Living with an Electric Vehicle

Here is an update on our experience of living with an Electric Vehicle, our lovely Red Renault Kangoo ZE Van.

We have been working with Scottish Power this week in Cumbernauld, so I have been using the Electric Van to get to and from the venue. This is how much charge I had left when I got back home from full this morning. The range metering is very accurate so little in the way of range anxiety was felt.

Kangoo range

Interesting to note the EV takes about 6 hours to charge, and my energy monitor shows a charge load of about 4kw so to charge it takes approx 24kwh @ 14p per kwh = £3.36p per charge which gives 80 miles so 4.2p per mile in electricity. This equates to 12.3p per mile on the diesel Kangoo which we also run  (£1.35 ppl  = £6.14 ppg at 50 mpg giving  12.3p). So mile for mile in energy it’s a third of the cost to run.

It was however nearly twice the cost of the diesel van and there is the lease of the battery as well to consider so total cost of owner ship will be more over the life time but as previously noted its not an economy driven purchase. Time will change this as the tech becomes cheaper and the diesel becomes more expensive and it will not take much to put them on a par.

Another factor that I noticed this week was the apparent difference in range the temperature had on the battery. Over three journeys all the same distance all starting with the same state of charge (Full) I found there to be a marked decrease in range as the temperature dipped. I am not talking into freezing either. On Monday it was 18c, a nice day and I made my trip with exactly a 1/2 charge remaining and I made it back on the same charge, (see the picture at the start of this post). The following day it was a bit cooler and I arrived a bit under and so I topped up a 1/4 charge to make sure I got back OK. This morning it was about 8c and the same journey and I arrived with about 3/8 of a charge which with out a top up would mean that I would not be able to make it home. I will monitor that over the winter to see if there is a rule of thumb, like 1 degree = 1 mile…

Finally on to Range Anxiety, I have become quite comfortable with the range and the metering showing an accurate range available on the dashboard. Where I do become anxious is when I go beyond the halfway point on the promise of a top up when I get to my destination. My anxiety is not with the car but with the charge point materialising or being available. Many who offer a charge point do not fully appreciate that we can’t just plug in to any charge point offered. The failure occurs when a key card is required to access the charge point. These are usually kept with the keys of the EV for which it was installed, however it therefore means that it is not usually not around when offered to me resulting in no access as a second card is not left with reception to give others access should it be needed.

Charge post

Charge points need a card to access them

To overcome this we now subscribe to 3 different networks.
Electrobay, Pod Point and Ecotricity in the hope that we can access the charger when we get there. Once we get to public charge points there is often a different challenge of access…

Access can be problem...

Access can be problem…

This is known as being ICE’d (Internal Combustion Engine)…

We have now done nearly 5,000 miles and owned the van for 10 months so our estimate of 6000 miles a year looks to have been accurate.

More content will be posted as we encounter it. Hope you find this of interest and we are happy to discuss our experiences. Contact Us

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