EV Etiquette – Coffee & Croissants

A few weeks ago, I had an electric SUV delivered (hire car), we thought we’d give it a go. Sparked with enthusiasm, little did I know, that any saving would go on finest petrol station coffees and croissants!

Heated seat anxiety

We soon discovered that the home charger only charged it enough to drive it to the rapid charger anyway. The local EV charging bays doubled as general parking to create an ‘EV’en bigger headache and found myself following my wife in our petrol car to the charging point to leave the car on charge!

On a coldish night, felt like Tom Mattingly the Apollo 13 Astronaut who didn’t fly but painstakingly worked out what could and couldn’t be switched on to bring Apollo 13 home – heated seats and Iphone charging were definitely a no, no. 

But this experience has sparked an interest, you can feel the torque rich power, a gear shift to consider…

Your EVired

That’s it, Lord Sugar says EVs are the future of transport, so it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but when you buy your first EV. Electric vehicles are nothing new, in 1884 Midlands electrical engineer Thomas Parker built an EV in Wolverhampton!

EV power at 2 to 3p per mile is cheaper than traditional cars which cost 11 to 13p per mile to run. Given the average journey is around 25 miles, and 99% of all car journeys are under 100 miles, with EV ranges now pushing 300 miles, it is no wonder EVs are forecast to comprise 40% of cars by 2035. 

But EV demand is waning and could easily be poles apart from Government targets which could result in a number of manufacturers offering attractive deals towards the end of the year to power consumer demand towards UK net zero targets.

The driveway divide

But EV uptake is heavily reliant on public perception, the need for a reliable, trustworthy and user-friendly experience. Two thirds of drivers rely on home off-street charging, whilst 50% of EV drivers say they face significant difficulties relying solely on public charging infrastructure. There are also calls to equalise VAT on public charging compared with home from 20% to 5%.

This raises the ‘Great Driveway Divide’: do I have a driveway or am I trailing a trip hazard? At the very least, an overwhelming majority expect the charging infrastructure to improve with the aim that nobody is more than 30 miles from a rapid charging station (and presumably freshly roasted coffee). With some 80,000 UK-wide charging points, the charge for chargers is on. This number grew 46% in January on a year-on-year basis, and latest plans are for BT green boxes to be converted to EV chargers.

With reports suggesting that overseas investment is heading for a Coventry based Gigafactory eventually producing some 60GWh of power, that’s some 600,000 electric vehicles per year bringing a ‘pioneering centre of excellence’ to our driveways.

The Great British queue

‘ICEing’ is a problem, non-EVs parked in EV bays. But ‘EVing’ can also be a problem, don’t be a bay-hogger by plugging in for a 30-minute quick charge and heading off to John Lewis for a 4-hour stroll. Other EV users also get very upset if you are using the wrong charger when they need it right now, bit like filling up with black when you meant to put green in.

In the fast, instant world we live in, who knew that electric cars would re-ignite that icon of British culture, the queue. Unlike petrol stations (pump system one in front of another), EV chargers are generally side by side and require reversing once finished. This can make for a chaotic approach to securing your EV spot. If all this becomes too much, and you feel the urge to unplug someone else’s EV, don’t.

Battery passports

With fewer moving parts, maintenance is said to be 20/30% less than conventional cars. Concerns about lower resale values, in particular battery condition, can be offset in the knowledge that the battery pack will have a high end of line value. Lifetime battery warranties, potential for battery banks (akin to a Formula 1 style whole battery change) and the million-mile battery have all moved a step nearer with local technology. 

Interesting to note that Eatron Technologies and Warwick Manufacturing Group have merged traditional voltage-based analytics, with cloud based electrochemical models to deliver a 90% ‘remaining useful life’ accuracy. Battery passports here we come!


Some are suggesting the weight of a £16.3bn pothole backlog should be squared at EVs (EV evangelists robustly refute this claim). With the average EV only around a small refrigerator heavier than a normally aspirated car, so cannot be blamed for prehistoric potholes. 

But with the Treasury set to lose £15bn in lost fuel duty by 2029, any savings EV drivers make today are no doubt to be redirected into a government pothole at some point. It has been suggested that EV smart meters be fitted as standard and road duty be charged at an appropriate rate, all collected by the cloud.

So am I an EV convert…

The EQC is an adept SUV coupled with finest levels of luxury and refinement. I would recommend those considering an EV do a ‘try before your buy’ (hire one) as you will need a different mindset. This extends to wet charging, as unlike our normally aspirated friends who fill up under a canopy, ‘EVers’ often have to plug in in the open air exposed to the elements! 

After a weekend in Amsterdam (one of the world’s leading electric cities), am I a convert? – In line with the recommended charging guidelines, about 80%!

Simon Cossey is Dafferns’ Business Development Consultant and part of our Strategic Advisory team.