Monday 18 December 2017

Range of problems mean EVs might drive you round the bend

Range anxiety is also a very real thing as the closer you get to empty, the more stressed you become. Stock picture
Range anxiety is also a very real thing as the closer you get to empty, the more stressed you become. Stock picture

Philip Hedderman

So Volvo is the first manufacturer to go all electric/hybrid, but I for one won't be breaking out the champers just yet.

Owning, driving and sustaining an electric vehicle (EV) is a way of life. Every day becomes a chore, as I found out recently with a week-long test of the new BMW i3.

Although the car is a magnificent feat of engineering, it's the infrastructure, legislation and myriad of hidden charges which make the experience a complete disaster.

Most EVs come with three charging points, one a domestic three-pin plug (to use from your house), the off-street point, and the fast charger. What you're not told is that while charging your car from a public off-street point is free, the parking is not. Provided you can find a vacant one in Dublin city centre, it will cost a whopping €2.90 an hour. Fast chargers are even rarer, with only 70 countrywide. Not all will be compatible with your car, so you'll need to check the App or the ESB website before your journey.

Range anxiety is also a very real thing as the closer you get to empty, the more stressed you become.

Electric/hybrid cars are considerably more expensive to buy, even with the grants.

The technology though is moving so quickly that ranges are doubling by the year and by 2019 (when Volvo rolls out its new fleet) most EVs will have breached the 500km mark. I'll reserve my judgment until then.

Irish Independent

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