To give you an honest, realistic assessment of electric vehicles, we thought we'd ask someone that actually owns one and uses it on a daily basis. LV='s very own Motor underwriter, Murad, shares his views...
Why did you buy your electric car?
For me, it was mostly about convenience and cost saving. As I can charge at home, it’s a lot easier for me to keep topped up. I also got myself onto an 'EV Time of Use Tariff' for my electricity, which gives me four hours of super cheap electricity, so it’s much cheaper for me to charge the car in the off-peak period overnight.
With my car, I can fully charge it from 0% in two nights but I normally keep it above 50%. Another big bonus for me is pre-conditioning, that’s where the car warms up or cools down in advance. Cold winter mornings are a lot more bearable when getting into a warm car! It also means in summer I don’t have to risk leaving the windows open to cool the car. I can do this on a set schedule or as and when needed from my phone.
It was also to tied in with wanting a more cost effective and sustainable house, we’d already invested in solar panels and a home battery system. Once the car came along I moved to a green supplier with an EV tariff, so all our electricity use is 100% renewable now.
What electric car do you have and why did you choose it?
I have a Peugeot e2008 GT Premium, I went for this one as I love the looks of it! The exterior with the LED lights and two tone with a black roof gives it a bit of an aggressive stance which I love. I especially love the interior, even if they’re a bit controversial! They designed the steering wheel as a smaller one that you’re meant to look over, rather than through. It takes a little getting used to but I find it much nicer than a normal sized steering wheel. It also makes it feel a little like a go kart!
Do you think working as an Electric Vehicle Underwriter made you want to get an electric car?
As an Underwriter, I have a keen interest in cars and as things have moved on and we’re looking more and more at an electrified world, I have gotten more into that realm. I had to do a lot of research in to EV, from battery size and charging speed to the weight and how repairable they are. I will say the additional insight I get through my job certainly accelerated my plans to move to EV. Seeing the leaps in technology and range from a different side made the decision easier!
It also fitted well with all we’re doing in terms of looking at sustainability and carbon footprints. So by going green with my house and car I’m doing my bit to help us reach our carbon reduction goals. We also have a great insurance product for EVs, which is backed up by a brilliant repair network. We have a Green Heart Standard which all our repair network is getting accredited in. From offering EV hire cars to using green parts, which use significantly resources than new, including raw materials, power and emissions. It also supports apprenticeships to get more young technicians in to the industry and importantly trained and qualified in high voltage battery systems. Meaning our network can lead the way in EV repair.
What do you use your electric car for?
Everything! I use it to get to the gym, commuting to and travelling for work, socialising with friends and family. I have a sister that lives about 90 miles away and go there a few times a year.
My car is reasonably practical, good enough boot for the odd tip run, chuck a roof rack on and take my bicycle out to nice places for ride.
What do you think the pros and cons are of owning an EV?
For me a big pro is pre-conditioning. The fact I can get in to a warm car at 5.30am in the dead of winter or a cool car in the middle of the afternoon on a scorching summer day is bliss! I can set mine by schedule for all my regular trips or do it whenever I need from the app on my phone. Another big pro for me is home charging, it’s so much more convenient than having to go to a petrol station, I cut it close a few times because I was too tired to go out of my way after work on a particular day.
Another plus is it allowed me to get an EV tariff for my electricity, which together with my solar panels and home batteries means big savings on utilities and fuel! I fill up for very cheap or free for the vast majority of my use. Even though most if not every modern car is pretty refined these days, you don’t tend to notice things like the noise or vibration from the engine… that is till you drive without one! I finish even long journeys feeling less tired, stressed and headachy. Small things like not needing the music or pod casts on as loud really helps with that, and it’s down to having the electric motors instead of a clattering combustion engine.