Really want to get an EV - good idea? Too much work?

While it has a noticeable impact on your electric bill, the impact on your gasoline bill is greater. The costs are not equal. The cost to go 1000 miles on gasoline is much higher than the cost of electricity to drive an EV 1000 miles. If someone doesn’t have to out drive the range, an EV is a very good option. But for most people, an EV is at most a second car used exclusively for commuting. Mrs JT works ant a community pre-school and has a very short commute. She could easily get by on an EV but would have to depend on friends to drive every time they go shopping at the outlets.

This is not a good idea for an apartment dweller. The only charging mode you’ll be able to use at home on the Leaf is the “trickle charge” mode that uses a 120 volt 15 amp household circuit. But the trickle charge mode is “not recommended” for regular use by Nissan, only for occasional/emergency use. And it takes 21 hours for a full charge.

Plus the bad idea of leaving a live extension cord draped across the sidewalk in Boston. As has been said, how long before that expensive extension cord gets stolen? Or a pedestrian trips over it and sues you? Or someone drives a snowblower over it?

Drop this bad idea and get a fuel-efficient small car like a Chevy Cruze or a Honda Fit. I’m all for electric cars where they make sense (ie owners with garages) but this isn’t one of those times.

on the other hand, if work offers free charging, why not take advantage of that free (to you) energy?

Because you should never rely on other people’s stuff for routine mission-critical things. How many chargers does work have? What happens when 1 more worker than they have chargers buys an electric car? What happens when the charger breaks - will work fix it quickly? On the Leaf in the winter, work would have about 1 day to fix it, if that, before the car was out of charge and strands him. What if he changes jobs to a place that doesn’t have a charger? What happens if there’s a power outage at work and the car’s depleted from doing grocery runs the night before?

If you’re going to have an electric vehicle, you need to have the means to recharge it yourself.

that makes sense…

What people in urban areas like the OP need is a charging station on the street.
What I envision is a pod on a pole not much bigger than a parking meter; maybe combined with a parking meter.
There’s a 220V socket and you pay coins or swipe a credit card and hook up.
With plastic if the user or anyone else disconnects the cord the transaction is finished, to prevent theft.
There could be a program whereby residents could request stations installed on their block.

With the idea of street charging stations, as well as charging to the street from apartment power in a city, what is to stop someone from unplugging your vehicle and charging their own late at night, and removing their vehicle early in the morning? Electric vehicles are not a good idea for anyone that doesn’t own a stand-alone home.

Easy to shut down charging when disconnected.

True, @texases, but you still have a discharged car in the morning. I can easily see bored teenagers roaming down the sidewalks unplugging cars just to be jerks.

“Mrs JT…has a very short commute. She could easily get by on an EV…”
Then my friend, don’t be a cheapskate and buy her one, soon. Then the rest if us could get some first hand knowledge and advice from you before we spend the money. :wink:

Also, from a George Carlin point of view, it seems strange that EVs would have a charging problem driving greater distances as older people need an excuse every two hrs to stop and relieve themselves and every telephone pole is a potential charging station. The logistics are already in place. It has to be conspiracy by the oil companies !!!

just as teenagers can walk around now and unscrew valve stems if they want. nothing is totally safe.

I could see solar charged energy storage units built into light poles with plugs for public use

If you need a full charge (4 hours charging time) 6 times a week the electricity cost will be about $15 week, $60/month, $700/year…

Thanks all! I would not have thought of the copper thing, but that’s definitely a problem around here!

@lion9car - that’s a good point too, but sadly at my current place I have to do the shoveling myself…

Sorry, I missed that “50’ cord” part. Not really practical in that case, I’d hate to depend on charging at work if I had something I HAD to do on the weekend/holiday/sick day/etc.

starman1 wrote: “what is to stop someone from unplugging your vehicle and charging their own late at night”

texases wrote: “Easy to shut down charging when disconnected.”

I guess I wasn’t clear when I wrote: “if the user or anyone else disconnects the cord the transaction is finished”.

@dagosa, I have suggested to the Mrs that she could have a new car, but she doesn’t want one. I just fixed the brakes, and the only reason I was able to do it is I didn’t have to spend any money. I discovered that a little caulk will fix the leaks in the rear door, so I can do that. But she will not spend any money on the suspension. It needs new struts, shocks, and probably other suspension work. She will also live with the flakey fuel gauge.

EV, and HEV vehicles are different for everyone. Think not only of the golly-gee-whiz of having a vehicle that runs on electricity, but of your comfort as a driver.

A few years back, my wife and I rented a Prius Hybrid from Budget for two weeks while we were in Wisconsin - loved the car!

Last year, when I needed to replace my car, I tried the 2014 Prius models - and hated the seats. No Comfort at all, and hated the visibility.

When we tried the C-Max Energi, the seats were great. Visibility was great. I’ve had the car since April 2013. I have a 12 mile round trip commute, and there are two 240V (free) charging stations at the supermarket next to where I work. I have the 110 charger at home, and my house also has solar panels.

My last vehicle, a 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander was a great car, except in the gas department - I was averaging 17 mph, and neither the dealer nor a private mechanic could figure out why. at Last Year’s $3/gal for gas, I was putting $50/wk in the tank.

Now, I have a comfortable ride, generally get 3 months on a tank of gas in the summer (2000 miles, +/-) and about a month (500 miles, +/-) when the temps average 25 F or below, and I think the Energi is the best car I’ve ever owned. I put fuel in the tank on April 25 before a trip from Schenectady to Utica, and next filled the tank June 25, 2050 miles. At almost 2 months since then, I’ve probably driven 765 miles, have used 1/8 tank of fuel.

When I got the car, the salesman said to look for between 18 and 24 miles from fully charged to depleted. I’ve been averaging 28 without heat or A/C, between 18 and 20 with A/C, and in the winter with the heat on about 15-16 miles. Then the internal combustion engine kicks in, and I’m good to go. In 2013, I went from July 28 to October 20 on a single tank - 2550 miles.

Yes, I’m using electricity. But my solar panels here in Upstate NY average over 30 kWh of power generation daily, and if the battery is fully depleted, it takes about 12 kWh for a full charge.

For me, this vehicle works, and works well. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not! (my wife drives a Mini Convertible) I have plenty of seating and cargo room, and with what I’m saving on gasoline over the old car, I’m covering about 2/3 of my monthly car payment.

I would recommend the C-Max Energi to anyone with less than a 20 miles round trip commute, especially if there are free charging stations nearby.


“…there are two 240V (free) charging stations at the supermarket next to where I work.”

Aren’t those meant for patrons of the supermarket?

The Supermarket where I work had a couple outlets installed for EV’s use with the expectation that Ev owners (Leaf’s and Tesla Model S mainly) will stop by and charge up while they shop. The big booster of Ev’s in our area encouraged a number of retail locations to install charging stations (in this case a couple outlets built into the base of a light pole) next to 2 marked spots.It’s actually against the law in Washington State to park in one of those marked spaces if you aren’t actually charging your EV. $124 fine according to my friend and he saw someone get ticketed just the other day.