vw e golf washing
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I WAS helping present at a business briefing recently.

Organised by Concept Vehicle Leasing – winner of the Leasing Broker Federation’s Best Small Leasing Broker Customer Service Award – it was a relaxed evening in central London with 20 businesses present.

Some had fleets of one car; others a fleet of 30 vans. So a varied audience.

But the point of the evening was to encourage discussion around motoring issues that were affecting them. Naturally being London, the forthcoming April start of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was a key talking point.

But so was choice of fuel – was diesel still dirty? (Answer, no.) What about going electric? Was this a strategy to be followed? (Answer, possibly.)

And the reason for ‘possibly’ is this: it depends, really, on the requirements of the driver and the infrastructure available – both at home (is a home charger feasible?) – and at work (can you provide charging facilities and how many?). An electric vehicle (EV) can work in many situations, but not all. Sometimes a diesel is the answer.

e golf under the bonnet
Under the bonnet: power control unit and electric motor. Standard car battery to the right; the energy source battery sits under the rear seats of the Golf

There were also some interesting observations such as: is it safe to wash an electric car?

Well, the answer to this is definitely yes. I’m still standing after turning the e-Golf from its grime grey exterior to sparkling white the other weekend with bucket and sponge.

And the other was – do you have to keep on charging the car all the time?

And for that the answer is no. Generally I wait to the range is down to about 30 miles or so and then fill it up. This does depend on what journeys you have planned. I can understand the potential anxiety of non-EV drivers about always wanting full charge. But do you fill your petrol or diesel car up the moment it drops to three quarters full?

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Quite, you don’t. And it’s the same with driving EV. You charge up when you need to – preferably at home where it’s most convenient. And the cost for driving is so cheap: so far this month it’s just £9.54. Much of this is around town to be fair but it would be double that in a petrol vehicle.

So EVs can and do provide a real alternative if you drive for business. As long as your journey profile fits EV ownership.

And, rest assured, you won’t be electrocuted if you wash the car, either.

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 – 135 miles

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