Shabaz Mahmood is a 26-year-old from Lancashire on Morrisons Graduate Program. In December 2019 Shabaz drove an EV for the first time by sharing it on Zoom’s EV Sharing Platform.  Zoom’s platform enables current EV owners, councils (organisations) and auto-dealers to share their electrified vehicles, generating a revenue from an otherwise idle asset, provide positive EV experiences to those wanting to make the transition and reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, Zoom’s platform connects customers to public charging and nationwide parking whilst also saving them money on their journeys.

Before we drove off, we got Shabaz’s initial thought on EVs

Greg: “So Shabaz there is obviously a lot of noise about EVs at the moment. What do you know about EVs and following that do you feel they’re important?”

Shabaz: “There is a lot of talk about EVs and you see a lot of Teslas. I think one thing that worries me at the moment is the range and how far you can go. I think there is a lot of talk about the environment and the impact EVs can have because of the air pollution issues and cities doing more to combat this. I think this is where they will play an important role. I don’t think enough is being done across certain places though to drive it from Government and I think it needs more buy-in."

Right then, interesting initial thoughts. Let’s get driving!

First impressions

Prior to driving Shabaz thought driving an EV would feel different to a normal ICE (internal combustion engine) car, as in it would be much slower than its ICE counterpart.

Greg: “If I told you an EV is far quicker than a comparable petrol/diesel car – what would you say?”

Shabaz: “I wouldn’t believe it to be honest with you."

Greg: “So 0-60 an EV is much quicker than a comparable ICE car. The reason for that is that it’s immediate torque, there isn’t an engine process that fuel has to flow through, it’s instantaneous."

Upon driving Shabaz’s perception changed instantly.

Shabaz: “Wow. That’s so much quicker than I expected. Having driven it I can feel it, I can feel it’s quick."

Shabaz: “It’s really nice to drive. It’s so quiet. I drive quite a lot with work and I don’t really like playing the radio, usually the peace is disturbed by the sound of my diesel engine and then the engines around me but it’s so quiet it’s really relaxing and enjoyable."

EVs and the environment

With a Master’s degree in Chemistry, Shabaz was very focussed on the health risks that emanate from diesel and petrol vehicles, recognising that the emissions can have a harmful effect on the environment and us directly as individuals.

Shabaz: “Air quality is getting worse and is getting increasing amounts of focus at the moment all across the UK. You also see increasing numbers of people where masks in cities across the world and an increasing number in the UK. It makes me wonder whether we should be joining in?”

The above coincides with recent news that Bristol is set to become the UK’s first city to implement a diesel ban in parts of the city centre in 2021, in a bid to improve poor air quality and reduce high levels of nitrogen dioxide.

Shabaz: “I think EVs can play a significant role in this since there are zero tailpipe emissions."

You can save how much?

To gain the full EV experience, Shabaz charged the Zoe for the first time at a Polar rapid charger (we couldn’t use the Instavolt charger in the picture unfortunately….. no AC connection!). Shabaz found that this was straightforward and easy to do.

Thinking about his own personal fuel usage, Shabaz estimated that he spends about £250 a month on fuel. If Shabaz was to charge at a rapid charger where the cost of charging a car is approximately a fifth of fuelling a traditional car, he could potentially save himself £200 a month! Even more if he was charging at home. This would amount to approximately a £2400 saving per year! Saving the environment and increasing his savings.

Shabaz: “That’s a huge amount to be saving on fuel every month. I can’t believe that’s what you could save."

A thought for the future

Shabaz was aware that cities such as Manchester and London have large charging networks and that charging infrastructure was growing but felt smaller towns also needed to drive the transition

Shabaz: “There needs to be buy-in from the local Government in smaller towns like here in Blackburn to really drive awareness at a more local level."

Shabaz then raised another question…

Shabaz: “What happens where people live in a terraced house with no offstreet parking? How would they utilise an EV?”

Greg: “Well there are companies enabling EV charging through lampposts as well as chargers being installed in London through a company called Charg:y that provides on street charging solutions that you’ll start seeing more of in these instances but you’re right to really drive the transition you’d need to see a lot more of these initiatives across the country."

Final thoughts:

Shabaz: “I thought it was a really smooth drive, it didn’t feel any different to a normal car, it was nice and quiet and doesn’t compromise on speed. Charging was quick and easy. I think it’s definitely the future and 100% the way forward, especially when you then consider zero tailpipe emissions and the impact this has to helping achieve sustainability targets. You want to know that you are not harming the environment or impacting others through your vehicle choice.

It was a really fantastic experience and sharing is a brilliant way to get into your first EV. It makes so much sense to be able to share and have a positive impact."

Greg: “So next car then Shabaz?!”

Shabaz: “Tesla."

Sorry Renault…… you’re welcome Elon!

Written by the Z Team (10/01/2020)

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