Owner Interview: My First Electric Car

Carzone talks to a new EV owner to find out what it is like switching to an electric car

Mac who works at Carzone recently purchased his first electric car. After two months of daily driving and commuting in his all-electric Mazda MX-30 , he tells us what his experience has been of going electric has been like thus far.  

Is this your first electric vehicle?

Yes it is my first EV, however it is our second car.

Why did you switch to an electric car?

We carried out very extensive research into our mileage, driving patterns and what we needed from our second car. We’ve been on various PCPs since 2017 and we like an idea of driving a new car. In addition to that, looking at the feasible options we realised that we were looking at petrol cars (due to low annual mileage) and between fuel costs and available options we started to realise that going electric was a viable option.  

When it came to test drives though, my doubts about switching to an electric car were gone instantly as the performance for me was miles ahead of any combustion engine. It was at that point we started our search for an EV.

What do you like most about driving an electric car?

Performance, ease and tranquility of driving. Responsiveness of the electric engine, regenerative breaking which takes a while to get used to but it quickly becomes one of the most important features of the electric car. I also find that charging compared to fuelling your diesel or petrol car is much cleaner, quicker and just easier. Everything takes time to get used to, and I believe EVs do require time to get used when it comes to the way they drive, but once that transition is behind you, it is very difficult to look back.

Last but not least, I like that there is less environmental impact, which obviously will be met with certain mileage. It must be mentioned that the CO2 footprint on manufacturing EVs is quite heavy and it takes years of usage for them to become CO2 neutral, however if you consider a smaller battery pack suited for your needs, time required to cross that point can be brought forward faster. Using a 100% renewable energy electricity supplier is also a key part of this equation.

What do you not like about driving an electric car?

This is genuinely not applicable to me. I could quote some car reviewers who mentioned that the sound of the Mazda MX-30’s indicators was not to their liking, I could also say that boot space could be bigger or that I miss the sound of the exhaust when I accelerate, however that would be untrue. I researched my options thoroughly before buying it, I knew what to expect and the Mazda MX-30 tailored to what we needed.

I believe there are enough EVs on the market currently that once you put enough time and effort into your research, would allow you to find the exact match to what you need. Once that’s done, you’ll be left with pure joy of driving an EV. 

For you, what are the biggest differences of driving an electric car compared to your previous cars?

It would have to be performance. Nearly 2 months of daily driving on local roads and M50 and I enjoy every single trip. The low centre of mass, handling, responsiveness of the electric motor and the tranquility while drivng is outstanding.

What is your experience with charging your electric car?

Very pleasant. My approach from the start was to get a mid-range EV and plug it in at least twice a week. Research prior our decision included looking at different EV chargers and where we would install it. This topic is very important. I need to plug in my smartphone nearly every day to make sure I can use it, so I do the same with the EV. It is yet another electrical device I need to make sure is charged for when I need it.

Some employers will offer you access to their EV chargers. Irish infrastructure of ESB and IONITY to mention a few is constantly growing. Leading supermarkets and shopping centres also now offer dedicated EV charging and parking spaces. My experience so far has been all but positive. And I will need to mention that the quoted range in the Mazda MX-30 is very precise. It uses your driving patterns to estimate your remaining range, on every occasion this in conjunction with Google Maps allowed me to arrive at my destination with exactly anticipated remaining mileage.

As with any other electrical device, you will need to account for any unforeseen circumstances, but wouldn’t you do the same with running low on an empty diesel tank… This previously happened to me twice driving my diesel car when the fuel stations were either closed or it was actually closed. It is the same issue, just slightly different.

Have you noticed a change in your running costs since going electric?

A dramatic one. On our current rate (using a 100% renewable electricity supplier) the cost per 100 kilometres of driving is roughly €2.80, compared to what we would be paying in fuel of around €13 to cover the same distance. It is worth mentioning servicing costs too which is non-existent, but replaced with annual checks. I realise this might be outweighed by quicker wear of tyres due to the heavier weight of an EV, but I will need to wait some time to see if this occurs.

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