Hi Folks. I hope people reading this are well and 2020 has not messed with their lives and those of their families too much. God bless you all. (Atheists and Agnostics included ; ) )
This is a' short 'piece regarding the first of many new Electric Dacias as they jockey for positions in the new pecking order. Since the UK Prime Minister announced that 2030 will be the cut off for the 'old way' of doing things, electric car searches will no doubt be on the up even if most of these searches will amount to little more than window shopping. At least until some of the more well heeled of society have purchased them in greater numbers to bring the price down for the masses. The Irish Minister for the Environment announced a similar Bill in 2019, as he tried to steer the public toward electrified transport. Of course the whole project hit a bump in the road after some Chinamen caught a new Flu. With less coin in the pocket and more pressing concerns, the electric project has been sidelined although make no mistake, it is waiting in the winds to take centre stage. Should we all survive the current health scare, a lifetime of motoring mediocrity awaits.....
So. Before I continue, let me nail my colours to the wall. I hate change. Especially for the sake of change, If something is better and more efficient and makes sense then so be it. The Electric project will take decades to introduce properly to the public and in the meantime, petrol vehicles could become even more efficient than they are now, which is already pretty damned efficient. The vast majority of Electrical power to fuel all of this new wave still comes from a very old source. Dinosaur Old. The UK power grid is 80% Fossil fuels and in Ireland it is only 16%. ANYWAY. Facts Shmacts! Time to get to the Manhood Measuring.....
I drive two Dacias. One is the Duster 2 115HP Diesel and the other is the capable 2016 Sandero 2 75 HP 1.2.
Enter the Dacia Spring. Although not for sale any time soon in the UK or Ireland (rhd markets) its specs are available online. But first, here is a short review of the incumbent...
I use the Duster for long range heavier work and the Sandero for everything else. I think the Dacia Spring would only be evenly matched against the Sandero although I feel it is still outclassed in such a match. I have driven the Sandero in all weathers with my family on board and it has been tasked with a variety of work. It is a 2016 model and although it will not win a drag race, it will show up all day every day and deal with a variety of tasks assigned to it. Running costs are low, lots of space inside and a
decent road presence all add to its charm. When i fill it with petrol it has a range that a high end electric car can only dream of.
Although not the first choice for a 300km round trip, it will do it with a reasonable amount of comfort. To summarise, Bang for your Buck is off the scale. It is probably fair to say that this car is one of the biggest superminis in its class with a boot in which you could kidnap your business adversary and bring a shovel and bag of lime! (Only joking....Goodwill to all men all year round!)
But the boot size is real....!
So, to the Spring. Obviously I have not driven this vehicle and everything I know (which is not much) has been gleaned form the interweb, All analysis lead to the conclusion that it is a smaller version of the Sandero. A whole class smaller. In fact we are into city car size. The Spring aims to be and probably will be the cheapest electric car for sale in 2021. The Renault Twizzy will be cheaper but is not a car and in an age of communicable diseases i like windows and door locks on my transport.
OK, so the Spring will be cheap and it will follow Dacia's mantra encouraging people in this case to pay for the Range they need. The basic range will move you 225 km or 140 miles. In cold weather motorway driving this can drop to 140km or 87 miles. A hellava drop! As in all electric cars however, heater, wipers, aircon, lights and high speeds will diminish the optimum figure. Such factors also reduce range in petrol cars but with a high range starting point it is a negligible factor.
As regards size, the boot is still big for its class albeit 20 litres smaller than the existing Sandero. It is overall a smaller vehicle both in width and more importantly for an old school gent , length.(Something that becomes more relevant every five years....)
The length of the Spring at 3.7 metres vs the 4.1 metre Sandero, places it firmly in the City Car range.
In 2016 i paid 10400 Euro for a Sandero Alternative(Ambiance UK). If it goes up for sale tomorrow in Ireland I will get a 1000 Euro grant (based on current Renault Zoe). I will also get a home charger grant which i believe will be a must for electric car owners given the brutal public charge point map at present. All in all I will be offered 5000 Euro for my very low mileage Sandero against an electric car that, with Irish government grant, will still run me an additional 14000 Euro approx after trade in.
This is before I have my own power convertor installed. I know a good electrician who is a sound bloke but i'll have to go back to the well for another 500 Euro with government grant for that socket. Im broke even writing about it.
Look. The same people that will buy these electric cars early on will be the same people, by and large, that will be at the front of the queue for the latest i-phone. Good luck to those folk, and take note that you will be the vanguard sampling the latest tech whilst the sceptical majority will wait in the wings for R and D claimed figures to catch up with real life day to day operations.
I will give the last word to electric vehicles and that will be to say the daily 'fuel' costs will be significantly less than their petrol counterparts. Savings that over time will help claw back the large investment.
Thanks Folks for reading this point of view displayed on paper and good luck to all. 6 weeks to go approx until 2021 and if nothing else we can say we survived one of the most fucked up years in a long time. (sorry Mod for any poor language).
Peace out people.