AN electric car lover has been forced to switch back to a petrol motor after living with an EV no longer made sense.
Mike Everett from Longridge near Preston was a proud Nissan Leaf owner, but a change in circumstances meant he had to buy a petrol Nissan Juke instead.
“I bought my first electric vehicle, a one-year-old Nissan Leaf in March 2017,” said Mike.
“My initial impressions were that the car was easy to drive, had plenty of acceleration, was very quiet and cheap to run.
“The car did about 100 miles on a full charge and would charge overnight on our home charge point.”
Mike’s son lived in Bristol at the time, nearly 200 miles away, but he was fine with the journey.
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He continued: “There were chargers provided by Ecotricity at almost all service areas and we were able to do the journey from Preston to Bristol comfortably with three charges.
“This extended the journey by a couple of hours making it more relaxed and giving plenty of time for coffee stops.
“This was OK for us (I’m retired) but wouldn’t have suited a lot of people.”
Fast forward to 2020 and Mike chopped his Leaf in for the new next-generation model.
“This new car had a range of about 160 miles and made the journey to Bristol much easier, this time one charge did the job,” he said.
“But I sold this car after 18 months and 7,000 miles and reverted back to a petrol car.
“My son had moved from the Bristol area to Cornwall making the journey nearly twice as long.
“The Nissan Leaf uses what’s called a CHAdeMO connector, but in Europe the standard has now become CCS.
“Back in 2017, all chargers on the motorway had both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors, but as chargers are being replaced with the next generation, they mainly use CCS.
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“At a motorway service area these days there may be several chargers but only one will have a CHAdeMO connecter.
And it isn’t just the types of charger presenting a problem for Mike.
“There were now a lot more EVs on the road, chargers are in use a lot more and failures are far more common,” he said.
“Cornwall suffers from a dearth of EV charge points and hence finding a working charger with a CHAdeMO connector was becoming increasingly difficult.
“Plus, the cost benefits of running an EV are not as great now as they were when I first started driving the Leaf.
“At first I was paying 15p per kWh on the motorway, chargers are now at about 50p per kWh.”
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Mike has been left frustrated that he’s had to take a step backwards due to his long journeys and the disappointing rate at which Britain’s charging infrastructure is developing.
“From my personal experience, I would suggest that EVs are definitely the long-term future of motoring.
“But the downside is they aren’t very useful for long journeys at the moment.
“As battery technology develops and produces greater ranges and the charging infrastructure is massively improved they will become more and more attractive as the main vehicle in a household rather than as a second vehicle.”