So, does anyone have an electric car? What's it like?

drummerboy

Just wondering what the everyday experience of having an electric car is.

Do you like it? Is it a pain or is it great? Any trade-offs? Convenience issues? Cost?

Let us know!



FilmCarp

i own a 2014 Nissan leaf.  It's like printing money. $31.5 k new in 2014.  No state sales tax.  $7500 federal tax credit, not deduction.  Fewer moving parts, no oil changes or other fluids. I charge at home and have a solar array.  My total utility bill last month, gas and electric, was $45.  My car is older, so my range is only about 85 miles.  That makes it our second car, not our only car.  My only real gripe is that I wish it was a little bigger. I figure in two or three years I'll upgrade to a new one, with much longer range.


drummerboy

Sounds pretty good!


How do you charge at home? Is it as easy as just plugging it into an outlet?


mrincredible

This was an interesting read: https://www.chargepoint.com/blog/three-ways-charge-next-generation-nissan-leaf/

No, I don't have one myself.  But you would most likely want to install a ChargePoint station at home. Regular outlet charging adds about 4 miles of range per hour, the ChargePoint does 25 miles of range per hour so it's an overnight deal.

There are rapid charge stations around that will get you 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. So I guess for longer road trips you need to plan some stops for a leisurely rest room visit and rest stop Cinnabon splurge while your car charges.


peteglider

Brier IT is hugely knowledgeable about electric cars, has owned/owns Volts and Bolts.  

Steve’s an advertiser here - you can have a deeply serious conversation with him.

One thing that’s stopped me from getting an EV is my 100 year old house’s 100 amp service is a little light for fast charging, to upgrade would require trenching & concrete work, which I’m reluctant to undertake.


steel

I got a ride in my neighbor's Tesla. It's like the freakin' Jetsons. Incredible silent acceleration (my stomach went into my spine). He can start it while inside the house with his phone and still have the garage door down (great in winter) and then "summon it" to back out of the garage. A computer screen with animated graphics instead of an instrument panel which feels weird. It also walks his dog and takes out the recycling (ok, that part's not true). My neighbor loves it. He put a charging station in his garage.

-All that said, I don't think I'd get one (I'm a slow technology adaptor).


FilmCarp

Chargepoint is a brand.  One thing I nitpick about is getting terminology right.  All electric cars have their  chargers built in.  What is at your house, or in a parking lot, is an EVSE, or electric vehicle supply equipment.  It safely provides power to the onboard charger, which pulls as much as it needs, and tapers the charge appropriately to protect the battery.  You can plug a car into a normal household outlet, but charging is usually limited to 12 amps, and at 120 volts that can take forever.  I have a 220 volt EVSE unit that I bought for $400, and is attached to the side of my house.  It runs off of a 240 volt 40 amp breaker in my panel.  My car can pull as much as 32 amps if charging full tilt.  If dead empty my car takes about 4 hours to charge, but I have an older car with a smaller battery.  Newer cars will take longer at that rate of charge.  DC charging is another option.  That charges much faster, but is not for home use.  You can see those units at charging stations, and they cost a good bit more to use.  Most cars have a DC charging port to give you the option.


steel

FilmCarp, -my neighbor started explaining all of what you write above and I got dizzy.


yahooyahoo

I test drove the Chevy Bolt and was very impressed.  The acceleration was incredibly smooth. 


FilmCarp

Its not too bad.  As a society we are used to all the stuff we have and do for gas cars.  This is less, but different.  I'll say this; I'm not wealthy. I can't afford a Tesla, but I'll never be without an EV again.  I'm happy that there are more choices appearing in the market 


boomie

We have charging station parking spaces at work.    Its tempting.


Klinker
boomie said:
We have charging station parking spaces at work.    Its tempting.

 How does that work?  Is the charge free or is there a meter?


drummerboy
Klinker said:


boomie said:
We have charging station parking spaces at work.    Its tempting.
 How does that work?  Is the charge free or is there a meter?

a no-charge charge? I don't think so. grin

Anyone know how many kwh it takes to charge a car? (is kwh the right measurement?)


drummerboy

or maybe a better question is how much do you pay at a roadside charging station for a re-charge? And how does that compare to charging at home?



mrincredible

The link I posted above has some information along those lines. Admittedly couched in some marketing language. 


oots

tesla tax credits are down to $3750 (til 6/30/19)  then $1875 thru 12/31/19   zero after that


FilmCarp

Charging at home costs me about 18 cents per hour, if my solar doesn't cover it.  Public charging stations vary.  Some are provided by companies for free.  The county doesn't charge for the ones at Codey Arena.  Others are for profit.  The ones in South Orange are free, but the parking spots they are in cost twice as much per hour.


mrincredible
oots said:
tesla tax credits are down to $3750 (til 6/30/19)  then $1875 thru 12/31/19   zero after that

 Is that for any EV?


FilmCarp

And Kwh depends on battery size.


oots
mrincredible said:
 Is that for any EV?

 specifically all tesla cars at this point

each mfr has a different schedule of expiration 



BG9
FilmCarp said:
i own a 2014 Nissan leaf.  It's like printing money. $31.5 k new in 2014.  No state sales tax.  $7500 federal tax credit, not deduction.  Fewer moving parts, no oil changes or other fluids. I charge at home and have a solar array.  My total utility bill last month, gas and electric, was $45.  My car is older, so my range is only about 85 miles.  That makes it our second car, not our only car.  My only real gripe is that I wish it was a little bigger. I figure in two or three years I'll upgrade to a new one, with much longer range.

I'm sorry but that is wrong. The well-to-do who afford electric vehicles can escape sales tax and the gasoline taxes used to help maintain our roads. Electric car generate road wear and tear just as gasoline vehicles do. Yet, you escape the social obligation to help pay for maintenance.

You can argue everyone should get electric cars. But the funding shortfall has to be made up somehow. Do we cut social services? Stop maintaining roads? Raise the income tax?

Also, telling a low wage employee to buy an expensive electric car is a no go. Not for the The kind of employees who at best buy 3,000 - 7.000 used cars. They who drive miles to crappy jobs while constantly paying gasoline taxes whereas you have escaped that responsibility.

Instead of taxing gasoline we can assess a yearly fee based on mileage and car weight. Which could be an accurate measure of a vehicles wear and tear on our roads.


boomie

There is no charge, other than normal parking fee that everyone pays, for the charges.


FilmCarp
BG9 said:
I'm sorry but that is wrong. The well-to-do who afford electric vehicles can escape sales tax and the gasoline taxes used to help maintain our roads. Electric car generate road wear and tear just as gasoline vehicles do. Yet, you escape the social obligation to help pay for maintenance.
You can argue everyone should get electric cars. But the funding shortfall has to be made up somehow. Do we cut social services? Stop maintaining roads? Raise the income tax?
Also, telling a low wage employee to buy an expensive electric car is a no go. Not for the The kind of employees who at best buy 3,000 - 7.000 used cars. They who drive miles to crappy jobs while constantly paying gasoline taxes whereas you have escaped that responsibility.
Instead of taxing gasoline we can assess a yearly fee based on mileage and car weight. Which could be an accurate measure of a vehicles wear and tear on our roads.

 

Okay, we have a choice.  Find a way to tax clean vehicles to support infrastructure, or keep using climate destroying gasoline so we can pay to maintain roads.  I'm all for paying for infrastructure.  I've been arguing for higher gas taxes and train tickets for years.  But you seem to be condemning progress here without thinking long term.  My Leaf is hardly a plaything for the wealthy.  How many new cars cost that little?  Secondly, they are showing up in the used car market at very affordable prices.  The $3 k car you refer to above will be 10-15 years old, and cost more to maintain than a,leaf, bolt, or golf.  

Which part of what I said is actually incorrect?


And Boomie, there are charges as I said, depending on how it is set up.  My statement about the South Orange spots was factual.


boomie

I am just referring to the parking where I work, nothing else.


drummerboy
BG9 said:


FilmCarp said:
i own a 2014 Nissan leaf.  It's like printing money. $31.5 k new in 2014.  No state sales tax.  $7500 federal tax credit, not deduction.  Fewer moving parts, no oil changes or other fluids. I charge at home and have a solar array.  My total utility bill last month, gas and electric, was $45.  My car is older, so my range is only about 85 miles.  That makes it our second car, not our only car.  My only real gripe is that I wish it was a little bigger. I figure in two or three years I'll upgrade to a new one, with much longer range.
I'm sorry but that is wrong. The well-to-do who afford electric vehicles can escape sales tax and the gasoline taxes used to help maintain our roads. Electric car generate road wear and tear just as gasoline vehicles do. Yet, you escape the social obligation to help pay for maintenance.
You can argue everyone should get electric cars. But the funding shortfall has to be made up somehow. Do we cut social services? Stop maintaining roads? Raise the income tax?
Also, telling a low wage employee to buy an expensive electric car is a no go. Not for the The kind of employees who at best buy 3,000 - 7.000 used cars. They who drive miles to crappy jobs while constantly paying gasoline taxes whereas you have escaped that responsibility.
Instead of taxing gasoline we can assess a yearly fee based on mileage and car weight. Which could be an accurate measure of a vehicles wear and tear on our roads.

I think this is kind of harsh take. EV's are being favored so as to get more of them on the road as quickly as possible. That's the completely correct thing for a government to do.

Slowly, as they make up more and more of the country's fleet, tax changes will have to be made to pay for our roads.

But to complain about that now is a bit unreasonable.


eliz

Here in CA there are additional tax breaks and car companies need to have electric offerings in order to sell their gas guzzlers here. There are deals to be had everywhere. When we first moved we leased a FIAT 500e electric car for $99 a month and the state rebate paid for almost all the lease. They've since instituted income limits and preferences. It was a blast for short haul driving - zippy is the best description. The only (and very real) downside was range anxiety. There was zero maintenance cost (for us).


mrincredible
FilmCarp said:
 
How many new cars cost that little?

If you are talking about the $31,500 you paid for your Leaf, minus the $7,500 tax credit, so $24,000, the answer is "a buttload".

LOTS of new cars to be had for less than that. 

Also your argument about a cheap used car costing more to maintain is logical but not practical. If you're a working poor person you're not saying "if I buy the $20K new car I'll save tons of money on maintenance!" You're asking "how can I scrape together a few thousand bucks to buy a working car so I can keep going to my low-paying job?" If it breaks down next month that's next month's problem.

So I think BG9 has a point that the poor will shoulder the burden of paying infrastructure costs if it depends on gasoline taxes. I'd love an electric car and would love to see many more of them on the road, but I think there are some undeniable unintended consequences that should be considered. 


conandrob240

I am thinking about buying a pre-owes Tesla. Are there tax credits for Used or only for new? 


Boy, are these amazing riding vehicles. After driving one, honesty the “electric” part and free supercharging is just an added bonus.


weirdbeard

BG9 makes a fair point about the long-term issues for supporting road infrastructure based on gas-tax revenues.  That said, there are very good policy reasons for supporting the increasing purchase and use of EVs with tax subsidies, etc., and those should continue in my opinion.  The increased ubiquity of EVs, combined with the increasing supply of clean electricity sources, can be a long-term game changer for our planet, and should continue.  If (and when) we reach a tipping point where the funds for infrastructure coming from the gas tax are not sustainable, or significantly place a burden on those using gas vehicles, then we'll need to re-think how we fund our infrastructure.  But that's a long way off.

I've been intrigued by Teslas for years.  Their Model S and Model X are incredible vehicles, but out of my price range.  Their relatively inexpensive Model 3 is nice, but they seem to have trouble manufacturing them.  By biggest hesitation is my fear that the company won't be around in five years, based on their precarious financial situation and head-scratching moves by their management.  I worry I would get the equivalent of a 1983 DeLorean.

Our next car would likely be an EV, or at least a plug-in hybrid.  Since we don't have a garage we'd have to install a charging station in our driveway, which I've ballparked to cost us around $2k.


FilmCarp

well, if you guys are going to continue to use road taxes as an argument, let's look at them more closely.  It is a terribly regressive tax, as the poor driver pays the same as the wealthy driver, and a terrible environmental tax, as the gas guzzler pays the same per gallon as the efficient car.  So we should pay an odometer tax.  Drive more, pay more.  And it should be on a sliding scale, based on purchase price of the car and efficiency.  My electric car would be fairly low, but my prius might be higher.  Your BMW or Suburban would be higher still.  After a car is 8 years old, the purchase price segment is dropped to a flat rate, but the efficiency rate remains.  You report your mileage with your renewal forms, and it is cross checked randomly or with any traffic stop.



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