Fiat Coupe Forum
- Founded by Kayjey & James Northam
- Funded by the Club for the benefit of all owners
Fiat Coupe Club UK
join the club
Fiat Coupe Forum
 
» Announced
    Posting images


» Related sites
    Main club site
    fiatcoupe.net


» External data
    owners listed
 
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 44 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums64
Topics112,601
Posts1,329,995
Members1,996
Most Online731
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters(All Time)
barnacle 33,117
stan 32,112
Theresa 23,202
bockers 21,059
PeteP 20,819
JimO 17,917
Nigel 17,348
Jim_Clennell 16,601
RSS Feeds
Club Events
Club Information
Track Events
Rolling Road/RWYB
Social Events
Non-UK Events
Coupé Related Chat
Coupé Spotting
Coupé News/Press
Buying/Selling Advice
Insuring a Coupé
Basic FAQ's
How to Guides
Forum Issues
Technical Problems
General Maintenance
Styling
Tuning
Handling
ICE and Alarm
Coupés for Sale
Coupés Wanted
Parts for Sale
Parts Wanted
Group Buys
Business Forum
Other Vehicles for Sale/Wanted
Other Items for Sale/Wanted
Haggling/Offers
Ebay links
Other Cars
Other Websites
General Chat
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Going electric part 2 #1649045
03/03/2021 22:10
03/03/2021 22:10
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
As ever, our plans are subject to change without warning.
We are still hoping to complete a house move this month.
We are still planning to replace our 2008 Clubman with an EV.
But the Mini has bitten us with a double whammy repair bill just weeks after 4 new tyres, forcing a slight rethink.
The move to an EV has been brought forward, as the Mini can no longer be regarded as a trustworthy commuter, however much we love it.
And our budget has been curtailed somewhat in the light of the early switch.
So...
We're now looking at the Peugeot e-208, which can be had for around £300/month with our criteria, instead of £350+ for the previous frontrunner, the Kia Soul EV.
I'd rather the Kia (never thought I'd say that), but the Pug is ok.
Now, we need to select, buy and install a home charger.
I have tried to do some research, but don't really know what I'm judging it on. Anyone with experience who can offer advice and make recommendations would be very welcome!

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649049
04/03/2021 00:00
04/03/2021 00:00
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 20,819
Aldershot
PeteP Offline
Club Member 005
PeteP  Offline
Club Member 005
Forum Fossil

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 20,819
Aldershot
Aren't any Pug dealerships offering free or subsidised home charging set ups? Other makes dealerships have.


16VT and X1/9 1500
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649050
04/03/2021 09:07
04/03/2021 09:07
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Good question, Pete. Before going with whatever charger a dealer is offering, I'd like a bit more info. As I work for an green energy company, I get a discount on a Rolec charger, but I've heard mixed reviews, so I'm just weighing up the options.
Also, the "deals" offered by dealerships and others are not always what they seem as I believe it is the installer that applies for the "OLEV grant" and the rebate is not always passed on.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649051
04/03/2021 09:12
04/03/2021 09:12
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,908
Lightwater, Surrey UK
DaveG Offline
Club Member 311
DaveG  Offline
Club Member 311
Je suis un Coupé

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,908
Lightwater, Surrey UK
Choices are shown here: https://www.whatcar.com/news/electric-car-charging-the-best-home-charging-solutions/n21685

And e208 offers "free Mode 2 Domestic Charging Cable or subsidised Wallbox and free 6-month charging" with finance offers starting from £219 per month for 6000 miles per year and £3478 deposit, so I'm not sure what the basis of your £300 per month.

Peugeot reckon "slow" charging from standard 3 pin socket (drawing 10 amps, so 2.4kW) will take 22 hours, a "standard" charge 7kW will take 7.5 hours, and "fast" charge 11kW (with 3 phase supply) will take 5 hours.

7kW tethered charger cost looks the best choive but will be £559 after subsidy, so not exactly cheap, and I guess not easy to take with you if you move again in 6 months...


1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649052
04/03/2021 09:20
04/03/2021 09:20
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,908
Lightwater, Surrey UK
DaveG Offline
Club Member 311
DaveG  Offline
Club Member 311
Je suis un Coupé

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,908
Lightwater, Surrey UK
Surely you would agree an installation price before signing up? And won't you get the option to charge "at work (office)" (assuming no covid restrictions) for free, or is it not that kind of work? What's the offer on the Rolec?


1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649080
05/03/2021 00:04
05/03/2021 00:04
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,159
,
S
samsite999 Offline
I AM a Coop
samsite999  Offline
I AM a Coop
S

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,159
,
So, this year we have gone though a
BMW 330e plugin hybrid
Kia Nero plugin hybrid
Toyota chr self charging hybrid

They all have there pros and cons but in truth to keep it simple I would pick the Toyota everyone.

The BMW and Nero slow charge only regardless of charger and really requires a good evening to charge. The range in the BMW was a joke and the range in the Kia was ok, but lied all the time about its range left.
The integration of the electronic motor and the engine with the BMW was horrific, it by far was one of the worst experiences with a new car I have had.
The Kia tech was intrusive and unintuitive.
The Toyota, it just works. Almost the same tech as the Kia but easer to use and less annoying every day. Pulls good mpg and drives really. Really nice.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649101
05/03/2021 17:53
05/03/2021 17:53
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
It turns out that the Vauxhall Corsa e can be had for even less than the Peugeot and is effectively the same vehicle under the skin, so MrsC has opted for that. Should arrive in 3 weeks or so.

I've never detested a car marque like I detest Vauxhall, so I'm struggling not to do a bit of sick in my mouth. But our criteria point to a cheap EV with a certain range, so this is what we're getting.
I know she's right about the cost, but I had to work pretty hard to get enthusiastic about the Kia and now we're going 2 (pretty significant) steps lower, it feels like a lot of money for what my (prejudiced) mind feels is a shitbox.
Hopefully, we will discover that it's brilliant and kick ourselves for not buying Vauxhalls years ago.

Obscenely first world problem, I know.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649103
05/03/2021 18:11
05/03/2021 18:11
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 20,819
Aldershot
PeteP Offline
Club Member 005
PeteP  Offline
Club Member 005
Forum Fossil

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 20,819
Aldershot
I've been driving a Vauxhall as my main car for 3 years now Jim, It's actually made quite well by the Spanish ex-Opel factory.

Did you get the extra £1k off that they are pushing in my email today? It seems that Corsa is on the list

Originally Posted by email from vauxhall and dealership
Well, doesn't this just top everything?

We're offering an extra £1000 off, on top of other offers currently available, on a selected new Vauxhall.

The event starts on 5 March until 14 March. So be on top of your game, or you might just miss out.

Don't forget, you can buy a new car at the Vauxhall Online store from the comfort of your sofa, with click and collect and the option to return it in 14 days if you don't love it.


16VT and X1/9 1500
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: DaveG] #1649105
05/03/2021 18:16
05/03/2021 18:16
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Originally Posted by DaveG
Choices are shown here: https://www.whatcar.com/news/electric-car-charging-the-best-home-charging-solutions/n21685

And e208 offers "free Mode 2 Domestic Charging Cable or subsidised Wallbox and free 6-month charging" with finance offers starting from £219 per month for 6000 miles per year and £3478 deposit, so I'm not sure what the basis of your £300 per month.

Peugeot reckon "slow" charging from standard 3 pin socket (drawing 10 amps, so 2.4kW) will take 22 hours, a "standard" charge 7kW will take 7.5 hours, and "fast" charge 11kW (with 3 phase supply) will take 5 hours.

7kW tethered charger cost looks the best choive but will be £559 after subsidy, so not exactly cheap, and I guess not easy to take with you if you move again in 6 months...


Dave, I've done the obvious online research, as I said. But thanks for the link.

I was really asking for people with some experience (preferably first hand) for their opinions on different actual chargers. The cost of a cable (an EV is limited without one, so even if you buy a tethered charger, you'll probably want a cable at some point) can be quite high (£150+), so I'd probably take that initially over a subsidised box, so there goes one of the potential savings.

The main issue is precisely which wallbox is included in the subsidised offer. I'm expecting to pay upwards of £500, but I would like one that's reliable.

Incidentally, the "basis" of our £300 per month figure was that, unlike your example, we need 20,000 miles per year, over 2 years and with a £2.5k deposit max. Unless I've misunderstood how these things work, those factors make a pretty big difference. But if you can find a e-208 GT at that price with those figures, I'd be very interested!

I won't be driving the vehicle mainly, it will be Mrs C, so the charging situation at my work is not relevant. There are chargers available at MrsC's work, but they aren't free. Most EV charging takes place at home and that's why it is reasonably important to find a decent charger. You don't have to look far to find tales of failed chargers/continual tripping power, etc.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649107
05/03/2021 18:37
05/03/2021 18:37
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Pete, that's very reassuring! It's not the build quality that worries me (not that much anyway), it's just a feeling I have about Vauxhalls and how they have traditionally positioned their brand. But I'll do my best to get over it.

As we're getting the car on a PCH, I don't think we'll qualify for the £1k off (we're not actually buying the car), but I'll put it to the broker who's found our deal. Nothing ventured, etc.

Sam, thanks for the compact reviews! All the research we've done suggests that a hybrid of any sort would not make financial sense for us.
The lower servicing and comparatively negligible fuel costs are what just allow us to substitute a cheap(ish) lease deal on a full EV for our usual £3k just-above-a-shed cars, with their higher fuel and maintenance spend.
The deciding factor has been reliability. MrsC answers 999 calls for a living and breaking down on your way to a night shift is very dimly viewed. The Mini's recent string of issues (it's also just turned 100k miles) makes it a nagging worry, every time MrsC sets off for work.

Interestingly, we drove countless cars in our previous incarnation as ChipsAway repairers and I found the 330e to be the best integrated petrol hybrid I drove. Streets ahead of the jerky Mercs and buzzy Lexuses. I never drove a hybrid Kia, so can't comment, but I do think full electric makes more sense than hybrid - for us anyway.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649113
06/03/2021 01:49
06/03/2021 01:49
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,537
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Gripped Offline
Club Member
Gripped  Offline
Club Member
Forum is my job

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,537
S. Wales. Way beyond my means
+1 for Vauxhalls. I'd have one over a Ford any day, even though I know Ford's are often seen as better drivers cars and the performance ones also reach classic status.

But Vauxhalls had very solid interiors and felt less tinny than comparable cars and whole not exactly exciting, they are dependable.

I had a Mk4 Astra from new and loved it. It was a 3 door and the doors were huge and weighed a ton. Loads of room, massive boot, and cool white dials which glowed orange at night (Sxi). My folks had 3 Corsa 1.5tds and they were great too. Isuzu engine though.

I think the Corsa e is one of the best looking small EVs at the moment.

Oh and also remember the Fiat tie up with GM and Saab.. The 1.3 and 1.9 diesels were Fiat's.

But I'm biased. wink

I read a review of the Astra GTC VXR the other day. Who knew that it is actually a very good performance hatch/coupe!

Last edited by Gripped; 06/03/2021 01:53.
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649117
06/03/2021 15:42
06/03/2021 15:42
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks Gripped! All reassuring stuff. Despite my petrol-sniffing instincts, in quite looking forward to trying life with an EV. (Definitely turning into my Dad...)

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649138
07/03/2021 08:56
07/03/2021 08:56
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,117
Berlin
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
barnacle  Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
Forum Demigod

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,117
Berlin
Originally Posted by gripped
But Vauxhalls had very solid interiors


Maybe, and I haven't driven one for a few years, but every Vauxhall rental I had had nasty nasty interior plastics. Sharp-edged mouldings and easily scratched. Meh. Maybe they've got better...

For what it's worth, our hunt for an electric here in Germany is looking like it will probably be a petrol Renault Kadjar. I'm less than enthused but Anita wants something tall; diesel fits our projected driving ranges where electric hasn't the range and diesels are likely both to be killed by five mile to the shops trips and to be banned from city centres soon. At least with a bottom of the range I can avoid all the stupid electro-toys though it looks like I'm stuck with an electric handbrake frown


[Linked Image]
Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649193
08/03/2021 18:39
08/03/2021 18:39
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
The deed is done, the Corsa-e is ordered. Should get it in around 3 weeks.
Pete, unfortunately neither of the offers you posted applies to our lease deal.
I'm expecting to pay around £500-£750 to have a charger installed.

Barnacle, what mileage do you need? The Kia e-Niro (high-ish seating position) should deliver at least 230 miles per charge. That's a good 3 hours' driving between charges lasting around 45 minutes.
Each to his own, but I prefer the styling to the Kadjar too...

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649199
08/03/2021 20:19
08/03/2021 20:19
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,117
Berlin
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
barnacle  Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
Forum Demigod

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,117
Berlin
Jim, our retirement plans involve touring over a lot of Europe - based in Berlin but expecting to go to Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, points east... Not every week but a number of times a year.

I don't dislike the styling but I'm not fond of big heavy cars; I'd rather my arse were closer to the road. But I bought the last four or five cars (come to think of it, I bought *all* of them) so it's Anita's turn to choose. And she wants something tall that we can do the forementioned touring with. In vain I have pointed out that you can do three people and luggage for three weeks around Europe in a coupe...

There are lots ex-lease bottom of the range Kadjars around with silly low mileage - two and a bit years old with six to ten thousand km - at half the price of new. If you can get someone to sell one - we can't get test drive until the end of the month and I'm not buying without at least seeing if it fits me smile

For such a tiny engine - 1300cc, 140bhp - it's amazingly messy under the bonnet. Renault don't even bother with a cover plate...


[Linked Image]
Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649367
16/03/2021 02:05
16/03/2021 02:05
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,011
South Cambs
B
Barmybob Offline
Hon Club Member: 003
Barmybob  Offline
Hon Club Member: 003
Je suis un Coupé
B

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,011
South Cambs
Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
The deed is done, the Corsa-e is ordered. Should get it in around 3 weeks.

I'm expecting to pay around £500-£750 to have a charger installed.


Try and have the charger installed inside the garage. Local newspaper reported recently of cable, and even charger thefts. In Cambridge of all places!!! shocked crazy


Gone Audi mad!
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649384
16/03/2021 13:55
16/03/2021 13:55
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks for the tip, BB. There is one problem - we don't have a garage! It's one of the reasons for my CCTV post elsewhere!

My intention is to go for an untethered charger (no cable attached) and make do with the one in the car. If it's attached to the car, it is locked in place, so difficult (though obviously not impossible) to make off with.

At the risk of offending Cambridge residents (I know you're being tongue-in-cheek, BB), I'm wholly unsurprised! Having lived and worked in the city (and not just the pretty bits), I know that there's a dark underbelly. It's a very odd place, with vast wealth and privilege and London property prices rubbing shoulders (sometimes on the same street) with serious poverty and deprivation.

My stepson was involved with a very unsavoury crowd in his early teenage years (we are eternally thankful he chose to come and live with us in Stroud at 16) and some of them are now serving pretty long stretches at Her Majesty's pleasure.
Not to say that Cambridge doesn't have some wonderful aspects, but unless you know the place a bit, it's easy to assume it's all gown and no town.

Also, I'm not claiming that chargers and cables won't go missing in Gloucestershire!

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649385
16/03/2021 14:09
16/03/2021 14:09
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,441
Kent
Submariner Offline
My job on the forum
Submariner  Offline
My job on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,441
Kent
I wouldn't worry about it being a 'Vauxhall' looking at the car inside and out, I think just about any mainstream car marque badge could be put on the front, back and steering wheel and no one would be any the wiser

Last edited by Submariner; 16/03/2021 14:10.
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Submariner] #1649386
16/03/2021 14:14
16/03/2021 14:14
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Originally Posted by Submariner
I wouldn't worry about it being a 'Vauxhall' lookling at the car I think just about any car marque badge could be put on front, back and steering wheel and no one would be any the wiser.


Undoubtedly, a very good point. It is "Euro-supermini-by-numbers". And actually, it's a Peugeot-Citroen-Fiat-Chrysler as much as a Vauxhall.

My problem with Vauxhall was their deliberate and cynical association with certain demographics.

Maybe MrsC and I could make up our own badge and replace the griffon...!

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649448
18/03/2021 16:19
18/03/2021 16:19
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,852
Cambridge & Cotswolds
M
MeanRedSpider Offline
Je suis un Coupé
MeanRedSpider  Offline
Je suis un Coupé
M

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,852
Cambridge & Cotswolds
It’s OK, Jim, Cambridge is much safer now me and my family have moved away... laugh

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1649455
18/03/2021 18:58
18/03/2021 18:58
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Originally Posted by MeanRedSpider
It’s OK, Jim, Cambridge is much safer now me and my family have moved away... laugh


I find Cambridge is MUCH safer - viewed from Gloucestershire!

Please tell me you're racing at Combe this year, Rich - we're getting serious withdrawal! You can keep your pubs and restaurants, we need to see some motor racing as soon as!

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1649694
26/03/2021 23:12
26/03/2021 23:12
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
It's arrived! First impressions are of a well-built, if not premium, car. The kind you get if you go for an upgrade at Enterprise...
It's (to me) pretty easy on the eye, but only because it's not outstandingly ugly.
As easy to operate as a washing machine (the app is pretty similar TBH) and just as many features I'll never use.
But it's comfortable, nippy - especially up to about 40 - quiet (no, really) and it cost me £2.60 to charge it from around 50 to 80% using a 50kW rapid charger at a nearby fuel station.
Familiarity should breed knowledge about actual range, but hopefully not contempt; the MyVauxhall app doesn't even fully install until you've done at least 3 drives of 20 minutes or more, presumably for data collection purposes.
I'll post more as and when (if anyone's interested!)

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651902
11/07/2021 11:41
11/07/2021 11:41
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Let me save you a job: TL:DR

I'm home alone with nothing to do except write this, so it's going to be long. Are you sure you don't want to fetch a brew (and maybe a sandwich) before you read it?

We've now done 5k miles in the Corsa-e (I say "we", but actually MrsC has done 4,500 of them on her commute).

What have we learned?

- Driving an EV is as easy and convenient as any ICE vehicle. More so in some ways. (silent, seamless transmission and instant torque, theoretically less maintenance and fewer smelly fluids)
- Acceleration is great, especially at lower speeds and - the best bit - up hills. You just soar up inclines where anything with an ICE has to clear its throat at the very least.
- Handling might be a bit wooden, but I wouldn't know a lot about that because I've never tried "chucking it through the twisties" - it's an electric Vauxhall Corsa!
- Fuelling costs are laughable compared with petrol or diesel.
- Charging is still the Achilles' heel (more to follow)
- Under-developed products (hardware and software) are in danger of undermining the push for EV domination

As a means of transport, I wouldn't willingly go back to a combustion-engined car. The quiet ease that an EV demonstrates in getting you from A to B (provided that A and B are not too far apart, obviously) is something I've never experienced before. Until something better becomes the future, this is the future.

For weekend fun, thrills, emotional involvement and nostalgia, I'm still scanning the internet for a late-70's American V8 muscle car.

Charging is a pain in the neck.

The Corsa has a theoretical range of 209 miles, according to the supposedly "more realistic" WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test) figures. I have no idea how you would achieve this. AutoExpress (and other sources) put it at closer to 170 miles, which I can imagine might be possible in favourable conditions. But here's the thing: motorway driving absolutely kills range. MrsC's commute is 70 miles return, with around 60 of that on the motorway. Even limiting your speed to 70 (seems reasonable!), the effect of all those air molecules is devastating to your SOC (state of charge. We EV folk LOVE an acronym...). Leaving with 100% charge, the car usually shows something around 30% when it returns to base and that is with a fair amount of 60mph driving on smart motorway sections.

You may think that 30% of 170 miles isn't too bad, but the problem with EV range anxiety is that it's difficult to be objective; if your petrol/diesel car fuel light comes on, it's usually no big deal, because you know that you've probably still got maybe 60 miles in the tank, plus the gauge is usually pessimistic, plus there are fuel stations everywhere, plus, if the worst happens, you'll just have to walk a few miles with a can.
I have no idea how far our Corsa will actually go, because I've never tested it. I have a power bank for my phone, but not one for the car! I've seen reviews on YouTube, where they run the battery flat, but in the real world, it's a risk, because if you do actually run out of charge, you are pretty stuffed. The SoC displayed on the Corsa dashboard is in miles, not % (which is nuts, because it varies so much depending on what kind of driving you're doing), and if, for example, there's a diversion for maintenance (a frequent occurrence on motoways at night), your reserve mileage can quickly disappear. So, if you do grind to a halt, more or less the only option is to call a breakdown service, most of whom now offer "emergency charging" to get you to the nearest charger. In MrsC's case, this could easily be at 3am on the M5. Not really something you want to mess with, not least because her job involves taking 999 calls from people who've just seen what happens to cars on the hard shoulder of the M5...


In theory, each night, MrsC would plug in the Corsa to the Rolec Wallpod charger on the wall of our house, and the associated app cleverly manages the charging so that it uses the cheapest possible electricity (we are on an E7 tariff, so our night-time electricity is about 9p per kWh, instead of 15 or so) to fully charge the vehicle and have it "pre-conditioned" (battery and cabin set to optimum temperature using mains power) ready to whisk her to work the following day. However, MrsC's shift pattern means that sometimes she leaves for work early in the morning, sometimes mid afternoon and sometimes at night. If we leave smart charging switched on and forget to alter the timing, she can be heard using terms that would make a navvy blush as she has to go to work in our Citroen C4 "gros-tas-de-merde" because the Corsa has outsmarted itself and not charged. Or, we leave the charger as "dumb" and just swallow the higher price. This is in fact what we do and, in fairness, it's still way cheaper than petrol.

The next - and by a long way most limiting - obstacle in the way of charging is the public charging network.

This is used by EV sceptics as the biggest of sticks to beat the industry. And rightly so, as it turns out.

If you are lucky enough to have a Tesla, you can skip this bit. The Tesla supercharger network is what an EV charging network should look like: plenty of working, high-powered chargers in a nice row, placed in a reasonable number of service areas, plus other locations. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

To a lesser extent, if you have a Jaguar iPace, a Mustang Mach-e, PoleStar, Audi e-tron, or one of the new generation of premium EV's with a motorway range of approaching 250 miles, then you'll probably do most of your charging either at home or at your destination, so it will rarely be a problem. As technology improves and range increases, this will evaporate as an issue, but right now, finding a working, rapid (50kW or above) EV charger that you can use without installing one of dozens of proprietary apps (apps that often require a retention on your debit card), while your range is steadily declining, is a tough challenge. And when you do find one, the chances are it'll be occupied either by someone charging their own EV (adding their charge time to yours, effectively), or by some cock in a petrol or diesel car who can't be arsed to find another parking space.

The company I work for, Ecotricity, set up the first EV charging network in the UK in 2011. Back then, it was an amazing innovation, offering completely free charging to the brave EV pioneers on Britain's roads. Over time, technology and expensive maintenance has overtaken the Electric Highway and, recently, the much scorned and criticised network (and it's exclusive rights to many of Britain's motorway service areas) was sold to Gridserve, who are committed to upgrading the entire network. We accidentally stumbled upon one of the new Gridserve chargers at Tamworth Services the other day and it was a window onto a new world! If they keep their promise and other networks follow suit, it will remove the biggest single bar to (long distance) EV use in this country. Rapid chargers are the ones that turn an overnight household charge into a 20-minute top up. No doubt, in future, charging will not only be less frequently required, but will take less and less time. Just don't lick your fingers and stick them in the charger.

I can't leave the topic of charging networks without a special two-fingered salute to BP Pulse. BP took over the ChargeYourCar network (one of the app brigade) that happens to operate the chargers at MrsC's place of work. Access to these chargers would totally eliminate any range anxiety as we would be able to charge at either end of the journey. We duly signed up and paid the annual £20 fee, received the bespoke RFID card and... have never managed to even have the card recognised by the chargers. Having been batted back and forth between MrsC's employer and Pulse, we are now being told that because their chargers are not part of the public network we need a different type of card. This has not been resolved despite plenty of effort on our part. So, MrsC finally raised a complaint.
However, the initial pleasure at receiving a response from none other than the BP Pulse COO himself, was soon reduced to frustration once again, the reply smelling strongly of casual contempt. He managed (mind-bogglingly) to turn a potential PR triumph into another failure.
MrsC's employers haven't showered themselves in glory either. You'd think they would know that their own chargers were not part of the public network and advise their staff accordingly. It's not a great sign that all 6 charging bays are usually occupied by non EVs. The whole thing looks as though they installed the chargers to look green and progressive, without the faintest idea of how to manage them.

Anyway, that's charging.

On to the hardware and software that is at risk of further undermining confidence in the nascent EV boom.
Software-wise, as everyone knows, there's an app for everything.
The Vauxhall app is dreadful. Hopeless, it fails to communicate properly or reliably with the vehicle, making its journey logging a farce. It also doesn't tell you reliably what the vehicle SoC is (if you close the app each time you check, it sometimes gives you the right information, but usually you have to go out and actually open the car door to check the dash display, which kind of makes the app pointless). The dash tells you the percentage of charge (fantastic, just what you want), until you unplug the car, when it reverts to just range in miles remaining, a figure that fluctuates in chunks of 7 miles (?), depending on what kind of driving you're doing.

The app managing the home charger is not terrible, but the charger keeps going offline, (a fault that is disputed between the charger people and the app people), making smart charging unavailable. This is another reason we don't bother and simply charge the car as soon as we plug it in.

Lastly (for now, don't worry, I'll be back!), there is the software on the car itself.

A couple of weeks ago, MrsC got into the car, which had stopped charging at around 65%. When she turned the car on, things bonged and beeped and an error appeared "Electric Traction System Fault", along with a red triangle.

She took the shed to work and I booked the Corsa in with the local Vauxhall dealership.

A little Googling revealed that this fault is common on the Peugeot variants using the same powertrain, as well as the Corsa and Mokka. It also affects hybrids.
Solutions have ranged from ignoring it and never seeing the warning again (a little haphazard in my view!) to full vehicle replacement.

We were told that our software on the car needed to be updated. Someone used the word "recall", but this was met with slightly uncertain looks when queried.

The car came back, with no sign of the initial error and a few minor tweaks to the GUI. However, since then it regularly stops charging at the same level of 65%. This is a problem, because that won't get MrsC to work and back and the entire point of us getting an EV was to have reliable transport to and from her job.

We looked at a lot of different possible causes, including the wall charger, the app and even our solar installation (apparently the inverter kicking in at sunrise can trip the charger).

Eventually, we ruled out everything except the onboard charger in the car, or its software management. So, the Corsa is back with Vauxhall for more work.

It's such a shame, because we love the driving experience, we're confident we can sort out the charger network problems as far as they affect us and we're enthusiastic supporters of the technology until something better comes along.

But for now, we just want it to be fixed.

And, most importantly, like the rest of England, we want to know - is it coming home?

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651912
12/07/2021 09:58
12/07/2021 09:58
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 14,492
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline
Club President, member225
I AM a Coop

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 14,492
Auld Reekie
A most informative read Jim even if I had to recharge my phone halfway through it wink

Not only are the issues of topping up an EV still in the teething stage, the hubris of the manufacturers' claims regarding battery life really ought to be dealt with.

What is concerning is the increasing amount of defunct batteries that will require disposal - the thought of the UK palming them off to some uninhabited/3rd-world province doesn't sit well.

On the plus side they don't emit noxious fumes (while operating) and they might provide a lot of employment in the UK. It would be nice to see British ingenuity being supported and ploughed back into our economy on the road to improving recharging and recycling.


BumbleBee back:)
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651913
12/07/2021 11:38
12/07/2021 11:38
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,294
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
andyps Offline
Club member 1482
andyps  Offline
Club member 1482
My job on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,294
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Interesting read Jim.

One thing I've thought about the smart charging and cost is that with any new EV home charger they are sim-card linked to a system. I can see the day that there will be a tax similar to the fuel duty that will be applied to electricity used to charge vehicles - there will have to be a replacement for the billions of income from fuel duty and this would be a cheaper alternative to road pricing because the customer is paying for the infrastructure rather than the government. A more sinister thought is that as demand for electricity exceeds supply it provides an ability to ration use - 'you've already driven 300 miles this week so no more use for you..' type stuff. Hope I'm wrong with the latter but nothing would surprise me.


Andy

[Linked Image]
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651914
12/07/2021 12:46
12/07/2021 12:46
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Blimey, Andy, you read it! Didn't think anyone would!
Good point about chargers supplying data for taxation.
Although it could be used to ration electricity in extreme cases, it's more likely to be used for load balancing - effectively restricting flow of electricity at peak times - in the short to medium term.
The hope has to be that as EV's become more efficient, they'll need less kW/mile. And as we adjust to the charge we need without anxiety, we'll seek less. Indeed, going forward, EV's will be able to supply energy back to the grid at peak times, so that will complicate matters further!
Despite my reservations, I'm still massively enthusiastic about EVs...

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651916
12/07/2021 13:01
12/07/2021 13:01
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,294
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
andyps Offline
Club member 1482
andyps  Offline
Club member 1482
My job on the forum

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,294
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
I'm interested in the subject but currently an EV doesn't fit my requirements, always good to read real life examples.

The usage pattern Mrs C has highlights an issue with load balancing - if it is decided to load balance at the wrong time she won't be able to get to work, the reason petrol/diesel works so well is the flexibility it needs and the charging time for an EV takes that away, at least until we get to absolutely mega charging rates which will require massive generating capability. EVs will get more efficient but it will always take a certain amount of power to move an object at a certain rate - basic physics.

I also have concerns about car to grid - there is apparently around a 10% loss each way so if you put electricity into an EV battery you get 90% of what is used, then when it goes back you are down to 81% of the original amount whilst taking life out of the battery. And that could leave a car with almost no range which would not allow emergency use.

Not trying to be negative but there are many obstacles to overcome and the focus on BEV over any other form of emission reduction for vehicles is not correct in my opinion - I just checked with the NG ESO app and in my area - Yorkshire - electricity generation at this moment is only 2% zero carbon. 65% is from gas and 33% from biomass with just 1% from solar. That means an EV is just moving the issue elsewhere.


Andy

[Linked Image]
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651935
12/07/2021 21:06
12/07/2021 21:06
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
As you point out, there are issues, but the frustrating thing is that they are all surmountable right now.
If BP Pulse and MrsC's employer had their act together there would be no issue at all - she would be able to plug in either at home or at work with ample time for a full charge. The Corsa takes about 6 hours using a 7.4kW home charger, so even with 50% load balancing, she could still comfortably get a full charge between shifts.
I agree that charge times are a consideration, but that's mainly about changing habits. If you could charge somewhere you were going to be for half an hour anyway, (restaurant, gym, cinema, supermarket, work), then the problem evaporates.

As for renewable generation, 100% of Ecotricity's electricity is renewable derived, regardless of where you live.

Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651948
13/07/2021 09:55
13/07/2021 09:55
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,011
South Cambs
B
Barmybob Offline
Hon Club Member: 003
Barmybob  Offline
Hon Club Member: 003
Je suis un Coupé
B

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 8,011
South Cambs
Wow Jim, the war and peace post was very informative. It highlighted many of the concerns that people have regarding the switch to EV. Going electric is something I've considered but it's a very tough decision. It seems to offer an environmentally sound argument with the benefit of offering cheap mobility. Even despite the price hikes of roadside charging the electric car still offers a cheap alternative.

I have been thinking of replacing my perfectly good, reliable car that I've had for several years with something new and electric has been looking tempting. The environmentalist in me would surely argue for electric if I were to replace with a new car but when I drill it down I am stuck wondering if I should even be considering change. In reality buying new is just needless consumerism, a cycle that really needs to be broken for the real sake of the environment. A far better environmental argument can be made to actually keep my perfectly good car for as long as possible and only replace when it is no longer a viable option, either due to economics or legislated change. Also if I keep it I know it won't have the DPF ripped out, be chipped and be spewing out black smoke and particulates everywhere.

On Electricity

Originally Posted by andyps
I just checked with the NG ESO app and in my area - Yorkshire - electricity generation at this moment is only 2% zero carbon. 65% is from gas and 33% from biomass with just 1% from solar. That means an EV is just moving the issue elsewhere.


2020 figures showed renewables reaching about 12% average, including Biomass. Biomass is effectively the burning of a carbon capture product but the argument for biomass is that the capture and release of the same CO2 is over a shorter time frame than that of regular carbon capture fossil fuels, so it's deemed green, for now! I suspect in the future carbon capture and carbon neutral will suffer much more scrutiny.

The vast majority of the UK generated electricity (Averaged over the year) is Gas or Nuclear, about 65%. Another 15% comes from overseas. Overseas suppliers have a much lower zero carbon mix than the UK so generally it's more heavily Fossil and Nuclear biased than UK power. But is our 12% renewables figure all it's cracked up to be?

In the early 2000's there were predictions that the UK would have a significant electricity shortfall by 2020. This was due to the closing of our coal fired power stations and it was one reason, along with CO2 targets why UK nuclear power stations had their closure dates postponed. Remarkably by 2012 the UK had significantly reduced consumption leading to a larger surplus. Energy efficient appliances, lighting and the decline of the UK industrial sector meant that by 2018 our electricity consumption was much lower than expected. This reduction in demand obviously had an effect on our reported renewables levels. We have been able to report much higher percentages of renewable energy in the UK supply. The only worry is that as demand increases the Green / Renewable target will be harder to match, let alone exceed. There is also the concern that electricity prices are predicted to outpace inflation by about 1% per year to cover infrastructure development costs. Look into the RO agreements, it's the hidden TAX we'll all be paying.

There has been a very good study produced regarding the costs of all forms of electricity generation. It seeks to cover TOTAL cost, building maintenance and de-commissioning. Well worth a look for anyone interested in power generation UK Energy Cost Study


Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
As for renewable generation, 100% of Ecotricity's electricity is renewable derived, regardless of where you live.


Their electricity generation is 100% renewable but it is unlikely that this electricity is getting to my house laugh A manipulated, offset mathematic formula will be used to ensure the units of energy sold, by them, never exceed their total electricity generation capacity. I suspect the customer base will also be managed to ensure they keep within these targets, maybe this is why they are currently far from the cheapest, to slow their growth. I do wonder if they, and energy suppliers like them factor in the huge network losses to their sales vs generation calculations, potential there for a future PPI type claim if they don't. Energy losses across the UK network are huge, running at over 7%! Pushing power through cables, sub stations and transformers is hugely efficient!

I did see that last year that the Ecotricity electric highway EV charging network was voted the worst charging network in the UK in terms of cost, speed, ease of use and reliability. Hopefully the sale to Hitachi / Gridserve brand and their investment plans will significantly improve that network.



Gone Audi mad!
Re: Going electric part 2 [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1651963
13/07/2021 21:33
13/07/2021 21:33
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Jim_Clennell Offline OP
Club member 105
Jim_Clennell  Offline OP
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 16,601
Corridor of Uncertainty
Another brave reader!

I agree with you BB that unless there is a good reason to buy/lease a new vehicle, it's hardly an environmentally-friendly choice to splash out on an EV, even if marginally better than an ICE model.

In our case, we no longer trusted our old vehicle to be sufficiently reliable and, given that our chosen route to reliability (ha!) was a new car, the path to going electric was much easier to follow, especially given the reduced running costs.

Going off topic somewhat, but I think the energy question does need to be addressed, so here's my two pennies' worth specifically regarding Ecotricity (which I know a bit about):

Quote
"A manipulated, offset mathematic formula will be used to ensure the units of energy sold, by them, never exceed their total electricity generation capacity. I suspect the customer base will also be managed to ensure they keep within these targets, maybe this is why they are currently far from the cheapest, to slow their growth."


And your evidence to support this? Customer numbers are increasing and the company has bid (this week) for a competitor. Not doing too well at slowing growth. How would it benefit the company to maintain its 100% renewable electricity claim at the expense of being able to expand?

In fact, Ecotricity's pricing is higher than other energy suppliers principally because, as one of only 3 companies in the UK classified by Ofgem as clean (the others are Good Energy and Green Energy UK - not Octopus or Bulb, etc.), it is exempt from the price cap that affects other suppliers.They qualified for this "derogation" by demonstrating that their higher costs were directly attributable to renewable energy, both in current sourcing and investment in future generation. The company is constantly striving to generate more and better and to attract more customers.

Also, I'm not sure why an energy supplier, as opposed to, say, a distributor or the National Grid Transmission network, or Elexon, would need to worry about a PPI-type situation? That simply isn't the way the energy market works.
As an aside, Ecotricity's claim to produce the UK's greenest energy was tested by none other than Elon Musk, who challenged the claim via the Advertising Standards Authority (he was cross after being caught trying to screw Ecotricity in a business deal). He lost on both occasions.

Apologies if I come across as a bit of an Ecotricity fan-boy (partially guilty - but only partially), but for some reason, BarmyBob, you seem intent on rubbishing everything they attempt or have achieved. I'm all for healthy cynicism, but this seems personal, so I'm just trying to balance things out a bit.

In other, more on-topic news, the Corsa is still at the garage. They asked permission to drive our car around to lower the state of charge so they can test it again; they plugged it into their charger yesterday and it charged straight to 100% - typical! This could indicate that our charger is to blame, or it could be a whole heap of other factors (charger power, starting charge level, etc.) Vauxhall has a very limited number of qualified technicians to work on EVs and the one our garage had got its hands on is going on unexpected leave tomorrow, with no resolution found as yet. The service department person seemed more pissed off than me. Marginally.

A suivre...

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1
(Release build 20190129)
PHP: 7.3.33 Page Time: 0.020s Queries: 15 (0.007s) Memory: 0.9373 MB (Peak: 1.2291 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2022-09-30 09:25:37 UTC