Your excellent article “Is it the right time to buy an electric car?” (FT Money, January 22) presented the tax and cost benefits and emissions benefits of electric vehicles. I am a firm believer that we should switch to electric vehicles for climate change reasons as well as noise and pollution benefits. However, for readers considering these vehicles for business purposes, a caveat is in order about the practical range of pure electric vehicles.
I bought a new Jaguar I-Pace (purely electric) in December. The car is advertised with a range of up to 280 miles. In practice, after a few months of use, the actual range (under normal driving conditions and temperatures) is closer to 200 miles. In addition, the time required to recharge electric batteries is significantly increased if the battery is below 20% or above 80%. In practice, it is therefore preferable to recharge the car as soon as the charge drops below 20% (and to stop when you reach 80%).
Even using a typical UK motorway ‘fast’ charger with a capacity of 120kW, recharging takes 1.5 hours (and most motorway services only have two chargers in total so you have to hope be among the first to arrive).
So, in real life, the car is efficient for journeys no longer than 100 km from home (assuming a round trip), without needing a significant recharge time along the way. As a country, we urgently need to transition to electric vehicles, but readers should understand the practical limitations of current battery and charging technologies before considering a pure electric vehicle as their only vehicle.
Sevenoaks, Kent, United Kingdom