Driving from the past to the future

Yesterday was an interesting day for me: I part-exchanged my old electric car for a new one, and got a vision of the future.

I had a great fondness for my old BMW i3, despite its foibles; we had been through a lot together in the pioneering early days of EV ownership (that is, about five years ago!) But it definitely represented the past, and, given that part of my plan here has been to try living in the future, it was time for a change. Before selling it, I charged it at the new Gridserve Electric Forecourt (and almost had a charging experience reminiscent of the early days!). But everything worked out in the end.

Here’s a video.

If you don’t want to see me reminiscing about my experiences with the i3, you might want to start 7 minutes in!

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Cool! Did you buy the FSD option? (I think Elon keeps putting the price up!)

No, I haven’t yet, though the beta is starting to look pretty impressive.

But until we have an idea of how it will translate to UK roads, and indeed to UK regulations, I’m holding fire!

This world is bizarre, though: while out walking the dog yesterday, I glanced at the phone app, and discovered that they have an “acceleration boost” for sale. If I wanted to stump up £1500, I could reduce my 0-60 time to below 4 secs, and it would have been there before I got home from my walk!

For people who like that sort of thing, this is apparently an impressive improvement, and for a moment I was almost tempted. But since my 0-60 is already below 4.5 secs, I realised that the number of times I would make use of this, or even be aware of it, paled into insignificance compared to the benefits of, say, a new iPad at a similar price!

Intrigued by the blind spotting – difficult to compare i3 and t-3 definitively but your “over-the-right-shoulder” seemed quite a struggle in the t-3?

I like hatch backs, amused you seemed rather sold on promises of the church of Elon?

    I should add, I’m always glad you lead the vanguard – rather fun to see you try decades before I’d buy 🙂

    Large console screen just looks like a distraction waiting to happen? I do wonder what might have been learned from the aircraft industry (I’ve no idea the lesson – just left to wonder at a lack of airplane that would ever consider mixing control and entertainment consoles….)

      Re the screen; it’ll be interesting to see about that.

      It’s arranged quite well: the things you look at often are on the right-hand side (for UK drivers); ie. only a small offset from the steering wheel. And a lot of things that might have required button presses can easily be done by voice; you just press a button on the steering wheel and say “Decrease the screen brightness” or “Navigate to home” or whatever.

      Time will tell, but I quite like not having any distractions directly in front of me when looking forwards. And the big navigation display is certainly better then peering down at my phone.

    Yes, the Tesla’s a bigger car and the visibility’s not as good in some areas. But some of it is just me not knowing the right time to look. Also, of course, it has cameras to help; I’m just not used to using them!

    Re the promises – I guess you mean my comment about the navigation system improvements? Well, Elon has tended to deliver on his promises, as long as one takes the timescales with a pinch of salt!

    By the way, I was exceedingly tempted by the Polestar 2 – a nicer car in many ways than the Tesla and one with a good hatchback. I got one of the earliest test-drives in the UK and liked it a great deal. But it’s a lot less efficient than the Tesla, doesn’t charge as fast, and with the Tesla you’re buying into the whole infrastructure; some of what you’re paying goes to the charging network and quite a lot to the software: that seemed like a sensible arrangement to me.

    Tesla are planning a smaller hatchback for the European market. I think that’ll make sense as my next car, but I hope to keep this for a long time!

This is so cool! Does the dog now get a seat to herself 😉 ?

You are right EV drivers are very friendly. And Tesla drivers a very nice sub-set. (Thank you to the nice Tesla driver who explained the two different cables at South Mimms). They get up early though – the charging points at the gym are all full of Teslas by 7.45 😉

You could do a series of “Tesla Adventures” videos? BTW I thought easy entry was for the less nimble? Is it really for everyone?

Oh, and Tilly not only gets a whole (carefully protected) back seat to herself, she also gets her own special ‘Dog mode’:

enter image description here

I liked your chatty video and the run-down on the old car was entertaining as well as instructive. I hope that you settle into the new tech and that it all works for you. Myfanwy asked whether it was a target for thieves; I guessed that the heavily integrated software might make it rather hard to steal and recharge.


I expect you have been following the (probably Russian) hack of security software. I think the long-forecast cyber war has started. Just what damage will be deemed expedient is something we will have to wait to see….. Consider what would happen if all electric cars suddenly couldn’t be charged, or if their brakes mysteriously all came on at once.
We may have to reasess how safe it is to have everything networked with automatic updates.

Hi Dave –

Yes, that’s true. I hope there’s a way to reinstall from a USB key 🙂 Still, we always have our bicycles…


[…] for those who don’t know, created the UK’s first fully-electric forecourt, which I visited soon after it opened. Like everybody else, I was suitably impressed, so it’s great to see them […]

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