There’s an app for that

Re­port 4 Nis­san Leaf & VW e-Golf £28,390* OTR/£30,575 & £28,230* OTR/ £31,965

Top Gear (UK) - - GARAGE - TOM HAR­RI­SON & OL­LIE MAR­RIAGE

OM: Your car isn’t as good as mine, is it? TH: Not even slightly. A lower-qual­ity item in pretty much ev­ery way. It does ac­tu­ally look like an EV, though, which will no doubt be a draw for some.

OM: Part of me does wish the Golf made more of its e-cre­den­tials. I like the stealth ap­proach, but I’m for­ever hav­ing to ex­plain that, no, there re­ally isn’t a fuel tank in there any­where. You get to look all zany and mod­ern.

TH: Swap?

OM: Not a chance. Any­way, have you got your head around pub­lic charg­ing yet? I signed up to one that costs £7.85 a month. Which seems like hav­ing to pay to visit a petrol sta­tion be­fore you’ve bought any fuel. The idea is that the recharges are then free, but in prac­tice most sites make you pay – al­beit at a low rate.

TH: Agreed. My is­sue isn’t pay­ing, so much as all the dif­fer­ent net­works. I seem to have umpteen e-net­work credit cards, all of which con­fuse me. It’s like need­ing to have dif­fer­ent credit cards for Shell, BP, Esso and so on.

OM: Don’t for­get the apps that go with... TH: Urgh. Don’t get me started. Nis­san’s app for the Leaf is ac­tu­ally de­cent, though. Gives you loads of geeky info on your elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion and so on – much more than you can ac­cess with the car it­self. Is there an e-Golf app?

OM: Yep, and it’s en­tirely point­less. I’m beta-test­ing the PodPoint app, but it’s very ba­sic – all it does is tell me how much I’ve charged up with. I still feel the tech­nol­ogy around elec­tric cars has a fair way to go to catch up with the cars them­selves.

TH: My Chargemaster point has a spe­cial web­site, but no app so far as I can see. I think we need a con­sol­i­da­tion of pub­lic charg­ers, Tesla-style. Wouldn’t that make ev­ery­thing so much eas­ier?

A few months in and the Golf is wip­ing the floor with the Leaf

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