‘How I charge my EV’—insights from our team

029 Apr 2023

One has owned an EV for 8 weeks, the other, 3 years. We asked for their tips and insights

For drivers who have always owned a petrol or diesel vehicle, refuelling might be an unremarkable activity—simply find a fuel station on your route, fill your tank, and get back on the road. But for drivers who have chosen to switch to EV, the prospect of charging effectively can inspire a host of questions. If you have a busy lifestyle, how can you make sure that charging doesn’t get in the way of your activities? If you spend Monday to Friday in an office, does it still make sense to charge at home? We sat down with two of the bp pulse team to hear about their approach to EV charging.

For Kelly Leigh, Head of Network Commercial Operations, a recent switch to EV from a traditional fuel vehicle has been an exciting journey: “I have had my EV now for eight weeks, absolutely love it, and don’t miss going to the petrol station,” she enthuses. “It took me a while to get used to it, but I’m thrilled I’ve found a car that has great power, and offers a lovely driving experience”. For Daniel Mclaren, our in-house EV Learning Lead, EV has been a go-to mode of transport since 2020: “I’ve been an EV driver myself for three years,” he explains “—and I converted my wife to drive EV a year ago, so we’re now a two EV household.”

“I’ve been an EV driver myself for three years,” Daniel explains “—and I converted my wife to drive EV a year ago".

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With two EVs to charge, Daniel and his wife have found a charging routine that works for them, using a range of approaches to stay journey ready: “I charge at work and using the public network,” he explains. “I also have a home charger, but my wife predominantly charges at home, as she doesn’t have charging facilities at work. We’ve found a balance that works quite nicely for us”. Despite being newer to EV, Kelly has also settled into a routine: “I charge at work or overnight and I always charge on a Friday night, so I have enough for the weekend.” While it takes some adjusting, she adds, it’s worth it: “Having an EV is all about being planned and organised—you can’t just rock up and get fuel in five minutes. It took some time to adapt but I love it now.”

So, is it easier to charge on the go, or at home? Well, according to our team, the choice of where to charge comes down to lifestyle and personal preference. Kelly is a fan of the convenience of home charging, but has also topped up on the move: “I charge at work and at home. I recently had to use the public network as I misjudged my trip to my mum’s, I used an ultra-fast charger and was back on the road with enough miles after 25 minutes. It was seamless, although I was nervous as I hadn’t done it before but all went well.”

Despite being newer to EV, Kelly has also settled into a routine: “I charge at work or overnight and I always charge on a Friday night, so I have enough for the weekend.”

And does our team prefer pre-planned, longer charging sessions, or topping up quickly while on-the-go? Daniel took time to see when he charged most and shaped a routine around it: “I think you start to learn your patterns and as much as I'm a high mileage driver, you're generally doing the same routes, so I charge my vehicle little and often. I could, if I wanted to, just charge it once and that would last me the week.” Today, he adds, he’s sticking to a new-found motto: “A.B.C — Always Be Charging”.

Now, with weeks and years behind each of them as EV drivers, what have Kelly and Daniel learnt now that they’d love to share with people considering going electric? For Kelly, it’s to remember that mileage isn’t the only indicator of battery usage: “My biggest learning was week three of having my car and I travelled to my mum’s. It was 45 miles to get home and I had 40 miles, so with my fuel hat on I thought ‘ah, I will make it’. Little did I know my miles quickly went to zero due to having heating on etc., so I had a very uncomfortable moment trying to find a charger. The car takes you to your nearest charger, which is helpful, but I was very much an EV newbie and nearly broke down in my first month. Lesson learnt for sure. So, plan ahead, don’t leave little miles left on a journey and remember to save energy by turning things off, if you are close to the wire.”

Finally, Daniel shared some positive reflections on overcoming ‘range anxiety’ – a common fear for new EV drivers, who can be concerned about finding themselves with limited battery while on the move: “I've really learned how far a mile actually is and what I mean by that is: I had this perception that I would drive to the local shops and back and I would lose 10 mile range on a three mile round trip and that's just simply not the case. The cars are so good now that you can confidently go on long trips and not have to panic about if a car will make it.”

There you have it. Life as an electric vehicle driver just requires a little planning for on the go charging and time to settle into a charging routine. bp pulse is here to help you stay journey ready!

Today, Daniel's sticking to a new-found motto: “A.B.C — Always Be Charging”.

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