Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF? - Renault Z.E. Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
Eep
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Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF?

Just wondered what happened with donald's "next EV". Has he gone back to the trusty Vectra?

PS. Heard on the radio this morning that Renault were offering zero per cent on their car. Details below:

48 monthly payments of £188.29
Customer deposit £0
Cash price £15,043 after PiCG†
Dealer deposit contribution £0
Total amount of credit £15,043
Optional final payment £6,005
Finance facility fee £0
Option to purchase fee £0
Total amount payable £15,043
Duration 49 months
Fixed interest rate p.a. 0%
0% APR Representative

†Renault ZOE offer includes the UK government's plug-in car grant (PiCG). ZOE monthly payment of £188.33 per month excludes mandatory battery hire from £50 per month, based on 7500 miles per year, excess miles 30p per mile including VAT. You will not own the battery. Visit renault.co.uk/zoe
for full terms and conditions.

From: http://offers.renault.co.uk/cars/zoe
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 02:52 PM
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RE: Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF?

Hi there!

Not haunting this forum very often these days, but spotted this post on a fleeting visit!

The deal you're quoting isn't near those fire sales end of last year, £5k deposit and a higher GFV.

But I didn't take a Zoe because I didn't really like it very much.

I think that was probably having been spoilt by the Fluence. I still say it is the most sublime of the experiences offered by any current EV.

So what did I do, you ask?

Initially I did, indeed, stick with the Vectra and intended to keep it for a few years to see how EV tech evolved. However, a couple of months on and began wondering whether that was a good or bad position to take. I started looking at Amperas and figured that if long range BEV trips were going to soon be based on pay-for-use chargers then they'd have to charge pretty much the same as fuel costs to sustain them.

If chargers stayed free, then soon they'd all be either broken, or the ones working would be chocked up with people needing a charge. So I began to appreciate what REx might offer. That meant either i3, unaffordable to me, or Ampera. I saw a high mileage one at a price I was prepared to pay, and took it.

REx are getting shorter in range these days not longer, and Ampera is taken off the UK market. It was a bit of an impulse buy, really, but once everyone who wants one has got one I suspect they'll come up for sale rarely, so figured I should buy one while the buying was good.

I might trade it in one day for an i3, if they smooth out the busy ride in later versions of the car, but right now the Ampera is an easy choice because on the basis of the factors I am considering there is simply nothing else that can compete.

I tell you, I do worry about how complicated the car is, though, and its potential reliability. The battery is a very well engineered component so no worries there, but there are so many systems and components on it that I do have some trepidation.

But just over 2 months on and 2k miles and everything is looking rosy so far, fingers crossed, touch wood, etc. I've used 20 litres of petrol in that time, and 10 of those was just testing out the engine and what mpg I get without the battery. I should end up using around 100 litres petrol a year or so, and the battery is so over engineered that excepting a physical fault I can see it potentially lasting the life of the car.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 05:53 PM
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RE: Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF?

Glad your content... like you I could not warm to the Zoe, and I doubt I ever will due to being spoilt (and continuingly so) with my Fluence. I look forward to my next 6 years at least!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF?

Glad you found a car you liked. I did look at the Ampera/Volt but there were a number of things that deterred me, not least the list price. This was more than a reasonably specified BMW 5-Series, and while capable of covering long distances, because it was a strict four-seater (courtesy of the battery, over engineered but uncompromising in terms of design) it made no sense as a family car.

I've read lots of really nice things about the power delivery and ride/handling balance, an aspect of any car likely to win me over, but there was always a huge question mark over their value long term. Neither Chevrolet nor Vauxhall have really shifted any, and with How Many Left? saying just 124 for the former and a little over 1,000 the more handsome latter (bugger all, really, when you consider all the big awards and marketing thrown at it on both sides of the ocean by the then largest car maker on the planet) I can imagine many UK dealers haven't ever seen one, let alone know where to plug it in.

At least with the Fluence, Renault are still making EVs. They still have dealers, however shitty, that know their way around them. And yes, the Fluence is even rarer and has an even worse track record for depreciation, but that's probably the principal reason I decided to take the plunge and buy one. The equivalent 2012 Amperas I've seen on Auto Trader still command five digits, which makes it look bad value by comparison. A replacement in the US that won't make its way here makes the UK model look like a short but interesting cul de sac, so maybe values will become Fluence-like over the next couple of years. I could be tempted yet.

That said, like you I have remained suspicious of hybrid and range extender complexity and reliability long term. For shuttling to and from work I don't need a range extension and I feel completely at ease with pure battery power. Having recently had alternator trouble on one of my other cars, and a duff lambda sensor on another, I do not see me going the REx route any time soon. They still have a place under many bonnets - witness the runaway success of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - as they can run for hundreds of miles, but I'm totally done with combustion on a day to day commuting basis. Just no need.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 07:37 PM
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RE: Did donald get his Zoe or a LEAF?


I largely agree with most of your points. However, I drew a conclusion that the residual values would remain strong because it will always have the engine to rely on, which is a feature the lack of which could easily 'kill' the value of a BEV with a 70% SOC battery. I was looking at prices of Prius after a few years and drew conclusions from that, as I think it will follow hybrid rather than BEV trends.

FWIW, the few other considerations that really drove my decision:-
- an 8 year 100k mileage warranty on all the HV bits. I'd not have bought it without this.
- mine was an ex lease high miler, so in effect had been 'proved' of the tedious faults that can come along with these cars (oddly, then, I was appreciative of the high miles, rather than low miles)
- a good price, and the prospect of 15k miles a year in my near future (which would have been £118pm for the Fluence), so I think better value overall than I could have found in a Fluence
- the mechanicals all look well over-engineered, almost 'conventional' if there is such a thing in EVs, and designed for, let us say, 'average' technician skills, and the battery looks good for decades
- long trips weren't the biggest thought in my head for the REx, but as I mentioned a long time ago about the Fluence, I'd really appreciate being able to burn some fuel to generate heat so I can have high powered heating on. An ICE is a better heat generator than it is a power generator! So I can get 3kWh of electric drive out of a litre of petrol, but also 3kWh of heating. This represents a very big potential leap in comfort in winter, and is little more than electricity alone in price.
- I believe the use of a little fuel to replace kWh of battery also helps extend its longevity by a considerable margin, and a little fuel ultimately pays for itself in the long run by enabling long battery life.

The extra engine to worry about, lug around, maintain, etc., is less 'pure' than a BEV but also provides a huge confidence boost at meeting any 'normal' driving need. In the event of something you need to do, you don't have to 'plan' how to deal with it, you just 'go'. It's not simply a range thing, but perhaps you were expecting to charge overnight but have to make a run out in the evening. Even the i3 rex might struggle with the longer runs, because you still have to think about how you're going to drive the car, when to run the engine to charge, and when/where to fill up the teeny 90 mile tank.

It takes a bit of thinking about to see all of the benefits, and I can see why Vauxhall virtually gave up trying to advertise it (did they advertise it at all??) because it's not an argument you can put to a potential customer in a few brief catch-phrases. They can either see the profound benefits for them, or they can't.
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