Over the past twelve to eighteen months, we’ve seen an increase in electric vehicles coming through the doors of our Hampshire car detailing studio. These have included Teslas, (mainly Model 3s), and several Porsche Taycans, together with Audi E-Tron coupe and SUVs. We’ve also seen models such as the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro. So, we thought it might be time to write an article on EVs. And who better to help us with this but Bryan McMorran, Associate Director at AutoEV.
Electric Vehicles – Bryan McMorran joins us virtually as a guest at our Hampshire car detailing studio.
Bryan, how did you find your way to AutoEV?
I only ever had two career choices in my mind when I left school. Those were either to be a car salesman or, like my godfather, a motoring journalist. After spending nearly thirty years doing the former and twenty of those with my beloved brand of Aston Martin, I decided to give the latter a go.
I left the trade when my daughter came along to become a stay-at-home dad, and so I started writing. I was very fortunate to know someone who asked me to write some articles for his automotive culture magazine. From this, I started to get requests to write more and more from all sorts of titles. But it was that initial writing job that piqued the interest of my two colleagues who were looking to start AutoEV, so they asked me to join them and look after the content. The EV market really interested me, so it has become a real labour of love.
Are you a hybrid or a total convert? In other words, do you only drive EVs now?
I drive lots of EVs, and sometimes, I go months at a time driving nothing else but electric cars. However, I still believe there is life in the internal combustion engine. Indeed, I still own a couple of cars powered by fossil fuels. That being said, one is about to be replaced by an EV. I believe that both can co-exist, and there are still some people for whom an EV might not be a practical choice.
What are the most important things for a person who wants an EV to know or consider before purchasing?
The most important thing to consider is how you use your car. Most people will look at EVs and say that they don’t have enough range. But the reality is, very few people need a car that is capable of 200 miles a day. The average commute, after all, is about 24 miles. So it’s about changing your attitude to how you use your car. And for those who do need to drive bigger distances, it’s factoring in charging times, where those chargers are, and perhaps planning the journey a little more.
I’ve been to Scotland in EVs and done a family driving holiday down to Cornwall in another. On neither occasion was the drive any more inconvenient than if I had done it in a petrol or diesel. I factored in taking a break from a long journey where we could sit and have lunch when the car was charging. It gave me a break from a 300-mile journey; it reduced stress levels as it meant I had to stop and take a break from the traffic, and the cost was significantly less than it would have been in a regular car. It’s all about shifting our attitude towards car usage.
How has the market for EVs changed over the last two years?
There isn’t a sector of the market where an EV isn’t on offer. From superminis to supercars, there is now so much choice. And what is fantastic is that you no longer have to say “good for an electric car” as those cars in their respective sectors can stand head and shoulders with their internal combustion competitors. And many more people are turning to them, as can be seen by the fact that the Tesla Model 3 is consistently topping the UK sales charts.
Which EVs do you see as the rising stars in the market and why?
I’m a big fan of Polestar, Volvo’s spin-off brand. Their parent company, Geely, are throwing a huge amount of investment behind them, and the quality of the product shines through. They have now bought Lotus, which shows that they are keen to prove that EVs can be for enthusiasts and not just for the boring commute.
Where there is a great deal of ground to be made up, however, is in the motorcycle market. Very few legacy brands have embraced the EV world, but the one who has is, of all people, Harley-Davidson. Electric bikes make so much sense and have huge benefits to them. This will be an interesting area of the automotive world to watch, and I congratulate Harley for being brave and going for it.
What are the greatest myths around the upkeep of an EV?
My favourite one is when people say that you can’t take them through a car wash, which of course, you can! The batteries are completely sealed and watertight.
Have you had any experience in converting a classic car to an EV?
There is a growing trend to do this, and I think it’s a great way of preserving cars for future generations. We are about to drive quite a few ‘restomods’ at AutoEV that have been converted to EV power. I think it’s an exciting time to try and bring the classic market into the modern age.
All I will say is that I only really approve of it when it is done to cars that exist in their thousands. Porsche 911s, Minis, VW Beetles, etc., are so plentiful that to convert a few of them makes no impact on their value. I wouldn’t endorse converting a Ferrari 250 GTO, however! In fairness, had I not sold it, I would have considered converting my old Bentley to EV power. The biggest luxury you can have is silence and isolation, and so it would have been the perfect car to convert. And the saving on petrol would have been welcome too!
A big thank you to Bryan McMorran for his expertise in all things EV.
If you have an EV, we’d be delighted to welcome you to our Hampshire car detailing studio. From our perspective, a modern EV isn’t any different to work on than a traditional ICE vehicle. Whether you\’re considering detailing services or PPF protection, we can help. Contact us HERE.