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Discussion Starter #1
Is it the high price of initial purchase?
Is it concerns over range?
Is it a lack of re-charging infrastructure when out & about?
Is it unproven total cost of ownership?

For me it is definitely the latter.

I could stretch to a higher priced car if I felt it was a good long term purchase. I could amend my driving plans to suit ranges if the end result was worth it. I actually reckon that there is now a fairly decent infrastructure building up (certainly around London/Surrey that I observe) of charging areas in most public car parks and plenty of bays with charge facilities.

The unproven cost though concerns me massively if I think of owning a car for 4-5 years which would be typical for me.

It's a combination of:

1. Potential for huge depreciation if battery/efficiency technology moves on - as it surely will - in terms of battery life and onboard recharging capability. If that happens and you are left with the car that has the "old tech" then I expect depreciation on resale to be pretty much bottomless
2. Commercial sharks in the recharge business who start tying you in to long-term highly expensive charging networks that are priced in competition to petrol/diesel prices rather than actual charging costs
3. Sudden government intervention into the electric car markets either in terms of huge discounts of new models blowing the value of existing purchases or with ill thought out legislation around tax breaks etc that your model/type misses out on

It's the uncertainty of the investment in the rapidly developing tech/commercial/legislative areas that prevents me taking the plunge at the moment.

It's going to need some very solid coordination and underwriting between EV producers/charging providers and government if they really do want us to shift from the pretty pathetic 1% of new cars that EVs represented in total sales last year to something meaningful in the next 2-3 years.
 

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For me it would be the initial purchase price, not being wealthy enough to buy a new car, I'd be worried about buying a used electric car with a used and unknown battery.

Range doesn't bother me per se, I make a big journey on average once or twice a year, maybe 700mi round trip, otherwise my mileage is about 100mi a week, and I'm lucky enough to have a driveway, so can do my charging at home, and my office has a charging point - for my big trip, I could hire a car if needed.

Granted, you can buy a relatively cheap electric car, but anything worth having, for a car buff at least is big bucks.

I'm also skeptical about the environmental benefits, emissions in use vs. production of the car, mining and production of the elements used to produce the battery and subsequent disposal of the used batteries.
 

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Interesting question, and complex societal issues too.

I nearly bought a new Nissan Leaf, but would need another car too for any round trips over about 100 miles: I calculated that I wouldn't use the Leaf enough to warrant the (a) high purchase price and (b) worse-than-average depreciation (your point about total cost of ownership being too high). Mind you, a two or three year old Leaf is only 10k.

But a plug-in electric car is just part of the 'spectrum' of alternative-fuel vehicles: my Honda Insight and Honda CR-Z are both electric-petrol hybrids - 7 and 8 years old respectively, with batteries that still work as good as new. They use regenerative braking and other clever technologies to save energy - so that they can have smaller and more economical petrol engines than a conventional petrol car of the same performance. Unlike a full electric, these two cars have held their value incredibly well and are currently barely depreciating at all. That's because...
- diesel car sales are down a lot
- petrol car sales are down a bit
- electrics are up a bit
-and petrol-electric hybrids are up a lot.
[Source: SMMT new registrations data]

People want to do something greener, but aren't necessarily ready for a plug-in electric with all its compromises, costs, shortcomings and uncertainties.

I've just ordered the brand-new CR-V hybrid as our family car. It's a proper electric car with it's own on-board generator driven by a petrol-powered Atkinson engine - the most efficient form of petrol engine at lowish speeds. The engine doesn't drive the car (although it can in some circumstances) - it just generates electricity with great efficiency. On my test drive, I did 62mpg around town without trying, which is not bad for a big SUV!

So, hybrids are coming on well, and are essentially the 'stop gap' to get us to full electric. One other point: people think electric cars have zero emissions, but that's only true if your nation's electricity infrastructure is 100 percent renewable! By moving the electricity generation away from the engine bay and into a power station, it's easy to overlook the real environmental impact of generating electricity. Also, as demand for grid-electricity increases, the price will increase too. That's just the reality of energy markets.

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I’m not ready to give up the noise and feel of ICE for electric yet.

I know that at some point I won’t have the option but for now I’m trying to buy those cars I won’t be able to in the future.
 

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For a regular use car there is/was nothing stopping me.
I don't worry too much about depreciation and rather except a new car is going to lose money. In my head I just write it off.

As for range anxiety as my return commute is only 33 miles I doubt it is an issue. I currently have other cars which though impractical being only two seats can get a round any long journey if need be. That said I think the infrastructure is getting better anyway. I would not mind stopping for a 30 minute stop a few times on the way down to Devon (about as far as I go).

I was genuinely interested in a Model 3. When I first thought about one (wanted the end of 2018) it was the Tesla. I could not afford a P100 or whatever but a £30k car yes.

Then Tesla had the production issues and the 3 here was put back until later 2020. I think judging from the emails I get that has changed but so has the price.

I gave up waiting and bought a CLA instead in the end.
I don't like any EV's except Teslas. i3 seems OK but still a bit dorky.

My brother has just purchased a Vauxhall Ampere (hybrid but purely electric drive I think). I will get to see it sometime.

I love how an ICE car goes and sounds down the road. So long as I can still have one for the weekend I would accept EV's for regular use. I won't ever like/dislike them anymore than I do the mobile phone I use.
 

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I generally run cars between £600 & £2k, so there aren't really any electric options in my price range.

What's always at the back of my mind when I think about electric is if the average car can do 100 miles on 10 litres of fuel (45mpg) at say £1.27 a litre, that is a cost of £12.70 to the driver. But of that, £7.92 goes to the government as VAT and fuel duty. Only £4.78 is the cost of the fuel, so our transport is being taxed at a rate of 166%. Electricity supplied to the home is only taxed at a rate of 5%. Would your electric car which costs £2 to charge to do x miles still be worthwhile when it costs £5.05 per charge? By the time electricity is the dominant form of power for road vehicles, the government will need to increase the cost per mile of electric vehicle transport to similar levels as ICE cars cost now, otherwise as the price falls, demand will rise (more car journeys, less train/bus - and we don't have the road infrastructure for it), and also government revenue will suffer. Also, who is going to pay for digging up all the residential streets to lay thicker cable, install high amp charging ports on the kerbside, build all the new power stations we need?
 

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I must agree the lost revenue must be recovered somewhere but it might be by taxing all electricity use (easier than trying to divide domestic use from car charging at home) so while driving costs might go down domestic cost for all, non drivers included, will rise. Add into the mix that environmentalists want the use of gas for domestic use phased out then all domestic energy costs are going to see tax increases, electricity will be rationed by price, to avoid the need for extra infrastructure, and motorists will become an endangered species.
 

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Agreed.

However given the difficulty in dividing domestic electricity use from that used for home charging I think it is more likely that all electricity will taxed higher. Domestic gas is also on the way out due to pressure from environmentalists so will we see a form of rationing by price to avoid the huge infrastructure costs that will otherwise be required. If this happens then electric cars will get the blame from the wider public and motorists will be considered pariahs.

Edit: This post initially failed to upload and timed out. So assuming it was lost I started again hence the next post. My apologies but blame the IT.
 

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Agreed.

However given the difficulty in dividing domestic electricity use from that used for home charging I think it is more likely that all electricity will taxed higher. Domestic gas is also on the way out due to pressure from environmentalists so will we see a form of rationing by price to avoid the huge infrastructure costs that will otherwise be required. If this happens then electric cars will get the blame from the wider public and motorists will be considered pariahs.
 

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It reminds me about the arguments surrounding biodiesel - if you use arable land to grow food to produce fuel, then it pushes the price of food up and poor people starve. Feels to me like electric cars might do the same to poor non-drivers. It is worth noting that we can import as much petrol or diesel as we need, but electricity we have to generate here (by and large) and deciding to increase electricity generation is a decision that needs to be taken many years in advance of the new power station coming into use. Pushing electric cars before the generating & distributing networks are up to scratch appears to be putting the cart before the horse.

Hybrids might be the stepping stone we need, rather than purely battery powered cars, to help get pollution out of our towns by electrifying shorter, urban journeys while keeping longer, more cross-country commutes fossil-powered.
 

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As Pud says, hybrids are the logical stepping stone to EV. But you can’t rely on ANY government to make short, medium or long term plan to facilitate a move away from ICE.

Any government plans to do with moving forward with this technology always starts with taking money from us in tax. Even if they do offer a tax incentive the seller of the cars will massage the figures to benefit themselves rather than the consumer, as the house builders did with the government help to buy schemes.

What will happen is the car makers will lead, the government will follow with one eye on taxation.
 

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Regarding the taxing of EV's. It really is quite simple. Today it is difficult to keep up with what will and won't charge my iPhone. I know (because we are an Apple customer) that one of our devices controls the load on the cable. You now often find a cheap Lightning cable won't work

Anyway my point is that EV's will (once infrastructure is in place) only charge from official charge points. The charge points will be taxed. I really don't see none road users funding road users. I'm quite sure it'll be metered pretty much like a fuel pump.
 

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Regarding the taxing of EV's. It really is quite simple. Today it is difficult to keep up with what will and won't charge my iPhone. I know (because we are an Apple customer) that one out devices controls the load on the cable. You now often find a cheap Lightning cable won't work

Anyway my point is that EV's will (once infrastructure is in place) only charge from official charge points. The charge points will be taxed. I really don't see none road users funding road users. I'm quite sure it'll be metered pretty much like a fuel pump.
Last paragraph ^^^^. Spot on.

I wouldn’t put it past the government to make it law that EVs, when charged at home, will be separately metered.
 

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Just because electric cars were the first solution found to the issues with internal combustion and it allows car companies like VW to keep selling something doesn’t mean it’s the answer. The carbon footprint and requirement for rare materials to be mined in countries “somewhere else” is a worry as is the generation of electricity in somebody else’s yard.
 

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Is it the high price of initial purchase?
Is it concerns over range?
Is it a lack of re-charging infrastructure when out & about?
Is it unproven total cost of ownership?

For me it is definitely the latter.

I could stretch to a higher priced car if I felt it was a good long term purchase. I could amend my driving plans to suit ranges if the end result was worth it. I actually reckon that there is now a fairly decent infrastructure building up (certainly around London/Surrey that I observe) of charging areas in most public car parks and plenty of bays with charge facilities.

The unproven cost though concerns me massively if I think of owning a car for 4-5 years which would be typical for me.

It's a combination of:

1. Potential for huge depreciation if battery/efficiency technology moves on - as it surely will - in terms of battery life and onboard recharging capability. If that happens and you are left with the car that has the "old tech" then I expect depreciation on resale to be pretty much bottomless
2. Commercial sharks in the recharge business who start tying you in to long-term highly expensive charging networks that are priced in competition to petrol/diesel prices rather than actual charging costs
3. Sudden government intervention into the electric car markets either in terms of huge discounts of new models blowing the value of existing purchases or with ill thought out legislation around tax breaks etc that your model/type misses out on

It's the uncertainty of the investment in the rapidly developing tech/commercial/legislative areas that prevents me taking the plunge at the moment.

It's going to need some very solid coordination and underwriting between EV producers/charging providers and government if they really do want us to shift from the pretty pathetic 1% of new cars that EVs represented in total sales last year to something meaningful in the next 2-3 years.
They interfere with my Pacemaker!
 

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Anyway my point is that EV's will (once infrastructure is in place) only charge from official charge points. The charge points will be taxed. I really don't see none road users funding road users. I'm quite sure it'll be metered pretty much like a fuel pump.
It's quite easy to put dye in fuel to identify tax fraud but it's physically impossible to identify bootleg electrons.

Provided EVs are predominantly charged at night there is enough capacity for a lot more of them on the grid. To encourage night time charging the night rate electricity mostly used for heating will need to remain.

So to plug the gap in revenue due to less fuel taxes I suspect they'll move to charging by the mile.
 

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Most of the above.

Range - I don’t want to be stopping every 200 miles for 30 minutes + queueing time to charge a car. Everyone says “oh but you need to stretch your legs” - I don’t and even if did, I don’t need half an hour. And range is not “do 300 miles in one go”, it is do a few 100 mile journeys with an inability to charge in between. Do electric car drivers catch prostate issues from the magnetic fields that makes them want to wee every 100 miles?

Cost. To do my daily commute (reliably, at speed in winter), I’d need to spend the thick end of 80K. Not going to happen.

Charging - yes, when every single parking space has a charger, maybe. At the moment I’m just grateful for a parking space.

Depreciation - don’t care really, I run cars for 10 years at least, they usually depreciate.
 

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In order to go electric, I would need to spend significantly more than my usual budget in order to end up with something I didn't especially like.

At the moment I'm car-sharing with my son (sounds more green than giving him a lift). Once he's learned to drive (he started last week) I will be returning to public transport for commuting. Given that there will be 3 other cars at the house and the need to ferry people about will be greatly reduced, I expect mine will rarely move. The fuel it uses will make very little difference.

Mrs K fancies something small and economical so I'll keep mine for the rare occasions when I need to transport 4 people. If Mrs K changes her mind and gets something bigger. I may just not bother for a while.
 

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I looked at it closely a couple of years ago. Would only lease, due to the battery issue, and unknown depreciation. We could quite happily have one small electric car to do all the local running around/school runs etc. A Zoe would work absolutely fine. We can charge at home no problem, so that isn't an issue and most journeys are of about 10 miles so no range issues.

But even buying a Zoe (I think the cheapest E/C at the time) and with the monthly battery lease, it was more expensive than leasing an I/C eco box, including expected fuel costs.

So then the purchase could only be justified for environmental reasons. In the end I bought my I/C Saab 9-3. A bigger, faster, more useful, more comfortable car for a lot less money.

I'm not convinced over the environmental case enough yet to make the sacrifice.
 

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My thoughts (why I'm driving a Euro-III diesel)/

1) An electric car like a Leaf costs £30,000. A new diesel Kia Dibber-Dobber might be £20,000. I could stretch to a Dibber-Dobber using one of those PCPs but £30,000 doesn't do it for me, even if the car itself is cheaper and I just rent the batteries (e.g Renault).

2) A second-hand Leaf which will have "the old tech" (by then) will be worth £10k and the battery pack will be half-knackered, so that's a £5000 bill looming for me if I wanted a second-hand one (if I can even get those batteries any more, since they are "old tech" and about as in-demand as a VHS video recorder). When the car is two cycles of "old tech" out of date, it's a refrigerator. Worth approx. -£100 since that's what the council will charge you to take it away.

3) The electric Leaf can do 250 miles on a new battery in the summer. I'd have to charge it up at least twice a week and there's no way to dangle a lead from my upstairs window across the street to my car.

4) With the heater, lights, wipers and fan on.. (three other seasons of the year) I'm guessing my Leaf would need charging every day

5) I regularly travel over 100 miles at once. I don't want to have to put a full charge on it, just to be sure to get to my destination

6) Digging all the minerals, rare metals and other raw materials out of the ground, in the most remote parts of the Earth, transporting them out of the middle of nowhere and then shipping them 1000 miles and using even more energy to make batteries to fit into the electric car, then eventually dumping said batteries into land-fill every 5 years or so is not really "Green". Let's not fool ourselves.

7) Petrol and Diesel comes from crude oil and the leccy car does not mean humans will stop using oil.. just we'll use less of it. But sooner or later all the oil in the ground will be extracted and either be burnt or made into plastics so it will exist in the eco-system somewhere. It doesn't matter how much "clean" or "natural" energy we use, China, India, developing nations etc. will have whatever oil is left and they will burn it.

8) Given all of the above, it might be better for humanity to put its money and energy into zapping CO2 from the atmosphere rather than worrying about trying to make less of it. How about re-foresting any area of empty ground, then regularly felling the trees and burying the timber underground (we have plenty of old coal mines for example.. some kind of returning the carbon back underground). In 300 year's time the timber will have become oil or coal.. and my nipper will need benzina, isn't it (unless cars are all nuclear powered by then).


Ralf S.
 
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