Buying the Best Electric Vehicle - for your needs

Always true! I share your ability to drive smoothly and adapt to the mechanical responses of things. But I have a driver in the family who can cannot drive anything smoothly and becomes hostile if I point it out or try to suggest improvement to their ‘style’. They might be poor candidates for ‘happy regenerative braking’ drivers.


Similar experience with self able to adapt to the vehicle’s characteristics - and another driver in family who cannot … perhaps there’s always one of each in every family? :smile:

My 2013 Nissan Leaf has regenerative braking, which is quite likely not as aggressive as Tesla’s is reported to be, but it is noticeable. I had no trouble adapting to it. It didn’t feel much different to me from a manual-geared ICEV’s engine braking, when one is accustomed to using the gears effectively. Every manual ICEV’s gears feel a little different, so if you’re often changing vehicles you tend to adjust quickly. Or at least, that’s what I learned to do.

It might be more difficult for those who’ve only ever driven automatic ICEVs to adjust?


When one drives a manual car then shifting down into a lower gear becomes second nature. Such as when holding speed when going down a hill, or just coming to a stop and using engine braking.
I do this sometimes on automatic cars too.

But, I knew a person who had an automatic car and thought he was some sort of race driver and aggressively manually shifted the gears to slow down.
He complained about people beeping him all the time and at least a couple of times being run into the back off.

Reason? No brake lights activated if slowing down using engine braking.

I believe that today’s EVs activate the brake lights if using regenerative motor slowing?


That’s an interesting question. At least some do activate the brake lights, but not every time there’s any regen braking. It depends on how rapidly the vehicle’s slowing.

As for people running into the back of suddenly-slowing vehicles … there’s not much excuse for that, even if they do slow down very suddenly. The recommended 3-second gap is meant to allow enough time for the driver to notice and react to whatever’s going on up ahead, and avoid a crash. Few drivers seem to apply that rule - but if they all did, there’d be far fewer rear-enders.

Are every vehicle’s brake lights always working? No? So don’t rely on them.


Most if not all modern EVs have crash avoidance systems that slow and if needed stop the vehicle if it gets too close to the vehicle in front. Regardless of how far you press your foot on the pedal it will not allow too close an approach. Even with the act of overtaking the space is monitored, it is quite a decent feature.

Many newer ICE vehicles are now including the feature, early models produced only a warning, now you get a warning and if approach continues the system reduces power to the drive system, continuing to approach then means the braking system is employed. This is one of the reasons that EVs and more modern ICE vehicles as less prone to being too close to the vehicle in front.

If the system is actively controlling the space, brake lights are not employed until severe deceleration is happening.


Indeed, very useful safety features. Pity they can’t be retrofitted (cheaply) to all older vehicles.

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End of year sales which suggest supply is exceeding demand.

Price driven: electric cars have never been cheaper. Is it now time to buy an EV? | Australia news | The Guardian

In addition to the Choice EV buying guide the more popular automotive websites offer multiple reviews. The Nissan Leaf and MG4 models, are two of the less expensive. The pricing indicated includes on road costs while both are supported through regular dealerships.

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Much to consider… how many can happily wear what is a fairly large economic loss that might not be ‘in one’s face’ whilst shopping? The runouts and current price drops have flow on effects as does the march of technology.

To wonder if those early adopters of the first models of spark ignition powered horseless carriages experienced similar feelings when the Model-T first hit the streets.

The knockers have often suggested that no one should look to purchase a BEV until they reached price parity with the equivalent ICE model.

The early days of automotive development leading up to the Model-T and the response of the competition delivered a diverse range of vehicles. To note it took decades in Australia before nearly every family had a car. It was made harder by our political outlook or inwards looking that priced imported vehicles at a premium against local and GB manufacturers.

Australia still presents barriers to a free market and importation. Notably through a belief we know more about vehicle safety than Europe et al by insisting on our own system of crash testing and small differences in safety requirements. As a nation we set ourselves apart - arrogance or ignorance, or the musings of vested interests?

A very English view of driving. 93% of vehicle journeys are reported to be less than 25miles (approx 40km). The typical Australian daily commute is less.

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This is a rather different take on the situation:

For electric carmakers, the huge competition is biting – forcing even Tesla to cut prices to keep selling its cars. That competition will cause car executives sleepless nights – and could force some to merge or face bankruptcy, which could cause job losses. But it could also push prices down further, making electric cars cheaper than petrol equivalents.

“It’s potentially a good thing for consumers,” said Ian Henry. “Whether it’s a good thing for manufacturers who are trying to make money is a different question.”

So … real competition in the EV car market is now under way, and even the big car manufacturers have finally realised they have to get into the act, and quickly. The rush to be in it, and the very strong push for market dominance from the Chinese EV makers, means a temporary glut and lower prices.

That’s a long way from “the arse has fallen out of the demand” for EVs.

As for used EV prices falling … why is anyone surprised at that? Used EV prices have been unreasonably high for years because so few were available. Plenty of demand, nowhere near enough supply = high prices. Supply increases = price drops.

This had to happen. The price of new EVs has been falling and the number and variety of brands of new EVs being imported has been increasing. People with older / shorter range EVs are trading up, and many of the people who’d previously have snapped up the resulting used EVs now CAN get a new one, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Why wouldn’t the demand - thus the price - for used EVs drop under those conditions?

A reality is that being technology based, EVs are underscored by computer or mobile phone-like year upon year advances. The economics of cars are changing. Referencing the previously posted article, how many people can put $40-150,000 into a product that has a finite useful life for expensive batteries, and its value is diminished by better ‘version N’ models with more range and potentially more advanced/better batteries than last year’s offers?

The baseline economics are mentally compared to ICE vehicles where advances were over decades and mostly evidenced by trim levels and features. Better fuel economy? Only after governments pushed it.

Thus the used price for any EV, as others opined, is responding to market conditions but also affected by technological underpinnings that are making significant improvements year upon year.

No matter how one wishes to frame it, defend it, or promote it, my suspicion is the buyers frame of reference is beginning to recognise the rapid changes, but expects the rate of change/improvement to reduce in coming years so is inhibiting a large segment of customers today. Are they onto something or not? Similarly, can Australian real estate continue climbing at its current rates that significantly outpace income? Neither question is easily answered with punters on both sides.


Considering the value of real estate and the value of a BEV.

There are those betting on the first to add to their personal wealth against those just seeking security in a home (renter or first home buyer). An immediate and unescapable need.

Those hesitant on an EV are making a different type of bet. One that changes the future of all. It’s incremental in its effect. The immediate need for transport independence is largely being met, albeit by an outdated solution and ICE vehicles.

Is the easy answer for both with the status quo?
For now we seem to be shuffling the deck chairs (treating the symptoms) rather than agreeing a cure. We’re not in sufficient pain and suffering to give up a leg to save the body, some might say.

End of being philosophical. There are some great BEV’s out there. Best purchased with eyes and wallet wide open. Similar expenditure could also purchase a medium or large sized ICE fuming SUV or 4WD Ute with all the seldom used accessories.

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As with decorating sometimes it is necessary to ‘rearrange the deck chairs’ to see what ‘looks’ best. The complexity of a cure aside, economics has long defined pubic policy for better or worse.


I saw my first Tesla Cybertruck drive into a very busy restaurant car park looking for a place. To my eyes it was ugly and confronting in its dystopian look. Akin to a refugee prop from a Mad Max movie.

It appeared to catch the attention of most everyone on foot as well as those sitting at surrounding al fresco tables. Over the top ‘look at me’ vehicles might be a safety hazard equal to mobile phones although they distract others, not the driver. Perhaps ‘supercars’ are the same?

With many new vehicles, and especially some BEVs, adding gamelike exterior lighting and panel controls/displays, it appears safety and function may have ‘left the ADRs’. Not that the ADRs have or necessarily can/should address ‘style’. I admit my concern might be no more valid than requiring a flag bearer with a horn to precede motor vehicles (circa the late 1800’s) yet focusing on driving or being a backup for self drive features should be job one, not an incidental subject to ‘high style’.