I cannot think of a more fitting heading when embarking on my latest missive concerning the ownership of an electric vehicle than this much-quoted line from Dante’s classic allegoric poem Divine Comedy. Indeed if one reads on one might think that these words written in the early decades of the 14th century were a warning to those considering an electric vehicle:
Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
I am afraid that the “ray of sunshine” I wrote about in “Further adventures in an e-Car, postscript” on May 4th 2022 were short lived, since that day I have continued to experience the Divine Comedy Inferno of attempting to charge an electric car. I have also noticed increasing support for my rantings, especially when gathering around the chargers discussing war stories with others. Apart from Tesla owners (who experience something of the Paradiso of Dante’s poem), or those who only use their electric vehicle around town for the occasional pop to the supermarket or the hairdressers for a blue rinse, I hear countless cries of woe concerning the somewhat ridiculous state of the electric car charging in the UK. Stations are all badly laid out so they do not allow a flow-through of cars (as you get in a petrol station), there is not enough charging points so one can queue for hours, they are often broken, and sometimes they are on a map but simply haven’t been built yet.
To add yet another insult to the injury caused to me by owning an electric car was something that hit me right in the wallet. This was when I charged my car just before Christmas and got an electronic bill telling me it had cost £36 for a full charge, that is £36 to travel around 180 miles, or 20p per mile. But it doesn’t stop there, apparently my little tin box has to have special tyres because it is an electric car and today I was quoted £642 for a full set!
It seems that now even the press have realised something is up: according to Ben Clatworthy of The Times, “Ministers are set to miss their target of installing 300,000 new electric car chargers by 2030 by 20 years.”
To add further to our woes and to quote the same article, there are now 1.3million plug-in cars on the road and only 37,055! So unless you are fortunate enough to live in London, where 1/3 of the nations chargers are installed, electric car ownership will continue to be dogged by the issue of the availability of working chargers.
Will I, line Dante, endure the Inferno, pass through Purgatorio, and end up in Paradiso? Watch this space!!