Acting butcher in Ariège, Nicolas was previously reluctant about electric cars. Accumulating the kilometers over the year to make replacements, the prospect of saving money decided him to become an electromobilist. This summer, he completed a 3,000 km journey with son Dacia Spring.
For economic reasons
Before falling for the Dacia Spring, Nicolas was juggling two vehicles: “ I had a Citroën C3 diesel and an Aprilia Shiver 750 bought in early 2016, once I had my motorcycle license. I was planning to replace the car with a hybrid. But talking with a few people, I realized that this engine is not as efficient as they say. I then hesitated between taking a thermal model or going electric. ».
It was ultimately the increase in fuel prices that gave him the answer: ” I have to travel a lot of kilometers for my replacements. I can be 80 km from home in the morning, and go to another butcher’s shop in the afternoon. So much so that I sometimes accumulate 200 km in the day ».
Received in June 2022, son Dacia Spring already has more than 50,000 km on the odometer: “ Fortunately, I receive compensation as part of my interim, indexed to the price of diesel. Which represents between 400 and 500 euros depending on the month ».
Choice of vehicle
The trendy French market does not currently offer enough models accessible to the greatest number: “ My financial means are limited. I had looked for a Tesla Model 3, a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoé, but they are all out of budget for me. I then thought of the Renault Twizy, but its autonomy was not sufficient ».
Regarding the radius of action, Nicolas’ requirements were not insane: ” I wanted to be able to go to work, but also travel relatively far, especially for holidays. For them, I often used my Aprilia. Once the tank is filled with gasoline, its range is 160-170 km. So I wanted at least the same for my electric car. Only the Dacia Spring was accessible to me by meeting my expectations ».
THE ? « Yes, because Spring means spring, therefore masculine. And then this car is not a yogurt pot in its style, unlike the Renault Twingo. I inquired about the Dacia, I tried it, and I loved it for its comfort, its silence and the absence of vibration ».
Test – New Dacia Spring 65 hp Extreme: versatile at last?
13 000 euros
In the end, Nicolas paid around 13,000 euros to afford son Dacia Spring : « I had taken all the options. Except the DC recharge, which I really regret today. In addition to the government bonus, I was able to benefit from a conversion bonus of 2,500 euros by getting rid of my 2003 Citroën C3 diesel ».
Regarding the budget, our 31-year-old reader also set a ceiling: “ It was 400 euros monthly. That’s what my diesel cost me in diesel, not to mention maintenance and insurance. For the Spring: I reimburse 255 euros of loan; comprehensive insurance with refurbishment in the event of an accident costs me 70 euros; I pay about 100 euros for electricity ».
A choice well suited to his situation: “ I consider myself in the middle of the population, we do what we can with what we have. Having an electric car is really economical. We can see this very clearly if we think about the long term. ».
Dismantle the fake news
Our reader is no longer at all reluctant about electricity: ” I was not convinced before. Now, I remain convinced that all those who criticize the VE, it is because they have not tried it. There are many more pros than cons with these vehicles. To refuel, no need to hold a hose: you plug in, do what you want with your evening, and unplug when you come back. It’s a shame these childish wars to oppose electric cars to thermal ».
Nicolas even spends time dismantling fake news: “ I have lots of friends who are in the same situation as me and who complain all the time about the price of diesel. They think the electric car can’t be for them. I tell them, ‘My Spring isn’t as expensive as you think. Take a good look at the bonuses you can claim ».
The motorist also ruins two other infox: ” As soon as an electric car catches fire, it’s in the media. But we are no longer talking about all the thermals, which are much more numerous, which disappear in smoke. The same goes for the charging stations which are not numerous enough: this is false. I answer: ‘There are everywhere, but you don’t see them’ ».
Difficult temporary situation
For recharging, the young electromobilist had made a good decision: “ I had a reinforced socket installed as soon as I made the decision to go electric. But our house suffered a disaster, due to a fire in the neighboring barn. Today, I am temporarily relocated to an apartment located on the first floor of a two-storey building ».
What currently complicates recharging: “ Our emergency solution is a terminal located 15 km from us. As it’s close to my wife’s workplace, she’s the one who tops it up when she goes to work. With a constraint: Unplug it and reconnect it several times in order to escape the penalties that are triggered after two hours. Not only has the price per kilowatt hour gone to 0.32 euros for subscribers like me, but in addition, you would still have to pay 0.075 euros per minute ».
It is this kind of pricing that pushes EV users to find fallback solutions: ” I bought 10 meters of 2.5 mm² 3G cable to make myself an extension. When I can park my car in front of my accommodation, I pass the cable through the window at night. It helps. I am in a small village: for the moment nobody told me anything ».
3000 km journey
The absence of DC charging does not prevent Nicolas from traveling with son Dacia Spring : « I have family in Loiret, around Amilly and Montargis. I regularly make trips of 2,000 kilometers there and back. Which only costs me 50 to 60 euros for electricity. When traveling, I prefer Lidl terminals because of their price of 0.27 euros per kilowatt hour including the commission Chargemap ».
Between July 19 and August 8, he made a longer journey: “ The 2,959 km traveled cost me 97.17 euros in electricity, not counting the few connections in the family. The original reason for moving was a wedding in Courtenay. I reached Amilly in six days by recharging in Montauban (Lidl), Cressensac (Révéo), Limoges (Lidl), Vierzon (Lidl) and Troyes (Lidl). On site, I connected to Renault and Lidl ».
After three days in the vicinity of the wedding venue, he took the direction of Isère, still looking for the terminals of the great German brand: ” I put in charge in Saran, Nevers, Crêches-sur-Saône (Révéo), Ambérieu-en-Bugey and Albertville “. He then returned home by recharging in Valence, Salon-de-Provence, Mèze and Fanjeaux (Révéo).
A very popular car
What Nicolas appreciates with son Dacia Spring : « In addition to comfort, it is the silence when you stop that allows you to hear the birdsong. It’s an all-purpose car whose line I find nice “. However, he regrets that: With its 33 kW, the car lacks power to climb certain hills “. Today he would like have a hundred additional kilometers of autonomy, that is to say about 300, compared to 200 km today ».
According to him, two things are missing from this electric car: “ A folding bench seat back in two parts that would allow you to transport both a child and gardening tools, and full LED lighting, at least as an option. I had to change all the bulbs myself ».
However, our reader would like to point out: All this does not prevent me from appreciating this car. What could be improved is minimal for me compared to all the benefits I derive from driving an electric car. For nothing in the world, I would go back to the thermal ».
Dacia Spring, a success in danger
A call to try an electric motorcycle
There may be a second Dacia Spring at Nicolas: “ The Opel Zafira that my wife usually uses has broken down. After a little time of doubt, she is very enthusiastic about the electric today and would also like to have a Spring ».
Too bad electric motorcycles are so expensive: “ We are starting to see prices drop on cars, but not on motorcycles. In particular because of the constraints to house the battery. In 2016, I paid 7,500 euros for my Aprilia. For an equivalent electric model that can give me pleasure, I would need around 18,000 euros ».
A mark of preference: I like what it does Energetic. I would love to try one “. The call is launched. To answer it, you can post a summary proposal in the comments. We will pass on to our reader. With a good alignment of planets, the experiment could give rise to the realization of an article.
Automobile Propre and I thank Nicolas very much for his testimony and his sympathy.
The use that Nicolas makes of his electric car is similar to that of my Citroën C-Zero at the time when I agreed to distribute the daily newspaper Ouest-France in my town. In less than six years, and just with the mileage allowance, I had been able to pay the full purchase price of the trendy city car. I remain amazed that she emerged from this trying experience without major damage.
Another interesting point: Use the Lidl terminals as well as an extension cord from your home to recharge when the conditions, in particular tariffs, become too difficult to bear and manage on the equipment of the departmental union. I also practice. At 30 euros for 33 kilowatt hours, it necessarily makes you think. This suggests that the cables are likely to multiply on the sidewalks in the future. Unless adapted and accessible solutions emerge.
Many builders, charging equipment manufacturers, landlords and departmental energy unions still seem to forget that many motorists do not have easy access to a socket.