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Order or not???? Help please


DíarmuidIRL
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I know bZ4X has only dropped, again for those in the States that had to give back their cars.  I'm in Ireland, drove it for the first time over a week ago and a bit smitten tbh - but is that just the electric vibe of effortless driving and the shiny new car lure.  On my short test, only about 7k did a mix of dual carriageway (limit 60km/h but might have pressed a little too hard on the accelerator in places and normal suburban driving.  Range obviously varied but average came in at 13kwh/100k (think that's the right lingo).  My commute is 40k on dual carriageway but might as well be suburbs in rush hour, 30k is stop start in the morning (N11 from Wicklow for those that know), journey home is better.  I have some concerns, specifically - charging speed for long journeys (will most charge at home but will be making journey of over 400k mostly on motorways), range maybe not as good due to the release of that report from Norway.  My dealer has a canceled order he is offering to me, Precious Metal Sport (Sport is the middle of the range offer here).  Any advice appreciated, have until Monday to pay the deposit and delivery around March 2023

 

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Bz4x is very good vehicle for p/p. But range is the main problem. Just for reason many people went for Ariya, Tesla or Polestar 2. I can't advise you what to do but if your priority is range then you must consider bad results of bZ4X range. Apart from range I am pretty sure You will love the car. 

 

One advise, please consider warranty when you buy EV. Almost all platforms are new and nobody knows what happens 3 years later. Any problem with car can cost you thousands of pound. 

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10 minutes ago, bZ4X said:

Bz4x is very good vehicle for p/p. But range is the main problem. Just for reason many people went for Ariya, Tesla or Polestar 2. I can't advise you what to do but if your priority is range then you must consider bad results of bZ4X range. Apart from range I am pretty sure You will love the car. 

 

One advise, please consider warranty when you buy EV. Almost all platforms are new and nobody knows what happens 3 years later. Any problem with car can cost you thousands of pound. 

Thanks Ugar, there is no service plan available or extended warranty in Ireland as far as I know.  We are often not afforded the same benefits as available in the rest of the market here. Not just Toyota but all brands.  Our models also tend to be sub-equipped - our top the range is often your mid range.  The Sport seems well equipped but if I buy this it is for the long term and with so little user input and the present economic climate I'm torn

 

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I like the EV Database as a reasonably objective source of data on EVs - they take the manufacturers figures / hype and try to give a realistic estimation of what owners can expect: https://ev-database.org/car/1565/Toyota-bZ4X-AWD

The EVDB gives the range of the bZ4X as between 260 - 535 km with a realistic range of 370 km ... which probably doesn't help that much at all as range is very dependent upon speed and temperature ... 😉

Taking the worst case of highway speeds (110 kph) in cold weather you get the figure of 260 km range.

You don't say whether your 40 km daily commute is each way or round trip but either way at 260 km range is way more than enough to cover that - and you simply recharged using a 7kW wall box at home overnight.

For long journeys you would be able to a conservative 90% of the available range - so 235 km - before recharging - saving the last 10% to cover off the situation where the charge station is a little further than hoped/planned. You'd need to find a suitable rapid charger and would be able to recharge to 80% Battery capacity in around 30 minutes. Now, instead of setting out with a full charge you have 80% so for the next leg you can rely on using a conservative 70% of the available range - so 180 km - before recharging. You then repeat the rapid charge cycle until you complete your journey and get back home again.

You might well do better in terms of range than I've suggested since I am deliberately taking worst case figures - I'm not trying to sell you a bZ4X. But the only way to find out for sure is to buy one and find out for yourself.

But for me the question turns on the viability of the current charging infrastructure rather than the capabilities of the car itself - for me the car is perfectly good and useable. You need to take a view on the charging infrastructure in and around Wicklow ...

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15 hours ago, philip42h said:

I like the EV Database as a reasonably objective source of data on EVs - they take the manufacturers figures / hype and try to give a realistic estimation of what owners can expect: https://ev-database.org/car/1565/Toyota-bZ4X-AWD

The EVDB gives the range of the bZ4X as between 260 - 535 km with a realistic range of 370 km ... which probably doesn't help that much at all as range is very dependent upon speed and temperature ... 😉

Taking the worst case of highway speeds (110 kph) in cold weather you get the figure of 260 km range.

You don't say whether your 40 km daily commute is each way or round trip but either way at 260 km range is way more than enough to cover that - and you simply recharged using a 7kW wall box at home overnight.

For long journeys you would be able to a conservative 90% of the available range - so 235 km - before recharging - saving the last 10% to cover off the situation where the charge station is a little further than hoped/planned. You'd need to find a suitable rapid charger and would be able to recharge to 80% battery capacity in around 30 minutes. Now, instead of setting out with a full charge you have 80% so for the next leg you can rely on using a conservative 70% of the available range - so 180 km - before recharging. You then repeat the rapid charge cycle until you complete your journey and get back home again.

You might well do better in terms of range than I've suggested since I am deliberately taking worst case figures - I'm not trying to sell you a bZ4X. But the only way to find out for sure is to buy one and find out for yourself.

But for me the question turns on the viability of the current charging infrastructure rather than the capabilities of the car itself - for me the car is perfectly good and useable. You need to take a view on the charging infrastructure in and around Wicklow ...

Thanks Philip, that's a great help.  I'll spend some time on that database over the weekend, didn't know it existed, so that's very helpful.  My dealer reckons the price will go up by about €5,000 on the next bunch of orders so I'm hoping to make a decision and grab that cancelled order but want to have done my research - or yours in this case.

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19 minutes ago, DíarmuidIRL said:

price will go up by about €5,000

With inflation at 11% here in the UK, and the pound having fallen maybe 10 to 15 percent, a price increase seems inevitable for everything !!

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1 hour ago, lightboxcar said:

With inflation at 11% here in the UK, and the pound having fallen maybe 10 to 15 percent, a price increase seems inevitable for everything !!

Yes, agreed.  As the car was ordered in June I can step into that contract which would be great, also very unclear if I delay when the next batch are hitting Irish shores

 

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Díarmuid, I ordered mine in June also.   The week after the cost went up £2k.  The interest rate on the PCP deals have also gone up a couple of percentage points too.

Dealer said they'd hold the price and original PCP terms.   Folks who had they orders in earlier in the year weren't so lucky. 

I'm taking a punt on rhe BZ4x as the missus is getting a Yaris Cross Hybrid so the the BZ4X will only be doing city miles (ESB chargers are currently free but the l network up here is terrible .. only 1 50KW car charger for the whole of Derry)

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I would wholeheartedly recommend it. 

I'm driving the car 90% on the M25 (the worst road in the UK) and it's a lovely place to sit. 

It's smooth, powerful, commanding. 

I think it looks very smart and stands out amongst the crowded CUV/SUV market. 

 

The charging infrastructure will be a concern for any EV at the moment, some less than others. Even if you know you can make it to the next main charger, will there even be a charger free, will it be working? I've just accepted that for journeys going over 200 miles in winter you're going to be thinking about range. It's part of owning this car. Think long term.

Will the Irish charging network improve over your life of vehicle ownership? You'd have to assume it will.

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23 hours ago, DíarmuidIRL said:

there is no service plan available or extended warranty in Ireland as far as I know. 

The Toyota Relax service generated warranty and extended warranties are included in Toyota Ireland's website - https://www.toyota.ie/owners/warranty/warranty

Relax is a European-wide scheme and the BZ4X appears to be covered as Toyota Ireland makes reference to 'up to 10 years warranty' on their website.

As regards servicing currently it seems Toyota Ireland offers a 3 year service pack on new Toyota's bought through them - 

https://www.toyota.ie/finance-and-offers/offers/toyota-service-packs

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23 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

The Toyota Relax service generated warranty and extended warranties are included in Toyota Ireland's website - https://www.toyota.ie/owners/warranty/warranty

Relax is a European-wide scheme and the BZ4X appears to be covered as Toyota Ireland makes reference to 'up to 10 years warranty' on their website.

As regards servicing currently it seems Toyota Ireland offers a 3 year service pack on new Toyota's bought through them - 

https://www.toyota.ie/finance-and-offers/offers/toyota-service-packs

Thanks, yes I've seen the Relax warranty offer advertised the last couple of days but my dealer told me there is no service pack, I'll have to get back to him to double check before my final decision

 

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On 11/16/2022 at 7:35 PM, bZ4xSupra said:

Will the Irish charging network improve over your life of vehicle ownership? You'd have to assume it will.

I need to get my head around charging for the odd long journey, the fast charger network isn't great from what I understand.  I know on a fast charger the car should charge at up to 150kw/h but what about on a lower capacity charger like a 22kw/h charger, they seem to be the most readily available here, will the car only charge at 6kw/h like on a home charger?

 

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On 11/16/2022 at 5:54 PM, Jerdi said:

Díarmuid, I ordered mine in June also.   The week after the cost went up £2k.  The interest rate on the PCP deals have also gone up a couple of percentage points too.

Dealer said they'd hold the price and original PCP terms.   Folks who had they orders in earlier in the year weren't so lucky. 

I'm taking a punt on rhe BZ4x as the missus is getting a Yaris Cross Hybrid so the the BZ4X will only be doing city miles (ESB chargers are currently free but the l network up here is terrible .. only 1 50KW car charger for the whole of Derry)

I'm not sure our network is a lot better in rural Ireland, though I have noticed Applegreen are rolling out new chargers but don't know if the are faster chargers or the standard 22kw/h chargers

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12 minutes ago, DíarmuidIRL said:

I need to get my head around charging for the odd long journey, the fast charger network isn't great from what I understand.  I know on a fast charger the car should charge at up to 150kw/h but what about on a lower capacity charger like a 22kw/h charger, they seem to be the most readily available here, will the car only charge at 6kw/h like on a home charger?

Yes ... a 22kW charger is an AC fast charger. It will supply AC via the onboard AC charger and so will be limited to 6.6kW.

For longer journeys we'd be looking for DC rapid chargers, ideally over 100kW to get the 10% - 80% charge time down to something acceptable ...

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41 minutes ago, DíarmuidIRL said:

my dealer told me there is no service pack

As far as I'm aware the service pack that Toyota Ireland (a privately owned family company) provide with new cars, is peculiar to Ireland. Certainly not an offering within the UK.

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23 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

As far as I'm aware the service pack that Toyota Ireland (a privately owned family company) provide with new cars, is peculiar to Ireland. Certainly not an offering within the UK.

Confirmed the service pack is available with the dealer today.  Going to take the demo car out on Monday or Tuesday for another test drive with a little bit of motorway thrown in this time.  Going to bring my cheque book with me to put down the deposit I think, the car available is Precious Metal Sport, which is likely what I would have gone for if I had a choice so that is a result.  Thanks for your help

 

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23 hours ago, philip42h said:

Yes ... a 22kW charger is an AC fast charger. It will supply AC via the onboard AC charger and so will be limited to 6.6kW.

For longer journeys we'd be looking for DC rapid chargers, ideally over 100kW to get the 10% - 80% charge time down to something acceptable ...

Thank you Philip, so much to learn about EVs but I'll get there

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On 11/18/2022 at 9:51 PM, DíarmuidIRL said:

Thank you Philip, so much to learn about EVs but I'll get there

Hi Díarmuid, I'm kinda in the same boat as you. I live in Meath and I commute to Cherrywood in south Co. Dublin three days a week so my total weekly commuting will be around 450km's (280miles). I put my deposit down for a BZ4X back in April and I'm due to get mine in January, but mine has arrived in already, but I've opted to wait till January to pick it up for 231 reg purposes, but I've seen all the recent range test results from the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish motoring websites so I'm kinda torn about whether to just go with the BZ4X or cancel it and maybe go with another EV. I read that the Danish motoring website Motor are meeting with Toyota engineering experts today (29th November) in Brussels to discuss the whole battery/range issues and the Norwegian motoring website Elbil24 are due to do another major range test again this week in the presence of Toyota engineers - so I'm going to wait and see what the results of that are and then decide before Christmas as to whether I'll proceeed or pull the plug on buying it.

I test drove it a few weeks ago and loved it so to say that I'm disappointed by the various recent scandinavian range tests is an understatment, but I'm hoping that Toyota will address the range issue and maybe release a software update to reduce the buffer size on the Battery.

Here's the Danish review dated from last Friday 25th November - use Google Chrome to translate it from Danish to English.

https://fdm.dk/nyheder/nyt-om-biler/2022-11-ny-elbil-skuffer-slemt-raekkevidde

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1 hour ago, Kieran78 said:

Hi Díarmuid, I'm kinda in the same boat as you. I live in Meath and I commute to Cherrywood in south Co. Dublin three days a week so my total weekly commuting will be around 450km's (280miles). I put my deposit down for a BZ4X back in April and I'm due to get mine in January, but mine has arrived in already, but I've opted to wait till January to pick it up for 231 reg purposes, but I've seen all the recent range test results from the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish motoring websites so I'm kinda torn about whether to just go with the BZ4X or cancel it and maybe go with another EV. I read that the Danish motoring website Motor are meeting with Toyota engineering experts today (29th November) in Brussels to discuss the whole battery/range issues and the Norwegian motoring website Elbil24 are due to do another major range test again this week in the presence of Toyota engineers - so I'm going to wait and see what the results of that are and then decide before Christmas as to whether I'll proceeed or pull the plug on buying it.

I test drove it a few weeks ago and loved it so to say that I'm disappointed by the various recent scandinavian range tests is an understatment, but I'm hoping that Toyota will address the range issue and maybe release a software update to reduce the buffer size on the battery.

Here's the Danish review dated from last Friday 25th November - use Google Chrome to translate it from Danish to English.

https://fdm.dk/nyheder/nyt-om-biler/2022-11-ny-elbil-skuffer-slemt-raekkevidde

Hi Kieran,

I actually saw that Danish report this morning, very concerning.  You have a similar commute to me, I'm going from Wicklow to Booterstown but 5 days a week.  If those figures stack up I will be cancelling my order.  I have a round trip of over 80km a day and having to charge every two days will actually make this more expensive to run than my current Corolla hybrid. 

On top of that I regularly drive to Cork, I would have been happy enough if I had to find a fast charger for 10 minutes each way but any more than that and this isn't the car they are claiming.  

I am seeing some driver reviews that are positive, one last week from a driver in the UK.  He reported that after driving 1600k his range was averaging between 426-450km on a full charge, a mix of driving and motorway speed averaging about 110km/h.  If I had that experience I'd be happy.

Will be keeping an eye out to see Toyota's response

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2 hours ago, Kieran78 said:

Here's the Danish review dated from last Friday 25th November - use Google Chrome to translate it from Danish to English.

https://fdm.dk/nyheder/nyt-om-biler/2022-11-ny-elbil-skuffer-slemt-raekkevidde

Another 'rubbish' report - in the sense that it sets out to create a negative headline, is economical with the truth and presents little if any technical method. Honestly, journalists and the media are worse than politicians these days ... 😉

First, they are comparing are real world worst case measurement (high speed in cold weather) with a best case lab test result under ideal conditions and at ambient temperature. They aren't comparing like with like so the headline result is meaningless.

WLTP figures - as quoted by the manufacturers - are lab test results. They are useful for comparing one EV with another, but really not a very good prediction of real world performance. They are getting much better for ICE; they are probably worse than the old NEDC figures were (for ICE) in predicting EV performance. Hopefully things will improve over the next iteration or two ...

As to the results themselves, they recorded 215 km (AWD, 20" wheels) at a temperature of 4 degrees C (so 'cold' rather than 'mild' at 23 degrees C) and at a speed of 110 kph (so highway speeds) and go on to claim that they achieved this using 60 kWh out of the 71.4 kWh capacity of the bZ4X Battery. Scaling that up to make use of the full Battery capacity one would get a range of 256 km.

EVDB gives the Highway, Cold weather range as 260 km. So this test result falls short of a realistic range estimate by abou 1.6% - i.e. it is pretty much bag on what a sensible reviewer should expect. But that wouldn't generate an attention grabbing headline would it ...

So, there's really no news here. If you are driving a bZ4X in winter at highway speeds you probably need to plan to stop for 30 minutes every 2 hours / 220 km to recharge. If the infrastructure is in place, you are good to good; if not you may need an alternative plan ... 😉

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Agree with a lot that you're saying and I'm not really putting a lot of faith in their test results as at the end of the day - it's a winter range test.

On balance, see below - this Taiwanese motoring website (U-Car.com/tw) did their own range test on the BZ4X and they got 440km from 100% to 0% and were then able to drive a further 40km past 0% before the car came to a complete stop, but they did have an outside temperature of 30ºC degrees and they had the A/C turned on from the start and throughout their test drive trip.

Before they set off and with the BZ4X charged at 100% the GOM gave a range of 346km when the A/C was turned on - unfortunately the video doesn't show what the range would have been had the A/C turned been turned off, but with 30ºC degrees outside there's no way you could drive a long trip like that with the A/C off.

image.png

At the end of the trip they managed to squeeze out 440km.

image.png

 

Note: If you want to watch it, you need to enable subtitles and then choose Chinese-Tiawan and select auto-translate and pick English.

I also recommend you mute it while watching it so you don't have to listen to the Chinese, it's easier to just watch the video with English subtitles.

 

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1 hour ago, Kieran78 said:

On balance, see below - this Taiwanese motoring website (U-Car.com/tw) did their own range test on the BZ4X and they got 440km from 100% to 0% and were then able to drive a further 40km past 0% before the car came to a complete stop, but they did have an outside temperature of 30ºC degrees and they had the A/C turned on from the start and throughout their test drive trip.

Before they set off and with the BZ4X charged at 100% the GOM gave a range of 346km when the A/C was turned on - unfortunately the video doesn't show what the range would have been had the A/C turned been turned off, but with 30ºC degrees outside there's no way you could drive a long trip like that with the A/C off. At the end of the trip they managed to squeeze out 440km.

Thanks, that is a very useful test video with a nice clear explanation of what factors contribute to the range of the bZ4X (and indeed any other EV...). Their 100% to 0% value of 440km (275m) with A/C on was carefully monitored, and equally the Norwegian test under more extreme conditions is also likely to be valid but they did not take such care in their measurements. The Taiwan U-CAR guy seems to understand EVs better and there were some very useful bits of information such as the losses during actual DC or AC charging  of 5-15% (seems a lot). Also they confirmed the bZ4X 'reserve tank' of around 40km/25m.

What they said about the bZ4X fits with why I chose it.  It is cheaper than equivalently specified rival EVs such IONIQ 5, TESLA, EV6, ID4 but has similar performance levels. I also looked at apparently cheaper models such as KONA and NIRO EV, but once you add the extras to bring them to bZ4X specs the price is close to or more than what I paid (admittedly at April 2022 price).

 

 

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On 11/29/2022 at 4:23 PM, Kieran78 said:

Agree with a lot that you're saying and I'm not really putting a lot of faith in their test results as at the end of the day - it's a winter range test.

On balance, see below - this Taiwanese motoring website (U-Car.com/tw) did their own range test on the BZ4X and they got 440km from 100% to 0% and were then able to drive a further 40km past 0% before the car came to a complete stop, but they did have an outside temperature of 30ºC degrees and they had the A/C turned on from the start and throughout their test drive trip.

Before they set off and with the BZ4X charged at 100% the GOM gave a range of 346km when the A/C was turned on - unfortunately the video doesn't show what the range would have been had the A/C turned been turned off, but with 30ºC degrees outside there's no way you could drive a long trip like that with the A/C off.

image.png

At the end of the trip they managed to squeeze out 440km.

image.png

 

Note: If you want to watch it, you need to enable subtitles and then choose Chinese-Tiawan and select auto-translate and pick English.

I also recommend you mute it while watching it so you don't have to listen to the Chinese, it's easier to just watch the video with English subtitles.

 

Very informative, having lived in Taiwan for a number of years I also know that test route was fairly undulating so that seems like a good result.  The Battery part was very informative, really easy to understand regarding usable Battery versus stated capacity 

 

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