I’ve always had ‘interesting’ cars over the years (starting with a gold Capri!) and found different ways of running them. My old XJ Jag got converted to LPG which provided the old girl with the economy to go with the comfort and speed. My old Jeep also ran on LPG although it didn’t really compensate for the 50 year old chassis and its related bone shattering discomfort!
A few years ago I traded our trusty Mondeo which we all loved, for an V8 Audi A8 which was awesome. It may have been diesel but had so much torque it could really fly. Buyers remorse is an infliction I suffer from when getting a new car and none more so than when I traded the A8 in for our first new car, a Kia. A Kia. A fucking Kia.
Why I didn’t pull out the deal when the salesman said his boss wanted drive the Audi around for a few nights before putting it up for auction, I’ll never know but for the last near three years I have been driving around in an uncomfortable, diesel Kia. To be fair, the later ones are fine but with my long pockets and short arms, the bargain of the previous model loaded out with leather, satnav and heated seats counteracted the newer model with a diesel engine that wasn’t stuck in the 90’s. Anyway, as much as I disliked that car, I have had to drive it.
A recent job change at the beginning of the year threw me into quickly learning about sustainability across many projects – one of which was hydrogen vehicles. During a conference my mind wandered and I started googling alternative fuels and before too long had my mind set on an all electric car.
A month or two later I noticed a stonking deal on the Renault Zoe. £5000 off the government, £5000 deposit from Renault and a high end use valuation on PCP meaning I could get a new one for just over £150 a month – £50 cheaper than the Kia. Bargain! Throw in zero road tax and close to zero fuel costs (many public chargers in Scotland are free – and the College where I work also has charging points) and being up to £200 a month better off with a new car was too good to pass.
So at the end of September we took one out for a test drive. Not sure what I expected to be honest, maybe a modern milk float? However it drove just like a normal car – only quieter. And cheaper. Deal done with a 3-4 month wait for delivery.
However, as I have apparently been a good boy this year, Santa came early and we got the call that our car had arrived. Given we don’t get our home charger installed until the New Year, it is a gamble picking it up now but it’s a gamble worth taking – there are a few public chargers in Arbroath that we can use so I’m sure we will get by – if not, hopefully I’ll have Sarah or Meg in the car if we run out of power to push the damn thing home; it is only tiny!
So my car journey is taking another turn and given that no other bugger I know has an EV, I thought it worthwhile telling the story of how we get on with it. I’m sure I’ll be grumpy as hell about it from time to time and I’ll definitely miss having heated seats (not sure how, but our last 5 cars over the past 12 years have all had heated seats!) but we’ll give it a go for the two years anyway. Only real concern is the 100 mile range but that will be part of the challenge.