Some of you may have read the earlier piece about how we bit the bullet at the end of last year and ordered our first electric vehicle (EV).
Three months we thought I’d give you a quick update on how life with an EV is going. In short, extremely well. It’s a remarkably refined driving experience and you can’t help having a smile on your face when you pass other cars churning out visible exhaust fumes on a cold morning.
To date, we’ve done 1,500 mile in the new car in three months. Around 95% of that distance has been powered by home charging.
We opted for the Ohme Pro Smart Home Charger, fitted by our energy supplier, Octopus Energy, and it’s been easy to use and reliable so far. The EV is also leased through their sister company, Octopus Electric Vehicles, with servicing and maintenance, breakdown, tax (where applicable) and the first 5,000 miles of home charging (this offer has changed slightly since) included.
We signed up to the Intelligent Octopus tariff, which mean the car can be set to charge when grid demand, and therefore unit prices, are at their lowest. During the hours of 11.30pm – 5.30am we can charge our EV for just 10p kw/h.
Some quick maths last week showed that those 1,500 miles have cost us 55% less in electricity than fuel would have cost to travel the same distance. And, in terms of the journeys alone, nearly half a metric tonne of CO2 was saved. Yes, manufacturing a new EV produces a decent footprint but when we compared our car’s anticipated footprint over its lifetime versus its petrol equivalent, it was between 10% and 50% better off, depending on how it is charged and driven. Progress, not perfection.
So, onto our first ever public charging experience. Drum roll… it was easy.
We had driven around 150 miles to our destination in the Midlands, where we were staying for a couple of nights. We arrived with around half the battery’s life still intact. The car advised us that a charge was needed to ensure we had sufficient range to get home. Expected. On our last evening, we went for dinner at a well-known chain restaurant that sells pizza and doesn’t end with ‘Hut’. It was located at the heart of a busy retail park, which offered not one but three shiny electric charge points. All available and working, something we were able to check in advance and en route using the free Zap-Map app. The car charged whilst we were having dinner and we were good to go. It was a slower charger, costing 35p kw/h. Fine as we had time on our hands that evening.
On our way home the next day, we pulled into a services on the M40 for lunch. I instantly spotted several available ‘Gridserve’ fast-chargers, and having done the deed the night before, I was on a roll and couldn’t resist another go. Of course, I didn’t need much of a boost by this point but, again, it was simple and straightforward. It cost 65p kw/h this time however, due to location and convenience of fast charging.
I may have been lulled into a false sense of security – I fully expect it to be a little harder going in some parts of the UK that we normally visit during the course of a year. But the point with an EV is how often do you drive more than 150 – 200 miles in one go? Not often, in most cases. According to Government data, the average car journey in this country is… 8.4 miles. Job done.
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