Rachel, North Down

Rachel is a long time electric vehicle driver and purchased her first EV in 2015. Rachel lives in an ‘eco’ house and with an interest in science and technology she felt that switching to electric made sense to her and her husband. She is currently driving her second VW E-Golf and loves everything about it.

Rachel describes the driving experience as being far superior to driving a petrol or diesel car she ever had saying that the E-Golf is smooth, responsive, quiet and relaxing to drive. Rachel has installed solar paneling at home and during the summer months her home charging is mostly powered by sunshine and estimates her driving costs at a maximum of 1p per mile. Discussing the cost savings further Rachel explains that her vehicle servicing costs are low and over 6 years the total servicing and tyre costs for her first E-Golf totalled approx. £1,000 and when she exchanged that vehicle after 70,000 miles she received an £11,000 exchange allowance.

Rachel’s journeys are varied. Twice to three times per week she travels up to 20 miles to fulfil her volunteering commitments. She makes a longer journey of up to 150 miles at least once per week to visit friends and family or attend sporting events and travels to destinations across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland several times each year, with return journeys of up to 1000 miles.

Planning is crucial for those wishing to own an electric vehicle in Northern Ireland particularly if you are planning an out of range journey which Rachel adds can be challenging at the moment due to infrastructure shortages and on-going maintenance issues. She advises those considering making the switch to electric to get their heads around the charger types and speeds and what works best for their car and personal circumstances. Furthermore Rachel recommends that drivers download the ZapMap app, ask questions and be considerate to fellow EV drivers.