Home Columnists Bob Flavin: The future is an electric one

Bob Flavin: The future is an electric one

Electric is the only way to go
Electric is the only way to go

What drives me nuts is the thought of my car sitting outside the door doing nothing but costing me money.

I pay the tax, insurance and petrol only for it to sit there for hours depreciating. Of course, all this will change in the near future when our robot overlords come and take away our ability to drive because it’s “safer” for the machines to do it.

By this time we will only lease cars to use while we need them and when we don’t the car will head off to serve someone else.

Right now I’m trying to find the cheapest way to own personal transport without having to give over more money for a car that spends 80% of the day parked outside my door.

The only way I can find is to go electric with everything. There are a good few choices out there now but the car I’m testing this week is something entirely new from Hyundai called the Ioniq.

Weird name aside there’s a much more traditional car underneath this electric machine because you can buy this car in hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all electric.

My model is all electric and has a real-world range of about 250kms for a full charge, you could probably make it go further if you drive like a saint and tell the wife and kids to walk. “Sorry darling I’m trying to save weight and improve the range of the car, you’ll have to walk today”.

It’s an amazing feat of entering that Hyundai has gone from not really making an electric car to now having one that has the longest range you can buy in Ireland.

It’s also very quiet, so quiet that they put in a noise maker that comes on below 30kph and sounds a little like a space ship from Star Wars.

My Daughter thinks it should sound like a dragon or go “chomp, chomp chomp” like a cookie monster which is the one I like. How long before someone with the technology gives us various noises that electric cars can make?

While the car might be brilliant there are still some things that don’t work well in the charging system. Take the fast charger down at Midway in Portlaoise as this is probably the newest and fastest in the Country.

The interface is terrible, there are three cables and three possible ways to charge your car. Two of those cables fit my Ionic and yet plugging them in gives me no information on the screen from the charger.

Yet if I plug my iPhone into a Windows PC they both can talk to each other and ask me what they should do. Here I am with two huge bits of kit and neither of them will tell me what to do next. Stabbing all the buttons just results in the charger unit telling me there’s a charging error.

This shouldn’t be happening in 2017 I should be able to pull up and plug in and the machine sorts out what power to deliver and simply sends me a message when the car is full of juice.

EV owners must understand that education is the key but it’s just as important to make the operation as simple as possible. Slow on-street chargers are very straight forward because there’s only one way to charge, let’s try to make the fast-chargers the same.

The Hyundai Ionic is a great car that’s been made to be as clean as possible in the fuel choices, the electric one it the most affordable of them all and I can’t recommend it enough.


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Bob Flavin has been completely in love with cars his whole life and even as a child had an opinion on motoring. Having driven almost every kind of car for sale in Ireland means Bob has a deep understanding of what makes a good car. He owns Ireland’s biggest car YouTube channel delivering car reviews to over 13 million viewers on the platform. He also made the All Revved up show on Midlands 103 his home for over five years, the monthly show on Midlands Today is the most listened to car show in Ireland.