In less than a year, Stéphanie and Frédéric became electromobilists by abandoning a Renault Clio and a Volvo V60, both diesel. A Megane E-Tech would have been chosen, if it had been more affordable. After a hesitation for two MG4s, it was finally a Tesla Model 3 Highland which joined the Chinese compact.
A new diesel Clio?
Working in the stationery sector, Frédéric took the time to study the market before choosing a first trendy model: “ I’ve been following electric vehicle news for about two and a half years. A bit of a geek by nature, I keep up to date with new technologies. I was waiting to finally find an affordable EV for us, with good value for money ».
First car to replace: Stéphanie’s Renault Clio 3 diesel, with 350,000 km on the clock: “ From our house in Isère, I go to work four days a week in Valence as an accountant. Which means I have to travel 215 km back and forth every day. It doesn’t bother me, because I really like riding. Exceptionally, if the roads are impassable, I can telework ».
She already had her idea for her new car: “ Not being interested in electric cars, I went for a new diesel Clio. It was Fred who convinced me to get an EV by watching videos and doing test drives ».
A quick purchase
It was not for pleasure that Frédéric had to push aside a French electric car: “ I only bought Renault for around thirty years. This is why I would have liked a Renault Megane E-Tech. But it is too expensive. The government bonus should benefit motorists like us. For me, French manufacturers are diverting this advantage by maintaining prices at an artificially high level for the benefit of shareholders and senior executives. In these conditions, I have absolutely no problem of conscience in preferring a Chinese car ».
This is actually what he did when he bought an MG4: “ I only knew the MG brand from afar. Having mastered quite a few things, when I launch into a study, I do it thoroughly. I looked for the most interesting model for our situation. During a stay with my in-laws at Christmas 2022, and knowing that the MG4 was going to be released, I took the lady to a dealership. But it was not possible to carry out a test ».
Back home, the couple was finally able to discover the MG4 by taking the wheel in Chambéry: “ I was already won over before, especially since we can count on a real network which will increase from 130 to 180 dealerships in France. Madame also agreed to sign. We had to act quickly, because I knew that the MG4 would increase by 1,000 euros in January ».
An MG4 for 20,500 euros
Frédéric hesitated for a while about the version: “ I finally chose the Comfort finish. It offers more autonomy, which is important for Stéphanie’s trips back and forth in winter. In addition, it is well equipped for a still reasonable price. Deducting the bonus of 7,000 euros in our case and the conversion bonus of 6,000 euros, we paid 20,560 euros ».
The Isère resident has calculated the time frame for his MG4 to become profitable compared to the old Renault Clio diesel: “ This will be after 225,000 km, in five years. From there we will start making money “. But comparing with Stéphanie’s plan to buy a new diesel Renault Clio, the benefit of electric is immediate since the price list for a new model already started at a price equivalent to that of MG’s electric compact.
Immediate benefit also for Stéphanie: “ We received this car in May 2023. After six months, the odometer already shows 17,000 km. The fatigue I felt in our old Clio without options has disappeared with the MG4. It is a car that is comfortable and pleasant to drive. At first, lane keeping was brutal, but it improved thanks to an update. I deactivate it anyway. I went from a 68 to 200 horsepower car ».
Something that Frédéric cannot stand: “ Many people criticize Chinese electric cars. We do it according to our budget, but also our desires. Perhaps it will take double the time compared to a French electric vehicle for the carbon footprint to be better with a Chinese one compared to an equivalent diesel vehicle. But that’s already it, and we keep our vehicles as long as possible ».
He specifies : ” I have an ecological streak, but I am not an environmentalist. I know that there is an ecological emergency. I have my own gestures for this. I have solar panels on the roof of the house, I sort my waste, I have a permaculture garden. I also created a YouTube channel on gardening ».
He doesn’t like ” that we reproach people who want to do important things for the environment. It’s as if there are no half measures possible, that we must necessarily be completely white or completely black, but not somewhere in between. ».
Charging scenarios have been put in place: “ I still had a little apprehension when Stéphanie took the MG4 the first time for her 215 km. Finally, the car consumes 52% of its battery in summer for the round trip, and 60% at the beginning of November. For now, we stop charging at 80%, but we would let it go all the way if necessary. The usual operation is carried out in 5 hours 30 minutes thanks to a 7 kW single-phase terminal ».
Frédéric aligns other figures: “ We are located in the north of Isère, at an altitude of 550 m, and Valence is at 123 m according to Google. This makes a difference in altitude of approximately 425 m. Consumption is affected. Recently, it was around 16 kWh/100 km going down, but between 18 and 19 kWh/100 km going up. And this, for a speed on the highway section of between 110 and 120 km/h ».
Among the minor concerns, Stéphanie highlights “ a small airbag problem which was encountered immediately and a temperature sensor on board which requires the heating figures to be raised to obtain the desired comfort “. Frédéric emphasizes “ driving aids that are not really reliable and a scratched part that takes a long time to be replaced in the glove box ».
A second MG4
Convinced after several months of relatively intensive use of the household’s first electric car, our reader undertook the second project: “ This was to replace my Volvo V60 diesel. Given our satisfaction, I thought about getting an MG4, but in standard finish, cheaper. I only have about thirty kilometers round trip to go to work ».
He had also imagined falling for an old Tesla Model 3 in stock with promotion: “ I have been following what Elon Musk has been doing since the beginning, particularly regarding SpaceX and Tesla. Prices have fallen significantly with this manufacturer. Finally, a Tesla Model 3 Highland was offered to us for a little over 37,000 euros, bonus deducted. And we also resold the Volvo ».
Stéphanie approves of Frédéric’s choice: “ It’s true that the MG4 Standard met our needs. But we are in our fifties and we want to treat ourselves while Fred has found a job ».
Excitement around the Tesla Model 3
Stéphanie is even more open to purchasing the Tesla Model 3 since she already takes it to work. Frédéric explains: “ Due to the better efficiency of this electric car compared to the MG4, my wife will use it “. For her part, she specifies: “ In order to moderate the mileage on both cars and keep them as long as possible, we will alternate every six months ».
The acquisition of the Model 3 was a bit rushed: “ I signed up to try it, but didn’t hear back. So I went to the Tesla Center in Chambéry, but, due to a fire which destroyed fourteen cars, I was once again unable to get behind the wheel of a Model 3. We were told to go find a salesman in a hotel, but he had already left when we arrived ».
Things then got wild: “ To save time while waiting for the test, I placed an order on Friday October 20, 2023. The following Wednesday, our car was already there. We got it without being able to get behind the wheel first. I like the look of the MG4, but I think the Model 3 looks bad ».
Still too many people closed to electricity
Our reader is happy with the purchase of the household’s two electric cars: “ For me, thermal is now dead. However, people are still too closed-minded about EVs. At my work, only one colleague has one, driving a Dacia Spring. But to try electric is to adopt it. You just have to choose the model that suits your needs. ».
His companion confirms: “ In my professional circle, people my age are very reluctant. Only 4 colleagues out of 60 drive electric. The barrier regarding autonomy is still there. I praise these cars to anyone who will listen and give advice, particularly on Facebook where I frequent a lot of groups ».
In conclusion, she wanted to emphasize: “ Automobile Propre videos and those of your colleagues presenting tests of electric cars helped me a lot to take the plunge. Everyone recognized the qualities of the MG4 in relation to its price. With the Internet, we can discover electromobility in a super accessible and fun way ».
Automobile Propre and I thank Stéphanie and Frédéric very much for their warm telephone welcome and their testimony.
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