EV driver Q&A

EV driver

What is your name?

Maude Sandham

What do you do for a living?

I work as an actress and director in the film, television, and theatre industry in Johannesburg.

How old are you?

31 years old

What EV do you drive?

I am currently renting an S4 Electric scooter from Cumulus Design Lab. I’m testing it out before buying the real thing!

How long have you had it?

I’ve been driving it now for two weeks – and it is such fun!

How much did you pay for it?

I currently lease it for R500 a week, but brand new it will cost R37500.

Where do you live?

Melville, Johannesburg

What do you use your EV for?

Currently, I only use it for shorter trips to nearby suburbs. I’m new to driving a scooter, so gaining confidence first before I venture further from my home. I use it to go to the shops, the gym, meetings nearby, and to visit friends.

How often do you use it?

Four or five times per week.

How many km do you travel per week?

No more than 5km at a time. I would estimate that I’ve driven about 50 km in total sinceIe started renting it.

Why did you get an EV?

My partner and I share a car but needed another vehicle for days when we both need to get around. We often work close to home, so an electric scooter seemed like a good choice. The rising petrol price has been a factor too. We are also environmentally invested, and while we are still saving up for an EV, we felt a scooter would be a good choice to get us around.

What did you drive before the EV?

Hoverboard. We drive a Kia Rio or use Uber. My partner also often cycles.

What is different about driving an EV?

Well, it is quite fun driving around on a little scooter. I feel far more in touch with pedestrians, cyclists, and my environment. It is of course very cost effective – at R2 a charge for a 65km range!

What was the biggest thing you had to get used to?

Coordinating the charging of the battery with the load-shedding schedule! Hopefully soon we will have solar power so that won’t be a concern anymore. The E-scooter is very quiet, so, making sure other drivers are aware of me is imperative to my safety. It has made me a very vigilant driver.

What is the best/most fun thing about your EV?

The bike is so quiet! My friend calls it “The White Ghost”. It’s a lot of fun startling early-morning joggers and cyclists as I silently zoom past them on the way to work. I also get very confused looks from pedestrians who seem to think my scooter is broken and I am somehow free-wheeling uphill!

What is the worst thing about your EC? What would you change about it if you could?

This scooter is small, nifty, and ideal for what we need right now in the city. But I feel the urge to take on the open road and go on a bigger adventure and for that, I would need a bike with a range of more than 65 km, and a higher top speed than the current max of 45km/h.

What are the typical comments people make when they see/hear you have an EV?

They think it’s really cool! Often people are amazed at the low price of the vehicle, the low cost per charge, and how quiet it is.

What is the longest trip you’ve taken?

Melville to Westdene … ha-ha-ha.

What is your next vehicle going to be?

A TESLA TRUCK! No, hopefully, an Electric car…. Not sure which brand, yet. I’m open to suggestions!

How long do you think it will take till SA has more EVs than carbon-emitting vehicles?

I think growing fuel price demands as well as a definitive shift to solar power are changing the way people think about transport. The growth in app-based instant delivery services has meant more motorbikes and scooters on the road, and I imagine it would be wise and imminent for business owners and drivers to consider this cost-effective and energy-conscious option. However, I think a true shift will only happen come via Zero Emissions incentives by the government to move to solar and EVs.

If you are an EV driver we’d love to hear your story. Please contact us at [email protected]

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