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Thread: Electric Cars

  1. #1
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    Electric Cars

    For those that own electric cars a few questions?? Do you like your choice as opposed to having a gas operated one? Would you do it again? Did you have to make changes to your insurance plans, both vehicle and home? If so what? Being there is a higher risk with battery fires from charging and now you had to add a charging port in your house plan somewhere is that a concern for you and did it effect your insurance? Are the batteries in the car warrentied? If so how long? Have you had to replace any yet and if so how much and were you able to get rid of old? Thanks. Maybe we can get a discussion going on electric cars and the pros and cons.....
    John T.

  2. #2
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    We have three plug in hybrid cars at our house. two Ford C-Max Energi's, and the grand daughter's Honda Clarity. No full battery cars yet. My daughters house 6 miles away has solar, a Tesla, and a plug in Prius.

    We charge two of them on 110V, with a level 2 charger for the third. We have already run two 50A circuits to the garage, for future use.

    No insurance issues. The same agent handles all our insurance (State Farm), and nothing has ever been mentioned.

    Batteries are all warrantied by law for 100,000 miles (150,000 in CA) There is an amount they are allowed to degrade over the period. Don't know what that is off hand.

    Battery degradation in our experience has been very little, but I have heard of some types of batteries losing power because of frequent high power charging at public sites. We have never used one.

    My next car will have a plug. My preference is for a plug in hybrid, which erases 'range anxiety', but I may go all they way on one and a plug in on the 'family car'. I will be waiting a year or two to see what is available.

    Our situation is perfect for battery power, as we are in SoCal, have solar, and drive around town mostly. Your situation may vary. I would not even consider it if I lived in a condo in the Northeast.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 10-09-2021 at 4:07 PM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  3. #3
    We have been toying with EV for several years. We eased into it with a 2019 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid and really like the vehicle. We have been very pleased with doing all our local errands in EV mode and having the hybrid engine for trips beyond 30 miles. Our electric bill increased roughly $10 a month. No changes with State Farm insurance. We opted for a full bumper-to-bumper warranty for 10 years and plan to sell it before the 10 year mark. We have rarely used any charging stations when we have driven longer distances. The few charging stations we have seen were in use, and it was easier for us to stop at a fuel station.

    Last year we picked up a spotless all electric Smart Fortwo project for dirt cheap. The owner had driven beyond it's range and drained the battery and left it parked for a year. Long story short, as soon as the battery was functioning again and scrounged up parts, we sold it to someone that only intends to do short trips into town with it and was fully informed of replacement part challenges. You simply cannot get parts related to the EV system.

    We are seriously looking at the Ford Lightening and finally selling our 2000 Chevy Duramax workhorse. We will be watching the towing reviews.

    We are also planning on having solar installed in the next few months.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

  4. #4
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    https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/...tics/v19i2.pdf

    There's a conventional gasoline car fire every three minutes in the USA. There have been 12 Chevy Bolt fires - all 2017-2019 models. There's an active recall.

    https://www.consumerreports.org/car-...s-a3566085147/

    17,000 miles on my 2019 KIA Niro EV last year, 90% within 30 miles of home. 100% within 70 miles.

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....=Electric+cars

    Compare and contrast replies, particularly from those that have never driven an EV, and wouldn't know hot from neutral.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Western North Carolina, USA
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    Hi John,


    Three years ago we bought a 2014 Mitsubishi I-MiEV and love it.

    We had to replace the wiper blades.



    Range with a mix of local and interstate driving is about 50 miles in the winter and

    70 miles in the summer. All batteries have less available energy when cold.

    The battery is warranted to have 80% capacity available at ten years / 100K miles and

    right now is still close to 99%.

    Used EV batteries still have quite a bit of capacity and are being rebuilt, or

    repurposed as home or business backup power systems.

    Almost all the charging is on a 240V L2 charger.


    With the rear seats folded it has a really big, flat space for carrying stuff.

    The wheelbase is longer than our Honda Fit and the Mitsu rides better on the interstate.


    Thanks and good health, Weogo


  6. #6
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    Between my two gasoline vehicles and lawnmower, I usually have about 25-35 gallons of explosive petroleum products in my garage. Now that's a fire hazard.
    Hobbyist

  7. #7
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    I live 6 miles round trip from work. An electric car would be ideal for me but I have concerns.

    - We take a trip (or two) every year to our favorite spot. about 250 miles each way. How in the world do you make long trips for a week? This is in the country and never ever seen a charger at a hotel or gas station.

    Hate to think what is now a few hours trip would turn into days to get there stopping to charge.
    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 10-09-2021 at 11:19 PM.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  8. #8
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    Another question.

    How do you deal with the electric bill for everyone in the family? Say you have a house full of teen drivers all with electric cars. Does the chargers have some kind of meter to gauge usage for different drivers. Be a sweet deal if the kids could all hook in and charge at the house vs buying gas themselves? Or relatives that come to visit from out of state.

    What does it cost to charge a car?
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Another question.

    How do you deal with the electric bill for everyone in the family? Say you have a house full of teen drivers all with electric cars. Does the chargers have some kind of meter to gauge usage for different drivers. Be a sweet deal if the kids could all hook in and charge at the house vs buying gas themselves? Or relatives that come to visit from out of state.

    What does it cost to charge a car?
    Let's assume that you have a vehicle with a 75KWh battery. You aren't going to run it all the way down - you'll charge when there's maybe 25% left or about 18.75 KWh left in the battery.

    But most vehicles recommend that you not charge to 100%, so let's assume you charge to 90%. That means you need to put 48.75 KWh into the battery.

    Now, we need to estimate your electricity cost. Let's say it's $0.15 per KWh. In that case, a charge will cost $7.31. It will actually be a bit more because charging is not 100% efficient. Let's assume 90% efficiency in charging - that would drive the cost to about $8.13.

    Anyway, a charge in this example would be no more than $9.00. Not too bad, even if you have to pay for charging the children's cars.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    I live 6 miles round trip from work. An electric car would be ideal for me but I have concerns.

    - We take a trip (or two) every year to our favorite spot. about 250 miles each way. How in the world do you make long trips for a week? This is in the country and never ever seen a charger at a hotel or gas station.

    Hate to think what is now a few hours trip would turn into days to get there stopping to charge.
    There are a number of apps available, including some preloaded in the car's infotainment system, that show locations of charging stations and directions to them and even wait times, so there may be some you didn't see. Plus, of course there are more being built every year.

  11. #11
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    The obvious answer to Dave's question is to buy a plug in hybrid. Drive daily to work on the battery, charge at home, and use the motor to go on longer trips. My daughters Prius Prime plug in goes almost 40 miles on battery and still gets over 40 mpg on the motor because it is still a hybrid when the battery runs out.

    We have been doing that since 2013 with our C-Max Fords, which are probably a generation or two behind her '20 Prius. We can only go 20 miles on battery, and the car gets 37 on motor. Now that we are retired, most of our driving is within the 20 miles, and we charge up sometimes two or three times in a day.

    The new one we will get will go twice as far as our outdated ones, but I still prefer a plug in to straight battery just because it eliminates range anxiety. Best of both worlds.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  12. #12
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    Mike, your calculations are helpful and appreciated. Now I am wondering about mileage comparison: How far can one drive on $9 of gas vs. a $9 electrical charge? At $3/gal and 25 mpg a gas-fueled car would go about 75 miles. That seems to be far less than the miles an electric car might achieve on a 90% charge, which could be a cost-saver in a household of teens.

  13. #13
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    There's an app/web page that can help you think about trips in electric cars, called "a better route planner". You can enter the parameters for your car (if you have an account you can link it directly to some cars so that it will learn your actual driving habits, climates, and local terrain to make more accurate range predictions). You enter your intended destination and it will plot a route showing you where you need to stop and for how long along the way. You can tell it how much charge remaining you are comfortable with for both your stops and destination.

    We're just waiting for the rebate situation to clarify prior to ordering a new car, which will almost certainly be a Tesla Y. At least in the northeast I'm not seeing any reason it can't be our primary vehicle, we seldom drive farther away than 5-600 miles, and all of the places we regularly drive have easy routes with redundant charging stations.

    It's important to realize that time to a 100% charge is pretty much irrelevant. In reality you charge from 10-20% up to 80% on a trip, which in a Tesla takes about 20 minutes; going from 80 to 100% takes hours. A route from Boston to Cleveland (600 miles) in a Tesla Y long range will have three stops totaling an hour and nine minutes of charging. I'm at an age where I need to stop at least three times on a 600 mile trip! The same trip in a Mach E long range will require an hour and 45 min of charging time along the route. In thinking about electrics both range and that 20-80% charging time are important. More modern vehicles that use heat pumps rather than resistance heating are much less affected by cold weather.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    I live 6 miles round trip from work. An electric car would be ideal for me but I have concerns.

    - We take a trip (or two) every year to our favorite spot. about 250 miles each way. How in the world do you make long trips for a week? This is in the country and never ever seen a charger at a hotel or gas station.

    Hate to think what is now a few hours trip would turn into days to get there stopping to charge.
    First, it's quite likely that there is a charging station you don't know about - check out https://www.plugshare.com/ and search your destination. There are a surprising number of hotels, municipalities, grocery stores, universities, etc, that have chargers installed. They are often small pedestals in non-obvious places, so you might not know they exist if you don't search.

    Second, you say that an EV would meet your needs all but 1 or 2 days a year. It does seem a little odd to deal with oil changes, air filter changes, stopping for gas, maintenance on 10x the amount of parts (typical gas car has 30k parts; only 3k in an electric), brake pad replacement (regenerative braking in an EV dramatically reduces brake pad use), etc, etc, just to support 1 or 2 days of use where the EV wouldn't suffice. For all that additional hassle and cost, couldn't you just rent a gas car for a weekend, if needed?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by John Terefenko View Post
    For those that own electric cars a few questions?? Do you like your choice as opposed to having a gas operated one? Would you do it again? Did you have to make changes to your insurance plans, both vehicle and home? If so what? Being there is a higher risk with battery fires from charging and now you had to add a charging port in your house plan somewhere is that a concern for you and did it effect your insurance? Are the batteries in the car warrentied? If so how long? Have you had to replace any yet and if so how much and were you able to get rid of old? Thanks. Maybe we can get a discussion going on electric cars and the pros and cons.....
    I have a Tesla.
    Love it.
    Insurance was actually slightly cheaper (not sure why - maybe all the safety features?).
    The risk of battery fires is non-existent. That's silly.
    Already had a subpanel and 240V outlets in the garage for my shop tools - I just plug into one of the existing 240V 30A outlets.
    No idea on warranty, but there is tons of real-world evidence that the battery longevity is not a problem.

    Ultimately, I see the Tesla as the "car for people who don't want to fuss with cars". No oil, oil filter, air filter, stopping for gas, brake pads to change (they last forever because of regenerative braking), etc. The only maintenance is adding windshield washer fluid. It drives itself (literally). Incredible performance and comfort.

    For the vast majority of people, an EV will be a superior performing car with way less maintenance and much lower operating costs.

    For a small minority, their locale or use conditions will make charging difficult. If that's you, maybe don't get one.

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