BYD Atto 3 on Octopus EV Salary Sacrifice – early thoughts

Published by Matt Setchell on

This is a bit of a different topic to my usual posts, but it’s my blog so stuff it.

In early October I had delivery of my new car, a BYD Atto 3 EV, to replace my aging Nissan Qashqai +2.

I was lucky in that the launching of the Octopus scheme at Concero coincided with my old car being too big for me going forward, it’s been a stellar workhorse for the last 7 years tho.

The scheme means that the cost of my car is taken out before tax, so it saves me in the region of £200 a month. It includes the car, a home charger and install, insurance, maintenance, tyres and the first 4k miles.

I pay £440 a month for all this, so before anything else, I had to make sure any car was affordable. I live 40 miles away from work, so every trip is approx 80 miles. I then have to pick up my daughter and take her back every weekend – and she is a good 20-30 miles away. My partner is about 15 miles away, so I drive a lot.

I looked at my Monzo account to give me an idea on the cost of my Nissan. The below is just running costs, I’ve also had to spend the best part of £3k to keep the Nissan in good shape over the last 6-12 months

This means, if we round up to £300 a month in fuel, and take the 3k over 12 months – I’ve paid £550 in fuel and servicing.

On top of this, you have the insurance and tax, that’s another £65 a month in the last year.

So, we are at £615 a month. IF nothing else goes wrong, and on a 13 year old car doing 1200 miles a month, that’s a big if.

The next question was, is it cheaper to get a second hand deal?

The answer is “no” – insurance is rising, I’d need a deposit of another 3-4k and monthly payments on top of fuel would bring it above staying with the Nissan, and then I’d have to get rid of it and depreciations etc.

So – first off, the deal is a good deal.

And then I had to think about if an EV is practical for me. I regularly tow to go camping and have a roof box, I drive many miles, sometimes at short notice.

Looking into EVs – I knew I needed a car with a decent range. The BYD is 260 miles – which is mid range really. I also wanted to understand the cost of powering it, and the ease.

Obviously that’s easier to put into context now I have it – and the first point is, an EV only makes sense if you can charge it at home, or at work with no issues. At the moment, I can only charge at work or at rapid chargers, and long term that isn’t sustainable, however – a couple of examples;

Last week I went to Leeds from Wolverhampton, approx 270 mile round trip.

I charged the car at work, and knew I’d need to charge to get home. I meant to plan, but didn’t. I pulled off the M1 in Sheffield at a services at 55% charge. Parked in one of 6 empty bays, plugged in – and in 45 minutes (time for a wee and a burger for dinner) I was back at 98% – easily enough to get me home.

Today, I was at 60% charge whilst at my partners, we went to Coventry skating and got dinner, after skating I plugged the car into a charger in the centre of the city – and let the car charge back to 100% in 45 mins. This means I’m cool going to work and back till Tuesday.

It’s not the cheapest, a full fast charge is £45 for 260 miles – but – this is not the long term solution and it’s cheaper than diesel. it’s 85p pKW

On Friday this week, I get my home charger. Between 11:30 and 5:30 my car will charge at 7.9p pkw – which I equate to approx £5 for a full charge, which, charging nightly, I won’t really be doing.

So, this makes sense – I’m saving money, saving the world and – I’ve got a nice car.

BYD (Build your dreams) are a Chinese firm – they outsell Tesla in China. They provide batteries for London buses, and, I think Tesla. They build everything in my car, from the rotating screen to the guitar string door handles. The battery is missing some ingredients such as cobalt that harms the communities mining it, and is a new design. They have 5 dealers in the UK, and are growing. The only things they don’t make? Glass and tyres.

The car, an Atto 3 is the top of the range model (there are only 3 models and 5 colours). It has all the tools you’d expect, and plenty more besides, it’s a sleek, modern design but not as flashy as many – but inside it has real character.

You can read about its specification elsewhere, but it’s safe to say it’s a very comfy car, drives well and has a ton of features that you don’t see in similar range models. A 3D camera you can rotate around the car, you can also see underneath the car as well, a full sunroof, electric boot, the ability to warm it up or cool it down before entry, a battery heater, a rotating 15” screen and cool ambient lights, all the important stuff.

For me, the benefits will really come after the home charger is fitted. Interestingly, I rent – but the landlords are fine with it all. I mean, why wouldn’t they be!

I hope this helps anyone considering the schemes or the car.

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