Having an electric car in London

An electric car and charging point
Photo by Department for Communities and Local Government (mine is blue too)

A few months ago our car broke down as we were leaving a car dealership after a test drive. The car had served us well for over a year, but it was old enough that it needed costly repairs all the time — and this was just one repair too many for us. We had been looking into a replacement for a while (several test drives and spreadsheets were involved in this process) but were suddenly prompted to make a decision within a matter of days.

Over that weekend, we concluded that only one car was right for us: an all-electric Nissan Leaf. Even though we have no way to charge the car at home, London is well-catered for public charging stations, which were mostly free at the time (and are still pretty cheap today). And the 155-mile range is enough for us, as we drive mostly within London, with the odd trip to the airport.

With the help of Carwow, we got an amazing deal on a lease, and we embarked in our electric adventure. Over half a year later, people ask me whether we’re still happy with the car, and the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

There’s been some moments of stress, like when the in-built GPS system took me to the middle of rural England instead of the motorway service station that I needed to charge (we only use Google Maps now), or when it was a choice between having the heating on or freezing but managing all the way to the next charging station. But then there’s those times when we’re sitting in traffic in central London, having paid zero congestion charge, and knowing we’re not wasting a ton of petrol.

I don’t think we’ll get a petrol-run car any time soon, or ever again. The lease will be up in a couple of years, so we just have to wait a see, but from what I hear in the industry news, the options should be even better by then, which is very exciting.

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