For all my adult life I’ve been a petrol head. I got my licence at the age of 16 and lost no time in buying a motorbike. I rode bikes for 40 years, enjoying every minute, and even managing to incorporate powered two-wheelers into my career. This love of motorcycling ran in parallel with a passion for cars.
I’ve had the lot, from my first car, a Hillman Imp, through Renaults and Citroens to Audi, Mercedes and BMW. I’ve owned no fewer than four Minis, one back in the day when they were like roller skates; three in this century with the BMW influence. I’ve had love affairs with Golfs, especially the GTI, a sober couple of years with a Volvo, ditto with Lexuses.
But it was the Porsche 911 that always got the juices running. I’ve had three of them, two 996s and one 997, although I have never owned a “real” 911. Our Australian contributor, John Shingleton, is a real 911 nut and much prefers the raw excitement of 70s Porkers to the effete modern designs with all their in-built caution.
In recent years, though, I’ve forsaken the 911, turning my attention eventually to a Macan S—a car that has the Porsche build quality and style while hinting at the handling a real Porsche. Let’s face it, though. It’s an SUV. You can sit behind the familiar wheel and fascia thinking you’re in a 911 but…
In 2015, I got the electric spark when Nissan kindly loaned me a Leaf for 18 months. I took part in a national survey to assess the impact of EV charging on the national power infrastructure. At the end of the least, disappointed in the miserly 85-mile range of that early Leaf, I returned to pistons and conrods. First I bought a BMW 2 series, thinking it was all I needed. Of course, it was. But it wasn’t all that I wanted.
Enter the Porsche Macan, the elephants’ graveyard for old 911 hacks. I loved that car, but I couldn’t overlook the gathering clouds of diesel doom. Diesel had become a dirty word, especially in London where road-use charging has been imposed for congestion in the central area and (soon) emissions in wider London. We’ll soon have to pay to drive the car to the supermarket. Unless that is, it’s electric.
In the EV market, though, things had moved on apace. The range had improved dramatically and, perhaps it was time to take the plunge. That’s when I encountered the Jaguar I-Pace.
To EV or not to EV?
Tomorrow I’ll be writing about my experiences of owning a “real” electric car over one year and 7,000 miles. My annual mileage has been severely curtailed because of Covid. Otherwise, the car would have been to Berlin at least once and would have been pounding up and down the British motorway system. It really wasn’t the year to change cars and, in retrospect, I should have kept the Macan until all this is over.
The big questions hanging over EVs remain. How far does it go on a charge? How long does it take to charge? Where can you find a charger? No one asks much about performance (it’s blistering, in case you’re interested…) or any of the other usual questions relating to a car. The fact that it’s an EV trumps all the arguments.
So how did it go? Please read my review of one year with the Jaguar, to be published on Macfilos tomorrow. Find out if I’ve had my fill of electric vehicles or whether I’ll be back for a third helping.