Back in 2010, there was I, minding my own business (literally!), when I read about something revolutionary that came to change my life forever. It has cost me thousands of pounds in buying new stuff. It has also cost me my sanity when discussing it with other like affected souls. It has cost me my clear thinking ways of days of old. What is it that has cost me so much?
Yup… EVs have been one of the banes of my life since I saw a report in 2010 on the soon-to-be-released Nissan Leaf. I had to have one and I had to be part of what will obviously be the future of the automotive industry. Yes, it might take a few years to catch on… at least 5… but what the heck! It is only money!
So started what has turned out to be a very expensive, very stressful but very exciting period of my life.
I got involved with the EV online communities and soon came to realise that some people out there are not very nice and I soon clashed with them online. I became one of the more vocal advocates of EVs and so it brought me into direct conflict with those with strong feelings contrary to mine. Although the conflict has mostly settled down it still simmers in the background of the electric car forums.
Well, to cut a long story a little less long, I now have a new wife and a new family and we want to have holidays away with our dog and so a caravan makes sense. Great! A chance to look at all the affordable SUVs that are electric… eeerm… not a lot of choice. It seems to be the Mitsubishi Outlander or… well… nothing else. I tested the Outlander and didn’t really like the styling and as I was going to be spending a lot of time in it towing it was not an option for me. So I had to look at ending my love/hate relationship with EVs and to finally get rid of the Ampera and replace it with a petrol/diesel car.
Crickey! I hear you all say… a non-EV? And what was that word you used? DIESEL! Dirty, oily, smelly stuff… why would I even contemplate diesel when I have drunk at the well of electricity and worshipped at the alter of daily charging?
Yup… I agree… it isn’t a nice prospect but I need an SUV that I can afford, that will pull the caravan I want and that I enjoy driving and like the styling of and as I say, it is the Outlander or nothing right now. So I did some research… the upshot was that many manufacturers simply don’t produce petrol versions of their SUV range, particularly with an automatic gearbox and so I had to come to the disappointing truth that if I wanted a newish car that I liked and that would do the job I wanted then it was going to have to be a diesel.
So that is what I am doing. I am selling the Ampera (well, nearly sold already) and I have bought a newish Kia Sportage. I like this car. What I don’t particularly like is that it is diesel but, for what it is worth, it is Euro 6 compliant and so it isa perhaps one of the cleanest diesels you can buy today (if I can use the words “diesel” and “clean” in the same sentence!).
How do I feel about that? Some have said I have turned to “the dark side” and many have criticised me for turning my back on electric cars just when things are starting to get a bit better… more models being launched, better range, more charging locations. I don’t see it that way. I see it as handing over the reigns to the next wave of EV drivers and letting them take over spreading the word for a while. I will return but when the time is right.
So I feel fine actually. I have done my (little) bit to promote electric cars over the past 7 years with dedication and enthusiasm so I have no issues going back to an petrol/diesel car for a few years. Of course I would prefer that my new tow car was electric with a range of 300 miles and plenty of public charging locations – ah… Tesla Model X I hear you say! Well, yes, but I said I had to be able to afford it and that is where the Tesla falls down. Still, no doubt, when I next go to replace my car there will be more choice and when there is a genuine choice then I will be strongly motivated to buy electric… may be a secondhand Model X… but for now I am going to enjoy my caravan with my family and not feel guilty – I hope!