Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


I'm an Electric Vehicle owner AMA

101 replies

Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 07:07

Seen a lot of myths on MN so I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Have had an EV for 6 years. We are all going to have to switch to them eventually.

OP posts:

Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 13:02


Ideally you'd have charge points, but you can just use normal electric sockets if you have the right cable.

We actually just ran a cable through the window to a normal plug on holiday. It got us 70 miles on an overnight charge.

On the workplace thing though. There are grants for businesses to put them in at very little cost so if they don't have one, try asking them to.


Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 13:08


Here's the issue. Tesla chargers are currently just for Teslas. They're very fast and they have an excellent network that requires you to simply plug in to charge. No faffing with payment cards, subscriptions or key fobs like the others. (It charges to your Tesla account direct)

Currently only Tesla's can use this network but this is apparently set to change soon.

The rest of the charging network is quite frankly a bit of a shit show. Multiple providers, multiple payment systems, some requiring subscription and a key fob, others nice and simple. Very often we struggle to get them to work as their apps are piss poor. It needs a massive overhaul if we're going to get mass EV adoption in the UK. Perhaps the car manufacturers could look to get involved, like Tesla did to make the networks actually work.

Final one. There's two main types of connector. CCS and Chademo. Most chargers have both connectors. Tesla's and other rapid charge EVs have an additional two sockets to allow you to access the higher powered networks, although they can use the slower ones too.


HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 13:11

Thanks treacletoots v interesting. Feel like we need some good public info type campaign (plus more joined up pro idiom and infrastructure investment) - i tried to find out your answers when I was sitting there but found it very hard to find accurate ultimate info (or any clear info really).


Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 13:19

@heronlanyan you're welcome and you're absolutely right. More info and regulation is urgently required. And accountability from someone in charge...

The networks are fast approaching over capacity already. We waited on holiday at a Tesla charger for half an hour to get a charge because the (8) bays were all full. Behind us was a queue of at least another 9 cars waoting. It's not even that people had parked and left the cars, you get a £1 a minute fine for overstaying once charged!

Noone in charge really understands what they're doing, some local authorities are putting in 7kw (slow) chargers and patting themselves on the back and won't listen if you tell them they are quite simply useless unless you have 8 hours to wait.

We need a mixture of home or on street slower chargers and fast destination ones to charge up on the go. But currently noone is listening..


Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 13:25

Thanks @Treacletoots for jumping in in some of the questions.

Re chargers, I have a fast charger installed at home which takes 3 hours to get a full charge. Got a grant to install it. I use the normal 3-pin plug when I visit my parents.

I live in a rural area. There are quite a few chargers around, at supermarkets etc. There is no question that if you don't have off-street parking or the option to charge at work it is harder. But the infrastructure is getting better, and there are efforts to address this both from the public and private sector.

OP posts:

Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 13:28

There are already a lot of lamppost chargers in parts of London.

DH used to have a Tesla, which had a very superior charging network. They are now opening it up to all types of car.

But the real game changers are Gridserve and Instavolt.

OP posts:

DrunkenUnicorn · 10/08/2021 13:30

I have an ‘old’ EV- also 6 years old. So small battery. I got it in jan ‘20.

I have octopus go tariff so I think the estimate, if I charge during the cheap rate is 1.5p per mile (I have a £50 credit referral code if anyone’s interested!). It has saved us a fortune. I’m not 100% sure of the exact cost to the bill because we changed providers at the same time as getting the car. We have a 3.5 bed detached house, all of us at home due to covid. My total DD is £109pcm. We have just gone into negative balance (but we have had £100 credit put onto our account due to family members joining octopus with our code). We were paying £124pcm with another company. So fairly minimal cost. I was spending around £240 in diesel per month previously.

We were going to get a home charger but then due to covid postponed. I just plus it in via a normal outdoors 3 point plug. It takes longer than a home charger but it doesn’t bother us.

I completely agree re previous comments about the charging network. It can be iffy if you’re not careful. I use polar, tho think they’ve been taken over by BP pulse and never had an issue. I couldn’t get a shell charger I tried to use to work.


JackieCollinshasnoauthority · 10/08/2021 13:40

What car have you got? We are looking for a new car and I would love it to be an electric one but can't afford new and the second hand market is negligible from what I can see. Unless there are specialist dealers for 2nd hand EVs.


wonkylegs · 10/08/2021 13:47

We charge ours from our solar panels which I love. We have a Tesla battery for the solar panels so aren't limited to charging in the day.
Our iPace officially has a range on 292 miles however I've never tried it past 250miles. I rarely charge it out and about but when I have it's not been an issue.
I think I eased into it by having a plug in hybrid first.


TinyTear · 10/08/2021 13:51

About the long range trips, in the two years I have had my tesla we have done

London to Orkney and round the Highlands (NC500) and back to London
London to Edinburgh multiple times
London to Norfolk multiple times
London to Wales and back

The trickiest was deepest darkest Norfolk and Wales to a point. Used Zapmap to find out where the chargers were and used them.

A quick charge at Morrisons in Wales gave me enough to get back to the supercharger network...

I live in a flat, we charge in superchargers or put a cable down the window. for regular use we don't need to charge much. take kids to activities, go shopping, to the dump (i mean recycling centre) and it's enough

Acceleration is amazing - 25% inclines in the highlands and no issue whatsoever...

Scotland has a great charger network with chargeplace scotland - but do get a card and don't rely on the app in case there isn't mobile signal...

I wouln't go back to ICE


HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 14:35

For fear of asking a truly stupid question I’ve just googled the answer and discovered what I suspected that EVs are pretty much all automatic (no clutch needed no way of stalling no differentials etc). As a very automatic averse driver this is a real shame!
May take video of current likely last petrol and last manual car in action going through the gears so I can relive the experience. Sigh.


Blueuggboots · 10/08/2021 14:44

I've just purchased a 67 plate Hyundai ioniq electric. Really pleased with it so far.
I've charged at asda, added 20 miles in 50 minutes FREE. I've also used instavolt a few times with no issues.
Having my home charger fitted tomorrow.


fruitpastille · 10/08/2021 15:06

Who fit the home chargers? Has it taken a long time to get one installed?


HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 17:02

Just watched some you tube reviews of home chargers and how to secure the cables (thefts on increase apparently). Understand far more. My usual long journey is 320 miles (at least monthly both ways) so I’ve also boned up on current and planned charging sites and times. Think I may be in the market for a hybrid self charger for a bit before going fully electric.
Also lots of stuff online about others unplugging fully charged cars blocking chargers and How to avoid others using you own external charger (loss of parking more of a problem than loss of electricity).
Learning curve. Great thread op.


Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 17:18

@HeronLanyon the thing about fully charged cars blocking others is rarely an issue (I've never had it) because of the high idle fees levied when you do. Tesla charge £1 per minute! Other networks are similar.


Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 17:20

@fruitpastille I had my charger fitted for free as part of the deal I negotiated with the dealer. Otherwise it would have been in the region of a grand. It was done by BP Chargemaster within a couple of weeks of ordering. That was however a year ago and demand had spiked since I hear..


Treacletoots · 10/08/2021 17:23

@jackiecollinshasnoauthority - great username btw.

The trick is, don't look at the ticket price. Mine was £35k but the monthly payment was only £50 more than my previous car, so a total of £285 a month, with 200 less petrol, 15 less tax, 10 less insurance every month. I'm absolutely quids in.


Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 17:25

Current car is a BMW i3 (6 years old).
DH is buying a new VW ID3.
There are cheaper options out there but we are going for longer range as we do a journey to Europe a couple of times a year.

Yes, all EVs are automatic. No need for gears if there's no engine!

We installed our home charger 6 years ago. Didn't have to wait long to get it done, not sure what it's like now as demand is probably higher. But you can manage with an accessible normal 3 pin plus for a bit anyway.

320 miles is going to be challenging on one charge, but that must take several hours so if you would break the journey in the middle anyway, it's still achievable. You could look at a 94Ah i3 with a range extender which would give you more options on the longer journey but ensure you are all electric on the shorter ones.

OP posts:

HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 17:32

Op great advice. One of the Tesla models puppets 330 miles but there are super chargers and planned chargers which would work. Could easily break the journey and use the time to do a bit of work or just chill out a bit. Which is exactly what I saw several drivers doing at services last week.
Admire early adopters. Feel so late to this and as if have been blind to what others have got on and got into.


JackieCollinshasnoauthority · 10/08/2021 17:37

Thanks @Treacletoots We usually purchase outright (about a £10k budget) but I think the move to electric is coinciding with move away from ownership. I do need to give more consideration to your point about money saved on petrol but part of me doesn't feel comfortable being committed to paying x amount a month for 3-5 years and the impact it has on credit file etc.


TheatricalGiraffe · 10/08/2021 17:44

What do you do if you're low on power and no charge point? We stopped at the service station a few weeks back and there was a woman in absolute pieces as she had 9 miles left and the charge point was out of order.. She was asking people for a lift to the train station (not that there was one very close on the M6 services)

Are you just..stranded?


MissCherryCakeyBun · 10/08/2021 17:47

I would love one but my round trip commute is 100 miles in rural Somerset/Dorset and my company doesn't have charging points at work.
Anyone else with long commutes use one as it could end up saving me money,

OP how reliable is the car? Have you had many problems mechanically?


HeronLanyon · 10/08/2021 18:00

theatrical that sounds awful!
Do we think surely that in early days of petrol cars similar worries were being ventilated (via letters to newspapers and discussions in pubs/barbers - mostly men I assume). There’s a great great lbs American doc called ‘Horatio’s drive (or journey)’ remarkable filmed early cross America road trip San Francisco to east coast - before roads for much of journey in rickety old car. A lot of problems with fuel. Beautiful and strangely sad thinking what has then happened.


Berkeys · 10/08/2021 18:19

We regularly drive from Surrey to East of Belgium and Surrey to Cornwall. Tesla modelS has a bit over 200miles range. We find charging naturally coincides with our need for the loo or a snack. We can do both journeys easily with two stops to charge in times of 20-40 mins depending on conditions. This gives us a chance to walk the dog, use the facilities, eat a sandwich etc. You plan to stop somewhere that has food or whatever then you are not going out of your way - just park/charge do whatever at the same time. It helps that there are fast Tesla chargers at strategic places like Eurotunnel or the main services. Demand hasn’t been an issue for us but with increase in EVs will be an increasing issue but hopefully expansion will take care of that.


Tulipomania · 10/08/2021 18:21

What do you do if you're low on power and no charge point?

Plan your journey in advance and always have a backup plan - another charger you can reach nearby if the one you want is out of order. People did occasionally get stranded in the early days when the infrastructure was worse and ranges were lower - recovery truck to take you to another charger. Planning becomes second nature after a while.

my round trip commute is 100 miles in rural Somerset/Dorset

Should be very doable - rural roads are more economical than motorways i.e. you get better range. Is that 100 miles each way, or 50? Even if it's 100 you would be able to manage it with one of the latest models.

how reliable is the car? Had a couple of punctures in the early days, one recall for a charging issue and once the dealer did something weird when it was being serviced and it wouldn't charge so it had to go back. EVs are more reliable than ICE cars as there's less to go wrong.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?