There are many catches.Sounds great Ian. Is there a catch or is it as good as it sounds l?
1. An inability to do an unexpected, time-sensitive journey of a distance greater than the car's range.
2. An inability to just charge your car at a public charger in the same way that you would buy petrol. There are lots of companies (Ecotricity, Polar, Charge Your Car, POD-Point, Source London, Source West, Source East, Chargepoint Genie, ZeroNet Network etc.) and they all require their own RFID card to access the pumps. Some operate on a PAYG basis, some require a subscription. Some cheeky ones do both! (Polar, I'm looking at you!) Imagine if every petrol station chain worked that way. Yeah, now you see.
3. ICE-ing. When the owner of a regular, Internal Combustion Engine car parks it in an electric car charging bay.
4. Some Zoe owners (mostly the early cars but some later ones) have experienced the dreaded BCI message. Battery Charging Impossible. Sometimes it's a temporary glitch caused by a particular charger or damaged cable (basically a poor earth) and can be resolved by plugging into a regular 7kw home charger or replacing the cable. Sometimes it's a failure of the charger controller.
5. Prats asking the same, tired questions:
"What happens if you run out of electricity?"
"The same thing that happens if you run out of petrol, you grind to an embarrassing halt. Of course, that would mean that you possibly started a long journey without fully charging the car first, and then ignored the car repeatedly telling you that you didn't have sufficient charge to reach your destination and you needed to locate a charger en-route, but you failed to do so...and that would just make you a colossal imbecile! Like ignoring your fuel gauge and low fuel alarms"
Range anxiety? Well, it's 2015. As of 13th December there are 9469 public charging points at 3698 locations. Electric car owners don't really have range anxiety anymore...they have charger anxiety instead. A fear that the charger they are planning on stopping at, will be:
- Out of order
- Already in use by another EV
- Belonging to a network they don't have an RFID for, or their card isn't accepted
In terms of charging networks, I will only be joining the Ecotricity 'Electric Highway' network, because:
- It's free to all (for the time being, at least)**
- The infrastructure is where it needs to be - motorways and trunk roads...also IKEA branches, for some reason (this means a Heathrow trip to pick up the GF would be no problem, as their rapid chargers appear at the M1 Watford Gap, Northampton, Newport Pagnell, Toddington, and London Gateway services, as well as the M4 Heston services, just outside H'row, and IKEA Wembley between London Gateway and Heston)
- All of their electricity is sourced from renewables
(**Their next logical step must surely be to start charging non-Ecotricity customers and I plan on switching the home gas/electric to Ecotricity, for the renewables aspect)