Free wheeling

A blog post by Catherine Gee

Catherine Gee
Deputy Chief Executive

Posted 18/11/2019

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As I enter the start of a second week with my new fully electric car, free wheeling is the phrase that keeps popping into my mind. Not free in terms of cost (although I have to admit that the currently free-of-charge public charging infrastructure has to be an incentive for us all), but free in terms of exhaust fumes and therefore carbon emissions and pollution. It is also somewhat freeing in terms of the driving experience behind the wheel of an electric car.  It’s difficult to describe but it’s easier, less demanding and you arrive at a destination not feeling like you’ve been driving.  Maybe it’s a freer state of mind that I’m experiencing. Whatever it is, it feels better.

So, what prompted me to make the change? Well it’s not been a quick or an easy decision. As someone who is very aware of environmental impacts and climate change and who is a car owner and commuter, the question that has played on my mind for some time is ‘what will my next car change be?’  I’m not close enough to my workplace to use active travel and public transport options are limited, so a car is still a necessity for me.  I was piling on the miles to my diesel car thinking I’d run it into the ground and wait for the technology and infrastructure (and prices) for electric cars to improve. But, I’d also thought about making an interim move to a hybrid? I discounted this option, preferring to make the switch in one step to full electric.  So I’d been waiting, and thinking, and waiting, and thinking and eventually a week ago I decided to go the whole hog and make the change.

Yes, the prices are still high and the infrastructure needs to improve. And then there’s the whole mileage and battery charging anxiety thing. But, I’m prepared to make the change because I can, and I want to. I’m prepared to approach travel in a different way; one I feel will be more relaxed.  So I won't be travelling at warp speed to reach a destination but I'll be taking my time to travel more leisurely, enjoying a break whilst I fast charge the car to top up the battery.

It’s important that those in a position to make the change do so and I hope that this will lead to reduced prices and improved infrastructure. So I’m glad and excited to be part of a movement of change that will hopefully encourage others to do the same.

So far so good.  I’ve not yet got my domestic charging point installed (quote received and grant support being obtained for over 80% of the cost) but I‘m successfully using the available public charging infrastructure. This has got me more active - I plugged in using the local charge point where I live and went for an hour’s walk whilst I waited so I’m getting healthier as well. And if all else fails, and the public charging points are busy, there is the option to plug in and charge from a standard plug point in my house or garage.  There really is no reason not to change other than fear of change and the unknown.  But that’s part of the excitement - taking on a new challenge and adapting my lifestyle to make the required changes.

So if you are also in a position to be part of the change I’d encourage you to do so and enjoy a bit of free wheeling yourself.

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