Electric Vehicles by Nick Skew

I can't let Darren's article pass without some comment.

I have owned a Hyundai Kona 60kw (Which Magazine PRODUCT of the year 2019) since January 2018 and have covered 30,000 miles much of it commuting to Evesham (165miles) and journeys to visit my father-in-law in Yeovil (165miles).

The car has a range of 260 miles (WLP) and yes Darren is correct that the range can vary depending upon weather conditions, can be as low as 220 miles in the cold and wet but over 300 miles on a warm day.

The 'fuel gauge' is extremely accurate such that I have got home with only 20 miles left.

So, charging points yes, the network is patchy but getting better all the time and can only improve (the new M&S at Eclipse Park for instance has three 40 kw chargers). Some journey planning is required for 'new' journeys to know where the points are but there are excellent apps like Zap Map to help you. This tells you the type of socket, power rating and whether it's working and in use. I enviously look at the Tesla Superchargers which are more numerous and faster but the cost of the car was prohibitive at the time I purchased the Kona. The Model 3 is beginning to look attractive.

Yes I am fortunate to have off-street parking and have a 7.5kw charging point so the car can be charged to 'full' in about 9 hrs. The car has the ability to restrict charging to 'off peak' or to when the solar panels are generating plus you can select heat or cool the car at the allotted departure time saving the battery. I have the advantage of always leaving home with a 'full tank' so would have no hesitation in setting off for Doncaster! I believe that the recommendation is to take a break after two hours driving so the ideal time for a top up at a charger most of which are in services, garage forecourts, shopping centres, hotels/pubs. At 40kw 20 minutes will give you another 50 miles.

Cost of car, this Kona cost £32k after government grant and yes more expensive than the ICE (internal combustion engine) equivalent but it came 'fully loaded' as standard, interactive cruise control with lane guidance, heated/cooled leather faced seats, heated steering wheel, heads up display (a real boon for safe driving), Apple Car Play, rear camera/cross alert, blind spot protection and high beam assist. When I was doing 20,000 miles a year (pre covid) the cost of the three year servicing plan cost was £26 per month. The car warranty is 5 years and the battery 8 years. In fuel costs alone (taking into account home charging and public charging) I reckon to save £1000 every 10,000 miles but servicing costs are much lower as well.

Tesco have installed free 7.5kw chargers at many of their stores so one hour shopping equals 30 free miles!

Electric cars probably don't suit everyone's needs and it's important to choose the EV that suits your style of journeys. Ease of charging at home is not without consideration but things will improve based on demand just like mobile phone masts/coverage.

Nick Skew


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