“Owning a car of the future!”

As a result of an unfortunate incident involving a tractor, I had to look for a replacement van! I am very aware, as a regular cyclist, how damaging the effects of motor vehicle emissions are on the environment and on our health. In the UK alone, more than 50,000 premature deaths a year can be attributed to vehicle emissions. I also know how big a hole in my pocket filling up my diesel van was making each month.

I knew that an electric vehicle could be the answer, but I still needed a van. Following a bit of research, I discovered the Nissan eNV200. But was it practical and was it affordable? Well it was certainly affordable, with a 100 miles costing about £3 of electricity, compared to about £15 in my old diesel van. Coupled with my solar panels, zero road fund licence rate and very low servicing costs, I was certainly going to be quids in.

But was it practical? It was significantly smaller than my previous van but with van hire from £30 a day the crucial consideration was range. Nissan optimistically quote a range of 106 miles on a full charge, but real world conditions make it more like 75 miles.  It takes a different approach, but you soon adapt, taking every opportunity to charge. Unlike petrol stations, electricity is everywhere! The ‘rapid’ chargers as found in the Co-op car park are only required for long journeys or ’emergency’ top ups, 99% of the time you can charge at home or at work.

Last month, my car was in use for only 6% of the time, the rest it was just sitting around doing nothing (or charging!). In the three months I have had the car I have only made two journeys in my wife’s ICE car, more because of her range anxiety than mine! The Nissan is comfortable and quiet to drive; I’m convinced the cocktail of noise and poisons goes a long way to explaining road rage! In addition, the acceleration is impressive. As with any modern vehicle it has a bunch of useful gadgets, but my favourite is the remote control. I can switch on the climate control from my mobile phone in the morning when I get out of bed and the car is all demisted and toasty for me to drive away in twenty minutes later.

These are just the first generation of practical, even cool, Battery Electric Vehicles. Other major vehicle manufacturers will all be producing cars with 200 plus miles ranges in the next two years. EV sales have risen from 3,500 to 55,000 in just three years, with the market expected to top 200,000 in 2018. In Holland, 10% of all new cars are already BEVs and the current government have introduced legislation to ban the sale of private petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025.

My Electric Car has its limits, like any machine does, but it more than makes up for it in low running costs, ease of driving, practicality and the knowledge that I am not poisoning the people around me when I choose to make a journey in it. If I can afford it, I will never buy an ICE car again, that is how much I love this car. They are not for motorway mile munching types (yet), but for most average motorists, an electric vehicle is the obvious choice, never mind the environmental benefits.

If you are planning on buying a BMW three series in the next three years, don’t. Put a deposit on a Tesla Model 3, you’ll regret it if you don’t. If you are considering an Electric Vehicle and want to know more or even want a quick test drive, feel free to get in touch, once you go electric, you won’t go back!

For further information about Electric Vehicles, have a look here: http://www.nextgreencar.com/                                                                                                    Brett Nicolle     Trevigro Farm