Andy (Electric Petrolhead) and Kate’s first experience of EVs was in 2018 when they test drove a Model S and Model X.
They spent the test drive and the rest of day giggling at how much fun it was, so they put in an order for a Model S. They owned that car for 2 years and 22k miles.
They added a fully electric BMW i3 120Ah in 2019 which they still own. That’s now on 24k miles. They’ve also had a selection of other cars on short rentals through EVEC so they’ve driven a lot of the cars on the market.
Currently, they lease a Hyundai IONIQ through www.on.to which they think is a great setup as it’s a rolling 30 day contract so there’s no commitment and it’s a fully inclusive price. They are very happy with the IONIQ until they pull the trigger on a Model Y!
What was the last ICE car you owned?
The last petrol car we owned was a Porsche Boxster. Loved that car but the Tesla made it feel very slow!
What got you into an EV in the first place?
We first got into EVs as we had a criteria of a big family car that wasn’t an SUV. So we were looking at an Audi RS6, a Mercedes E43 and E63 AMG estates and as a wild card we test drove a Tesla. It was out of our (sensible) budget but we loved the drive, loved the tech and felt it was the right move for the environment. The fact it was a rocket of a family car gave me the win-win scenario. I could drive my family to an event in a safe, zero-tailpipe emission car…then when I’m on my own I could drive the wheels off it and enjoy it.
What sources of information helped you e.g. people, groups, websites etc?
I’ve been fortunate to start my EV life in the Tesla world. That made road trip charging easy and we’ve been to Paris a few times with zero worries. I’ve also got a Tesla wall charger at home which makes it even easier than a petrol car to live with. I’ve since had to learn about 3rd party chargers like Instavolt and Osprey for the i3 and other cars, but equally, they make it easy.
My biggest tip to everyone is spend 30mins in the pub with an EV owner (offer them a beer and most will help) and understand it’s not a level playing field. Some charging companies like BP are atrocious in my experience. So I stick to my favourite brands as mentioned and my life has been easy. Then just test drive an electric car. The EVEC was always an amazing venture which I’m gutted is closing and I’m fighting behind the scenes to find someone else to run a similar scheme as it’s been ace for so many of my friends and YouTube viewers.
The Tesla Owners UK group is amazing too. Very welcoming and I had a few of those pub meets with long-term owners who quickly put my mind at rest and helped. I now repay that favour to anyone I can via my Electric Petrolhead YouTube channel and twitter account (@electricpetrol). I’m always going to be a petrolhead, so I’m there for those who want an EV but worry they’ll miss the noise and feel of a petrol car. I haven’t and many of my EV friends are the same.
Beyond Tesla, I’ve not got into many other groups bar local ones to me in Buckinghamshire, local EV groups are ace, check out the EV Groups page – https://evgroups.co.uk/. I love Fully Charged as a YouTube channel and always recommend their videos. Euan McTurk is also a great watch via his Plug Life TV channel on YouTube.
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What events would you recommend attending to learn more about EVs?
All the EV events are good. Fully Charged LIVE is my must-go event of the year. But I would always recommend people find a local owners’ meet and talk to those who live in the area.
What needs to happen to get more people driving an EV?
We’re at a good point in the EV world. The main thing holding people back is car availability. We need the legacy companies to just go all in with EVs. Stop messing around with hybrids.
Who is your EV hero/guru and why?
He’s not one for the limelight but I think people underestimate how much positive work Will Fealey does for the EV community, both for Tesla and outside of this. Being the Tesla Owners President has cost him a fortune over the years with travel etc but he’s always happy to talk to politicians and owners alike to make the EV world better. He now has a great team around him and I’m fortunate enough to still be allowed to be friends with them even if I’m between Teslas!
Also a special mention to Peter Brazier. He had his Ferrari converted to electric by Electric Classic Cars. If that isn’t amazing enough he then let me drive it. Proper legend. Reinforced my plans to have a TVR Tuscan converted.
Electric Petrolhead, what are your top 3 pieces of advice for those people considering their first EV?
1) Just do it. The scare stories are just that.
2) Spend 5mins watching my videos on Zap-Map and Abetterrouteplanner. They’ll save you a lot of hassle. On road trips I always have a backup charger in mind too.
3) Tesla are still years ahead as an ecosystem. Highly recommend them if they’re in budget.
Bonus) If you can charge at home, you don’t need a mega long range car. Both mine do 150 miles to a charge. I’ve driven from Bucks to Durham quite easily with a stop for lunch and a quick drink/stretch stop.