I’d go Electric but……

KirstenNovember 23, 2020

2030 the year we go electric! Anyone else worried about this or is it just me?

Like many of us I really want to get an electric car but what worries me is not the range the car can do or the rapid charging but the over-night charging.

I live in a mid-terrace house with a large green in front that the neighbour’s kids play on and where I tend to witness the furry vampire (my cat) chase the pigeons, then just off that is the communal off-road parking. So charging my imaginary electric car outside my house is not a feasible option.

But let’s play pretend and say its 2030. I’ve got a DS 3 Crossback E-Tense with a range of 191-206 (cycle WLTP) and 80% rapid charge. A DS again Kirsten? Yes, a DS again. Since the last time I was allowed to type nonsense for work I’ve given up my old DS3 1.2 PureTech Connected Chic and have swapped into a larger more grown-up Peugeot 2008 Allure. It’s nice and I do like it…but it’s not a DS (BTW if anyone at Citroen DS Automotive would like to sponsor/gift me with a DS then I would be ever so grateful 😉)

With my future car, I could charge it at work. (Not that I was earwigging the other day, but I know we are getting some charging points set up here soon) So charging at work all day is an option. And when I go shopping, I can plug it in at the charging stations which are popping up left right and centre, so I’m not worried about a rapid charge. But hang on what about when I’m seeing family and friends. Nearly all of my family members and friends don’t have off-road parking for more than one car. And if I’m visiting my family in Edinburgh then I definitely wouldn’t be able to charge it outside their homes when visiting. In fact, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve managed to park right outside my Auntie and Uncles’ house, and I passed my driving test 15years ago. So clearly this would not be an option either. And what about when I’m working from home, or I get sick and need to take time off work or at the weekends? All these things are playing on my mind.

But let’s jump back to November 2020, I’m sitting having my lunch and I’ve made the mistake reading the BBC news site. The article in question –  ***Fair warning this annoyed me a lot!***

Electric vehicles: Your questions answered By Justin Rowlatt Chief environment correspondent

Q) “What if you don’t have a drive?

A) If you can find a parking space on the street outside your home, you can run a cable out to it but you should make sure you cover the wires so people don’t trip over them.

Once again, you have the choice of using the mains or installing a home fast-charging point.”

WHAT! I’m sorry but does Justin think that nobody walks anymore? Are the public footpaths just for show? Clearly, he doesn’t understand the UK housing and parking situations like the rest of us. Not everyone lives on a quiet street with hardly any foot traffic or are able to park right outside their homes to run a cable. Also (and this might just be me) but have you tried remembering to bring your bins in after work when it’s dark and wet? Imagine having to bring the bins in from down the road  AND then making sure you’ve run the never-ending charging cable from the house over the busy public footpath to your car and making sure that it’s safe so people with walking and visual impairments are safe and don’t fall over. Ow and never mind children running around and not paying attention then going flying and breaking bones! The lawsuits are going to be insane!

Apologies for ranting and Ok I agree maybe this won’t happen and I’m only thinking of the worst possible scenarios. But it is most definitely something a lot of us are worried about. Maybe we should change the phrase from Range Anxiety to Night-time Charging Anxiety instead. Sadly I already checked with the council and they have zero plans to start setting up charging points on the communal parking zones ☹.

Wait you said you wanted one. But why? That is true I’ve only really talked about why I can’t have one right now not why I want one in the first place. I’ll be totally and 100% honest with you before last year I wasn’t all that bothered about going electric with my driving. In the home yes, I’m all for solar panels, wind farms and getting a green boiler and such forth. But then came Tesla!

Before lockdown 1 and furlough (see the previous blog for that fun time in my life) I worked on Customer Support. Tesla at that time were new and ordering them was a little bit of a headache, so whenever I saw one on the road I would just scowl at them “you have no idea how many headaches you give me!”. Then one day they came in to give us some training and explain how their side works (much later than needed but still appreciated), it made more sense if not still annoying at the time how they’re ordering and update process worked.

After the training, we got to go outside and look around a Tesla Model 3. OW… MY… DAYS! The space! The lack of distractions! The boot! Honestly, I think I could store my whole house inside that car – or a dead body. It was sooooooooo quiet, so sleek, so not like all the other cars I’d seen before.

And with a range of 396miles (WLTP) it did more miles than my beloved DS3 with a full tank. I’d already seen dozens of charging points for them bobbing around so I already knew that long-distance driving would not be an issue. And even if the monthly rental might look more expensive than a normal fuelled car it’s actually cheaper. Think about it with your standard Petrol/Diesel you’ve got to pay for the CO2 emissions which means the tax is going to go up every year, and then there is paying for the full tank of fuel lets say at least once a month at an average of £42 and then there is the breakdowns and repairs if you’ve chosen to maintain the car yourself and not do with your funder! It’s a lot! But with an electric car no CO2 emissions, no spending £42 at least on fuel a month, in fairness less chance of it breaking down as there are fewer parts for it to go wrong. See no brainer.  So really when you break it all down it’s a lot cheaper per month on an electric car than on a standard fuelled one.

I will be honest there was one small snag and it’s the same with nearly all-electric vehicles out there…. they don’t make any noise. Of course, this is fine if you don’t have any problems with your eyes, but I have read a couple of horror stories when someone with eyesight problems has had a near miss as either they’ve not seen them coming or their guide dogs haven’t heard them and had a near-miss so on a personal note I think there should be some sort of noise, even if it’s only a little bit. But apart from that and again this is a personal opinion, I think Electric cars are bloody amazing! Also, have you seen them just float down the road? Let’s face it we are now not far off having cars like from The Jetsons (please google if you’ve never heard of them, old cartoon, Rosie the housekeeper robot was my favourite)

So, until such times when my over-night charging worries go, and I’m not forced out of my fossil fuel cars then I will wait and see what happens.

PS: dear Citroen DS Automotive I also like self-charging hybrids *wink wink*

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