By on May 30, 2013

2014 Fiat 500e, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

TTAC has borrowed EVs in the past. Nissan even let us snag a Leaf for a week. Since then, I’ve driven every EV on the market except the Model S. (Not for a lack of half-trying, I call Tesla HQ regularly, but am too lazy to visit a Tesla dealer.) Every time I’ve had an EV, the conversation is more about living with the EV than the car itself. This time we’re doing something different. When the review of the spunky little orange Fiat 500e (I’ve decided to name her “Zippy Zappy”) hits in a few weeks, it will be 100% about the car and 0% about EV trials and tribulations. That divorced conversation is happening this week in daily installments.

EV tech is evolving rapidly from every angle, which is why we’re taking a look at it in this way. When the Tesla Roadster came on the scene it was the first real EV you could buy in ages, but the lacking of a standard charging connector, two seats and a steep price tag limited its commercial viability. Next up we had the Leaf which sported the new J1772 standard charging connector and the first DC quick-charge connector in the USA. Sadly there were zero quick charge stations in America when we last Leafed. Just a year into Nissan’s grand experiment there were significant updates to the Leaf and thanks to California’s zero-emissions mandate we have an EV explosion with just about everyone hopping on the eBandwagon. Are they ready for prime time?

2014 Fiat 500e Digital LCD Instrument Cluster

The 500e is the most efficient EV on the market. That’s not just because it’s one of the smallest EVs available, but also because technology in this field is moving rapidly. The 500e’s motor, batteries, charger systems, etc are all the latest in design and that is what pushes the little Italian to the head of the pack. [Edit: my apologies, the Scion iQ EV is now the most efficient EV, but the 500e is very close] Even so the 500e is capable of only 80-100 miles depending on your driving style, the climate and your Range Anxiety. I suffer from RA pretty badly so my first day in the 500e I drove home with the cruise control set to 64 on the freeway and used my most efficient (and most level) shortcuts possible. Leaving work at 93% full (thanks to not being delivered at 100%) I stopped at the grocery store 41 miles later having consumed 55% of my battery thanks to climbing a 2,200ft mountain pass at freeway speeds. Range estimate: 75 miles, not too shabby and better than the Leaf on the same journey. 10 miles later my EV told me it would take 15 hours to recharge to 100% using the 110V “emergency” charger. I thought about heading to the beach 12-miles away since the weather was amazing but my RA kept me at home where I looked at pictures of the beach on my laptop. What will tomorrow bring?

Fiat 500e Charging, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Looking for the other installments? Here you go:

Day 2

Day 3

 Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

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85 Comments on “Living With an EV for a Week – Day One...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    “I thought about heading to the beach 12-miles away since the weather was amazing but my RA kept me at home where I looked at pictures of the beach on my laptop.”

    In the last 12 months, how often have you decided to take that detour on the way home?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      2-3 times a month on average.

      • 0 avatar
        spw

        probably the only solution for RA will be charging points in many places, including that beach. That way everywhere you go, you will be fine, since you will be charging in-between trips.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          I suspect once you live with an EV for a few months RA becomes less of a factor as you learn and understand it’s capabilities in that respect.

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          What I wonder is how many times can that battery be partially recharged (a “splash and dash” if you will) before it damages the battery? I know with R/C cars, the more you fail to run them completely down, the more likely they are to never take a full charge, thus rendering the battery capacity terminally effected. They’re two COMPLETELY different platforms and intended uses, I understand- but the basic principles still apply. Batteries + motors= forward momentum.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            I have some RC stuff too so I know what your talking about. With a Lithium Ion battery I don’t think that is an issue. They don’t need to be fully discharged before charging to give maximum battery life. Volt owners have been topping off for years now without any battery range degradation.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            ^ Early LEAF owners can’t say the same though. Only time will tell.

          • 0 avatar
            gslippy

            @CoastieLenn: If you’re talking about NiMH battery chemistry often used in R/C cars, they behave totally different from lithium ion.

            The ‘early Leaf owner’ issue you mention is likely the problem owners in hot climates have experienced. There is a map that shows a very high correlation between hot climates and range loss on Leafs. It’s not related to charge/discharge cycles.

  • avatar
    jmo

    What is your commute?

    At 41+10 miles your commute is 318% longer than the US median.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The worst RA is having to leave your lawn half cut when your Works battery mower says it had enough on that charge.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      Every reasonably affordable rechargeable electric mower currently for sale is not that great. Maybe we should ask our buddy Elon Musk to tackle the ol’ rechargeable electric mower problem? Maybe a mower deck accessory for the Model S? Convert old Roadsters into riding mowers? I’m just spit balling here.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        With lawnmowers, replaceable batteries are easy. And if you have two slots, you can keep a spare or two charged up to reduce RA …
        http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/LawnMowersTractors/CordlessLawnMowers/PRD~0601786P/GreenWorks+TwinForce+40V+20-in+Lithium+Cordless+Mower.jsp?locale=en

        • 0 avatar

          I purchased that mower last month for $400 at Lowes. After about three charge cycles, it now gives about 60-65 minutes of run-time. I’m pretty happy with the little guy. The best part is its light weight at 47lbs and fast charge times.

          • 0 avatar

            I bought a cub cadet 48v mower about 2 years ago. The $150 battery (last I checked…hopefully cheaper now) lasted 2 years. Run time is about 15 minutes now.

            Just bought a 190cc honda gas mower instead of replacing the battery…

      • 0 avatar
        AFX

        The problem with electric mowers is that the manufacturers don’t think “outside of the box”. Constant electric power to your mower was something that was solved years ago by the railroads and the trolley systems. Just string a grid of electric wires above your yard, and mount a pantagraph on top of your mower. Bingo, no more worries about running out of juice. Just don’t mow the yard when the grass is wet, or with bare feet. As a side benefit you could use the electric wires as a clothesline to flash-dry your clothes in record time. It’d probably keep the birds away from your garden too.

      • 0 avatar

        A Tesla lawnmower… huge, heavy, impeccably detailed, lots of non-obvious thoughtful touches, works brilliantly, $6000. I dunno, I’m not seeing a big market, but maybe in Marin County and metrowest Boston?

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      That’s more like “work avoidance behavior” than RA ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Highway27

      This is why I just have had B&D plug-in mowers, plus they’re lighter, and the cord is less of a pain than most people think.

      Of course, now I also have a Fiskars reel mower…

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Not that it looks good to begin with, but massive kudos to fiat for getting that much range without further hurting the looks, and not creating another ugly bulgemobile.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “10 miles later my EV told me it would take 15 miles to recharge to 100% using the 110V “emergency” charger.”

    I think you mean “15 hours”, not “15 miles”.

    Your mixture of percentages, distances driven, and range leaves me confused about how the car performed.

    It’s worth noting these facts:
    1. Highway speeds kill batteries, and the reported range doesn’t take speed into account.
    2. Hill climbs give back most of what they take (via regeneration), unless your round trip is all uphill. :)
    3. 110V chargers give EVs a bad name. A proper 220V charger – which I suppose you can’t have for this purpose – will fill an empty 500e in a few hours.
    4. The 500e is Fiat’s half-hearted attempt to meet CARB’s zero-emission requirements. You can’t get it in most of the US – too bad, because I think the engineers did a good job with it in spite of Sergio’s disgust with producing it.
    5. Nobody should take the mfr’s range, divide it by two, and figure they can make such a commute. Speed, cold, and climate control can eat away substantially at range. The consumer has to learn the quirks of their EV to appreciate this, but I think mfrs could do better to inform the public, or else we’ll have more NY Times EV test failures.

    Personally, I really like the 500e’s instrumentation – much better than the standard 500. One reviewer actually liked driving the 500e better than its gas counterpart due to its instant throttle response. The standard 500 is a dog.

    Looking forward to further installments.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      You better watch it with the criticisms or else Sergio and Elon are going to let you have it via Twitter.

    • 0 avatar

      Having 0 interest in the 500e, and since you called the regular 500 a dog I’d like to say YMMV.

      I would like very much a 500. Any 500. Of course my pick would be the top of the line 500 (not Abarth cause I don’t like the stripes and I very much like that big red Fiat logo upfront) in pearl white with read seat and white headrests and steering wheel. I just played the lottery. Should I win, I’ll go down to my local Fiat dealer and pluck my cash on it ’cause of all the cars on sale in the world today, that is my choice.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        You don’t have to have the stripes on an Abarth, they are an extra cost option here in the states. Mine is metallic black on black cloth. I do have a set of flat black Abarth stripes I bought aftermarket that I haven’t put on yet – going for subtle. :-) I like the red FIAT emblems too, and my retrofit them, the Abarth badges on the sides are enough – the car has no FIAT badges at all on it inside or out.

        I do wish you could get the Abarth in the cool color schemes though.

        I would have been very interested in the 500e, had it been available in Maine. Though it would limit me to only the more local autocrosses.

        • 0 avatar

          Not knocking you or your choice! You are one of the few BMW drivers that can pull it off… Seen just one or two Abarths here as they’re not officially imported. As it is, I’m guessing any and every one of them that’s managed to make their way down here have the stripes… Though I always go for subtle.

          As to 500 Abarth not having Fiat badges, fiat should take note, some of us like us our Fiats plenty.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Subtle is good. My engine size badges (no, not on a 500) are history — I see no reason to advertise that to everyone.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey th009. I wear my 1.0 badges with pride! That is, if I could. Makers don’t put 1.0 badges on their 1.0 cars. Go figure!

            Keep it low, fly it high.

          • 0 avatar
            djn

            Real Abarths don’t have Fiat badges. My 59 just has an alemano and an abarth badge.

          • 0 avatar

            so your 59 doesn’t have a Fiat badge. Well, if I ever do get it, I’d like my Fiat Abarth 500 to have a Fiat badge. While we’re at it, I’d paint half the Ferrari F1 car with a giant Fiat logo.

          • 0 avatar
            mik101

            “fiat should take note, some of us like us our Fiats plenty.”

            Are there any fiats on the north american continent that are out of warranty yet? That’s what the old folks keep asking me…

            Basically, they are implying that you love it now but wait and see if you still do by the time it’s paid off.

            I’m not being just biased to Fait. I was really shocked how many steering and suspension parts it took to go 150,000km on my roomates Altima coupe, versus everything still being original on my Del Sol with the same number of KMs… and being 12 years older… (we go through the same inspections, so no I’m not just letting the DS slide).
            Then again my sisters 05 Civic with the same number of KMs has required a lot more work as well. Maybe the drivers are part of the issue, or it’s a sign of the times. I personally think we’ve seen a peak in the longevity of vehicles mechanical parts.

  • avatar
    Silvy_nonsense

    I’m glad you’re breaking the “What’s it like to live with an electric car?” question out into its own series.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    What’s its charge rate?

    Having driven a Volt every workday for nearly 2 years I find that I want more battery, more charge rate, and more electric power. More space would be nice too, especially in a taller CUV formfactor. I wouldn’t own a pure EV without at least 40A charging, preferably 60A to go with my 60A EVSE.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      It’s a 6.6Kwh charger onboard. Thanks to the efficiency the battery isn’t all that big so you can fill it from 0 to 100% in just over 4 hours. As it turns out, that’s just about fast enough for me.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Is that 6.6 kW? That would be 30A and 220V, and makes sense. (6.6 kWh, on the other hand, would measure something like battery capacity.)

        • 0 avatar
          Alex L. Dykes

          Yea, my bad. That’s what I get for trying to respond on my iPad with Auto Correct. My electrical engineer parents are probably cringing right now.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Alex, kWh is energy, kW is power, so the charger is rated in kW. Energy is the product of power and time.

        To say you have a 6.6 kWh charger is like saying a gas engine has, say, 10.8 gallons of gas when you’re discussing its power.

        Also, since I’m being pedantic, the k and h are lowercase, while James Watt gets to keep the capital letter beginning his surname. Standard convention, has been for almost 60 years. Go look at your electric meter, it will say kWh on the register for energy used.

        Blame me for being in the electric utility business for 25 years.

  • avatar
    marc

    “The 500e is the most efficient EV on the market.”

    More efficient than the RAV4? Or even the highest level Model S?

  • avatar
    VA Terrapin

    Looks like a Honda Fit EV is more fuel efficient than the Fiat 500e:
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33396&id=33265

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I have been thinking for a while now that what is missing from EV reviews is the review on the car itself. While it is interesting to read what it’s like to live with a short range vehicle, especially as it is a relatively new entry into the mass market, it seems like the questions about quality of fit and finish, ride, handling, breaking and interior stuff are often missing or under exposed. Thank you :-)
    BTW it’s “change anxiety” not “range anxiety” because you know more or less what the range is (just as in a gas car) but because it’s “different” it’s the change that is stressful and it happens a bit more often.

  • avatar
    AFX

    What’s the towing capacity of this thing ?.

    I’ve already got your “Range Anxiety” issues all worked out. Just put a tow hitch on it, go to Harbor freight and get one of those cheap trailers they sell, or make your own out of an old bed frame and some space saver spare tires, and mount a generator on the trailer. Plug the generator into the Fiat while driving, and no more range anxiety. If you want a quick charging version instead, just substitute the generator for a Lincoln Electric welder.

    If you want to get all high tech and fancy you could develop your own KERS flywheel system for it to recover some more of the energy from braking. Just get an old 1800′s millstone and mount it vertically on the trailer, and add a hydraulic actuator to lower it onto the road while braking. Not only could you recovery some energy while braking, and reuse it to accelerate with, but you could also get a side job with the highway department grinding rumble strips into the road. If you REALLY want to get all “green” with the millstone KERS system you could carry a few bushels of wheat or corn with you, grind it up under braking, and sell it to the hippies with the farmers markets or co-ops along your commuting route.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      You’d need a pretty hefty generator to power an EV indefinitely. Something like a 30-40hp RV diesel genset would work, but that would cost as much as the car. The Volt is basically a prepackaged version of this, and the crappy off-electric mileage is a result. Long-term (once the Toyota patents expire), I think we’ll end up with plug-in Prii with something like a 20-mile electric-only range.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Other electric cars don’t exist in public mindshare or markets of consequence, its all Model S. Reviews of gadgets like these are 1980′s-era reviews of Atari ST’s – it won’t matter in ten years.

    • 0 avatar

      From a major manufacturer versus Tesla???? I put my money on Fiat. This is the future, not some plaything for multimillionaires.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Tesla is not quite a multimillionaire toy — $50K+ vehicles are relatively common in the US, whether BMWs or Ford F150s.

        500e … will it have sales similar to the Tesla S (or Volt, or Leaf), or will it be more like the XL1? I really don’t know.

        In the long run, a plug-in 500 makes a lot of sense and will sell substantial volumes. I’m just not sure we’re quite there yet.

        • 0 avatar

          point taken.

          However, who has the staying power. Europe down, Brazil and US up. In future, Brazil down, Europe, US up. US down, Europe, Brazil up. That’s the beauty of Fiat-Chrysler. Like Renault-Nissan, If only they could get a foothold in Asia…

          I suspect though, that 20 yrs from now, when you think of replacing your car, some kind of Fiat-Chrysler store will be there to welcome you. Tesla?

        • 0 avatar
          CarnotCycle

          Every self-conscious enviro-Prius owner dreams of upgrading to a Model S. They do not even think of buying such a compromised, range-limited and slow thing as a Fiat.

          • 0 avatar

            Really? If I were a Prius driver, I’d feel much better in the clench of Toyota than of Tesla. That’s just me though. I think there must be at least one Prius driver who feels like me.

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos

            I live in Santa Monica, and every fifth car around here is a Prius. I know many Prius owners, and they all want a Model S.

            And speaking of Model S, I bought Tesla stock in February around ~$30 because for no other reason I saw so many Model S’s around here. No matter what a Model S technically is, people who buy them love them. Greens love blowing ICE-cars off the road, just like anybody else – and they’ve never had the chance until Model S.

            Model S’s rapidly outnumbered Volts in these parts – I see right about three Model S’s a day (maybe one Volt). There’s always one parked down at Ralph’s on the charger station now, and people strut around when they drive them. Not enviro-smug strutting either, but more like Porsche-smug-strutting; they think the car is more than a political statement but a COOL car to be seen in.

            That’s why I bought Tesla stock, and it has been awesome. Fiat 500e? Haven’t seen one, maybe I have but I didn’t notice – which says a lot about desirability of that car.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It will not sell in substantial volumes Fiat sees it as a compliance car that they loose money on so they will only make enough to meet their quota.

        • 0 avatar

          sta monica. Sta monica is not what it used to be, people down here hardly listen to american music anymore, hamburgers are considered heart threatening ailments. Sadly, imho, americana has lost almost allits value. Go to a regular Brazilian and tell him an Americans company has the car of the future and he’ll laugh of the idea.

          A Brazilian struts around just fine getting out of a cincuecento.

          I was listening to the doors tonight. Morrison sang, ‘they’ve got theguns, but we’ve got the numbers. Yeah we’re taking over’.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Can’t speak about Brazil of course, but in the U.S. people who have the income to buy $40,000+ cars very rarely use a car for long distance trips. They take the plane. So, the Tesla does fit a market niche, given that it has more range than these other EVs, is, apparently fun to drive (unlike the others) and so on.

        For people who have less income (and therefore need to be more practical in their automotive purchases), the utility of these cheaper EVs is just not that great. Why not own a Honda Fit, a Ford Fiesta or similar car instead? The purchase prices is lower and the likely savings in operating cost — given the limited utility of the EV as compared to the gasoline car — are trivial.

        As a luxury car, the Tesla makes sense. As a practical car, the Leaf, et al. don’t make sense.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I disagree, many people including myself who make well more than 40k a year would prefer not dealing with the hassle and cost of airports, I’d much rather enjoy the sights along the way.

        • 0 avatar
          gslippy

          @DC Bruce: My ‘impractical’ Leaf has been serving me very well for 8 months and 6000+ miles. The operating cost is less than $0.03/mile.

          I own two other cars, and routinely use them to take long-distance trips, including a drive across the US once. I can’t afford airline tickets for me and/or my family.

          Lots of ‘average’ people are buying $40k+ cars these days – that’s what a Suburban costs.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            It will be interesting to see what happens when the EV automakers don’t have the tax credits to reduce the cost of their vehicles and when the federal, state, and local taxing authorities start charging highway taxes instead of the EV’s getting the free ride they have now.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    I start looking for a gas station when I get down to a quarter of a tank. I can’t imagine living with a vehicle with 40-50 miles of real-world range. It’s akin to driving below “E” all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      If you had a 20-mile round-trip commute, it’s not hard to live with.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      I start thinking about filling up when my display tells me I have about 50 km (30 miles) of range left. If there were fewer stations around maybe I would start earlier.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      That’s the wrong way of thinking. It gets plugged in every night so the whole notion of looking for a station is not applicable. Also, I suggest that a quarter tank being the trigger for looking for a station is poor. You should know what you will do, where you will go; you should know the level of variance you experience. It is quite simple to accurately predict when you will hit any predetermined fill-up point & choose a station accordingly such that it fits your schedule, route, wallet, preferences, etc.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    Alex, as I recall from your Leaf test, your commute and lifestyle involve a fair amount of medium-distance driving, certainly the kind of driving that’s gong to challenge any <100 mi EV. Given your situation and needs, I just don't think they're right for you, and you're condemning yourself ahead of time to a stressful, limiting experience.

    A better test case might be for someone living and working in a city such as SF, or a suburban resident with at least one other car. That's who these cars are really intended for anyway,

    Oh, and badger Tesla some more.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      “A better test case might be for someone living and working in a city such as SF, or a suburban resident with at least one other car. That’s who these cars are really intended for anyway.”

      If that’s the case then you might as well just buy an electric bicycle, or take the mass transit system.

      Better yet, just buy a recumbent bicycle or a velocar, slap a Chinese moped engine on it, and use that instead. Maybe get a Crosley, or rescue that Metropolitan out of the junkyard.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Actually, you have a very good point. It seems like the optimum user for an EV in its current configuration (excluding Silicon Valley millionaire toys like the Tesla) is someone who ought to be using transit. Or not owning a car and all and using a service like ZipCar or Car-2-Go when local automotive transportation is needed, with use of a rental car for out-of-town trips.

        A related point is that these various calculations of “savings” resulting from going 12,000 miles/yr. on electricity vs. the same distance on gasoline are pretty specious. Given its limited range, its very unlikely that the EV owner is going to put the same number of miles on an EV that he puts on his gasoline car that the EV replaces. The gasoline car is just more versatile.

        And, for the 90 percent of us who don’t live in coastal California, the apparent swings of an EV’s range based on the ambient temperature seems like just one more aggravation.

        I put about 5,500 miles/yr. on my car; and my commute is well within any EVs range, round trip. But driving that number of miles, the fuel cost for my car is a relatively small part of the operating cost. Reducing it further, with a limited utility vehicle like an EV just doesn’t make any sense.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          I don’t necessarily agree. You can live in a city that doesn’t have good mass transit and is reasonably spread out and still get good use of an EV. If lease rates keep coming down/and or staying low, and after I get my house, I’ll look into an EV. The cost of the lease is currently right at the break even point compared to the operating costs of my BMW. I live in suburban Orlando, Fl and could continue to use the BMW for my twice a week 70 mile round trip highway commute, as well as any other situations where range was an issue. However, aside from my fulltime job, everywhere else I frequent is within 10 miles of my house, so I could easily use the EV for those trips and avoid the gas and wear and tear on the BMW when it at its worst, which is in around town stop and go suburban hell traffic, which is also when an EV is at its best.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Thing is, that is also the perfect use case for a Prius. In suburban hell traffic you really will approach 60mpg with one, at which point you are using so little gas that it just doesn’t matter. And you could still take it to work if you are having the BMW detailed that day or something. I refuse to say “if it is in the shop” fellow Bimmer Brother! :-)

            I have one friend with a Leaf. It will just about do what he needs to do on a daily basis, but if he comes into town in the winter, he has to stop at the Nissan dealer for a top-up or he might not make it home. He really is saving money vs. the Nissan Titan he drove previously, but realistically he leased it because he is a techie geek and thought it was cool. At least once we couldn’t get together for lunch because he went out to the garage and found he forgot to plug it in overnight. Oops.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @krhodes – 60 mpg for 12k miles a year still means an additional $700 per year in fuel costs for the prius at $3.50/gallon, plus the additional maintenance costs of having a gas engine. While not a lot a lot of $, it does eliminate the argument in favor of getting the second “green” vehicle, which is that the ownership costs of an EV are less than the in town operating costs of the BMW. the Leafs current lease deal @$199/month is break even with zero fuel cost, and a Prius can’t be had for any less than that (I checked, a Prius C also goes for $199/month). And yes, I factored the downpayment into the ownership cost of both the Prius and Leaf. If Prius’s can be had for $150 a month or less, or premium gas regularly starts living at more than $4/gallon, than the math will favor the Prius more. As far as the BMW’s need for frequent detailing and cleaning goes, between my parents and grandfather, our family has two more cars than drivers, and all are local, so procuring a loaner vehicle is never an issue. realistically, it’s never down for more than a day, and with me only working 2 days a week and my mechanic only a mile or 2 from my house, it’s easy to schedule service on days off.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Electricity is cheapish, but it isn’t free, unless you have your own solar panels or a wind turbine in the back 40. EVs need maintenance too.

            Where I live, an electric car would put me into the range of ~$.24/Kwh for electricity – which I realize is near the top of prices nationally. On a three-year lease your maintenance cost for either car is probably zero, but longer term the jury is still out on the EVs. That battery will not last forever, and I will certainly take the bet that it won’t last as long as the one in a Prius, or the engine in the Prius. And the relatively gigantic battery of an EV will be quite expensive to replace when the time comes. Again, not relevant on a lease, but some of us don’t lease cars.

            I use the same redundancy principles I use in my professional career for my cars. N+1 – the minimum number you need plus at least one more. I currently have six cars. :-)

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Electricity is cheapish, but it isn’t free, unless you have your own solar panels or a wind turbine in the back 40.”

            That equipment isn’t exactly free either. A few solar panel companies had salesman try and sell me panels for my house.

            To fill my roof space with panels would in a best case scenario barely meet the average power needs of my house and would cost over 100k installed.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Krhodes1 – I would never buy an EV for the reasons you listed. If I was getting this car for the long term, the Prius is definitely the better choice. I’m normally not the leasing sort either; my BMW is paid off, but if cost of the lease payments, downpayment, and operating expenses on the EV for 36k miles over 36 months are or equal to what it would cost to drive the 330i that many miles in that time period, then to me it makes sense to do, if only so the BMW lasts longer, if not as a money saving venture. Because of the high payment on the purchase of a new Prius, it will be years (at least until the car is paid off) before I actually end up ahead on ownership costs.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            “To fill my roof space with panels would in a best case scenario barely meet the average power needs of my house and would cost over 100k installed.”

            If I’ve spent $100K on electricity in the 25 years that I’ve been paying bills, I think I would have noticed. This should make people wonder about the energy and resources involved in producing solar panels and whether or not their output is likely to ever cover their inputs. Thinking isn’t very green though.

  • avatar
    AFX

    If I was going to get a Nissan Leaf the first thing I’d do would be to add a 100-shot nitrous oxide system to it. Not for the electric motor, because it wouldn’t need it, but rather spraying out though the A/C vents to make my daily commute more fun.

    Gawd, a 100 mile range. I’ve ridden further than that in one day on a bicycle several times, and I didn’t burn any electricity either, just Powerbars and spaghetti.

    For whatever this thing costs I could go on Craigslist and find an old used Geo Metro 2-door/4-door/convertible or Ford Aspire for around $2000-$3000, spend the savings over the Fiat on gas, and probably STILL come out ahead in the long run.


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