The Diary of an EV Virgin - Electric Start
The next day I was given a whistle-stop tour of the features and functions with a little demonstration. This was concluded with; it really is easy to drive you will have no problems! Now, I get anxious at the best of times and even opening mail causes me a problem, so I was not taking driving a completely different type of vehicle lightly. Also, I am currently driving a modest Hyundai i10 with all the power of 3 angry hamsters, so this would be a very different experience.
As I finished work that day, I felt trepidation about driving the car. I walked over and requested it to open, but nothing happened. Surely, this electric vehicle must be voice operated or mind controlled! I was hoping for some kind of Michael Knight set of wheels with its own personal Kitt that would talk to me (apologies if you were not watching TV in the 1980’s). After some difficulty, I thought I would try to open it conventionally and as I put my hand on the door handle, it opened like a normal car, who would have thought it!
In the driver's seat, I was presented with a very simplistic layout of instruments and a large touch screen. Fortunately, I instantly recognised the steering wheel as it looked like….. well, a steering wheel. I must say the minimalistic stylings were very nice, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by a dashboard full of buttons. As I sat in the car, the display lit up beautifully, and the screen gave instructions on starting. However, before moving the wheels, I needed to attend to a more important job than driving: to set my Bluetooth connection so I could listen to the sonorous tones of the 90s.
Once my playlist was initiated, I was ready to go. The car display instructed me to press the brake and slide the selector to drive, and away I went. Wow… it was soooooooo smooth, instant and responsive. The drive of an electric vehicle is virtually identical to driving a fuelled, automatic car and so it immediately felt natural. However, I was strangely unaccustomed to driving forward and not hearing the vrooooooom as petrol ignites, creating a symphonic piston explosion as they bounce up and down. I needed to the track to one from the Icelandic Queen, Bjork.
To be continued...