From diesel to electric car – one giant leap into the unknown

From diesel to green - one giant leap (Pic: Michael Gillen)From diesel to green - one giant leap (Pic: Michael Gillen)
From diesel to green - one giant leap (Pic: Michael Gillen)
It’s one small step for mankind, but a leap into the complete unknown for me. From diesel to electric car quicker than you can plug it in and watch the leccie meter whir like a spinning top.

A vehicle that was ordered in March is due next week. Or maybe the week after. The date has been shunted back twice which suits me as I’m still mired in trying to understand tethered or non-tethered.

I’m indebted to everyone who chipped in with advice after a wee post on LinkedIn , and assured me the future is indeed electric whether you have a home charger or use the public points. True, there aren’t as many as there are petrol stations, but it’ll be interesting to see how that changes - the forecourt opposite the Adam Smith Theatre has a planning application in to ditch the car wash for EV charging stations and some jet wash bays. I suspect more will follow.

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I now have a folder of apps which tell me where the nearest charger is, when it was last used and how much it’ll cost, so, in theory, I should never trundle to a halt on a dark road in them middle of nowhere, and, if I do, I’ll just channel my inner John Cleese and beat the bonnet with a branch ripped from the nearest tree. It won’t make any difference, but at least I’ll feel better.

I know range anxiety is a recognised symptom of owning an electric car, bur right now I’m more shoogled up by installation anxiety.

Ask half a dozen companies for quotes and you get bombarded with forms to fill in and have to submit enough photos to fill a family album. The first one asked 12 questions. I lost the will to live after four trying to estimate how close the charger was to my leccie supply, and did I want it all cabling to go under the floorboards? Er, naw. Ripping up the hall, dining room and kitchen to get to the garage at the back of the hoose wasn’t on my EV bingo card.

I was also slightly nonplussed at being asked if I had solar panels, or intended to get them. Who knew they weren’t entirely compatible with a home charger - surely they should ooze with approval for my uber green credentials?

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It is, truly, a whole new world, but one which a surprising number of friends and colleagues are already happily part of - and I have yet to find anyone with a horror story to tell, which is equally good as I bid to halt my junk out of my diesel car, which has served me well these past eight years, and prepare to mess up this shiny, pristine jallopy coming my way any day.

I guess I’ll need to stop driving with the pedal to the metal to maximise the charging benefits, but I am getting to an age when driving gloves are becoming exciting. Maybe I’ll even figure out how to sync Spotify with the sound system and escape the worst of commercial radio since cars no longer come with CD players. Still miss carrying around my case of carefully chosen discs for those long road trips.

So, the future is green. I step into it with less apprehension than I had a few months ago and with a wee Post-It note for the dashboard which simply says “remember, it’s an automatic …”

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