Wednesday 3 October 2018

Test Driving An Electric Car With Lookers | AD

Over the past year my husband and I have had many discussions about whether we should get an electric car. It has in fact become a regular bone of contention in our relationship in that he is ready to go fully electric and I am still somewhat on the fence. Now don't get me wrong, I can certainly see the appeal. The environmental and economical factors alone are already extremely appealing to me but I have had concerns over practicability along with the fact that we are yet to find one that ticks the box of attractiveness.  

When car dealership Lookers got in touch to see if we'd like to test drive one of their electric cars it was the perfect opportunity for us to revisit this subject and to find out what life for us would really be like with an electric car. 

I should probably mention here that my husband Andy is somewhat of an enthusiast when it comes to all things electric. If you didn't already know he has his own YouTube channel where he often shares his electric skateboard, bike and car adventures! Last year he bought himself a Renault Twizy as a little electric run around for him to enjoy but this is far from a family car or something we've been able to enjoy together. It has however fuelled his desire for a main electric car even more!

So last week we took ourselves off to Lookers Volkswagen to collect what would be our new car for the next three days. We were given a Golf GTE to test drive and were lucky enough to be able to take it home with us in order to get the full experience of what owning an electric car would be like. 

The Golf GTE is in fact a hybrid car which uses both electric power and fuel. At this moment in time I actually prefer the idea of a hybrid opposed to a fully electric car. I like that with the hybrid you're able to use the fully electric mode but also have fuel as a back-up for when the electric miles run out. The only issue with a hybrid is that the electric miles range won't be as far as in a fully electric car. The Golf GTE gets approximately 30 miles to a full charge which is perfect for shorter journeys and popping into town and back but for longer distances we would use the fuel back-up.

Because my husband already owns an electric car we already have a plug socket installed at the front of our house which meant that charging the GTE was really easy for us. Every time we arrived home we just popped it on charge quickly and easily and then the next time we needed to use it we had a full battery again. Charging an electric car whilst you're out and about isn't always as easy and does require a bit of planning ahead to find out where charge stations are. I've certainly noticed more charging spaces popping up at different places now which is really good to see. But there are also a couple of apps which can help like Zap Map and Plug Share

Our current car is a Range Rover Evoque and I have to say I adore it in every way other than how much it costs to run. The idea of not having to pay for fuel anymore is so appealing and such a selling point for owning a fully electric car, along with other benefits such as free parking and no congestion charge or road tax. The downside of any other electric cars we have looked at is that none of them have felt as comfortable or luxurious as our Evoque. All of the ones we have tried out, including the highly desirable Tesla, have felt like a downgrade from what we already have. One thing that impressed me with the Golf GTE is that the look of the car and quality of the interior haven't been compromised in anyway. It feels like a high quality car both to look at and to drive.

We had a lot of fun driving the GTE around our local area and we both felt that it was a really great car to drive. I was really impressed by how quick the car felt in electric mode and how little noise it made too. All of the features within the car were really easy to use and logically laid out which also made things easier. The car was also surprisingly spacious and despite the battery being positioned near the boot area this hasn't compromised the size of the boot at all. 

When it came to handing the car back to Lookers we were both quite sad to see it go! We really enjoyed our time test driving it and I think if anything this experience has solidified in both of our minds that we want an electric car, whether it be a hybrid or a fully electric.  It's definitely going to be the next step for us and after the last few days I certainly feel more ready for it and less daunted by the prospect.

Lookers are currently embarking on a six month road trip 'Electric Charge' challenge where they are visiting 155 dealerships all across the UK in only electric cars in order to raise money for the Ben charity. If you didn't already know, Ben is a not for profit organisation that partners the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their families. You can follow their challenge progress on social media @LookersGroup and #LookersEC4Ben or donate here!

I'd love to hear some of your own thoughts on electric cars and if any of you already own one or are looking to buy one so be sure to comment below and let me know. Also don't forget to watch Andy's vlog of our electric car adventure where he goes into some of the more technical aspects of the car and the driving experience!   



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