Range may be an issue, but everything else seems to be just perfect
They say electric cars aren’t made for long journeys, but we’re ready to argue that the opposite is true. In fact, we could go one step further and even say that most EVs are actually much more enjoyable to drive over long distances than ordinary petrol and diesel cars!
One of our previous Motor-Vision Award winners has been very busy this year travelling all around England and Wales in an electric car. Lucy won our annual competition last year when she pitched her ‘Are We There Yet Mum?’ project idea, which was made up of a ‘green tour of Britain’ in an electric vehicle to both promote eco-friendly motoring and to also teach her two young sons more about the environment.
Whilst travelling all around, covering a distance of over 1,100 miles, Lucy and co. spent a good amount of time on motorways in their BMW i3s and learned a lot about what it’s like to really go on a road trip in an EV. Visiting sites such as The Eden Project, Kew Gardens and the Centre For Alternative Technology in Wales, each journey was a long stretch, sometimes up to 174 miles in distance!
So, why exactly are road trips more enjoyable in EVs than they are in petrol or diesel cars? Well for one, they’re usually more spacious. Thanks to the differences in the nature of EVs they can usually afford to have more space in both the front and rear of the cars. This is because electric cars don’t have gears so even RWD examples such as the i3 don’t need a transmission tunnel, therefore freeing up space in the car.
Another thing that electric cars don’t need is engines, which gives the manufacturers even more space to play with when making the car. This is why a lot of EVs have a very decent amount of room within them, making long car journeys that little bit less unbearable.
Speaking of engines, one thing you don’t have to deal with whilst cruising on the motorway in an EV is engine noise. It doesn’t matter that you’re driving a powerful Tesla Model S that can do 0-60mph because it doesn’t have a crazy-loud V8 under the bonnet, but rather a set of almost-silent electric motors. The only kind of droning noise you’ll have to bear is the sound from the tyres and of course the noise coming from your kids.
Although engine noise isn’t something you usually think about or even notice, it’s also one of those things that you don’t realise how bad it is until it’s gone. Lucy said, “it literally makes no noise at very low speeds and hardly any until your foot is down and even then, the interior noise is so much less than with an ICE car.”.
One of the major downfalls of driving an electric car can be the small range that they have, with some cars such as older models of BMW i3 having a range of fewer than 100 miles. However, one could even be as bold to say that this is not an obstacle but in fact a good thing. Driving fatigue is dangerous, after all, and is responsible for countless accidents each and every year. Stopping for a 30-minute charging break at some services, having a coffee and letting your car charge sounds like a good idea to us! You could even have a power nap in your car, as your car has a power nap.
One last thing that could also make driving electric cars for long periods of time more pleasant is the smooth, linear acceleration. There are no gears in EVs meaning no shifting is necessary – it’s just push-and-go. With manual cars, you’ll have to deal with changing gears yourself and with automatics drivers have to get used to some slightly ‘juddery’ changes unless you have the latest 7-speed auto. These problems vanish with electric cars as there are no gears whatsoever meaning from start to end, acceleration is buttery smooth with no hiccups, perfect for driving for long periods of time!
Let us know your thoughts on EV road trips in the comments. Also, if you enjoyed this, you can read more about our MVA winner Lucy more on our post here or on Lucy’s own website and be sure to follow her on Facebook as well!
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