A Very Happy New Year: A Must-Do Item For Your 2020 Bucket List! Drive An Electric Car!

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A Very Happy New Year To All In The e-zoomed EV Community.  We Wish You A Most Electrifying 2020, Overflowing With Magical Experiences!

I certainly commenced the year with one such experience.  Along with a few close friends, we flew to India to tour some of the best attractions the country has to offer, to include the famed Taj Mahal.  Except for me, it was the first time to India for all my friends.  I am confident it is holiday they will cherish for a lifetime!   

If there are two constants in India, it is the chaos and air pollution.  Navigating our way through congested thoroughfares required a skill only incorporated in the DNA of an Indian driver!  Though the chaos has been a permanent fixture for decades, the increase in air pollution is a relatively recent phenomenon i.e. the past decade or so!   

As is the case with the UK and all other developed countries, road transportation has been a major contributor to air pollution in India, as the burgeoning middle-class manifest their economic growth in the form of scooters and internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.  This trend is set to become more pronounced in the decades ahead. 

the Taj Mahal India
The Taj Mahal: India

Bottom-line, it does not matter where on the globe we stand, the increase in air pollution is a dominant theme.  I find myself often distracted by a daydream.  I imagine London with no traffic, except zero-emission public transportation. My imagination is detailed and vivid.  I can see the youthful and joyful expression of nearly 9 million residents of London and greater London as they walkabout in this utopian pollution free environment. Sadly, it is just a dream, but I pray that in my lifetime this dream is translated to reality.  

Though I am not fervent on the idea of ‘new year resolutions’, I do find myself identifying core themes that will guide the year ahead, with a few potential ideas jotted in my diary.  I suspect many of you do the same!  

new years resolution list

I would like to encourage those of you who have never tried a zero-emission electric vehicle to add this to your list of objectives for 2020.   Indeed, I would urge you to try both battery-electric cars and e-bikes.  It is easy to fulfill this objective.  Possibly the easiest objective on your list. You can rent a EV from a conventional car rental company or do a trial with a car sharing scheme like Zipcar.  As for e-bikes, it is even easier, as a number of cities across the UK are fast becoming populated with e-bike sharing schemes, like Jump.

Jump Electric Bike Sharing Scheme
Jump E-Bike Sharing Scheme (London)

In fact, I would encourage you to do a weekend trip away from home.  A road trip that will fiercely dispel the myth of range anxiety.  A trip that will let you experience the thrill of instant torque, lower cabin noise and zero-pollution from the tailpipe.  You will also experience regenerative braking.  These are just some of the advantages of zero-emission driving.  

It maybe the case that you may try this a few times in 2020, gaining real life experience of driving an electric vehicle.  A most prudent way to assess if electric driving fits in your lifestyle.  I suspect, like most, your initial apprehensions will disappear building your confidence to migrate permanently from internal combustion engine (ICE) driving to zero-emission driving.  

We at e-zoomed never push hard on the theme of buying.  Our view is simple.  Where possible, avoid using a personal car.  Take advantage of public transportation, car sharing schemes or simply walk.  If a car is a must, we strongly recommend a pure electric car.  But first of all, rent one, experience electric driving.  

There is no doubt that 2019 was a significant year for electric cars in the UK, as EVs became mainstream.  2020, in our view will be another stellar year for the electric vehicles industry.  A number of key themes have converged to place 2020 as the year of zero-emission driving.  Some of these include:

Ford Mustang Mach e electric SUV
The All-Electric Ford Mustang Mach-e (credit: Ford)
  • Increase in performance and range of EV batteries.  Most new EVs can achieve comfortably 200 zero-emission miles under the WLTP standard.

I sincerely hope that you will not only try zero-emission driving in 2020, but hopefully migrate to electric vehicles.  We at e-zoomed would love to hear about your experiences and share it on the e-zoomed Electric Living blog.  

I look forward to my next visit with friends to India.  I hope we travel in electric vehicles. Happy new year and live life electrified!

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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