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EV's. More convenient than ICE cars?

  • 16-05-2023 11:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 765 ✭✭✭

    I was passing a circle K on the way home from work today and noticed a lot of cars waiting to get petrol/diesel. Before owning an EV I would stop twice a week for petrol. Now I don't stop at all, well maybe for a packet of Rolos.

    It made me think.

    Are EVs more convenient and how many of those ICE owners would ever have to stop at all with an EV and a home charger?

    When I meet people at public chargers, most of the time they are on a long trip or work on the road.

    Are the public missing a trick here and being sold a narrative that EVs are a pain in the neck when actually they are very convenient and much less hassle than running an ICE car?

    Is stopping for petrol a few times a month actually more convenient than a 30min stop at a public charger once in a blue moon?

    I'm doing a family trip to Cork in July and the hotel has chargers in the carpark. What's the catch here for EV owners? As far as I can work out, car ownership is more convenient now than ever.

    This is more of a discussion about powering your vehicle and convenience than anything else. I get that new cars and EVs in particular are expensive and not everyone is in a position to be forced into one by 2030.



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,893 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Simply Yes.

    And thats coming from me, who had a bulk tank in the yard of diesel. Its more convenient than literally crossing the road to fill the car.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭quokula

    Yes absolutely. I used to have to keep an eye on my remaining fuel every day and go queue up and get diesel a couple of times per week, sometimes realising at the most inconvenient time that I needed to take a detour to fill up. Whereas now in 2 and a half years of EV ownership my car is fully charged every morning and I can count on one hand how many times in total I've needed to use a public charger. For 99% of journeys I just don't need to think about range at all.

    Obviously not everyone can have a home charger and some people have exceptionally long commutes that could prove problematic. But EVs are ideal for a great many people - I'd say the vast majority of people have journey distances that EVs are perfect for, and it's the home charging that would be the main sticking point for those in apartments etc.

    Aside from a certain amount of FUD and clueless journalists, I think there is a problem with a lot of proper car reviews where they'll typically take a car for a day or a week or whatever, won't live with it like a real user, won't have a home charger, will drive very long distances because that's what you do to review a car, and will inevitably have to use public charging systems way way more than actual owners would ever have to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 765 ✭✭✭n.d.os

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,257 ✭✭✭MightyMunster

    I agree with the op, if you add up the time spent home charging an EV vs fueling an ice for a year the time saving is significant.

    Was between EVs this year for 2 weeks and had to put petrol in a car and had forgotten how annoying it was, and how long it took to fill up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,980 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Definitely more convenient for me since my wife hated filling her petrol car so would usually wait until I was in the car and then suddenly remember she needed petrol

    Now that she's got the Leaf, I don't have to deal with that. She's even finally started plugging her car in and not waiting for me to remind her 😂

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭LasersGoPewPew

    I absolutely agree that refilling an ICE is a pain in the hole, EVs are far more convenient and I worry more about range in my ICE than I ever have when I rented EVs. My next car will undoubtedly be an EV.

    There's a few reasons why people are reluctant to or can't switch. Many more of which I'm sure I miss;

    1. I think some people vastly overestimate their daily usage needs and thus this leads to range anxiety. They think charging is complex but don't see the simplicity of having a full charge every day they leave their house.
    2. The charging infrastructure in this country is abysmal as of yet.
    3. The barrier to entry is too high for quite a lot of people. Lack of supply and it's only in the past few years that EVs have started to become fairly good and practical.
    4. If I was a secondhand EV buyer down the line I would worry about being able to fix it if something goes wrong with the electronics/battery/drive motor when warranties eventually expire. There's a severe lack of independent EV specialists(if any?) that I'm aware of which fix them in Ireland, thus having to go back to main dealers for expensive repairs. Diagnostics tools for EVs are a closed shop and I believe the EU should legislate this area to make diagnostic tools/schematics open and fairly low cost to buy for specialists( I'm afraid this won't happen because the auto industry is a very strong lobby group)
    5. There are a lot of people that don't have access off-street parking, especially in the more dense areas Dublin and towns with narrow streets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,591 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Once you have an EV with more range than you regularly use (aim for an EV with WLTP that is at least double your peak daily usage) and you have home charging then yes I agree.

    Before I turned to EV in 2016, my way of saving money on fuel - completely illegal but saved me way more than the penalty! - was putting green diesel or kerosene into sub E1k old diesels with a bit of waste motor oil for fuel pump lubrication. I used to fill twice a week from 20l drums, often buying 300l at a time from a station down the road. I did 50-60k miles a year then. Seems like a lifetime ago,.

    But yes, EVs can be more convenient!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,217 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    I'm going to be a little controversial here as I have recently made the move to EV:

    I don't understand how there can be seemingly vast amounts of PTSD out there in the EV community about fuelling an ICE in a filling station. For me, it was a case of filling up when I was out and about and only took 5 minutes. I was never filled with a sense of dread at having to go and fill up and never thought of it as any sort of inconvenience, it is just part of owning an ICE vehicle. Granted, I can now fill up at home or in work but I never lament about the time I "wasted" in filling stations and wish I had the time back. I also don't recall having worried about running out of fuel, filling stations are everywhere!

    Perhaps I was one of the lucky few ICE owners who only had to fill up about once a month but, even if I had been filling up 3 times a week, was 15 minutes out of a full week of time really that much of an imposition or inconvenience? It works out at 13 hours or just 0.15% of the year by filling up 3 times a week. So in essence, by owning an EV over the course of an entire year, you are saving the same amount of time it would take to get perhaps 2 full charges at home in 13 hours but still not be able to cover the same amount of distance in that EV as you would have with Petrol or Diesel.

    Now with my EV owner hat on:

    Yes, it is more convenient to charge at home or in work as the car happily takes on the electrons without any input from me other than to plug it in. I can emerge from my home in the morning and know that I have sufficient range in the car for the day and also take a long trip if I have to. I have, so far, avoided having to use any public chargers but where I have pulled in on a long journey, I have found any local chargers to be unused so I have no fear of having to use one.

    Leaving the charging piece aside, an EV is cheaper to run overall. Servicing is negligible compared to an ICE and generally speaking the EV should fly through an NCT unless there is something seriously mechanically wrong. Insurance is allegedly cheaper for EVs also. Looking at the vehicle from a TCO point of view, it makes a lot of sense to go EV, especially with 2nd hand values being very strong at the moment.

    I think LasersGoPewPew above made some very good points. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding out there in relation to EVs in the general public. Couple this with the fact that quite a substantial amount of the driving public don't have driveways or live in apartments means there is a lot of work to be done to provide a proper public infrastructure for EVs. Price is also a very big barrier to entry for people but this has been done to death on the forum.

    TLDR summary:

    EVs are more convenient for some. If you can charge them at home and do most of your driving on what energy you have stored in the battery then great. Public infrastructure for charging, on the other hand, apparently has some way to go to become as convenient as a filling station.

    ICE vehicles are no less convenient, IMO. They refuel in minutes and carry you further per "tank" than an EV. Filling stations are everywhere and the infrastructure is mature.

    As with everything in this world, everyone has different opinions on the same topics. The above is my experience of car ownership in general (from Petrol, to hybrid to PHEV and now BEV)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭quokula

    I'm not sure anyone is claiming a sense of dread or PTSD, but it was an inconvenience that no longer exists when you have an EV. And it's notable that it's the polar opposite of conventional opinion you see and read in the media which make a huge overblown deal about the difficulties of EV charging.

    Refuelling an ICE car only takes 5 minutes if there happens to be a petrol station on your exact route and there are no queues at either the pumps or the tills. For me the more annoying scenario was a matter of getting ready to start a journey, realising I was low on fuel, then driving around 10 minutes each way to the nearest petrol station (not a long distance, but far side of a small town with heavy traffic), which had a queue most of the time, before getting on with my day about 30 minutes later than I would have in an EV. Yes there are much more convenient scenarios than that, but you never just happen to be in a petrol station at the time you need to refill in the way you'll always be at home when you need to recharge, so you're always taking a detour from your plans to some degree in addition to the time queuing then standing at the pump multiple times per week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,217 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    As I said in my post, this is only my opinion... The PTSD comment was a little tongue in cheek here. I am aware that I have access to more amenities based on where I live and have at least 8 filling stations within 3km of my house. This also goes for the other 250,000 residents living in this area so I feel the convenience/inconvenience argument for refuelling an EV does not stand up too well here. Having to drive 10 minutes in either direction and queueing for fuel would be a minor inconvenience for sure and having lived in rural areas before, it has happened with me on occasion. All this being said, refuelling never comes into my mind as it is just something that needs to be done, whether you have an EV or an ICE does not matter. It may be quite easy to neglect to plug your car in at night and wake up the next morning with very little range and the solution to this is not as quick as popping to the local filling station and topping up in minutes. I have no idea how common this type of scenario is but I bet it has come to people's minds when thinking about buying an EV.

    All I can go on is my own experience and that of my friends/family in providing my reasoning here. I am well aware that not everyone is in the same position as me. Most people drive their cars with little regard to things such as refuelling times or maintenance. We, as EV owners, are a slightly different bunch and are acutely aware of what the limitations/advantages are on a daily basis. It will take some time before the general public catch up and realise that an EV can actually work for them depending on what their usage patterns are.... The problem here is getting them to think of what their usage patterns actually are.

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,628 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    This is where my annoyance for Bob Flavin came from. He tested EV’s for a few days and then moaned online about things that an actual EV owner wouldn’t do.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Depends on your parking situation, I know for most that they will have their own driveway but I live in an area with shared unassigned parking making EV ownership a pain.

    I have owned two electric cars and have had multiple issues with both. One which had to be returned and scrapped due to catastrophic failures, the other will be traded in before the warrantee expires. I don't think I will go fully electric again.

    I also have a hybrid which has been flawless, I get 1000km from a tank on average, filling it generally takes 5 minutes and its far more comfortable to drive. We always use this car for the longer journeys as it saves queuing and waiting at the public charging points.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,980 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Bob's always been a bit of an oddball, he'll talk about an EV positively then spout some BS about slave labour in China from nowhere

    I reckon lockdown fried his brain

    He did get an MG EV for a year a while back and that's certainly shut him up a fair bit about their drawbacks

    More generally about journalists and EVs, I've noticed there's been a dramatic decrease in the FUD over the past couple of years, probably seeing where the market is going and how they'll all be out of work if they stick to petrol car reviews

    For example up until this year almost every RTE article about EVs would mention some garbage about batteries requiring a lot of CO2 to produce and couldn't be recycled. They seem to have dropped that from recent articles

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

    The key word in your post is "home charger"

    Without one I wouldn't touch electric.

    I don't think anybody is disputing they are more convenient as long as you charge at home and don't go outside your range regularly.

    It's not overly inconvenient to fill a tank with petrol either though.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,628 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    100%. They all had to adjust as if they kept down their arrogant path, they’d have no jobs going forward. They had to adapt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 315 ✭✭Stevie2001

    Some of them have a point though

    Thought this was an interesting real world read from Mark Kavanagh, had to be in Tralee for 7pm for dinner, leaving Dublin at 3pm , he had to pray the fast charger in Newcastle West was free, as Moneygall had a queue and had to cancel dinner. He had a full battery but had to do a few things first before setting off and was down to 93% when he left, by the time he go to Moneygall he had only 142km range left and had to do the usual EV crawl, I know that charger in Newcastle West and it's always ICE'd, I wouldn't be relying on that :)

    I'm from that Tralee area myself and Tralee to Dublin in 4hrs is doable in any ICE, to struggle so much in a 65k EV is still surprising

    EVs Ireland: road trip test from Dublin to Tralee and back -

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,579 ✭✭✭MojoMaker

    Except when you're handing over €90 for the privilege maybe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

    Once you have to plan your road trip around public charging it's a fail for EV's.

    Not sure why people pretend otherwise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762

    A range with more than you regularly use... absolutely. My trouble is I regularly do a 550km roundtrip at weekends - and thats a daytrip. Work doesn't matter a jot, its only 60km roundtrip and a top-up at night, or a charge on the solar at the weekends will really help.

    The day that I can reliably do that in an EV I'm switching for sure. Filling up a diesel is a PITA, but you do get 1,000 per go so its about once a fortnight really. Or in reality I top it off in the evening after work - the 10 minutes this takes means that the traffic queue is about 8 - 10 minutes shorter, so its not a major thing for me.

    That said, in the future it will be VERY nice not to have to go into a circle K and go at the crummy diesel pumps.

    But for my and my situation, the range just isn't there yet, and/or the public charging is still crap. Where are the chargers on the Beara Peninsula or on a round trip to Dingle?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭irishgrover

    Owning an EV very largely depends on your use case and your EV

    For the vast majority of people it's easier for some its a pain in the hole.

    I've have a PHEV (BMW 530e), an ioniq 28, a Kia soul (64) and am soon to pick up a Tesla Model Y.

    I do >50,000 km per year, all EV and a log of it same day trips from south Galway to Dublin return.

    I use fast chargers multiple times per week. 95% of them in Athlone Ionity.

    Its certainly busier and on occasion (weekend days, late afternoon) I have had to wait for 5 or 10 minutes.

    However 95% of the time I don't wait.

    But the reality is that I leave my house at 5am, stop in Athlone at 6am for breakfast and a 10 minute charge and then stop again on the way home in Athlone for 30 minutes. This is a bit of a pain but it offset the fact that I like time on my own and by money saved (a lot).

    Main reason I'm buying a model Y is to utilize the superchargers and reduce time at chargers to 10 minutes per return trip.

    So it's not perfect for me, but it's still great.

    For the vast majority of EV drivers it's probably even better

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,591 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Bad planning, multiple charger points on that route with multiple chargers per site. The M7 is one of the best served areas for charging in the country, especially in a Tesla but even just Ionity and Ecars on that route still gives options where no praying is involved.

    That;s user error, not a lack of chargers.

    I do 550km at the weekend too actually, but luckily mine is spread over 2 days (ie 2 return trips of around 250km each and some local driving). My car can handle the 275-300km motorway no issue and charge overnight to do the same thing again next day. Currently I'm actually charging for free* on my solar panels so it's not even costing me anything.

    If I had to do a 550km trip in one go on a regular basis I would have a diesel, for sure, unless there was a convenient Tesla supercharger on the route.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762

    Aye, thats the problem, mine is a daytrip. And often around crappy roads as well in the far flung reaches of the country. Would love an EV, but for me anyway, they're just not there yet. He says, looking at the multiple heaters on at the moment to use up the excess solar power!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,854 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd


    Our situation is that we cannot charge at home and we would rely on public chargers, so costwise about the same as petrol but a hassle in terms of time finding a charger and time charging and add in the time walking from the charger to home, and back, if you charge it on the street 1 or 2 km away.

    For road trips... any holiday place we have stayed have had no, or next to no charging. Whether you take that to be my parents, my wifes parents, bed and breakfast in Kinvara or one of europes largest camping sites in Italy which has 3x double charging stations (6x cars) shared among 3000 plots and literally a couple of thousand cars on top of maybe 1000 campervans.

    The Eurocamp place we went to 3 or 4 times has 700 plots which are child friendly so cars stay away from the mobile homes (no granny charging on the sly possible) and no charging at all on site. Its miles from the nearest big town which has a few chargers but also 1000s of other holiday makers staying at other hotels and campsites.

    We were considering driving to Croatia in a couple of weeks for midterm and charging down there seems to be patchy and often not working. With the petrol car, no issue, not my problem. If I went and got an EV it suddenly is a whole world of research and time wasted and possibly wasting more time on holiday driving in circles looking for a working/ unoccupied charger - and that does not sound like "more convienent than ICE cars" to me.

    If we all switch to Evs overnight I have no idea how thats supposed to work in holiday areas like that. The likes of Galway or Killarney will soon see the same issues and it also will be interesting to see how a couple of dozen chargers there can somehow service 1000s of holiday makers cars far from their convienent driveway

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭sh81722

    There is a 40k EV in the market that makes this particular trip really easy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 315 ✭✭Stevie2001

    It does and I like the M3, if I had 50k I wouldn't be buying those gammy looking VW jeeps like ID4//Ioniq, M3P everytime

    But you still got to charge if you wanna do 120km/h on a normal Irish day of rain and wind in that 40k M3

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭sh81722

    We have the LR that does 350 km in the depth of the (Irish) winter. But there are conveniently located SuCs in Tralee, Birdhill, and Ballacolla on that route so a 10 minute charge, if needed, won't really slow you down much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 315 ✭✭Stevie2001

    Yeah in fairness the M7 does have chargers, even if you have to detour a bit you shouldn't be relying on Newcastle West and its one charger. If author had done the wild Atlantic way/ring of kerry that many of us will do in our ICE's this summer and got in trouble in his EV fair enough, even your Tesla will find that painful, the ones in Dingle and Sneem are always full when i've been and don't think Killorglin or Cahersiveen even work anymore and they slow

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,591 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,440 ✭✭✭✭Danzy

    The tyre issue is one that needs to be immediately addressed for EVs.

    The cost of the tyres and the short duration of them is a big expense.

    It will be overcome in time but it is often not factored in to the ongoing cost.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,591 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    No you wouldnt, it's 299km on google maps from dublin to tralee, and thats easily doable all year round.