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I was so fed up with driving an electric car I went back to a diesel motor – I couldn’t find anywhere to charge it

Jon Rogers

Jul 30, 2023

A WOMAN has ditched her electric vehicle and gone back to driving a diesel motor, saying she couldn’t find anywhere to charge it.

NHS doctor Lizzie Butler-Meadows, 36, said she and her partner made the switch back because the infrastructure for EVs is just not in place.

They got rid of their Nissan Leaf and moved to a Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Lizzie, from Chichester, West Sussex, told LeaseLoco that there was a lack of charging points both at home and at work.

She said: "Ultimately, the biggest issue was the charging infrastructure.

"We ended up needing to rent a flat for nine months with communal parking, which meant I couldn’t charge at home and I had no chargers at work.

“Me and my husband work for the NHS and there are no chargers at our workplaces either.

“Aside from council offices, I've never seen chargers at public sector workplaces, like schools, hospitals etc.

"I have so many colleagues who would consider switching to an electric vehicle if there was charging at their workplaces - especially if incentivised with free or discounted charging."

That wasn’t the only issue though as Lizzie became frustrated with the number of apps she had to download to access electricity for her car.

In the UK there are numerous providers of chargers, each one with their own methods and ways of paying.

Lizzie said: “It was such a pain trying to work out if you have the right app, whether your car and card is registered, making sure the car is actually connected. It was also often hard to tell how much a charge will cost too.

“I remember being stuck in the middle of winter at a charging point trying desperately to get the charging lead back out of the car in a random car park - it wouldn’t disconnect and the screen on the charger had crashed.”

The doctor also had issues with the range of her car, saying it would deteriorate quickly while motorway driving as the high speeds gobbled up her charge.

She said: "The battery range was too short; it always ran out faster than expected because driving at higher speeds on the motorway drained it quicker.

"This meant that it got stressful if I had to make a longer journey and had to plan charging stops."

Despite the problems, Lizzie said that both she and her partner were reluctant to say goodbye to their electric car.

Lizzie said: “We were desperate to try and keep the car because we enjoyed driving it, so we charged it at my parents’ house, which was a 10-minute walk away.

"This became too much of a pain in the middle of winter, so in the end we thought all the disadvantages outweigh any advantages.

"The best ones [chargers] were some of the free ones at the supermarkets, and it was nice feeling smug doing your shopping knowing your car was charging for free.”

While Lizzie said she wouldn’t rule out switching back to an electric car she added that the cost was “massively prohibitive”.

John Wilmot, founder and CEO of comparison site LeaseLoco said: “We're seeing more enquiries for electric vehicles, which increased rapidly between 2021 and 2022, despite levelling off in the last 12 months.

“The Government will need to boost the number of charging stations and facilities if they expect drivers to switch to electric vehicles after 2030, particularly if millions of households are unable to install their own electric charging points.”

Earlier this month, a driver confessed they hated their £74,000 Tesla.

In January this year, the columnist and food critic Giles Coren said he had ditched his £65,000 all-electric Jaguar I-PACE after he faced a string of issues with it.

Elsewhere, a car expert has revealed the best electric cars you can buy for less than £20,000.

In the UK, more than 265,000 battery-electric cars were registered in 2022, a 40 per cent hike from 2021.

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