I recently chatted to a 56-year-old EV-driving truffle farmer from the Magaliesburg region.
Q: What EV do you drive?
A: BMW i3
Q: How long have you had it?
A: Since 2017
Q: How much did you pay for it?
Q: What is its range?
A: When it is fully charged and set for comfort mode it has a range of 198km. Once you start driving though, depending on how you drive that may change,
Q: What do you use your EV for?
A: Before we moved to the farm, I used the vehicle for all my day-to-day business and personal activities. Now my husband uses it to commute to Midrand
Q: How many km do you travel per week?
Q: Why did you get an EV?
A: Because it’s the right thing to do. I’ve always been intrigued by alternative energy sources and the global movement to cleaner energy sources. I want to do my part.
Q: What did you drive before the i3?
B: Mercedes Benz SLK AMG
Q: What was the biggest thing you had to get used to when first driving the i3?
A: Not using the brake pedal. The regenerative braking takes some getting used to. But it’s a good thing because you pay a lot more attention to your following distance, based on your speed.
Q: What is the best thing about your EV?
A: The fact that it is quiet and environmentally friendly. It’s a zippy, nifty car to drive. And I never have to worry about engine parts and services.
Q: What would you change about it if you could?
A: Range and perhaps a faster charging time at home
Q: What are the typical comments people make when they see/hear you have an EV?
A: “Ooh, is this one of those battery cars?” “Can you drive to Durban in it?” “What’s its Range/ Kilowatt per hour/Speed?
Q: What is the longest trip you’ve taken?
A: Probably a little over 200km in Eco mode. I don’t want to get stuck. Getting towed is problematic. But I have run it down to almost zero … twice!
Q: What is your next car going to be?
A: An EV that comes in at a good price with a dramatically improved range. I’m not going to pay over a million for an Audi, or BMW.