Want to hear about electric vehicles from someone that's made the switch? Having helped us launch our EV cover, LV= Systems Developer, Adam has been on his own journey of electric discovery and shares his real-life experience.
Name: Adam Allen
Job title: GI Senior Product Systems Developer at LV=
Car: Nissan Leaf Tekna 30kWh
Why did you buy your electric car?
I wanted something that had less maintenance upkeep, and initially I fell in lust with Teslas. As I researched more about EVs in a more general sense, and weighed the costs up with taking one on PCP vs maintaining my current car and finding out it was cheaper, for a car ten years newer it was a bit of a no brainer.
What electric car do you have and why did you choose it?
Sadly my budget couldn’t stretch to a Tesla, so I opted for the next best thing; a grey 2017 Nissan Leaf Tekna 30kWh.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to buy an electric car?
Do your research, and look at reviews on YouTube and real-world stats. I did this for a year before I took the plunge. Yes, estimated range is fanciful – but so is miles per gallon, it relies on a combination of perfect external factors that aren’t in the drivers control. EV’s are no different in that regard, there's a plethora of independent and impartial information out there that'll leave you with no surprises when you take the plunge.
Try and get a test drive too – the driving style is different, but at the same time there’s a familiarity to it. The instant acceleration is… very enjoyable! Timing the brake regen as you approach a red light so you don’t have to use the foot brake gives you a real sense of achievement when timed perfectly too!
What do you use your electric car for?
Anything and everything. I work from the LV= Bournemouth office, so it’s my commute car Monday-Friday, and my everything else car at the weekends.
Where do you charge your electric car?
I don’t have a home charger so I rely solely on rapid public charging. Whilst there is more to be done in terms of type of units, maintenance, and availability I can honestly say that there’s been a slow and steady improvement since I took ownership two and a half years ago. Luckily, I do my food shop where there is a rapid charger, my cars charging speeds are slow by today’s standards and I get 50kW, however I park up do my shopping and come back to a fully charged car every time.
What do you think the pros and cons are of owning an EV?
- Instant acceleration – very handy for town driving where nipping in and out of traffic can be done safely.
- Extremely low maintenance costs – fewer moving parts = less things to go wrong.
- No oil to keep topped up, no timing chains (that should never need replacing) needing to be replaced (looking at you my last car…).
- The etiquette of everyone else you meet too, everyone is friendly and will stop and talk to you, and show you round their car if you ask. There’s a real sense of being part of something and wanting to help out.
Yes, the range does dip in cold weather – and when your battery is on the smaller side as mine is (I should stress that by today’s standards it is one of the smallest on the market) the loss is very noticeable and can be frustrating. That is specific to me though, and not having a home charger because I rent, doesn’t help things. That means rather than charging once or twice a week it can be twice or three times. Hardly the end of the world still.
- The above is genuinely the only thing I’d change about the car itself – and naturally as battery technology improves and capacity increases the next car I get will solve this.
- The upfront cost is still out of reach for a lot of people, understandably. With manufacturers making smaller cars (finally) we’re starting to see more sensibly-sized cheaper alternatives.
- Honourable mention, too, to the VAT disparity between public charging being charged at 20% and home charging being charged at 5%. It is both infuriating and somewhat nonsensical.
You worked on our EV launch as a Senior Product Systems Developer do you think this made you want to get an electric car?
By the time I was working on those I was well in to my journey of watching every Tesla YouTube video I could get my hands on. Though seeing a company the size of ours take it seriously and create a bespoke policy for it, including recovery to a charge station, an EV/hybrid hire car in the event of a claim, and having the cables/wall boxes all covered certainly cemented the decision that when I took ownership of my own I’d be well covered, and not have to approach getting an insurance policy any differently. I had a vested interest in ensuring the product we rolled out was on track, and did what it was supposed to too, as ultimately I’d end up being a customer myself a year later!
There are lot of electric vehicle myths, what do you think are the most common ones and are any of them true?
“The batteries only last 5/7/10 years and then they go in landfill”
A fair few manufacturers guarantee the percentage capacity up to a set amount of years, whereas if it dips below that they’ll replace the capacity until it reaches the percentage capacity they guarantee. Once the cells have reached the end of their lifecycle in a car they’re perfectly fine to be used as storage for solar for example, there’s a whole second lifecycle you can use them for.
There are many EV’s out there with over 300,000 on the clock.
“Hydrogen is the future!”
Hydrogen, in the large, commercial vehicle space (freight/trains/haulage) absolutely makes sense. The level of adoption BEV’s have had already, by both consumers and companies mean the race has already been won for general public adoption, as logistically and financially it makes much more sense.
Read why LV='s Murad Rangoon bought a Peugeot e2008
Find out more about our electric car insurance at LV=