15 months ago our family situation changed such that I would be doing more mileage. I was, at the time, driving a Discovery – which I loved. However it was very thirsty with the diesel. We decided the best car for me would be an electric one.
I was very lack lustre about it as I so loved the Discovery and had always thought that Electric Vehicles were rubbish – even though really I had absolutely no experience of them and nothing to base it on.
We decided to test drive a few EV’s and see what I thought. I was pleasantly surprised! I tried two or three different models and found some better than others in the same way you would with a non-EV, although suffice to say none of them were ‘rubbish’.
They were all automatic, which I was used to, and some of them have a feature whereby they slow down or self-apply breaking when you take your foot of the accelerator. This is a bit weird to start with but you soon get used to it and it is an efficient way of the car saving charge or actually ‘self-charging’.
I found them all quite nippy and beautifully smooth to drive. I really had no reason to criticize any of them. I did have a stand out favourite though, and that was the Tesla.
There are a few different models of Tesla but the one we went for was the Tesla Y which is an SUV and big enough to get our spaniel in the back. As well as driving beautifully the controls are great and there are features on this car that are unique and innovative.
The dashboard is pretty non-existent and instead there is an ‘I-pad’ type device in the front-middle of the car which houses all your controls. Looks wise it’s very simplistic but technically it’s very advanced.
My main worry with electric vehicles had always been how it will cope with long journeys or road trips. How do you find your charging stations while you’re out and about and/or away from home? I’ve had no problems at all – the car takes care of it. You put in the postcodes you are travelling to and between and the navigation facility in the car will plan your journey and guide you to the nearest charging stations as and when you run low on charge.
Continuing with this theme my second main concern was will I have to queue for agers at charging stations on the road when I need to top up? Not at all - so far I have never had to queue, most stations have ample charging points – at least 10 in most cases and there is always plenty free. You can charge adequately in half an hour and quite often the charging points are at service stations or similar so you can grab a drink and a snack.
The Tesla is incredibly fast and a joy to drive and both comfortable and luxurious to sit in. It has some quirky features which add to your enjoyment plus well thought out new controls. An example of which is the feature to leave the air con on in the car when parked if you have to leave your dog. A big sign appears on the screen at the front explaining to passers-by not too worry, the air con is on and my owner will be back soon!! Also, when stationary you can have a large crackling fire on the screen in the front or the car will perform a crowd pleasing light show or you can make the car pass wind or you can watch YouTube and play games on the screen. Elon Musk has thought of everything!
So if you are an EV skeptic like I was a year and a half ago ignore your skepticism for a day and go and try out a few different models. Electric vehicles are surprisingly good to drive, smooth, fast and easy to handle. They are uncomplicated to charge either at home (obviously you will need to install a charging point) or on the road, no queues and charging stations easy to find. The view that EV’s are for ‘Boring’ people is a misnomer, they are super cool to drive and fun and economical. Finally, and importantly you are helping to save the planet and that has got to be good!