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Thinking of Buying an Electric Vehicle? Here's What You Need to Know About Charging

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by MULTIZ321, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Thinking About Buying an Electric Vehicle? Here's What You Need to Know About Charging
    By Nathan Bomey/ USA Today/ Money/ Cars/ usatoday.com

    "When Macy Claprood was making the commute to Miami for her summer job, she glanced at the instrument panel in her Nissan Leaf and realized she had to fill up — on electricity.

    Claprood, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, had to stop halfway at a mall parking lot to top off the batteries in her electric car.

    She didn’t have a choice “because I wasn’t going to make it,” she said.

    Every driver who decides to go electric faces the same anxieties about charging. It’s the more complicated part of owning an electric car, especially since outside the home garage, charging stations can be few and far between.

    The good news is that powering up is only going to get easier and more convenient. Plus, there’s the payoff: the money saved by not having to buy gasoline.

    [​IMG]
    Ninad Huilgol plugs his Model S into one of Tesla Motors' new "Supercharger" stations at the factory in Fremont, Calif., (Photo: Anda Chu, AP)


    Richard
     
  2. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    When we purchased our Smart car the salesman tried to talk us into an electric one. Since we live out in the country it didnt make any sense for us as when you run out of battery power you cant call CAA/AAA or a neighbour for a can of power like you can with gas. We have a truck (F-350) that came propane powered from the factory. We had to get it converted to gas for the same reason when we moved up north.

    We are seeing lots of charging stations being installed in the towns/cities near us, even in Shopping plazas, that have no where to pay for the electricity used to charge the car. I'd like to know why the owners of electric cars can get a free top up but those same places wont give me any free gas for my car!


    ~Diane
     
  3. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Because, like a drug dealer offering a “taste”, they want to get you hooked.

    Today the charging stations might be free. It’s the consultation for having to go thru the aggravation/worry of finding one when you need it. Tomorrow I’m sure it won’t be free. Once the cars become popular enough, that’s when we’ll find out the true cost of owning one. It’s one of the reasons I won’t buy one now.
     
  4. Patri

    Patri Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    How long does it take to recharge?
     
  5. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I resurrected this old thread because we are traveling with our plug-in hybrid Honda Clarity, and I have been spending a bit of time 'stealing electrons'. We've had it for about 6 weeks now. It isn't a 'full electric'. It goes about 50 miles on electricity, but has a gas motor that will take it as far as it has gasoline. So charging it in the garage at home allows us to do all our in-town driving without starting the motor. We use gas on the highway. Overall we are averaging over 70 mpg.

    So we are traveling and there is no way to charge it overnight. There is a high speed charger at a hotel 1/2 mile away, so I go there, plug in and have a nearby lunch. The hotel doesn't mind. And it doesn't take time I could be doing something else.

    For the curious. Those miles of range the builders claim. (Spoiler alert) They aren't highway miles. At 80 mph, they're about 1/2 miles. A friend has a Chevy Bolt. The claim is 238 miles. He had a meeting 125 miles away and a high speed plug in at the meeting. He used 197 miles of charge to get there and 7 hours only charged him to 70 % of a full chsrge.

    bottom line: if you need to go any distance, you still need a gas backup.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  6. Pathways

    Pathways TUG Member

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    We may have to compare notes!

    Niro Plug-in Hybrid three weeks now. About 900 miles on it already. We don't waste our time looking for a place to charge, just in the garage. 48 MPG at 80 MPH when using the gas engine only. Couldn't believe the low purchase price of this thing!
     
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  7. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    They are still selling 2017's. Our local KIA dealer refuses to train mechanics on hybrids, so they won't allow him to sell them. We went there to try a Ionic plug-in and got that news. Glad it's working out for you. I rented a KIA top end sedan recently, and found its fit & finish not up to the Toyotas we have owned for decades. This Clarity is our first venture into a Honda, but friends have them and have been satisfied. We wanted a plug-in, but our Toyota dealer was reluctant to bring in a Prius Prime, and it's electric range is limited anyway. We could have pressured him into it, but it only gets $2500 tax credit and the Clarity gets the full $7500, which makes up for the price difference. Plus it's a bigger, heavier, quieter car. (Can you tell I like it?). Oh, it gets 42 mpg on gas at 80.

    Jim
     
  8. Pathways

    Pathways TUG Member

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    Was the dealer both Kia and Hyundia? Or was the Ionic used? Haven't looked at the Hyundia. We like the SUV "style". You know, getting older, easier to get in/out, so the Niro plug-in was the right fit. Of course, it helps that we had a 2017 Niro hybrid with over 19k miles so we had a history.

    Adding the plug-in to the Niro was a net $2k, so the payback time should be reasonable, and, for a number of reasons, the plug in is a much better vehicle than the standard hybrid.

    I think the local dealer really drives the decision with both model and even brand. I've talked to some GM's at dealers who if the manufacturer required them to take delivery of any vehicle that contains more than a standard 12v battery, they would dealer trade it somewhere else at any cost.

    We had very little to choose from in leftover 2018 models, but found a version/color we liked. The 2019's are now on the lot
     
  9. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yes. And Nissan, but we didn't want a Leaf. Looks like you got what you wanted at the price you liked. We did too. Good luck. We have a second home 125 miles away, so we needed the hybrid option. I can see the electric infrastructure growing by leaps and bounds. Volkswagen has $Billions to spend on it due to their diesel court loss. All that has to be done is apply, show need, and public access.

    Jim
     
  10. Pathways

    Pathways TUG Member

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    Saw that in the article - Thanks for that link.

    I considered the total electric for about 5 minutes. I think it's useless except for a pure commuter vehicle. in a warm weather State, with a back up vehicle.
     
  11. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Right. When we first started considering an electric, we asked ourselves, "Will it replace one of our vehicles?" And the answer is "NO" for most people. This Clarity is a genuine replacement for one car. For the most part, it's electric, but you don't get 'range anxiety' with it, as range is unlimited. Plus it's a big, genuine 5 passenger car, quiet, heavy (weighs 4400lbs). So can no other maker builds anything as well suited.

    But it's still kinda fun to find a free high speed plug in.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  12. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Got a Chevy Volt two years ago; 55 miles on a full charge in the winter and about 78 in the summer in the DC area, then another 350 miles or so on a gas tank. There's quite a difference in how long the battery lasts depending on the temperature even if you don't run the heat, etc., due to the greater internal resistance. Don't think I'd go all electric, though, because I live in a rural area and have too long a drive to the airport. In the other hand, there's an organic market near where I work that let's me charge for free, plus I get a 1/4 mile walk in back and forth to work. I had looked at the Prius plug in, since I previously drive a Prius, but didn't see much point in having just a 22 mile range on a charge. Anyway, with the Volt, when I pay for the electricity, my cost per mile is about 1/3 of what it cost in a Prius at about 55 MPG. Quite happy with it overall.
     
  13. Chrispee

    Chrispee Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Resurrecting this thread to see how all of the EV owners are doing with their vehicles. I just ordered a Nissan Leaf as our 2nd vehicle for running about town, and am excited to have a driving appliance that requires less maintenance and doesn't use gas.
     
  14. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Nothing from my post #11 has changed. Over Winter, the Clarity would only charge to about 35 miles of electric range, (from 50+ in warm weather) but of course there is always the gas engine so your actual range is unlimited. We always zero out the trip odometer with each gas fill-up. It's been about a month on electric and so far the average is almost 80mpg.

    One pleasant surprise last Winter. The cabin heat is almost instantaneous. It gets COLD here in Idaho. we back out of the garage and the seats get warm and the heater blows warm air within a block or two. Unlike our previous 2 Priuses that have to run and warm up the gas engine for cabin heat, the Honda Clarity has electric heat and A/C.

    Jim
     
  15. buzglyd

    buzglyd TUG Member

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    Bring a sandwich and some entertainment. Charging takes a long time and the free charging spots are frequently taken.
     
  16. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Chris,

    You might want to check and see how many charging stations are near you; in my area there are a lot of free charging spots, but down in Virginia not so many. I still love my Volt; the heat doesn't work all that well when it's on battery power, but when it's cold the backup generator automatically starts so that there's a source of warmth. I get about 50 miles on a charge in the winter and 80 miles in the summer; my commute is about 25 miles and there is a charging staton at an organic grocery store about a 1/4 mile from work, so I usually don't pay for my drive to/from work.
     
  17. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We charge at home (on 120volt- it can take 10 hours). There are a good number of high speed chargers near our second home. Whole Foods, all the city parking garages, several museums, and thankfully near the State Bar Association where my DW volunteers.

    Public charging is still kind of a crap shoot. It's getting better after the Volkswagen lawsuit where they are on the hook for installing a $billion in electric vehicle charging. All a businesses on a major thoroughfare need do is apply to their state DEQ.

    to Crispee, you will probably want to install 220v charging where you park the Leaf.

    Jim
     
  18. buzglyd

    buzglyd TUG Member

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    I didn’t bother to install the 220 because there is just 2 years left on the lease. Fully charged the gauge says 30 miles but I live in a very hilly area so it doesn’t last that long.
     
  19. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We don't see ourselves owning an electric car anytime soon. Where we live there is no electric car charger option. This topic comes up occasionally about how do we get electricity to our deeded garage lots in the condo building to charge electric cars. We will let others figure out while we continue to happily drive our gasoline vehicles. My son's newly built home has a built in electric outlet in the garage right at where the car is parked, that apparently, can be easily configured by an electrician into a charger for an electric car. I cannot wait for my son to buy his next car and for the question to be asked as to whether he is going to go with an electric car.
     
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  20. Chrispee

    Chrispee Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The good news is I already have a 220v outlet in my garage. The bad news is my garage is already full of shelving and bike/motorcycle storage. o_O

    I have a regular coffee spot 5 mins from my place that has a level 3 charger, and from my experience it is available over 50% of the time, so I might try to make that work.

    My commute is only 6kms round trip and we have an SUV for longer trips, so I don’t see this as a big sacrifice. Don’t know for sure until we’ve tried it though!
     
  21. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    I would like to buy an electric for our second car.
     
  22. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    New full electrics are kind of expensive as second cars, but Prius hybrids are good, economical, and dependable buys, and used Nissan Leaf EVs can be found with low miles for under $10,000.

    I'm hoping some builder will come out with a small/midsize electric pickup. I'd like that to be my next ride. One would think they'd notice that pickups are big sellers and most are never used as 'heavy haulers' or need to go long distances.

    Jim
     
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  23. Chrispee

    Chrispee Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We used to own a Prius and it was a very economical car. I’m excited to own something with no gas motor at all though.

    Electric pickups are coming soon (although probably at a more premium price point than we’d all like initially). This one looks pretty awesome:

    https://products.rivian.com
     
  24. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    That small/midsize pickup (whatever the power source) has been long sought after for 15 years now.
     
  25. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It looks interesting, but at $69K before rebate and from an unknown maker I'd like it to 'mature' a few years. To my way of thinking even Tesla is a little risky since they haven't turned a profit yet.

    I like new technology, but not necessarily on the bleeding edge.
     
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