Issue 4
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Living with an EV

Waiting. This is the first word that sprang to mind looking back over the past year, when I was asked what would be the word I would most associate with living with an EV. I did a lot of waiting! Sara Sloman, Zero Emissions Mobility Lead, Foot Anstey LLP

Waiting to afford one, waiting for one to come out that I wanted to invest in. Then I joined E-Car and Co-Wheels, which are EV Car Clubs in Bristol and I loved the flexibility that provided as I could swap the car on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. At the same time, I had access to over 30 fully electric pool cars used on the Fleet at the council I worked at, and the waiting game changed. Now, I found I was waiting for a charger in a queue at the 50kW motorway services. In just one year, the number of EVs on our roads has increased and the infrastructure provision is following suit.

Of course, owning an EV is a lot easier if you have a home charger installed. I had my charger installed by Elmtronics, who took care of the OLEV grant process and it was easy to follow the steps to ensure my house had adequate supply prior to booking the fitting. The charger I selected was an EO Mini-Pro, because of its elegant and discrete design. I am fortunate to have a driveway now, where I live in Gloucestershire in the shadow of the glorious Cotswold escarpment. But the consequence of this idyllic, rural location is that there are very limited public charging and very limited public transport.

I have three children – two are my stepchildren and they are now in the phase of their lives where shuttling from place to place is their top priority and so I needed an EV with reasonable space and range. I earn a satisfactory but brilliantly average salary for my age, so I find myself priced out of the majority of the new EVs on the market. That said, I weighed up all my options over the space of 12 months. I was very taken with Drive Electric and Electric Zoo, who both had tempting monthly prices which would have gained me access to the longer-range vehicles I wanted and for no more than I am paying for my MG ZS EV. Leasing was put to one side for now, as I wanted to retain the asset to enable a trade-in once a future vehicle with a longer range for a similar price arrives on UK soil.

Loving EV and living with an EV go hand in hand. There is nothing more exciting than plugging the car in and knowing the energy is being generated from a renewable source. I elected to use Octopus Energy because I trust that they are ensuring the green power and that it is a tariff which works for you. They have a transparent reporting process so I can be sure of this!

We are in the grip of a swell in the market where so many EV models are coming forward with viable ticket prices. There isn't an hour that goes by where I am not immersed in a discussion about the car, the range, the charging options, innovation and technology coming forward to buoy the interest further. In my role at Foot Anstey LLP as part of the Energy Team, we are supporting turnkey charge point operators, battery storage technology providers and fleet operators to ensure they've got business resilience and fully braced for the demands that the rise of EV will bring. Infrastructure and Strategy is my thing - I am excited by the choice of equipment out there now compared to just a year ago but taking the time to make a good decision is so worthwhile in an ever changing world.

I live and breathe this stuff - I am a huge believer in people making choices and having the options available to them to make those choices. I want people to walk or cycle where they can, I would love people to car share or take the train or the bus. I accept that driving is a huge part of our culture and to reserve a car journey as a needs-must basis will do everyone the world of good; literally. Active travel is proven to improve depression and anxiety as well and ensuring a healthier and fitter population leading to a lower level of staff absenteeism, but of course, if a journey must be made I would far rather it be with zero tailpipe emissions and using energy generated from a renewable source. This is where an EV comes into its own.

Now; three years after I first got involved with the Electric Vehicle industry, the word which springs to mind when asked what word would I most associate with living with an EV would be – Sharing.

Sharing everything; from knowledge to stories and tales of charging woes through to exciting cost savings and decreasing our own individual pollution accounting. Sharing platforms are on the rise, with the likes of Zoom EV fronted by Greg Fairbotham who is ex-oil industry and pro-EV, providing us with a platform which with to join an EV community and earn money from our EV asset by allowing it to be booked out by other drivers. This model works when coupled with public transport – because most people's vehicles barely move all day and the car could be put to good use in that time cutting emissions instead of someone using an ICE vehicle. I am mostly on the bus/Ebike/train for my commutes so the car just sits there. I would rather it earned me some money! I am just waiting for the 'new car' smell to wear off then I am game.

The future is bright. My EV life has shifted from waiting and wanting, to sharing and striving. Fleets are evolving, haulage is evolving, our road network is transforming before our eyes, neighbours and friends are all considering their options and looking for a shared experience. All this shared love and sense of community are what makes owning an EV a truly worthy experience. I can't predict the future, but I am confident it will be about going back to a place where we share our assets and our lives much more. And I can't wait. 

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