Should I switch to an Electric Vehicle?

Should I switch to an Electric Vehicle?

I recently made the transition from a petrol powered vehicle to a full electric. I want to give a review of my experience, in the hope that it helps others with their decision to switch. These are my honest views including the good and challenging parts of the journey I've taken to become an electric vehicle driver. 

For context, I was switching from a Mercedes CLA to a Volkswagen ID.3. First of all, If you want an electric vehicle in the near future, get it ordered ASAP! Unlike most traditional combustion engine cars, EV’s are currently in high demand and can take some time from order to delivery. My Volkswagen ID.3 took over 4 months to arrive.

The EV

So why an ID.3? I needed two key things from my electric vehicle, it had to be affordable and needed a good mileage range. The ID.3 Pro boasts 260 miles from a full charge; it had plenty of range for my usage. The initial price was £36,000 but after the government grant discount and a slight bit of haggling with the sales rep, it was also within my budget. So It was an easy choice! 

volkswagen I.D3 EV

The question everyone will think about when ordering an electric car is how do I keep it charged? There are many different public charging options out there, some that charge your EV in just 40 minutes. But for me personally, I would rather charge it at home, although it takes longer, it’s more convenient. Also, qualifying for the Government’s £350 homecharge grant (OZEV) was a financial incentive to charge from home.

If you're new to electric vehicles and want to know more about the different ways to charge an electric vehicle. Both publicly, privately and what speeds they charge at check out our other blog here: Where is the best place to charge my EV?

Choosing the charger

The next part of my journey was a simple one, choosing my charger. From the beginning I knew that I wanted a charger that was discrete as it was on the front of my house. I wanted it to look good, so for me the smaller the better. I may be biased but the simplest way to find a great charger for me was to use to compare and see what would work best for me.

I picked the EO mini pro 2 as it was my personal favourite! The charger is as small as they come, packed full with the features and I could choose the best colour to suit my house, which was white. Then simply requested a quote online.

The Survey

Within the next few days I was contacted by a local Installer who sent me a link for a digital survey to complete for my EV charger installation. It was a step by step guide telling me exactly what images I needed to take of my property, followed by what information they needed about me and my electric vehicle. It also checked my eligibility to claim the £350 OZEV government grant toward the cost of my charger.

All in all, this took me about 30 minutes and I could do it at my leisure which was a lot better than having to book time off work to let an installer physically come and survey my property. This digital survey confirmed that my installation had no additional work required and was quoted £659. 

A small bump in the road

Although the customer journey was very simple. I did face one pain point with the installation, the DNO (district network operator). These manage the power network in your area, your installer will inform them that you are getting an EV charger installed. In most cases it takes anything from a few days up to a couple of weeks to get the thumbs up. In my case it took 2 months! Although this is extremely unusual, I wanted to share it because if you're planning on getting an electric vehicle, you may want to book your charger installation as soon as possible.

You can claim the OZEV Homecharge Scheme grants up to 3 months prior to the delivery of your EV so maybe best to fully utilise all of that time. This will minimise the impact of any unforeseen delay with your installation. 

The EV charger installation

The installation itself took 3 hours from start to finish. The installer was great, he and his apprentice did a very professional job. The installer helped me download the EO app and after 10 minutes of setting it up, I simply plugged the cable into my car and started charging. The EO app is quite basic, but has all the features I need and does the job perfectly. 

EV Charger installation UK fitting EO Mini

So what about the car?

When I pulled up to the forecourt to collect my EV, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better it looked in real life, compared to online and in the TV adverts. It was clear from the start that this car is not to be driven with a heavy foot, the acceleration off the mark was astonishing compared to my petrol predecessor. Another area that surprisingly trumped the Mercedes CLA was the ride quality, it's so smooth, especially driving around the city. 

Inside the ID.3 there are bags of space. As there is no engine in the front of the car, VW have utilised the extra room for inside the vehicle, you can fit 5 adults in comfortably. When it comes to gadgets everything is controlled via a central tablet so aesthetically there's not much going on. My first thoughts were that it was pretty boring in all honesty but the more I drove around, the more I started to appreciate the simplistic, clean design. My favourite feature is the wireless phone charger in the centre console, VW solving a problem that I never knew I even had!

Range anxiety

The actual range of an electric car is always a debatable topic, as it all comes down to your driving style and what type of journeys you do. In my case, most, if not all my driving is around towns and cities. This means lots of stopping and starting, and very little motorway driving, perfect for an EV! So it's not surprising my range seems to be true to what VW claims to be achievable, which is around the 220 mile mark per charge. Resulting in one charge week, costing me roughly £10!

To keep charging costs low, I’ve signed up to an EV energy tariff where I get cheaper electricity rates at night. My EO app allows me to schedule charging during these times to ensure I’m always taking advantage of the lower prices. A great way to save those pounds! 

EO mini charging EV ID.3

My verdict

Overall, my experience of swapping to an electric vehicle was a positive one! The ID.3 gets my approval. It truly feels like a revolutionary step in transportation and I can't see myself ever going back to a combustion engine. The EO mini Pro 2 charger looks great on my house and for me, having my car charged when I sleep is so much more efficient than having to stop and fill up at a petrol station. 

One thing I have learned from my journey is to make the most of the Government's OZEV Homecharge Scheme grant. Use the 3 month window prior to getting your EV (providing that you have an order number). This gives you enough time to get your charger installed with minimal stress incase on the rare occasion, you face some unforeseen time delays to your installation. 

To view our range of EV chargers and to check your eligibility for the OZEV grant, click here and within a few minutes you’ll have your installation booked!

If you have any questions about your future home charging station please book a call back here and we will be more than happy to have a chat!

Home EV charger Instaltion / Eo mini

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