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Thinking about getting one of these

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Haf, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Haf

    Haf Member

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    Hi,
    I am just about to replace my company car (Lexus IS hybrid) and was thinking about a S70D. Its just about affordable on my scheme - even though the BIK tax will crank up over the next few years. I would stay with the standard spec i.e black S70D with maybe the pano option. Any advise/comments from company car drivers appreciated - about the car or the finance/tax implications.
    I am in warwick and travel to london/manchester/southampton for work so 200-220 mile round trips - which I am told are do-able with careful driving. There are supercharger stations on my route so i do have the option for a quick boos if needed.
    I have a test drive this saturday and if that goes well i will get a lease quote early next week and hopefully 'press the order button'.

    - - - Updated - - -

    2 quick questions
    1. does anyone have a rough idea of how much it costs in electric bill to charge one of these overnight using standard rates?
    2. has anyone figured out how to claim mileage rates for business trips as it seems like the government make no allowances for using electric cars for business.
     
  2. Brunel

    Brunel Member

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    Mboyes will be along soon to answer you, but my answers in brief:

    70kWh battery, of which maybe 63 usable at a guess. Your electric is probably around 14pence per kWh. You will never be completely empty, so calculate any %. For my 85 I reckon a full charge is around £10 (prob less).

    The 45p/mile allowance for first 10k business miles can be used, but only for private car use (ie cash in lieu, which is my route when using car on business).
     
  3. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    70D will be a challenge for regular 200+ mile trips, you'll end up charging quite a lot, especially in the winter when range can drop by 20% or more depending on the weather.

    I can just about get 200 (uncompromised) miles out of my 85. So would recommend the 85 battery for you.
     
  4. Chris Goodman

    Chris Goodman New Member

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    I think the 70D will be fine. The range of a 70D on 19" tyres is very close to the p85 on 21". Play with the online calculator on the tesla website. You will have great options for a quick top up at a supercharger on your way home if you need to with the new motorway sites coming.

    The cost of the lease is a much higher proportion of your overall costs with the low fuel costs and low BIK of a Tesla, so going for a longer lease will make a bigger difference to your overall cost than other cars. I have gone with Leaseplango on a 5 year lease which was great value, so I would recommend checking them out.
     
  5. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    No one has a 70D (or anything D) in the UK yet.

    I have a P85 on 19" tyres. After a year and nearly 20k miles, my lifetime average use is 350wh/mile. This is apparently pretty good for the UK.

    It means that a 100% charge will give me 214miles with my driving style (100% is ~76kwh usable in a P85).

    Assuming that the 70D reserves the same % of the battery, it will have around 62kwh usable, meaning that the car would need to average 290wh/mile to get the same range as my P85 on a full charge.

    290wh/mile is possible in the P85 by driving at 60-65mph on the motorway in the summer with the AC off. It's not clear that the 70D is much more efficient in the real world.

    In the winter, expect to see usage north of 420wh/mile as the car keeps the battery warm, regardless of your driving style. Bad winter weather, a heavy load and a hilly road has seen mine running close to 500wh/m. Again, I cant see that the 70D would be any more efficient in that situation.

    If range is a requirement, get the 85D.
     
  6. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    Well I hate to be predictable @brunel but...

    If you assume 12p per kWh
    and that charging is about 85% efficient (actually it's higher than this but this includes an allowance for things like cabin pre-heating etc)
    and you use 350 Wh/mi (which is a reasonable "middle of the road" estimate)

    then charging from your home electricity supply will cost you 5p per mile.

    As to the company car question, that's a lot more complicated.

    If you use a private vehicle for business use you can claim 45p per mile for the first 10k business miles a year, and 25p a mile for the rest. This is unaffected by fuel type and applies to all cars.
    But if you use a business vehicle for business use, there are no "advisory fuel rates" for electricity that HMRC will allow the business to pay you to cover the cost of your business mileage without any tax implications, so the best you can expect is that your company will simply cover the actual cost of charging your car for its business use.

    If you're not an owner or director of your company (and therefore don't have the power to adjust things to suit you) then if your company has an opt-out scheme (where you can choose to take a higher salary but no company car) then you may find that you end up better off buying the car privately, because you then avoid the BIK payments and you're also able to charge 45p per mile for your business travel back to the company.

    And as others have said in the real world you will find a 70D comes up a little short in terms of letting you comfortably do 200-220 mile round-trips, but if there are superchargers on your route it shouldn't be a big issue. And of course if you can charge at your destination you will be laughing.
     
  7. Haf

    Haf Member

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    Thanks for the input guys and its a tough one for me as the 70D just about fits in my budget (£900 monthly on 4 year company lease) and the 85 is a bit out beyond my maximum. I did check on the superchargers and there is indeed one in westfield shopping which is on my way into london on A40. Similarly there is one in winchester and on A34 on route to southampton for me and then one in manchester area that is not to far from my route. Also I am led to believe I can use the non-tesla regular electric charge stations on motorway service stations etc if I get desperate.. The majority of my driving will be around 50 miles with the 200+ miles trips around once per week. Will see how I feel after the test drive and the lease quote in next few days.
     
  8. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    It surprised me, when I bought my i-MiEV and used it for 3 long (360 miles - round-trip) journeys in the first year I owned it, how much I actually enjoyed the enforced stops for rapid charging at Ecotricity's and Nissan dealership's facilities along the way (usually 3 or 4 depending on the route). They were usually only 20 or so long and it gave me a chance to do a bit of emailing etc and broke up the journeys thus I arrived much less stressed than if I had done a 3 hour long slog driving an ICEV. Once you just accept the notion that you are going to have to stop, you just accept it, plan for it and then enjoy it.

    If you have to stop to make buying the 70D work for you, then it will probably only be for 10 minutes or so (adding up to ~35 miles in that time depending on what SOC the pack is at when you start).

    And don't forget the zero car tax and surprisingly low insurance rates.

    But, for me, driving electric is like sailing... There you are, scooting along at a fair old lick in a big comfy vehicle, and its costing you (and arguably the environment, too) virtually nothing!

    So do it. You really won't regret it. MW
     
  9. arg

    arg Member

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    #9 arg, Jul 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
    A couple of points not mentioned in the above:

    1) If you get the CHAdeMO adapter (£350) then you can charge at reasonable speed at motorway service areas etc. - currently about 70 miles of range per hour of charging, should be about 130 if they ever get them fixed.
    Although not as fast as Superchargers, it's enough to make 200-odd mile round trips no problem: stop for 30 mins for a sandwich and coffee and you've made up the difference between the 70D and 85D.

    As MartinWinlow implies above, it's somewhat a matter of how flexible you are in your thinking - if you want a car to do precisely what your old car did, then this isn't it. If you are prepared to think of things slightly differently
    (for example, trade the greater convenience of daily charging for occasional inconvenience on trips), then it can work out better.

    2) Re. overnight charging costs: if you are able to switch to Economy 7, then your electricity cost may be as low as 6p/kWh, so about 2p/mile. The main snag with Economy7 is that you pay a higher rate for your daytime usage; it's usually still worth it with an EV, but to account for it properly you should add some of that extra daytime cost to the low price you pay for the units to actually charge the car. if you are able to shift some of your other usage to after midnight (I run my dishwasher overnight, for example), then that reduces the effect.

    Do you really find it that bad on a journey long enough to matter (in the UK)? I find the cold weather impact to be mainly a huge hit on starting off (which can be partly reduced by pre-heating), and then only a moderate effect after the first few miles. Certainly if it's cold enough the pack heater can run continuously, but that needs -20C or so which we just don't get here.

    For UK conditions, I actually find heavy rain to be more of a constraint to getting my expected range than cold weather.
     
  10. Haf

    Haf Member

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    Thanks for the re-assurance guys and I really do fancy the 70D. Its going to cost me more than my other options (jag XE, merc 350e etc) but I am happy to pay a bit more for having something completely different. I reckon I can make the charging thing work and simply adapt a bit as arg/martin suggested. I will report back after the test drive tomorrow and the proper lease quote early next week. Fingers crossed the costs down't work out to worse than my forecast. #
    My challenge will be to get my company to pay me some kind of mileage rate for business miles as otherwise I am paying for charging the car out of my own pocket and getting nothing back. I'll happily tackle that later and key for me will be getting the leasing company to place an order and hope i don't fall foul of any leasing 'rules' eg no orders for cars with a >6 month lead time
     
  11. arg

    arg Member

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    Check this out elsewhere as I don't do this myself and can't guarantee I've got this right, but:

    - Electricity is not considered by HMRC to be 'fuel', and so if your employer pays for charging your car, you do NOT incur the fuel benefit tax that you would if they provided petrol.
    - Certainly, if they provide somewhere for you to charge at your company's premises, then there's no tax to be paid on that.
    - I _think_ that if you separately metered your electricity use for the car at home and the company reimbursed that, it would be an allowable expense and not taxable. Note that if you get a chargepoint installed at home under the OLEV scheme, it will provide metering (crappy metering if you go with Chargemaster, a nice ordinary meter you can read yourself if you go with some other installers).

    Check out here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM23900.htm
     
  12. smac

    smac Active Member

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    arg, I'm not sure HMRC have completely got their heads round this. Installation of a EVSE is non taxable, however reclaiming electricity isn't explicitly mentioned.

    My view is to be completely straight-bat here the trick would be to somehow work out how much of the charging was for private miles vs. business ones. Keeping a log of business miles pro-rata the meter reading for your expense claim would probably be the "safest" if it ever came under scrutiny.

    Of course this is still all screwed up as a chunk of miles will be from SCs, Ecotricity, Hotels, Office,.... it all gets very messy.
     
  13. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    #13 mgboyes, Jul 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
    Interesting.

    Actually @arg's link (and more specifically Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 and Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003) does make this clear.

    s239 says "No liability to income tax arises in respect of a payment to an employee in respect of expenses incurred by the employee in connection with a taxable car or van or an exempt heavy goods vehicle [with the exception of fuel benefit charges which are covered in s149]".

    And s149 doubly reinforces the fact that electricity is not a fuel by saying explicitly that "References in this section to fuel do not include any facility or means for supplying electrical energy for an electrically propelled vehicle."

    So, since there is no fuel benefit charge, the supply of electricity used to charge a company owned EV is never a taxable benefit. It doesn't matter if that's from a charge point at work, or a charge point at home, or a charge point on the road, and it doesn't matter whether it's used for business or private travel. Nor is the installation of charge points to charge a company owned EV a taxable benefit, and nor is any subscription fee to a charging network (@smac something to consider for your supercharging upgrade!).

    The one thing that is missing relative to ICE then is the lack of "advisory fuel rates" which allow ICE drivers to claim back their fuel costs from their employer without keeping detailed records. Since there's no advisory rate for electricity you would have to track the actual cost of charging the car in order to be sure no tax liability would arise.


    -----

    The case that's messy I think is when an employer provides a charge point and electricity for people to charge their privately owned cars. In that case a BIK arises (which may or may not be trivial).
     
  14. Jamesteruk

    Jamesteruk Member

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    Good luck with getting the company to put it on the list Haf, but no reason they shouldn't if it fits the budget. Sure there are some great PR benefits for them about embracing green tech (plus a 0-60 of 5.2s will get you to meetings faster and you can be more productive?).

    I honestly wouldn't too much about the charging costs - between the soon to be expanded supercharger network and ecotricity when it works, you can do a lot of it before you get home. Convince your company to put an electric car charger at the office and you are sorted.

    I'm in Warwick too, but don't get car until end August, so if you want another ride them, just let me know.
     
  15. Haf

    Haf Member

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    All - thanks for the advice and i did look into the HMRC stuff. Apparantly one of the fleet 'bodies' is petitioning the govt to add a mileage rate for electric vehicles and that should sort everything out. Failing that I agree that a log of business miles plus home charging electric rate should be claimable as a normal expense. I agree its not a major factor in the decision.

    James - if I do get this on order then I'll get in touch after summer and see how you are getting on.

    I had my test drive yesterday at tesla birmingham and drove both the 70D and 85. All I can saw is 'wow, what a car' and I am sold on getting it if at all possible.
    They had petty much all the colors and, surprisingly, the standard white stood out to me with black/red/blue also looking good.
    I am trying not to add options to keep the costs reasonable but I think the sunroof is a must having seen a car with it and one without.
    The only thing I didn't get to see was the standard seats as all the cars were leather.

    So - hopefully I'll get a lease company quote this week and if all the numbers add up then i will get an order loaded asap.

    One odd question - how do people charge at home. I expect to have an external charging point outside my garage and just plug into that overnight but I'm thinking that is there is a small risk of someone walking off with my charging cable? Bit rando I know but the cable is key to the car so am just wondering what everyone else thinks?
     
  16. arg

    arg Member

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    While you are charging, the cable is locked to the car (and usually to the chargepoint too). For home use, you probably want a chargepoint with a captive cable - don't want to be fetching the cable out of the boot every night when you get home. If for some reason you want a socketed chargepoint at home (to allow you to charge visiting Nissan Leaf owners?), then you could buy a spare (single phase) cable and fix it to the wall with a ringbolt and a large padlock.

    This is assuming you get a proper chargepoint installed - probably via the OLEV subsidy scheme. If you go the other route of using the UMC that (now) comes with the car and just a commando socket on the outside of the house, the same point about being locked while charging still applies, though in that case they could steal the adapter off the other end of the cable. Personally, I don't like this option and strongly disapprove of Tesla's change of policy - though there are probably people who disagree with me.
     
  17. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    I've not seen the cloth seats myself but various people have said that they're actually very nice - not "downmarket" at all. They are the exact same seats as the leather ones just with a different upholstery finish. I would definitely make Tesla find you a car with them on so you can take a look.

    Regarding Pano roof it's worth noting that a) it's essential if you ever want to use a roofrack - the solid roof cars don't have the mounting points, and b) it does increase headroom especially in the back so if you plan to carry 4 adults it might be useful.

    But since the "Tech Pack" was merged into the standard equipment on the car, and DAB radio was also made standard, there really are no essential options any more. A base model 70D is a pretty complete car that's 90% as good as one with all the options ticked.

    I'd say that the vast majority of UK Model S owners have had a Type 2 charge point installed at their home under the OLEV home charge point grant. Prior to April 2015 you could get a point installed completely free (assuming your existing wiring was up to spec) and today you can get one for around £200-300. These can be supplied untethered (with a Type 2 socket on them, in which case you also need a Type 2 cable to connect between the charge point and the car) or tethered (with an attached cable with a Type 2 plug on it, which plugs straight into the car).

    Most owners have had tethered points installed, where possible (the tethered cables tend to be about 4.5m long so you can only do this if you can get the car near enough to the point for the cable to reach). If it's easy for you to reverse your car up to your garage then a tethered Type 2 point would seem to be by far the neatest solution, with no risk of theft*.

    You're going to use this charge point twice a day, every day, indefinitely, so making it really convenient is hugely beneficial. For that reason I'd also discourage you from any arrangement where you need to get a cable in and out of the car boot every day in order to charge - if you get an untethered point at home and also want to carry a Type 2 cable in the car, get two Type 2 cables and leave one of them permanently connected to the charge point.

    * Though in practice theft is not an issue anyway. Both the car and the charge point will lock the connector into the socket when in use so you cannot steal the cable, and irrespective of that I've never heard of an instance of a charging lead being stolen, ever.
     
  18. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    #18 martinwinlow, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
    Personally, I use an external, weatherised 13A socket with a portable EVSE (PEVSE) - or Granny charger - for charging my MS (and another one for my i-MiEV, for that matter) a home made one, as it happens. I am firmly of the opinion that the dedicated domestic EVSEs (as funded) by HMG are largely unnecessary and the money could be far better used for a proper rapid charger infrastructure for use by those EVers not fortunate enough to be able to afford a Tesla (but us Tesla owners too, of course).

    If you do lots of miles, then sure, a 30A EVSE is worth it (or one with even more power, if needs be). Just bear in mind that you can still do 6MRHC (6 miles of range per hour of charging) on a 13A socket with one of these, enough of an overnight charge for double the average UK daily mileage. PEVSEs only pull 10A so as to not overload the plug/socket. Just be sure to check the plug and socket for heating once in a blue moon and ideally, leave the PEVSE always connected. This will prevent wear on the mating contact surfaces which leads to a poor connection, which leads to increased resistance between the contact surfaces, which leads to more heating, more resistance, more heat... Not good. The relevant British Standard for plugs (BS1363) says about 50 degrees C is the maximum working temperature for plugs - but they should still be 'operational' at 70C. The thermal due above blows at 72C.

    Aside from building your own PEVSE (for about £250 or less), they come up on eBay quite regularly and both Type 2 and Type 1 PEVSEs (so all of them, basically) are electronically compatible with the MS. However, the Type 1 plug (and therefore cable as the plug is normally crimped onto the cable with a hydraulic crimping tool) will have to be replaced with a Type 2 plug (3m replacement cable&plug set is £99 at EVBitz) and is a relatively simple job for the competent DIYer (but should, of course, be checked by a 'qualified person' before use). Longer ones can also be bought as can a special, short 3P, 32A T2>T2 cable as well as other T2 cables, EPCs, plug 'holsters' and other charging bits and bobs.

    If your PEVSE does not have 13A plug thermal management already built-in, I would also advocate the use of a thermal fuse wired in series with the live wire inside the plug to protect the installation in the event of the plug overheating due to the above. This is very simple, effective and cheap (£1) insurance against plug over-heating issues. MW (Director of EVBitz.uk)
     
  19. TC56

    TC56 Member

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    On the expenses front, don't forget there are 2 elements to it, there is the mileage rate, and a secondary rate which covers "depreciation" for the first 8000 (?) business miles. you usually have to claim the latter back from the tax man in your year end return (and is only valid if you use your own car).
     
  20. arg

    arg Member

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    Well, like all Government projects the money has to some extent been mis-spent - but arguably the money on public charging has been spent even worse. In the case of the home chargepoints, it has largely served the purpose of pump-priming a small-volume market, and EVSE prices have come down, even though a lot has been wasted on remote metering to produce statistics of dubious quality.

    A large proportion of people are going to need some sort of new installation for their charging requirements, and the fundamental difference between an EVSE and a standard socket is the cost of a contactor and about £10 of electronics - small enough to be dwarfed by the labour and cable costs in a typical installation. We are not there yet since EVSEs are still a low-volume product and hence more expensive, but it's already not a huge extra cost.

    To my mind, mass acceptance of EVs needs charging that's safe and straightforward for the non-technical user; using portable EVSE compromises that, though exactly how much depends on what you compare to what.

    Your outdoor 13A socket might be OK if its a good quality one, is protected by an RCD, and is appropriately earthed. But how is a non-technical user to know the difference between that and one that was put in for running the lawnmower?
     

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