My transition from a Petrol car to an Electric Vehicle (EV)

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Updated on 24/05/22 by Jess_OVO


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I was like a lot of people with 100's of questions such as "What is the range like? How long does it take to charge?" But from spending £150 a month on fuel for my Fiesta I thought to myself I will risk it for a biscuit on the range so fast forward to April 2017 I purchased my first EV which was a 2014 Nissan Leaf Acenta.


After owning the vehicle for a few months with people saying it was the worst mistake I could have made. How was I meant to drive up to the West Midlands to see relatives if it could only realistically do 80 miles on a single charge. I wanted to prove my friends and family wrong by travelling 200 miles to the West Midlands. August 2017 at 3am I decided to travel to the midlands (I leave early to beat traffic) on this exciting journey (At this time, I was an Ecotricity customer who was still providing me free charging) Let's just say to save boring you with a long story, I made it to my destination with no issues with any of the charging stations and the car was fantastic. Range anxiety was not an issue as the built in sat nav planned where I needed to stop to charge the car and it cost me £0.00 to travel 400 miles all together.

Now! Fast forward to November, my partner loved the Nissan Leaf so much she was looking to purchase one as well, but found out we both do not need a big car so I suggested a Renault Zoe.... Fast forward again. We are now two proud EV owners and would recommend anyone who has doubts with moving from diesel/petrol to just do it! You will not regret the choice. With OVO EV everywhere plan we share using the Polar charging card to charge our cars when we are out and about.




You are probably thinking what about charging at home? How do you charge at home? Well, we got a charging point install at home which was free when I purchased the Nissan Leaf. But because the free charging point was for a 3Khw point I paid £99 extra for 7Khw which reduces charge time and future proofing ourself when we upgrade to the Mk2 Leaf and newer Zoe 😉. We were recommended Podpoint and will say I was not disappointed with the installation. It was a smooth installation and everyone at Podpoint were very helpful. The on -site engineer install was very professional and was done within an hour.

Sorry about blabbing on! I have tried to keep this short and sweet to show a couple aged 23 and 26 are very enthusiastic when it comes to helping the environment. Here is to a Zero emission world!


15 replies

Wow - it's great to hear you took the bullet and bought an EV, @ITGeek123

It's interesting that you've posted this as there was an article in the news today about EV's. Apparently half of young people in the UK would like to own an EV, whereas just a quarter of their parents would.

Keep us updated on your little EV family - we'd love to hear more! 😃
Userlevel 2
Range anxiety seems to be the biggest concern of anyone first considering an EV, but we have had more 'running out of fuel' worries with our petrol car than we've ever had with the ZOE.

Incidentally, my wife and I are over 60 and have had the ZOE for almost 5 years. Our ICE car only comes out for the longer trips as we aren't brave enough to depend on public charging. As more chargers become available in petrol stations, we may be braver, but I feel that the prices are too high currently. When we first got our ZOE, almost all public charging was free, but that obviously couldn't continue indefinitely.
A very similar story for me. I'm completely convinced and I'm now looking for a second EV.
Userlevel 7
@andyfras In all honesty I believe the Zoe is a lot better with mileage readings than the Leaf but overall both amazing cars! I would highly recommend you attempt to travel long distance in your Zoe. There are charging stations at nearly every motorway services.
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@geoffenator What EV have you currently got and what are you looking to get for your second one?
Userlevel 2
Great story.

Range anxiety is not a problem if you plan ahead and the LEAF sat nav helps with that. I'm in Worcestershire and we have done two trips across to Cambridge. A couple of times the charger at Corley services has been unable to connect to its control centre due to a fault and was on free charge.

Areas like Devon/Cornwall and mid wales are a different story with few, if any, rapid chargers.

Of course, with the money you save fuel costs, you can always hire a car and burn dead dinosaur on longer trips.
Userlevel 4
Areas like Devon/Cornwall and mid wales are a different story with few, if any, rapid chargers.Ecotricity and Polar rapids near Exeter. 7kW charger at Dawlish Sainsbury's and I think there's a 3kW point at a cafe in Shaldon. As to Wales, "I know nuuussing."
Userlevel 7
@ellisbirt if you have a picture of your EV it would be cool to set it as your profile picture to show your enthusiasm of EV 🆒
@ITGeek123 I've got a 40kWh Zoe and I'd be quite happy with another. If I could find a second-hand one (even the 20kWh version) with a non-lease battery I'd get it without another thought.
Those are pretty rate so I might have to wait.

My only regret, and it's tiny, is that I got the slower 22kW charging version.
Userlevel 4
@ITGeek123 I've got a 40kWh Zoe and I'd be quite happy with another. I've got a 40kWh Leaf and would not have bought it if I'd been aware of the rapid charging problems. Had Nissan told me that charging is throttled back at 60% and when the battery is hot, I'd have waited for the 60kWh version with battery temperature management. The car is absolutely brilliant, except #rapidgate
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I have a 40Kwh Leaf and have no regrets, never experienced #Rapidgate, done many journeys using the eco mode and saved miles with some wonderful journeys through lovely countryside.

I drive it like my previous ICE, 70mph on motorways, AC full on and heavyright foot; love burning off boy racers, have left quite a few standing (although it cosys about 4 miles range)

I battled with Nissan and won, I don't take no for an answer. I had a zappi charger installed to make the best use of my PV panels, Nissan paying me £295 towards it; since it was installed on 21 June I have bought 44Kwh from the grid and got 109.45 free from the sun!

I have stayed on my current tariff as to move to the OVO EV tariff would actually cost me more
Userlevel 4
I have a 40Kwh Leaf and have no regrets, never experienced #Rapidgate,

I battled with Nissan and won, I don't take no for an answer. I had a zappi charger installed to make the best use of my PV panels,
Yesterday, I needed 100% to make sure I could get home from my daughter's. A bit over an hour from about 21% to 96%. Went back in the evening and another 45 minutes for 88% to 100%.

I ordered my Tesla Powerwall 2 and Zappi last September. I'm happy that we've used 4% of our electricity from the grid this month. It's the 9.5kW shower that causes this as the solar plus battery copes with just about everything else.
We have a 2018 Leaf and are very pleased with it. This followed two years with a 20KWh ZOE which we also loved. For us almost all our journeys are local(ish). We very occasionally charge at home with most of our juice coming from the free chargers at the Portsmouth Park'n'Ride that my wife uses every weekday. Tend to charge up on a Monday and then again on Fridays ready for the weekend's journeys. My son and I did take it to Silverstone for WEC and topped it up using the Ecotricity 'pumps' on the way up and back.

So, range anxiety has not been really experienced, though the Leaf does enable us to tackle journeys that we wouldn't have considered in the ZOE which only have the slow charging. However, I do undertake a degree of planning for those trips that I never even thought about when I took our ICE car to the Lake District this summer, with only one refill required during the whole week away.

However, If I were to be undertaking more regular longer travels the plethora of companies providing charging and the myriad of ways to 'pay' for the electricity is particularly unhelpful and confusing. PLEASE let me waft my debit card and receive the 'leccy. I'm more likely to use your 'pump', I don't have to prepay into an account, as with some suppliers and I could even shop around seeking out the best prices (competition is supposed to be good for the consumer, isn't it).

We love the electric cars that we've had/got and wouldn't go back. The future's here and it's invisible - though I don't recommend putting your tongue in the plug to see what it tastes like.
I am loving my hybrid BMW 225xe. I have yet to charge away from home, but I feel that the way the charging points have fragmented into the various diverse group is ridiculous. For petrol I can roll into any service station and fill up using any of my credit or debit cards or cash but for a charge for an EV I have to belong to a group. Surely it should not be like this? Where is the freedom? On Transport for London I can just register my credit card and touch in and touch out and go anywhere on the network. I can even use my seniors bus pass anywhere in the country. Surely it is not beyond modern contactless technology to apply the same to any charging points. Touch your card, hook up and charge. OK we may have to register as such to become a network user but this information should allow use anywhere in the country on any network. Do we have to start a campaign to make this happen? It is still the single biggest concern and set back for anyone considering an EV or PHEV.
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I've just had a holiday in Norfolk, did 458 miles in total, electricity cost was £4.59. Most charging in Bannayne Gyms and LIDL's for free. Had a great holiday.