Home Cars Jaguar I-Pace after one year: A stunning electric car but poor charging...

Jaguar I-Pace after one year: A stunning electric car but poor charging infrastructure lets it down

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A familiar sight for EV owners. No more messy petrol or diesel, instead you jut plug it in like an electric fire. Here you see Ionity's new bank of chargers at the Cobham Service Centre on the M25 London periphery motorway. A cover would be welcome...

1.Introduction

Just under a year ago, I took delivery of my second electric car, the Jaguar I-Pace. It was already nine months old, but it came with a very high specification and cost around 65% of its original new price. Despite the travel restrictions that have prevented my usual crop of long-distance journeys in the UK and Europe, it has been an intriguing experience.

Nevertheless, after 7,000 miles in the Jaguar, I am more than ever convinced that that BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) are the future. I have no plans to revert to my fossil-fuel days.

My first EV had been a Nissan Leaf back in 2014, and that was for a specific 18-month long-term national trial sponsored by Nissan and the electricity industry. I wrote about my experiences here. I was impressed with the Leaf and used it as my only vehicle during the lease period. After all, I paid a mere £100 a month as a contribution to the costs. And they even installed a 7.5 kWh home charger which I am still using. The Leaf’s arrival encouraged me to sell my last bodice-ripper of a car, my beloved Porsche 911. Those were the days.

After the Leaf was spirited away back to the leasing company, I returned to fossil fuel. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the electric driving experience—quite the contrary—but the 85-mile range of the original Leaf was unsuitable for anything other than local pottering. The electric spark remained, smouldering in the background, and I told myself I’d be back when range and public charging infrastructure improved.

That happy day came at the beginning of last year when I judged that BEVs were finally ready for prime time. I was also keen to get out of diesel as more restrictions are heaped on the London motorist. Congestion charges, low-emission zones, road restrictions. It never ends, but as far as daily driving charges are concerned, electric vehicles are exempt.

Now, after a year and a modest 7,000 miles, I am in a good position to review my time with a serious EV, one that matches a luxury internal combustion-engined car (ICE) in almost all respects. Is electric motoring really ready for the big time?

2.Build quality

The standard of materials and the overall quality in this car are exemplary. I came straight from a 2016 Porsche Macan S (the diesel version) and, while the German SUV impressed with its hewn-from-solid interior, the Jaguar isn’t far behind. The Jaguar is a tad more comfortable, and the creature comforts are more enticing.

Overall, I can give full marks for the design, the materials and fit and finish. I don’t think you would be disappointed with a Jaguar I-Pace in this respect.

Jaguar has a long history...
Jaguar has a long history…

There are no compromises in owning this electric car (other than those associated with the charging infrastructure). If anything, the I-Pace is better built than the petrol and diesel models in the range that I’ve inspected. Perhaps this is because this car, unlike other Jaguars, is made in the Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria.

I have absolutely no reservations about recommending the Jaguar I-Pace for its overall quality and standard of finish, both inside and out.

3.Instruments and controls

Unlike more radical electric cars, the Jaguar attempts to combine the best of both worlds. Here you have a welcoming and cosseting interior that duplicates the controls and features you will be familiar with. It attracts largely because it is familiar. It also looks gorgeous.

The controls are all conventional, and there is a minimum of screen and menu fiddling needed while driving. This is as well since the infotainment system of my Mark 1 I-Pace leaves much to be desired. It is laggy and counter-intuitive, a problem which has been rectified for the 2021 model year.

There are no fewer than three screens to keep you involved—the usual main navigation panel, the all-electronic instrument cluster, and a smaller screen on the centre console to handle seats, climate control and media. The two large temperature control knobs are particularly intuitive and effective.

They can be pushed and pulled to change between cabin temperature and seat heating/cooling. Each incorporates a digital display which changes according to the mode selected. The entire climate system works perfectly and, in my car, the controls are duplicated for rear-seat passengers. However, you won’t get this on the base models (the car comes in S, SE and HSE specifications) here in the United Kingdom.

The instrument display is entirely electronic and fills the binnacle. This type of display is not confined to electric cars and can be found now on many models from most manufacturers. You can choose between traditional dials, partial dials and maps, and can decide to display individual information elements, including the auto steer and cruise system. It all works well. But my favourite layout, and the one I use almost all the time, is the full map display.

I can live happily with this because my car is equipped with the excellent head-up-display (HUD) option. It was an extra, even on the top-of-the-range HSE spec back in 2019, but it is now a standard fitting, as it should be.

Apart from the essential speed display, the HUD also shows the current speed limit (which the car recognises by a combination of sign-awareness and GPS positioning), navigation instructions (which appear only when a turn or other action is indicated), adaptive cruise control status and, if required, media and telephone details. The display is projected onto the windscreen, so this vital data is always in front of you as you keep your eyes on the road. The HUD is a constant delight, night or day, rain, hail or shine, and it should be a standard, universal fitting, in my opinion.

The steering wheel incorporates sensibly designed controls for audio and display adjustment on the left, and cruise control, the distance between vehicles and lane change assist on the right. While I generally prefer stalk controls for cruise, I got used to the Jaguar layout very quickly. In many respects, it is more sensible to have the information right in front of you rather than relying on muscle memory to operate the stalk.

On either side of the central climate controls and the climate/seat/media screen are two columns of chrome buttons, Porsche-style, which are less intuitive. The left-hand column (on my right-hand-drive car) contains the driving mode toggles and air suspension settings. In a year and 7,000 miles, I never felt wholly comfortable with the layout, although it is very similar to that on the 2016 Macan.

Changing the driving modes (Eco, Comfort and Dynamic) is difficult without taking eyes off the road. Since the mode is a toggle, it’s necessary to prod the button while checking the instrument binnacle’s mode display. Other manufacturers (notably Porsche) do this far better by including the driving mode controls on the steering wheel.

The right-hand column contains the gear selection, the usual park, drive, neutral, reverse. Each has its own large button, thankfully, but I never acquired the muscle memory to hit the right button without looking down. Other manufacturers do this better. Porsche’s mini gear lever on the Taycan fascia is a good effort, but a steering column gear toggle is probably my favourite.

All in all, the Jaguar offers a familiar driving experience and isn’t a big shock for anyone migrating from a traditional vehicle. That’s how many people like it. But there are downsides.

As with most EVs, Jaguar’s approach constitutes a half-way house between fully electronic and fully manual. While superficially attractive (and familiar to converts from traditional cars) it is not perfect. The first-generation infotainment and on-screen control options are slow and frustrating. Even entering an address using the on-screen keyboard is slow and imprecise.

Worse, though, is the completely bonkers method of customising the home screen. It starts from a good position, with the ability to drag panels (containing a group of associated controls, such as media, economy, navigation) and individual elements to form a three-panel home screen. It’s the implementation that fails, especially if you expect it to be as instantaneous and accurate as, say, arranging a smartphone screen.

Because of the system’s laggy nature, selections often overshoot and get placed on another home screen you didn’t ask for. It can be a frustrating experience, reminiscent of those fairground machines where you have to grab a fluffy toy with a crane.

Some owners appear to be very happy with this system from what I’ve read and have no trouble in fine-tuning it to their every whim. I just gave up and stuck with the default offering. And I am by no means a Luddite or unfamiliar with technology.

Recognising this, Jaguar completely revised the system for the 2021 model, introducing new software and display elements and slightly changing the physical characteristics of the fascia layout. I’m told that the system is now much more responsive and, I presume, much easier to customise.

This is a positive move. But guess what? Owners of pre-2021 cars have been left with the kludgy, slow interface. No new experience for them, although the existing system will continue to be updated. In this instance, the Jaguar is more like a traditional car where the display and control layout is with the car for life. More adventurous EV manufacturers have recognised this and built their cars around a single display interface that can be updated to make the old model operate in the same way as the latest car.

In fairness, though, all I-Pace models now receive over-the-air system and software upgrades (within the constraints of original physical design and screen), and this happens automatically. While I’ve owned the Jaguar, there have been minor but welcome updates to the operating system.

The navigation system too, displays signs of compromise. Instead of receiving over-the-air updates, as with many cars these days, the Jaguar’s navigation system requires you to download a new set of maps to a USB memory stick attached to a computer. It takes for ever for some reason. I’ve updated the system three times now, and on two occasions the download failed and I’ve had to start again.

Once the download is complete, the dongle must be plugged into the car so the system can be updated. This degree of hands-on fiddling is out of place in 2021. However, the navigation system (provided by Here) is actually excellent, despite the screen’s slow response. It works well in conjunction with the HUD and the instrument screen, and I encountered no real difficulties, except in route planning as outlined below.

The Jaguar offers a good implementation of Apple CarPlay, which works well. The Apple Maps navigation system is cleaner and more user-friendly than the Jaguar navigator. Unfortunately, the display cannot be replicated in the centre binnacle, nor the HUD. Consequently, I soon tired of this and returned to the Jaguar system.

However, with Apple, you can choose a route on our phone, and it automatically appears in CarPlay when you load Apple Maps. With the Jaguar system, you must first create a route on the third-party Jaguar.here.com website (or on the smartphone app) and then synchronise it with the car. And that doesn’t work as well as you will expect.

My car has suffered from a persistent problem where driver credentials are lost overnight, resulting in the need to log in again. This is usually when I look for my pre-planned route and it isn’t there. This issue isn’t confined to me; it is a common problem reported in YouTube videos and forums. Yet nothing has been done, despite several system updates during the year.

Overall, I get a distinct impression that, while Jaguar is good at making cars, it needs to take a few lessons from other manufacturers when it comes to information technology.

On a more positive note, I can say that the Meridian sound system fitted to the HSE model is superb. No complaints there.

4. Comfort

This is an extremely comfortable car to drive. The seats are ideal for me (although I know this is always a personal thing) and the range of adjustment is more than adequate. While the 18-way adjustment covers all bases, the memory function is less useful to me as a sole driver.

Anyone sharing the car with others will find that the three-memory system works well. Unfortunately, the steering column must be manually adjusted, so there is no integration with the seat memory function. Thus, there is no ability to automatically retract the driving wheel when entering or leaving the car—a surprising omission on a luxury vehicle these days.

Unlike implementations in some cars, the lumbar support is more than enough to ensure comfort at all times. The driving position is high but not as elevated as in a more traditional SUV. The Jaguar is more of a compromise between SUV and saloon/sedan, and wins deserved compliments.

A familiar sight for EV owners. No more messy petrol or diesel, instead you jut plug it in like an electric fire. Here you see Ionity's new bank of chargers at the Cobham Service Centre on the M25 London periphery motorway. A cover would be welcome...
A familiar sight for EV owners. No more messy petrol or diesel, instead you jut plug it in like an electric fire. Here you see Ionity’s new bank of chargers at the Cobham Service Centre on the M25 London periphery motorway. A cover would be welcome…

5.Driving and handling

This is a big, heavy car weighing 2,133 kg and taking up quite a chunk of road. Despite this, it handles far better than it ought to, aided by the low centre of gravity common to all EVs.

The I-Pace is no sports car, of course, but it has sports car acceleration (0-60 mph in 4.8s), and it is surprisingly chuckable for an SUV, quite as good as, for instance, the Porsche Macan which is fresh in my memory. That 4.8s may seem slow in comparison some EVs on the market. But, take it from me, 4.8s is plenty fast enough for normal road use.

The car is easy to place on the road, slightly less easy to park. Still, overall Jaguar has done a good job translating the marque’s reputation for handling and performance into an enthusiast-friendly luxury car.

Visibility overall is middling. The A-pillars are thick, hindering the view at junctions, but the driver’s view is commanding. The same does not apply to the view to the rear. The rear screen is so small and narrow (because of the rake) as to be almost useless. It doesn’t have a wiper, either, because Jaguar’s aerodynamics point to self-cleaning. This is only partially true, however. There is no problem in general use, but in very muggy, dirty conditions, you are left wishing for a good wash/wipe option.

In fact, the rear visibility is so bad (a fault suffered by many modern aerodynamic car bodies, not just the I-Pace) that I tend mainly to rely on the door mirrors, the excellent blind-spot awareness systems and the rear-view camera (when parking).

The car rides exceptionally smoothy, especially on the air suspension fitted to my car. It is relaxed and calm on the highway with outside noise well suppressed (again, thanks partly to the double glazing). Cornering is accomplished with minimal roll, although the car’s size and weight is apparent when travelling fast. Throughout, though, the car remains poised and inspires confidence.

Road and tyre noise is really the only problem, although well damped. As with all EVs, this is more noticeable because everything else is so quiet.

Although I haven’t taken the car off-road, it’s comforting to know that all the systems are there to ensure that the I-Pace makes a pretty good fist of negotiating rough terrain. After all, Jaguar Land Rover have most of the kudos in this respect.

The power train, as with most electric vehicles, is exceptionally smooth. Of course, there are no gears, but the torque characteristics of two motors delivering 400 hp more than make up for that. With an electric car such as this, you are always in the right gear, whether pobbling around town or overtaking on a country road. Torque is always at maximum and acceleration is instantaneous. It makes driving on fast, winding roads both pleasurable and safe. The Jaguar is capable of putting a smile on your face whenever you get it outside the city boundaries.

The regenerative braking system, which is common to all EVs, will slow the car down to a stop if set up to do so. It renders braking almost superfluous in normal conditions. For much of the past year, I have driven using just one pedal, the accelerator. Slightly reduced pressure on the pedal has the same effect as slotting down a gear in a conventional car. Instead of changing down when approaching corners, lift off the power and reapply to exit. It works like a charm and gives as much pleasure in driving as you can get from a conventional gearbox set up.

Life on the open road: A few bends, little traffic and the Jaguar comes into its own

Switch off or reduce regenerative braking if you want to experience a more traditional driving experience, but you’ll probably get bored with that. There is also the option to turn creep on or off. Conventional automatic gearboxes will allow the car to creep forward if you take your foot off the brake. Electric motors don’t creep: they are either on or off. Having spoken with many EV owners, most initially leave creep switched on because it gives a familiar feeling. But they all eventually turn it off because it just makes for easier driving.

One happy result of using regenerative braking instead of the brake pedal is that brake pads and disks can last much longer than in conventional cars. I’ve seen reports of Tesla Model S cars (which were introduced as long ago as 2012) running for 100,000 miles between pad changes.

The air suspension fitted to my car ensures a smooth ride, and I can say that the Jaguar, with its double glazing and well-sorted undercarriage, is one of the quietest and most refined cars I have ever driven. The steering is well-weighted and provides good feedback. It’s a car to please a driving enthusiast rather than, as with the Tesla Model S, a car that does everything well but blandly (except in terms of acceleration, of course). I’ve heard it said that the Model S is a wonderful car for people who don’t like cars. The Jaguar, on the other hand, is a wonderful car for people who like cars.

Parking, largely because of the tiny rear window, can be awkward. With the stubby front and sheer back, judging distance is difficult. But the assistance systems (front and rear sensors and rear camera) go a long way to easing the pain.

The automatic parallel and perpendicular parking features work better than I’ve experienced with cars in the past, although it’s often easier to do the job yourself. Perpendicular parking, as in most car parks, is accurate and relatively easy to set up. Parallel parking is something I’ve not tried much. In a busy city such as London, there is always an impatient driver behind while you are working out which button to press.

However, in common with most systems, the perpendicular parking system prefers to slot you between two cars rather than in the middle of a bank of unused bays. It’s like parking in an empty car park to find someone parked next to you when you return.

The Jaguar loves country roads and has a knack for finding remote pubs for a quick snack and a pint

Once auto parking is underway, as with most cars, you must select drive or reverse gear as instructed. Some modern cars, including the new Chinese XPeng EV, will automatically select the gears, so you just need to keep your wits about you as the car twiddles the wheel and moves back and forth to perfectly enter the space. That car, also, will recognise bays from the lines rather than the presence of other cars. Clearly, we have a long way to go in driving automation.

6.Automatic driving systems

The I-Pace HSE comes with a full house of driving aids which I have come to rely on and appreciate. The blind-spot warning is an essential safety tool, with approaching cars shown as a yellow icon in the door mirrors. If enabled, the system will warn and then automatically steer the car back into its lane when an overtaking (or under-taking, despite being illegal in the UK) vehicle is spotted.

Adaptive cruise control is now something that I regard as essential. The Jaguar’s implementation is well thought out, although it is a long way from what is known as autonomous driving. I’m not so sure I ever want to rely entirely on a computer when my driving licence and life are on the line.

But adaptive cruise control and lane-keep help remove all the stress from the older dumb cruise systems. When fully enabled (you can turn it off or change the parameters as you wish) the car will follow the vehicle in front at an agreed distance. If you get stuck behind a slow car refusing to move over, it’s a simple matter of moving out and accelerating to overtake, with the car returning to the previous set speed when the coast is clear. Motorway driving using adaptive cruise is far more pleasant a causes less stress than the previous semi-autonomous systems.

The Jaguar will also steer automatically, something which at the moment is intended mainly for use on multi-lane highways. With full systems enabled, the car will keep to the centre of the lane and will cope with the sort of bends encountered on a motorway. Veering from the lane causes a warning and/or correction.

Of course, you must keep alert with your hands on the wheel at all times, both by law and the rules of common sense. The system expects to sense mild resistance from your hands or it will sound a warning and turn off. Unlike some other manufacturers’ systems, the Jaguar auto steer does not perform automatic lane changes at the behest of the turn indicator.

The system allows the car to followlanes accurately, although sometimes it gets confused when navigating the outer motorway lane if the white line next to the central reservation is absent or unclear. Some other systems are less likely to lose their bearings in this manner from what I’ve read, but I’m happy enough with the Jaguar set up. After all, any system should be seen as an aid rather than a substitute for driver awareness.

As with all semi-autonomous driving systems, bad weather conditions can result in returning control to the driver. Sensors and cameras can become obstructed, although the radar is still capable of detecting obstructions ahead.

With speed limit recognition, you can also use the speed limiter which automatically restricts the speed to the limit. It’s possible to set a higher speed (for instance, speed limit plus X miles per hour) if you want a bit of flexibility. However, a percentage excess would be more sensible. The speed limiting function, as with similar systems on other cars, feels a bit wooden and acceleration appears to be reined in slightly. Extra pressure on the accelerator will override the setting in emergency. Switch the limiter off, though, and you can set up the system to produce a warning bong when you reach your pre-set speed.

The Jaguar does a good job of recognising speed limits, either by reading the signs or using GPS information. It can get caught out when, as often happens, a feeder road with a lower limit runs in parallel to the highway. The car can suddenly slow down, but this is easy to spot and correct. These are all sensible aids and they work well most of the time; but they are no substitute for keeping your wits about you at all times.

In conclusion, I believe Jaguar’s driver aids are particularly well implemented. Auto cruising is relaxing and accurate, except in conditions outlined above, and it is something I have come to rely on (while keeping my wits polished, of course).

7.Charging

There is a lot to say about charging because, after all, it is the one big question that everyone asks when considering an electric vehicle. It is absolutely fundamental to the effectiveness of the car.

The charging infrastructure is something you don’t think much about until you buy an EV. You soon find that recharging while on long journeys can be stressful. It’s not so much range angst as charger angst.

Essentially, when it comes to ease of charging there are just two types of electric cars: Teslas and the rest. The Jaguar belongs to the latter category.

The shape of things to come: Thios Instavolt station is just off the M40 at Banbury. But, really, it should be at the motorway services alongside the similar offering from Tesla.
The shape of things to come: Thios Instavolt station is just off the M40 at Banbury. But, really, it should be at the motorway services alongside the similar offering from Tesla.

Charger angst is common in the United Kingdom where facilities at most motorway stations have not improved materially since I ran a Nissan Leaf six years ago. They were bad then; they are bad now. The only difference is that there are many more EVs to compete for the available chargers.

Ecotricity (also known as “the Electric Highway”) appears to have something of a monopoly and provides typically two chargers at every motorway service area. Until recently, their maximum loading speed was 50 kWh. Faster chargers are now being introduced, although I haven’t yet found any. With just two chargers at most motorway services, it’s very much hit or miss whether you can find a vacant slot. And, even then, my experience is that Ecotricity chargers are often out of service.

I am astounded that the Government, which indirectly controls the service areas on motorways, permits this state of affairs to continue. All you need do is look across to the Tesla park where you will see 16 or 18 Superchargers for one make of car compared with two rather mediocre offerings for everyone else.

You will often find charging points in supermarket car parks. The one, in a Morrison’s branch in the Peak District, is a rapid charger. Most, however, are slow 7.5 kWh chargers which are often free. The idea is to top up with 20-or-so miles while doing your grocery shopping.

As a result, I’ve tended to seek off-motorway charging. It’s no great hardship and, often, it’s a relief to get away from the overcrowded on-motorway service areas. In the last twelve months, the number of fast-charging stations has increased noticeably while facilities at the motorway services remain in a five-year-old timewarp.

Two companies stand out for efficiency and rapid charging in my book. InstaVolt is my favourite, and they now have a good range of dedicated Tesla-style parks just off the main motorways, usually with an adjacent cafe or fast-food outlet. The new facility at Banbury, off the M40, is a good example as you will see from the photographs.

The Ionity consortium, designed mainly for Porsche, Mercedes and other German marques, also provides impressive charging areas, almost up to Tesla standards. However, the cost of up to 69p per kWh for the fastest chargers (unless you are on a subscription with one of the consortium’s manufacturers), is actually higher than buying diesel or petrol. Nevertheless, I’d pay through the nose for the convenience on the odd occasion I can’t find anything better. It all comes out in the wash, what with at least 95% of my refuelling being done at home.

There are currently just over 21,000 chargers at 13,374 locations. The "total number of connectors" shown above is misleading in that many chargers have two cables to serve the two main socket systems. You can use only one of them at a time. Note the tiny number of ultra-rapid chargers (over 50 kwh) and rapid (50 kwh). The majority of outlets are under 50 kWh, which is of little use for long-distance travellers.
There are currently just over 21,000 chargers at 13,374 locations. The “total number of connectors” shown above is misleading in that many chargers have two cables to serve the two main socket systems. You can use only one of them at a time. Note the tiny number of ultra-rapid chargers (over 50 kWh) and rapid (50 kWh). The majority of outlets are under 50 kWh, which is of little use for long-distance travellers (Image: Zapmap).

Sadly, the vast majority of public chargers which make up the totals bandied about by Government and EV manufacturers are slow 7.5 to 22 kWh devices which are euphemistically designated as “fast”. I have a 7.5 kWh “fast” charger at home, and it takes ten hours to fill the car from zero, so don’t be misled. These chargers are fine for supermarket car parks where you can top up free while shopping, but no help to the long-distance driver. If you seek 50 kWh-plus “rapid” chargers, the number is surprisingly small. High-speed chargers (“ultra-rapid”) of 100 kWh and over are even thinner on the ground.

An efficient, fast solution for the well-heeled driver. At up to 69p per kWh, it's more epensive than petrol.
An efficient, fast solution for the well-heeled driver. At up to 69p per kWh, it’s more epensive than petrol.

The Jaguar has another disadvantage in that its maximum charging speed is limited to 100 kWh. That’s through the combined CSS connector available at high-speed facilities.

The Mennekes Type 2 connector, which is common on slower chargers, including home units, is limited to delivering 7.5 kWh on the 2019 Jaguar (and 11 kWh on the 2021 model range). You’ll find, then, that 11 and 22 kWh chargers deliver only 7.5 kWh to the pre-2021 I-Pace. It’s thus a choice between slow and fairly useless 7.5 kWh and 50-plus kWh that you need when travelling longer distances. The 2021 I-Pace will accept 11 kWh maximum through the Type 2 plug.

Even 100 kWh isn’t super fast these days, although it probably was considered so when the car was on the design board. In stark contrast, the Porsche Taycan charges at up to 350 kWh and the Audi E-tron at 150. All these factors impact on the time you spend at the pumps. Charge times make a big difference when calculating how long you have to dally over your coffee and muffin.

Another major problem is the plethora of different companies offering charging services. Most require a separate card, phone application or PIN. The British Government has now mandated the offering of credit card payment options, and the situation will improve over the next twelve months. It’s not before time.

Throughout my Jaguar ownership, I’ve had a wallet stuffed with cards and still come across chargers that need registration to a new and unknown system. It is very inconvenient, frustrating and inexcusable in the light of the policy of most governments to encourage EVs. And since most of these chargers are unprotected from the elements, fiddling with cards and apps on a rainy evening is no fun.

Customers of some manufacturers, notably those in the Ionity consortium, can access their chargers easily with a central payment system. Still, there is an annual subscription that can be pretty hefty.

We can all dream and look forward to a situation where you plug in, and your car is recognised automatically, with your account being charged on completion. One company, Tesla, can do this. So why is the rest of the market such a mess?

When it comes to electric vehicles, you have to admire Musk’s resolve ten years ago to put the infrastructure first. He built the chargers; then he sold the cars. As a pioneer, he knew that the cars wouldn’t sell if people couldn’t charge them. It’s a pity other manufacturers were not as far-sighted.

A wallet full of cars. Even with these in your armoury you are likely to come across a charging system you’ve never heard of before and have to resort to downloading an app or registering before you can plug in.

Home charging is a different matter. And that’s why I have not felt disadvantaged by the relatively sparse public charging infrastructure. The 7.5 kWh home device on my drive is now six years old, but it has coped with the Leaf, the Jaguar and, I suspect, any future BEV I choose to buy.

My charger is dumb in the sense that you can’t set charging times (for instance, to take advantage of night-time off-peak rates). Some more modern units have remote apps allowing charging times to be specified.

Unfortunately, the Jaguar itself cannot be told when to charge. It starts as soon as you plug it in. Other cars do have the ability to set charging times, and it’s something to consider when buying (or install a charger that can be controlled).

Even so, the overnight charging system means that I can always leave home in the mornings with a full 230 to 250 miles under the bonnet. If you analyse your motoring, you will probably find, as I did, that this is enough to cover some 95% of your annual motoring. This is the real beauty of an EV. No more visits to messy forecourts every few hundred miles and no need to refuel away from home unless you’re tackling a longer journey.

Charging is, therefore, a mixed bag, but the infrastructure continues to improve all the time and you need to work out how often you would need to top up when out and about. Probably not that often, as I found out.

8.Range and economy

Alongside charging, range is the other question usually posed when discussing electric cars.

The Jaguar has a 90 kWh battery and an official range of 298 miles. However, all such “official figures” you will see quoted are based on a standard test at relatively modest speeds (56 mph on the highway, for instance, and in a controlled environment) and are not indicative of the range you or I could achieve out in the real world.

No more messy pumps…no more smell of petrol or diesel…

My car is fairly typical from what I have read in various tests and on the forums. In the summer, after a full charge, I can see up to 250 miles of range.

In the winter this comes down to around 230 miles. It could be less if you live in a colder climate. The car is fitted with 20in wheels and, if it had had the 18in wheels, the range would have increased by up to eight per cent.

Jaguar provides a useful range calculator which you can find here. You can change the wheels, set the ambient temperature and choose the driving style to find out how far you would be able to drive on a charge.

Those who choose the even larger 22in wheels, either for cosmetic or handling reasons, will lose even more range. Jaguar’s predicted figure comes then comes down to 225 miles.

Nonetheless, 230-250 of range, based on a mixture of driving, is quite respectable for an electric car of this size. I regularly achieve this range in general motoring. The Jaguar is one of the better in range performers, soundly beating Mercedes, Porsche and Audi in real-world driving. However, as with all EVs, sustained highway cruising at 70 or 75 mph will eat into any predicted range. On longer trips at a cruising speed of 70 mph, the realistic driving distance comes down to about 190 miles in the Jaguar’s case.

It’s another issue when it comes to efficiency. Despite the large battery, the I-Pace is one of the least efficient large BEVs. I have averaged about 375 watts per mile, which is some 30 per cent more than, say, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range or a Hyundai Kona. The Tesla travels further on a full charge of its 60 kWh battery than the Jaguar with its 90 kWh battery.

Charging status: Something you need to keep an eye on when you own an electric car

When buying an electric car, it’s easy to overlook efficiency, perhaps because all electric cars are very efficient compared with ICEs. Over 7,000 or 10,000 miles, it’s not a big deal, but the Jaguar is a bit of a watt-guzzler by any standards.

It takes some getting used to talking about watts per mile, but this seems to be the accepted form of measurement. In round terms, the Jaguar achieves up to three miles on a kilowatt of electricity, usually referred to as a unit. One unit’s average cost is 16.3 pence in the UK, although I pay 14 pence through the smart energy provider, Octopus. I am about to sign up for a special tariff which will give me three hours of night-time charging for 5p a unit, more than sufficient to keep my car full and ready for the off.

If you are in Britain and thinking of changing energy suppliers, here’s a Macfilos referral link to Octopus: share.octopus.energy/pink-zebra-525

Using this referral bags you £50 off your first bill and Macfilos also receives an equivalent donation to help with the running costs. Thanks in advance!

Drive the Jaguar for 100 miles, and you will need about 33 units which will cost from £1.65 to £5.40 depending on your home tariff and use of off-peak charging. When on the road, and using public charging, the typical cost is 30p-35p per unit. A 100-mile trip would cost just under £10. The outrageously expensive Ionity network will set you back 69p per unit (unless you have a subscription through one of the participating manufacturers; Jaguar isn’t one).

That 100-mile journey powered by Ionity would cost £23, considerably more than the outlay for petrol or diesel. A gallon of petrol costs about £5.40 at current prices (note that the UK gallon, equivalent to 4.56 litres, is larger than the US gallon of 3.785 litres, so direct comparisons are difficult). At 40mpg, a petrol car would run to about £13.50 for that typical 100-mile journey. Mind you, that’s £10 cheaper than Ionity would charge you.

The Mennekes Type 2 is now becoming the standard in the UK and EU. It is used mainly for delivering 7.5 to 22 kWh charges. An alternative, known as CSS, adds two extra terminals below the Mennekes layout and is used for 50 kWh-plus charging. Both fit the same port on the car

Unlike a petrol or diesel car, however, the range comes with one big proviso. It’s unwise to run an EV down to less than 20% charge unless you are sure of where you can re-charge (such as getting home where you have an ever-ready charger).

Drivers of traditional vehicles occasionally run the tank down to zero with the knowledge there are another 30 or 40 miles in reserve. With EVs, there is no reserve, other than the one you work out for yourself.

Therefore, on long distances, you tend always to keep 15-20% of the range as a reserve. With 230 or 250 nominal miles “in the tank”, the reality is that you can drive only 185-200 before range angst sets in. The ICE driver has another advantage. He knows that if he runs on to reserve, he can find fuel nearby. Not so with EVs, you need to plan.

If all this sounds daunting, it shouldn’t be. Once you get the hang of it, living with a car such as the I-Pace is easy. Range angst disappears with a bit of pre-planning.

These are considerations that come as second nature once you own an electric car. The outstanding feature is that the car is always full every morning. But economy is also important, with EVs costing around a third to a quarter of the fuel used by a diesel or petrol driver.

This won’t always be the same, of course. Once our governments have persuaded us all to switch to EVs, they will notice the loss of revenue on fuel duty and road taxes. Electricity for vehicles will be taxed just as heavily as fossil fuel, and we will certainly need separate meters to charge our cars. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Then there’s convenience, the fact that you need to stop more frequently and that charging takes longer than filling a tank with fuel. However, when tackling longer journeys, a recharge stop every couple of hundred miles is fine by me. Sure, it takes longer to fill the tank than it does with an ICE car, but I’m always ready for a snack and a drink well before I’ve done 200 miles.

I admit it’s a different matter for people who routinely travel long distances, especially on business. I’m retired, after all, and have lots of time when I’m not editing Macfilos. The electric car is not for habitual long-distance motorists—unless it happens to be a Tesla with both a longer range and a plentiful supply of charging stations.

What about depreciation? Five years ago, depreciation was an issue with early electric cars. Potential used-car buyers worried about the threat of battery replacement being needed. Those early Nissan Leafs were on a rapid slide to zero value.

Such worries seem to have disappeared. Manufacturers warrant the battery pack for a long period (the Jaguar’s for eight years or 100,000 miles). There is now less reluctance to buy second-hand EVs, thus reducing depreciation. It’s quite likely, too, that battery packs will become much cheaper by the time cars sold now have reached eight years old.

In fact, things have come full circle, with EVs now commanding higher prices because so many people who could never afford to buy a new car are waiting in the wings to jump onto the EV bandwagon with a used vehicle. There must be a huge pent-up demand for lower-priced EVs.

I do not think depreciation is such a big issue any more. Teslas, which have been on the market for eight years, have turned out to be low depreciators compared with similar ICE vehicles. I have no experience of the Jaguar’s resale values, but they were pretty robust when I last checked about three months ago.

Of course, I bought my car secondhand after nine months at a price of about 65% of the new value. So I have a lot less to lose than the original owner did. Buying a one-year-old EV is a smart move, as it is with most cars irrespective of the fuel. When I think back, I haven’t bought a new car in the past 25 years. Instead, I’ve had nearly new and all the benefits of a factory-fresh car. The Germans call such cars Jahreswagen, literally “one-year-old cars”, and they make a lot more sense than buying new.

Tradition dictates that a Jaguar must have an aggressive grille. But it’s a dummy, noting passes through. Instead, there is a big air intake above the grille which channels air to the windscreen over the roof to improve the car’s aerodynamic characteristics.

9.Reliability

The Jaguar has been generally reliable over the 7,000 miles I drove in 2020. Nothing major has fallen off or broken, and I have never been let down on the road. The power train hasn’t missed a beat. With so few moving parts, electric motor faults are far less likely to need attention than complex petrol or diesel engines. Any problems, if they do occur, are easier to repair.

Furthermore, electric motors have a longer life than the internal combustion engine. Already we have examples of cars running for several hundred thousand miles without needing motor replacement. Suggestions of a life of one million miles have been made, although that remains to be seen.

With an ICE, the characteristics of the motor is not a big topic of conversation among enthusiasts. Is it smooth, or does it vibrate like an old tin can? Is it quiet? How is the acceleration? All these questions are redundant with EVs. I haven’t given a single thought to the motors; they get on with the job in near silence. I certainly haven’t even seen them.

The only problems on my I-Pace have been peculiar to the area of the charging port. On two occasions I had difficulty pulling out the charging plug, despite juggling the car lock several times. Fortunately, there is a wire pull under the bonnet which releases the port lock. Unfortunately, on the other hand, when I pulled it the second or third time, the entire emergency release cable came away in my hands. That required a visit to the dealer. Once, the door to the charging port wouldn’t open when pressed. And once the car wouldn’t charge.

In all these cases, the very efficient Jaguar Assist came to my home and sorted things out in no time. Charging issues were solved with a software update, and the sticking charge-port door was released and greased. I can’t speak too highly for the at-home services provided by Jaguar Assist, which is run by the Automobile Association.

The charging port, its locking mechanism and the door retaining catch were at the root of any problems. Jaguar is an established manufacturer of cars and should have nipped this in the bud before the first car reached the public.
The charging port, its locking mechanism and the door retaining catch were at the root of any problems. Jaguar is an established manufacturer of cars and should have nipped this in the bud before the first car reached the public. This is the combined CSS plug which incorporates two extra terminals below the Mennekes layout as shown above

10 Conclusion

The I-Pace is a great electric car, achieving World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year status in 2019. It was designed from the go as an EV and isn’t an adaption of a petrol or diesel car as are many competitors. It has blistering performance, excellent handling (for an SUV) and is comfortable and safe. Above all, it is a car to attract drivers who like driving.

Apart from the charging port issues (which I assume have long-since been rectified on the production line), the Jaguar has been a reliable and faithful companion during a difficult year.

Nevertheless, thanks to so many months lost to lockdowns, the mileage of 7,000 is actually quite high. I’m not using a car every day even in normal times, but I have enjoyed the Jaguar so much that I made excuses to go out just for the fun of it. If I’d had free rein, unhindered by Covid, I could well have notched up 12,000 miles, creating a record for me since retirement.

If you want a luxury car with impeccable manners and great design, then the Jaguar is one of the best EVs out there. In common with all other manufacturers except Tesla, the Jaguar is let down by the national charging network and by the lack of a universal payment method.

All this will change, and soon. I suspect that within a year, the experience of driving a Jaguar will be as painless and transparent as driving a Tesla is today. In the meantime, you can enjoy some fabulous motoring.

This car provides an almost irresistible overall package. It is so satisfying to own that many drivers will overcome their concerns over the current charging infrastructure’s limitations.

Nothing I have experienced in the past year has changed my mind about electric cars in general. I prefer driving them to ICE cars, and I cannot envisage ever returning to petrol or diesel. Living in a large city such as London, the EV makes tremendous sense. There is every reason to use electricity with congestion levies in central London and new low-emission-zone charges extending to the outer peripheral M25.

Pleased as I have been with the Jaguar, I never keep cars very long, and I am thinking of moving on. I fancy a change, ready for what I hope will be a year of road freedom. A new challenge for a new year. But one thing is certain: It will be powered by electricity. I am fully converted. And you know what they say about converts.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Great analysis, Mike. Where I live across the Irish sea we no longer have miles and gallons, but I do remember them from a long time ago. Our cars now have litres per 100 km on the read out. I bought an Audi diesel estate in 2016 and I have driven it for just over 20,000 kms. I believe that I may have driven about 1500 kms at most last year and I suspect that the number for this year could be even lower with the way that things are going eg 5 kms max at the moment and when that does not apply, no crossing of county boundaries. The funny thing is that my car has a maximum tank range of about 1200 kms, so I could literally have driven for all of last year with one or two visits to a fuel station as I am mainly driving in urban areas which reduces the ‘kilometerage’.

    While my car is depreciating, it would make no sense whatsoever for me to buy a new or even second car at this stage. There is another more long term consideration and that is the total lack of joined up thinking between governments, vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and power companies etc, etc. Even though I am retired and don’t travel that much, having to take numerous coffees and buns at charging stations while driving to or from Cork would not make sense for me. Somebody mentioned interchangeable batteries earlier and that is one solution. Another one is to have a full national infrastructure of fast chargers, but in a commercial environment that might not be viable for many years to come, if ever.

    The other issue is that nobody can say what the ultimate technological pot of gold is going to be at the end of the day. What is going on now is a massive beta test while the various parties involved (see my list above) try to decide where we should end up. Then there is the angst thing and the fistful of fuel cards and trying to find the right type of charger that does not involve thinking about having to spend a night in an hotel. There are serious work style and life style connotations here as well. I could go on, but if we are serious about making a shift across the board then a clearer pathway needs to be mapped out and if Governments are serious about climate action then, once Covid is under control, whenever that might be, they might think about putting some really substantial input into this rather than leaving the motoring public at the mercy of ‘energy scalpers’ etc.

    Finally, I marvel at the amount of information that you are able to carry around about all of this eg how long would it take this charger to charge my car and how much would that cost and how far can I go before I have to do that again etc, etc ? I think that I would lose the will to live, well certainly to travel, if I had to do all of that.

    Not for me, until they get it right.

    William

    PS Do I have to tell the hoary old story about the General Motors guy and the IBM guy arguing at a conference many years ago? I am sure that most here have heard it, but it just about summarises my feelings at this stage.

    • Interesting point you make about metric. Ireland, like Australia, New Zealand and most other countries in the Anglo-sphere make the change from the old Imperial weights and measures in one go. In the UK we did our usual compromise, prompted by rearguard action by greengrocers, milliners and little old ladies who said they would never cope.

      Some 40 percent of Macfilos readers live in the USA and they must be wondering why I switch, often in the same sentence, between miles, gallons, litres and metres. It’s because we all do it. At least most older people do. Young people are taught metric and probably haven’t a clue about feet and yards and stuff.

      Yet we buy our fuel in litres, we travel the miles (and speed limits are in miles, of course) and we talk of miles per gallon. Even the most die-hard metric fan in Britain would never use litres per hundred kilometres. Beer comes in pints, wine comes in 70 cl bottles, I think we still buy what appears to be a pint of milk but I’m not sure. At least it looks like a pint.

      While I am something of a traditionalist and am quite nostalgic about the old weights and measures, I really do wish we could have made a complete change when we had the chance. In 1971 (ah… 50 years ago) we got rid of our fiendishly complicated currency £.s.d (libra, solidus, denarius or pounds, shillings and pence) where there were 12 pennies to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound and 240 pennies to the pound. But weights and measures never wholly made it through the change.

      The metric system is good for business but is soulless. What about “penny for your thoughts”, “in for a penny, in for a pound” and, of course, a dozen eggs. The duodecimal system (which is the basis of the old measures) does have many merits and, I seem to remember, it was pure happenstance that ten won out over 12.

      At least Americans have been consistent and have stuck firmly to their weights and measures (if not their currency). But, to add confusion, the American gallon is smaller than the British gallon, so it’s not possible to make direct comparisons between mpg figures in the two countries.

      • Pounds, pennies, miles and gallons remind me of my now long distant youth, but they are all gone now except when I drive 60 or 70 miles or a hundred kilometres to the north from here when they all magically reappear again. I agree with you about the litres per 100Kms, but I do so little driving now that fuel for my car is a minor cost and I do’t have to watch my usage. I’m not sure how people in the US measure these things as they have different measures. They also put something they call gas in their cars, whereas I only use gas for heating my house and others use it to cook their dinners. It’s a funny old world. Vive la difference.

        William

        William

  2. Very interesting and fair article – thanks, Mike. As you imply, it all depends on how you use a car and, specifically, how you coope with what I’ve heard called ‘the 100-mile tether’ – basically the maximum distance you’re happy to travel away from your home charging point, if you don’t want to take pot luck with public charging points. You live in town, I live in the country, but our typical local journeys would probably be about the same distance – no problem there. But the difficulty for me (at least in normal non-lockdown times) would be a spur-of-the-moment trip to (say) the Suffolk coast, about 70 miles each way, mostly on fast dual carriageway roads (with little regenerative braking to help battery range). Ditto a similar length trip trip to Silverstone to watch old cars play, never mind a weekend away with friends in the West Country which would be stretching the 100-mile tether way beyond breaking point. I think what I’m long-windedly sayng is that even if the charging infrastructure catches up with Tesla’s, we either have to ‘reprogramme’ our expectations of what’s now a feasible journey by car – or we have to keep an ICE vehicle up our sleeve for such occaisons, at least while we can still buy petrol or diesel for it.

    • Yes, as you say, Tony, it is all up to personal preference and circumstances. However, assuming you have the ability to home charge (which you probably do in Suffolk) you could tackle 100-mile trips without a problem. I’ve done a number of such journeys during the year and, as long as you work on 200 miles before needing a recharge, you always have something in reserve. Some cars, such as the Teslas, will do over 300 miles on a charge and, of course, they have the benefit of the supercharger network. So it is all possible.

      • Well of course, that’s a 200 mile round trip – so 70 miles to reach Suffolk in this case (I’m actually in Cambridgeshire), plus some pottering around, then 70 miles back – the 100-mile tether is suddenly being pulled pretty tight, even on such a minor trip. I’m sure greater range is coming but unlike ICE transport, range anxiety rear its ugly head sooner or later, if you want to stick to home charging. All possible, yes, but requiring more planning than used to be the case. I do recommend the YouTube channel, Harry’s Garage, if you don’t already know it – it includes real-world comparisons of EVs (including the i-Pace) against Hybrids such as the Range Rover. Interesting viewing.

        • I do watch Harry’s Garage and have a lot of respect for Harry Metcalfe. He is one of the best, especially for us older drivers.

          I found the story of his trip to London in the I-Pace was a little unfair to the car. He set off without preparation and was surprised when he had to register with suppliers when he wished to charge. Once you’ve had a car for a week or two, you already possess a wallet full of RFID cards and a stock of phone apps.

          If he had owned the car he would have the necessary cards and registrations to cover most charging stations. But his conclusions were very much the same as mine.

  3. Excellent and very informative review Mike. I’d be OK with a BEV; a garage built onto my house would enable overnight charging. However, many of my neighbours do not have garages and the communal parking bays are a lottery. BEV’s would be NO GO options for many neighbours – and the same situation is echoed in many housing estates and ‘street-parked-car-crowded’ localities throughout the UK. I cannot envisage BEVs being the non-hydrocarbon fuel solution for everyone. The situation is likely different in e.g. California … but in “li’l ol’ England”, BEVs would not be o/nite charging propositions for a significant % of car owners. Could hydrogen powered cars eventually offer a solution for some motorists … 5 minute ‘fill-up’ times with e.g 400 mile range?

    • Thats sounds like a cracking solution, and could be somewhere we venture in the future. You are spot on that I cannot see any way they will overcome the charging challenges where I live. I could go days without being able to charge the vehicle, which would be a real pain in the backside. And probably mean it is not a solution yet.

    • Hydrogen keeps rearing its head but never seems to make the big time. It probably has a lot of potential, though. I suspect, though, that the real bugbear with EVs, the amount of time it takes to charge, will be solved soon. With 350 KWh and even faster chargers coming on stream, a 15-minute charge is now possible for some cars (including most Teslas and the Porsche Taycan). Smaller cars with smaller batteries should be able to charge in minutes soon. It will never be a quick as filling up a tank, but the difference is shrinking all the time. As you say, though, EVs are ok for those who can charge overnight, but useless for anyone who parks on the street.

      • They are a few exciting battery technologies coming that I think will game change this.

        Tesla have new batteries in production, that are more efficient to produce, do not use cobalt, and seem to have a construction that makes things operate more efficiently.

        However some that are in production.

        Lithium Air
        Nanotechnology
        Lithium Sulphur
        Solid Slate
        Dual Carbon

        And the potentially future millionaires favourite a battery built around diamond – which in theory will never need charging – but this one remains to be seen, if it can turn out, and the initial cost might be eye watering – but these things usually lead to a break through of something genuinely valuable. I suspect the self charging battery and car is a few years away, and will be a staple to overcome the parking charging challenges of the current generation.

        The future of these devices could be very interesting indeed.

  4. This was a very different read, but a great insight into living with a BEV in the UK. I can see the why we need to move, but also see the Great British lets do it half arsed, and let people suffer. And they will politely accept the situation however frustrating.

    We really need to resolve the infrastructure – clearly Musk had done his rational thinking before he set off, unlike the rest, who set off and think about the answer to the key question later.

    I do share with you a deep dispassion about the number of reversing devices modern cars need, my Toyota has a myriad of things to help me see what is behind me, as it is more or less blind without them. And I do not see any discernible difference in my MPG to recommend the additional aerodynamics.

  5. Hello Mike,

    I had to make a similar decision a year and a half ago when it was time to replace my Audi. I was at first drawn to the e-tron due to its good looks and familiarity, but ultimately chose a Tesla Model 3. It was the charging network that was the final decider. I live in the US, and like England, there really is no comparison when it comes to infrastructure supporting the Teslas versus everyone else. I look forward to the day when a more mature charging network for all BeV is available, and we can then make a choice solely based on vehicle preferences. That being said, I am extremely happy with my Model 3, and I don’t regret saying good bye to the ICE.

    • Before I bought the Jaguar I intended to by the Tesla Model 3 (on the basis that the S and X are too big for my needs). I ordered twice (in the days when you could order and cancel without penalty) but got cold feet at the last moment. I was bothered by the reliance on the one central screen, perhaps irrationally so. That’s how I came to the Jaguar. I thought of it as a halfway house. I realise now that what I gained with a more luxurious interior and the controls (HUD, in particular), I lost when it came to range angst and the charging infrastructure. Maybe I should have gone with my instinct.

      One of the mysteries with the EV charging infrastructure is why more companies haven’t tried to replicate the Supercharger network. You would have thought that by now all the other BEV manufacturers in the world could have at least equalled or exceeded Tesla’s example. But no, they are still in the dark ages. It seems, incidentally, that private individuals are not motivated to set up the equivalent of the current Ma and Pa fuel station for EVs. Perhaps that will come, although it would have to be profitable.

      Things are moving slowly, though. As I said in the article, however, it’s Tesla and the rest. It shouldn’t be.

  6. I will never buy an electric vehicle. They are ok in urban centres but I live in a rural area of Canada and it is not practical for me.

    The big issue in North America is that government is not developing adequate electricity supply due to the impractical environmentalists who are the same stupid people pushing electric only vehicle production sooner than realistic. I expect power shortages to start being a big issue. So hopefully the environmentalists live in extremely hot areas and when their air conditioning is not working, computer is off, cell service is not working, and car is not charging they may develop a bit of wisdom along with government.

    • If I were in your situation, Brian, I would take your view. Things are different in high-population-density areas such as south-east England where I live. But you are right about the effect on the power-supply position whether in BC or UK. When I had my Leaf it das party of a cloacal experiment. There were ten experimental cars in the immediate area. They discovered the local sub-station had to be rebuilt to accommodate this modest increase in night-time usage. Some of these things haven’t been thought through.

      My main interest in EVs has nothing to do with the green lobby. It is simply that I like driving them so, given the choice, I prefer electric traction for what it offers, not for what is saves.

      • From my post above:

        “There is another more long term consideration and that is the total lack of joined up thinking between governments, vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and power companies etc, etc. ”

        And the eye is off the ball now with Covid and other issues. Parts of Ireland would be like rural Canada in terms of infrastructure, only much smaller.

        A lot of work remains to be done and while ‘by 2030’ may be a target, it will not be achieved.

        I admire your fortitude on this, Mike, but, for a lot of people, an electric vehicle is impractical at this stage.

        William

          • That about summarises it. If and when Covid is gone, a lot of thinking is required, not only in Ireland, but everywhere. This requires all parties, Governments, local/planning authorities, road authorities, vehicle manufacturers, energy companies etc, etc getting together to make some joined up plans that will work. What you are describing at the moment could best be described as a game of chance. I attended a talk 2 or 3 years ago by a woman on behalf of some organisation (can’t remember the name) describing how we might have driverless vehicles by 2035, 14 years from now. Although, some of vehicles I see on our roads could well be driverless already, considering how they are driven.

            William

  7. Interesting article. I have a friend who has recently bought a Kia Niro and loves the driving experience but has come to the same conclusions as you regarding the charging experience.
    Like you, he also has a phone full of charging apps and says that this is the only downside.

    I’m going to keep my 10 year old Golf running for another couple of years. I’m not an early adopter of anything and I think I’ll wait until battery/charging technology is better. My next car will be a nearly new hybrid which will be a good compromise and see me into the fully electric era post 2030.

    • I think everyone (except Tesla owners) rapidly come to this conclusion. Those who can charge at home and want the car almost exclusively for local work, or even commuting, probably don’t see a problem.

      Thanks to lockdown, I have made only a handful of journeys where re-charging was necessary. On every occasion, it wasn’t the easiest of experiences. I’ve never been let down on the road, though, and something always turned up (even if it meant two muffins and three coffees).

      For my sins, I am an early adopter and nothing will shake that habit, so I am doomed to keep pushing that rock up to the top of the hill…

      Mike

  8. I live on acreage in the Australian bush.
    Just disconnected mains power to go off the grid on Solar. Great for the environment but now I will never be able to charge an electric car!
    Swings and roundabouts I guess.
    I’m 61 so I’ll hope to be able to buy Diesel Landcruisers until I die!
    All the best, Mark

    p.s 180km to my nearest charging point.

    • Ah! 180km to the charging point and when you get there you haven’t got the right charge card or the b*** thing isn’t working.

    • As a matter of technical interest, Mark, why can you not charge an EV on solar power? I would have thought it was the ideal solution. I notice Tesla pushing their solar power combined with the Power Wall or whatever they call it in conjunction with car charging. Mind you, with 180 km to the next charger, I tend to agree with you that BEVs are not for you.

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