Day 1: My first electric vehicle experience

 Eleanor Rumbold

We invited Eleanor Rumbold to write a guest blog post for us as she recently had her very first experience of electric vehicle driving and charging, and her story raises some interesting points that are probably quite common amongst newbies to the EV world! So, over to Eleanor... 

 E-Car Club

E-Car Club

 

Hiring a car as a young driver

"Living in London without a car has proven rather complicated at times. Travelling to Loughborough from London to see family on Christmas Day is virtually impossible unless you want to fork out hundreds of pounds on a taxi. Plus, I’m only 20 years old so hiring a car has always been out of the question.

That was the case, until I discovered E-Car Club on the 23rd Google search page under “car hire for under 21s”. E-Car is a company that rents out electric cars to anyone with a licence over the age of 19. 

As I’ve only previously owned a Citroen Saxo that I bought for £400 (battered but beloved) when I was 17, I was ecstatic to try out a car with central locking and power steering. The process of registering with E-Car Club was relatively painless, it only took a few days before my driving license was approved and I could start driving. My partner and I had planned a trip to Kent and decided that hiring a car was the easiest option. Before we took the journey, I wanted to practice driving the car, so I could make sure I was comfortable enough to go the distance.

 Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

Starting my EV experience

I downloaded E-Car Club’s app and processed a 2-hour booking for a Renault Zoe. I quickly jumped on the tube and found the car in a self-serve area, already plugged in, charged up, and ready to go.

Although I struggled at first to understand how to unplug the charger from both ends, I quickly learned and was soon behind the wheel. The car was easy to start as I slid the key fob into the slot and pressed start, but it only took about 10 seconds before I hit my first rut: the brake pedal was dangerously sensitive. All I needed to do was stroke my foot across the top of the pedal and the car would jolt to a stop. Very scary!

This took quite a while to get used to and even after extending the booking by a further couple of hours, I still wasn’t 100% confident and decided to call it a day.

I took the same Zoe out the next day and surprisingly, despite a torrential downpour, I was very comfortable driving and the braking didn’t even phase me. However, I noticed the range was limited to a maximum of 90 miles on a full charge and decided to research some different cars that might get me further on my trip."

**Coming soon: the next step in Eleanor's EV journey...

  • Is a hybrid the answer?
  • Not enough charge!
  • How do I drive this thing?!!
  • Where are the charge points?
  • My conclusion
  • My favourite car