I am very excited to be one of the growing number of people who own an electric car.
When I was looking at cars it was to replace my VW Golf, which, although a good little car, was starting to complain about all of the short journeys i do. Last year I did all of 2,400 miles the whole year, my standard journey is from home to school (1 mile) and school to work (2 miles), and then the reverse trip home. I could manage without a car on a normal day, but there are the odd occasions where I need to pick a poorly child up from school, or do delivery for work, so I prefer to have the car with me.
I initially looked at small city cars: the Aygo/C1/108 sized cars, but with a petrol engine they will start to have problems with my constant short journeys. This was when we started looking at electric cars; the battery range was only 80-90 miles, new cars have come out since with much higher ranges, but that didn’t matter for my distances we have the husband’s car for longer journeys. We looked at the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, which I really liked and we are considering a hybrid for my husband’s next car, and the Nissan Leaf. The leaf is a lovely car, however it is quite expensive (at the time there was no option to rent the battery).
One afternoon my husband sent me a link to the Renault Zoe, which had a massive offer on it: £5,000 taken off by Renault and £5,000 taken off by the government. We went over for a test drive and loved the car! (We had a bit of trouble with Renault, but I won’t go into their customer service problems). The most expensive part of owning Zoe is the battery rental; for my 3,000 miles a year (that’s less than 60 miles a week) I pay £55 a month, this is on top of the £2,000 deposit we paid initially and the £45 a month I pay on the car lease agreement (i.e. I won’t own the car at the end of 2 years).
The Zoe drives very well, almost silently, looks very attractive and is full of gadgets. The battery rental is high, you can buy a battery if you don’t want to rent, but if you do rent it means the battery is protected and will be replaced if their are any problems and the range on my Zoe is pretty low (80-90 miles per full charge) but there is a new Zoe now with a range of 250 miles, it takes about 3 hours to charge at home (Renault paid to have a charger installed at home), or would be 1 hour at a fast charger point (usually motorway chargers are fast chargers) if I used a supermarket charger it would be around 8 hours for a full charge. Cost for charging away from home vary dependant on who runs the charger.
All in all an electric car is perfect for what I do, frequent, short distances, and as a second car. At the moment we wouldn’t be able to cope with an electric car as our main vehicle but range is extending so that may be possible, what would be best is if battery rental prices came down and they need to come down a lot.
*disclaimer: this blog was not sponsored, all words and opinions are my own and figures are approximate, based on what I paid when I was car shopping and purchasing Zoe back in early 2016.