We asked a good client in Edinburgh to write us a Review of how she had got on with her Electric Car over the 2 year period of her Personal Contract Hire - below is her report that she very kindly wrote!
When I first considered the Leaf I was excited about being able to contribute to caring for our vulnerable world and so, with zero emissions, low running costs, comfort, space for two teenagers and a boot with decent capacity as a work requirement it was the car for me.
I was able to install a home charge point with 100% grant from the Energy Savings Trust and so habitually began charging my car overnight - using a lower electricity unit than day time charging 😊 and being ready to go the next morning. And all was good…
Circumstances change and, after 8 months, a house move meant that I could no longer charge from home and for the remainder of my lease that has been the case. I remained positive, my car kept a clear track of the mileage remaining and kindly gave me a shout when I needed to plug in and told me where my nearest charging points were. I purchased a ChargePlace Scotland card (£20 annually) and was happy with my day to day plan and felt confident in being organised for any longer journeys.
In reality…straightforward is not a phrase which comes to mind with regards to EV charging! So what have I learned?
I was living in the city centre of Edinburgh and the nearest accessible overnight charge point was 6 miles away so not an easy option!
I have found that some charging units with two or more charge pumps can only charge one EV at a time???
I have been to a Park and Ride charging facility where it advised that you couldn’t leave your car for more than 45minutes because other EV users would not be able to access the point. So, essentially, Parking and Riding was not an option??!
I know now that most facilities in and around Edinburgh have one, or maybe two charge points so waiting around for a charging unit to become free has been a part of my life for the last few months.
I’ve even had notes left on my car from other EV users telling me that I’ve left my car for too long in the EV space. This has been true and I acknowledge the frustration of the EV user community… except I never left notes 😊
And then…sometimes…the charge point simply doesn’t work. And the pleasant person on the end of the phone apologises and advises that ‘until the unit starts speaking to us again there is nothing that we can do’ – so you are stuck if out of charge!!
And I still loved that car!
My lease was coming to an end and I decided that at this point (no pun intended!) that taking another EV was simply not going to work for me. I need to have the capability to do more distance without anxiety and nor can I afford the charging times without an overnight option.
I’ve recently moved to Fife where there is clearly a much better charging set up for EV users! Well done Fife Council – and please take heed Edinburgh Council!
So, in conclusion – I would love to have another Electric Car and you could consider one also but..
Only if you have or can accommodate a home charge point and
Only if your workplace has a charge point and
Only if you only travel short distances
Then an electric car would be perfect for you! If not…you could always move to Fife 😊 (Or maybe a Hybrid version may be a better choice but I had wanted to be fully EV!)
The Leaf has departed – and on the same day a lovely new SEAT Leon arrived as its replacement for the next 2 year Personal Contract Hire – so far I also recommend it as as a comfortable, similar sized option… albeit a petrol fuelled one! But it does give me so much more free time (not looking for charging stations!) and allows me to travel without continuously worrying about where I will be able to reach and charge! Much more stress free.
A huge thanks Avatar Vehicles for all of your help with Leasing both of these cars - you gave great advice and assistance. I will give you my feedback in 24 months on the Leon!
Posted on 26th of July 2019