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Electric cars only a spark of genius away from acceptance

For many years I’ve been fascinated by the concept of electric cars. Full of questions about what they are like to drive, how quiet they are, what it’s like to charge them, is ‘range anxiety’ overblown and do you need to be a bit of tree hugger to want one?

Not so fascinated, I should add, that I was tempted to buy one last year, when I was forced to change my car. While I’m excited by new technology, I wouldn’t consider myself an early adopter when it comes to expensive, important purchases. And despite what manufacturers and backers might say electric vehicles (EVs), and the infrastructure that must accompany them, are in their infancy.

So when the ESB offered me an opportunity to drive an EV for a week, I jumped at the chance. I picked up the vehicle (I’m not going to talk about makes and models because this is not a car review, but a concept review) last Monday. I was offered and took the opportunity to change it for a different car during the middle of last week.

Watch video of our e-car experience here.

At first it all felt terribly alien – like I had strolled into a scene from the Jetsons. It seemed like there were more buttons and electronic displays to monitor than in the cockpit of a Boeing 737. But I soon got the hang of it, and bar a few problems grew to quite like it.

The first thing you notice when you drive an electric vehicle is the silence. There is next to no noise from the car itself, bar the artificial hum at low speeds designed to alert unsuspecting pedestrians that you are about to float by.
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