Day 3: My first electric vehicle experience

If you haven’t read the first two instalments of Eleanor’s story, you can do so here and here.

The day dawns for Eleanor and her partner, cousin, and friend to set off on their short holiday, but it isn't as straightforward as they'd initially hoped...

Where are the charge points?

"...We were faced with our next problem the next morning when I realised we wouldn’t have enough charge (currently 31%, a 40-mile range) to get us to the next rapid charger, so we had to resort to the closest charger in the car park at Westfield Stratford, which we knew would be a bit slower than we were hoping for.

After about 45 minutes of searching for the charging spaces in three different car parks, we found a charger and went to get some lunch. We came back and realised the car hadn’t even charged 1%, even though we’d checked it was working fine when we left!

Luckily, we found an Ecotricity charger not far away that I’d missed earlier on, and headed for it. Once we got there, someone else was already plugged in so we had to wait until they were done. Ed's note: some apps such as EV Driver’s own and Zap-Map) will tell you when a charger is already in use, to prevent you wasting time and being disappointed!)

45 minutes later we were charged to 80% and impatiently decided to carry on. We arrived at our destination at 16:00 after having left at 11:00, three hours later than we’d planned. I guess charging electric cars isn’t the most convenient! I didn’t let this dampen my spirits too much as I was still pretty excited about driving the car.

Nissan Leaf 2.0

Nissan Leaf 2.0

My conclusion

Overall, it was a difficult process learning how to unplug and start the cars up but once I got going, it was a breeze. It was slightly inconvenient having to charge the car so frequently and for longer periods of time than it would take to fill a car with petrol, but with proper planning it might not have been such a hassle. Electric cars may be more convenient for a daily commute to work rather than longer road-trips.

My favourite car

My favourite out of the three was definitely the Leaf, followed by the Auris purely for practicality, and finally the Zoe. It would be useful for people to get some hands-on educating when it comes to electric cars!"

Ed's note: We know that some of the difficulties Eleanor faced on her first experience of electric cars and charging are not uncommon, and we try to educate potential EV drivers so that some of that uncertainty disappears. Planning ahead is definitely key!

If you'd like to get some first-hand experience come along to our Electric Vehicle Experience Day on 4th October 2018, test drive some cars, see how chargers work, and ask us (and the Exhibitors) anything you'd like to know!