Electric Driving: My Electric Car

In October last year , I took possession of a new car. This one. It’s electric. BMW i3 Rex. It’s new and I financed it with the standard £4500 discount for any new electric car, covered by UKGov, and an interest free loan for the rest from a ScotGov fund to promote electric car ownership. 

The blue cable is linking the car battery up to the electricity grid via a charger. I 

haven’t thought of a name for the car yet. But the charger is called Darth. 🙂 The charger was priced at £1070 including installation. But that was covered by a £500 grant from OLEV (UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles), and a £500 grant from Energy Savings Trust Scotland funded by Scottish Government for people living in Scotland. So Darth cost me £70!

When I connect the car up to Darth, it takes four hours to charge from zero.  And that costs me about £4.50. A full charge takes the car between 100 and 125 miles, depending on if it’s winter or summer. Batteries get less efficient in the cold. So £4.45 for 125 miles is 3.6p/mile. Petrol is currently £5.50 a gallon and allowing for 60miles per gallon range  that’s 9p/mile. So quite a bit cheaper.

You might be thinking that four hours is a long time to then just have a 100-125 mile range. Well, fair enough, though it is very pleasing that I can tell the car when I’ll be leaving the next morning, and  it will get itself nicely charged up – and heated – in time for me to leave. Of if it’s a really hot day it will cool the interior down to a more pleasant temperature. But hey, when you live in Scotland you’ve got to reckon that feature isn’t going to be used very often, probably never. OK, definitely never.

Now about that 125 mile range. That’s what I was getting doing short distances round the city in October. I charged the car less than once a week. But I don’t always charge it at home. On Thursday afternoons it’s plugged into a charger at the back of our local leisure  centre while I am in the pool. That’s about an hour’s worth of free electrons, courtesy of ChargePlaceScotland (CPS), the national charging network provider in Scotland. And if I’m out for a 40minute walk along the river at Riverside Museum then it’s plugged into a rapid charger there. Also ChargePlaceScotland. Mostly I take the bus all the way into the city, but the other week I plugged  the car into a ChargePlaceScotland charger behind the museum for a couple of hours while I took the bus into the city centre. 

In the four months since getting the car, I’ve used  CPS free chargers almost as much as I’ve charged at home. Since the Charge Place Scotland network is free that takes my cost down to about 2p/mile. Nothing a thrifty Scot likes more!!

It’s still cold where we are….so that morning heating  feature has been well used.



1 comment

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  • I’m Jim. Working toward an eNV200 40kWh Leaf which should arrive in January. Nice to hear about the experiences of someone else starting up in that direction, so thanks for the information. So many EV / environmental voices use acronyms and jargon making it difficult to catch up at first. Perfectly reasonable, it saves a lot of typing and I’m sure I’ll do it too, in fact ‘EV’ is probably the thin end of that wedge. I’ll be doing occasional similar runs to yours but from South Lanarkshire to Winchester. I have done a bit of WordPress but mostly just ramble on with a sort of newsletter at the website below. Feel free to have a look, we seem to have similar viewpoints, so I doubt any of it would be upsetting.