It was time to change the family car. The old Subie had served us very well for nearly a decade, and probably would have done so for another decade. However, maintenance costs were creeping up and so on. The deciding factor for me was the considerable advance in safety measures that you find in cars today, which were not even dreamt of 10 years ago.
One other important development has taken place since our last family car purchase – you can now buy fully electric vehicles, or ‘EVs’ to those of us in the know! Only a decade ago it was really all ‘ICE’ (‘internal combustion engines’) with hybrid models still emerging in the market.
So, this time around Jill and I decided to go EV! Firstly, we had to overcome some anxieties, chiefly ‘range anxiety’. I mean, just how far would one of these things go before it suddenly died and left you stranded on the side of the road?
Next, would it be just too strange to drive – too much of a jump in terms of just what cars are meant to be like?
At the time I was also thinking that these things are a ridiculous price and, according to my way of seeing things, if you pay high prices for commodities you are only encouraging the makers to continue overcharging for the sake of this, or the next, fad.
One final problem! I am something of a self-confessed car nut and just didn’t like the idea of a car that doesn’t make a noise of some sort!
So, we went boldly where Jill and Don had not gone before: we test drove an EV. I was genuinely surprised.
Firstly, we learned that this car could go 273 km on a single charge (using aircon on a hot day reduces this by 10 per cent). Our experiences so far indicates that these figures are not works of fiction.
Our EV car conveniently charges on a slow charge overnight in the garage using a simple charger that is provided with the car. No special plugs are required, as we just plug the charger into the wall socket in the garage and then the charger into the car…and the magic happens.
Secondly, it is very different to drive – but in a good way. The electric motor is very zippy, and it propels the car very smoothly (and quietly) in all sorts of road and traffic environments.
The battery pack under the floor also gives a low centre of gravity that makes the handling sure footed and comfortable.
Cost? Well, these things are still a bit pricey, but we did buy the cheapest EV in the Australian market, an MG. To soften this blow, the glass roof gives Jill the ‘convertible’ experience when it is fully open and the safety features are truly excellent. Saving on fuel expenditure obviously helps to offset the vehicle’s cost.
Finally, would we (or, perhaps, I really mean I) be able to make the conversion from ICE to EV? Well, just look at Jill’s grin in the picture below…every time she gets into our new EV that same grin appears, and if you look closely, I’m grinning, too.
First published in Key Notes, the magazine of St Peter’s, Southport in May 2021 (amended with author permission for anglican focus).Jump to next article