Steve J’s first electric car was a BMW i3S.
Why did you buy an electric car?
We decided to sell two petrol cars we were hardly using and purchase a small electric car, the i3s being small and cute. We were also using a diesel X5 for a lot of local trips, as well as to tow a caravan. For us there are no really affordable electric options to tow 2000 kgs. We felt the electric option would be good for 95% of trips, including my once-a-week 200 mile return trip to the office. This has proved to be the case in practice but we do have the benefit of being able to charge easily at home.
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What got you into an electric car in the first place?
I am a petrolhead but it’s clear electric is here to stay. I wasn’t prepared to find another petrol car and no way would I buy diesel again. I looked around, wanted an EV with a short wait list and just loved the i3S, especially as it comes to the end of its production run.
Initially, what did you find most confusing about electric car ownership and how did you solve that?
The public charging side is just complicated and the biggest obstacle to making the move. You hear horror stories of chargers not working and not enough of them. Overall, that is not our experience and it has been reasonably painless but that may be different if I was using them everyday. The biggest pain are all the apps/charging companies/finding where the chargers are/finding one that charges at a speed. The apps such as Zap-Map are great but it still feels too cumbersome. I like the idea of the new ‘hubs’ but every town needs a number of these.
What sources of information helped you e.g. people, groups, websites etc?
I read a lot from car magazines and also followed people on Twitter.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for those people considering their first electric car?
1. Buy the best you can afford, with a warranty, considering your personal driving range question. I am surprised just how much I can do in a car with a real world range of around 150-160 miles.
2. Don’t believe everything you hear around charger breakdowns and batteries failing and costing £20k
3. Talk to fellow EV users when charging. They seem a friendly bunch!