The picture shows the Nissan e-nv200 Concept. An all electric vehicle. This was not on our investigate list. We have decided that our Nevada Kamper is suitable for use as our only vehicle and so we obtained an offer from a major Car Dealers for our much loved, reliable Ford Fiesta. We have used it from new to tow our little Freedom Microlite LE caravan. (This is equivalent to a Predom n126 if you are in Europe). The offer was so poor that we discussed maximising the remaining value by part exchanging it for a little runabout car to get into local towns for shopping trips. The runabout needed to be free of road fund license charges and be economical. So we looked at electric cars to see if they fitted the remit.
One of the cheapest options was a Renault Twizy. Looks great. Looks great fun, but even the UK higher power version does only 40 mph maximum. Probably OK for our short trip into town. But we would feel a bit vunerable. These cost from about £6,850 with flashy version a £1,000 more. The next vehicle up the scale was the Renault Zoe:
The Zoe costs from £13,900 or so and is much more of a “standard” type car. The Nissan Leaf costs a couple of grand more and we ruled it out although it can reach a maximum of 90 mph. However, when we looked at the actual deals available and then the features it changed the way we viewed the electric car option.
1. No engine means electric heating and defrosting. (You can have air con !) BUT this reduces your range. You can pre-heat the vehicle whilst plugged in but how long do you stay warm????
2. Range of most of the cars available run out at about 120 miles before a charge is needed. Even with regenerative braking. Most (all ?) companies run a get you home retrieval scheme.
3. Although you can buy a Nissan Leaf outright including the battery (for long term ownership is the recommendation from Nissan.) most purchase schemes involve a battery hire cost of between £50 per month (on a Twizy) to £80 per month and more on a Zoe or a Leaf.
Now, £80 per month would probably cover most of the day to day diesel costs on our Fiesta. For a non-inner city (ie LONDON where a congestion charge applies) it doesn’t seem to stack up as a viable option to me. As for non polluting, there is still pollution coming out of a power station somewhere to produce the power that you use to drive.
Thank goodness that Bristol Street Motors, where we bought the Fiesta from new, came up with an open and honest, fair offer for the car. We sold it back to them as I do not have the patience to deal with tyre kickers when selling a car. I do find it a great pity that even with the Government subsidy of £5,000 per car,(on approved cars) there does not seem to be a viable electric vehicle suitable for even our short (20 mile round trips) journey requirements. Battery costs seem to be the killer factor. Or do you know differently?? Please comment below
ps What a bargain our Fiesta actually is. It is a 1.6tdci with Titanium spec. Voice actuation on most stuff if you are lonely ! It can tow a caravan up to 750 kg max and tows at 45 mpg with solo driving getting over 60 mpg plus. You will not believe the most we got out of a gallon and I will not put it into writing for fear of ridicule………… £20 per year road fund license too.