"Being well known as a renowned petrol head, I didn't know quite what to say when Hendy asked me to live with an all-electric Jaguar I-PACE for a week. I mean I know this is where we are all headed in the future but I'm not really in any rush to get there!
Yet, having somewhat reluctantly agreed, when the stylish SUV was delivered to my doorstep I did have a sudden rush of moral pride. Without a home charger I would have to make do with a good old three-pin trickle-charge - and managing your battery power is very much a part of the electric equation.
Working from home I knew that a day in the office would see the batteries fully replenished even with my archaic charger so, with the I-PACE having a range of around 250 miles, any round trip of up to 200 miles wouldn't be a problem. Should any more distant adventures be needed, I was given the full run-down of the charging options by Hendy's electric expert and, with 'Zap-map' downloaded, I was fully prepared to venture forth ...
In the end I never needed to test Britain's still much criticised charging network, but I do know a great deal of effort is going into bringing it up to speed. As it was, I had a couple of 200 mile away days and rushed hither and thither locally for the rest of the week never for a moment having any anxiety about my range.
And this is where electric works so well if it does suit your lifestyle. A charging point at home and one at the office and you're sorted - even if I might still want something with a bit more combustion involved hiding in the garage for the weekend!
As for the I-PACE itself, what I really liked is that Jaguar haven't gone all futuristic with a minimalist interior. It seems that many manufacturers think you have to do away with all the switches and dials to make you think you're driving the Starship Enterprise, but I much prefer being eased into the electric world with a certain amount of familiarity around me.
And so it is with the I-PACE. Switching from my regular Jaguar XF Sportbrake I felt immediately at home and simply needed to get used to a different sound coming from under the bonnet - or not as, of course, it's silent!
I'm not going to bang on about the amazing 0-60 time that the electric crusaders forever love to mention as it's not something you'll ever really explore in a car of this nature but, when it comes to safe overtaking, there's no doubt the instant torque electric power provides will launch you past slower traffic in an instant!
You do need to get used to the deceleration produced when you lift off the throttle and the car regenerates the batteries, gently slowing the car - but then it saves you using the brake pedal quite so often!
Having avoided the Petrol Station forecourts for a week, there was a tinge of sadness when the I-PACE was taken away and there's no doubt if you haven't tried an electric car you ought to. Like me, you might be pleasantly surprised!"
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