The trials and tribulations of the electric lifestyle

Part 1 — None of the gear, still no idea

I have been driving electric vehicles for sometime now, after my first foray some years ago, gliding silently around the streets of Central London. A point of note here, I do use the word ‘glide’ when it comes to EV driving, as you will know yourself, the near silent approach and smooth travel lends itself to a level of luxury and comfort normally reserved for a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. Of course, only spoilt when a pedestrian, who thinks that all vehicles must emit many decibels, steps into your path with a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look of fear!

I have to say this, but please, predestians everywhere, try the old, looking left and right trick before leaping with abandon into the carriageway. I may well be old enough to remember the Green Cross Code man, but it seems to have been lost in translation over the years.

However, I am digressing, for today’s rant is not directed towards errant pavement dwellers, but more towards the apparent lack of equipment available for our vehicles. Now, when I was back in the dark ages (back as one who regularly frequented the petrol pump). Finding accessories was simple. I could pop into the shop and select screenwash (in prices more expensive than champagne) and other car comestibles like oil in random and strange combinations. To be honest, I am not even sure where to put the oil in my electric vehicle.†

Now, if I was to pop into my local branch of Hal***ds (I have been advised not to ‘name names’ and all that. Other car accessory stores are available), and ask for something for an electric vehicle I might be offered a standard battery charger (12 volt) or otherwise a pretty blank look. In the early days of having an EV I struggled as I had not quite got around to filling a proper charge point and ended up shorting the house supply when a combination of extension lead and rainy night conspired against me.

I have tried online with, initially moderate success. Usually the sort of cables and accessories were somewhat, well let’s say questionable. I am no expert, however flimsy cables from eBay were a wasted economy when they fell apart, usually with a fun display of electric fireworks.

That was when a friend recommended Brite Accessories to me. At the fear of espousing an advertorial for a supplier, I found that I could finally find a cable which would allow me to charge my car from the (finally installed) charge point which I typically had put in the wrong place. (This is another story entirely). The lovely people at Brite make their cables and accessories to the highest standards and stand by what they offer with long guarantees.

So now, I am kitted out. I have the necessary equipment which one must have, the charger, adaptors, extension lead and Costa reward card — for those charging moments when a black americano and a muffin are essential. Is it me, or is the requirement to charge at lovely coffee places directly linked to my waistline? Answers to the usual address dear friends.

All I need now is a sticker to place on cars which have ICE’d me reminding them that the electric charge point is not for their, albeit it very pretty, non-electric BMW and would they possibly… well leave. But, never mind, I just block them in and use my, oh so useful extension lead.

It may well be bad karma, but needs must when there is a muffin to be eaten, sorry, when I need to charge my vehicle. Please don’t tell my wife I don’t need to charge this many times, but after the equivalent of twice around the globe, I almost have enough reward points for a breakfast bap…

Happy driving!

Wilf

Professional writer — background in marketing and event management. Lives by the seaside, likes biscuits.

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