Driving an Electric Car – My First Time!


Like most us, I love the idea of electric cars. It is, most definitely, the future. No doubt.

They’re obviously far better for the environment, and for our health. But, I’m not a car expert. The workings under the bonnet are a mystery to me, and a lot of the techs’n’specs about cars go over my head.

What I do know is what works for me and my family. Space, comfort and reliability. So, for all the other stuff, I need to rely on other people who know their stuff. Experts.

Fortunately for people like me, Taggarts are a car company offering both the knowledge of electric cars, and the cars themselves. They arranged for me to borrow an electric vehicle for a day to check out the experience for myself.

Electric Car

When they told me I’d be test driving a Range Rover, I was obviously excited, but also surprised. Range Rovers are traditionally luxurious powerhouses. I didn’t equate such high performance vehicles with electric motors, but the Range Rover Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) looked amazing.

The staff at the Taggarts Land Rover dealership had charged the car up for me. They explained to me that the PHEV combines an advanced 2l 300 hp petrol engine with a high capacity 85kW electric motor. It switched between the different modes, or a combination of them, to deliver a powerful combination, with far better CO2 emission figures than its petrol-only counterparts. Apparently, you can charge it overnight using a domestic power socket, or use public charging cables that are popping up everywhere.

I was a little anxious. It was my first time driving an electric car, and my first time driving a Range Rover. The staff put me at ease. I was shown to the car, and set on my way.

Electric Car

It was obvious from the moment that I put the kid’s car seats in that the Range Rover PHEV came with a serious amount of space. My own Ford C-Max fits the car seats in well, but in this car, the kids could actually swing their legs. (It is true that there is a price step up when moving from the C-Max to the Range Rover. It isn’t the cheapest, but the quality is right there for all to see.) The centre seat, between the kid’s two bulky car seats, had enough room for a third person to sit comfortably. This, and the massive boot, places the PHEV firmly in the luxury family car bracket.

Driving the car is an amazing experience. I wasn’t prepared for just how quiet the electric engine is. I powered up the car, and was unsure if it was actually on until I carefully accelerated. Yes, it was on, and smooth as silk. The PHEV’s dashboard oozed quality and luxury. Seat warming controls, an electric speedometer (with the speed limit helpfully displayed underneath), a practical media centre, an impressive built-in sat-nav, video screens / cameras for reverse parking, and a display showing how much charge I had left and what kind of power I was using. The kids loved the full-length electric sun roof. Very impressive.

Electric Car

I drove through the centre of Glasgow where, to be blunt, vehicle pollution is a huge issue. The electric motor performed perfectly with the stop-start of city driving, and opened up beautifully when I switched onto a dual carriageway. You’re high up in a Range Rover. The improved vantage point is reassuring. It feels like a safe car.

We drove in our futuristic electric hybrid to the Riverside museum by the Clyde. The museum details the history of vehicles, so it seemed like a perfect place to visit. I was looking at the horse-drawn carts and public trams and wondered what their passengers would have made of the Range Rover, and the ever-expanding range of quiet, efficient, luxurious electric vehicles we have today.

Electric Car

I’ve taken away quite a lot of my experience with the Range Rover PHEV. Firstly, the staff at Taggarts Land Rover know their stuff. A combination of friendly and knowledgeable is gold when you’re looking for advice. Secondly, electric vehicles are an incredibly smooth drive, and only offer improvements on their old petrol/diesel-only cousins. Finally, I’ve discovered just how refined Range Rovers are. Unfortunately, I had to hand mine back. The kids were not happy!

As I mentioned earlier, electric is far better for the environment. Those using the car for the school runs will find significant savings in only using the electric options. I’ve been left extremely impressed!

Electric Car

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11 Comments

  1. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    I see so many electric cars nowadays. We have a lot more charging points than ever before by our house and its great to see. I’d love to give this ago! It sounds like such a smooth, quiet ride.

  2. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    They look pretty cool! I’m only just learning to drive so I’m a newbie when it comes to cars and all the gadgets 🙂

  3. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    I would love to drive an electric car. It sounds like fun ride.

  4. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    Oh wow I didn’t know they made a hybrid Range Rover how fantastic to be able to test drive one – we’d love to switch to electric at some stage.

  5. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    Electric cars seem to be the way forward! It’s really good they are better for the environment, but from a parents point of view I find how quiet they are quite worrying. It’s harder for us adults, let alone children, to hear them coming and that scares me when it comes to teaching my children how to cross the road safely. Overall, I think they are the way forward though 🙂

  6. 30 October 2018
    Reply

    Sounds like a lot of fun, I haven’t driven an electric car et but I am sure I will one day with most cars heading that way. Fun pictures and great post.

  7. Emily
    31 October 2018
    Reply

    We’ve never tried an electric car but we really want to. It does seem like the way forward.

  8. 31 October 2018
    Reply

    I love the idea of an electric car, but I do a lot of miles and they just do not have the range yet…….I never realised that Range Rover did them though

  9. 1 November 2018
    Reply

    I don’t know why I was not sold on electric cars, I appreciate they are better for the environment, but I doubted their power. Sounds like a great experience.

  10. 8 November 2018
    Reply

    Thanks for this article, Grant! I remain faithful to my Ford F 150, but my wife has long wanted an electric car. I’m a bit old-fashioned and cautious about all the new technical solutions, but your article made me think — perhaps it’s worth testing the electric Range Rover.

  11. 13 November 2018
    Reply

    Electric cars looks so smooth to drive. Would love to drive one soon!

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