Electric cars-Conversions

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Peter.N. wrote:Ah well. I shall be dead by then, I enjoyed my motoring when there were very few cars on the road and no speed limits. :wink:
I'm really torn.

Half of me is really impatient for cost effective long range, fun to drive EV's to arrive, (apart from the cost effective bit, they have already!) and having an electronics background I am perfectly comfortable with the increase in electronics and decrease in mechanical's that an EV affords! I am also very happy about the reduction in pollution, reduction in servicing costs and elimination of many points of failure that an ICE car has. It's the way of the future and I'm confident that the changeover will happen well within my driving life time. (I'm "only" 41)

On the other hand I am actually already finding myself feeling pangs of nostalgia for classic Petrol (not Diesel!) cars including my Xantia, even though I am still driving it and haven't even owned or driven an EV yet! :lol: In some ways a modern petrol engine is a marvel of engineering, although it has taken them 100 years to get to the degree of refinement and reliability they have now. I grew up on 70's cars like the Citroen GS (my first car) which didn't have any computers, and only the most basic points kettering ignition system. I don't think it even had a radio.

I enjoyed learning about the mechanical's, how to fix and maintain them myself (although I'd never say that I was "good" at mechanical work, I still struggle with some jobs you guys seem to find easy) and the cost savings and satisfaction of doing it yourself, especially when you're young with lots of time on your hands and no money!

However I seem to be reaching that stage of my life already where I just don't have the time to spend maintaining an old car as a daily driver. Having a 10 month old son might be part of the reason ;) but having a house that still needs renovation work doing is probably another... point is as much as I love my Xantia and the hands on repair and maintenance work, having to do it to keep an old daily driver and only car on the road is somewhat stressful and not nearly as enjoyable as the work could be if it was done under less urgency. (Must get the car back on the road before Monday and work in the rain to get it finished etc)

I could reduce the driving portion of my commute costs significantly (by half, probably) if I switched to a stinky Diesel, but apart from not enjoying driving a 2 litre Diesel, the writing is now on the wall that they will be public enemy number one in the next few years, and I'd still have an ICE car that has all the points of failure of a petrol car (plus a few more like DPF) and I'd be buying an old car with someone else's skeletons, as that's all I'd be able to afford in the Xantia size range. I couldn't afford to tax and maintain two polluting ICE cars, so the enjoyment of driving the V6 would be out the window as I'd have to sell it, then I'd be back in the situation of one ICE car which I now didn't enjoy driving which I still had to keep on the road at all costs for my commute, so all the same maintenance stresses I have now, but with Diesel which I am far less familiar with fixing!

Enter a small very cheap EV like the C-Zero. I can buy a 5 year old one for £5k with 10k miles on the clock in near new condition and a near perfect battery. I can do my commute mileage for 1/10th of the cost of a petrol and 1/5th of the cost of a Diesel on standard rate electricity or half as much again on split plan night rate if I had it, and this is on fuel costs alone. There is also no yearly car tax, and vastly reduced maintenance costs and points of failure. (No timing belts, no exhaust etc etc) The car also has ISO fix mounts for our car seat base that the Xantia lacks and a 4 star NCAP rating vs 1.5 stars for the Xantia! So probably quite a bit safer to be transporting a baby in despite it being a smaller car.

If I just replace my current car portion of my daily commute with the EV that's only 16 miles round trip on a car that can do 50 miles in winter with the heater on and up to 70 in summer with no heater. Plenty. I could also replace my train journey to Glasgow IF I could find somewhere to park... that would then be about 34 miles round trip - still plenty, and enough left to grab groceries after work, and it would eliminate an expensive train season ticket. (£89.50 a month at the moment)

I'd have two cars so never have to worry about panicking to get one back on the road for Monday so I could take the time to work slowly and carefully on the V6 with jobs like timing belt etc... I could enjoy driving it on the weekends or on long trips away knowing that I'm no longer running a "classic" and fairly rare car into the ground through a daily grind. The EV becomes the "practical" daily commuter and shopping cart and the Xantia becomes the fun, long distance, large load and emergency backup commuter car should the EV have a problem.

As the Xantia is the last true green blooded Citroen I'm feeling nostalgic for it for that reason too. A small EV for the daily grind would help me prolong the life of the Xantia and hang onto it for that much longer as a fun to drive car before I finally have to let it go and let Hydractive 2 fade into memory...
Last edited by Mandrake on 15 Feb 2017, 10:50, edited 1 time in total.

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CitroJim
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

Simon, do all you can to keep the Xantia as a hobby car - even if it means finding somewhere to store it for a while. I've been where you are with a young family and a house needing work. During that time I let all my toys go and always regretted it... I can guarantee you'll regret it too...

I had to then wait until my kids were grown up... Don't make the same mistake as I did...

For that reason my Activa will never leave me even if all others do to make way for the EV...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Also consider the fact that (currently) most battery electric cars have a limited range, and take time to recharge, while petrol/diesel cars have a greater range, with fast refuelling (and plenty of petrol stations to top up at). While there may be times when you (and your family) will consider the money tied up in the petrol car, you should also consider the options that the same car leaves open to you that may be denied if you did not have it.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:Also consider the fact that (currently) most battery electric cars have a limited range, and take time to recharge, while petrol/diesel cars have a greater range, with fast refuelling (and plenty of petrol stations to top up at). While there may be times when you (and your family) will consider the money tied up in the petrol car, you should also consider the options that the same car leaves open to you that may be denied if you did not have it.
True James but as I see it if an EV will do most of what you need then for the times it won't simply hire a suitable vehicle...

It's what I'd do. After all, most of us don't own a big white van but when we need one we go out and hire one... Same principle applies for when you might need a car to undertake a long trip beyond EV range...

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:Also consider the fact that (currently) most battery electric cars have a limited range, and take time to recharge, while petrol/diesel cars have a greater range, with fast refuelling (and plenty of petrol stations to top up at). While there may be times when you (and your family) will consider the money tied up in the petrol car, you should also consider the options that the same car leaves open to you that may be denied if you did not have it.
That's why a C-Zero would be purely a second car for me. (Although technically it would be the primary car as it would do more mileage!) It couldn't replace the Xantia for long trips, nor for carrying large loads (which outside of the daily commute, does happen quite a bit) so the C-Zero would get used whenever possible with the Xantia used at other times, and the Xantia also used for fun.

I think a specific use, second car is a good "toe dipping" strategy to get into the EV market, at least at the cheap end of the market. For most of us it will be quite a while yet before an affordable EV can truly replace an ICE car without any hesitations.
Last edited by Mandrake on 15 Feb 2017, 11:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

True, Jim, but having a nice car in the background, ready for emergencies (or for times when hire vehicles cost more, such as at Christmas) is a comforting feeling. Plus, what reasonably priced hire vehicle can compete with a nice, well maintained Citroen Xantia V6?

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

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Hell Razor5543 wrote: Plus, what reasonably priced hire vehicle can compete with a nice, well maintained Citroen Xantia V6?
True and one reason perhaps I keep my Activa...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Mind you, that new trike developed by Grant Sinclair does look useful for people looking for a nice quick clean way to work (one person only though).

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by bobins »

Peter.N. wrote:Ah well. I shall be dead by then, I enjoyed my motoring when there were very few cars on the road and no speed limits. :wink:

Peter
What's to say there won't be very few cars on the road by 2050 ? Not sure about the speed limits thing though :-k :lol:

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white exec
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by white exec »

Simon, I think you've agonized your way through the pro's and con's, and come up with the right answer.
Think the rest of us are pretty agreed, too.
:P Go for the EV (huge economic and environmental sense, for your current needs).
:P Keep the Xantia (enjoyment, nostalgia, long-distance, hire-substitute, backup, love affair, "The Last" etc etc....)
If you get rid of the Citroen you've done all that work on, you'll never forgive yourself.

:wink: Chris

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Where else will you find a V6 Xantia that nice, Simon? I know that the forum helped push you into getting it, but I believe that you have got a great Xantia (ok, a bit of work was needed, but not much, and certainly not as much as your previous V6!). OK, if you were to sell it now you won't get a lot for her (most people are put off by the 'complexity', but a Citroen fan would know what they are getting), but that gives you another good reason to keep her. If you also allow for the fact you have a great deal of experience with maintaining the V6 Xantia, and you are a member of a forum that has a wealth of related knowledge you have very good reasons to hang onto her.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 15 Feb 2017, 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by RichardW »

£89 on the train + £75 fuel saved = £164 / month. Gets you £5k over 3 years at 5% APR. So you won't start saving for 3 years, well other than the planet (maybe!). Tempting in your position though if you can work out the parking. There are some on-street charging points in Glasgow - there are 2 just down from our office - but I don't know how the parking charges stack up.

Doesn't work for me yet - not enough range even for commute; and I keep needing to use the 307 for family duty when the C4 is off colour (as it is at present with a duff wheelbearing!).

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:£89 on the train + £75 fuel saved = £164 / month. Gets you £5k over 3 years at 5% APR. So you won't start saving for 3 years, well other than the planet (maybe!).
True, but at the end of that 3 years we own the car, and then our monthly outgoings drop by that much and we still have two cars including a cheap to run EV that should in theory last quite a while. Or I could spread it over 4-5 years and reduce our immediate monthly costs vs what we pay for travel now, at the expense of more money paid in total over the duration of the loan.

If I was driving right into Glasgow Sara could also ditch her £59 a month bus ticket and only take the bus on the occasions that she needs to start early. Also we then have two cars in the family and maybe I'll be able to talk her into sitting her driving test so that I'm not chief Taxi Driver for the rest of my days. (OK I'm being a bit optimistic there :rofl2: )

You're also forgetting to factor in reduced maintenance costs to the running costs - not only does it not have a lot of the things that needs maintaining on the Xantia, basic items that it does have like tyres should be a lot cheaper than the 205/60/15 Michelins on the Xantia. So you wouldn't see it right away, but the reduction in maintenance costs over a few years would add up to quite a lot.
Tempting in your position though if you can work out the parking. There are some on-street charging points in Glasgow - there are 2 just down from our office - but I don't know how the parking charges stack up.
Didn't think you worked in Glasgow!! Or do you just have a company office there ? On-street charging in Glasgow is not a problem, I wouldn't need to charge away from home with my commute. It's more about finding an out of the way place to park that isn't metered. I don't mind walking 10-15 minutes to a quiet suburban street where I can get away with parking for free - I already walk about 12 minutes to the train station anyway. I'm on Hill Street, so not that far from suburban areas to the north of Glasgow. There must be somewhere naughty but legal to park for free within 10-15 minutes walk from here, I just need to find it.... :twisted:
Doesn't work for me yet - not enough range even for commute; and I keep needing to use the 307 for family duty when the C4 is off colour (as it is at present with a duff wheelbearing!).
No the range definitely doesn't work for you. You'd need a mid-range EV that can do 130-160 miles per charge. Something like the new Zoe or latest Leaf. But they're a lot more expensive because the extended range versions of those are brand new. Because of my reduced range requirements I can consider a 5 year old car that seems like a bargain that dealers don't know what to do with...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

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Mandrake wrote:Didn't think you worked in Glasgow!! Or do you just have a company office there ? On-street charging in Glasgow is not a problem, I wouldn't need to charge away from home with my commute. It's more about finding an out of the way place to park that isn't metered. I don't mind walking 10-15 minutes to a quiet suburban street where I can get away with parking for free - I already walk about 12 minutes to the train station anyway. I'm on Hill Street, so not that far from suburban areas to the north of Glasgow. There must be somewhere naughty but legal to park for free within 10-15 minutes walk from here, I just need to find it.... :twisted:
No, you're right, I work in Grangemouth, but my home office is Bothwell Street in Glasgow.... Only been there (or its predecessor) for about 5 days in 15 years.

(electric?) bike in the back of the car will allow you to park further out! I was thinking that the EV charging points were free, but then remembered that had been stopped. Sounds like you need to arrange a test drive....

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

RichardW wrote: (electric?) bike in the back of the car will allow you to park further out!
Yes, and get some very valuable exercise into the bargain....

Get one of these lovely folding Bromptons...

Image

https://www.brompton.com/