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Trying to Convince Myself an EV is Right

  • 06-06-2023 7:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    I will try to keep this concise as I attempt to deal pragmatically with numbers in my head and avoid the bias of just wanting an EV.

    I have a 40km commute and a 2018 PHEV, which will cover that in warm weather or around 35km in colder weather. I rarely drive over 250km a week (commute plus extras). I drive much less during the Summer, so most of the 15,000km I have driven the car since purchase happens from September to June.

    My VW app reports that a 4264km patch of driving from December to Feb (ish) used:

    • 11.8kWh/100km (115 euro at 23 cent per kWh*)
    • 2.7l/100km (182 euro, at 1.60 per litre)

    *My charger reports that 728kWh was used during those dates, so I think that is 167 euro for the electricity instead of 115.

    The maths looks to be 8 cents per KM with my PHEV: (167+182)/4264, is that right?

    I am using rough cost calcs, I understand. I have had the car for 15,000km over 15 months.

    The air-con leaks, and there is noise from the front over bumps. The door seals need replacing. All are simple bread-and-butter fixes considering the car is at 205,000 km, but I am considering costs here.

    I paid 180 to have the aircon regassed with dye to find the leak as the vacuum test was inconclusive; I'd say I still have 400ish euro to go to resolve the aircon, assuming it is a condenser replacement. The shock absorbers are another couple to a few hundred (but that is guesswork, I don't know what is causing the noise). Door seals are simple, but again a cost.

    My biased maths says that the loan repayments on the PHEV plus the upcoming aircon and shock absorber maintenance spread across 12 months would almost equal the cost of the topped-up loan to get the EV I like the look of. I assume the car would need more work next year, but the car is in good shape, considering. The timing belt is a while off yet. Tyres are next year too.

    My context is that I have been paying a car loan since 2016. This is my third car, and I am fortunate that I could sell the previous two and clear the loan each time with a couple thousand left over each time. Given the issues with the current car, I would not want to sell it privately, so I would trade it in. Trade-ins valuations are more than what is left on my personal loan (not a car loan btw). If I were to go for an EV, I would top up my existing loan rather than go through dealer finance. I feel as if I have basically need leasing a car since 2016 since I have always been able to sell each car for more than what is left on the loans.

    Pragmatically speaking, I don't do enough driving to justify the 200 euro per month extra for the EV I am interested in. EV efficiency gains would not reduce the electricity cost too much, and the petrol cost savings are not colossal. The ID3 is due a price plunge, I feel, so I may not get out of the ID3 with a car that is worth more than the remaining loan in a few years time.

    Man wanting a new toy speaking, the ID3 with good spec would be good, but I come from a Passat Estate, and I tend to use the boot enough to miss it. I tend to think an ID4 is where it is at, but the small battery version seems too small, even if I do not drive all that much. The second car in the family is an ICE, so that will do holidays but I would prefer if any EV I could get could comfortably do holidays without worrying about charging. For instance, a recent holiday to an AirBnb 180km away left us over 30 minutes from a public charger and with an AirBnb host who probably would not have allowed me to hook up a three pin plug to an extension cable.

    My logic is not foolproof but is leaning towards keeping the Passat. I just feel ages away from being in a position to do what I would want to do and get an EV. Used prices are steep and the cars too small.

    Thanks for the advice!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,655 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Everyone changes cars, some go down the spreadsheet route to try make it seem like a sound financial decision, it rarely is. Others just like the idea of a new car and go for it.

    I came from an audi a6 to a cupra born (which you should take a close look at if you are looking at id3) and it didn't really make financial sense, but I wanted an ev so I went for it. Audi was causing small bit of trouble at 8 years old but the cupra cost 20k on top of the audi which will be a long time recouping but I'm part of the revolution now and enjoying it.

    Take a spin in whatever you think you might buy and decide if you're a spreadsheet person or not, I feel you might be

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,265 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    As a family with 2 EVs I don't want to push. I suppose reliability enters into it, but a five year old car should not have major issues. Mainly do want to flog it now or how much will it depreciate over the next 4 years? Will it then be a big leap to getting a new EV? At some stage you and all other drivers will make that move.

    I've seen some reports favourably comparing the Cupra Born to the id3, better level of trim etc. Built on the same chassis.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,115 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I think used EV prices are going to start going down dramatically this year. So keep an eye out and you might get lucky on an ID.4

    I will say if you're used to Passat Estate boot space then not much compares, those things are like a TARDIS for internal space

    The ID.4 is definitely the closest you'll get from VW at the moment, and I can confirm it will happily handle plenty of luggage and haul it anywhere in Ireland or Europe. Having driven 900km in a day, the weak point is definitely the driver rather than the car

    Perhaps one option is to sell the car to a dealership for cash and then buy a car privately, you'll definitely get a worse trade in but generally the lower price for buying private might offset that

    I'm also going to throw out a slightly sideways option if you're looking to get running costs down, get solar panels. Big investment I know, but they do get that nasty electricity bill under control and if you're able to leave the car plugged in during the day then you can charge for free. By your math it would roughly halve your cost per kilometre

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    Thank you for the posts so far. I agree with the sentiments and understand the suggestions so far.

    Another option is to deal with the aircon and suspension noise and sell privately. My only issue selling privately now is I'd find it difficult to sell. I'm sure I'd get my money back and a bit more of I solved those issues.

    I didn't think of the Born as I thought they'd be too new. A quiet car matters to me. The Citroën eC4 was attractive from that point of view. If I do have to downsize, I'd push for a quieter car. The Born seems to have the acoustic glass as standard. I'll look into it, thanks!

    Fixing up the car would put me closer to mid to late Summer, by then hopefully I can sell it fast and take advantage of a used car price drop. Speculating, of course.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,265 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    EVs aren't silent, but the generated noise can be turned off in some.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,211 ✭✭✭alan partridge aha

    Buy a 2019 Octavia estate diesel with low mileage from a Skoda dealer. 2 year full warranty/breakdown with option of 3rd for €350. Nearly as large as a Passat and 60+mpg. No range anxiety as they'll do 1200km.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    I'll pass, I'd be visiting filling stations too often in that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,211 ✭✭✭alan partridge aha

    Really once every 5 weeks, hardly very often. You'd get a 2020 with low mileage for 23-25k.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    I've a third-ish of a tank, so that's August before the next fill up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,246 ✭✭✭User1998

    Why can’t you sell privately? Its only air conditioning and some self diagnosis on the shocks. Let the new owner deal with it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,246 ✭✭✭User1998

    OP has a PHEV and is considering an EV. Why would they buy a diesel?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    Ahh he knows what he's doing.

    On your other question, I just assumed that I'd get less that trade in price if it had faults. I didn't put too much thought into it really. Good question, it may be a middle ground if I get the right offer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,211 ✭✭✭alan partridge aha

    I know what your saying but an EV of the size they want are mental money.

    Costing at current prices 7.5cent/km, plus on low mileage t belt not needing change for 4 years by the op annual mileage. And you have the versatility of an estate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,949 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    You're overthinking the equation, I would suggest.

    It's all about one question. And that is;

    Which type of vehicle is going to see the greatest rise in both purchase cost and running cost over the next few years, simply down to a scarcity induced by it's own ubiquity?

    And that is further affected by the scarcity that will arise in charging module components and highly volatile mains electricity costs too.

    No prizes for guessing, the EV.

    Go ahead and trade in your PHEV and buy a self-charging hybrid or an MHEV with a petrol motor. By the time its fit for the scrapper in ten years, the way the wind is blowing on EVs will be well settled.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    Forget the spreadsheet. Get what you want. 50 quid a week extra for a little bit of happiness which doesnt involve drugs and hookers....sounds like a good deal to me.

    Stay Free

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭Klopp

    I can't decide between an EV or PHEV/Hybrid. I have looked at ID.4, Cupra Born, BMW330e, and Audi A4. I don't do much mileage now, the odd roundtrip of 500km every few months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,912 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    If you switch over to EV, using 15000 km and 15 kWh per 100 km for EV driving, your only going to save 600 euro.

    I would concentrate on car costs, depreciation and maintenance, its nice to say the car cost me nothing or I lost nothing on it, there are deals out there if your ready and willing to act fast.

    If me I would be searching and be ready to pounce when a deal comes up, any loss on your present car could be made up by a saving on the new car.

    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,613 ✭✭✭MojoMaker

    Or you can stop focusing on the financial aspects entirely (not saying ignore them, just look beyond them) and realise that EVs are nicer to drive, more responsible to own, have much higher utility to the owner, contribute negligibly to traffic pollution, and modern tech & entertainment that will give you more than simply a driving reason to climb inside.

    Or you can spend the same on a new diesel and have none of the above, and it will only cost you every time you pull into the forecourt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭Klopp

    My budget would be 45K. The PHEVs are limited but for me, I am not sure if going full EV makes sense. If I don't go EV, I would be happy with either a Phev or a hybrid. The 330e is nice but would be concerned about the reliability. I do the occasional long roundtrips of 500+.

    I don't want to detract from the OP thread.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,477 ✭✭✭eagerv

    Would you not look at the Tesla Model 3? After the grant reduction next month it should be coming in around €41.8k, great value still and shouldn't suffer high depreciation, but who is to know with Tesla's recent history.

    And the Tesla Supercharging usually makes the odd long trip easy, also well priced now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 315 ✭✭Stevie2001

    I don't think a Tesla M3 can beat for 40k myself, 330e is nice but too expensive, you'd get an Model 3 performance for that money, which would leave a 330e eating dust

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭Klopp

    I am not a fan of Tesla models. I have tried, I just find it hard to warm to them.

    It is more about the practicalities than speed for me. I really like the 330e but I agree they're expensive price wise when comparing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    Thank you for that. Even a 600 saving could take the edge of increased monthly payments, but it is a relatively minimal saving. I very much am the perfect 40km range PHEV candidate. If I still had my C350e, I would jump straight into a full BEV.

    Besides depreciation and regular maintenance, I do not see the PHEV costing me big money in the next few years. I feel happy as long as it can clear the loan if I sell it. I would be less comfortable with a used BEV's ability to clear the loan after a few years.

    One thing I never considered until today is that a PCP deal on a new car would result in similar monthly repayments. Given that I tend to sell cars after 2 or 3 years and clear the loan, is that the same logic as a PCP and then handing the car back before the balloon payment?

    edit: I had a bit about a new Born being lower monthly than my current loan. The finance calculator was buggy was giving me high deposit percentage figures when I had the lowest selected.

    Yes, exactly. I am certainly trying to lean towards the spreadsheet rather than this feeling.

    That said, getting a diesel is not on the cards at all. I am not sure why Mr Partridge suggested that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,661 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Main issue with full EV is trying to public charge when going on a trip beyond the home charger and EV battery range. Most big battery EVs will go 300-400km range motorway driving but that's only 150km from home. If you travel more than 150km from home then you need to public charge to make it back. Public chargers can be busy at peak times with 1+ hour queues and a 30-45 minute charging time. I estimate there is only 1/3 enough public 50kW+ chargers in ROI and in the next year the ratio of EVs to public chargers won't get much better. If you plan your trip well and plan charging stops it can work but it can also be a right pain. Try pick hotels with chargers, try get a car with a big battery and fast charging, try to aim for ionity or Tesla chargers and try avoid ESB sites if you can.

    Only you can answer the question on what's best, and beware depreciation of EVs is an unknown number, similar to ICE, but rumours are VW have lots of EVs unsold and are trying to get rid of stock. This could impact all owners if used prices so drop when new prices are so high.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭Casati

    It sounds like you have a lovely car - assume its a GTE?

    Get the small issues fixed and enjoy it until at least when you have it paid off. With your small mileage there is of course no reason why you couldn't hang onto it for many years and enjoy the best of both worlds not having to pay big money to public charge and all the hassle that can go into it but yet take advantage of your night rate for most of your driving

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,211 ✭✭✭alan partridge aha

    Why is it not, environmental issues or financial. I gave you a breakdown of costs which is good, an estate car which you like. Not too expensive to buy with a full 3 year warranty. Ticks alot of the boxes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    I appreciate that, but a diesel estate makes little sense in this context. The VAG TDI will do 6.4/100km at best in my experience, and not the 4.7/100km that your 60+ MPG figure would equal. If I just used my Passat GTE in hybrid mode, with a very low battery and letting it "self-charge", I get 5.5l/100km.

    The TDI best case of 4.7/100km would mean a similar petrol + electric cost if I use current diesel prices, but I forget diesel was last Winter. With MPG figures based on my experience, running a diesel would be 200 euro more expensive for that 4264km I travelled last Winter, again using current diesel prices.

    Since February, the warmer weather means I get around 27 weeks to a tank of petrol, rather than the five weeks on a tank of diesel (at best). Since discovering this, I only top the car up every few weeks to keep it out of the warning light level. I am not being funny, but I genuinely can't remember when I topped it up last.

    Again, I appreciate your effort to help me out, but we will have to agree to disagree on whether a diesel was an appropriate suggestion for this thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭GTE

    Yes, it is a GTE. I think you have summed it up well. I will get the issues fixed, which will allow me to sell privately for better money and better conscience. I will keep an eye on the used market over the Summer. I see an ID3 Tech for 34k which is tempting given its a Tech model, but an ID4 would suit me better.

    Thanks for the tips all. The PHEV is working too well to justify a jump to a BEV, but I sure would like to get rid of the need for what little petrol I use.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,912 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    Forgetting where the button for opening the petrol tank flap is a problem I have, last time I opened the boot by mistake, another minor problem was cob webs, I fill up by 50 euro, its not full, just handy for keeping track of fuel use, the beeping on my car starts around 90 km and more beeps when its down to 60 km, its at that stage that I stick another 50 euro into it, I could not justify the switch to EV either, what money I spend on fuel does not make the expense or gamble of charging worth it.