Charge Me Up!

A few weeks ago I bought an electric car, pure electric, charge the battery-electric! A bit of a leap into the dark.
Back in 2011, I had a test drive in a Nissan Leaf, just a short drive around the industrial estate in Romford where the dealer was located. I was hooked and I’ve wanted an electric car ever since. But back then I was still a service engineer doing long journeys and the 80 mile range of the Leaf was not going to cut it.
Jump forward to 2021, I am about to retire. Long journeys are a thing of the past, the furthest I go on a regular basis is about 10 miles. A car with a 100 mile range should go for a couple of weeks between charges.

Our 2015 Renault Zoe Dynamique is the perfect car for our urban lifestyle. We charge it every ten days. We are getting 4.8 miles to a KWh of electricity. (That’s very good!) We are regenerating about 15 miles per charge cycle, so that’s 15 miles for free.

If we need to go further than 100 miles, we will rent a car with a longer range. We could charge on the fly as we travel but I really don’t think it’s worth the hassle. The charging infrastructure is not really fit for purpose, you need subscriptions and ‘phone apps. When you can roll up to any charger, tap a debit card, charge and go I might be tempted, but that situation is not there yet.

I love our little car, and I would not go back to an internal combustion engine. It’s quiet, smooth and easy to drive. Charging at home is so much more convenient than going to a petrol station.

Electric driving is not for everyone, but it probably is for the majority. Owning a car on the basis of one or two long trips per year is just silly. Have a car that fits for the majority of your journeys, then find the workaround for the outliers.

The range of electric cars is improving, 175 miles or more is common on new models. Charging is getting quicker. The price is dropping, they are still expensive compared to internal combustion, but that too is improving. Join the revolution!

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