I thought my trusty electric car – a VW eUp! – had a serious problem the other week when it would not charge, and I didn’t have enough in the battery to get it to a VW dealer – an extreme case of range anxiety.
However, thanks to helpful neighbours, I discovered that it was only the charging cable that was faulty, but after 5 years of heavy usage I wasn’t too surprised.
This thickish cable comes with a 13 amp plug, a socket that plugs into the car, and a gizmo with flashing lights; they can be had for a very immodest £200 or so on the internet. Out of curiosity I asked VW what their price was and they said “£780".
With (I thought) commendable restraint I responded that I didn’t suppose they sold many. They certainly didn't sell one to me. Instead I bought a charging socket which is simpler to use.
Meanwhile I see that the rise in electric car sales have stalled. This is for a number of reasons, but lack of confidence in recharging infrastructure (there are too many competing systems, and a lot of outages) is one cause; another remains cost. Meanwhile, where charging points do work they tend to be hogged by hybrids whose owners don't need to use them. This is particularly problematic at the university where I regularly park. Now, where's my yellow vest ...