Friday, 29 June 2012

Charge Your Car: 10,000 charges in the first year

Charge Your Car, the North East England recharging infrastructure programme that recently announced it is to become a national pay-as-you-go network, has indicated that the network has been used more than 10,000 times since the first charge points were installed a year ago.

This is despite the fact that the EV market is still in its infancy and there are less than 150 electric vehicles in the region.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Saab becomes an EV manufacturer for China market

National Modern Energy Holdings, an alternative energy group based in Hong Kong, and Japanese investment firm Sun Investment plan to use newly acquired Saab’s manufacturing facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden to develop and produce upmarket electric cars that will be focused on Chinese consumers.
The company plans to develop an electric car based on the Saab 9-3 using Japanese technology. This will be launched in 2013 or 2014 with marketing and sales focused on China, which the company claims "is set to become the largest and most important electric vehicle market”.
The founder of National Modern Energy Holdings, Kai Johan Jiang, is a Chinese businessman with Swedish citizenship. He said: “China is investing heavily in developing the EV market, which is a key driver for the ongoing technology shift to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
“The Chinese can increasingly afford cars. However, the global oil supply would not suffice if they all buy petroleum-fuelled vehicles. Chinese customers demand a premium electric vehicle, which we will be able to offer by acquiring Saab Automobile in Trollhättan.”

Friday, 22 June 2012

10,000 reservations for Tesla Model S

The Model S introduction is make-or-break time for Tesla.

The Model S starts at $57,400 and ranges up to $105,400, before federal tax incentives. Tesla plans to make more than 5,000 this year and 20,000 in 2013.

It's all part of Tesla's long-term strategy to infiltrate the mass market bit by bit, from the top down. Each car model the company introduces will be less expensive than the last.

The most expensive of the car's three battery pack options can go 300 miles on a single charge. The previous Roadster model could 'only' drive 245 miles on a charge.

 More than 10,000 people have put down $5,000 apiece to reserve a Model S. The company estimates that the company needs to sell 8,000 per year to reach profitability. It could be a close call but it's a beautiful car that deserves to do well.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

UK's biggest pay-as-you-go recharging network announced

This morning my company announced its intention to create the UK's largest pay to use recharging network as part of a new joint venture, a project we have been working on for many months. Here is the full press release:


  • New Charge Your Car  joint venture will manage ‘open-source’ charge points across the UK
  • The first subscription-free, pay-as-you-go recharging network will be expanded from a regional to a national scheme with a target of 10,000 charge points
  • Initiative will support vehicle manufacturers, charge point manufacturers, charge point owners and EV drivers

Elektromotive Limited, Europe’s leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charge points, is to create the UK’s largest pay-as-you-go, ‘open source’ network of public access charging stations for EVs, based upon the development of its proven pay-by-phone technology.

The initiative comes as the result of a new joint venture with Charge your Car (North) Ltd.  The new company – Charge Your Car Limited – will expand the existing Charge your Car (North) Ltd network located predominantly across North east England, and incorporate other regional networks and stand-alone units under the well-established Charge Your Car brand.  The goal is to create a recharging network with 10,000 public access pay-as-you-go charge points located across the UK.

To accelerate its rapid expansion, the national network will be ‘open source’, meaning that charge points produced by any manufacturer can be included on the network, provided they use the industry-standard Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP).   Elektromotive, which has an installed base of more than 3,000 charge points making it one of Europe’s leading charge point manufacturers, is developing second-generation back office technology and a new user interface.  The joint venture will create a marketplace that connects charge point owners to EV drivers. 

 For the EV driver, the development and expansion of the Charge Your Car network means it will become much easier to gain ready access to charging points across the UK, and do so without the need to pay a monthly subscription.  It also means that they can locate and pay for the use of any Charge Your Car charge point using their mobile phone or smartphone.
Charge point owners will be able to improve awareness and usage of their charge points by joining the Charge Your Car network – benefiting from the shared branding and ongoing promotion, as well as the integrated billing, management and reporting facilities.  It is intended that the joint venture will establish a fully-managed marketplace that generates sustainable revenues for charge-point owners, reducing or eliminating the reliance on public-sector subsidies.
Charge Your Car is the perfect catalyst for the EV market and supports all the stakeholders with an interest in EVs,” commented Calvey Taylor-Haw, founder and Managing Director of Elektromotive.  “Charge point owners in both the public and private sectors have a way to promote their charge points, generate revenue and manage their infrastructure.  EV drivers have a single access point for recharging that is quick, easy and affordable.  Charge point manufacturers have a company that will help them to sell more charge points and electric vehicle manufacturers have a company that will help them to sell more vehicles.  We are also seeking partners who wish to implement Charge Your Car outside of the UK, establishing it as one of the world’s leading recharging brands.” 

Colin Herron, Managing Director of Charge your Car (North) Ltd, added, “Together over the past two years, Charge your Car (North) Ltd and Elektromotive have collaborated to develop one of the largest and most advanced EV charging networks in UK, with the first rapid charge stations and the first pay-as-you-go charge stations.  The mission of the joint venture is to ensure that EV drivers are always within range of a Charge Your Car charge point.”

Currently, Charge your Car (North) Ltd is the operator of the Charge Your Car electric vehicle recharging network with 400 publicly accessible charge points located predominantly in the North East of England.

While operating the new joint venture, Elektromotive will continue in its role as a charge point manufacturer and infrastructure solutions provider for private and public sector organisations worldwide.

Tata to build Rs 10 lakh EV

India'sTata is aiming to develop an electric car that is expected to be priced below $20,000 (over Rs 10 lakh) in partnership with France’s Dassault Systemes. No further details are available yet.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

No VAT on EVs in Iceland (22.5%)

My friend and determined entrepreneur Gisli Gislason has been working tirelessly for five years to transform Iceland into an emission free transport system. Electricity is already the cleanest in the world, and from tomorrow there is no VAT on EVs saving 22.5%. Iceland could now overtake Norway as the cleanest transport system.

It all started with a meeting we had with the Prime Minister of Iceland at his official residence back in 2009.

Well done Gisli and all the team at Northern Lights Energy.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

London Congestion Charge discount criteria under review

Transport for London is consulting on reducing the 100% discount level for the London congestion zone from 100g/km to 80g/km.

However, while the review is being carried out this year,  no change to the threshold would be carried out this year.

In April 2011, Isabel Dedring, the London Mayor's environment adviser, suggested that all new cars with emissions above 80gCO2/km  could be liable for congestion charge zone fees from 2013.

Currently, fleets have to pay £10 per vehicle per day (£9 if registered for Congestion Charging Auto Pay), but qualify for the Greener Vehicle Dicount (GVD) if a car emits 100g/km or less of CO2 and meets the Euro 5 standard for air quality. A fleet registers the vehicle with Transport for London (TfL) for the discount and pays £10 a year per vehicle.
Orginally, TfL allowed an Alternative Fuel Discount which gave alternatively fuelled vehicles, including LPG natural gas and petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, the right to travel into the capital for free.

However, in October, 2010, it admitted that some new vehicles that did not qualify for this discount had better environmental performance than those that did. The anomaly, which had been highlighted by Volvo’s Emissions Equality campaign, was scrapped from December 24, 2010, and the existing rules were introduced. However, an 80g/km limit from 2013 would result in a large number of sub-100g/km vehicles, currently popular with fleets, falling foul of the new rules.

The quick chargers are coming

There are now more than 30 manufacturers of quick chargers, although you wouldn't know it if you live in the UK because there are only a few dozen in use so far, mostly supplied by my company Elektromotive to Charge Your Car in the North East.

That looks set to change as the early to market Japanese vehicle manufacturers push a new 'chameleon charger', a quick charger that combines 50kW DC charging on one side (for the Nissan Leaf) and 43kW AC charging on the other (for the new Renault Z.E. range).

As we get wiser about what type of charge point is suitable for which occasion, watch out for new networks of quick charge networks that can charge an electric car in under 30 minutes and in most cases fill up in under 20 minutes (as you will never be charging from empty). These will be used to provide confidence to would-be EV owners, as well as enabling extended range journeys and the end of so-called range anxiety.

Meanwhile, most people will continue to charge overnight and at work at 3kW to 7kW (standard or fast charging) and top-up using the emerging pay-as-you-go networks such as Charge Your Car.

GoinGreen launches new M1 Tazzari EV

GoinGreen, the pioneering importer and distributor of the first generation G-Wiz electric car, recently acquired by Barry Shrier's Liberty Electric cars, is launching the Tazzari EM1 in the UK, the Italian styled and manufactured electric car.

As the name suggests, the EM1 is a M1 classified passenger vehicle, compared to its other marque the G-Wiz, which is classed as a quadricycle.

The two seat city runabout is built by Tazzari in Imola, home to the San Marino Grand Prix and luxury supercar maker Ferrari. Its distinctive boxy design gives it the look of a shrunken sporty crossover, while its “ultra-light” aluminium frame is mounted on relatively large 15’ wheels.

The EM1 can sprint from 0-31 in under five seconds; top speed is a claimed 62mph. Four driving modes are available via the touch-screen dashboard interface: RACE brings out the “sporty soul” of the car; ECONOMY optimises the range of the vehicle, with a claimed 87 miles achievable; STANDARD is a balanced everyday setting; the RAIN setting improves handling on wet roads.

The motor is  a lithium-ion battery located under the floor of the car, which can be re-charged in three different ways. Using the standard on-board charger, it takes eight hours to reach capacity when plugged-into a 220v 1.8kW supply. Using an optional ‘Multifast’ charger it takes five hours. With a 380v ‘Superfast’ charger and a three-phase power supply it can be charged up to 80 per cent in an hour.

It is available now via the GoinGreen website for £24,950,

NEVS to transform Saab into electric vehicles manufacturer

Swedish car maker Saab, which became bankrupt in December, has been acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a Chinese-Swedish investment group, which plans to transform the venture into a electric vehicles manufacturer.
Saab’s administrator said Saab will start a new operation to develop and produce electric cars. The administrator said in April that Saab had assets to cover about a third of its debts of £1.2 billion.
Saab employs about 3,000 people, with its main base at Trollhattan, west Sweden, where investment in new electric car manufacturing will be made.

Thursday, 14 June 2012 report on the BMWi brand store in London's Park Lane:

BMW today launched its first ever “i” brand store in London, and revealed that the UK capital is likely to be one of the strongest markets for the i8 plug-in hybrid supersports car when this is launched in 2014.
The BMW i Store, on London’s glitzy Park Lane, opens its doors to the public on 25 July and is focused on the premium carmaker’s sustainable mobility vehicles. These include the i8 and the 2013 BMWi hatchback but also a new pedelec (electric bicycle) concept and a more general insight into electric vehicle ownership. BMW says the Store offers a “completely new brand experience” compared to its traditional dealerships.
“This is the first ‘i’ brand store to be rolled out anywhere in the world,” commented Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing. “It is a very different ambience. I think it speaks…to the type of customers that are interested in electric motoring, and clearly BMW…has an absolutely clear DNA and brand positioning. BMW i is a sub-brand, and so there are subtle differences that become clearer as you walk around here.”

The BMW i Store on London's Park Lane (top) is the first in a small rollout of such showrooms in carefully-selected locations. The store includes touchscreen information tablets (above left) and a living grass wall (above right).

BMW today also revealed its electrically-assisted bicycle. According to BMW i head designer Benoit Jacob, the BMW i Pedelec follows the “i" brand values of cleverness, light weight and electric power.
As a folding bike, it folds neatly into the back of the i3 concept car, where it can be charged up using the car’s lithium ion battery. This gives a range of around 33 miles and a maximum speed of 15.5mph (the legislated maximum for powered bicycles) from the 200-watt motor, which offers power as you pedal.
The pedelec’s quick-folding mechanism is said to take “just a second”, and at under 20kgs it can be carried easily on public transport, offering an easy solution for getting around while the car is charging.
A total of 200 prototype pedelecs will be deployed along with BMW's Olympic fleet, and BMW will be treating the Games as a field trial before volume production.
Integrated approach
Robertson said London could be one of the major cities for the striking i8 plug-in hybrid, which he expects will cost in excess of €100,000. “That car, with the multi-national population of London, is a very appropriate product, and you can bet the London dealership will have a very healthy sales target for it,” he commented.
BMW is not expecting huge volume sales of its electric vehicles, and certainly not in their early years. But Robertson emphasised the fact that emissions targets mean that EVs will increase in volume over time, and he believes that plug-in hybrids will begin to take off in significant numbers between 2015 and 2025. In the meantime, he says BMW is well-positioned to perform strongly against other electric vehicle manufacturers, thanks to its premium brand positioning and its “integrated” approach to manufacturing, sales and customer service.
“We, and the industry, are asked a number of questions by the public,” Robertson continued. “Will I have enough range? Will the car run for many years? Will I need a wallbox charger? How can I get a rapid charge? Can I charge in a public areas? Is there a service that allows me to reserve a charging space? What if I don’t have a garage? What if I want to drive to Birmingham this afternoon? We took on board all of these questions and have delivered a concept we call ‘360° Electric’.”
Robertson said 360° Electric will be rolled out aggressively in all BMW i markets, and that this falls into four key categories. ‘Assistance services’ include vehicle and smartphone information on where the nearest charging points are and what speed they charge at, as well as the reassurance that should there be a problem with charging, a support vehicle could arrive to assist.
Secondly, when it comes to charging, BMW is the first electric carmaker to create its own purpose-built home charging wallbox. Customers will buy this from BMW, who will then install it and even select a suitable green energy tariff where available. BMW will also provide RFID cards to allow customers to utilise public charging posts, and BMW is working with public charging providers to ensure this is also a premium service (look out for our upcoming report on our experiences using the Source London charging network to see just how necessary this is!).

BMW's wallpod charger (top left) was designed and built in-house. Customers who purchase it can have it installed by BMW for charging of their i3 or i8 (top right). The BMW i Pedelec bicycle can be stored in the back of the i3 (above).

Finally, and a potential key to the success of the pure-electric i3 (though less relevant for those with the range-extended version of the car), BMW is developing a package to allow customers to lease a petrol- or diesel-powered car for those occasions when customers need to drive long distances.
Sound familiar?
If all this is ringing a few bells, you’re not wrong. There’s another company that creates “integrated” products, places an ‘i' in the name of its products and decided to reinvent the sales experience with stores focused as much on brand experience as sales. Having grown to become the world’s largest company, it’s no wonder the likes of BMW (and Tesla) are drawing inspiration from Apple.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

62,000 EV sales p.a. by 2017 in Central & Eastern Europe.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a region with a population of over 100 million people and a solid macroeconomic environment, are anticipated to cross the 60,000 mark by 2017 and witness even stronger growth post 2017, generating revenue opportunities for existing and new market participants in the e-mobility area.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan ( ), 360 Degree Perspective Of The Central And Eastern European Electric Vehicle Industry, finds that the industry is expected to reach unit shipments of around 62,000 units by 2017, increasing from approximately 245 unit shipments in 2011 due to increasing demand for convenient, eco-efficient and sustainable mobility solutions predominantly in dynamically developing urban areas as well as due to anticipated optimisation of the supply chain and, therefore, substantial EV cost reductions.

"Rising personal incomes, the process of urban sprawl and changing mobility preferences in CEE are fuelling the demand for new sustainable solutions in personal mobility," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Consultant Vitaly Belskiy. "This will catalyse the development of the EV market until 2017."
Pragmatic enthusiasm is set to be the dominant approach as customers and market participants seek convenient urban mobility solutions which can support cost- effective total cost of ownership over the lifecycle of vehicles, both for private as well as business customers. However, there is still a 35-40 per cent price reduction potential which can be achieved in 2-3 years when it comes to battery technology, which means cost factors will diminish in impact on the industry's development.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the EV market to grow at a phenomenal 151 per cent over 2011-2017. The highest growth is expected after 2014-2015 assuming full-scale government incentives - including CO2-based taxation of new vehicles and the ability to use bus lanes which is expected to appeal specifically to corporate fleets - are in place in most countries across CEE.

However, the lack of government support (especially soft incentives, such as the ability to use bus lanes and free parking) in the short-term is expected to restrain industry growth potential. Financial subsidies are not expected to have a strong direct impact on the industry, yet appear to be necessary in order to catalyse its development at the initial stage.

"When it comes to long-term development of charging infrastructure for EVs, CEE will have to face similar challenges to Western European countries - safety of charging process, network management and financial transactions services, among others," cautions Belskiy. "However, setting up a charging infrastructure in CEE in residential areas, where most charging is likely to be done, will require specific solutions, and only around 7 per cent of CEE's population lives in houses, where garage charging could be an option."

This challenge will increase its impact in the medium- to long-term as EVs are expected to start penetrating the middle class segment. To overcome this challenge, charging station suppliers and operators will have to provide advanced solutions with such functions as advanced load metering and control, if multiple users are connected to the charging station.

"The key challenge will be optimising costs of the charging stations manufacturing, installation and operation in order to avoid transferring high costs onto the customer, which would negatively impact the demand," concludes Belskiy.

Renault giving away 1,000 rapid charge points

Renault, frustrated by the speed at which electric car chargers are being installed across France, is to fund some of the missing infrastructure itself.

A century after French tyremaker Michelin issued road signs to help early motorists find their way, Renault and Japanese affiliate Nissan are preparing to hand out charging stations for installation in public spaces.

"It is not our job to install chargers, but somebody has to kickstart the market," Thierry Koskas, head of Renault's electric vehicle programme, told Reuters. "This cannot be a long-term policy."

The allied carmakers, both headed by chief executive Carlos Ghosn, will give away close to 1 000 fast chargers costing around 5000 Euros ($6300) each, mostly in France. The freebies will go to car parks, supermarkets and other high-visibility public spaces under private ownership.

Among major European countries, the infrastructure delays are worst in Renault's domestic market - France has spent only 5% of a 50 million euro fund earmarked for public charging networks, the company recently disclosed. "France is not really on track to meet the objectives," Renault product planning chief Philippe Klein said. "So obviously it is up to us to stimulate the rollout." Among major auto companies and groupings, Renault-Nissan has staked the most on electric cars, investing 4 billion Euros in their development and production.

Renault has signed a deal with family-owned retailer E. Leclerc to equip 500 of its French hypermarkets with chargers by 2015

France, a vocal supporter of the technology and Renault's biggest shareholder with a 15% stake, aims to build 75 000 charging spots by 2015. Yet many of Europe's 15 000 public chargers are concentrated in Germany and the Netherlands, with fewer than 2000 installed in France.

Concerns are mounting over the country's readiness for the launch of flagship Renault Zoe launch later this year, a key test of Ghosn's belief that electric car sales will rise steadily to claim 10 percent of the global auto market by 2020.

Unlike Renault's existing Fluence and Kangoo battery cars, adapted from conventional models with government and company fleets in mind, the new subcompact is designed from scratch as an electric car and pitched squarely at individual consumers. "Initial uptake of electric cars has been slow," said Tim Urquhart, a London-based IHS Automotive analyst who believes their shaky debut partly reflects the limited choice available.

"The relatively small numbers are explainable but still not comfortable viewing for Nissan and Renault," Urquhart said. "High prices and low levels of infrastructure pose a big stumbling block."

Electric models, which carry a 5 000 euro subsidy, accounted for 0.24% of French registrations in the first quarter. Western Europe recorded 11 000 deliveries last year, less than 0.1% of the region's auto market.

Nissan, 43.4%-owned by Renault, has seen its battery-powered Leaf wilt after less than a year of sales, with volumes dropping sharply after filling advance orders from early adopters. Renault-Nissan's infrastructure push echoes past efforts by Michelin and other companies forced to venture beyond their core competencies to stimulate demand for innovative products.

"Drivers were always getting lost in the early 1900s because maps were not exactly accurate," said Francois Roudier of France's CCFA car industry association. "So Michelin ran this whole campaign for better road signage and directions." In 1910, the company issued 30 000 road signs to local authorities. Earlier in that decade, it introduced maps and guides that spawned the globally venerated restaurant reviews and points system of Michelin stars. "Now the automakers are having to step in because the public sector is moving too slowly," Roudier said. "As people begin to use the chargers they provide, town halls will come under pressure to buy more and provide a proper network."

Friday, 8 June 2012

Slam dunk New York

That's the way to do it.

New York has just committed $4.4m to purchase and install 325 charging stations. The charging stations are supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy and will go to 10 businesses, municipalities and agencies.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Renault announce UK EV roadshow

As Audi cancel their electric car debut (see below), Renault demonstrate their commitment again, this time with the announcement of a UK wide roadshow enabling everyone to see and drive their electric line up of the Twizy, Fluence and Kangoo (but unfortunately not the Zoe as the UK launch has slipped to December). 

Renault Z.E. UK Test Drive Tour 2012 dates and venues:

8 – 10 Jun: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Centre for Life
22 – 24 Jun: Belfast, Odyssey Centre
29 Jun – 1 Jul: Liverpool, Pier Head
13 – 15 Jul: Manchester, Lowry Arts & Entertainment
20 – 22 Jul: Leeds, Briggate
17 – 19 Aug: Glasgow, George Square
24 – 26 Aug: Kent, Bluewater Shopping Centre
31 Aug – 2 Sep: London, Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush
7 – 9 Sep: Leicester, National Space Museum
21 – 23 Sep: Bournemouth, Bournemouth Square
28 – 30 Sep: Norwich, The Forum
5 – 7 Oct: Brighton, Jubilee Square
12 – 14 Oct: Nottingham, Old Market Square
19 – 21 Oct: Bristol, @ Bristol
26 – 28 Oct: Birmingham, Victoria Square

Monday, 4 June 2012

Audi cancels electric A2

Audi has cancelled its A2 EV on the grounds that at 40,000 euros it will be too expensive for the European market.

Quite right too. It is a shame that it is taking so long for the auto industry to wake up to the fact that new thinking is required in order to make affordable EVs.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Robert Llewellyn on range anxiety

By Robert Llewellyn on May 31, 2012 for The, one of the best EV 
magazines you can follow.

In the pantheon of anxieties the world has on offer the one I am most often exposed to in my interactions within the rich and diverse online community is never about the global drinking water shortage, the massive burden of international debt caused by a few gamblers in the banking sector or the current situation in Syria.
The sentence always starts with, “My biggest concern is range anxiety…”
This is clearly on topic – the question will have been inspired by something I have written about my experience of driving an electric car. It’s not like I was asking, “What should the UN do about President Assad?” If the range anxiety comment came in from a President Assad-related article, well, that would be comedy.
I have, however, been wondering where this particular anxiety comes from. Simply due to the scarcity of electric vehicles, it’s fairly safe to assume most of these comments are coming from people who’ve never driven an electric car. They are certainly not coming from people who’ve been driving an electric car without a care in the world. Those people don’t tootle along the M4 and suddenly, without warning, find the battery has died and have to pull onto the hard shoulder. Then burst into tears.

"People who drive an electric car don’t tootle along the M4 and suddenly, without warning, find the battery has died and have to pull onto the hard shoulder. Then burst into tears."

It’s a tedious discussion, but one I have many times a week. The other day I visited a neighbour in the electric Nissan Leaf; it’s hard to discuss your children’s education or the local parish council planning committee meeting when the first thing your neighbour says is, “Oh my God, that is so weird! That car doesn’t make any noise.”
It begs a response and I do my best to underplay its importance. “It’s just a car,” I say, but the question is visibly ready to burst from their lips.
“What if the battery runs out?”
I then try and patiently explain that, although it is indeed possible, it’s never happened to me and I usually follow this up with a question:
“Have you ever run out of petrol?”
If they answer yes, they also point out that it only takes a can of petrol poured in and off they go. All very true, but what if they run out of petrol in the middle of the night, in a remote rural location, miles from anywhere, and they haven’t got any phone reception. I ladle it on – I’ve learned from the many extreme examples of the range anxiety nightmare I’ve been subjected to over the years.
They then say they wouldn’t start the journey without knowing they would have enough fuel.
I do a knowing shrug. I nod my head. If they don’t get the hint I spell it out:
“Just like me – I don’t start the journey unless I know I can finish it. Yes, it takes longer to charge an electric car than it does to pour a bit of fuel into the tank, but it really isn’t a problem.”

"I patiently explain that, although it is possible, I've never run out of battery. And usually follow this up with a question: 'Have you ever run out of petrol?'"

I don’t get range anxiety in an electric car, but I do plan my journey before I start. I think about it for 10 minutes, and that is different to how we use fossil burners. I make sure I’ve got ample range before the next charge point, I make sure I will have enough time to re-charge.
But here’s an example that I hope puts it into perspective: on two occasions recently I’ve been recording episodes of Fully Charged and on both occasions the journeys were way above the LEAF’s range on one charge. I used Google maps to work out roughly how to break the journey down.
On one occasion the outward journey was very possible – just over 70 miles. We would be filming for several hours and the location had a 13-amp charge point I could use. When we’d finished filming, the battery was full again and I drove home. It was exactly the same as using a fossil burner, I didn’t have to do anything unusual but I did need to know I could re-charge while we worked.
The other occasion was more complex – a longer journey (around 97 miles), which I broke with a 20-minute stop over using one of Nissan’s fast chargers. Again, while I was at work, I had the advantage of a 16-amp charge, and four hours later, when we’d finished filming, the car was full. I then drove into London, parked in an NCP, re-charged while I went to dinner with some pals, moved the car when it was full and parked it out of the rather expensive car park, then drove home the next day.
Some planning required, but truly, not that much.
I could come up with dozens of examples of journeys we wouldn’t think twice about in a fossil car but which would prove close to impossible in an electric with the current level of public charging, but they would all be fairly extreme.
Essentially, if you’ve got the time you can go anywhere and, due to newly installed chargers, it’s genuinely getting easier every day.

When I was using the fast charger at the Nissan dealership the other day, another LEAF driver turned up and we chatted for a while. He had just driven from Cornwall and he was on his way back to Lincoln where he lived. He wasn’t in a rush, he had time to stop overnight and charge at hotels, friend’s houses and various charge points he knew about. Yes, it’s currently more complicated, requires some thought and more time. But he’d driven to Cornwall for a few pence, in a comfortable, quiet car.