EV - Are we nearly there yet?


Distinguished Member
The congestion charge waiver for EV's comes to an end in December 2025, at which point I guess I will go back to the train and look back on this time fondly.

It's actually quite perverse that EV incentives have made people use their cars MORE than nessarary and given up other forms of far more efficient transport.

I was the same, doing 15k miles per year just because it was so cheap, but actually driving around in a metal box, adding to congestion, using up unnecessary energy is exactly what EVs are suppose to help reduce not encourage.

The real hard truth is we have all been spoilt by car usage, EVs are not the answer to future personal transportation needs any more so than combustion cars, but whilst they are still cheap to own/run we'll (my self included) will continue to use them over other forms of transport.


I would say that a PHEV does suit many. I have a journey each week of 120 miles each way but otherwise all are to work and back and around the locality to shops etc. work and back is the EV range so for all journeys except the big one each week the petrol consumption is about what it said on the sticker for combined - 1.9 litres/100 km (144mpg).

For the 120 miles each way the first 30 miles each way is EV and then I leave it to do whatever it wants between EV, series hybrid or parallel hybrid. Those journeys (and all other long runs to Sydney, 230 miles each way, and Melbourne, 500 miles each way) return about 6 litres/100km (45mpg).

All way better than my Skoda Superb 2.0L estate.

Here the charging infrastructure is about 5 years behind you in the UK. If there was more than one charger on the 120 mile run I would buy a full EV in a heartbeat.

Also we have almost zero EVs here in the market. Manufacturers need them over there to meet the rules on fleet percentage of low or no emissions cars (or whatever it is). we have no emissions rules at all in terms of once the car is on the road. We get the latest EU standard engines but not because we legislate for them.

As always what suits each individual spends on a lot of circumstances. Since owning a PHEV though I am sure those that generally say they are a waste of time and a con are simply referring to the negative messaging around “promised fuel consumption”. The fact is many of us have a majority of journeys that are short like the test route. The test doesn’t include the equivalent of a journey that exhaust the battery and continues on in hybrid mode. It doesn’t matter as long as you get your head around the really low consumptions on journey less than the EV range. The savings in fuel are significant - unless every journey is 200 miles. Then the same smaller savings as a normal hybrid. Cost more so yes don’t buy one if you have those journeys.


Well-known Member
At the moment I'm sat in Stockholm airport and thought I'd relay the experience of hiring an EV here in Sweden for the week.

By accident (having chosen the cheapest mid size auto from Avis) we were given a Kia E-Nero. At the desk I was hesitant to take it having never driven an EV or knowing what the infrastructure here is, but being on holiday and no real hurry to get anywhere decided to have the adventure.

I cannot fault the car itself. It was well built and responsive. Personally I wouldn't buy one myself as I found it a little uncomfortable to sit in and the styling too 'middle aged' for my taste.

For charging we had to rely entirely on public charging facilities. The car was supplied with approx 75% charge and we stopped for a natural food break off the E18 motorway and used an Ionity rapid charger. About an hour of charging got us back up to around 90% and this then got us to out destination a further 2.5hrs away arriving with about 35%. From then, we then used local slower public chargers whilst parked in town centres or a short walk from destinations. On the way back to the airport we again had a short 50kw motorway breakfast stop followed by a longer charge in a multi story in a town for a last wander about. All charging stops bar I'd say one were just natural stops and parking along our way and did not prevent any real interruption to the holiday itself. Now if I was more pressed for time it would be different but this trip all was fine.

A couple years back we hired a T5 petrol Volvo V60 and did basically the same set of journeys. We estimate that at today's current fuel prices we paid around £138 in petrol. Cost in public electricity charging this trip was £58, so a very substantial saving. Worth pointing out that electricity in Sweden is rather expensive (so is petrol) so the equivilant journey in the UK would have been much cheaper.

Now then, to answer the question of the thread and are we there yet. I'd say a categorical yes, almost, at least here in sweden. Here there were an abundance of public charging points that all worked without hassle. We were lucky and didn't need to queue or wait. All were in convenient locations. I do not however think the same is true in the UK however I do think it can and will get there. It is also astonishing to see the number of EVs on the roads here, in pretty rural areas too.

As to whether I would buy an EV yet then the answer is still no. I am still paying off the finance on an ex demo 2020 V60 cross country D4. The equivilant EV doesn't exist anyway, but would almost certainly be priced at around £60k going by other Volvo products or similar from other manufacturers. I simply could not afford that, although I appreciate I got a post lockdown bargain purchase last year. Even the rather basic and small Kia we hired would cost far far more than the diesel I own, and whilst yes it would be cheaper to charge (especially at home) I just would not use as much fuel to compensate for the higher upfront cost of buying the car.

I've ended on a relatively glum note there however I am certain that once the cost of buying possibly comes down then we will move to an EV happily with the next car purchase in a few years time. On the other hand, I will have absolutely no hesitation with booking an EV here again and could use the money saved from petrol on hiring a better EV such as a Polestar 2 or Model Y.

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