Electric cars are great. Except for the upfront cost of buying the car, every other aspect is great. One of the most important considerations is about the charging infrastructure. We bought the car more than 3 months back and learnt several new things.
Range anxiety is a non issue!
Every day, we drive the car for 150kms. Typically, there is still 250kms of range left in the evening. Just like we charge our phone, we charge the car in the evening for 2 hours and it is full again. On work days, we never think of running out of battery at all. Compared to our petrol car, we save a few minutes every week from the petrol pump visit.
Long drives require some planning.
We made two long distance trips where we had to stop for a recharge. There were several Tesla superchargers on the way and we stopped at one where we could have lunch as well. On the return journey, we stopped at another for a coffee. A coffee break of 20 - 30 minutes typically adds about 200kms of range and does not feel like time wasted.
Charging infrastructure at home.
This is one issue for which I spent a lot of time to solve. Typically, all the car companies show how easy it is to charge but they always show houses with a driveway or a garage. What does one do if that is not an option? At my home, I had to build this:
I have a garage but it is too tight for the car and I wouldn’t be able to use the garage for anything of my hobbies. The municipality provides public charging points but that will not be in front of my house. Laying cables on the footpath is not legal and would also be irresponsible of me. So, the solution was to make a retractable cable hanger using some steel pipes and steel cables. It held up well during some winds and rains but I intend to build a better one in the future. The electrical installation itself is inside the house.
Other interesting aspects of an electric
- We added some solar panels on our roof and hence we drive for free
- Based on the distance that we drive, the lifetime ownership cost is less than that of many petrol cars
- The battery drains off almost at double the usual rate if you drive at speeds greater than 160 km/hr