Chevin’s Managing Director, Ashley Sowerby, provides new insight on his Tesla driving experience


ashley sowerby electric vehicle tesla EV

Regular readers will recall that I have promised to write regular updates on driving for business with my electric company vehicle, the Tesla model S.

It’s fair to say that taking the plunge into actually using an EV was a step into the unknown. Would it live up to expectations? How would it perform? Would the range, lower than petrol or diesel, prove to be an issue?

Well, I’m now six months into EV ownership and if anything, I’m feeling more positive about the experience than ever. I’ve long been a supporter of low-emission technology and since driving the EV I have become resolute in my conviction that this is the motive power of the future.

Range has proven to simply not be an issue. I wake each morning to a “full tank”, the majority of my trips don’t even require a fuel stop – and for those that are slightly longer I simply let the in-built Sat-Nav work out when and where I need to charge. The vehicle is quiet and relaxing to drive and passengers who are riding in an EV for the first time are uniformly wowed by the technology.

One outstanding feature of the Tesla is the way in which the semi-autmonomous features are regularly upgraded – something that happens overnight in the same way as your smartphone updates. There have been at least three new versions of the software since I took delivery of the car, with the latest update enabling the Tesla to “see” two cars ahead – allowing for a bit more reaction time should a situation occur.

Interestingly, Tesla are promising full autonomy by 2017, which is something I am very much looking forward to trying.

Another element of EV ownership is that you do get the pleasing feeling that you are in the vanguard of a revolution. For example, Nottingham – a city just a few miles down the road from our Derbyshire head office – is introducing express lanes to encourage EV ownership.

And in a new survey by Go Ultra Low, 69% of company car drivers said that they would consider an EV as their next company car, which is a strikingly high number.

If just a fraction of these drivers do choose an EV in the next few years, we believe the real challenge will be how to manage the transition from a traditional to an electric-centric fleet – something that many managers are now starting to consider.