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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Anyone own an electric car?


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46 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

My manager used to drive a Dodge Durango that has the largest possible engine in it. He was spending about $350/month on gas using the Durango solely as a commuter - it's only 22 miles to work (he lives down the street from me).

Last week he leased a Ford Focus EV. Lease is $299/month and he can charge it free at work. It also qualifies for a white carpool sticker. And he gets a $2500 Ca incentive rebate.

Has anyone here jumped into the electric technology of cars?

The Focus is a slick little machine (dependent on taste). The high res dashboard and info screens are really nice. Seats are comfy, and the overall styling is kind of rakish jelly bean style (with an Aston Martin looking grill!)

He says it's very fast and handles great (of course he was driving a Durango!)

Chime in! I may be heading that way...

#2 OFFLINE   4HiMarks

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

Before you buy, look into maintenance costs and reliability. With a lease, it isn't as much of an issue, but there are likely not going to be any independent auto repair shops with the training to fix one of those, so you will have to take it to a dealership for even the most minor repairs. Who is responsible for the cost of new batteries when they go? how long do they last and how much are replacements?
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#3 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

I don't, but Ford is a big advertiser on the podcasts I listen to, so they get talked about. One thing they do mention is the great parking at LAX.

One thing that interests me, and apparently a reason they were a bit slower bringing it to the market is that they wanted to get to the point where they could switch between gas, hybrid and electric models of cars on the fly and on the same line. Probably a smart thing to do.

#4 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

We're both retired and as a practical matter only need one car.

An all-electric vehicle won't work because of the limited range of the car. We would have problems visiting our son 60 miles away. And a vacation trip out-of-state is out of the question.

A hybrid might work, but we only put about 8,000 miles a year on our current car, so the cost of gas really doesn't have that much impact on us, despite living in Calfornia.
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#5 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:54 PM

Yes, we're almost a year into our 2012 Nissan Leaf and couldn't be more pleased. Knowing when we purchased (leased) it that ~85 miles was a realistic range vs. the advertised 100 max. There are some that have gotten trips in excess of 100 but you'd have to drive unrealisticly for that.

I've only charged away from home once and that was just an experiment - not needed.

It's a fun car, peppy and take-off to match most any sports car, quiet and $0 maintainence. The dealer continues to send us coupons for maintenance and oil changes! (no oil, no transmission, regen braking that will probably never wear out the brake pads, etc)

We don't drive a lot of miles and our KWHr charge of ~$0.105 gives us around 2.6 cents a mile.

A friend down the street drives 80 miles a day, recharges at work --the car pays for itself.

Check out the forum, mynissanleaf.

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#6 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:56 PM

Our second car is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. . . 2007. Still no problem with batteries and nothing major from their earlier Prius' line.

I have to drive it once a week to get the spider webs off of it!

Spending to stimulate the economy as fast as the credit cards will allow!

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#7 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:29 PM

CNG is so much more intriguing to me. Honda & CLNE are giving away $3,000 CNG card with a new Civic CNG (In California) so that would cover your first 30-40k miles ($2-3/GGE)

Also its primarily domestic energy, clean, no batteries to dispose of.
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#8 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 04:50 PM

As I understand it, you can get a home CNG 'station' for around $1000, assuming you have natural gas delivery. Around here, it's about a $1.50 per gallon equivalent and the mileage of the vehicle is about the same.

For that cost, my Leaf is getting 57 mpg.

For the $3.80 per gallon at the pump, my Leaf is getting 146 mpg.

We did get a $7500 tax credit off the top of the lease. I haven't checked into CNG credits.

CNG does make lots of sense for any fleet vehicles. I know Freightliner is making CNG trucks and even the car conversion is about $1000 or less per vehicle.

#9 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

CNG is so much more intriguing to me. Honda & CLNE are giving away $3,000 CNG card with a new Civic CNG (In California) so that would cover your first 30-40k miles ($2-3/GGE)

Also its primarily domestic energy, clean, no batteries to dispose of.


They produce that stuff around here. All the gas companies trucks and cars are CNG. If one is in front of you on the highway, I hope you like sulfur, because they STINK.

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#10 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:44 AM

Took deliever on one of the new Ford C-Max SEL hybrids about a few weeks ago, stopped in the gas station for the first time this morning, I use a little less then a galleon a day in gas - my coummute is jsut a tad under 49 miles round trip. Seats 5 and the SEL with 301A package has all the toys a dyed in the wool terchie would want.

#11 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

AFAIK there are no longer any Fed Tax Incentives for CNG. You get free HOV access here in California.

The big question becomes when does your state start billing road taxes for these new fuel delivery systems that forgo them?

As far as smell you're not going to get any from a vehicle burning it anymore than your stovetop
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#12 OFFLINE   BubblePuppy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:20 PM

The big question becomes when does your state start billing road taxes for these new fuel delivery systems that forgo them?


The states won't call it "road taxes", it will be called yearly "Impact Fees", like Florida has when you bring in a car from out of state and register it ( a one time IF).
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#13 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

But it is coming. People are buying these vehicles assuming they can get GGE for $1.50 in their home. Or whatever their Electricity Rate is, while the average gallons of gas adds in 50 cents in taxes.

I would also expect that to increase once you factor in the wear and tear on the nations hwy system = miles driven not MPG.
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#14 OFFLINE   BubblePuppy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:38 PM

But it is coming. People are buying these vehicles assuming they can get GGE for $1.50 in their home. Or whatever their Electricity Rate is, while the average gallons of gas adds in 50 cents in taxes.

I would also expect that to increase once you factor in the wear and tear on the nations hwy system = miles driven not MPG.

If the government could get away with taxing the air we breath it would. Nothing shall go untaxed.
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#15 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:00 PM

Has anyone calculated the total cost of going all-electric or hybrid -- the special charger, electricity used, battery maintence/replacement over time, and likely service panel wiring upgrade? Even after the initial investment, there will be ongoing costs to be factored in that is (seemingly) being glossed over.

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#16 OFFLINE   TBlazer07

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Yea, I have an electric Corvette. I let my grandkids and her friend use it. ;)



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#17 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

Has anyone calculated the total cost of going all-electric or hybrid -- the special charger, electricity used, battery maintence/replacement over time, and likely service panel wiring upgrade? Even after the initial investment, there will be ongoing costs to be factored in that is (seemingly) being glossed over.


I did a lot of those calculations before I bought a hybrid in 2007 and then the Leaf in 2011 and basically concluded that I don't want to be sending my money to countries that are trying to destroy our way of life.

Priuses from the early 2000s still have no battery replacement problems. Used batteries from all electrics can be recycled and used in lower capacity requirements like solar panels, substations, etc. and have a second life.

I did have to add a sub-panel and home charger for the Leaf . . out of pocket was about $600 after rebates. Thank you all for your contribution!

We don't drive it a lot since we both work at home but a neighbor down the street replaced a $400 a month gas bill for commuting. . . the car basically pays for itself.

We're paying about 2.5 cents per mile for electricity and 0 maintenance $ for the car. I'm sure the overall analysis isn't that positive, but there are lots of hidden costs in gas powered vehicles that we'll all end up paying for.

Fortunately I've never had to analyze the overall cost of a car. . . in fact, I've considered lately selling the hybrid that sits in the driveway 90% of the time and renting a car when we need to travel outside the range of the Leaf.

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#18 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:19 AM

Has anyone calculated the total cost of going all-electric or hybrid -- the special charger, electricity used, battery maintence/replacement over time, and likely service panel wiring upgrade? Even after the initial investment, there will be ongoing costs to be factored in that is (seemingly) being glossed over.


Can only speak for the C-Max Hybrid, but the all electric version is covered in the manuals. I did a lot of research prior to commiting to the C-Max

The standard charger is 120 Volt and only requires a dedicated 20 Amp circuit. The optional is the 240 volt that requires a special circuit. The main difference is charge time, the 240 volt will fully recharge the car in about 4 hours

The batteries are covered for 8 years / 100K, average replacement cost is about 3,600 minus the core credit which can by up to 1,500. There are documented reports out there of 300K Ford Escape Hybrid taxi's and a few 215K Prius's

Have had my C-Max for 5 days now, my majority of driving is to and from work at 60 miles round trip, gas gauge has not come off the full mark, the trip readout summary on the dashboard shows I have used .7 gallons of gas so far, had a Ford Escape prior and would be down close to a 1/2 tank for the same 3 days.

I do keep a detailed spreadsheet on my cars because of leasing, if the thread is still going at the end of a full month of driving I will post the comparision between the Ford Escape and C-Max.

#19 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:46 AM

Since April, I've kept track of all expenses (except insurance) for my 2002 Camry on an iPhone App (GasCubby). Including the recent (and rare) $800 repair bill (brakes, tires and nother normal wear and tear), I've spent $2,640.56 (I paid off the loan last year so there's no monthly car payment in there). The gas part of the bill is $1,485.87 - averaging $7.63/day and my driving is overwhelmingly my 60-mile round-trip commute. 29.3 MPG.

Right now I can't afford to spend $400-$500/mo to save $100+/mo on gas. When the Camry finally starts to fall apart, though, I'm looking at something like the C-Max plug-in hybrid or the Chevy Volt.

There are things people never expected in some of the acid tests (like when hybrids were turned into taxis). Like ho regenerative braking seems to TRIPLE the lifespan of your brakes. I kinda like the idea of only having to go through that major expense ONE THIRD as often.. Reduced wear on the engines so the timing belt or water pump doesn't break down as often..

Of course when I buy a car, my habit is that I keep the car until it just can't perform anymore. I don't buy cars "on a schedule". If someone is more into buying a new car every 3 years, their decision would most likely be different.

#20 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:21 AM

According to my manager, his Focus batteries have a full replacement guarantee for 10 years. I don't know what failure would be required to get them replaced. Do they lose their ability to hold a charge after 5 years?

There's no maintenance, just normal wear and tear of mechanical parts and electronic failures.

I just calculated my last months gas cost and it was $245. That's basically commuting 50 miles round trip plus a trip to choir practice and an occassional trip to the store. My car is 14 years old with about 205,000 miles.

The $299 lease is the fuly loaded version. Chop off some for non-leather. That's about the only option.

It sure is tempting...




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