How Much Is That EV In The Window?

The one with the waggly tail!

My latest piece about the Better Place electric car is now out over at Green Car Reports. I lay out the full details of how much my new car is costing and compare it to suitable new alternatives in Israel today.

The short answer is, compared to other brand new cars, I think I’m getting four years of free fuel. But that is only in the case of being realistic about what you compare it to. If you want to buy a much cheaper car (that drives, feels and sounds less smooth) you can buy cheaper cars.

However the Israeli second hand car market is so weak right now, there are plenty of 2 or 3 year old bargains to be had so if saving money is your only criteria, you’re much better off with second hand.

A few semi-random short notes about the Renault Fluence Z.E. while I remember them:

  • I adore the pre-cooling feature. If the car is at 95% battery or above AND plugged in, you can set it to turn on the A/C (or heating) at a set time. This can only be set in the car (would be nice if you could activate it by iPhone but not yet).The time I leave the house is a little variable depending on when the kids wake up but it’s still great to get into a partially cooled car. More important, however, is that when you turn the key you get instant ice cold air. My underground garage is nudging 30℃ at 8 am already and in another month it will be over 35℃.
  • The boot gets very warm while the car is charging. This is to be expected but don’t even think of leaving food in there when you plug it in. Driving doesn’t make it hot in the same way.
  • I suspect the car would feel a lot better on normal tyres. It’s fitted with low resistance “fuel” saving eco tyres and, especially at the front, they give poor grip when pulling away. I can’t believe they make that much of a difference to the electricity use so I won’t be upset to change them to something stickier even if I loose 5km of max range.
  • I’ve written about “range anxiety“: the supposed reason why people can’t own electric cars but there is a much better term for it: range awareness. I’m aware of my car’s range, not anxious about it. There is another factor at play. I’m confident I can drive my car down to 6% battery remaining when the car itself (I read in the manual) will start beeping and eventually reducing available power.Unlike with a petrol car, the battery remaining gauge is phenomenally accurate and doesn’t change when you go round a fast corner! If you need to drive it to the edge of its range, you will, at least, be well informed about your progress.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

4 incoming links

To The Top Of The Hill And Down Again x3 | Israellycool
27 June 2012 at 9:06pm
[...] I suppose I could drive more conservatively and possibly make this trip without ...
Shai Agassi Out Of Better Place (Or Is He?) | Israellycool
03 October 2012 at 4:10pm
[...] I’ve written so glowingly I think Better Place are doing many things ...
Shai Agassi Ousted From Better Place | Daily Street
03 October 2012 at 10:10pm
[...] has some interesting takes on the company from the perspective of an Israeli ...
Shai Agassi Ousted From Better Place | All Season Tire Review
04 October 2012 at 12:10am
[...] several interesting takes found on the firm within the attitude of a Israeli ...

Facebook Comments

  • Jim from Iowa

    Range Anxiety – whenever you’re near
    Ooo ‘Xiety – it’s you that I fear.

    I could never own such a car. I get anxious when my Honda Accord gets down to half a tank. Does the same trick work for you, Brian, when you’re stranded by the side of the road with dead a battery? That is, you’re not anxious about that fact, but you are aware of it?

    • Brian of London

      So you’re carrying around the weight of a teenager everywhere you go for no good reason. Do you have a particular love for Oil Sheiks and fat cat Oil executives? Do you like killing kittens?

      • Jim from Iowa

        Oh, I see how this works. I’m not only anxious about running out of gas, but now I’m also aware of how uninvolved I am as a world citizen living on an environmentally-challenged planet in the 21st Century. I feel so dirty, now. Like Big Oil dirty. Anxiety. Awareness. And now Shame. I’ve hit the motivational electric car trifecta.

        • Brian of London

          :-) It’s a cultural thing: Catholics have also learned how to instil guilt in much the same way as Jewish mothers.

  • Two Ply Koran Toilet Paper

    A fellow mentioned to me in passing that cars in Israel are taxed something like 75%. Is that right? I almost fell off my chair.

    • Brian of London

      It’s worse than that… import tax is 83%. After the mark up the importer charges there is 16% VAT (even businesses can’t avoid this as they can with most VAT).

      There is a bewildering system of “green” discounts for various features that amounts to a maximum discount of $3,900 for the most efficient small cars. The very least the tax can be (for an Internal Combustion Engine) is 53% for hybrids.

      New immigrants only pay 50% tax, but no allowance is given for green so the discount is nothing on an EV, 3% (or nothing) on a Prius and only becomes useful if you buy a very expensive heavily polluting car! And then you must own it for 5 years and can’t sell it to anyone (except another new immigrant) without paying back all the tax you saved!

      EV’s are import taxed at 8% (it was 10% until June) and the 16% VAT still applies.

      Nearly all the difference in fuel between Israel and the US is tax. Our fuel is more than double the US usually.

      And I’m under no illusions: if Better Place is successful they’ll tax my kms for sure because they can’t tax the electricity without messing up everyone else who has a refrigerator!

  • Marcos T. Rodrigues

    I guess I can’t afford to have one! I can’t control my emotions when driving!

  • Golem

    Range anxiety? Here in the US, we can go about 70 miles between charges. That means nearly daily recharging, which takes 4 to 6 hours. No biggie? Okay, short trips are fine, but don’t even think about using the car for unexpected needs or emergencies.

    Take away government (taxpayer) subsidies, and what do you get? It’s very expensive.

    And let’s not forget that when charging the batteries, what kind of power source you are using. Here in the US, we don’t have a lot of nuclear power plants (dammit), so we use the power grid, which runs on…yes, oil!!! Are we saving anything?

    Okay, someday, when the batteries on cars can take us as far as a tank of gasoline, and recharging only takes a few minutes, as does filling up the tank, I will want to own an EV. It will be a good thing, take the money away from the Arab oil cartels, etc. A very important goal.

    Until then, I will try to get my (stubborn, idiotic) country to use domestic oil resources, which are plentiful and readily available, except that the current government seems determined to commit some kind of suicide by not drilling locally. Ijits.

    Maybe soon, some sharp Israeli start-up will figure out how to make a better car battery and a faster recharge. I hope and pray.

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