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 Post subject: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:50 pm
Posts: 4
We currently use a Rav4EV as our main commuter. Next month we'll be needing a second commuter which will mean wife gets the RAV4 and I need a new commuter.
I'm sold on EVs and I think the best choice for us is an >200 miles EV SUV that we can hitch a bike rack to... which probably points to a Y. (WA state, Konas are not even an option)

So until that's available I'm thinking of getting a used car to bridge the gap.
I'm thinking somewhere between a 2016 e-Golf (no 2017s available!) an i3 or maybe a b-class.

Does anybody have any experience or recommendations for any?
I'm now familiar with all the quirks of the RAV4, I'm wondering if those cars have a similar learning curve.
Does anybody know of a buying checklist for any of those cars?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:37 pm
Posts: 11
How long is your commute, and do you have access to charging at work? Will the new commuter be used for anything other than commuting? Or do you have (or rent) an ICE for longer trips?

Worth noting, the price of the newest (2019) e-Golfs can be negotiated down to the point where you're paying practically the same amount for it as for a used first generation e-Golf, if you're eligible for the federal credit and if WA has decent incentives (which I'm guessing they do). I got my 2019 SE for $24,000, so after taxes, etc., and the federal rebate (still $7,500 for VW!) and a check from the state of PA ($1,750!), my all-in cost was something like $16,400 (plus my traded-in 2004 Jetta).

--Chris

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2014 Cadillac ELR (Crystal Red Tintcoat, fully optioned)
2019 VW e-Golf (Silver White, Driver Assistance)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:01 pm
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If you need 200 + miles range, get a 3 or a Y, or wait a few years until VW starts producing a 200 + mile range EV. Maybe by 2020 or 2021 ?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:24 am
Posts: 797
Location: SoCal
Assuming you live along the I-5 corridor, I would consider any EV that has some sort of fast-charging port, whether CHAdeMO or CCS. The density of quick chargers along I-5 makes it possible to drive even a 24 kWH EV from the Canadian border all the way through to southern Oregon, possibly even slightly into California.

Besides eGolf and i3 w/CCS capability, I'd also consider the Leaf and Soul EV with CHADeMO capability. I don't think you can get any sort of fast charging with the B-Electric.

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2015 eGolf SEL (originally leased, bought out lease)
former EV: 2012 Nissan Leaf SV (lease returned)
Range Extender: 2017 VW Golf Alltrack S 4Motion


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:32 pm
Posts: 627
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
KurtManz wrote:
(WA state, Konas are not even an option)


If you're considering the Kona you might wanna look closely at the Niro, which is a bit larger in size and has room for a spare tire. The plug-in hybrid version has been out for a while; the BEV version is hitting California now and might be available in Washington in a few months. I'm about 80% sure we'll be getting one later this year when the price comes down a bit. My finance is currently using the e-Golf for commuting and her old Subaru for longer trips. Juggling two cars gets to be a headache after a while.

KurtManz wrote:
I'm thinking somewhere between a 2016 e-Golf (no 2017s available!) an i3 or maybe a b-class.


Having spent 2 years with a 2016 e-Golf and now almost a year with a 2018 i3, I can say I've been happy with both. The e-Golf's largest pros are great value, good handling, efficient ride, and ability to seat 5. The i3 has roomier cabin, absolutely amazing visibility, quicker and smoother acceleration, and a luxury feel that rivals a Tesla. The b-class is extremely rare and it will be tough to find firsthand experience from an owner.

Tips for the e-Golf: The biggest thing to be aware of especially with the 2016s is the feature differences between the SE and SEL trims, and that the base SE only had a 3.6 kW L2 charger and didn't do DC fast charging at all. I have a nice little spreadsheet here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/yZm8Z/files

Tips for the i3: avoid the 2014 model year, especially the range extender version. And make absolutely sure you have a BMW warranty. It's a luxury car and even minor maintenance work can run in to the thousands. Beyond that it's fairly straightforward as the 2014-2016 models were basically the same. Battery got 50% bigger in 2017, CarPlay added in 2018, and battery bigger again in 2019. I'd recommend the tech and parking packages for sure; harmon kardon speakers are nice but not earth-shattering. Love the giga interior but deka is nice and mega is OK. I'm not a full leather guy but to each their own. I like having CarPlay, but the native BMW iDrive system works pretty well too and is more than adequate for basic navigation and listening to podcasts. Oh, and if you go the i3...be prepared to replace the tires every 20,000 miles if not sooner. Those skinny 5" tires wear like crazy and have a habit of sucking up nails.

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2016 e-Golf SE in Urano Grey leased 8/1/2016 for $1500 down + $50 x 24 months * Purchased 7/31/2018 * ChargePoint Home 32a (wired)
2018 BMW i3s REx in Mineral Gray purchased 6/12/2018 w/ Giga, Tech, Parking, CarPlay, Harmon Kardons, and of course Moonroof


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:45 am
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johnnylingo wrote:
KurtManz wrote:
Oh, and if you go the i3...be prepared to replace the tires every 20,000 miles if not sooner. Those skinny 5" tires wear like crazy and have a habit of sucking up nails.


Not just i3s! Guess whose e-Golf with 175mi on the clock is currently sitting in the garage with a nail in its front tyre?

Spoiler: it’s me.

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2016 SEL in Deep Black Pearl ⚡️(The Handsome Boy)
2019 SEL in Indium Gray ⚡️ (The Very Handsome Boy)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:45 am
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Sparklebeard wrote:
johnnylingo wrote:
Those skinny 5" tires wear like crazy and have a habit of sucking up nails.


Not just i3s! Guess whose e-Golf with 175mi on the clock is currently sitting in the garage with a nail in its front tyre?



I had thought the lack of a full spare tire was going to be a bigger deal, but I found that one of the upsides of a car with limited range was that I was never far from civilization. The two times I had nails I was able to get to a mechanic.

Come to think of it, I've had a tire blow out only once in my life. The rest have been just slow leaks.

But yeah, if it were ever totally flat and I had to tow the car to the mechanic, I'd be annoyed.

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2016 eGolf SE Limestone Gray (Returned)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:56 am
Posts: 146
Sparklebeard wrote:
Not just i3s! Guess whose e-Golf with 175mi on the clock is currently sitting in the garage with a nail in its front tyre?

Spoiler: it’s me.


Sorry to hear about the nail. I've always considered a tire patch kit to be a must-have for any vehicle that has no spare tire.

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2019 E-Golf SE w/ DAP
2016 E-Golf SE (SOLD)


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:01 pm
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2016golfse wrote:
Sparklebeard wrote:
Not just i3s! Guess whose e-Golf with 175mi on the clock is currently sitting in the garage with a nail in its front tyre?

Spoiler: it’s me.


Sorry to hear about the nail. I've always considered a tire patch kit to be a must-have for any vehicle that has no spare tire.


Agreed! Or at least a nail plug kit and a bicycle pump, to at least get you slowly to some sort of source for compressed air to really get the air pressure right. 40 PSI on those tires is tough with a bicycle pump, been there, done that.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for recommendations for EV to use as commuter.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:32 pm
Posts: 627
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
cctop wrote:
But yeah, if it were ever totally flat and I had to tow the car to the mechanic, I'd be annoyed.


This is exactly what happened to me a few months ago. Was coming down from Bonny Doon, ran over a rock about the size of a baseball, and blew a giant hole in the front tire. Thankfully there was a pullout 100 yards nearby when it happened, but were were completely out of cell range and had to walk about half a mile to the main highway to call a flatbed towtruck out. The tire place near my house was closed by the time we got there but one of the guys was nice enough to order an Ecopia 422 and it got there Monday. All in all, it cost me 2 hours time and $180. Certainly could have been worse.

It's the reason I'm somewhat obsessed with having a spare on my next EV. With 200 miles range, it will be covering 99% of my driving and I can totally picture having this happen again and missing a trip or event because of it.

_________________
2016 e-Golf SE in Urano Grey leased 8/1/2016 for $1500 down + $50 x 24 months * Purchased 7/31/2018 * ChargePoint Home 32a (wired)
2018 BMW i3s REx in Mineral Gray purchased 6/12/2018 w/ Giga, Tech, Parking, CarPlay, Harmon Kardons, and of course Moonroof


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