One of the great things about owning an EV — which, after seven years of electric driving, I tend to take for granted, until I get back in a dinosaur-fuelled vehicle — is the heating system.
Because it’s independent of the motor, you get heat more quickly as you drive off since you’re not waiting for big chunks of iron and radiators full of water to warm up in order to warm you.
More importantly, though, you can also run the heating (or cooling) without the rest of the car being switched on. Most EVs will allow you to turn it on remotely from an app, and if you do this five minutes before you want to set off, the car is always comfortable, and my old winter practice of pouring milk-bottles full of warm water over frozen windscreens before departure is becoming a distant memory!
In the Tesla, the climate control has various special ‘modes’.
The one we use all the time is “Dog Mode”, which keeps Tilly at a comfortable temperature whatever’s happening outside, disables the internal alarm sensors, and puts a picture of an animated dog up on the main display with a notice saying “My driver will be back soon! Don’t worry, I’m comfortable in here: the A/C’s on and it’s 20 degrees C.” This is to prevent people from breaking your windows to save the poor animal trapped inside on a hot day!
But recently I’ve been experimenting with another: “Camp Mode”. This is for people foolish enough to consider sleeping in their car, an activity made rather more pleasant by having your bedroom well-ventilated at exactly the temperature you want and without excessive condensation on the windows! But it’s still sleeping in the boot of your car. YouTube has no shortage of videos talking about how to do it and the expensive products you can buy to make it more comfortable.
So, for no better reason than that I have to try out all the functions on my gadgets, and it might prove more comfortable than my tent at this time of year, I’ve been giving it a go. More comfortable – yes. More spacious? Definitely not! (If you had a bigger and more expensive Tesla than mine, it would be a different experience.)
But, for your amusement, here’s my little camping video:
One thing I neglect to mention is that just across the car park is a big building with nice loos and excellent showers. That makes a big difference!
I’ll be back there on Saturday night. You can envy or pity me as the mood takes you!