Electric Cars – Part 1 !

Part of our move to a more sustainable way of living is to move to driving electric vehicles. The “Grand Plan” is that we can use the excess solar we produce to charge the car. But, there is actually a bit more to it than that.

We are still really quite early in the evolution of electric vehicles and they are developing all the time. Technology is changing, infrastructure is changing and the marketplace is changing.

Neither of us had driven electric cars before. Phill’s old X5 was 17 years old and my Smart Car was 15 years old so it is fair to say that vehicle technology had moved on a bit since we last bought a car. People seem quite polarised on their views at time and there is a lot of mis-information around so we needed to make sure that we did our own research.

Initially we wanted to buy a secondhand car. Part of the reason was, if we really didn’t get on with it, we wouldn’t lose too much money if we decided to resell it.

Because electric vehicles are still in their infancy there aren’t many different makes and models available secondhand. We decided not to buy a Tesla (primarily based on cost). We looked at the different driving that we do and came up with the following list of requirements :

  • A range of 150 miles
  • A reasonable size boot
  • Ability to put roof bars on
  • Space for the dogs
  • Reversing camera (I’d never had one before but thought it would be handy !)

We eventually narrowed it down and decided to look for a secondhand Nissan Leaf (40 kWh battery). This led us to our next problem. We live on an island, a not very big island, and the dealers over here didn’t have any secondhand electric cars. Because we had decided on the make and model we eventually decided to buy the car online through Cinch and get it delivered. This would save us quite a bit of time and money on trips to the mainland to look at cars and then go and collect it.

The whole buying process through Cinch was really easy, there were detailed photos on their website and a full description. The car arrived in immaculate condition and was delivered by a really helpful driver, she really did go out of her way to explain everything we needed to know.

So, we have an electric car and are now saving about £150 per month on our fuel costs. I’ll post more about it and the charging etc in another post but I will say we now wouldn’t go back to an ICE (internal combustion engine) car. Happy Days ! x

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