Buying a car/Range advice

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New member
Feb 6, 2023
Hello and thanks for everyone for the amazing information offered by the community <3

I am about to buy a Citroen C Zero 2012 in Belgium. I asked the owner to have the battery tested, which he then did and gave me only some readings of the Ah during the years with the current reading being 31.8Ah.

I have a daily commute of 2x ±50KM "highway almost 40KM with top speed 120KM/h and 10KM in city".
I am thinking of charging the car at home and then again at work.

My question is:
-Do you think the car with this Ah reading can do the single trip with the highest speed 120/70/50KM/H in winter with the AC heating on?
-What is the estimated maximum range with this car and this Ah reading?
I am still learning about EVs and this will be my first one.

Thank you so much.
Edit: The car has done 64,000 KM.
I think this will work when you can charge at work during winter time, in the summer it could even work with only charging at home. I had a 35 km distance, 10 km city and 25 km highway, during summer I usually had a topspeep of 110 km/h, during wintertime I decided to do some slight hypermiling and stay behind a truck with about 80-90 km/h.
The heater eats a LOT of battery power, what you can do to get a bit more range is insulate the heater itself and all the pipes and hoses :) it is not that difficult, I think there is even a thread here in the forum. For the capacity of your battery I'd estimate about 80-100 km range during summer time, during winter maybe 60-70.
I was able to get a bit more range out of mine by doing a complete discharge and a slow recharge without any interruption (my wallbox has several power setting), my capacity went from around 37ah to 39ah.
I am a bit less optimistic, especially concerned about winter performance, what average temperatures do ye get?

The current battery’s SOH (state of health) is about 70% (e.g it lost about 30% of its capacity in the last 10 years). You didn’t mention what mileage the car has but other users have reported an accelerated loss of capacity the more use it had. It would be interesting to get the battery readings over the years to see if that process has already started.

The range might be sufficient currently but you will be adding about 20’000km a year just commuting…

I would not do 120kph on a motorway, it will ‘eat’ your range as air resistance increases dramatically.

Bring the car for a test drive that simulates your commute to get a feeling for it as there are many variables that make an educated guess difficult on how far the car will get you on a single charge

Do you intend to charge AC (slow) or DC (faster) @ work?

Last but not least, dealer support and spare part availability are either nonexistent or ridiculously expensive, but thanks to this and other forums a lot of support is available DIY style…
Thank you greenfox and MickeyS70 for your reply and the great information.

The car milage is 64,000KM. Also in Belgium the winter temps are between -2 till 8. I think most of the times it is around 0 to 2.

I have called tons of dealers and car workshops/garages to try and test the car battery but no one is interested :roll: So the owner called his garage and after 3 days he sent me this photo which lakes any dates of when these tests happened.

So as I said I will be charging 2 times a day, one at home (Granny charger 3.2KW/H) to go to work and then the 2nd time at work (the charger there is a type2 7KW/H) to go back home.
As MickeyS70 mentioned by doing this trip 5 days a week and charging the car twice a day it is going to degrade the battery quickly, or not?
I really need a car and at the same time I do not want to buy a petrol or diesel car. I have a limited budget and the prices is going up :shock:
Do you think it is better to just up my budget somehow and get another EV? I found a few Kia soul 2017 for literally double the price for the C zero, which was the next step in EVs here. And the Zoe which I really do not like the idea of paying 70euros a month for the battery rent.
Hi there

Just a few additional points that may help you

- Buying any EV generally only makes sense if you can do all your daily business on a single charge and don’t have to rely on topping up en route.

- A 2012 built car has a pack made up of LEV50 cells, production was switched a year later to improved LEV50N cells

- @60k a triplet is in the zone where battery degradation usually starts accelerating.

- Owners have reported that the best way to extend the lifespan of their battery is to keep the charge (SOC) roughly between 20%-80% obviously that will have a negative effect on the range (40% less)

- Apart from age, usage (charge cycles) is another main factor that contributes to degradation, worst case you need two full cycles in a day which also increases the chance of the ageing OBC failing.

- Given your experience finding a dealer willing to do diagnostic isn’t encouraging if you need support in case of real trouble.

But there are also upsides:

- The triplets were designed as city cars and they are perfect in this role, did I mention they are great fun to drive?

- They are probably the cheapest second hand EVs available these days and therefore a great entry into emission free driving.

- There is a great support community and if your into electronics there is a lot you can do DIY style.

- You have access to a charger at your place of work.

Frankly a Zoe or similar will be better suited to your needs: yes, lease is expensive but it will give you peace of mind in case of battery issues, FIY later models can be bought battery owned and range upgrades are available.

That said I wouldn’t rule it out just yet:

With the temperatures increasing you will get max range over summer and can gain valuable experience driving an EV

After a few months of use you will be in a much better position to judge winter performance, sell it in autumn if it’s not adequate.

Whatever way you decide I would highly recommend to buy a recommended OBD II dongle (see discussions on this forum) that will allow you to test the battery yourself before you commit to buy. This will work with any EV and is a great way to get independent information on the state of the car…
MickeyS70 said:
Whatever way you decide I would highly recommend to buy a recommended OBD II dongle (see discussions on this forum) that will allow you to test the battery yourself before you commit to buy. This will work with any EV and is a great way to get independent information on the state of the car…

@anasbob, that is some excellent advice from MickeyS70 :!:

Here's the link for OBDII dongle and apps:

Note that the onboard charger (OBC) is limited to a little over 3 kW, no matter how powerful the ac charging station is. The only way to charge faster is if the car has CHAdeMO dc fast-charging capability, and that peaks at 50kW max and usually somewhat less and then rapidly declines as the car's state of charge (SoC) increases.

Your ability to charge at work as well as at home is priceless! Unfortunately, I also worry that with that low a battery capacity you will be pushing the poor wee beastie's battery very hard every day both ways and you'll probably need to keep your speed down to around 80km/hr on the highway. You'll need to learn how to hypermile. :) Warmer weather will indeed improve the car's range, markedly. 'Twould be nice if you could do a test run before buying.
anasbob said:
My question is:
-Do you think the car with this Ah reading can do the single trip with the highest speed 120/70/50KM/H in winter with the AC heating on?
-What is the estimated maximum range with this car and this Ah reading?

Hi Anasbob,

In addition to the other posts:
Both high speed driving and heating/AC are 'killing' your range. Estimated maximum range is highly dependend on your driving style and speed.

For some comparison:
I have an 2011 I-miev myself, and have to drive some 75 km. for my commute (mainly highway), about 2 times a week (partly working from home). My i-MIEV's actual battery capacity is 36,1 Ah, when I bought my car at about 40.000 km., 1,5 years ago, it used to be 39,8 Ah.

When driving very carefull, mostly driving at about 80 to 90 kms, if possible behind trucks, and NOT using regular heating, AC only when really necessary, I can manage to get to my job on one charge (from fully charged to about 20 km. in summer, just a few km. in winter).
In wintertime I'm using the seat-heater, a blanket and additional infrared-heating on an additional 12V LifePo4 battery.

As mentioned, using full capacity of your battery every day isn't helping to maintain battery capacity..... It's prefered to stop charging at about 80 to 90%, and not go under 20% (preferably something more) remaining capacity. Which will be hard with the car you are looking at.

So, as much as I like the I-miev, in your use-case I wouldn't recommend this (comparable) C-zero. For myself, I've made the decision to get an upgrade for my car to 30,7 kWh new cells. But that's quite an investment...

Personally I would recommend you to look at an I-miev from 2013 or younger, with a higher remaining battery capacity. From that year on (approximately!, some cars took a long time before getting a licence plate) , they have the better batterycells (LEV50N versus the old LEV50). You can check the VIN (vehicle identification number), when it contains "HA3W" it's the older model, if it contains "HA4W" is the new model with the better cells.

Warning: The 'next generation' Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot Ion (sister-models of I-miev) have a smaller capacity battery (80 instead of 88 of these new LEV50N cells, so about 14,5 instead of 16 kWh! Besides that, the I-miev offers more driving modes than the other 'triplets', which helps you getting more range out of your battery. There is a way to 'hack that' for some models.

Renault Zoe is an other option , but I've read quite some 'horror stories' about big, expensive problems with high voltage parts, like engines. Not fun when still under warranty, but a disaster if out of warranty. Tip: Nowadays it is possible to buy the battery from Renault battery rent service, for not to much. That can be interesting to get rid of quite expensive battery rent. But then you loose your battery warranty....

Good luck finding the best EV for you!

Wow :eek: I am very surprised by the knowledge you guys are sharing !!!! I can not thank you enough. You are AMAZING <3 <3 <3

Sorry for not replying earlier, I have read your advice and decided to go for a Zoe. Hopefully I can find a good one soon.

I really really liked the iMiev/Triplet and I wish there will be a DIY battery upgrade available everywhere soon.

I'm sure other people who have a similar situation will find this threat very useful, thanks again for your precise and informative replies.
Even if the car was new, I would hesitate to recommend buying it for a daily commute at speeds of 120km - The car will go that fast of course, but it's not a 'pleasant' experience and it's not what it was designed for - It's a city car. The original version had a small 3 cylinder gasoline engine and it has a relatively short wheelbase and is easily kicked around by the wind. For me, a comfortable top speed would be more like 100km and you'd probably by holding up traffic if you limited your speed to that. As mentioned earlier, anything over 80km will really suck the battery down quickly and you don't have much capacity to play with

In short, I really don't think you'd be very happy with your purchase, given your expectations