Articles

My EV and Me: Beth Georgiou

5 minutes

“There’s an electric car out there for everyone.”

Beth Georgiou talks to LV.com about why she was an early adopter of electric cars, and how working in motorsport has shaped her driving life. 

Name: Beth Lily Georgiou

Age: 29

Lives: Silverstone, Northamptonshire

Profession: Company director for ERA Championship  which is launching a new electric motorsport series. Married to Dieter.

Car: Tesla Model S

 

 

When did you buy your electric car and why?

I bought my Tesla second-hand in January this year, but I got my first EV in 2014. Before this I had a BMW i3.

I do an insane amount of mileage travelling around Europe for work, and I made a pact with myself not to fly. If you buy a second-hand Model S you still get the unlimited supercharging for life, which means I can be in any country and charge up without additional cost.

It’s a luxury car brand so the upfront price is quite hefty – but I did the maths, comparing it to a similar-sized car, and with the free charging it pays for itself in three years.

There were two reasons I went electric. The first was definitely an environmental one. Working in motorsports, I’ve spent weekends at combustion car races so I couldn't pretend I wasn't conscious of the issues – especially as I have asthma. You start thinking about what this is doing to people in towns and cities on a daily basis.

The second reason was the job I was doing at the time. I was managing an engineering competition to design and build a racing car. About 30% of the students chose to build an electric car – and this was quite a few years ago.

We had an acceleration event and the electric cars absolutely annihilated the combustion cars, plus the silence as they went around the circuit just blew me away. I was sold on the spot.

What do you like most about your electric car?

Well, obviously I like the fact that it's not polluting. I love it that when I do long trips I don't feel as ill as I do if I was driving the same journey in a combustion car. My breathing’s a lot better. The noise affects me less as well. I'm a massive music geek so I can enjoy music without any background noise.

The performance is undeniable. I've never met anybody – even the most diehard petrol head – that hasn't had an experience in an electric car that has made them smile.

The Tesla’s really cool because you can summon it and it will drive itself up to meet you. I always do it when I go and visit my mum and it makes her jump every time. I love all the gimmicks you get with the Tesla, but the performance and environmental factors really are impressive.

 

Do you think there are a lot of myths out there around electric cars?

People tell you that production of electric cars and batteries is terrible for the environment. I’m not saying it’s perfect – and obviously production of anything has an impact – but people forget it's a massively evolving industry.

These processes will become better and what people conveniently forget is that producing petrol and diesel is massively unsustainable. There's still a lot of money invested in fossil fuels, we just need to do everything we can to move away from them.

There's also a lot of other misinformation that you come across – people think that batteries only last for a couple of years, but I've driven high mileage Teslas which still have most of their battery percentage and even then end-of-life batteries can get recycled.

Do you think you’ve saved money by having an electric car?

I think people are intimidated by the upfront price of even the lower-cost electric vehicles. It's important to look at it across the lifespan of the car though, because people might be surprised and not realise how much money they're spending on fuel.

My Tesla will quickly pay itself back for the mileage I do which is more than 60,000 miles a year.

What do you generally use your electric car for?

It's mostly travelling for work, but it’s also my personal car because I don't see the point in having more than one. I made a deal with myself that wherever possible I would take the environmentally option when it comes to transporting myself around.

I can get on the Channel Tunnel in my car and they have convenient charging points either side so I can get into Europe really easily without having to take a flight. The great thing is that I can take the scenic routes and actually experience more, so it's added a positive element to my life in that way as well. 

 
I think people are intimidated by the upfront price of even the lower-cost electric vehicles. It's important to look at it across the lifespan of the car though, because people might be surprised and not realise how much money they're spending on fuel.
Beth Georgiou

Do friends comment on your electric car?

My mum has said that her next car will be electric, so that's a really big step. I've driven so many different electric cars and done some quite interesting trips with them, so I’ve met a lot of people on the road. 

You'll be getting out to plug the car in and someone will come over and talk to you. It seems to be especially true of people with kids because they love electric cars and that's great – the next generation are growing up thinking EVs are cool.

My friends are definitely intrigued by it, but I'm in my twenties so quite a lot of my friends are not really very focused on having a flashy car because they're too busy trying to save to get on the property ladder.

Did anything surprise you about the car in terms of what it could or couldn't do?

I'm constantly surprised by the over-the-air software updates that you get with Tesla. It's like, hey, we've made your car a little bit better and it's going to completely do that itself overnight while it’s parked outside your house or in your garage. That's really cool.

People are often worried about the range of electric cars but I'm always amazed by the capabilities, largely thanks to the regeneration that kicks in when you’re not accelerating. I drove a Tesla Roadster in Norway, and I managed to get 400 miles out of it on a single charge.

Everybody that's become an electric car owner has also learned to drive differently. We've learned to drive much more efficiently – and probably safer as well.

What are some of the challenges you face as an electric car owner?

A lot of people talk about charging points and I would say it’s the one challenge at the moment. Luckily, it's not an issue if you’re a Tesla driver, but if you drive other vehicles and go to a lot of different countries, then it can be a problem.

The charging points are owned by various manufacturers and you might not be a member of their service. It means that not every point is accessible and you might not be able to pay as you go, which would be sensible.

I've had a couple of close shaves in other electric cars where I've had to plug in at some weird places or ask somebody to plug it in for me at their business. I understand it's a difficult thing to put in place, but it can be a bit of a challenge.

What would you say to other people who are thinking of buying an electric car?

Go and speak to people who live with an electric car. If you've got a neighbour, family member or friend, go and see how it fits into their lifestyle.

Think about how it could fit into your life and whether it would work for you. You don’t have to get a Jaguar iPace or Audi e-tron – especially if you're the average person in the UK and just going to work, the supermarket and doing the school run. There’s an electric car out there for just about everyone.

All opinions expressed in this article are the interviewees own and do not reflect those of LV=.

This article contains links to other sites, and we're not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.

All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts.