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1 October 2020

Maddie goes electric: episode guide

We’ve teamed up with the Fully Charged Show’s new series ‘Maddie goes Electric’ to give you the definitive guide to ditching petrol and diesel for good.
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DN
Daljinder Nagra

Electric cars are now very much mainstream. With the UK government committing to end the introduction of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035, car manufacturers are scrambling to bring their zero-emissions offerings to market. Which means the choice available to buyers is increasing with each passing month.

Unlike a conventional combustion car, there are a few things you need to think about when choosing which electric vehicle (EV) to buy and run. From ensuring it has enough driving range, to charging it at home and on the road, electric cars require a slightly a different approach to motoring.

To guide you through the buying and ownership process, we’ve teamed up with the Fully Charged Show’s new six-part EV mini-series ‘Maddie Goes Electric’, where BAFTA award-winning presenter Maddie Moate will be switching to a battery electric car.

From singling out a new car, and planning your journeys to avoid range anxiety, to living it without fast charging at home, the series will cover all the potential scenarios you may encounter when buying and running your new EV.

Keep reading below for our episode guide, which will be updated as each new instalment is uploaded.

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Episode 6 – Living with an electric car 

In the final episode of the series, Maddie catches up with fellow Fully Charged Show host Robert Llewellyn to discuss the highs and lows of ditching internal combustion.

From initial research, choosing a suitable model, to wrestling with the UK’s different charging networks – as well as making a few mistakes – Maddie reviews what she’s found both exciting and frustrating on her EV buying journey.

Whatever the challenges, it appears she’s sold on the idea of EV motoring, and states she wouldn’t go back to a petrol or diesel car, despite the teething problems she’s faced.

Episode 5 – Long journeys in an electric car

With a speaking engagement near Leeds, Maddie prepares to venture out on her first long journey in her EV.

Thanks to longer refuelling times and lots of different charging networks to choose from, Maddie finds that her trip requires more planning than it would do in a petrol or diesel car.

Luckily there’s an app for that. Zap-Map is a comprehensive database of the UK’s EV charging locations, which offers live updates on their availability. It even allows for tailored route planning options based on the predicted range and charging connections of your specific vehicle.

Maddie also successfully pays for charging at a rapid charger for the first time, and explains the different methods that networks use, from simple contactless payments, to apps that require registration before first use.

Unlike petrol or diesel cars cars, EVs benefit from regenerative braking, which harvests energy normally wasted when decelerating, and feeds it back into the battery – Maddie gets to grips with it and gives an explanation of how it works.

Episode 4 - Clean energy for your electric car

An electric car is only as environmentally friendly as the electricity used to fuel it. Driving on electricity generated through fossil fuels only pushes emissions further up the energy supply chain.

With Maddie now settled in with a new electric car and home charger, she wants to maximise its environmental benefit by switching to an energy supplier that uses renewable sources.

Which? head of campaigns, Neena Bhati, explains the difference between energy companies that are truly offering renewable electricity – either their own or bought in from wind and solar farms – and those which simply buy certificates proving their customer’s energy use matches the amount of green energy in the UK grid, without actually providing any themselves.

Cutting through this ‘greenwashing’, Maddie is able to find out exactly the tariff she needs to ensure her driving is as clean as possible.

Maddie also explores the idea of generating her own clean electricity from home, including the installation of solar panels. She discusses their impact on both the environment and her electricity bills with Electric Car Home founder, David Lewis.

Episode 3 – Installing an electric car charger at home

In this latest episode Maddie's had enough of trailing wires through her window, so gets a fast-charge wall box installed at home.

From selecting the appropriate fast charger for her car, to getting it installed and learning how to use it, Maddie walks us through the process of freeing yourself from reliance on public charging points.

The episode also explains how you could be eligible for grants that vastly reduce the cost of installation, and how an Internet connected smart charger could save you money by only charging during off-peak hours.

If an electric car isn't right for you just yet, take a look at our expert pick of the best hybrid cars.

Episode 2 – Charging an electric car at home and locally

Things get exciting for Maddie as she takes delivery of her brand-new electric car.

However, with a fast charger yet to be installed on her driveway, Maddie has to resort to a workaround to get electricity to her car. Will feeding a wire through her kitchen window to a three-pin socket quickly become a chore?

But what about utilising public fast chargers? With the help of experts from both Drive Electric and Zap-Map, Maddie get the low-down on how to utilise higher-capacity chargers, the difference between fast and rapid chargers, and also how to find them using a free-to-download app.

Maddie also reports on how a battery car is changing the way she drives, and why she prefers it to her old combustion cars.

For all the details on the different types of EV charger available, and which one you need for your car, head to our expert guide on how to charge an electric car.

Episode 1 – Choosing your electric car

In this first instalment, Maddie begins her research and becomes familiar with the growing range of new electric vehicles in dealerships.

While the majority of battery electric cars are more expensive to buy than their petrol-powered equivalents, a large proportion of new car buyers now lease rather than buy outright. Factor in tax savings and exemption from congestion and low-emissions zones, and the overall costs soon look more reasonable.

But what about changing the way we view car ownership entirely? Maddie discusses new subscription models being offered, which include a choice of EVs to drive, with everything taken care of, for a flat monthly fee.

Narrowing down a battery electric car that best suits your needs can be tricky. Test driving a number of models is the only real way to find out which one you’d prefer. Thankfully, EV experience centres allow prospective buyers to test drive a number of EVs in quick succession, or even live with them for a number of days, to assess how they fit into their lives.

Watch the full episode below to discover how best to make an EV buying shortlist and the other factors you’ll need to consider before ditching your internal combustion car.

Ready to buy a zero-tailpipe-emissions model? Discover which EVs we recommend in our expert pick of the best electric cars.

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