Experiences with electric cars

This is a question about each of you personally. If you own an electric cars, what do you think works and doesn’t work. How are you using it on a typical day?

Also, if you do not own an electric car, what is keeping you from buying one? Is it the price, range or something else?

Myself, I have a 40 kWh 2018 Nissan Leaf with its own charger in a parking garage. I charge it every night, and seldom have to charge at a fast charger. Whenever I do drive a little bit longer than usual, I sometimes have to charge for 15-30 minutes.

I wouldn’t use it for a long road trip though. For that I would get one of the longer range models.

A few friends have one. For one they bought it as a secondary car but once they had it it became their primary car. The other has it as their only car and it works great for her.

For me personally it’s because we still have functional and safe cars that has not yet hit that point where lots of repairs are needed. We are considering a plug in hybrid as our next car, and would consider a pure EV though no makes/models we like exist.

For my Wife and I, we have 1 and 2 year old cars, and we drive our cars into the ground.

We have very long winters, and get tons of snow. Between 20-30 feet a year. I see a couple of issues there, while I think they are probably good AWD’s, our other concern is we need as much ground clearance as we can get. It’s one of the first things I look at when shopping for a car.

I think charging would be problematic with the snow, and just the layout of things. We don’t have a garage, and I would have to get a bigger breaker box/elec service to add a new circut. The breaker box is full.

My mother is 92 yo. And I regularly drive to her house to help her. I would need to get some sort of charging set up there.

My Wife and I do long road trips. 800 miles a day is not a big deal. Now range is improving, but for us, we only make quick stops for gas and bathroom breaks. We could adapt of course, but stopping for 20-30 minutes would drive us a bit crazy.

We have dogs that we cart around a lot. An SUV is the best layout for that.

Those are the issues off of the top of my head, and they could be overcome, but I just don’t see a need to.

A 2005 Honda. I’m committed to buying an electric car as soon as the Honda stops running…which is looking a lot like never. My understanding is that continuing to drive an existing gas powered car leaves less of a carbon footprint than replacing it with a new electric car.

Really, what I’m waiting for is for a greater number of models to be available from more manufacturers. In particular, I’d like to see ones from Toyota or Honda, as I like their reliability.

I live where there is snow from October through April, so a small pickup with 4-wheel drive (think Toyota Tacoma) that has good clearance is a requirement. I also live in a place where there are no charging stations, so it would have to have a decent range, although I wouldn’t take it on long trips. I would put a changer in my garage and overnight charging should be fine. Again, this wouldn’t be my only vehicle.

Right now, what is stopping me is the chip shortage and the lack of cars/high prices. But the last car I bought was a new prius (L Eco) - I considered electric cars but the pricing was too much more than I would ever save vs a prius or high gas mileage compact cars. I could charge no problem in my garage and the commute my wife has wouldn’t tax the range on any battery except maybe the plug in hybrids that only have like 15 miles of electric.

I live in a cold climate and from the research I’ve done, range drops about in half at around -5C. That’s an average high during our winters.

Still, I see plenty of EV’s around here so people must make do somehow.

It gets down to -10 and sometimes -15 here. We just won’t use most of our range, so there isn’t much of a problem. On longer trips we have to charge more often. This is with a 40kWh car. There are cars with twice the range, and then I feel the temperature then would only matter for long road trips, which I very seldom go on.

I have Mustang Mach E. I use it like a regular car. I don’t baby or it hypermile with it or do anything special to extend the range (usually).

It’s a bit on the small side compared to most other cars I’ve had, so I used my '04 Expedition for a recent cross country road trip. Plus, charging would have been a PITA with the family. I’m okay charging on shorter road trips by myself, though.

What doesn’t work? The stupid connected app. What a piece of junk, Luckily it’s not needed, strictly speaking. Also no provision for a trailer hitch, meaning no ability to use my 1Up bike rack.

I plug it in every night and keep it at 90%, so it’s always ready to go.

It works out perfectly for 95% of my use cases. I’ve ordered a '22 Expedition to replace the ‘04 for the remaining 5% of my use cases (my kids’ grandparents in town, pulling our popup, cross-country road trips, etc.).

I got my iPace (230 mile range) a few years ago to replace my Volt (plug-in hybrid) We kept our other hybrid for “longer trips, etc.” We ended up loving the EV so much we got a Tesla Model X (350 mile range, they say). We have never had range anxiety and simply plug one car in one night, and the other the next. (or not). Are daily range is as low as 25 miles to a typical high of 150 miles. On the very few occasions we need to charge on the road, it hasn’t been a problem. In fact, we’re waiting for a chance to take the Tesla on a road trip, just to experience what a longer EV experience is like. (we were lucky to be one of the last to get free supercharging for life)

The software on both is a bit glitchy, but that’s typically audio or other non critical systems. Hopefully the periodic updates will address that.

Both cars were expensive, by any measure. On the other hand, both drive and feel very high end and luxury, with every bell and whistle you can image. I don’t expect to “save” any money by driving these cars, but the driving experience is the best of any cars I’ve ever owned, plus it’s nice never stopping at a gas station and feeling good about zero emissions.

I think for most people they are either impractical or too expensive. Prices will come down eventually, but until regular gas is $12 a gallon I don’t see most people switching over. There are still a lot of bugs to work out and fast recharging pretty much anywhere has to be a given. In other words, when the cost is the same as a fossil fuel car or truck and charging, low temperatures, interior room, and range are no longer an issue, everyone will start to switch over when their old cars die. I don’t see that happening for another 10 years at least unless there’s a war and gas becomes unavailable or ridiculously expensive.

My wife had a Prius that neither of us liked. We only have one car now and it’s a Mazda 3 that we really like. I’ll consider an electric when I’m ready for a new car, but most likely will buy another ICE or hybrid car.

My primary concern is breakdowns. If my ICE breaks down, I have at least some idea of what to do, and a non-zero likelihood of actually remedying the problem on my own. If my full electric car dies, I have no clue, and even if I did, it’s probably not advisable to be tinkering with a high-voltage battery on wheels on the highway shoulder.

I have a 2007 Honda Fit with 31,000 km on it. Why change? I drove my previous Honda for 17 years. I suspect that when this car goes to the junkyard, I will give up driving. You can pay for a lot of taxis with the cost of a new car.

If you remember any of my posts, you’ll know I have a Tesla Model 3. Like @Balthisar and the Mach E, I just use it like a normal car.

When I need to go someplace I get in and drive it. When it needs more energy I plug it in. When I feel like accelerating rapidly, I do so, and don’t worry about what it does to my mileage.

Everybody’s situation is different. I have a house with a garage to park the car, and adequate service at my house to charge at 6kW. I drive the car on normal roads, that might have snow pack and ice, but are probably dry. If the snow is too deep, I’ll wait for the plows. I go on trips with a small bladder and a small child, so 1000 mile days and 4 minute fuel stops are not happening, ICE or EV.

So, keep my situation in mind.

Fast charging is one giant non-issue; it’s just not worth worrying about. 8.5% of all my charging has been at superchargers, and it’s only that high because I had free referral charging. On trips, I go to the appropriate supercharger, plug-in, charge as much as necessary, then continue the trip.

For 94% of my driving, I just drive the car, then plug it in when I get home, if I feel like it.

Downside? Massive torque at 0 MPH is the enemy of tires. Buy some with a good mileage warranty, because you’ll get to use it.

Not sure this is open to Hybrids? I bought my 17 year old a Chevy volt. I love this car. It has ~35 mile battery range, which is pretty much all he or I ever need. I borrow it all the time to go to work ~7 miles away, with free charging. His school is 6 miles away, and his best buddy lives about 15 miles away.

I think we are on the second tank of gas since buying this 6 months ago.

Also, since it’s a hybrid with a relatively small battery, there is no need for me to upgrade the electics to support it. It will fully charge in about 6-8 hours off of 120 volt.

Point out that I am glad I went for the premium version. It has heated leather seats, which is great in the winter. The heater on an electric is like a space heater and sucks the power. With heated seats, really don’t need the electic heater.

The volt has a “sport mode”, which makes it pretty fun. 0-40 it’s as peppy as about anything out there, and enjoyable to drive. If you’re 6’ plus, it might be too small for ya. As a hatch back, it has pretty good space but only seats 4.

Anyhoo, two thumbs up for this (and I never thought I’d write that about a GM car).

I’m really intrigued by EVs and have considered them. If the demise of one of our cars had lined up with today’s versions we probably would have one. But we now have a low-mileage hybrid and my wife is about to join me in retirement. I don’t see any situation in the near future where replacement would make sense. Based on my annual mileage now, with both of us retired the current car will probably outlast us.

I’m at a point where a new car is needed but having done my sums pretty thoroughly, an electric car with equivalent functionality would cost me about 30% more to run over the intended period of ownership so that is swinging it to an ICE.

I’m not shopping for a new car right now. But if I was, I think my biggest issue with considering an electric car would be standards. My understanding (somebody correct me if I’m wrong) is that there is no standard charging system. A system designed to charge one manufacturer’s car will not charge a different manufacturer’s.

I think this will settle out in the next few years and there will be a single standard agreed upon. But if I was buying an electric car right now, I’d be concerned I was buying the equivalent of betamax or Amiga.

I’m curious. When you did this calculation what did you use as the figure for gas prices?