A bit like a good meal, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as the warm glow that comes from a full tank of fuel. That old liquid stuff from a pump.
You’d think it would be the same with a full charge of electricity, but it’s not.
After a whole night plugged into the three-pin socket at home, my test car, the all-electric Peugeot 2008, was 100% charged offering a range of 124 miles.
Even though the battery content was displayed like a fuel gauge I didn’t quite get the same – if you pardon the pun – positive feeling.
As I set off to enjoy my green, emission-free miles, the electronic gauge level and the range miles seemed to drop quickly which did nothing to reassure me and my range anxiety.
It’s a phenomenon experienced by everyone driving an electric car… and despite reassurances from manufacturers, still continues to deter potential buyers.
It’s my fault – not the car’s.
I’ve spent a lifetime driving petrol and diesel vehicles and I’ve never worried about running out because you know that when the warning light comes on, you can be pretty sure there’ll be a filling station nearby and your tank can be topped up again in a couple of minutes.
On the other hand, recharging is a much longer process and that’s assuming the charger is working or there’s not a queue of other cars waiting to plug in.
So driving an electric car requires a different mindset to get into the habit of recharging whenever possible, much like you do with a mobile phone, so you’ve always got spare miles in the battery.
A week driving electric
Having said all that, I got into the way of it in my week with the car, which is the full electric version of its petrol and diesel variants.
From the exterior, there’s little to distinguish this version apart from a small series of discreet “e” badges around the boot and front wings and a slight modification to the front grille.
The latest 2008 design is easy-on-the-eye and the Vertigo Blue metallic and black roof paintjob completed a very attractive package.
When you unlock the car at night you’re greeted with a stunning lighting display with the distinctive three-claw LED headlights… a visual indication of the clever technology which lies beneath the surface.
There’s a 50kWh battery and electric motor which drives the front wheels and delivers plenty of power and torque, and with a 0-62mph time of around eight seconds it doesn’t hang about from standstill with a lively feel to the acceleration.
Through the set of drive modes, you can alter the performance options of sport, normal or eco and you can also adjust the level of regenerative braking.
Good and bad behaviour
It’s light and easy to drive with a very smooth one-speed auto box and the steering is light but I liked it for its accuracy and response.
The suspension is firm on uneven country roads but, when cruising, it is on its best behaviour.
The claimed range of a full charge is around the 200-mile mark but I didn’t get near that, and even if you did by sensitive use of the right foot, it’s still less than some of the competition like the Kia eNiro or the surprising Skoda Enyaq.
Although the ride height is pretty standard, the seating is raised so you get a good view of the road ahead.
I liked the interior layout, which is clean and precise with touch-sensitive buttons and the now-traditional small Peugeot steering wheel has been carried over into this model.
It means you look over the wheel rather than through it to the 3-D effect display and the readout of your speed although, as in every other Peugeot I’ve driven, I found the finger-tip audio controls hidden behind the wheel an irritation and, worse still, a distraction from the road ahead.
Having said all that, the e2008 is still a stylish piece of kit. Apart from a few little niggles and a fairly limited range, it still has some quirky features and oozes Gallic charm.
- Model: Peugeot e2008 GT Line EV
- Price: £34,630 including £3,000 Government plug-in grant
- 0-62mph: 8 seconds
- Top speed: 93 mph
- Economy: 191-206 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km