Six weeks and 2,000 miles...
It’s been six weeks since I took ownership of my first Electric Vehicle and the miles have flown by largely without incident. There was of course the faulty Ecotricity chargers (which appears to be a standard complaint unfortunately), a faulty fuse which caused my home charger to fail following the initial install, and a couple of newbie mistakes from myself, but absolutely no drama since those early issues.
If I’m honest, I was expecting to blog more frequently, but truth be told I haven’t had much to write about, I was anticipating a much bumpier ride in my early days of EV adoption. I do feel I need to celebrate the 2,000 mile mark though, so here are a couple of observations that may or may not be of interest.
Since having the home charger installed, thanks to an EV Charger at work I haven’t had to use the public charging network. Of course, not everyone will have the luxury of a charger at work, but equally not many people will have an office 130 miles away from home. The real-world range of the Jaguar has thus far proven to be typically in the region of 210 miles, and this has been plenty.
Yesterday for instance I had to drive from the office in Manchester across to Gainsborough for a two-hour meeting, about 90 miles each way with the route I was taking. Whilst I was able to fully charge the car before setting off, and I knew therefore that I had plenty of range for both legs of the journey, I was then having to drive another 15 miles from the office to my flat and do the same again the following morning, with no opportunity to charge overnight. To avoid any potential range anxiety, I checked Zap-Map for suitable charging stations, and decided that I would stop somewhere on the return leg of the journey for a coffee, to catch up on some e-mails, and to charge the car. However, I wasn’t in a rush, so I put the car into Eco mode and took it easy, surprisingly making it to my destination with 130 miles left in the tank. With plenty of range remaining, I took it less steady on the way home and I made it back home with 50 miles of range remaining, having covered just over 180 miles in total.
I fully accept that there will be times when I’m inconvenienced by the need to stop and charge, but I really think this will be the exception rather than the rule.
The actual driving experience of an EV is brilliant, I am fully converted. I borrowed my wife’s car at the weekend which is a Range Rover, so it’s pretty refined, and yet it felt positively agricultural! For what I previously considered a fairly rapid car (for its size), it felt slow and the acceleration lag was exceptionally irritating. And whereas I once enjoyed two-pedal driving (three pedal driving is great in the right car on the right roads, but not for daily commuting), boy did I miss the one-pedal driving experience that the Jaguar offers. Sure, the iPace doesn’t offer the intoxicating sound that my F-Type offered, and it doesn’t offer the engine braking experience on fast corners that my 911 offered, but the truth is that these were only occasionally fun and had real downsides (the jag was too loud at 5am when you’re tired and grumpy, and the Porsche was a pain to drive slowly in traffic), and in every other way I much prefer the EV driving experience.
Other things to note based on my six weeks living with an EV? Well, home charging is straight forward, and it really isn’t a hassle to plug it in when arriving home, even when tired and in the rain. I don’t have a tethered charger and I’m delighted with that decision, the charging cable lives happily in the bonnet which offers easy access and a neat solution for exterior aesthetics of the house when the car isn’t plugged in. Most importantly, I haven’t been to a fuel station in six weeks, and that is frankly a delight!
On the subject of fuel, I am used to spending somewhere between £100 and £200 per week on average over the years, and it never bothered me, it was simply the cost of doing my job and having nice cars. When thinking about where I might stop to charge yesterday, the thought of paying to use a public charging point was deeply upsetting, despite the fact that it would be a relatively trivial amount of money! My attitude to paying for ‘fuel’ has literally changed overnight.
The one thing I have noticed which is somewhat negative, is that driving around a City Centre is an accident waiting to happen if you’re not concentrating hard; pedestrians will happily just walk out in front of you, totally oblivious to your presence! It’s amazing how many people don’t look when stepping out if they can’t hear anything, it’s a real eye-opener.
I will shortly be doing a blog about the car itself as there are a number of observations that are worth sharing, mostly positive but some a little irritating. But for now, all I can say is that the early weeks of EV adoption have been a pleasure, and I simply can’t see how I could ever go back to an Internal Combustion Engine.