e-2008 50kWh GT Line
What loopholes does an electric car open?
I wonder how much longer the incentives will last. Someone in the Treasury must be hammering the calculator figuring out how to make up for the shortfall in revenue that will accrue when 50 per cent of the population has switched to a BEV. Fuel duty currently generates £28bn per year, so the stakes are high. The government grant has already been reduced (it’s now £2500 off an EV costing no more than £35k) and soon it’ll go altogether.
Those infuriating smart motorways that are going up all over the country are a likely precursor for a pay-per-mile charging (money not energy) infrastructure.
For now, though, the feeling that you’re pulling a fast one on some starch-collared government mandarin is one of the biggest buzzes about driving an EV. Sorry if that sounds petulant or childish. I drove the e-2008 into London a few weeks ago and evading the congestion charge and then only paying for the first 10 minutes of parking – in a prime spot in Mayfair – was an experience of profound karmic satisfaction.
I lived in central London for many years, and ran the gauntlett of Hackney borough council’s comically anti-car parking tsars and enforcement officers on a daily basis. No-one cared about air quality back then, just funnelling as much dosh as possible into the coffers. (Dosh that I never had any problem with being spent on education or healthcare, but my God did those guys hate cars and their owners.)
Anyway, imagine my smug delight at being able to tell the parking dude that I had only paid for 10 minutes but planned to stay for the permitted four hours because my car was ELECTRIC. He smiled and told me he liked the Peugeot’s shape and colour. It’s possible that Mayfair’s parking people actually quite like cars given the sort of the stuff they tend to see. A Russian woman was parking a Lamborghini Aventador studded with crystals opposite me when I returned, and there were two Aston DBXs further down the street.
The e-2008 is vastly humbler fare but as eye-catching as any supercar or aristocratic SUV. It also continues to blend seamlessly into life as the family car. Well, pretty seamlessly. With a power output of 134bhp, it’s not chasing silly acceleration figures, but there’s enough torque to step smartly rather than erupt off the line. It weighs 356kg more than its petrol-engined sibling, a reminder of one of the realities of electric driving. The e-2008 handles perfectly acceptably despite its relative porkiness, but having established that fact you’d be disinclined from verifying it a second time. There’s just no point. As I never tire of saying, an EV reverses the normal rules of engagement and the name of the game is hypermiling everywhere. (That’s range anxiety’s second cousin.)
It also gives you more time to focus on the car’s foibles, of which there are a fair few. More on that next time.