Ouch doesn’t quite cover it. A catch-up bill from Electricité de France (we don’t, ahem, like to nationalise our utilities unless it’s other nations nationalising them) tells me I need to add £1,785 to catch up, while from now the monthly bill for gas and electricity will more than double to a hernial £421. So one way or another we are collectively consuming energy at the rate of more than £5,000 a year.
My wife is quick to mention that I haven’t touched a fuel pump for a very long time and points to the large blue box on the driveway as prime suspect. We’re yet to have a smart meter installed, but I think it will back her up. EVs think your meter is a fidget spinner, but as a refugee with EDF, no electric vehicle tariff is offered.
In many ways I’ve seen the transition to an EV life as a jammy body-swerve from the misery of a life hooked on fossil juice. Our current economic gremlin has certainly gobbled the cherry on that supercilious cake and while forecourt prices continue to abate, the gap between running a car like this and a diesel or petrol equivalent is tightening. I still fly a proud flag for batteries, though I am noticing among friends and colleagues a growing sense of revolt against any assertion that this is the way forward. Scribbled on the back of a tofu packet, my belief is that – especially when it comes to running a properly big people carrier – the financials are still robust, even if the margin on day-to-day savings may be narrowing.
Of course, the best way to insulate against a kWh clobbering is to have better range than this car can offer. A 200-mile day out will necessitate charging away from home, and that’s where you now get hammered. That said, one aspect that’s continuing to top the ‘pros’ column is range. As we head into colder months, this finding might be dented, but in autumn testing the e-Rifter continues to achieve greater distances than this 166-mile range should allow. A 10 to 15% boost on that number is highly achievable.
For school runs, the dad bus remains a hit, too. On rainy days my son seems to collect extra friends seeking a dryer route home. They hijack the bluetooth to play whatever horrible music kids like these days; we cruise around the postcode ahead of a flurry of raised eyebrows. Presumably people think it’s just some old guy with ridiculous musical taste.
On child-free duties, the Peugeot continues to deliver in a way that all-bodywork, no-space SUVs simply can’t. My mother sometimes asks me to collect sewing machines for her – could I pick up a few from an address in Wiltshire? No problem. She didn’t say that a few meant 45. But such numbers are far more of a test for my back than the Peugeot, which gulps them happily. Clicking the rearmost seats out turns this beast into a proper van. I’ll remember this next time the bill lands: the e-Rifter is much more than a car.