Shocking EV News!
The news you never expected to hear.
Now, my fans (both of them), may be about to fall off their chairs and spray their coffee all over their keyboard. Brace yourself for this!
I want an EV.
What?! I hear you cry? The man who's spent the last 5 years moaning about how he hates EVs and poking fun at Greta Thunberg for extolling the virtues of them, actually wants one. I bet you're asking yourself, 'How on earth did that come about?'. Either that, or you're asking yourself, 'Who is this idiot and why should anyone care?' If you're asking the latter - 'Welcome to Irreverent Car Talk'.
Seriously though, I posted recently about the same topic:-
How does becoming an EV driver stack up financially?
The thing is, I've actually been giving the idea of getting an EV some serious thought. After having spent £3000 on maintenance on the Porsche 911, I really want to keep it in decent shape. I don't think it's good for the car, for me to drive it throughout the winter on salted British roads. I also don't think the daily cold starts and short runs will be good for the engine.
You're actually serious? What are you thinking of?
Well I've been looking into a few options. The first question and one which I will have to consult the present Mrs. Stanley on is; should I buy a cheap one for cash or borrow big and finance one? I don't owe anything on the Porsche or the Toyota, so finance IS an option. Buying a cheap used EV would actually be the appealing option, except when you search the Autotrader for Electric cars and sort 'cheapest first' the cars presented to you are are about as desirable as a scrotal infection. I covered this in my other post. Cheap EV's are things like Reva G Wiz, Peugeot Ion and Nissan Leaf. Of these the Leaf DOES look the least awful option, but the sort of Leaf you can get for £5000 looks about as as pleasant to be in as Freddy Krueger's boiler room. Yes, it would get me to where I was going, but it would be an absolute nightmare!
So you're thinking finance?
Well unless you can suggest a cheap used electric car that isn't public humiliation on wheels and pretty much a glorified 4 seater electric wheelchair - yes.
There are a few which I'm interested in. I'll run through them here and tell you my thoughts.
The electric ForFour (Wiki Commons Images) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Smart_Forfour_(2nd_gen)#/media/File:2015_Smart_Forfour_Edition1_1.0_Front.jpg
Now I couldn't consider a ForTwo. I'd really need the flexibility of four seats. Plus points for this model is they are cheap. You can pick a new'ish used one up for around £15,000. Downsides are they look tiny and cramped - particularly in the rear. They also have hardly any boot and a shockingly short range of 78 miles.
Mini Electric - (Wiki Commons) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MINI_Electric_Concept_(37692255256).jpg
I've always like the retro styling of the new Minis. My late mum had a petrol one and she loved it. I think the electric Mini is a really nice looking EV and they're reasonably priced, starting at £26,000. They have decent range at 140 miles or so and probably handle quite well. A downside is they are only a 3 door car, so that impedes practicality. They're also front-wheel drive, which is fine, but the next option is perhaps better.
The Honda e
The Honda e (Wiki Commons)
Any of my followers will already know I'm fan of the Honda e. I like the styling, I like the concept. It looks like a car designed to be an EV from the ground up. It has a nice blend of retro mk1 Golf and futuristic design about it. Range on the e is a decent 137 claimed, but real world testing has shown this to be optimistic. However, an every day 120 mile range should be find for a 3rd car. It's a 5 door, it's roomy, it's loaded with tech and It's rear-wheel-drive. The downsides for the e are that it's only got a tiny boot at 173 litres and it is the most expensive option. New ones start at £29,000 and the cheapest on the used market are still hovering at around £25,000+.
Nice! So which way are you leaning?
I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of A: Owning a 3rd car to protect the 911 from the worst a British winter can throw at it and B: Owning an EV full stop. The last time I was talking 'cars' with the present Mrs. Stanley we were talking about swapping the Toyota for a petrol hybrid SUV. Perhaps something like a Tiguan? The thing is these are really expensive cars and aside from the clean air thing and the fact it can only tow 1300kg, the Toyota is fine! It's built like a tank and it just keeps working and working. It's still in good nick too. That's why we floated the idea of getting a 3rd car.
Of the three on offer, I'm least attracted to the Smart ForFour. The biggest USP for that model is the attractive low price. I like the Mini, but when you look at the used market, there doesn't seem to be much difference between getting a Mini or a slightly older Honda e and I think I prefer the e, despite its shorter range.
If anyone owns or has owned one of these cars it'd be great to hear your experiences of it in the comments!