BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - RDB85

So I have handed my car back to the finance company. As we are in lockdown I thought, that it would be best to hand the car back and save a couple of grand, as I had two years left to pay on an HP. Also with some money saved I could use that as a deposit. I work currently as an Electrician, as a Trainee so I won't be getting a works vehicle for a number of years until the boss renews the fleet I would imagine.

Now the journey to work is around 8 miles a day, so I was considering an EV as they seem perfect for the journey, there are three which i was thinking of looking at

  • Nissan Leaf 30Kwh
  • BMW i3
  • Renault Zoe

Has anyone any experience of these cars? What are the service costs etc.

BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - badbusdriver

Are you looking to buy new or used?. I ask because, certainly with the Zoe, there are different purchase options including buying the car but leasing the battery. This obviously costs less up front, but will mean a monthly payment for the battery. And be aware if buying a used Zoe, this can be the case here too, so make sure you know exactly what you are paying for!.

Also, regardless of whether buying new or used, i trust you have looked into where you will be charging the car?. If you have a driveway, no problems, just install the neccessary charger. But if you are relying on local charging points, consider how popular they are, will you be able to get in when convenient for you. With your mileage, you'd probably only need to charge up once per week, but it is still going to be a pain if there are always others using it when you want to.

If you are buying used, battery degredation is something you would need to take into account, even with your mileage. I remember not too long ago someone starting a thread after buying a used Zoe because after a full charge, the range was showing something like 45 miles. But on the other hand, there was another thread a little more recently discussing the drawbacks of electric cars in general and to illustrate a point, a link (drive-green.co.uk/2018/11/01/nissan-leaf-high-mile.../) was provided to an electric car website which had bought a Nissan Leaf with more than 120k miles. As you can see, they checked the battery and found it in rude health proving 88% of what it would new, which is pretty impressive!. With the BMW, you can of course go for the 'range extender' model, which has a motorbike engine under the boot to charge up the battery while driving. I can't remember how much range this adds, but i think it is less than 100 miles (very small fuel tank).

As for the cars themselves, the Nissan is the roomiest being on a par with a Focus size wise, whereas the BMW and Renault are closer to a Fiesta.From what i have read, both the Renault and Nissan are set up more for comfort with a soft ride, whereas the BMW (natch'!) is a bit sharper to drive, also quite a bit more powerful (170bhp if memory serves) than the other two (should that matter) though as is the case with all electric cars, they are very sharp off the line anyway through having maximum torque at 0 revs.

Unlike many on the forum, i am quite 'pro-electric', but unfortunately my circumstances mean that at the moment, electric isn't practical or viable for me. We don't have a driveway, my wife gets a Motability car (which limits our choices), there aren't many charging points locally at the moment. I do use a small van for my work, but i'd need a range of at least 100 miles and my budget would only stetch to an older electric Renault Kangoo which, through having a fairly small battery along with the degredation, would probably be managing no more than 50 miles per charge.

BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - daveyjp

I drove a pool car Leaf for a few years and it did everything you want of a car. Very roomy, very nippy for town work, in the hilly areas of Yorkshire it was possible to take advantage of regenerative engine braking down hills to get back some mileage, being able to warm up and defrost the car before getting was a real positive.

A friend bought a three year old used model a couple of years ago for her 10 mile commute and has had no trouble whatsoever.

BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - RDB85
I would be looking at a used car, I’ve a budget of £16k so I think I will look at either a Leaf or I3 and try both out when everything is back to normal. That’s an interesting point about the batteries I will see if I can get a service plan from Nissan or BMW just for peace of mind.

I have a driveway so charging would not be a problem. I did also consider a plug-in Hybrid but I would suspect they would not only cost more in servicing but also you would have to add petrol to use them, which I think for the mileage a EV would be better. But I am open to opinions on either as I’ve only ever had petrol cars.
BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - Nomag

We've run a 2016 24kW Leaf as our third car since late September last year and now covered over 8.5k miles.

I purchased it used from a Nissan dealership.

The car fulfils its brief perfectly. It is my wife's commuter car and school run special. It is used for a mixture of short runs and for my wife's 50 mile round trip commute 3-4 days per week.

Servicing- Nissan charge I think £199 for a service, but I will not be taking it back to them, as ours is out of warranty anyway and they do very little in the service- change the brake fluid every other service, but any garage can do that.

Charging- we do not yet have a charge point and charge the car exclusively using the "Granny cable" (via a standard 13A socket). I have a podpoint booked to be installed but need to make some changes to our consumer unit first.

TBH, if you can charge overnight at home, the Granny cable is fine for a Leaf, but if you had a car with a larger battery capacity, charging to full would probably take too long.

Pros: smooth, easy to drive, my wife loves it, good burst of initial acceleration and more than capable of keeping up with the traffic. Enough mod cons. Pre-heating in winter brilliant (set timer to the time you want the car to be up to temp for, choose temperature, car starts heaters at the appropriate time based on the outside temperature). You will never need to scrape the car again. Cheap to run - we're getting 3.8miles/kWh, driving it as we would any other vehicle. That equates to 4p a mile on our current tariff.

Cons: it's looks are an acquired taste! Range - fine for us, but realistically, in winter with the cabin heater on you are looking at a range of 60 miles- so it's like setting off in an ICE car with the fuel light on every time! We can charge at work (our own business) so never an issue. Clearly, newer EVs with longer range (and bigger cost) solve this problem). There is a bad design that allows water to run off the windscreen onto the strut top mounts causing them to corrode, especially on the offside. 3D printed covers are available online for very little to solve this issue.

I could not/would not bring myself to spend what would be required for a new EV. However, at less than 11k with 16k miles on the clock ours will pay for itself over 3 years because of the mileage we do. It's cheap to run, A to B transport. It would not be suitable for our only car, but serves its purpose very well.

BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - Avant

That's a really helpful post - many thanks Nomag.

So many people who ask on here for advice about car buying would be hugely helped if they did what Nomag has clearly done.

1 Think carefully what you need the car for: is it the only car / first / second / third? How long are your usual journeys - and if mostly short, how many, if any, long trips are you likely to do each month / year?

2 Work out your budget.

3 THEN start thinking about make and model, unless you're going for a very cheap car, when condition is more important than brand.

RDB85 - an electric car could suit you, but how often do you do longer journeys than your 8-mile commute? If it's reasonably often, think about a Toyota Prius or Auris hybrid (or a Yaris if you want a small car). Much of your regular commute will be on electric power, and your buidget should get you one with some of the 5-year warranty remaining.

BMW i3 Nissan Leaf - Replacement Car - Possibly EV - glidermania

So I have handed my car back to the finance company. As we are in lockdown I thought, that it would be best to hand the car back and save a couple of grand, as I had two years left to pay on an HP. Also with some money saved I could use that as a deposit. I work currently as an Electrician, as a Trainee so I won't be getting a works vehicle for a number of years until the boss renews the fleet I would imagine.

Now the journey to work is around 8 miles a day, so I was considering an EV as they seem perfect for the journey, there are three which i was thinking of looking at

  • Nissan Leaf 30Kwh
  • BMW i3
  • Renault Zoe

Has anyone any experience of these cars? What are the service costs etc.

If you did a voluntary termination before paying back 50% of the total costs, you may have damaged your credit record. If you had a 4 year HP agreement, you might have achieved this. If you only had a 3 year agreement and had 2 years still to pay, you will have damaged it. Hopefully, it is the former.

I love BMWs but Ijust cannot love the i3, it's too ugly and those silly rear doors are a bad idea. So that's a no from me. The i8 looks more like it but again, getting in and out of the thing is a real pain in more ways than one!

The Leaf is a good car and despite HJ's scare stories of battery replacements, you are only likely to have issues with the battery life in very EARLY Leaf models.And even then, I think you'd have to be really unlucky.

It is more a family sized car than Zoe but, if I was in the market for a 2nd hand EV, Id go Zoe every time. The latest version Zoe is even better. Im pretty sure Renault have stopped the battery lease option on Zoe especially the new model. If the 2nd hand vehicle was battery hire, I think you have to stick with that and cannot buy out the battery lease.

Edited by glidermania on 10/04/2020 at 13:18

 

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