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What does Joe Public make of your EV? Do strangers approach you in car parks? Are they interested? Do they always ask the same questions?
 

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No, hardly ever which is really annoying. I wish the leaf had more of a cool factor (other than to geeks like me). Anyone gone from a leaf to an i3 and found they get a lot more recognition from Joe public?
 

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Range, time to charge, how fast does it go. Anything else is a bonus question.

I love talking about my car but the same three questions get tiresome very quickly.
 

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I have the same questions asked everyday that the Tesla is out of the garage... people have even knocked on my front door :)

It's a way of life and will be for many, many years... the acculturation of electric transport has barely begun :rolleyes:
 

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I wonder what the questions were when petrol overtook electric 100 years ago...

Probably 'where can you fill it up?' :)
 

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I am stopped all the time, by all sorts of folks. Like Harrisop I have the exact same questions:

Q - how far does it go? A - like any car it has a range and it depends on how you drive. Me, I'm happy at the 85 - 90 miles mark before I charge. That works for most of my journeys without a problem

Q- how long does it take to charge? A - The answer is that it depends, but from empty to full is somewhere from half an hour. At home I plug it in at around 7pm and the car emails me to say it's charged as I go to bed. The secret is to look to charge when you're doing other things, so I charge at the office, at the shops when I'm doing other things.

Q- How fast does it go? A- You can certainly lose your licence driving it, but like any car it has a penalty on economy. The difference is with an electric car is that you pay an instant penalty for driving like a nutter and it's not masked in a tank full of fuel. What's much more fun than top speed is the instant torque you get and what that means at the lights.
 

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I wonder what the questions were when petrol overtook electric 100 years ago...

Probably 'where can you fill it up?' :)

Yes, I often joke about:

Imagine when the Model T came out a driver meeting someone with a horse:

Horse Man "How far does it go before you have to feed it"
Car Man "Well, depends on how I drive . . ."
Horse Man "How do you feed it?"
Car Man "I need to find a petrol pump"
Horse Man "Where are those?"
Car Man "Well, not many right now but they are becoming more common"
Horse Man "What happens if you run out of petrol"
Car Man "It stops and I get stuck"
Horse Man "That'll never catch on. If my horse gets tired or hungry, I stop and he eats the grass at the side of the road"
 

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Other ones I get:

Q - "Ooo, but what happens if you get stuck in a traffic jam?" A- "Nothing. If the car is not going forward then it is not using electricity. I bet if you have a low tank of petrol and get stuck in a jam that's a worry isn't it?"

Q - "What happens if you do run out of electricity?" A - "What's the WORST that can happen? I pull over and call the AA. They pick me up and take me to a charger, but in reality I'd also be able to beg a charge from a pub or something" In over 7,000 miles of driving this thing it's not happened"
 

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I've had a couple of conversations when using rapids, and the postman expressed an interest when I first got the car.

My most bizarre one was this past weekend - Jehovah's Witnesses called, and politely accepted my stated lack of belief (that's a bit of an understatement), then turned the conversation to the car and our solar panels. A few minutes into that conversation and they managed a very clever segue back into the bible... I was begrudgingly impressed to be honest (though only for a few minutes before I dismissed them a little more firmly).
 

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I've had a couple of conversations when using rapids, and the postman expressed an interest when I first got the car.

My most bizarre one was this past weekend - Jehovah's Witnesses called, and politely accepted my stated lack of belief (that's a bit of an understatement), then turned the conversation to the car and our solar panels. A few minutes into that conversation and they managed a very clever segue back into the bible... I was begrudgingly impressed to be honest (though only for a few minutes before I dismissed them a little more firmly).
That's genius, got to tip your hat to them for coming full circle and getting back on topic ;)
 

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I have been stopped by taxi drivers when charging and also by the builders where I love as most people seem to be intrigued by seeing a real life Ampera out in the wild ;)
 

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I've not had any 'Joe Public' conversations because I don't really use public charging but I had an amusing chat at a petrol station this week.

Not so long ago I was commuting 80 miles a day and stopping to refuel every 4 days so I know the local petrol station guys quite well. I filled up, went in and

him "Is that it, just £6?"
me "It's not a full tank full"
him "Oh, what would that be?"
me "£10" *sheepish grin*
him "Really? how does that work then?"
me "Well, I'm not really supposed to use petrol, it's an electric car"
him : Looking a bit hacked off
me "They aren't that common, you probably won't see many of them"

Awkward !

I think I need to find a petrol station with card payment at the pumps.
 

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Q - "Ooo, but what happens if you get stuck in a traffic jam?" A- "Nothing. If the car is not going forward then it is not using electricity. I bet if you have a low tank of petrol and get stuck in a jam that's a worry isn't it?"
That's a good one, I was driving back from Leicester to Manchester and a work colleague who had left an hour before me called me to say the traffic on the M6 was 40mph all the way and would I be alright. He seemed very surprised when I said great I won't need to stop for a quick charge then since I could easily make it the rest of th way home at 40mph.
 

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I've had quite a few questions in various places I've parked (never used a public charger). The familiar "how far does it go", of course. "How much does one cost?" being another common one.

And I've noticed an awful lot of staring. And quite a bit of pointing. And one small boy saying "wow" loudly and pointing.
 

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I get questions almost every time I'm out. Range, how long to charge and so on. Lot's of people who know lots more than me about EVs (yeah right) telling me how I'll need to replace my batteries after 50k miles (hope not as I've done about 30k so far in 18 months).

One theme that recurs is that the perception is that you must charge until "full" before setting off thus necessitating hours of waiting (if on a type 2 post for example). They can't get their head around it when I say things like "I'll have enough charge by the time I get back from the shops" or "I only need 5 mins on this rapid charger to get me home"

The one I always ping straight back to them is (when asked does the extra cost of the car compared to a petrol car not cancel out the savings) is "what car should I compare it to?". I was going to buy a Qashqai Tekna until I bought my Leaf. It would have cost me £10 more per month on a PCP so I'm quids in.

I think this argument is only valid for Hybrid versions of ICE cars where you can make a direct comparison.
 

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In my Ampera I can only remember one case where I was not at home where someone came and asked me about it. At home, I've had many callers and tradesmen remark on the fact that they saw it's electric (obvious because its plugged in!) and we've had a chat. They've been very interested , similar sort of questions to previous posters, and a couple have even been fairly knowledgable which was a surprise. I have theory that the reason I've so rarely been approached out and about is that at first glance its not at all obvious the Ampera is not a normal car - it has a front end that looks similar to an Astra or Insignia - and as I don't charge up in public places it doesn't attract attention unless they take a close look.

I am constantly surprised by not getting a second glance when I pull silently away from pedestrians in a car park or street! I would have thought the quietness might have drawn a glance but no!
 
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Ok, that was a first! Charging at Durham a retired gent on a motorbike was taking an interest in the charger so I said. 'Have you seen one charging before? Any questions?'
His response was 'Don't speak to me. It's all a con don't you know where the electricity is from'
The ecotricity solar/wind pitch didn't go down very well either. Caught him off guard with the saving £150 per month line but he said he didn't know anything about the economics and started to lecture me on what nasty things go into electric motors.

In the end I at least got him chatting about his motorbike. I don't think he'll ever think EVs are a good idea but hopefully I changed his perception of EV drivers that we are just normal people.

Still I think I'll be a bit more cautious with my opening line in future.
 
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