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My journey to an EV - so far..........

My journey to an EV - so far..........

Until recently I was pretty clueless about EVs even though I am a long time car nut. I'd read about the Leaf; Zoe and so on but it was an article on a UK website about Tesla that really piqued my interest which then turned into enthusiasm to the extent that ICE-age cars have limited appeal now. I am keen to get an EV as my next car - in the meantime I have become an unpaid Tesla/EV spokesman!

And EV time is approaching as we now need a decent second car. Here the challenges arise.....

Much as I'd love a Model S, that is totally impractical at present, Firstly we live in South Africa (Elon-land!) so the cost of importing etc is prohibitive and we couldn't afford it. Also we would have to wait until there were right-hand drive models available – and then at second hand costs. Some time away – and still, maybe, with no service centre back-up.

So I started looking at options.

Nissan has started selling the Leaf – but only in Jo'burg followed by Cape Town – and BMW will follow with the i3 later. Apparently the dealers will have fast-chargers so there will be some basic infrastructure for charging beyond home. Hopefully at some point public chargers will spring up – shopping malls?

Problem is we don't live in a Jo'burg or Cape Town or any city – we live on a farm where the nearest big-ish towns are nearly a 100mile round-trip away. And Cape Town – where we go frequently – is nearly 400 miles distant.

So a Leaf or i3 would be marginal at best and there are currently no charging options at the dealers in these small towns. Driving to Cape Town would require 3 stops and as no fast chargers would be available, this would necessitate long (over-night?) stops en route making the journey non-viable. We would charge with solar panels at home so EVs would be cheap to run because fuel is getting expensive here.............

Please don't even suggest a hybrid/REX as this, for me, is the worst of both worlds.

But a Tesla 85 would work fine! One longish stop at friends en route to Cape Town and home solar charging would cover all local use.

So we are scuppered so far. Either Nissan or BMW or AN Other increase the range to closer to 200 miles or I wait till we can get a Tesla here – somehow.........

Gen III here we come! Or I would even risk a 3-4 year old UK Tesla Model S (or X?) This is testing my patience!

Who else is in a similar predicament? EVs beckoning but not quite there.

Skotty | 15 februari 2014

I'm in a similar predicament. I frequently (as in weekly) travel about 250 miles round trip to a neighboring town for work. The neighboring town of 100K residents so far doesn't even have a public L2 charging station, and I stay overnight at a condo with no outdoor power available. That means, at least for the time being, that any EV I drive would have to be able to make a 250 mile round trip on a single charge. That I think is really too far even for an 85 kWh Model S. That problem is solved by the installation of a Supercharger near the neighboring town, which is currently on the 2014 Tesla Supercharger roadmap (really looking forward to that!). However, price is still a factor. I'd rather buy a Model E, but if I can scrape together the budget over the next couple of years, a Model S would be possible. Until then I just eagerly await the day.