Best EV for me to lease in the next year? - Ford Focus Electric Forum
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

I want to try an EV for 3 years and then re-evaluate getting another updated model or EV from another manufacturer at that time. I want to invest as little as possible cash into the experience.

I currently drive less than 40 miles per day commuting, but it's possible I might change jobs within 3 years and commute as far as 60 miles per day for the round trip and going out to lunch by car. I do not want to invest thousands in installing a 240 wall outlet in my garage on top of the cost of the vehicle. There is a 110 outlet existing and I need a vehicle that could easily fully recharge between 8 pm and 6 am on 110v.

I would lease so I won't need to finance $35-$40K and try to recoup tax credits later and so I can walk away with no resale worries after the 3 year trial. So, I would need a vehicle with a good lease deal.

I would also like to minimize the need to rent a car for trips over in the 120 mile range each way that I might do on a few weekends (maybe every couple months). I might occasionally do a several hundred mile road trip, but it is only once or twice a year, so I would just rent a car for that.
I think the Focus is better for home charging on 110, but the Leaf has the 480 quick charge so I could do a 120 mile trip stopping halfway on the route to do a quick charge in less than 30 minutes. Kind of inconvenient to stop, but not much worse than the hassle plus expense of renting a car. Wouldn't I need to stop for at least a couple hours to recharge a Focus on a 120 mile trip?

Do the navigation systems in EVs have a function to route you by EV charging stations automatically when you want to make an extended drive?

Is there an online service you can use to preview a route on your home PC that will map a route from point A to point B showing the recharging pit stop locations you would need to stop at to complete the trip? For instance if I was in Sacramento and I wanted to drive to Santa Cruz beach one day and to Lake Tahoe resorts on another day.

I think the Volt is out of the running for me because of higher initial expense and I think it already looks really dated like it was styled a long time ago even though it was just released. Looks like a 1990s prototype to me.
Prius plug-in hybrid doesn't have enough EV range to even quite make it one way to work. so I would still be using gas every day. If there is a charging station at work, so I could recharge the car and use their electricity for the trip home, I might think about the Prius plug-in though.

I wish the Focus had a quick charging functionality for mid-trip recharging like the Leaf and I wish the leaf didn't take 20 hours to recharge on 110v.
Maybe the perfect EV for me doesn't exist yet and I need to wait for the next generation of these vehicles before jumping in.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

Quote:
I would also like to minimize the need to rent a car for trips over in the 120 mile range each way that I might do on a few weekends (maybe every couple months). I might occasionally do a several hundred mile road trip, but it is only once or twice a year, so I would just rent a car for that.
I think the Focus is better for home charging on 110, but the Leaf has the 480 quick charge so I could do a 120 mile trip stopping halfway on the route to do a quick charge in less than 30 minutes. Kind of inconvenient to stop, but not much worse than the hassle plus expense of renting a car. Wouldn't I need to stop for at least a couple hours to recharge a Focus on a 120 mile trip?
So "every couple of months" or 6 times a year you do a 120 mile trip. What state are you in? Because most states do NOT have dc fast charging setup, because the standard has not been set yet. Nissan is hoping the standard will go its way, but that is far from certain. At this point "counting" on having access to a dc fast charger would be kind of risky. Even if one is there that does not mean it will be available when you need it.

The simple fact is that for most people, most of the time charging at home is going to be the main way, or at work if you are lucky enough to have that opportunity

The Focus will not be better than the Leaf at 120v charging because at that level you are limited by the 120v supply not the on board charger of each vehicle.

You can get 240v chargers for as little as $340 after the tax credit. It is a pretty straightforward to install yourself, if you are comfortable doing that. If you come home from work and never have to go out again or your commute is not very long you may very well never need a 240v charger at home. However, if you have a longer commute, or you have kids or other activities that pull you out of the house after work you may find the 240v charger essential. A 240v charger should last a very long time.

Since range numbers have not been released for the Focus it is hard to say, but yes at this point 120 miles would be a stretch. You would need speeds below 50 mph, moderate temperature, light load, and easy on the accelerator. It is possible, but as you can see there are many factors to consider.


Quote:
Do the navigation systems in EVs have a function to route you by EV charging stations automatically when you want to make an extended drive?
Yes both the Leaf and the Focus EV have this feature. Also, there are sources on the web right now to show you where charging stations are available in your area. Google Maps, and the Department of Energy both have charging stations on maps.


Quote:
I think the Volt is out of the running for me because of higher initial expense and I think it already looks really dated like it was styled a long time ago even though it was just released. Looks like a 1990s prototype to me.

Actually based on your 120 mile trips 6 times a year and your desire not to have to rent a car that often, which implies you do not have an ICE you could use for such occasions, the Volt or the upcoming Ford CMAX Energi may be just the right car for you. I too thought the Volt rather pedestrian in its looks from the pictures, but once I saw it in person I was impressed with its styling. It definitely looks better in person.


Bare in mind that the Prius Plug In is slated only to have a 12 mile range, and that will only operate in EV mode at limited speeds. The Volt offers 40 miles all electric, and the CMAX is thought to offer a similar all electric range.

Quote:
Maybe the perfect EV for me doesn't exist yet and I need to wait for the next generation of these vehicles before jumping in
Well Perfect depends on what your goals are? If you goal is to eliminate as much as possible the amount of gas that you use, and save money doing so there are certainly viable options right now. If perfect for you is only driving electric and being able to go every where you want to go on electric only that is probably not possible right now, unless you are in the market for a Tesla or a Fisker.



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Old 08-29-2011, 01:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

another website for locating charging stations:

http://carstations.com/



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Old 08-29-2011, 01:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

Another point about "dc fast chargers." They may be "free" for a time but eventually there will be a charge for them. I can see some retailers (hotels, shops, etc.) providing level 2 charging as a perk to bring in customers, but it seems highly unlikely that dc fast chargers will remain free for very long because of the huge install cost ($30K and up) and because of consider cost of the electricity they would go through.

A typical l2 charger could charge 6 cars in a day. A dc fast charger could in theory charge 48 cars in that same time. In a week L2 42 cars. DC 336 cars.

Non EV types will be outraged if their tax dollars are paying to charge other peoples cars, and even as an EV enthusiast, I would have to agree with them.

In short, if you are charging anywhere but home or work, you can plan on paying a premium to do so.



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Old 08-29-2011, 01:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

I will need to do without fast charging since there are none of those where I drive today. Maybe in a few years.

The Volt does what I want, but the price is too high. I'll have to see if leasing at a low enough cost is possible.
I have been having trouble finding what 36 month lease rates or on the 2012 models.

Leasing a Focus or Leaf and then renting a car a few days a year might be a better option than the Volt.
I doubt I would think of buying an EV until these cars are in second or third generations and the technology improves range and reduces cost. Reliability is unknown. The warranty will cover repair costs, but it will still be a hassle if there are frequent repair visits. If they turn out to be problematic at least I won't have to worry about any bad repair history reputation hurting resale since I can walk away at the end of the lease.

I thought there was some law that says third parties cannot resell electricity coming from the local utility companies, so public charging will always be free as a perk to draw in people to buy something else at the destination.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictryer
Leasing a Focus or Leaf and then renting a car a few days a year might be a better option than the Volt.
I doubt I would think of buying an EV until these cars are in second or third generations and the technology improves range and reduces cost. Reliability is unknown. The warranty will cover repair costs, but it will still be a hassle if there are frequent repair visits. If they turn out to be problematic at least I won't have to worry about any bad repair history reputation hurting resale since I can walk away at the end of the lease.

I thought there was some law that says third parties cannot resell electricity coming from the local utility companies, so public charging will always be free as a perk to draw in people to buy something else at the destination.
Agreed that buying any of these cars is something of a risk, although looking at the language of the warranties shows that some choices are riskier than others.

Further agreed that performance will increase rapidly and price will come down, but in the mean time I have driven 11k miles with the Volt and used 20 gallons of gas, so clearly it is a viable alternative for those that want to reduce gasoline use right now. Also, at 32k to 37k after tax credit, I defy you to find a comparably equipped car, with comparable safety and handling characteristics that is significantly cheaper than the Volt. A comparably equipped Prius for example is 3k less or slightly more depending on how you equip and which web site you are looking at.

Charging someone to use a charging station is different than reselling electricity. Companies can and do charge to use their charging stations. Especially upscale apartment communities that are under development, companies are contracting to put in charging stations and the prices they plan to put in place are outrageous.



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Old 03-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best EV for me to lease in the next year?

Quote:
I think the Volt is out of the running for me because of higher initial expense and I think it already looks really dated like it was styled a long time ago even though it was just released. Looks like a 1990s prototype to me.
The Chevy volt seems to be on the leading edge of electric car technology in North America. However Ford is coming up with the conversion of Ford Focus and the arrival of the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf would make the Volt do some catching up in terms of price and efficiency.
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