Any GTAM'ers own an electric vehicle? | Page 2 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Any GTAM'ers own an electric vehicle?

SunnY S

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To answer a bunch of comments at once:


  • The Prius isn't in contention as it's not pure EV. At an average fuel consumption of around 5.5L/100K it uses more gas than a Volt, and it uses it all the time as there's (at least on the generations in contention in the used market, I think the new ones are mostly the same?) no option to drive on electricity alone. Yes, even though the Volt relies on gas as well after the battery depletes, with a Prius you lose those ultra-cheap electric miles, and the use more gas with every 100K of gas mileage on top of that.
  • Last I looked the Bolt MSRP was around $50K Canadian? Even with the $15K subsidy, with no trade (the 300 will have little realistic residual value by the time are done with it), by the time you add taxes back onto that you're still talking a basically $40K car, which I'm not willing to pay as the carying costs vs savings math don't make sense to me personally. There's also the range anxiety that my wife would not be cool with, or the fact that it's not realistic for any longer trips like we occasionally take - I often drive for more than the Bolts entire range before stopping sometimes on road trips, and I don't want to have to wait hours for a recharge, all while having to plan around charging station availability.
Sorry, but electric cars, as of today still don't make sense to "me", yet.

The Bolt at 50k is simply a rip off, and way too small for what you pay for. Same with Volt.

A Honda Accord Hybrid starts at $31k msrp cdn, gets 50mpg (4.7l/100km) which is apparently best in class, far more room, drives better, and eliminates "range anxiety" and the need to install an electrical charger in your house, and bother of plugging it in every night, and you get the legendary Honda reliability.


No brainer here. Unless you "have to have" an electric car, hybrid makes much more sense....
 

Brian P

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Usage pattern sounds about like mine (40,000 km per year for work).

Any normal decent modern run-of-the-mill small-ish/compact-ish car will probably use 7 L/100 km or somewhere near in mostly highway driving. It's about $3000 per year fuel cost - that's what's on the table.

A Prius at 5.5 L/100 km would use about $2400 per year. Whether that's worth paying extra compared to a cheaper conventional car is open to question. If bought with 100,000 km and you plan to drive it until 300,000 km the difference in lifetime fuel cost (with the above assumptions) is about $3000 and that doesn't factor in that the car that's cheaper up front means you're sitting on the cash in the meantime.

I know Sunny S promotes "Honda anything" but the only Accord hybrids that are any good are (evidently) too new to be in the used-car price range that seems to be under discussion here, too few people have bought them in the last couple of years for them to show up used, and the older Honda hybrids DID have battery problems much more commonly than other hybrids. (Honda's old IMA hybrid system was garbage.) The late model Honda hybrids haven't been around long enough, and haven't been bought in large enough numbers, to establish whether Honda has figured out how to manage their batteries.

If you crunch the numbers it's likely true that the hybrids (and plug-ins and EVs) don't make sense compared to an ordinary run-of-the-mill compact car with a gas engine.

It will be smaller than the Chrysler 300 ... but so is a Prius and so is a Volt. I'm making an assumption that if a Volt has an acceptable interior size then so do a bazillion other compact cars that are capable of 7-ish L/100 km highway.
 

PrivatePilot

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No brainer here. Unless you "have to have" an electric car, hybrid makes much more sense....
No, on a cost per kilometer basis, it does not, simply put. Did you read the article I linked to earlier? For reference, the volt, when charged in Ontario overnight costs 1.9C per Kilometer to operate.

Here's the math on a Volt running on electric (charged at night) for ~75K but running on gas for most of the the trip home (at an average of 3.5L/100K), a Prius running in usual Hybrid (at an average of 5.0L/100K), and the Accord you mentioned, averaging around 5.5L/100K. These are based on reported averages from fuelly.com from real owners across thousands of fillups.

This assumes my wife's typical 150K (return commute), and is based on the fact she can get there on electricity alone and needs to run on the engine for the trip home.

This assumes $1.00/L for gas, for simplicity.

Volt: Return trip, $1.42 in electricity, $2.62 in gas = $4.04 Total
Prius: Return trip, $7.50 in gas
Accord: Return trip, $8.25 in gas

I'm not sure how one can say a hybrid makes more sense when the pure EV can do the same milage for HALF of what your suggested vehicle is when you do the math.

The math gets better yet if, as I mentioned, my wife can charge at work. Even on the stage 1 charge (@12 amps) from what I've read she should be able to get somewhere around a 50-60% charge during an 8 hour work day, so she'd be able to make it about (Conservatively) 50% of the way home on electricity as well., so suddenly her daily commute is only around $2.75 total. If free overnight EV charging does make it through the government, her commute goes down to $1.30 or so per day, total.

THESE numbers are why I'm looking at an EV.
 

Brian P

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So there's about $4 per work day x 250 work days per year = $1000 per year. That's what's on the table.

Now, since you're buying used cars, you need to figure out whether a decent gen 1 Volt can be bought at a price relative to a decent Nissan Altima (let's say) that makes the economics worthwhile.

I've seen 40 mpg US from a rental Altima 4-cyl CVT (on a plain highway trip in Kentucky). Hated the car otherwise, but I couldn't argue with the fuel consumption.
 

PrivatePilot

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Yes, I recognize that there is math involved on the "just buy a cheap 4 banger fuel miser" as well, but there's also weekend running around that could be done basically 100% on off-peak electricity vs traditional higher city (vs highway) fuel consumption in any gasser.

The free charging incentives may also bump that $4/day to around $6+ per day, so $1500 difference based solely on commuting, but I'm fairly confident that'd easily exceed $2000/year savings with weekend city driving rolled in.

Assuming we pay $15K for it used after putting a few thousand down (there's a nice 2012 Volt with only 130K on it at Ontario Motor Sales in Oshawa right now for $14K) and we keep it for 5 years, the savings theoretically equal $10,000.

Yes, there's always the battery change expense risk (probably a certainty with the milage we will put on it), but that goes for any hybrid as well, and as mentioned, can be done for a reasonable sum especially as more gen1 Volts end up in the scrapyard for various reasons and supply increases. The Altima you mentioned with the CVT is also a great example of a chronically problematic transmission that could easily rival a battery replacement in terms of expense to repair if it goes bad - and they are well known to.

The Altima, you mentioned 40MPG which equals 5.8L/100K, but again, fuelly shows most people getting a somewhat dismal 9L/100K on average even with the small engine. Looking at trader.ca a used Altima with similar milage/year shows around $13K-$14K range, so for all intents and purposes I'll call it the same as the Volt, but with a considerably higher per kilometer operating cost.

I agree, there's lots of variables, but the math on gas savings (not to include maintenance savings) always works out considerably in favor of the EV when I sit down and crunch the numbers...again, assuming a reasonably priced used EV compared directly against a reasonably priced economy-oriented traditional gasser and both have a comparable track record so far as reliability.
 
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Brian P

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I think the battery-replacement risk in a Volt offsets the transmission-replacement risk in an Altima (and most other cars). Which is the greater risk ... I suspect the transmission-replacement risk in an Altima is bigger than the battery-replacement risk in the Volt. It does sound like the Volt will work out in your situation.
 

Brian P

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I just did some back-of-napkin calculations considering that $14k used Volt that you mentioned - and compared it to (roughly) what I think your Chrysler 300 is costing you now. You may wish to do that back-of-napkin calculation yourself and consider replacing the 300 with that used Volt now ... ! ! ! My back-of-napkin calc suggests that it will come out close to a wash, and if the 300 has a non-zero trade-in value it tips the balance in favor of doing it now.
 

fastar1

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  • Our 300 has got to high mileage (and remains exceptionally mechanically healthy) because I maintain it exceptionally well. I'm still a fan of the 5000-6000k oil change, so yes...for all those surprised at the fact a 300 can make 400,000-500,000K I'm in the "maintenance pays off" camp.
Maintenance only pays off if you keep the car until it rots into the ground, or if you have a collector car. The premium people are willing to pay for a well maintained daily driver with 400-500,000 km is negligible. All your effort benefits the buyer, not you.
 

PrivatePilot

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You may wish to do that back-of-napkin calculation yourself and consider replacing the 300 with that used Volt now ... ! ! ! My back-of-napkin calc suggests that it will come out close to a wash, and if the 300 has a non-zero trade-in value it tips the balance in favor of doing it now.
Right now the 300 is averaging around 11L/100K for the commute (around 9.5/10 in the summer), so yes, there's a big savings to be had right out of the gate if we pulled the trigger now on the Volt...but we are waiting until next summer for the new wheels. Our last mortgage payment is in July. ;)

Ideally I want to pay off the ~$15K in about a year or less (it will take the place of the mortgage) as like I've mentioned here lots of times...I already hate financing to begin with, so the faster we pay it off the less we pay in interest.

Maintenance only pays off if you keep the car until it rots into the ground, or if you have a collector car. The premium people are willing to pay for a well maintained daily driver with 400-500,000 km is negligible. All your effort benefits the buyer, not you.
We do exactly that - drive them into the ground, at least milage wise, and we will do the same for the Volt. Even if it's basically worthless when we eventually sell it, it will have paid a healthy majority of it's own cost back in gas savings, so I'm Ok with that.

That said, on the topic of maintenance, for us in that situation, it pays off - instead of a poorly maintained vehicle that's ready for the big parking lot in the sky at 300,000K we will easily surpass that.

In the end I fully expect the 300 to be a $500 car when we sell it. $1000 if we're lucky - I've been surprised before, we sold our Montana with 450,000K on it about 8-10 years ago for $1K, and I sold our old Chevy Aveo with 325,000K on it last fall for $600. As long as it runs, drives, and stops cars still have at least a $500-$1K value to most people - there's a FB group where I could probably list it for $1K and sell it quick as long as it's still in the runs, drives, stops category when the time comes.

I got a good deal on it when we bought it and aside from regular maintenance and wear items it's been an exceptionally great car - one of the most reliable solid cars I've ever owned actually. We did spend $1000 a few months ago getting the front end totally back up to snuff (ball joints, tie rod ends, other typical Chrysler worn out front end stuff) but that'll carry the car into the 400-500K region, and that was after several hundred thousand kilometers we put on it, so again, no complaints. Other than that, it's literally been brakes, tires, and regular oil changes, nothing more.
 

Brian P

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Maintenance only pays off if you keep the car until it rots into the ground, or if you have a collector car. The premium people are willing to pay for a well maintained daily driver with 400-500,000 km is negligible. All your effort benefits the buyer, not you.
Regular maintenance could make the difference between having to replace a transmission at 250,000 km and sending the car to the scrapper because it's not economically viable ... and not having to replace the transmission and putting another 100,000 km on the car. I really don't care about the effect on resale value, because I also run vehicles until such time as selling for anything more than a few hundred bucks is bonus.

Lubricating brake caliper slider pins now and again is better than having to replace seized calipers. Flushing the brake fluid every few years is better than having to replace an ABS module or a master cylinder. Giving locks and latches and hinges a squirt of lubrication once in a while is better than having to replace them.
 

fastar1

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Oh I get all that stuff and do it myself. I just thought he was getting rid of it prior to its natural death. Yes, even at 500,000 km.
 

LBV

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I've had a 2014 Volt I bought new and it's been a fantastic vehicle and I look forward to replacing it with Gen 3 I figure. My life-to-date fuel economy just went down to exactly 1.00 l /100km per the vehicle display (although per my more accurate Fuel Log android app it's 1.6).

I bought a proper extension cord and adapter and run my level 2 charger from the garage down to the basement (through the hole the water hose piping comes through) and plug it into the dryer outlet. Laundry is done once a week and I just unplug and re-plug as required although someone on the Gm-Volt forums makes a switch box with a lever.

Costs me less than a buck to charge at home and my commute is 25 km 1 way so I'm golden.

One thing to be aware of is using the heater saps the battery BIG time. Heated seats are negligible but using the vents for heat, wow!

In the summer time I get about 75km of range and if it's very cold out (-5 and below) I get about 55km but that's NOT using the heater if I'm alone in the car. I always drive in L unless I'm on the hi-way and I'm sure my brake pads will last forever almost with the re-gen L brings.

Someone made a comment about the ERDTT and I'm not sure what the point was but you can set the temp that the engine kicks in at either -10 (which is what I use) or if I recall -2 or -3.

And the thing has 269 ft-lbs of torque and if you hammer it from a light you are gone!

It is a small car inside so if you're a bigg'ish guy sit in one first.

Anyway, speak to any owner of one and they'll rave about them as well.

Any questions ... let me know.
 

PrivatePilot

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Thanks LBV - that's the exact actual-owner info I was looking to find.

Regarding the heat, that's a concern for sure as my wife isn't apt to be the type who's willing to sacrifice comfort for savings - I know that the vehicle can be preconditioned via a fob button press, but as I understand it there's a way to schedule it as well via the smartphone app?

Like I said, my wifes schedule is predictable so I'd like to be able to program it so that every M-F the vehicle is automatically preheated and ready to go at 7:15AM. Is there a way to do that?

If not, how much of a fuel penalty have you noticed with ERDTT? I know the propulsion still defaults to the electric but the engine rules solely for the heat...so I can't imagine it's a major fuel consumer?

I know the earlier models were less configurable with regards to the temperature before ERDTT kicked in, but there's also some simple resistor mods out there to tweak those settings.

My wife is much shorter than I am so I'm not worried about fit, but I'm a 6' big guy, apt to be a problem for me?
 

LBV

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You're welcome!

You know I wrote a big blurb (just a start too) and just deleted it as it really is too much to type up and properly explain in writing without a good chunk of time ... I'd still love to help you out though. Send me a PM and perhaps we can chat on the phone during the week.

The Volt was probably the most engineered vehicle of all time I recall reading and that means there's a lot that can go on with it if you so desire to look at it that way. Of course, you can just drive it like any car and that engineering will do what it needs to without you worrying about anything except filling up for gas when the tank gets low.

However, if you're willing to squeek out maximum efficiency it's good to know how it works.

Head over here for good info btw: http://gm-volt.com/forum/forum.php
 

EaZ8

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bro in law just bought a prius hybrid and gets 3L/100km on the highway.
he definitely drives it like hes trying to hit a high score on the fuel savings but its working for him so far.

here i am driving a 5.3L V8 and happy to hit 12l/100k...downhill...in neutral.
 

PrivatePilot

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Send me a PM and perhaps we can chat on the phone during the week
Will do, interested to hear more.

Head over here for good info btw: http://gm-volt.com/forum/forum.php
I've been finding myself there a lot with various Google searches over the last many months, so it's a resource I'm familiar with, but I was interested in talking to someone outside a "cheerleader" type forum like that where all you hear is the sunshine and rainbows and seldom the downsides. ;)

here i am driving a 5.3L V8 and happy to hit 12l/100k...downhill...in neutral.
Don't feel bad, I'm driving a 380HP 5.7. In the summer mixed city highway I'm around 15, this winter I'm averaging mid 16's due to the cold, and the best I ever got was 10.9 on one tank as part of a 2000K highway trip, averaged about 11.5 over the whole trip.

The Volt will be a dream no matter what and will offset the piggishness of my car, but I do enjoy that sound and feeling when you push the long skinny pedal. My wife couldn't care less though. ;)
 

mimico_polak

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@LBV - I'm a little surprised that the range is only 55-75km...thought it would be more.
 

PrivatePilot

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@LBV - I'm a little surprised that the range is only 55-75km...thought it would be more.
From what I've gathered 45 to 50 is about expected in the winter due to heating loads on the battery, and 75K in the summer, slightly less when the AC is needed.. but it's apparently 3-4 times less power hungry than the heating.

Of course, the nice thing on the Volt is that when the battery is depleted, the engine fires up and you continue on.
 

mimico_polak

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Wow I still feel like that's rather low. For me, when I can afford one I'd like to have a range of at least 150-200km as that would allow me to get to the cottage, charge, and then come back. For such a small range is it worth it in the long run? I guess if you're commuting, and can charge at home AND at work, then that works out well. But with commutes extending further and further away (with house pricing) out of the Toronto area, I can see more people actually running on the gas motor more often than the electric. At least one way would be an electric ride. Each commute/person's needs are different so if the car works for you then that's all that matters.
 

LBV

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Wow I still feel like that's rather low. For me, when I can afford one I'd like to have a range of at least 150-200km as that would allow me to get to the cottage, charge, and then come back. For such a small range is it worth it in the long run? I guess if you're commuting, and can charge at home AND at work, then that works out well. But with commutes extending further and further away (with house pricing) out of the Toronto area, I can see more people actually running on the gas motor more often than the electric. At least one way would be an electric ride. Each commute/person's needs are different so if the car works for you then that's all that matters.
In the grand scheme of things it is low (the Gen2 2017's will get you 100 km in the summer) but it doesn't really matter because that first 75 km's is virtually free (less than $1). And like PP said, after that the gas engine kicks in so who cares? Remember the Volt is not battery ONLY.

Just checking my fuel app and I've filled up only 23 times over 34 months of ownership ... that's every 1.5 months!!

Yeah I could've bought a small Cruze or whatever for less but what value do you put on NOT having to stop and fill up every week? Plus the Gas Co's have you by the cajones and have no rhyme or reason to their pricing other than profits ... "up like a rocket, down like a feather" ... any excuse for them they'll take if it's to their benefit. I got fed up with it and the unknown back then of where gas prices were headed. What value do you put on the non-existant maintenance really? Not only the $ cost but the hassle of dropping off & picking up or waiting around?

Once you drive an electric car you'll know it's the future and won't want to go back except for a toy (I also have a Mustang GT for that as well as the bike :D).

Regarding far commutes .... the other week I saw a Gen2 stopped at a light near Steeles and Keel and I happened to roll down the window and we spoke for a bit. He was heading home to Waterloo (!) and said he was still averaging 3.? l/100 km. For him, the first 100 km is virtually free. What kind of car get's you that combined?!

The Volt is the stepping stone to a future of electric cars ... it's coming!
 

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