentives if you have a trade in and depending on your income and that is for something like the Kona.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Just curious:
    • Could you share the PlugShare URL?
    • What do you do while charging?
    • How long are you at that station each week?
    In Huntsville, there is a broken, CCS-1 / CHAdeMO charger across the street from City Hall:
    When my primary EV was the BMW i3-REx, I could put a free, 30 minute time limited, charge on the car and walk to the bars and restaurants on the square. But driving 7 miles home was ~10% of my 72 mile battery range. Worse, the downtown charger was broken about 1/4th of the time and I once walked back to find a Leaf owner unplugged my car to use the CHAdeMO. It suffered the problem of the commons and is no longer in PlugShare. In contrast, my private, home based EVSE, gets maintained, avoids abuse, and 20 yards to the home and my wife and her dogs.

    Huntsville AL has plenty of free L2 chargers and NEMA 14-50 plugs for food trailers. Both my Tesla and BMW take only 30-32 A which typically charges from 22 to 30 miles each hour. The 22 mile/hour rate is when parked in direct sunlight and I keep the 'dog mode' AC on. I do take free, remote charging opportunities when eating out, shopping, or other errands which typically takes an hour. However, they also suffer the problems of the commons.

    In engineering: GOOD, FAST, CHEAP ... pick two.

    Bob Wilson
    Sizzlechest likes this.
  19. cmwade77

    cmwade77 Active Member

    PlugShare is a phone app or you can go to PlugShare.com

    Out here in California, we have plenty of fast charging stations, quite a few of which are free to use.

    I spend about 30 to 45 minutes at the station, during which I catch up on reading. Currently I use AAA and my drive home is less than 1% of my battery. They run at 62kw, are reliable, has two stations and are free. So I pick all three, good, fast and cheap.
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The web version has the URL:

    Since the original poster mentioned three kids, I suspect time spent away from home may be impractical.

    Bob Wilson

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