EV car blog – 1 year in


It seems like five minutes ago, but it has actually been one year since I bought my first electric vehicle. I only realised this when I had to tax it – for free of course. Technically we had already placed a deposit on a Kia E Niro, but that wasn’t going to turn up until April, so I’m not counting that…

The little Renault ZOE has been great fun to drive, anyone who owns or who has driven an electric car knows how sprightly they can be! Around town, it’s very nippy, responsive & quiet and is a genuine pleasure to drive. To be fair, it’s not so much fun on the open road, especially in ‘Eco’ mode where the top speed is restricted to just 60mph to max out battery life. This can lead to some frustration on faster roads, or I just put it back into ‘Normal’ mode and just go with the flow.

The range is not brilliant, but I knew what I was getting into when I bought it. I have a modest 4.5-mile commute to work, and even in the depths of winter, I only need to charge once a week. A bit of running around and it may need a second charge, no big deal. I can charge at home from surplus solar in the summer or use the numerous free public charging points in Northumberland. There are one or two charge points that charge a set £1 to connect and then free electricity after that. So, bearing all that in mind it has cost me £18 for a year’s motoring, yes just £18! I really don’t know how people can afford to run petrol & diesel cars…

On the thorny subject of cost, EVs are supposed to be expensive right? Well, mine was three years old when I bought it for £8,500, that’s around the same or less than you would pay for an equivalent petrol or diesel car. However, due to the increased interest in electric cars, it’s actually gone up in value by around £1,000 – brilliant! No road tax, and only £18 for fuel it’s the cheapest form of transport I can think of, even walking would cost more in shoe wear!

OK, so it hasn’t all been rosy in the garden; getting on to a public charger can be an issue with taxis realising the benefit and the numerous other EV owners wanting a charge too. The biggest frustration is when you find a hybrid vehicle plugged in, fully charged and just sitting there taking up a space a ‘proper’ EV could be using…

All things considered, I’m still happy with my EV choice and actually having an EV at all. Would I go back to a petrol or diesel? No chance, the cost, noise and servicing costs make it a no-no for me. It will be better when there are more charging points, but I still won’t go back to ICE. Now, an electric motorbike is next up…

This is a Follow on blog from: Living with an Electric Vehicle

Bryan Dixon is the lead for grid related projects at Narec DE. He’s currently working on delivering consultancy on large scale energy storage, including preparing four spade ready 49MW/98MWh sites.

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