We were recently invited to a day at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as guests of BMW, to talk all things Electric Cars – Electric Vehicles (EV). Not a lot of people know this, but in an earlier life I was a bit of a petrol head. My first cool car was a 1970’s red BMW 2002 – the cutest classic car – similar shape to the orange 1972 Electric Car from BMW which you can see in these photos.
With the UK government’s commitment to phase out petrol cars by 2030, I’m so interested in the evolution of the electric car.
So I was lucky enough to spend some time with the BMW UK team in their Electric Boulevard at Goodwood Festival of Speed, for a good look at their new i4. This is a fully electric car, produced in Germany. We talked ‘range anxiety’ – the i4 can travel up to 365 miles on one charge (so yes, I’ll make it to Manchester… see the YouTube video for reference) and WHERE and when you can charge your EV. Charging in the evenings, or using excess energy created by sunny days.
Chatting to Jodie Kidd
I met up with Jodie Kidd, and we sat in the BMW i3, fully electric, and chatted about Formula E race series, the interior design, utilising recycled plastics, and sustainably sourced wooden dashboards – and how BMW are experimenting with vegan leather alternatives made from olives!
I’ve downloaded an app https://www.zap-map.com/ which searched for charge points, and helps you to plan longer electric journeys.
Many hotels and holiday homes now offer off-street charging as part of their service, Middlewick Holiday Cottages in Glastonbury for example (bring your own charging cable).
On-street charging points
And I’ve been looking into options locally, my borough Merton is a little behind Wandsworth who are working with Source London and Siemens to grow their network of charging points.
Wandsworth are for example, rolling out Lamp column charging (lamp-posts to you and I) which is installed and maintained by Siemens under contract to the council. Siemens have teamed up with Ubitricity to provide slow charging on residential streets, making it ideal for overnight charging. More details are on the Ubitricity website.
Low-emission vehicles eligible for a plug-in grant
To be eligible for the grant, cars must cost less than £35,000. This is the recommended retail price (RRP), and includes VAT and delivery fees.
The grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £2,500.
You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.
You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vehicles – the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.
What’s next for the Electric Car
I’d be interested to find out more about how challenging EVs will be to the National Grid, and how the 35% of us with no off-street parking will get around the charging at home (which ultimately will be cheaper, and easier than tracking down a working charging point). I guess we have a few years to figure this out.
This article was written following a collaboration with BMW on my social media here.