Comment If you revel in the independence a car gives you, then electric is not for you. The quoted range of 100 miles (161km) sounds fine, but that’s a bit like a quoted ADSL speed. Your mileage may vary.
The truth is that if and when the car goes flat, you are in deep doo-doo. Run out of petrol and you can walk to a petrol station, fill up a can and walk back. Run out of amps and you need to be close to a charging point. This massively impacts on the perception of range.
You really don’t want to be further from home, or at least a guaranteed charging point, than the power you have left – and probably with a lot in hand. While sitting in stationary traffic doesn’t use much power, it’s hard to get over the internal-combustion-engine mindset that it does and panic sets in. The quoted range is ambitious, too; it’s probably closer to 60 miles (about 96km) and so you never really want to be more than 20 miles or 30km from home.
Range against the machine
With our test drives, The Reg used Source London charging points. The dream is free parking in London, with a charging post, for £10 a year. In practice it’s more complex – a lot more. Many of the points have a three-hour limit. This depends on the borough: in the case of this trial, Islington. I went out at lunchtime to move the car to get a second three hours, got lost looking for the second point, found it and it complained that I was still within the three-hour limit. So I drove back to the first point and it let me charge again