Despite having an almost indescribable love of gadgets and anything technical, I’ve got to admit to being a sceptic when it comes to electric cars and our Nissan Leaf. I drove the first Tesla in the UK, just around the block, as it were, and emerged from behind the wheel with a grin like an EU-approved banana, but for day-to-day motoring I remain to be convinced.
So when Hilton Holloway asked if he could borrow my Range Rover for a week, I leapt at the chance to swap and run his everyday wheels, the Nissan Leaf. I’d driven it a couple of times before, of course, but it’s only once the novelty has worn off that you can really get to grips with a car.
The first couple of days were predictably plain sailing: I drove it home, parked on the street, ate, watched a movie, slept, woke up, got in and drove off to work. And charged the car at work from the installed charging socket. The weekend was a bit more interesting. After dropping my wife at the station I stopped in Blackheath to get a coffee, knowing that it’s such a with-it borough that there was a charging point in the nearest car park.
The space reserved for electric charging was free, but once I’d parked and gathered up the charging lead and payment cards, I found that I didn’t have the right card for the PodPoint charging point. In fact, I couldn’t even work out how to use it.