Anthony Hibbs currently runs a Volkswagen e-Golf 35kWh 2019.
Anthony has owned the e-Golf since November 2019 and it’s his first electric car. His annual mileage is 10,000 and the e-Golf has currently done 24,500 miles. Anthony has written reviews of his car for several websites and he’s completed a case study for an EV-centric company called New Automotive.
This resulted in Anthony appearing on Central Television’s programme regarding the introduction of Birmingham’s Low Emissions Zone and featuring in The Sun newspaper when they ran an environmental special edition. He’s also been quoted in the Daily Mail regarding smart metering and featured in his local National Trust newsletter at Biddulph Grange Garden where he’s a volunteer. Quite a busy chap!
What was the last ICE car you owned?
What got you into an EV in the first place?
Driving my hybrid Lexus. It had an EV mode, admittedly it only ran two miles maximum in this mode, I was immediately convinced that my next car would be fully electric. I had a BMWi3 on a 3 day extended test drive. Absolutely loved the tech and the drive but found the rear suicide doors and the fact it only had two rear seats impractical. I then had an e-Golf for 24 hours, wow! I had driven and owned several VWs over many years but the e-Golf was a revelation. All the well developed familiar Golf features I loved but fully electric drive. The search began and within a few weeks I had purchased my own car.
Initially, what did you find most confusing about EV ownership and how did you solve that?
I did a lot of research before buying my EV so nothing was confusing. Public charging however was as fussy as I expected.
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What sources of information helped you e.g. people, groups, websites etc?
I knew no one with an EV. I found most of my information by reading reviews, manufacturer’s information and via internet searches. Twitter was a great source of real life EV stories and information. My greatest influences were two ‘Tweeters’: @The_PlugSeeker and @evcarmike – one practical & the other almost fanatical, a good balance I felt.
What needs to happen to get more people driving an EV?
Several things need to happen to improve perceptions of electric vehicles:
- More multi-charger charging stations which look like existing ICE fuel stations. Drivers seeing these will be more confident that they can easily & conveniently charge.
- All chargers being contactless. Who wants to download so many apps and their associated divulging personal and financial implications?
- No parking charges when vehicles are charging
- Prices of new EVs need to reduce. Used values also need to come down.
- Home chargers need to reduce in price. Over £1,000 completely negates fuel savings for a considerable time. A disincentive to switch from ICE.
- Newspapers to publish more positive articles regarding EVs. There have been too many negative stories which have sown the seeds of doubt in many driver’s minds.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for those people considering their first EV?
- Spend time researching the different models to find the one that suits YOUR needs. You may find you don’t need that expensive, large, long range EV.
- Play “Can I live with an EV?” for a few weeks, I did this. Are there chargers on your regular routes and destinations? How far do you actually drive in a day? Download a few charging apps such as WattsUp, Zap-Map & PlugShare. Check out chargers and their reliability from the posted comments.
- Switch your energy provider to the likes of Octopus who offer 100% green energy and an off-peak tariff to enable EV charging at low cost. Have a smart meter installed as soon as possible as this is essential to access these tariffs.
I have enjoyed the whole experience of owning an electric vehicle. I tell everyone about its benefits, both financial and environmental and offer lifts to friends, family, neighbours so that they can experience what it’s like to travel in an EV.