At Start Rescue we are embracing the development of EV.

So much so, that we have been amongst the early adopters of electric vehicles, with the introduction of electric vehicles as company cars within the organisation.

We caught up with Account Manager, Shaun Hazlewood to find out what it is really like to drive an electric vehicle and if people’s reservations of EV are actually warranted.

 

Shaun Hazlewood pictured next to his electric company car

Why did you choose to switch to an electric vehicle?

I was in the market for a new car and switching to an electric vehicle seemed the logical solution.

By 2030 the UK Government will prohibit the sale of new diesel and petrol cars sold in the UK – Knowing I would need to switch to EV eventually, and understanding the need to help protect the environment, it made sense to switch to an electric car now.

The Government offer really good incentives for people to switch their company cars to electric as well. There is no company car tax on fully electric vehicles, whereas, even for a hybrid vehicle, you are looking at paying £2,000 a year or more in company car tax.

 

How have you found adapting to driving an electric vehicle?

Switching to an automatic does take a little bit of getting used to, but that would be the same in switching from a manual car to an automatic car fuelled by petrol or diesel.

I find the EV really easy to drive though, and it’s a lot quieter than my old car.

The biggest issue I’ve faced is that there are not many charging points available yet – The nearest charging point is around 2 miles from my home – but I’m sure as more people switch to EV this will change.

The furthest I’ve been in the electric car so far from Colchester is Lakeside – with a half charged battery - and as I wasn’t used to charging the car, I’m not sure I did it right so the low battery light did come on during the journey home, which was a bit of a worry. But I made it back ok!

 

What vehicle did you drive previously? Is there much difference between driving an EV compared to your previous vehicle?

My old car was a Renault Clio which was about 10 years old so it’s been nice to switch to a brand new car.

I now drive a Hyundai Ionic and it’s really nice to drive, and seems to accelerate much quicker than my old vehicle also.

 

What were your biggest concerns in converting to an EV?

I did have range anxiety; how far would I be able to travel without running out of battery? But I’ve found that I can drive for about 10 days before needing to recharge my vehicle. That said, I do only use the car for shorter journeys at present. I think I’ll need to pre-plan my journeys a bit more than I used to, when out on the road visiting clients – For example, finding a hotel with a charging point, but not much else is too different.

 

Charging the EV 

What has surprised you most about driving an EV?

It has to be how quiet it is, and how nice it is to drive. That, and the fact that it is so cheap to run! It costs me about £1.20 each charge – The amount I would pay for a weeks worth of petrol will cost me around the same for a month in the electric vehicle.

 

How easy do you find it to charge your EV?

Living in a flat, it’s a bit harder than it would be for people who can easily fit home charging points. However, there is a charging point at the supermarket near where our offices are based, so I take it there to charge.

I have experienced ICEing – where a car is parked in the EV charging point space, but not using the charging point. Also, there has been the odd occasion when I’ve arrived to charge my vehicle, that there’s not been a charger free at that point in time. But it’s not been a regular issue.

I use Zap Map to find where charging points are, and there aren’t many locally at present. However, the UK Government has pledged £800 million in EV infrastructure so I expect we will see more and more charging points appearing in the very near future.

In Braintree, ‘Gridserve,’ which follows the same type of format as a garage forecourt, is a charging station purely for EV – I’m sure this will become the norm before long.

EV charging point signage
What have others reactions been to your change to EV?

None of my friends or family drive an EV so there has been a lot of interest in the new car.

I’ve had a few jokes from my friends about having ‘Duracell batteries with them, to charge the car’ – But when they have been in the car, they are surprised at how nice it is, and how comfortable the drive is.

The Hyundai Iconic looks like any normal car with an internal combustion engine (petrol and diesel cars) - Like many other electric cars now available on the market, you wouldn’t necessarily know it was an electric vehicle.

 

What are your overall thoughts of electric vehicles?

I‘m glad I made the switch to EV, and think things will be even better as more and more charging points are introduced; that’s my biggest worry at the moment, accessing a charging point as I don’t have the facility to install one at home.

 

What is Start Rescue doing in attempting to offer green solutions as a company as a whole?

 We are always looking to embrace new ideas that will aid sustainability and be better for the environment; whether that be supporting EV owners for their breakdown or accident needs, or through the introduction of electric vehicles to our own fleet.