What I have found out about Electric Cars so far

Published by lucy rigley on

The Nissan Leaf

I am very much in the early stages of learning about Electric Vehicles. Having only ever owned 2 cars – a Rover 25 and a Ford S-Max, researching anything about cars is a bit of a novelty for me!

I have joined a Nissan Leaf owner’s group on Facebook to do a bit of research. The Nissan Leaf is the most popular ‘small / family’ sized electric car in the UK and has been around a few years now so there are quite a lot of them about and a lot of enthusiasts. Groups like the one I’ve joined are great for getting information – people ask questions and share information which is extremely useful. If you own an electric car and haven’t joined a Facebook group or forum, then I recommend you do.

From this group, I have found out a few surprising things which I think you’d be interested in:

  • Most manufacturers over estimate the mileage an electric car can do without a charge – for example it may say 120 miles but realistically you get 80 miles. How annoying!
  • Driving in a certain way can make your battery last longer – not going above a certain speed (generally staying at 60 and on cruise control is recommended), and being gentle on braking and acceleration make a difference – I suppose like a conventional car really. 
  • Electric cars fare better in cold climates than warm and the difference between summer and winter is noticeable. Cars in warmer climates tend to need to be charged more often and the batteries don’t last as long – in the UK this is good news for us for once!
  • The Nissan Leaf (and possibly more cars – I can only vouch for the Leaf) is so in demand that people are selling them second hand for more than they paid for them second hand 18 months (or less) ago! This is for several reasons but mainly because the costs of the new cars haven’t gone down much (in fact there aren’t that many good deals around) and the batteries are lasting better (see my next point). However, because of the high costs of the Leaf, some owners are considering different electric vehicles instead – such as the VW E-Golf which again is a similar price to the Leaf.
  • Electric car batteries are lasting much better than was at first expected. This means not only are the cars then keeping their value better, but people are starting to seriously consider electric cars who wouldn’t have done before. Why would someone buy a second hand car for £8k when you needed to spend almost that on a battery once it reached the end of its life? Most people opted to lease a battery instead, but battery costs seem to be depreciating too which means ownership may rise – good news!

If you have owned an Electric car for some time, I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this or anything else I blog about. 

The VW E-Golf

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