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chandler
chandler UltimaDork
1/21/22 10:37 a.m.
Rigante said:

did you guys get 2wd VW passats/ Audis in 2.0 Diesel form? 

 

60mpg, big enough to survive a knock, plentiful so not too expensive. Might be worth a go.

That 2+ hours a day could let you learn a new language, listen to loads of audio books etc. Getting a 2 for one use out of that time makes the whole thing better value

US 60mpg? Wow, that's amazing. Even if not that would be 49/50 US mpg and I don't think we got anything that is that efficient.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
1/21/22 10:54 a.m.
chandler said:
Rigante said:

did you guys get 2wd VW passats/ Audis in 2.0 Diesel form? 

 

60mpg, big enough to survive a knock, plentiful so not too expensive. Might be worth a go.

That 2+ hours a day could let you learn a new language, listen to loads of audio books etc. Getting a 2 for one use out of that time makes the whole thing better value

US 60mpg? Wow, that's amazing. Even if not that would be 49/50 US mpg and I don't think we got anything that is that efficient.

Official EPA rating for the 2.0 Passat was 30mpg city/40mpg hwy. It looks like owners are typically reporting about 40mpg:

https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31226&id=31585&id=32092&id=35780

A hybrid Camry or Avalon gets similar fuel mileage with cheaper, more readily available fuel, which drops cost per mile. And that doesn't include lower maintenance than the TDIs.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/21/22 11:03 a.m.
dculberson said:

He was talking about buying something anyway. Obviously driving what you already have changes the equation, though you should count the value of what you have in the math - compare keeping and operating what you have versus selling what you have and buying and operating something new. If that's the math in question - the original question was not "which car should I keep and drive" It was "which car should I buy and drive."

I did some math, and at 25mpg and $3/gallon you'll spend about $3600/yr on just gas for this commute. Maintenance will be something given the miles but let's ignore it for now. A Bolt uses 29KHw per 100 miles, so, assuming you pay $.14/KHw which was quoted earlier in this thread, would cost $1218/yr for electricity. So on fuel, you would save $2,382/yr, or $198.50/mo. It's rated for 259 miles range, so as long as you had a 240v circuit in your garage you could charge from you'd be OK just charging at night. But be sure not to forget! I doubt you'd get two days out of it! A big advantage there, though, is you never have to stop at a gas station. You'd be stopping every couple days in a reasonably efficient gas car. That time and inconvenience adds up.

I don't know if any deals are out there on Bolts right now, but a good friend of mine just leased one for less than $200/mo. You'd blow through the mileage limits in no time, so a lease wouldn't be a great idea. But it's interesting to me that his lease payment is less than just what you'd save in fuel operating it.

I've seen plenty of used Bolts in the $20k range. That's a bit over your initial $15k budget but you'd save the difference in fuel in 25 months.

The idea of the 20%-80% range being healthiest for the batteries came up, well that means using 60% of the battery, and the Bolt range is 259 miles. 60% of 259 miles is 155, so you'd be able to charge to 80%, do your 150 mile round trip, and plug back in at 20%. You can set the Bolt to automatically stop charging at 80% in the menus. I don't think it's necessary, but if you wanted to be super gentle on the batteries you could do it.

I've been charging mine to 90% with no degradation noted (just had the replacement through a recall, so my history ends around two years of doing this and resets)

I also pay closer to 0.09$/KHw

 

Never stopping at a gas station is huge, as is never repairing anything really, not even brakes. It's also a dramatically less stressful commute with so much less noise, at least for me.

 

But yeah the cost alone for long commutes blows everything else out of the water.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/22 11:20 a.m.

I did a lot of long commutes in two vehicles: a Dodge Ram Diesel and a Dodge Intrepid R/T. 

I wasn't paying the bills on the big Dodge and had to tow a trailer, but I can say that the diesel engine helped with the mileage. The biggest thing was the truck was smooth on the highway because it was a 2 wheel drive long bed extended cab. You also had plenty of room in the cabin for coffee and snacks and to generally stretch out a bit. Size hurts fuel economy, but being trapped in a tiny space for all those hours would drive me nuts.

The Intrepid was great for long hauls because it had plenty of power and would cruise at high speed for days. You sat in what was essentially a leather lazy boy, so you never got uncomfortable. It was big enough inside you never felt trapped and because it was aerodynamic, you never dealt with wind noise. 

Generally speaking, you will get the most bang for your buck with a sedan. You want it loaded with features, especially smart cruise control for the highway. A truck or SUV with the same trim level will cost thousands more. Second, look for sedans that offer a base engine, like accords and camrys that offer a base 4 cylinder and an upgraded V6. (at least they used to)  once you're up to speed you don't need much power so save the gas. If they come with a diesel option like a lot of European cars, that may be another way to go.

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
1/21/22 11:38 a.m.

Long shot from left field... what about an early 2000s Saab? I understand there could be some questions about reliability for a car that old and parts because Saab. 

BUT

Both the 9-3 and 9-5s from those years have ridiculously comfortable seats, pretty good driving dynamics and can easily return 30+ MPGs.

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
1/21/22 11:49 a.m.

In November I did the 200 mile track 5 days a week with a Cx-9. I was getting about 25 MPG, good for a big car but not great, but I was comfortable. I was looking into getting a Honda Fit manual and TDI Manual (Golf or Jetta) but the used car prices are still hit with the Covid inflation, honestly it was cheaper to has a small apartment then purchasing a car (gas prices). I was happy with my CX-9 it was a brand new lease and didn't have to worry about any issues and luckily because it wasn't long term I am back on track for being under my mileage.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
1/21/22 12:06 p.m.

No specific recommendation but I would consider range in addition to pure fuel economy, just for the convenience.  Only a handful of cars will do it, but I would think no fill-ups during the week (or none ever in the case of an EV) would be great.  Only 1 vs 2 would be meaningful too, but most cars will let you get by with 1.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/21/22 2:56 p.m.
tuna55 said:

Did you do the math yet with an EV? Because the answer is still an EV. 

You going to drive an EV 150 miles round trip with the only recharge options at start and end only?  There are no charging options on the route or work location.  

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/21/22 4:07 p.m.

Having owned a few evs now, hard pass unless you have fast charging to get you to full everyday. The rated mileage is no where near what you'll get on a long highway commute at highway speeds in varying weather 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/22 4:09 p.m.

I have done long commutes in pretty much everything from a TDI wagon with a 5 spd to a full-size conversion van and a 2500 diesel truck. Currently a 2017 Dodge minivan. I do have other cars when I get the itch to drive something more interesting.

I agree with the comments about comfort. Especially as I get older (52 this year).

Much of my commute was through central NJ suburbs.  In other words: Deer Country.  Hitting a deer was not a case of "if" but "when".  I was lucky and only tagged a fawn once with minimal damage, but that commute did make me consider any commuter vehicle I drove needed to be somewhat expendable and easily replaced. 

A vehicle that gets great MPG is nice, but it does get old driving a slow car at times.  That said, having to fill up with fuel every 3-4 days is also annoying... I'd want an EV solely for that reason. 

When you drive the same route every day, day after day, the whole "slow car fast" thing starts to really make sense.  When you know a twisty section of road like the back of your hand, it becomes a minor game to confuse sports car drivers when you're in something totally not sporty - like a conversion van or a minivan - simply because you know the road so well.

Being in DFW, I'm assuming you'll never/rarely have to worry about snow, so those considerations don't need to be addressed.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/21/22 4:59 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

We are leaving DFW for the deep south.  I will be communting through heavy woods of the southeast from a city to the middle of nowhere and home.  I like the idea of a Bolt, especially if fuel costs rise.  I'm also leaning to things that get 40mpg or so like the Civic sport / Si, Fit, or a Prius.  I think the Si might be the most fun and GRM seemed to really love theirs they had for a year or so.  I need to go drive one.  At 40mpg the fuel savings over my truck is noticeable.  If the residual resale on an Si is good, getting it will just about break even and remove that wear from my truck.  Other than tires, fuel and regular service, I have confidence in Honda reliability. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/21/22 5:11 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

Did you do the math yet with an EV? Because the answer is still an EV. 

You going to drive an EV 150 miles round trip with the only recharge options at start and end only?  There are no charging options on the route or work location.  

Yes. Easily. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/21/22 5:12 p.m.
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) said:

Having owned a few evs now, hard pass unless you have fast charging to get you to full everyday. The rated mileage is no where near what you'll get on a long highway commute at highway speeds in varying weather 

My Bolt does fine at high highway speeds. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UltraDork
1/21/22 5:32 p.m.

I bought a new 2014 mazda3 with a six speed manual and the 2.0 skyactive engine - that got 40mpg drinking the cheap stuff. It was great.


I bought it for long work trips - but I couldn't sit in it for more than 30 minutes without pain. No manner of adjustment, rolled up towels, etc would remedy that one...


So my advice is take a LONG test drive. No twenty minute test drive with a new car boner masking how those seats really feel. A long drive. 

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/21/22 5:48 p.m.

You guys have gotten me to at least re-evaluate the feasibility of an EV for a commute like this.  I still think the big issue is how well a battery pack is going to stand up to that much daily abuse.  Given that you can apparently keep it in the 20-80% range (barely) when new, it's possible.  At 30,000 miles/year, that probably works for a few years.  Once you've taken a 20% range hit on the battery, things start to look bleak even if the battery pack is still "good".

I'm confused about all the Bolt love.  I haven't been paying a lot of attention, but enough that when GM's recommendation is "don't charge it all the way and park it outside and far away from anything because it's going to catch on fire while you sleep" is enough to make me completely disregard it for a couple years to re-evaluate and see if they get their act together.  Which, they won't, because this is GM...

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/22 6:10 p.m.

In reply to Berck :

So far, battery longevity seems to be pretty good. The are a number of Teslas out there with a crap-load of miles and charge cycles on them and degradation seems to be minimal. The controller is pretty conservative and leans towards battery longevity. 

My WAG is the Bolt charging issue is a software or sensor issue and they'll figure out a fix pretty quickly. 

At a 150 miles/day (not including lunchtime or after work errands), you're basically going to go maybe two days between fill-ups since most cars don't have a range much beyond 300 miles.  Even my TDI was in the upper 500 mile range at best. The diesel stations between home, work and my -ex's house knew my car on sight since I was filling up every 4-5 days.   I was dreaming of a viable EV for years solely for that reason - the ease of just getting home, plugging the car in and never having to think about a fuel station again. WFH kinda squashed that since I don't drive that much now (literally haven't driven any of my cars in last 6 days).

STM317
STM317 UberDork
1/21/22 6:11 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

Did you do the math yet with an EV? Because the answer is still an EV. 

You going to drive an EV 150 miles round trip with the only recharge options at start and end only?  There are no charging options on the route or work location.  

2020 Bolts get 259 miles of range. Real world testing frequently returns 220-225 miles at a steady 70mph:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4O8Jd7dMAPQ

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VyP_6saDDGE

 

Even with a bunch of HVAC use, you'd still probably have more than enough to do 150 miles. The bigger issue is having 240v charging at home. The most common grumbles that I hear about the Bolt are probably the seats. That's highly personal, but it would have to be comfortable to deal with on longer drives, so I'd make sure you like the seats on long drives if you're serious about the Bolt

 

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/21/22 6:22 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Funny...  The fillup every 3 days (300ish miles out of a Miata tank) was a pretty minor annoyance in the grand scheme of my commute.  The fillup every other day on the 50mpg motorcycle annoyed me a lot more, mostly because of the frustration of dealing with gloves/airbag tether/wallet.

I did appreciate the absurdity of the 20 gallon tank and 28mpg of my Audi 5000 that let me go more than 500 miles on a tank so I could only fill up once a week.  Theoretically.  I think there was only one week where I both wanted to drive it every day and it actually started every day.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
1/21/22 6:26 p.m.
Berck said:

You guys have gotten me to at least re-evaluate the feasibility of an EV for a commute like this.  I still think the big issue is how well a battery pack is going to stand up to that much daily abuse.  Given that you can apparently keep it in the 20-80% range (barely) when new, it's possible.  At 30,000 miles/year, that probably works for a few years.  Once you've taken a 20% range hit on the battery, things start to look bleak even if the battery pack is still "good".

I'm confused about all the Bolt love.  I haven't been paying a lot of attention, but enough that when GM's recommendation is "don't charge it all the way and park it outside and far away from anything because it's going to catch on fire while you sleep" is enough to make me completely disregard it for a couple years to re-evaluate and see if they get their act together.  Which, they won't, because this is GM...

The Bolt battery fires are a supplier quality issue (LG Chem in this case). I think I read something about defective tabs on some individual cells within the packs or something. Hyundai/Kia had a similar issue with their LG Chem supplied batteries. They say that all of the new packs are fine. Outside of the handful of defective packs, they seem to be really solid cars. GM will be switching to their proprietary Ultium batteries with future EVs.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
1/21/22 6:32 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

Did you do the math yet with an EV? Because the answer is still an EV. 

You going to drive an EV 150 miles round trip with the only recharge options at start and end only?  There are no charging options on the route or work location.  

A level 2 (240v 30a) charger will get the battery from 0 to 100% in about 9 hours. You're not leaving a ton of cushion but I don't see it being an issue with 258 miles of range and a 150 mile commute. If something did go awry I assume you'd still have at least one backup car given you're a grmer. 

On the battery issue they figured out it was a manufacturing problem at the LG factory. A folded electrode or something the robot was doing wrong. It's pretty sure thing that it was LGs fault as they're picking up the tab for the recall. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/21/22 6:36 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

How many miles will a Chevy Volt go on electric before going to the safety of gas? 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
1/21/22 6:59 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

1st gen Volt like i have only does about 30 miles. 2nd gen does about 50. After that the gas motor kicks in and it get decent mpg (39 or so?) but it kinda sucks because the gas motor doesn't run the wheels it runs a generator that then powers the electric motor. So it's all revving up and down with no connection to how fast you're going. Kinda messes with the dynamics. I don't mind so much but it's a disadvantage. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/21/22 7:51 p.m.

I'm going to have to drive a Bolt and see what it's all about based on the experience of others here.  This is why I made the thread that get ideas I had not considered.

grover
grover Dork
1/21/22 8:00 p.m.

I did this a couple of years ago when I was in roofing and was stuck with my diesel f250. In some ways the truck was nice because i just set the cruise control and drove the right lane. I did drive it a few times in a rental that had apple car play and the ease of that and having my podcast automatically start, the car being quieter and better a/c was much more relaxing. 
for me, thigh support and a/c are game changers. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/22 8:15 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

Sometimes I listen to a book, and tried to work on a language but I mostly listen to music and decompress from the daily E36 M3show I'm currently in. Having 90+ minutes where I really can't be bothered by work and can just sing/scream with the music seems to help.  
 

We have a few Bolts at work as well as a growing fleet of electric buses.  I was very skeptical when we began the program but they've far exceeded what I expected.  They're viable long distance cars for 95 percent of my commuting. Should the Buick give up before I retire it's replacement will likely be electric 

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