Is EV For Me?

My SUV is 9 years old. Not in hurry but time to look for replacement, though it's still very solid like a new car. Love the quality build by Mazda. 

There are many brands and varieties in the market but there is only handful that meets my criteria:
  • Reliable and durable that could withstand my carelessness and negligence on taking care a car. 
  • Low maintenance. Only regular and wear and tear maintenance. No unnecessary sensor problem or sort. 
  • Service center near to my house and easy booking. 
  • Big boot space that I could just "throw" in my bike without dismantling wheels. 
  • Built in Android Auto, preferably wireless. 
  • Sun roof is added advantage. Panaromic even better provided with cover (must).
  • Agile and drive fast. 
Ultimately, a vehicle that drives me from A to B reliably and can go practically everywhere and requires the minimum of my time to maintain it.  

With recent EV hype, I decided to rent one for a week, to assess if EV fits my lifestyle. 

I rented the BYD Atto 3 from Flux after its ads popped up on my FB wall. 

As the promo was offered off the system like a scam, many T&C and fees weren't clearly spelled out. The customer rep was professional to answer any questions like a chatbot reading out FAQ, and you'd know how piss that was dealing with such, right? In short, the experience with Flux sucked big time. There were many hidden fees from the advertised rental, expect an additional 20-30%. One example was deposit was charged with 6% service charge which Customs confirmed that violated the SST law but the customer rep said no, as if he is more authoritative than Customs. But I must thank the conceirge service, the boy delivered above the line. Nonetheless, no second time with Flux.

Quick review over the BYD Atto 3. 

Pros: quiet, comfy, decent exterior design, interior quality is premium with kiddish design (subjective) like the "guitar string" compartment, power of EV with instant torque thrill, big screen for navigation. 

Cons: too gimmicky with no physical buttons for essential controls like air cond, air cond vents too low for rear passengera, too sensitive emergency braking trigger, too sensitive auto brightness, lousy speakers, too short telescopic steering adjustment.

Above not exhaustive list. I believe some is applicable to other EV as it's kinda like a trend nowadays that car makers make car the same way. For example, every button is now being "virtualized" into the software to adjust. Some simple 1-step adjustment becomes few touches on the screen to adjust with no haptic feedback tha requires driver to pay attention to the screen than the road. Doesn't this pose a more hazardous driving manner?

And look at this video.

3 ways to close the shade, touch button, voice, and car dashboard. All failed. Because of that, I was like driving in a sauna glass room under El Nino type of weather.  Thank god the air cond was working charmingly. The Atto 3 
then was taken back to the service center for software fix. No OTA. A conventional physical button could have prevented that. I had to postpone some of my work trips. 1 day wasted. 

Atto 3 came with a 3-pin plug charger, which is rated 10A. It should be safe for overnight charging provided th wall socket is not daisy-chained to other high power appliances. At least the charger wasn't very warm to touch after few hours of charging before I went to bed.

Not going into technical to calculate kWh. Just want to be a noob EV user here. My daily commute is about 90km back and forth home and office. That used up about average 20-25%. When I plugged in upon reaching home about 6pm, and left home to office about 630am the next day, I got about 30% of charging, so nett of +5% juice. That's good. 

However, due to my job nature, I could be traveling more than 90km some days, like 150ish to 200ish km in a day. It used up about 55% and the overnight charging wasn't able to recover the deficit. Partly also because the places I went weren't equipped with EV charger, and I didn't have time to drive somewhere to charge and wait. So home charging was the only option. 

There was once that I needed to travel a day trip to another state. I had to drive my gasoline car to avoid range anxiety, time to look for charger and wait for charging. 

After a week of EV experience, 

Is BYD Atto 3 worthy to own? Perhaps yes comparing the other car within the same price range. The driving experience was good and if you can charge it overnight at home. 

Is Flux good to deal with? No. There are SoCar, GoCar and many other options. Even the traditional car rental companies like Hertz also start offering EV. 

Is EV for me? No.

I need the flexibility to move fast without waiting. Installing a good AC charger at home could address some but not all my commute needs especially long day trip travels. Today I don't have to plan route to refill and can just drive in any petrol station along the journey, so I expect the same hassle-free convenience when getting an EV. 

Love the Model X (Tesla stopped making RHD model, sigh) and Y. It is very tempting that Tesla MY is officially launching Model Y in the range of RM 199k to 288k. Guess I need to wait few more years for expansive DC charger availability in this country.

Oh ya, just read this news. Hmmm....


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