All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

85% of drivers ‘more seriously’ considering EV thanks to Government investment

The majority (85%) of respondents to a survey by Venson Automotive Solutions say they are now ‘more seriously’ considering buying an electric vehicle (EV) or choosing one as a company car in light of investment from the motor industry, Government and major oil companies.

The Government recently announced that it is putting in place new measures to improve provision of EV charge points as part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill, and oil supermajors Total and Shell have said that they will be making charging points a standard feature at fuel stations.

Although the commitment by industry and Government to remove purchasing barriers is having a positive influence, the survey also highlights that a focus on educating motorists on the ownership benefits – over and above the environmental benefits – is still needed.

Around two-fifths (41%) of the 100 drivers that responded to the survey said their general lack of knowledge about the total cost or convenience of owning such a vehicle impacted their decision making so Venson is urging fleet managers to arm employees with the tools needed to make an informed company car ownership choice.

Venson’s survey findings reported that the lack of charge points across the UK has been the biggest deterrents for motorists (69%), when it comes to buying or choosing an electric vehicle. Limited mileage range came second (61%), with the cost of charging the vehicle (42%) in third place.

Women (31%) were more reluctant than men (15%) to consider buying or leasing an EV because of the lack of opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.  The cost of insuring an EV is one of the lowest concerns, with only 19% of motorists seeing this as a deterrent and battery safety fears the least of motorists’ EV worries.

Alison Bell, marketing director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said:

“It’s really encouraging to see that public attitudes to electric vehicles are significantly shifting, as the industry invests in the necessary infrastructure. Clearly, Total and Shell’s move to install more charging points is critical in giving motorists the confidence when it comes to choosing EV or hybrid.”

Source: FleetLeasing via Fuel Included news

How I’m saving a small fortune on my commute with an Electric Car

Receiving my monthly bill from Chargemaster makes me happy. Let me explain….

Chargemaster Plc is the company that provides the majority of Milton Keynes electric car charging points and since I only charge publicly I am billed by them for all of my ‘fuel’ consumption.

Working in Central Milton Keynes, I am lucky to have a vast network of charging points available to me, I charge mostly during my working day, as and when I need to. I also benefit from free parking under the Green Permit Scheme which covers all standard bays (purple) and some premium bays (red), both can be found across the city centre area.

Last month’s bill really did highlight to me the huge cost savings owning an Electric Car has given me, and why every commuter in Central Milton Keynes should consider getting one.

Check this out…

Petrol Car

Electric Car

Fuel cost per day

£3 (approx.)*

£0.71**

Parking

£18 (£2 per hr x9)

£0

Total cost per day for parking & fuel

£21

£0.71

Total for the period

(11 working days)

 

 

£231

Estimated

£17.20

Actual cost billed by Chargemaster PLC

(inclusive of Polar subscription fee)

Averaged over a working year (261 days)

£5,481

£408.11

*Based on my 15 mile round trip commute @ 20p per mile.

** Averaged daily cost from bill, includes ALL mileage not just commutable distance.

Source: Fuel Included blog

Spring has sprung and it’s not just my Renault ZOE that’s smiling

Summer is on its way, the sun is shining and I’m full of energy, much like my Renault ZOE.

On a beautiful sunny day last week, I returned to my fully charged electric car, did my usual reset of ‘Trip B’ on the right hand stalk and looked at my estimated range – it gave me a lovely reading of 89 miles (22kWh ZOE).

Although winter range isn’t a big problem (us eco warriors are made of sterner stuff), there is something quite satisfying when you see the estimated range increase by about 15 miles, simply because it’s warm and sunny outside, and it’s still only spring.

I’m told the range increases because chemical reactions work better at higher temperatures, and obviously a chemical reaction must take place to create energy. But I quite like to imagine my Renault ZOE as a true sun worshipper, rejoicing in the change of season.

Source: Fuel Included blog

ZOE it’s cold outside (or how I got my heating working)

♪ ♫ When the weather outside is frightful

the ZOE’s not so delightful

but now I know what to do

my fingers aren’t quite so blue! ♫♪

OK, I know we are past the month of December but with the current cold snap I am elated to finally have the answer to my winter woes. Don’t get me wrong I love my Renault ZOE 22kWh, but one thing I’ve always struggled with is heating her up. I’m not talking about the great pre-heat function; this is for those times when you either forget the pre-heat or you are out and about and want to get in your car knowing you can easily pop on some heat.

I have been driving my ZOE for two winters and have always been cold. I had just assumed it was a limit of the car, but having experimented, I realised there is just a bit of a knack to getting the heating to work right.  I now don’t have to wear full hat, gloves and scarf in the car!

ZOE Winter Testing
ZOE Winter Testing

After reading a few posts and trying out a few carefully selected combinations it would seem I have my solution ,these are the steps I follow and try to stick to in this order.

  • Set your heat to 24 degrees, not full whack
  • Select fan speed 3
  • Make sure Air Con is Off
  • Turn on Air Circulation
  • Leave on windscreen fan for the first minute or so
  • Change the fan direction and speed to your preference after a few minutes

Just in time for err Spring [facepalm]

By Jo Pegram-Mills via Fuel Included Blog

How an electric car can work without a home charge point

Enthused by the technology and the idea of being an everyday Eco Warrior, I traded petrol for electric and became part of the EV revolution – despite not being able to charge my car at home! Yes that’s right … I charge my car publicly all the time!

The fact I don’t have an electric charge point installed at home seems to surprise a lot people I talk to about my EV (Electric Vehicle). In most cases it seems they wouldn’t even consider an EV if they couldn’t charge it up at home. I must admit if I were doing long journeys each day I think I would struggle a bit – but I’m not. My Renault Zoe is my ‘run around’ (albeit a High Tech run around). It gets me from A to B and serves exceptionally well as a city car, certainly in Milton Keynes which is a major hub for EV owners.

Charging my Renault ZOE in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Pegram-Mills)
Charging my Renault ZOE in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Pegram-Mills)

When deciding to go electric I found out I couldn’t have a charge point installed at my home but rather than give up on the idea I started to look into other charging options, there were plenty! And all of these options made me realise it wasn’t actually a necessity and would still be much cheaper than running a petrol car. Fifteen months on I love my Renault Zoe and I do only charge publicly; Charging has become almost second nature when parking my car – it’s simply an additional thing to do like paying for a parking ticket. In fact I do it instead of paying for a parking ticket because electric car parking is free. As a result the cost of charging is actually less than the cost of parking.

So, If you want to go electric but can’t get a charge point installed at home, don’t be deterred – do some research (and FuelIncluded.com helped with this)….

* How often are you likely going to charge your car each week? Look at the real-world mileage range of the EV you are considering against how many miles you travel each week.

* Where is your nearest charge point to Home or Work, and what are the parking and charging terms?

* Check if there are charge points in the areas you regularly visit.

* Find out where your nearest Free charge points are – The Holy Grail!!

* Where are your closest ‘Rapid’ Charge points – these can be a bit more pricey but always great to use as a fall back if you need a full charge fairly quickly.

What’s important is you make charging your EV fit around your lifestyle, rather than make it a chore. Once you familiarize yourself with the Electric Charging Network available to you, public charging can actually work in your favour and you may be surprised to learn of additional perks and cost savings in doing so.

Jo Pegram-Mills

Source: Fuel Included Blog