Wookey wrote: ↑
08 Sep 2019, 02:50
"As I said on another forum, some of us can run cars on which the capital or depreciation cost is in low single figures pence per mile - mine about 1.66 p/mile. Compare that to 50 to 200 p/mile on some electrics and hybrids."
Isn't that just comparing old cars to new ones? Hardly fair. Depreciation on all cars is just new-price/lifetime. So it's maybe 20% higher for EVs at the moment if we assume the same lifetime,
Yes, this unfair comparison of old ICE to new EV is often done. Of course the total cost of ownership of running an old ICE for a few years which has already largely depreciated is cheaper than buying a new EV despite the EV being a lot cheaper to run on a per mile basis. But the same comparison could be made between old ICE and new more fuel efficient ICE.
Replacing an old but still reliable car which is not causing you too many maintenance or reliability headaches yet with a new one is never a sound financial decision as it will always cost you a lot more money thanks to depreciation. You're buying the new car because you want or think you want it, not because it will save you money... I paid £450 for my Xantia and while I've probably spent >£5k of fuel alone over the last 5 years the total cost of ownership is still less than the purchase price of even a very cheap £10k new ICE.
This is why when considering an EV at the moment I would only advocate either buying second hand past the depreciation slump as I did, or waiting until you were already considering or needing to replace an old ICE with a newer car and then weighing up the pros and cons of a new ICE vs new EV. Replacing a perfectly good car is always going to cost more money unless you do huge mileage and you can make back some of the cost quickly.
Right now is not actually a good time to buy a brand new EV despite there being more options than ever on the market, because demand greatly outstrips supply for both new and to a lesser extent second hand. This means jacked up prices above what the cars are really worth. Is a Kia e-Niro really worth £33-35k ? It's a great EV to be sure with a huge range etc but a Niro as a car isn't a £30k+ car IMO, especially when even the high spec ICE versions are well under £30k... The other problem is long waiting lists. (Order today and get one in 12 months ? Rediculous)
Anyone on the fence should either have a low cost low risk dabble in the second hand market as a second car as I did or wait a bit longer for supply to catch up to demand and prices to fall accordingly IMHO. This may take 2 or 3 years.
In 2017 when I bought my Ion it was a buyers market - PCP's for new Leaf's were rediculously cheap and second hand EV's were selling for a song as nobody really wanted them, (they were undervalued) and despite there only being a few hundred Ion's in the whole of the UK (about 400 I think) they were selling for under £5k for a 6 year old car. I got mine for £4200 with only 28k miles on the clock.
Today, it's a sellers market. Leaf PCP's are rediculously expensive. High demand, lack of supply, and that has carried through to the second hand market as well. The cheapest Ion available now is £5200 for a high mileage example like mine and more still for lower mileage younger version. Despite my car being 2 years older and having done £30k more miles I could actually sell it for £1000 more than I bought it for!
It's tempting, except for the fact that there is no other EV I can afford that I could replace it with because the second hand prices of all other EV's have gone up accordingly and gone out of my price range...
The tipping point in public opinion seems to have been the governments 2040 mandate that was published around June 2017 - just a few months after I bought my Ion. I mocked it at the time as being toothless (and I still believe it is toothless and too far into the future) but it perhaps combined with Dieselgate seems to have swayed public opinion into taking a more serious look at EV's, and prodded manufacturers into being a bit more serious about actually producing EV's. Ever since then it has gone from a buyers market to a sellers market and hasn't looked back.
but if they last longer, as is widely expected, it may already be about the same. As the prices equalise it'll become lower. (EV Mini released this week is cheaper than the petrol version, I note).
I'm not sure who it's widly expected by, but not me. First generation EV's will not last as long as a well tended ICE as the batteries won't last 20 years. Nobody really knows for sure how long those first generation batteries will last like the early Leaf and my Ion, but it's starting to look like about 10-12 years, and definitely not the 20 years you could expect from a well looked after ICE.
My Ion is 8 years old now and has done 55k miles and I'm starting to have some problems with the battery as discussed in my blog. It has 88 cells and 3 of them are deteriorating at a greatly accelerated rate compared to the others once the car got past about 40k miles. Cause unknown, probably due to manufacturing defects or tolerances in individual cells which don't show up until they get old and have been cycled a few hundred times.
The car hasn't broken down, still runs perfectly and I still drive it to work daily but range is significantly reduced since I bought it. (down from about 65 miles in summer to 55 miles) If I wasn't running a diagnostic on the battery to monitor the situation then apart from the range reduction I would be oblivous to the fact that something abnormal is going on and just think it was natural range degradation with age/mileage. However because I can compare the individual cells and have been recording the trends over the last 2 years I can see that there are a few abnormal cells and the rest are normal.
If EV's were readily available second hand that I could afford I would probably flick it on while it still has a useful range and move up to something a bit better but as mentioned above second hand prices are high and there is nothing I can afford to upgrade to so it's worth my while to attempt a cell swap of a few cells. Also the technical challenge intrigues me as not many DIY cell swaps have been done yet that I've heard of.
I paid £200 for four second hand cells which have proven to be good when I tested them so it makes economic sense to do the swap as it could extend the useful life of the car by many years by reversing much of the range loss and arresting the steep decline. However if it had turned out that the entire pack was heavily degraded then only a replacement of all the cells would have done anything - which would have been competely uneconomic as a pack would cost more than the value of the car.
So first gen EV's with small batteries and no active cooling I wouldn't expect the batteries to last past 10-12 years. However all things being equal a larger battery will last more miles due to reduced cycle count. For example if 500 cycles gets me 50k miles on a 16kWh battery, 500 cycles on a 32kWh battery would get me 100k miles and on a 64kWh battery 200k miles.
A battery that only lasted 50k miles is not really fit for purpose however a battery that lasted 200k miles would outlast the car it was in in most cases. So more modern EV's with much larger batteries, active cooling (especially liquid cooling) and better cell chemistry are likely to last much, much longer than those early first generation models. I could easily see the 64kWh battery in something like an e-Niro lasting >200k miles and >15 years, possibly more. You might get some random individual cell failures but those could be replaced at a modest cost.
Funny you mention the mini - I saw the fully charged video on that and was underwhelmed. A 32kWh battery and 144 miles range in 2020 just doesn't cut the mustard in my opinion. As a small city car - sure. As the one car for a family, forget it. This is a good example of the compromises that happen when you shoehorn a battery into an ICE platform rather than designing an EV specific platform. Compare that to the 50kWh battery and >200 mile range of the Peugeot e-208, a similar size car.