A Tesla on St. Croi...
 
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A Tesla on St. Croix?  

 

ellee
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October 3, 2020 11:41 pm  

I am contemplating re-locating to St. Croix and currently drive a Tesla model 3 with all wheel drive.  I adore my car and want to bring it with me.  I hate the idea of going back to an Internal Combustion Engine; it goes against all my values.  My commute would be ~10 miles each way so with my 300 mile range I will be able to 'trickle charge' on 120 at night and not suffer from the absence of EV Charging Stations.  I know I'll need to have a generator to charge my car when the next big hurricane hits and power is out for weeks.

My questions:

1) Am I out of my mind bringing an electric vehicle to St. Croix? Practically?

2) It is a sedan - not an SUV - is the lower clearance going to be a problem on St. Croix roads?

3) Is a 'luxury-looking' car going to be a target for theft? 

4) Gas prices on STX are on par with the continental US but electricty is 2 or 3 times more expensive.  No wonder there are no/few electic cars.  Thoughts on this? Why is solar not more prevelant?  Because of hurricanes wiping out solar panels?

I'd very much appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice.

ellee

 


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Exit Zero
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October 5, 2020 1:17 pm  

This event for electric cars was held this past weekend --On STT - but there are some good contacts mentioned and a few articles linked.

 

https://stthomassource.com/content/2020/10/04/ev-caravan-a-road-rally-to-promote-green-driving/


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vicanuck
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October 5, 2020 2:10 pm  
Posted by: @ellee

I am contemplating re-locating to St. Croix and currently drive a Tesla model 3 with all wheel drive.  I adore my car and want to bring it with me.  I hate the idea of going back to an Internal Combustion Engine; it goes against all my values.  My commute would be ~10 miles each way so with my 300 mile range I will be able to 'trickle charge' on 120 at night and not suffer from the absence of EV Charging Stations.  I know I'll need to have a generator to charge my car when the next big hurricane hits and power is out for weeks.

My questions:

1) Am I out of my mind bringing an electric vehicle to St. Croix? Practically?

2) It is a sedan - not an SUV - is the lower clearance going to be a problem on St. Croix roads?

3) Is a 'luxury-looking' car going to be a target for theft? 

4) Gas prices on STX are on par with the continental US but electricty is 2 or 3 times more expensive.  No wonder there are no/few electic cars.  Thoughts on this? Why is solar not more prevelant?  Because of hurricanes wiping out solar panels?

I'd very much appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice.

ellee

 

1) Am I out of my mind bringing an electric vehicle to St. Croix? Practically?

You won't be the first...there are actually a few Teslas.

2) It is a sedan - not an SUV - is the lower clearance going to be a problem on St. Croix roads?

Generally not an issue. Crappy roads are universal in the VI.

3) Is a 'luxury-looking' car going to be a target for theft?

There are many more luxurious/valuable cars on STX than a Tesla.

4) Gas prices on STX are on par with the continental US but electricity is 2 or 3 times more expensive.  No wonder there are no/few electric cars.  Thoughts on this? Why is solar not more prevalent?  Because of hurricanes wiping out solar panels?

Solar is very prevalent. Anyone who can afford solar has or is going solar, so much so, that the public utility (WAPA) will eventually suffer a financial failure (almost there now). Its one of the reasons rate are so high. Those who can't afford solar are shouldering the entire cost of the system. I have solar at home and pay zero for electricity. Sadly, we lease our business building and can't add solar there. But, even that won't be an issue soon.


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jaldeborgh
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October 5, 2020 2:21 pm  

Repairs would be my biggest concern.  If you have any kind of an accident finding someone to make repairs will be difficult.  I’ve seen several shows on the difficulty of repairing Tesla’s with even minor damage.

The topic of high electricity costs has been highlighted so having a home with solar would be desirable. You’re going to need a larger system to run both house and car.

My final concern would be resale, there’s likely a limited resale market on STT.

Good luck whatever you decide.


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STTsailor
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October 6, 2020 2:19 am  
Posted by: @ellee

I am contemplating re-locating to St. Croix and currently drive a Tesla model 3 with all wheel drive.  I adore my car and want to bring it with me.  I hate the idea of going back to an Internal Combustion Engine; it goes against all my values.  My commute would be ~10 miles each way so with my 300 mile range I will be able to 'trickle charge' on 120 at night and not suffer from the absence of EV Charging Stations.  I know I'll need to have a generator to charge my car when the next big hurricane hits and power is out for weeks.

My questions:

1) Am I out of my mind bringing an electric vehicle to St. Croix? Practically?

2) It is a sedan - not an SUV - is the lower clearance going to be a problem on St. Croix roads?

3) Is a 'luxury-looking' car going to be a target for theft? 

4) Gas prices on STX are on par with the continental US but electricty is 2 or 3 times more expensive.  No wonder there are no/few electic cars.  Thoughts on this? Why is solar not more prevelant?  Because of hurricanes wiping out solar panels?

I'd very much appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice.

ellee

 

Your biggest obstacle would be lack of dealers service in VI. Technologically advanced cars require frequent periodic maintenance that would not be available here. So unless you are comfortable performing your own maintenance and repairs on Tesla You are setting yourself for a lot of needless suffering. Otherwise electric vehicle is fine here. Nissan is selling Leaf here and service is available. 


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speee1dy
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October 6, 2020 3:08 pm  

im concerned about the cost of electricity 


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Gator's Mom
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October 6, 2020 5:03 pm  

You can purchase and install a solar power EV charging station at your home. Not a cheap option necessarily but possible. Systems may include a Tesla battery for daytime storage so you can charge your car at night.

If you want to import and support a Tesla EV on the island, it might be worth the cost. 

Some landlords might take issue though.

https://www.thesolarnerd.com/blog/electric-car-solar-panels/


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ellee
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October 7, 2020 12:29 am  

Thanks so much for your insights,  Very reasuring to hear that there are other Teslas on St Croix!  I'm assuming I won't need any service other than tires and brakes but am forwwarned that if something goes really wrong it wil be a shit show.  

I'm trying to get my head around the fact that electricity is more expensive than gas/oil on St Croix. 

What is up with that?  Why is the island not primarly solar and wind?  Because of past and future hurricane damage?

 


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daveb722
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October 7, 2020 12:03 pm  

Not sure what the accurate numbers for charging a tesla are, but I had a Ford Fusion that was a hybrid and it would cost me about $2 to recharge the batteries overnight with a 220v charging station and based on mileage and gas cost at the time, my calculations would be that I save $4 of gas each day.  That was using cruise control to maintain proper speeds without fluctuation.  Good luck with that here. Again rough estimates.  So my electricity was 12 cents and here its 41 I think now. so imo, it would cost you more to charge than you would save on gas.  Plus any maintenance and you might as well figure even a slight savings is going to disappear. Again these are rough numbers from what I can remember 4 years ago.  getting a tesla wall and solar will cost another 10k probably.  Just my 2 cents.


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Exit Zero
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October 7, 2020 2:02 pm  
Posted by: @ellee

  

I'm trying to get my head around the fact that electricity is more expensive than gas/oil on St Croix. 

What is up with that?  Why is the island not primarly solar and wind?  Because of past and future hurricane damage?

 

It would take a better man than me to explain WAPA - the govt. owned Water and Power Authority -  but it is financially poorly run, dealing with aged, outdated, maintenance problem plagued Generators, suffering the effects of emergency rebuilding after hurricanes and trying to provide power on 4 separate islands without o Grid to connect to.

Solar and wind are making private headway but are expensive , force non-users to bear the cost of WAPA's loss of revenue and storage is a big shortfall problem overall.


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STTsailor
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October 8, 2020 5:05 am  
Posted by: @daveb722

Not sure what the accurate numbers for charging a tesla are, but I had a Ford Fusion that was a hybrid and it would cost me about $2 to recharge the batteries overnight with a 220v charging station and based on mileage and gas cost at the time, my calculations would be that I save $4 of gas each day.  That was using cruise control to maintain proper speeds without fluctuation.  Good luck with that here. Again rough estimates.  So my electricity was 12 cents and here its 41 I think now. so imo, it would cost you more to charge than you would save on gas.  Plus any maintenance and you might as well figure even a slight savings is going to disappear. Again these are rough numbers from what I can remember 4 years ago.  getting a tesla wall and solar will cost another 10k probably.  Just my 2 cents.

$ can’t justify driving EV or even hybrid in US. Even with federal subsidies these cars make little economical sense. This technology appeals to early adopters, cool people and green fans. We are a master polluters here in VI with no car emission standard enforcement at all And thousands of individual diesel generators dumping tons of unprocessed fumes. 

As long as the trade winds blow it is not our problem. 


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daveb722
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October 8, 2020 8:37 am  

@STTsailor I agree, then there's the back end of everything, like battery disposal, where does that go, how does it affect the earth, etc.  I really enjoyed the car, but the lack of holding space (trunk) became a deal breaker for me.  If work would have allowed me to charge it, it would have been more effective.  With the combined electric/gas operation I was averaging 35 mpg so not bad for a 4 door mid sized car.  Anyways, here I feel it's definitely not practical cost wise.


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Gator's Mom
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October 8, 2020 1:10 pm  
Posted by: @STTsailor
Posted by: @daveb722

Not sure what the accurate numbers for charging a tesla are, but I had a Ford Fusion that was a hybrid and it would cost me about $2 to recharge the batteries overnight with a 220v charging station and based on mileage and gas cost at the time, my calculations would be that I save $4 of gas each day.  That was using cruise control to maintain proper speeds without fluctuation.  Good luck with that here. Again rough estimates.  So my electricity was 12 cents and here its 41 I think now. so imo, it would cost you more to charge than you would save on gas.  Plus any maintenance and you might as well figure even a slight savings is going to disappear. Again these are rough numbers from what I can remember 4 years ago.  getting a tesla wall and solar will cost another 10k probably.  Just my 2 cents.

$ can’t justify driving EV or even hybrid in US. Even with federal subsidies these cars make little economical sense. This technology appeals to early adopters, cool people and green fans. We are a master polluters here in VI with no car emission standard enforcement at all And thousands of individual diesel generators dumping tons of unprocessed fumes. 

As long as the trade winds blow it is not our problem. 

You can purchase a used 2015 or newer low mileage Nissan Leaf in FL for less than $15K and ship it to the VI. Prices come down quickly once the original owner takes the one time only tax credit. Second owner still retains the battery's 100K warranty. If you have solar electricity available you can operate the car for the price of tires and depreciation. These cars can be charged at home from a 120 volt outlet.

Leafs are roomy inside though not fancy. Even early generation Leafs that have 100 mile range on their batteries between charges work perfectly on a small island. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Gator's Mom

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daveb722
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October 8, 2020 3:06 pm  

@gators_mom problem with charging 120 it takes more than twice as long to charge.  My car on 220 had a full charge in 2.5-3 hours and over 8 hours with 120.  Having solar isn't going to help if it's a daily drive as you would probably be using the vehicle and not getting any sun to charge it.  Just my experience, that is why I purchased the charging station so that if I was around during the day or after work I could charge it quickly and use again if needed.  120 was only good if I wasn't going anywhere.  In quickly looking at the leaf it's batteries are much bigger, they state it takes 20 hours to charge it with 110 if near empty.  In the US to charge it they state 5.14, so multiply x 4 = 20.56 for 149 miles.  My jeep gets 17mpg at 2.59 a gallon would be about 22.59 for the same mileage.  I can bring my jeep here and in a few years if I left sell it for the same easily, a leaf probably not.  Anyways, I love the concept of electric vehicles and loved mine, just not cost effective here imo.


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Gator's Mom
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October 8, 2020 3:29 pm  
Posted by: @daveb722

@gators_mom problem with charging 120 it takes more than twice as long to charge.  My car on 220 had a full charge in 2.5-3 hours and over 8 hours with 120.  Having solar isn't going to help if it's a daily drive as you would probably be using the vehicle and not getting any sun to charge it.  Just my experience, that is why I purchased the charging station so that if I was around during the day or after work I could charge it quickly and use again if needed.  120 was only good if I wasn't going anywhere.  In quickly looking at the leaf it's batteries are much bigger, they state it takes 20 hours to charge it with 110 if near empty.  In the US to charge it they state 5.14, so multiply x 4 = 20.56 for 149 miles.  My jeep gets 17mpg at 2.59 a gallon would be about 22.59 for the same mileage.  I can bring my jeep here and in a few years if I left sell it for the same easily, a leaf probably not.  Anyways, I love the concept of electric vehicles and loved mine, just not cost effective here imo.

I have a Leaf it takes overnight to charge with 120 trickle. It depends on the type of battery. A 220 charge affects your battery's life so it's best to trickle when you can. Mine is a 2015 model - so the battery is still one of the smaller ones and easily fully charges overnight.

I drive my car to my office (or I did before covid) round trip 50 miles in FL mostly highway. It is fully charged the next day from 120 trickle. Biggest issue is the battery range but you figure that out.

I paid $10K for my Leaf with 17K miles on the odometer three years ago - and it's still worth $10K now. But it is a disposable car by any estimation at that price.

I haven't bought gas or changed oil in 3 years - how about you? (except for my other car that is an F150 truck LOL). 

Electricity is cheap in FL - even cheaper with solar in the VI. 

But I yearn for a big ole new Jeep that costs $35K off the dealer lot. Can't make those numbers work.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Gator's Mom

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jaldeborgh
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October 8, 2020 8:04 pm  

I’m guilty of being a car guy and just can’t warm up to electric vehicles, fully acknowledging they can be crazy fast.  I need the noise, the mechnical majesty of an internal combustion engine with a manual transmission.  It’s the visceral pleasure of becoming one with a powerful machine that electric vehicles just don’t provide.  I guess I’m old school.  Given STX is an island with a massive refinery and stupid expensive electricity, driving an electric car seems incongruous.


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Gator's Mom
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October 9, 2020 9:33 am  
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

I’m guilty of being a car guy and just can’t warm up to electric vehicles, fully acknowledging they can be crazy fast.  I need the noise, the mechnical majesty of an internal combustion engine with a manual transmission.  It’s the visceral pleasure of becoming one with a powerful machine that electric vehicles just don’t provide.  I guess I’m old school.  Given STX is an island with a massive refinery and stupid expensive electricity, driving an electric car seems incongruous.

Driving a Nissan Leaf is like driving today's version of an AMC Gremlin or a Ford Pinto - remember them?  

Boys and toys, I understand completely. That's different than an argument of economic value. 

The Nissan Leaf is the cheapest ride I've ever had but that's my personal goal for every day driving.

I will say that most of us who have been around the VI for years have our own vehicle strategies - I opt for old cheap cars that run. We have two on island so when one breaks we have a second. The trick is to keep one running. In the coming few months, we'll be relocating the 2001 Ford F150 to the island, too, since that's my husband's pride and joy. Probably the 2015 Leaf as well but it's awfully new to be an island car LOL.


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jaldeborgh
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October 9, 2020 9:50 am  
Posted by: @gators_mom

I will say that most of us who have been around the VI for years have our own vehicle strategies

Agree, for most of my life, on the mainland, I've driven European cars, tried German, Italian, French and English, we've recently gone American, specifically Jeep.  Shortly after we bought our home on STX we relocated a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and will ship down our Wrangler Rubicon next month.  Priorities are rugged, capable, easy to get serviced and fun.  The climate and roads aren't the best for any vehicle so we're going in with our eyes wide open.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 2 times by jaldeborgh

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rewired
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October 9, 2020 1:01 pm  

@exit-zero

The St Croix Source did a pretty good series of articles on the history of WAPA about a year ago.

Taking the liberty of posting a link to it here for future readers...

https://stcroixsource.com/2019/10/15/melee-and-missed-opportunities-a-short-history-of-wapa-part-i/


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jaldeborgh
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October 9, 2020 3:53 pm  

I think the problem I have with WAPA and issues like the crime problem or the pension problem is that it's apparently okay for the VI Government to declare a State of Emergency and infringe on all our liberties, which has had devastating consequences for the community (it can be debated if this is/was justified) to deal with the problem but it doesn't take similarly decisive action on other these other long standing and hugely obvious issues like crime, WAPA performance and the looming pension collapse, which have (and will continue to have) a much bigger impact on the community than COVID-19 has had (which is mostly harmless in the same sense that the on-going protests (riots) have been mostly peaceful on the mainland).  I see this as utterly incongruous, this is clearly a leadership issue, no excuses.  This would never stand in the private sector, you'd have a stockholder revolt.  The public needs to start acting like stockholders and vote these people out and hire folks that can get something done, not just play politics.


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STTsailor
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October 9, 2020 9:42 pm  

The Fundamental problem is that the VI budget runs deficit for years plugged in by junk bonds offering. If this was California with all its resources nobody would blink an eye. 

Austerity is the only way out unfortunately. Gut the government payroll, trim welfare benefits, stop giving out unsustainable pension benefits. Live within your means. 


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vicanuck
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October 10, 2020 8:56 am  
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

The public needs to start acting like stockholders and vote these people out and hire folks that can get something done, not just play politics.

Unfortunately, the locals like things just the way they are. They are the most complacent population on earth. I just don't understand it. They keep voting in the same people expecting different results.


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daveb722
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October 10, 2020 9:24 am  

@vicanuck Isn't that true in the states as well?  Only the past few years we have started to see incumbents losing their seats, otherwise it was the same old people.  Guess we'll catch up here in 20-30 years maybe. 


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ellee
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October 11, 2020 12:15 am  

My potential future employer is flying me down for a site visit next week - I will definately explore the option of charging my Tesla at the work site. But I'm leaning towards selling it and buying an ICE because there are so many unknowns I am facing with the relocation and needing to find housing where I can charge my car to get to work is one variable I can eliminate.  


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STTsailor
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October 12, 2020 4:55 pm  

The only time you have leverage you have is now, before you sign the contract. 

Take your time to get a feel for the island as if you were a local. Check out local supermarket, try to shop for shoes or bedding. Try out local broadband speed. 


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