The Ampera – Our latest thoughts

OK, here is an update on our thoughts regarding the Ampera, Leaf, our Freelander 2 and what we are thinking of doing…

Having put our initial thoughts on the blog and had some interesting comments we have been persuaded that the Ampera is not a good option. We would love owning an Ampera. We have a Leaf and would love the Ampera in the same way we love the Leaf. It is fantastic technology and we are always drawn towards techie solutions. However, in the case of the Ampera it would be at a huge financial cost.

Grant made this point and we have taken his thoughts to heart… thank you Grant!

The biggest issue is the Freelander. That is where there is the biggest depreciationa nd running costs. It is also a superb car, technically advanced and a great towing car. It served us well for what we wanted a year ago but now, without the towing requirement, it is oversized and overpriced for our needs and to keep it would be pointless given the depreciation we are bound to suffer.

As I have said many times, we love the Leaf and it serves our daily, local driving needs admirably whilst saving us the bulk of our running costs especially as we have solar PV. It does seem silly to sell the Leaf given that it does exactly what we bought it for… the bulk of our driving miles done locally.

So what should we do? I said in the response to Grant that we did not want to consider any car that was not a good hybrid or electric and it was on that basis that we were drawn to the Ampera however the cost is way too high – still! We would then have a hybrid car that has the potential to depreciate massively over the next 3 years especially given that the market is moving very rapidly and in 3 years there may be much better options. We would then want to change again and the would cost us hugely.

We discussed what our perfect 2nd car would be and we have concluded that it would be a 100% electric but with greater range and faster charging… something that is only really available right now in the guise of the Tesla Model S but at over £70,000 for the 300 mile version it is simply out of the question. However, who is to say that there won’t be 200-300 mile electric cars that are in my price range in the next few years and so it would make sense to compromise now while we wait. We need a car that does not have the restrictions of the Leaf for long trips and so right now perhaps the better option is for us to get a good, efficient, diesel… such as the VW Bluemotion. So I think I am going to have to change my requirements and accept that the replacement for the Freelander will be a diesel, albeit a fuel-efficient one.

We reckon we can get a 60-plate Polo Bluemotion locally for just £12,995 reducing our financial commitment by almost £17,000 and saving us depreciation on that £17,000 plus saving fuel, insurance and servicing costs to boot and so this is our current school of thought.

I am glad we are not considering selling the Leaf. Selling the Freelander does seem like the right choice but selling the Leaf felt wrong given what it gives us and we love it for our normal, daily use.

If we got a Bluemotion Polo, or some other efficient diesel, for say £12,000 then we would still have the cash to spend in a few years to replce it when an electric car more suitable to long trips is launched and without the huge depreciation. By then the charging infrastructure will also be more developed adding to the suitability.

This seems like a much more sensible path… thanks Grant 🙂

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