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Discussion Starter #1
So.

My wife totaled her Kia Soul last week. We learned today that it is a write-off.

Thankfully, my wife is not also a write-off. But she's dealing with concussion symptoms and whiplash. It could have easily been a lot worse.

She was on her way to work in the morning, driving along a rural two-lane road when a truck and flatbed trailer backed out of a hidden driveway and broadsided her, breaking both right-side wheels, knocking the car sideways and into a 6-foot deep ditch.

Fortunately, even though the driver of the truck protested that she had swerved into him, several witnesses quickly set the story straight. He has been found 100% at fault. I am just glad she didn't get pushed into oncoming traffic and that there were people there to help her out of the car until the ambulance arrived.

Anyhow, we are now faced with the project of replacing the Kia. She had only had it 5 months (an inheritance). Previously she had a Toyota Matrix, which she loved. The Kia didn't really do it for her, but it was a free and much newer vehicle.

Whatever we buy next must be a hatchback/SUV that will fit a medium sized dog in the back. We are giving serious thought to an EV or plug-in hybrid. The car would potentially be my commuter during the winter months when I retire the Vee and replace it with something shiny that deserves to be kept out of the winter salt (read BMW S1000XR). Electric vehicles are allowed in the HOV lane, which is important to me.

I'm sure many of you out there own electric vehicles. Any suggestions on what to look out for?
At the moment, she likes the look of the Hyundai Kona, but I see Toyota also does the RAV4 in electric.

Any advice?

I look forward to hearing about any relevant experience out there...
 

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Question

Looking for a hybrid, or a straight plug-in? Seems like, from the reviews, most of the hybrids are pretty comparable. Not sure from a direct cost standpoint they make much sense, with gas being so cheap, and probably staying that way. They are a bit complex, making service perhaps problematic, and maintenance is higher than with a comparable petrol car due to the extra systems.

I realize you need a car now. But I think really practical plug-ins are just over the horizon. Maybe in 2 or 3 years. Except for the premium spread (Jaguar, Porsche, Tesla) the economy-priced ones are great run-about-town cars, but real-world range is an issue, especially in cold weather. My brother has a Nissan Leaf (his second), thinks it is great, and drives it all the time around town. But when they go out of town they take his wife's petrol CRV.

By many indications, Tesla is on the road to bankruptcy. Huge debt, minimal profits, stagnant sales. Performance deficient to newer models. YMMV.

It is possible that battery retrofits in a few years will bring present models up to future performance. Or manufacturers may choose not to undercut their own market.

And in a few years autonomous vehicles may change the transportation paradigm, reducing demand for private ownership.

If I was you, I'd think about finding a good used car, most likely petrol, and wait to see which way things go.
 

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Condolences on the injuries and loss of the car. The only thing I've had the last gob of years is a Toyota 4 Runner, '01 and a Camry '04. both have been exemplary in no maintenance.
 

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Tesla Model 3, while applauded by Consumer Reports, has had a lot of niggling problems, (quality control issues), not to mention what Jimding said. You need to determine how many miles per day you will be driving, this will likely eliminate some from the running. Teslas currently have the most range (or so I've read).

My take? The technology is changing so quickly that its somewhat like LED lamps - whatever you buy today might be obsolete in a year or two. Consider something like a Prius - excellent mileage and they are affordable, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Keep the replies coming. This is all good info.

I don't think I'm in the market for a Tesla since they don't make a hatchback, as far as I know.

Range is not a huge factor. It will mostly be doing 30kms/day when my wife drives it and about 100kms/day in winter when I drive it. My workplace is about to be demolished and replaced with lots of electric charging stations.

For anything longer, I have a Tacoma.

And as for fuel, gas prices where I live hit $1.69/liter this spring. I filled up today at $1.42/liter which looks to be the new normal here. Electricity is WAY cheaper and cleaner here (hydroelectric).

If it were feasible, I'd be looking hydrogen.

My wife would like to just buy another used Matrix, which could happen, I suppose.

To be clear, I'm not looking for a hybrid unless it is a plug-in. Those are the HOV compliance rules in this neck of the woods.
 

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If I were looking at electric cars, I'd have a look at the Chev Bolt. Doug DeMuro (slightly quirky, occasionally tiresome video reviewer) compares it quite favorably to the Tesla 3. Range seems quite good, and interior space appears decent as it is a Matrix-semi similar size. His review is actually quite good, and informative. Just a thought.

I have a friend who works in the hydrogen fuel cell and associated systems testing. He too, thinks hydrogen is a better long term solution but there is simply no infrastructure to support it.

Very glad to hear your wife is OK, and an oozing pox on the ass who tried to blame her for the accident.
 

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I had a 2013 Ford Cmax. Hybrid. I sold it about 1 1 /2 years ago to a dealer for $9000. 48K miles. These are getting down pretty cheap for what they are. The Cmax is a LOT better to drive than the Prius or some other hybrids. Much better handling and acceleration. Not nearly as good of gas mileage. I typically got 38-40 mpg on it. Low 40's were doable, but I loved the acceleration! MUCH easier entry than some other cars, you sit up in it like a mid size SUV. Just something to consider. They have a plug in version too. I would own another one. No issues at all with it.
 

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If going battery powered, I'd go Leaf or Bolt. Not at all convinced Tesla has done automotive grade durability testing. When I looked at the door seal construction of the Tesla Model 3, it looked like it was made in old school Eastern Europe.
 
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Condolences on the injuries and loss of the car. The only thing I've had the last gob of years is a Toyota 4 Runner, '01 and a Camry '04. both have been exemplary in no maintenance.
Yeah, I love the Toyotas. We were a Matrix & Tacoma family for a long time but we sold the Matrix when we inherited the Soul. My wife complained bitterly about losing the Matrix but it was 8 years older than the Soul and it didn't make sense to keep the older car and it went to a young family. The Taco is an '06 and will need replacing in the next 5 year plan. It's a 6-speed 4-door short box. I love it except for the infamous clutch throw-out bearing squeal. I really only use it on weekends and in the summer or when pulling stumps or hauling. It will be my wife's getabout until we figure out what car to buy.

She is campaigning to buy another Matrix and maybe that makes sense if we wait a couple years to buy electric. That gives the industry another couple years to improve product and my employer time to install charging stations. That Matrix is a very well designed vehicle. It was our only 4 wheel vehicle for quite a few years. If they made the Corolla hatchback in electric, that would be a definite contender.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I were looking at electric cars, I'd have a look at the Chev Bolt. Doug DeMuro (slightly quirky, occasionally tiresome video reviewer) compares it quite favorably to the Tesla 3. Range seems quite good, and interior space appears decent as it is a Matrix-semi similar size. His review is actually quite good, and informative. Just a thought.

I have a friend who works in the hydrogen fuel cell and associated systems testing. He too, thinks hydrogen is a better long term solution but there is simply no infrastructure to support it.

Very glad to hear your wife is OK, and an oozing pox on the ass who tried to blame her for the accident.
If hydrogen were a serious option, I'd be all over it. Maybe in another 10 years or so there will be some infrastructure but, at the moment, it's not practical.

The Bolt is an option. I have to go look at one. But I'm a little leery of buying Chevrolet. It is a troubled company with a recently checkered past in this country. I personally don't know anyone who loves their GM product.
 

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Interesting that you are expecting the employer to install a charging station. Some of the electric vehicle folks would like to see the owner of Newcombs Ranch, our mountain top road house on Hwy 2,install something more that a couple AC outlets on the buildings exterior.
Just why is a business supposed to supply charging stations for public use? These things can't be cheap and I suppose folks wanting to use the charging stations would expect that the use would be for free.
They charge a fair price for a hamburger why not an equal amount for the electricity to refresh the battery pack in the electric car or bike?
Gas stations aren't giving away fuel and the Hydrogen stations aren't free either.
Seems that the auto industry is bent on supplying more electric vehicles over gas or diesel powered. Ford is working with a electric truck company that may work out for cleaner F100's
Tesla wants to provide Big Rigs to haul freight in autonomous trucks on the interstates.
All of which is good for the environment and in some cases may make the highways safer. Do autonomous vehicles ever engage in road rage?
So the matter of where to recharge and at what cost to the end user has me questioning the process.
There is a neat general store/market in Lucerne Valley, Ca that has installed a lot of solar panels on the roof top and above the parking lot but they haven't put outlets for E vehicles...yet. It may be the future though.
Similarly I've noticed a lot of school parking lots with solar installed. Gets power from the sun and provides a shaded area for the cars parked underneath. That's a win-win.

You mentioned no Hybrids but I noticed Nissan, I think, is advertising a hybrid that has a range of 680 miles. That sounds like something that has a reasonable use until the E universe becomes reality.
 

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Not exactly on topic....but I can see certain companies installing electric car charging portals....to attract and keep employees.

Sometimes it isn't the salary you are offered, or even the benefit package. Sometimes the attraction is the work environment. Forward thinking companies that try this just might come out ahead on getting the "good" employees when everything else is equal.

Good people are what make a business......
 

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My first car I purchased was a Gen II prius and I drove it for about 6 years I think. I loved it and only had a few hiccups with repairs (wheel bearings, exhaust). I recently bought a prius prime which is their new plug in and im enjoying it a lot. I drive to and from work with no gas. Budget and life style dependent, I'd still recommend a prius. This Prius C is a smaller version that is more like a matrix. Imo its foolish not to get a hybrid in this time. No matter what gas prices are you are still saving money. As far as repairs go, if anything you'll be having less to deal with considering you're using your engine inline with an electric engine (less use). Most hybrids have good warranty's for their electric parts.
 

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The family and I have had few bugs. Great little cars spite the origins of the fureur. He was long gone when the beetle made history.
My youngest son repeatedly bashed the front of his bug and the tree in the front yard was used to pull the front back into shape with the assist of a tow cable.
It was on it's fourth owner when we dealt with his poor driving habits.
The oldest couldn't pass smog and we adjusted the valves. he complained as I adjusted the valves. "Dad. it's getting hard to turn." I said " that's called compression"
One of the finest vehicles since the Model T! The other was the Ford Falcon with several 100 thousand miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Interesting that you are expecting the employer to install a charging station. Some of the electric vehicle folks would like to see the owner of Newcombs Ranch, our mountain top road house on Hwy 2,install something more that a couple AC outlets on the buildings exterior.
Just why is a business supposed to supply charging stations for public use? These things can't be cheap and I suppose folks wanting to use the charging stations would expect that the use would be for free.
They charge a fair price for a hamburger why not an equal amount for the electricity to refresh the battery pack in the electric car or bike?
Gas stations aren't giving away fuel and the Hydrogen stations aren't free either.
Seems that the auto industry is bent on supplying more electric vehicles over gas or diesel powered. Ford is working with a electric truck company that may work out for cleaner F100's
Tesla wants to provide Big Rigs to haul freight in autonomous trucks on the interstates.
All of which is good for the environment and in some cases may make the highways safer. Do autonomous vehicles ever engage in road rage?
So the matter of where to recharge and at what cost to the end user has me questioning the process.
There is a neat general store/market in Lucerne Valley, Ca that has installed a lot of solar panels on the roof top and above the parking lot but they haven't put outlets for E vehicles...yet. It may be the future though.
Similarly I've noticed a lot of school parking lots with solar installed. Gets power from the sun and provides a shaded area for the cars parked underneath. That's a win-win.

You mentioned no Hybrids but I noticed Nissan, I think, is advertising a hybrid that has a range of 680 miles. That sounds like something that has a reasonable use until the E universe becomes reality.
Where I live (BC), the E universe is rapidly becoming the new reality. Relatively clean electricity is abundant here (hydroelectric) and the provincial government is pushing the environmental cause hard. They are fighting oil pipeline projects and offering some pretty serious financial incentives on E vehicles. The federal government, too, offers financial incentives. And one major bonus is that you can drive your E vehicle (not hybrids unless they're plug-in) in the HOV lanes, same as you can a motorbike. The number of electric vehicles on the road here has increased exponentially in the last year or two.

The goal is zero vehicular emissions by 2040: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-introduces-law-to-require-cars-trucks-sold-by-2040-be-zero-emission-1.5093110

And, as for my employer, they are the province. The designs for the new building opening 2021 include charging stations. (That does not mean charging is complementary; it just means I have access to them. There is money to be made by offering this service. It makes sense that places of employment where employees park their cars all day get into this market. Gas stations are an outdated model.) All of this makes an electric vehicle a bona fide option. Plus it is a cause I support.

We'll start visiting dealerships next weekend perhaps, if my wife is feeling up to it. She seems improving.
 

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As long as the salmon can make it upstream to spawn, I guess Hydro electric is the way to go. Consistent source, water conservation and recreational opportunities.
Of course, it's location, location, location. BC has a number of canyons with rivers flowing. That may not work in Kansas city!
 
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