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In a world of constant reminders of our collective damage to the environment, electric cars have really made an revival appearance since the 1990’s from the economic recession forcing car manufacturers to abandon ‘gas-guzzling’ SUV’s and opt to make more energy-efficient vehicles.
So how different are they to drive compared to traditional vehicles? Electric Cars can bring a variety of benefits, from congestion charge exemption to road tax grants. But the most agreeable benefit among friends is that the cars easily fit into their owner’s lives and schedules. Chris Alvey, a University Lecturer from Leicester says “I just treat mine like my mobile phone; you charge your phone every night, you charge your car every night.”
The Home Charging Station that came free with Chris’ Renault Zoë Dynamique gives him a full charge in a mere three – four hours, radically reducing his travel expenditure. What used to cost Chris approximately £200/month plus tax, in terms of electricity costs, it’s now (realistically) around £20/month. Of course, the Zoë has all of the safety bells and whistles, including airbags, parking sensors and a reversing camera, with the added special ZE voice system that alerts pedestrians when you approach them at speeds of less than 18 mph.
This 88BHP mass-produced Electric car is the first to be cleared with a certification of 121miles in perfect conditions (so realistically, more like 100 miles and 70 in the winter). The Zoë also comes with a bespoke TomTom SatNav, giving you the most energy-efficient route, charging POI’s and highlights of the area that you can reach on your current electric charge. Chris says “Compared to more traditional petrol cars, there is absolutely no difference. It responds the same, drives the same. Some people laugh, but when they give it a go, they soon realise that it’s not a gimmick, it’s a real car for real journeys in real environments.”