Peace and quiet with a little fun

On Monday evening I had a short drive to Falmouth where I was making my stand-up comedy debut in the Toast pub. I had wanted to go by train or bus so I could have a drink afterwards to drown my sorrows or celebrate, but there were no services that would get me home after the event. In the end it wasn’t a problem, my set went well, and I was buzzing from the experience so no need for alcohol. That was the longest journey of the week.

Writing new material while the car was charging

On Thursday I left early for my appointment in Redruth and stopped off at the Osprey chargers in Pool to get plenty of charge ready for my trip to Derbyshire today. I am volunteering again at Go Beyond near Fenny Bentley, one of the staff who has a licence to drive a minibus is on annual leave, without someone else to drive the children would not be able to go on any offsite activities. I’m worried that I am spending so much time up there that it might affect my accent.

On the 16th August I will have had my lovely Renault Zoe for a year, so next week I will be ranking the charging networks I have used. Before then I think it is safe to say that InstaVolt take top place for the cheesiest puns. This is from one of their recent tweets:

It doesn’t get much cheddar than this, we’re now live at award-winning cheesemakers

@LyeCrossFarm

 #Bristol!

You’ll have to take our curd for it, this is a grate location for a top-up. Visit to get a slice of the action! 🧀

The Porsche Taycan 4S currently takes the prize for the electric car I’d most like to be driving and the saddest thing I have seen is that you can pay £354 extra for Porsche sporty sound. I like electric cars for the calm silence, who would want to pay extra for noise?

An interesting development in electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the FEVER project which is due to start in September. FEVER stands for ‘Future Electric Vehicle Energy Networks Supporting Renewables’ I suppose that FEVENSR wasn’t as catchy. It aims to address the issue of grid constraint, for example in the South West of England, where the grid is at capacity, adding new chargers means expensive upgrades to the electricity grid infrastructure. The FEVER team will look to design and develop an EV charging solution that can fully deliver grid-independence. To do this “the team will use renewable generation within an innovative off-vehicle energy storage (OVES) system to offer secure, year-round, grid-independent charging”.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

Car minibus sandwich

Costa – New Square, West Bromwich

Last Sunday after I had posted the blog content, I drove 304 miles to a hotel just outside Derby ready for another week of volunteering at Go Beyond. That was my fourth time making that journey this year, so I have it down to a fine art now. A stop at Cullompton services on the M5 to charge the car (6 Ionity chargers – only 1 occupied) and have a Costa Coffee before setting off refreshed for the Astle Outlet Park in West Bromwich to charge (4 InstaVolt chargers – 1 occupied) and another Costa Coffee. It was then just a short hop (39 miles) to the hotel. I could make the journey with just one charge; however, the chargers that I can use for free with my Onto subscription are not conveniently placed, and I do not want to pay by using another network.

On Monday morning it was a very pleasant drive (15 miles) to the Go Beyond Daleside Centre near Fenny Bentley. Then during the week, it was minibus driving taking the children to the Alter Rock Climbing Centre in Derby, Dovedale for a walk and getting soaking wet in the river and kayaking at Carsington Water. The adults also get to take part in the activities, so a great time was had by all.

On Friday it was the long drive in the opposite direction to get home. This time it was in all the holiday traffic. I was confident that my stop at West Bromwich would be okay (none of the 4 InstaVolt chargers were occupied). This time I went for a walk to the market and bought 5 big avocados for £1 and 10 decent size mangoes for £2 – result! It does raise the question why does an avocado in the plural only get an ‘s’ whereas a mango gets ‘es’? I was less confident about charging at Cullompton as lots of motorist were heading to Devon and Cornwall to start their holidays. When I arrived the services were extremely busy and 5 cars were charging which was okay because there are 6 Ionity chargers on that site. I did have a Plan B, there are two InstaVolt chargers in Cullompton which is a short distance from the services. The app showed these to be available. If Plan B had failed, I would have fallen back on other chargers nearby, but I would have had to pay for those.

This morning I charged the car at the Osprey chargers near where I live so I’d be ready for the week ahead. Instead of having a bucket of coffee in the Costa café like normal I went for a walk to check out some chargers on the nearby Cornwall College Trevenson Campus. I’m glad I did, the driving directions supplied by the Shell Recharge app do not get you there, plus much of the campus, including the area with the chargers, is closed to traffic when the college is not open. Still, it is good to know there are 4 chargers available, although they are only 22kwh.

During the week I did not had access to electronic devices, the children on the activity break are not allowed electronic devices so the volunteers cannot use theirs until the children have gone to bed. Once I’d completed the few evening tasks we need to do I was ready for bed myself, so I did not check any news, therefore I have not seen any news about electric vehicles or charging infrastructure to pass on.

Onto, the all-inclusive electric car subscription service I use, sent me an email to announce that it had raised $60M USD in equity in a Series C funding round led by Legal & General. This will enable the business to consolidate in the UK and expand into Europe, starting with Germany. This has resulted in the creation of many job vacancies, mainly in Warwick but also in London and Berlin. You can check out the vacancies here.

Syncronized charging

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes, electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

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Thankfully, a quiet week

I was pleased to have a quiet week this week after a lot of driving last week and another trip to Derbyshire today, I am volunteering again at Go Beyond next week; more minibus driving and lots of fun activities with the children.

I only had one journey of distance this week, a trip to Bude on Wednesday (106-mile round trip). I popped down to the Osprey chargers in Pool on Tuesday, so I had enough charge. Just as I was plugging in a thunderstorm started. I know you are safe in a car even if it is hit by lightning because the car acts as a Faraday Cage; electric currents are conducted on the outside of metal objects, if you are not touching metal bits of the car you will be fine. I did not know whether this would be affected by being plugged into a device delivering 175kwh of electricity, so I dashed across the car park to a Costa Coffee. If you want to know more about cars in lightening and to see a video of Richard Hammond sitting in a car when it is hit by 600,000 volts of electricity, follow this link. It was quieter reading my book in the café rather than sitting in the car with rain hammering on the roof.

MFG ultra-rapid chargers (not Bude)

During my trip to Bude I was pleased to see that the redevelopment of the Esso garage is almost complete, they are installing a bank of ultra-rapid chargers. MFG, who operate the site, are investing £400 million over the next 10 years in electric vehicle charging infrastructure on its forecourts. They are also looking to develop new sites with just electric vehicle charging. The are looking for places to develop and pay a finder’s fee, further information here.

MFG’s move away from its traditional model made me think about the nature of change. During the early years of my accountancy career many organisations were starting to computerise their accounting systems, many embraced the advantages; however, a lot wanted the system to replicate what they already did without any change. Often, they would start with a very efficient accounting package and, in effect, break it so it replicated what they already did. Because they were not prepared to make adaptions, they did not reap the benefits. It is the same with electric vehicles, drivers need to act differently and so do garages.

For many people who can charge at home they will no longer be visiting a garage forecourt and that garage will not be selling them other things like sweets, crisps and other snacks. However, drivers charging their cars at public chargers will be at the forecourt for longer, greater dwell time. This provides the opportunity for the retailer to offer more than just a packet of crisps and a fizzy drink to go. There will be time for a leisurely coffee, even a full meal or some retail therapy. Drivers need to accept that and factor it into journeys.

The electric vehicle looks just like a conventional vehicle and does the same job, what is different is how journeys are made, this is a massive paradigm shift, go with it and change and you will reap the benefits, fight against it and you will just end up being frustrated and stressed out. I’m enjoying more relaxed journeys with time to stop and enjoy my coffee.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes, electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

A cool week in hot weather

A lot of miles this week. Last Sunday I drove from Camborne to my hotel just outside Derby ready for a week of volunteering at the Go Beyond centre near Fenny Bentley. That was at trip of 304 miles which went well. I stopped at Cullompton Services to charge the car; there are six Ionity rapid chargers there, only two were being used so I had a choice of four. After a large Americano and a vegan toasted sandwich in the Costa Coffee outlet I was soon on my way, with plenty of charge to get to West Bromwich where there are four InstaVolt rapid chargers. When I got there two where in use and two available. I plugged in then went for a walk in the sunshine. Again, I was soon on my way for the shortish drive to the hotel. There was a charger there, but I didn’t use it as I had plenty of charge to get to Fenny Bentley on Monday morning (15 miles) and the start of my journey back on Friday. I would not be using my car during the week.

On Monday I was a passenger in a minibus when we went to Derby station to pick up some of the children who were going to spend the week at the centre, others arrive at the centre in a school minibus and by car. On Tuesday I drove one of the minibuses, into Derby, I had the one with air conditioning 😊, to take the children to an indoor climbing centre. I also got to do some climbing.  

View of the river Dove from the top of Thorpe Cloud.

Wednesday it was a short trip to Dovedale to take the children on a walk and a play in the river. The children got soaked and so did the adults. Great fun in the hot weather. On Thursday it was a longer drive in the minibus to the National Forest Adventure farm for a day of fun indoor and outdoor activities. I love driving and enjoy the additional challenges presented by driving a long wheelbase minibus, I just wish motorists would park more sensibly so that I do not have to squeeze through narrow gaps. And I also wish they knew the size of their cars so that on narrow lanes they move closer to the verge and I have more room to pass.

The journey home went smoothly with respect to charging, West Bromwich all four available and at Cullompton only one of the six being used. Unfortunately, there was a lorry fire on the M5 which closed the section between junction 5 & 6. I got stuck in a big queue for hours before I could leave the motorway and divert around the closed section. Sitting among that great mass of cars made me think that there must be a massive hole somewhere where all that metal was dug up.

I am now relaxed about charging and no longer suffer from range anxiety. I was interested to read that range anxiety many be as a result of our anxiety about charging other devices and that the AA say electric car range anxiety is unfounded; very few AA call outs are for running out of charge.

I was also interested to read that InstaVolt was top in Electric Road’s league of public chargers with Inoity in 3rd place – they are my favourite networks. The Renault Zoe came 4th in the table of customers’ reviews of small electric cars, I am not sure how many cars are in that category. I love my Zoe mainly for the same reasons as other drivers mentioned “Range, spec and the driving experience”.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes, electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

Change

Courtesy Car

It’s been a typical driving week for a week spent in Cornwall, a few longer journeys in the county (Bodmin and Wadebridge) and some local ones (Penzance, Truro and Penryn). There were two milestones, I clocked up 14,000 miles and the car had its first service. The day I took the car in for its service was my highest mileage day, so all that mileage went on the courtesy car and used their charge. Plus, when I picked the car up, they had topped my battery up to 100%, it was less than 50% when I dropped it off. I have had a petrol or diesel car serviced over fifty times and I have never had it returned with the fuel tank topped up. The other good news was that I did not have to pay for the service because I have an all-inclusive electric vehicle rental.

If you are a homeowner there may be even more good news. The shortage of charging points nationwide means house price premium for homes with off-street parking has surged since 2019, according to Savills. A word of warning, things can change very quickly as more charging is installed. For example, Osprey have acquired a site in Devon to create a rapid charging hub next to the busy A38. It is the first of many they are considering. Gridserve recently announced planning permission had been granted for their 32 bay Electric Forecourt in Plymouth, so that area of Devon will soon be well served. And a Chinese company has created a battery with a range over 600 miles which is due to go into production in 2023 and will be fitted to the Kia range of vehicles. That could well be a game changer as the range is more than a petrol car. Range anxiety may soon be a thing of the past.

Mention charging and many people launch into a rant about the National Grid not being able to cope and end of life batteries piling up all over the place causing an ecological disaster. It’s worth noting that in 2020 the National Grid produced a ‘myth-buster’ article: 6 myths about electric vehicles busted. The grid can cope, and batteries will be reused then recycled. Of course, social media keyboard warrior ‘experts’ don’t bother with facts, just unfounded opinions.

My concern is that we are doing little to reduce our dependence on the car. The Government’s answer to congestion is to build more roads. There is a section of the A30 near me, which I drive along regularly, it is single carriageway and is often congested, particularly during the summer holiday season. It is now being dualled. I am staggered by the amount of countryside that has been ripped up, the massive amounts of concrete poured for infrastructure, such as drainage and bridges, the vast number of JCBs on site, how many lorry movements there are to bring materials in and take rock and soil away. It moves me to tears sometimes. Have we learnt nothing since Joni Mitchel sang over 50 years ago these prophetic words in Big Yellow Taxi?

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

They paved paradise

Put up a parking lot

The answer to congestion is not to spend millions on new roads. Instead, we need to spend millions on public transport to take traffic off the roads. Check out Biophilic Design on LinkedIn to see how things could be.

Singapore

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

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Barriers? I see no barriers

I only used the car on Monday and Tuesday and drove about 100 miles, so near the national average, and there was no need to charge the car. That made me think back to a post on 26th June when I debunked a Daily Express headline “Drivers face wait of a day and a half to charge EVs in some parts of the UK.” Using their approach I calculated the actual possible wait time to be less than an hour, but forgot to factor in that not everyone would charge their car every week so the theoretical wait would be a lot less, which would explain why I have seldom had to wait during the 11 months I have had my Zoe and driven just over 13,000 miles.

Thames barrier – now that is a huge barrier

I hear people call the Daily Express the Daily Excess and can see why. Another recent headline was “Drivers warned of huge barriers preventing electric car uptake in the UK” the headline bore very little relationship to the articles contents; no one was doing any warning and there were no barriers. The article was about the results of a survey by JustPark. I was unable to access the survey data; however, I assume it was a sample of all motorists because it found that 81 percent of drivers did not know that an electric car is cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel alternative – electric vehicle drivers would know that. So, it is strange that “62 percent of respondents claimed the reliability of chargers and the frequency of local chargers is an issue.” How do they know if they don’t drive an electric car – I know, it’s from scaremongering by the Daily Excess and other media outlets. I can agree that the price point of an electric vehicle (42 percent) can be a barrier; however, prices are coming down and there will soon be a good second-hand market.

There also seems to have been a recent surge in rapid charger availability with InstaVolt and Shell Recharge opening many new charging points. Most of the InstaVolt ones are next to a McDonald’s, so if you fancy a Maccy D while charging these are the ones for you. Shell have started installing chargers on petrol forecourts. The provision of chargers on motorways is improving; there has been an explosion of EV chargers at the M5 Exeter Services since I was last there (about a year ago), previously 2 now 17 operated by the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway network. And Tesco in partnership with Volkswagen are continuing to roll out free chargers in their store carparks.

Despite that good news I still think there is a problem with the charging infrastructure due to a lack of a clear and effective strategy. In March this year the Government published Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy and there is the problem – it didn’t take charge, instead leaving it to market forces. The UK needs a well thought out mix of on-street fast chargers and destination rapid chargers covering the whole country not just in hotspots.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount. The inclusive subscription is particularly useful if, like me, you do not have access to home charging.

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Battery facts

Porsche Taycan

My car charging did not go to plan this week, which was to my advantage. I went to a networking lunch at Exeter Racecourse on Tuesday and on the way back had booked to join a comedy walking tour of Plymouth as it would only involve a slight detour. I planned to charge the car at the InstaVolt chargers on a retail park on the outskirts of Plymouth. On Monday I received a text saying the tour was cancelled due to Covid. I didn’t want to detour just to charge so decided I would use the chargers at the racecourse. These were out of order, so I had a look on an app for chargers nearby, the A30 through Devon and Cornwall is a desert when it comes to chargers. The app showed two rapid chargers at a Porsche dealership on the outskirts of Exeter about two miles off my route home.

The chargers were very smart Porsche branded ones, and I am sure my Zoe enjoyed being among all the smart Porsches on the site. While the car was charging, I had a little stroll then popped into the dealership to asked about electric Porsches. The receptionist called the General Manager over as he was the person that knew the most about the electric Porsche; there is only one fully electric model, the Taycan. We chatted for a while before going outside to look at the hybrid Porsches on charge, then continued chatting for a while in the sunshine until my Zoe was fully charged. As I was leaving, he said “The next time you are here to charge you can take the Porsche out for a test drive” – result! It is gorgeous.

Since I started driving an electric car, I have been amazed by the number of people on social media who worry about the environmental damaged cause by lots of electric car batteries going to landfill and who would not buy an electric car because of the cost of replacing the batteries after a few years. I can reassure those people that their fears are ungrounded. My Zoe comes with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and that includes the batteries. Geotab, global leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected vehicles, measured the battery health 6,300 cars (21 different models) and found the average battery capacity after five years was still 89.9 per cent of when the car was new. Bear in mind that the sample would have included older vehicles and batteries have improved in recent years.

Nissan Leaf

When electric vehicle batteries have come to the end of their useful life in a car they will not head to landfill or to a recycling plant, they will be repurposed. This is not new news, in 2018 Toyota announced that old batteries from their electric vehicles would be installed outside convenience stores in Japan to store electricity from solar panels to power fridges and chilled food counters in the stores. In 2017 Renault announced that retired batteries from the Renault Zoe would be used in home energy storage units. Eventually these batteries will reach the end of their life and be recycled, work is advancing quickly in this area. In March last year Renault announced a collaboration with the Veolia and Solvay consortium to enable the circular economy of EV battery metals in Europe through closed-loop recycling.

The Top Gear website, loved by petrolheads, has a good article about electric vehicle batteries.

In the meantime, some clever people are using the batteries in their cars to reduce, or even eliminate their electricity bills, either by charging the battery in off-peak times and selling the electricity back to the grid in peak times or using the battery to store electricity from solar panels when the sun is shining so it is available at night or in cloudy weather.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount.

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Unstressed driving an electric vehicle

Breakfast

Another quiet driving week with only local journeys. On Friday I had a leisurely breakfast while the car was charging so that I had enough charge for my trip to Newquay on Saturday for the Children’s Hospice South West Rainbow Run and plenty left over for a trip to Bodmin on Monday. While I was relaxing drinking my ‘bucket’ of coffee it reminded me of an article I had read a few days before, DS Automobiles survey finds drivers of electric cars feel less stressed behind the wheel.

Happiness is driving an electric vehicle

That certainly is my experience, I am much more relaxed driving my electric car. In part I think it is the smooth acceleration with a lack of noise and in part it is my change in attitude to driving since I’ve been driving my Zoe. Previously I wanted to get from A to B as quickly as possible, that is not going to happen in an electric car on a long journey; you need to stop and recharge. Also, harsh acceleration and high speeds reduce the range of the car, so you learn to drive in a relaxed way. Although I must admit I occasionally use the great immediate acceleration of an electric car to beat boy-racer petrolheads away from the lights.  Harsh acceleration and high speeds result in higher fuel consumption in petrol and diesel cars; however, it is not so obvious. Now I see the journey as something to be enjoyed in a relaxed way, I also enjoy the planning; locating charging points on an app and thinking where will be best to stop.

That reminds me, I read an anti electric vehicle (EV) article that said due to a lack of chargers and range anxiety “drivers would be desperately Googling where the nearest charging point was”. That journalist has very limited electric car driving experience. Google maps do not list that many chargers, we EV drivers rely on apps like Zap Map or the apps for particular networks, like InstaVolt. The inbuilt SatNav in my car also shows all the compatible chargers within the range I currently have.

Anti electric vehicle reporting annoys me. For example – Drivers face wait of a day and a half to charge EVs in some parts of the UK. Read the article and you find that the wait would happen in an extreme hypothetical situation “If all the owners turned up at once, the queueing time would be an eye-watering 31 hours with 50 minutes of charging time each.” Well, that is never going to happen, many electric vehicle owners charge at home, that theoretical queue is if they all wanted to use a public charger. A conservative estimate would be that about 50% have access to home charging – that brings the wait time down to about 15 hours (and that is not allowing for workplace chargers) Then factor in that people will access the charger at different times, most will probably be between 6am and 8 pm so that is now down to a theoretical wait of about an hour. The theoretical wait time in the article is also assuming that drivers charge from zero to full, that doesn’t happen so less than an hour in the worst part of the country Leeds – hardly headline material. Leeds is the worst part of the country for public electric vehicle chargers not as a place to live or visit – I like Leeds. If you want to find out how many chargers there are in your area there is an interactive map on the Government’s statistics website.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount.

Petrol and diesel price increase in a week.

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Post tipping point

I had a quiet electric car driving week and a busy diesel driving week, I was driving a minibus for the children’s charity Go Beyond and took the children, staff and volunteers to an indoor climbing centre near Tavistock, Cardinham Woods, near Bodmin, the beach at Par and Newquay Zoo.  The electric driving was to get to the centre at Tywardreath, Par and home again, then the 2-mile trip to Tesco Extra Redruth on Saturday where I left the car on charge while volunteering at Heartlands parkrun and doing my weekly shop at Tesco. As the charging at Tesco is free, I feel I should do my shop there rather than at the other convenient supermarket, Morrisons. Yes, free electric vehicle charging while motorists on the A30 are paying 189.9 a litre for petrol and 193.9 for diesel. Yes, I do feel smug and virtuous driving a vehicle with no exhaust emissions that saves me money every mile. The RAC estimate that it costs just 10p per mile to charge an electric car using “rapid chargers” and 12p per mile when charging via an “ultra-rapid” connector. Public chargers cost more than that. Drivers of petrol and diesel cars face average costs of 19p per mile and 21p per mile, respectively.

Prices at Carland Cross A30, Cornwall

Elsewhere there seems to be a fair amount of hyperbole Per mile cost of EVs ‘80% below petrol and diesel cars’ as fuel prices surge. That might be true if you compare the cheapest home charging rate with the most expensive petrol and diesel prices but about 50% of electric vehicle drivers are like me and do not have access to home charging and must use more expensive public chargers. Still, with a combination of free chargers (e.g. Tesco ones) and cheaper rapid chargers it is possible to drive very cheaply with an electric vehicle.

Soaring fuel prices have led to lots of articles about the merits of electric vehicles and in some cases changed the rhetoric from “electric cars are not as green as you think” to “over the lifetime of the vehicle they are a lot greener and progress is being made on reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing the vehicles”. The Daily Express has certainly changed their tune from knocking electric vehicles to headlines like ‘No doubt!’ The future of motoring will be fully electric as drivers to ditch petrol. They cannot bring themselves to get fully behind electric, choosing to use quote marks in the first sentence to lessen the impact and maintain their scepticism.  “A motoring expert has claimed that he has “no doubt” the future of motoring is going in “one direction”.  They need to embrace the song from Frozen, Let it Go.

A recent survey carried out by elmo, an electric car subscription company, showed that car owners still have anxiety around charging. This was the number one concern when switching to an electric car. This was particularly the case where drivers did not have access to home charging and were reliant on the UK’s public charging network. That used to be the case for me; however, that is no more as I have become more educated about charging. Interestingly the elmo website’s ‘Suitability Tool’ suggests an electric car is unsuitable for me. My experience has proved that wrong. I think it is because the subscription I have with Onto includes charging and that makes a big difference.

I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. Yes electricity prices have risen, but driving electric is still a lot cheaper. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount.

It is my birthday this month so I have created a fundraising page to raise money for Go Beyond so more deserving children can benefit from a break that will change their lives. If you can afford to donate please do. Thank you.

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The Times They Are A-Changin’

Tracy Chapman

Whenever I have a quiet driving week (two very short trips), I worry about what I’m going to write. This week the media and cognitive dissonance came to my rescue. I read a report, EY Mobility Consumer Index 2022 study, which suggested we had reached a tipping point in the public’s acceptance of electric vehicles. The report was produced by a team of expert analysts from EY, a massive professional consultancy company. The Daily Express criticised the report relying on the opinions of ‘Norfolk Boy’, ‘1Annony’, ‘Peagreen69’ etc. in their article, ‘The great EV con!‘ – Angry drivers refute the idea that half of car buyers will go electric’.

They decided to use the maths from ‘e150s’ to illustrate the comparative cost of owning an electric vehicle as opposed to a petrol one, even though ‘e150s’ says ‘I can count on one hand the people who think the infrastructure and the vehicles themselves are good enough.’ ‘e150s’ must have a very big hand; a total of 190,727 new battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) hit UK roads during 2021.

The comment from ‘Scepticus’ “too heavy damaging surfaces” nicely illustrates cognitive dissonance as does the one from ‘Peagreen69’, “There is nothing Green about EV and scrapping 35 million perfectly serviceable cars on a whim.”. Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.

These few lines from Wikipedia (not always a reliable source) provide some useful information:

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information. Relevant items of information include a person’s actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, values, and things in the environment. Cognitive dissonance is typically experienced as psychological stress when persons participate in an action that goes against one or more of those things. According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent. The discomfort is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein the individual tries to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance. They tend to make changes to justify the stressful behaviour, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance (rationalization) or by avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance (confirmation bias)

So, if you don’t want to accept that times are changing ignore the information about drivers buying electric vehicles or find a negative “too heavy damaging surfaces” and ignore that fact that people buy petrol and diesel cars, e.g., SUVs, and pick-up trucks that are too heavy, think Chelsea Tractor. Or throw in complete nonsense “scrapping 35 million perfectly serviceable cars on a whim”. No one is suggesting scrapping vehicles immediately, they will be phased out gradually as they reach the end of their useful life. For my old Passat that was after 18 years and over 350,000 miles. Me I’d much rather rely on information from EY (despite the fact I don’t like the ‘big four’ accountancy firms, of which EY is one) than key board warriors who subscribe to the Daily Express online.

Another press article that attracted my attention this week was Launch of first-ever US road that charges electric vehicles as they drive in the Independent. It was the normal hyperbole; the road has not yet been built and when it is it will be only a mile long. It does illustrate that times are changing – fast. These words from the Bob Dylan song, The Times They Are A-Changin’, sprang to mind:

Your old road is rapidly agin’

Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin’

While I was checking that I had remembered the words correctly I had a listen to my favourite cover version of that song by Tracy Chapman. That led on to listening to her sing Stand by Me – I had forgotten how wonderful and pure that performance was.  

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I love driving an electric car for the driving experience and when I see the eye-watering petrol prices at motorway service stations. As you will have read in the blog charging can be a challenge, but I am coping well. If you want to try an Onto electric car no commitment, all inclusive monthly rental use the code 52aad to get a £50 discount.

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