Today we were at one of our facilities just outside Ladybank. This was part of our activities for climate week where we took staff and elected members for a tour around the facilities to show them all the good work that is going on in terms of reducing our impacts on the climate.

To get there we booked two of the council’s electric vehicles. One of them was a seven seater Nissan people carrier and the other was a Nissan Leaf.  We wanted our trip to be zero emissions and by using the fleet of pool vehicles we were able to achieve this.

In the first day’s blog, I talked about range anxiety. The trip was going to be going from Bankhead in Glenrothes to Ladybank and then on to Dunfermline to visit our other resource management site.

I was uncertain that the people carrier would be able to do that range so on a trip to Dunfermline on Friday, I choose to give it a trial run. Driving from Glenrothes to Dunfermline and back again used around 40 miles of charge during the trial run with a maximum range of 95 miles per charge.  As a result I was happy that it would be able to comfortably manage the journey without unnecessary range anxiety.

I think the passengers were pleasantly surprised too. There was plenty of space and the journey was smooth – nothing to do with my driving but the electric motors are simple to drive with no gear shifting required.  They can be surprisingly quick too and there was no engine noise to disturb the excited conversations on the return journey for people talking about all the inspiring activities that they’d seen during their trip.

Due to a change in schedule we didn’t make it to Dunfermline but the people carrier still had 65 miles range when we returned to Bankhead. There would have been no issues completing the scheduled journey without the need to charge.  That’s disappointing for me as I’d planned to drop our visitors of at our site and then find a coffee stop whilst I charged the vehicle back up over lunch.  That not only saved me money on buying lunch but it saved the team money too as its cheaper to use an electric pool car than it is to use a traditionally fuelled vehicle.

To paraphrase from Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, I’m writing this blog at the turn of the tide. Electric vehicles are becoming more prominent in people’s consciousness I know the passengers were impressed and they are starting to demonstrate that they are more than a small town car.  There were a few conversations on the journey about whether an electric vehicle would fit into current lifestyles.  I have to say that until I’d bought the hybrid I’d never wanted to drive an electric vehicle.  Now if I have to travel for work I’ll be looking to use the electric fleet over the traditional vehicles.

I’ve been converted and I hope by the end of the week you, the readers, become more open to them too.

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