Why I, a petrolhead, bought an electric car

Written by Jess Shanahan

Future of Mobility expert writing on electric cars, entrepreneurship, and freelance life.

February 7, 2021

I always knew I’d own an electric car. Ever since driving the Route 57 road trip in a Kia Soul EV back in 2016, I was hooked. There’s just something so calm and serene about running under electric power. I’ve driven all sorts of electric vehicles since then and it didn’t really take much convincing for me to look to the Renault Zoe as my next car.

I’ve always loved cars and motorsport, in fact, I’ve built my entire career around those two things. I still consider myself a petrolhead, though not necessarily because I love petrol cars, specifically. Don’t get me wrong, the growl of a V8 is a wonderous thing but that’s not the reason cars have captured my attention for almost my entire life.

Cars offer an experience. It doesn’t matter whether that’s roaring around a race track on a foggy British morning; tackling a winding road in the Alps at sunset; or zipping through cobbled city streets. As someone who enjoys a road trip, I love the sense of adventure a car can offer but, equally, a car offers time to get away from it all.

As a busy person, my car is the place I go for some time to myself. I turn my music up and have a private karaoke session on every single drive. It’s not about the noise or the grunt of what’s propelling me, it’s bigger than that.

When I define my love of cars like this, buying an electric car feels even more right for me.. If you’d prefer to watch a video of me talking about why I bought the Renault Zoe, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter.

My reasons are actually pretty straightforward.

🌍 I care about the planet

The debate on whether or not electric cars are as green as we have been led to believe is a conversation for another time but, for me, an EV fits with my eco-conscious lifestyle. As a cyclist, I think reducing tailpipe emissions is important for public health, and I’ll be running on 100% renewable energy when I charge at home.

These are big points for me. While I think that a lot of the onus on saving the planet should be down to big corporations and not individuals, I like to do my bit.

⚡️ Lightning quick

There’s a reason I called this newsletter Instant Torque. Honestly, the most fun thing about any electric car — even ones that don’t have blisteringly fast 0-60 times — is the acceleration. Pulling off the line is a pleasure, none of those silly revs to go through to find maximum torque.

This is the reason I chose the slightly peppier R135 Renault Zoe. The 0-60 time is a respectable 8 seconds but when you put your foot down, boy does it go!

🔊 All the tech

Now, I’m not saying ICE vehicles don’t have some great tech but I really love the high-specification models of EVs out there, even at entry level. I think I chose pretty much every upgrade that was available on the Zoe. The thing I’m most excited about is the combo of Apple CarPlay, so I can easily access my Spotify playlists, and the upgraded sound system. My first test drive was a practically a rave.

💵 Saving money

Not only will I be saving on fuel (the Zoe will be around 4p per mile) but I’m saving on tax and servicing too. The thought of not having to fill up a £50 tank ever week or two is VERY appealing.

These four reasons are just part of the decision-making process. I am very impulsive and I tend to follow my gut; the Zoe just felt right.

Once I get it, I’ll be sure to do an update as I get deeper into EV ownership. You’ll experience all the highs with me, as well as the lows. Whether you’re already an EV owner, are EV curious, or are a staunch petrolhead, I welcome you along on this journey with me.

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