Frequently Asked Good Questions

WHY CHOOSE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?

WHY CHOOSE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?

By far the easiest question to answer! Apart from some planet-saving good vibes, electric vehicles are:

  • More fun to drive

  • Heaps less maintenance

  • Cheaper to run and maintain

  • Not stinky and really quiet to drive

  • Safe from international oil wars and Christmas time price gouging

HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE ON FUEL COSTS?

HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE ON FUEL COSTS?

Heaps

Electric cars can save the average Australian driver over $1,500 per year on fuel costs. As a rough rule of thumb electricity will drive your car at around 1/3 of the cost of petrol.  You can crunch the numbers on the total cost of ownership on the EV council's website.

HOW FAR WILL MY CAR GO?

HOW FAR WILL MY CAR GO?

It depends

The range of your vehicle depends on a number of factors. Including original battery size, age of vehicle, charging history, terrain, driving speed and temperature.  

Every EV we sell comes with a quoted range.  For new EV's this is based on the manufactured declared range.  We always use the most conservative measurement system so you don't get caught short.  for our second hand cars we "de-rate" the range to account for the fact that the cars are older and the range will have reduced slightly.

The average Australian commute is around 40km per day. If you only charge at home, and have a standard commute, even an older leaf with 110km range would easily cover the daily trips. 

Longer trips rely on using chargers.  Its a different mindset to a petrol car, but try and imagine bouncing between chargers to your destination.  To have a look at your travel plans check out A Better Route Planner to map a drive (including when and where to recharge.

Destination chargers (i.e. a charger at work or the holiday shack), and fast chargers throughout the country open a whole range of travel options. We recommend you factor in saving 1/4 of the battery capacity when planning trips. Ie a 100km range vehicle can be relied on for a 75km commute in all conditions for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions, talk to us to see if it's the best solution for you.

DO I NEED TO INSTALL A CHARGER AT MY HOME?

DO I NEED TO INSTALL A CHARGER AT MY HOME?

Maybe!

We supply our cars with a portable charger that works from a standard 10A  powerpoint. However, we recommend that the circuit be tested by an electrician to ensure the cabling is in tip-top condition. If you want to install a new power cable to the vehicle it makes sense to install a dedicated charger. They reduce any chance of electrical issues and some even come with the ability to directly divert your solar power to your car, whenever the sun is shining!  We also have discount codes to order various charging accessories or hardwired chargers from various providers (the codes are sent to you when you order your EV). 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE?

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE?

It Depends

Charging an electric car is a lot like charging your phone.  When you arrive home, you can simply plug it in, and in the morning it's ready.  No-fuss.  No service stations.

The other main type of charging you are likely to engage with is "DC fast charging".  These are the "service stations" of EV's and are mainly used on longer journeys.

Each model has a different sized battery, so to answer the question we need to know "how far can I go from an hour plugged in".

Home

10 Amp Portable charger supplied with all our vehicles - 12 km /hour, No installation cost. 

15 Amp Portable charger - 20km /hour, 15Amp PowerPoint required,  (approx $500)

Hardwired 7 kW EV Charger - 40km /hour, installation required, (approx $2000)

Hardwired 25 kW DC Charger -  140km /hour, installation required, (approx $15,000)

Public

Public AC charging (7-22kW) = 40km /hour 

Public DC fast/rapid charging (50kW) =  around 300km/ hour

 

DOES THE BATTERY DEGRADE OVER TIME?

DOES THE BATTERY DEGRADE OVER TIME?

Yes

The battery in electric vehicles gradually degrades over time. A study of all EV's (such as a new Tesla, Hyundai or Kia) places the average degredation of new vehicles at 2% per annum.  Nissan leafs batteries tend to fade on average around 3% per year.   A 5 year old vehicle has on average over 85% of its original battery capacity. When we buy a car we check the battery condition and only purchase the best batteries.  When we sell a vehicle we tell you the condition of the battery and its level of degradation. This is transfered into the estimated range of the vehicle at that point in time.

HOW DO YOU CHANGE A TYRE ON AN EV

HOW DO YOU CHANGE A TYRE ON AN EV

Use theMobility Kit

Oddly, many new vehicles don't come with a spare tyre. Rather they come with a repair foam.  This is a similar principle to many "on the go" bike repair kits.  The foam will temporarily seal most minor punctures and allow you to drive a short distance to get the tyre repaired.  It is recommended that the tyre is repaired by a qualified technician before driving distances.

For the Nissan Leaf use the "Conti Mobility Kit". This is a link to a short video on the kit.

For Hyundai Ev's use the "Hyundai Tyre Mobility Kit". This is a link to a short video on the kit.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NISSAN LEAFS BATTERY NEEDS CHANGING?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NISSAN LEAFS BATTERY NEEDS CHANGING?

We have the capacity to replace Nissan leaf batteries up to 40kWh.  Currently we are using second-hand batteries from donor vehicles.  In other jurisdictions companies are manufacturing aftermarket replacement batteries. Manufacturers in New Zealand and the Netherlands have announced affordable battery replacements. We are looking forward to testing and evaluating these products and helping to bring replacement batteries to our customers in the future.

DOES MY NISSAN LEAF SPEAK JAPANESE?

DOES MY NISSAN LEAF SPEAK JAPANESE?

Only if you want it to

The cars that we import from Japan are fully compliant with Australian requirements. We automatically change the dashboard to English language so the basic driving commands are simple and obvious.  

A headset is a unit in the centre of the car that contains the vehicle reversing camera, AC control, radio, and maps. As standard we can convert the headset with Australian maps, English audio, and Australian radio frequencies.  With models after 2015, we also ensure that the headsets have a great interface by upgrading them with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  Please note, some minor functionality is lost in this process and varies by model and year.  

DOES MY IMPORTED CAR COME WITH A WARRANTY

DOES MY IMPORTED CAR COME WITH A WARRANTY

Yes

We want to make sure your electric car experience is wonderful so we provide a mechanical warranty for our cars for 6 months or 7000km (Whichever comes first). We warranty the batteries against excessive battery degradation.  We also offer a 30-day return policy.  See the Good Car Guarantee 

DO ELECTRIC CARS ACTUALLY REDUCE C02 EMISSIONS?

DO ELECTRIC CARS ACTUALLY REDUCE C02 EMISSIONS?

Yes, but it depends on your electricity

The manufacture of the battery in the electric car uses alot of resources. However over time it repays itself because they use less energy (more efficient) and can be powered off 100% renewable energy. This study from Europe shows that a normal petrol car produces 258 grams co2 per km, whereas a Nissan Leaf powered of renewables (Norway Hydro) produces 73 grams per km. In the German grid with a large burden of coal power plants (a bit like NSW or Victoria) the Leaf produces 150 grams per km.

Simply put, if you must drive, drive electric. If you drive electric charge from renewables.

ARE THERE ANY PUBLICLY AVAILABLE CHARGERS IN AUSTRALIA?

ARE THERE ANY PUBLICLY AVAILABLE CHARGERS IN AUSTRALIA?

Yes

Lots in fact. The “PlugShare” map below shows quite a few. they have a great app for the phone too!

 

DO I ACTUALLY NEED A CAR?

DO I ACTUALLY NEED A CAR?

Maybe not? 

We encourage you to research what other transport options exist that can meet your needs.  Your local bicycle network can help you onto an e-bike and we would encourage you to explore car share schemes.  If you do get an EV - please share it and help our community decarbonise.

ARE ALL CARS AND CHARGERS COMPATIBLE

ARE ALL CARS AND CHARGERS COMPATIBLE

Umm, No.

We wish this was sorted out, but still, the world cant agree on a common plug!

Nissan Leaf Vehicles come with 2 charge ports on the car. Let's call them "Type 1" (slow) and CHAdeMO (fast)

The first port (called  "Type 1" or "J1772"  for fun) is the slower charger port.  It is used for charging at home and we supply a charger (like a big phone charger).  If you pop the charger in the boot every powerpoint in the country becomes a car charger!

Out and about you may want to invest in a "Type 1 to Type 2" adapter cable.  This connects your car to the more common charge ports at workplaces and destinations.

Hyundais and Kias etc come with 1 charge port that fits 2 different cables into it!  Let's call them "Type 2" (slow) and CSA (fast)

You use the  "Type 2" connection for charging at home and we supply a charger (like a big phone charger).  If you pop the charger in the boot every powerpoint in the country becomes a car charger!

Out and about you may want to invest in a "Type 2 to Type 2" adapter cable.  This connects your car to the more common charge ports at workplaces and destinations.

Most public chargers have both a CHAdeMO  and CSA (suitable for Hyundai) plug.  You just choose what fits your car.  If you create an account with https://www.plugshare.com/ you can log in and check compatibility.

Oh, and Tesla chargers - they don't share with other vehicle brands so don't even think about them. :(

 

HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY BATTERY

HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY BATTERY

Good Question...

First up, you are buying a good battery to begin with ;)  We only supply high quality new vehicles and with our second hand imports we only purchase vehicles with a good quality battery for its age.

Second, there are things you can do to keep the battery healthy in the long term.  Things that preserve the battery over the long term are

  • avoiding completely flattening the battery
  • try and keep the car charged between 20% and 80%
  • charge using the home slow charger in preference to a fast charger
  • don't drive like a hoon, extremely fast discharges can help degrade the battery
  • don't leave the car constantly connected to the charger.

You can take a deep dive into things to preserve your battery here

 

DOES MY NEW CAR COME WITH A WARRANTY?

DOES MY NEW CAR COME WITH A WARRANTY?

Yes

When we set up deals with Australian based dealerships such as Hyundai, we ensure that you receive the full manufacturers car and battery warranty.  

Can I charge from an extension lead or powerboard?

Can I charge from an extension lead or powerboard?

Um... no.

Its best practice to use a dedicated charger or powerpoint-EVSE for your EV.  We recommend that at your home you get the circuit checked by an electrician to make sure its in tip-top condition.

We do not recommend using an extension cord or powerboard to charge your car.  They are not designed for extended high current applications.  

However, when your out or in an emergency situation and don't have the luxery of choice you may need to use an extension.  If you must use an extension lead, we suggest a few things to help

a) Most of the chargers we supply come with the ability to reduce the charge current.  You can do this by selecting the "A" button, or on older models shaking the unit.  Select 6 Amps charge current.

b) use as short an extension as possible and make sure its rated for 15 Amps

c) don't have the cable rolled up, instead have the cable extended flat

d) that you monitor the cable for overheating.  Do this by touching the cable at the powerpoint, and at the join to the cable.  If its too hot to touch, disconnect the charger

And Powerboards - dont do it.

 

 

Key Terms

EV – Electric Vehicle

ICE - Internal Combustion Engine (like your old car)

kWh – “Kilowatt hour” measure of energy relating to charging rate and battery capacity.

SOH – State of Health. Relating to the vehicle’s overall battery condition. Measured on a % basis.

SOC – State of Charge. Relating to the current charge remaining in the vehicle battery. Measured on a % basis.

Regenerative Braking – Motor based braking system which recycles the energy created from breaking and charges the battery system

Type 1 – The name for the shape of the AC plug on a Nissan Leaf.  Its also called J1772.

Type 2 – The name for the shape of AC plug on some other brand electric cars.  Its also called "Mennekes".

CHAdeMO – Direct Current Fast charging ports that are installed on Nissan Leafs

CSA – Direct Current Fast charging ports that are installed on Hyundai EV's