IF there’s one thing I’ve learnt about electric motoring with the VW e-Golf, it’s this.
You need a smartphone.
And a smartphone with enough memory to carry a plurality of apps.
Particularly when you’re on the road. And you need to top up the battery. (The car’s, not the phone’s.)
My wife Alison had an appointment at Brighton Marina. As in my previous report, Brighton is on the edge of the e-Golf’s return range; and the Marina is further out than my trip to Rivervale in Brighton.
So Alison went to re-charge. Looking at ‘Zap-map’ (an app), the nearest Asda Chargemaster charging stations were listed as out of order.
So she went to the Charge Your Car vehicle charging point. This was further away at Withdean Stadium Leisure Centre but it had a good rating.
However, it meant she had to download the Charge Your Car app first. Then Alison had to create an account, link it to a credit card – all this before re-charging could commence.
A lot more flaff than simply filling up with fuel at your local supermarket.
A cup of coffee later and 30 minutes of charge for £4.80 supplied the Golf an additional 80 miles: 16p per mile cost. But at least she could get home without concerns that the battery might deplete.
For drivers considering the EV route – you won’t regret it, let me say that now.
But the issue of out of service, and broken public chargers is real. As is the problem of requiring multiple accounts on your phone. So you need to be aware of this.
It really isn’t as simple as turning into a refuelling station and filling up.
The EV public charging network really does require just one app that works for all the charging suppliers. That would make life so much easier for EV drivers. As would be repairing broken chargers – the curse of all EV drivers.
But in the end you always find a workaround. And that’s because driving an electric car is really such a pleasure.
We’ll be reporting on more (good) app issues in our next report.
Volkswagen e-Golf 136PS 5dr
- Power – 136PS
- Torque – 214Nm
- Transmission – direct drive single -speed gearbox
- Battery – 35.8kWh lithium-ion
- Top speed – 93mph
- 0-62mph – 9.6s
- CO2 emissions – 0g/km
- Company car tax band 2017/18 – 13%
- Range – 124 miles