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Apple Maps have a fairly complete list of publicly available charge points around the world and now give the locations of public charge points on the Isle of Man. The content is provided by Moovility, a smart phone enabled, mobile web app.

EVIOM has worked with Moovility to provide the public charge point data and arrange for those charge points to appear on Apple Maps which is available on iOS and MacOS devices.

Simply search for EV Chargers in the app to display a list of nearby EV charge points, tap one of the map pins to see more information and set a route. Hopefully this will help both local and visiting drivers find an appropriate charge point. Isle of Man charge points details are also available via other EV map apps such as Plugshare, Zap-Map and of course here on the EVIOM map page.

Tesla Model S charging alongside BMW i8
As part of Tesla's Destination Charging Program six charging points at the Isle of Man Motor Museum have been installed. The charge points are free for use when paying to come into the Museum. Visitors can ask at the admissions desk for details. The chargers are all Tesla branded with tethered Type 2 cables:
  • Four of the chargers are wired for Tesla charging only -  these are three phase 32A chargers
  • Two of the chargers are suitable for any EV with a Type 2 socket; these are single phase 32A chargers

These chargers are the first of their kind on the Isle of Man and are a welcome addition to the small, but growing, collection of available charge points around the island.

Please note that all chargers have tethered cables with Tesla only or Type 2 plugs on the end. This means that only Tesla vehicles and cars with a Type 2 socket can use the charge points. This excludes cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander or Peugeot iON etc which all have a Type 1 socket. Details of the chargers can be found on the EVIOM charging map.

I've used the above headline very deliberately. The headlines on local news outlets have been very negative regarding the proposed changes to vehicle duty. Manx Radio went with "Prepare to pay higher road tax", IOM Today have "Car tax hike shelved", Energy FM have the more neutral "DoI withdraws new car tax pricing system" but focus on the increases in the short article. Only 3FM looked at the positive aspect in their original Feb 16 article "Electric vehicle supporters welcome tax slash".

Reading through the proposal there would be an increase for many car owners with vehicles taxed on engine size, if first registered before 1st April 2010, of between £1 and £31. However, most articles and discussions on social media ignore the benefits for owners of EVs, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, classic cars and welfare vehicles. The proposed increases affected older vehicles taxed on their engine size, with those taxed on emissions seeing zero or small increases. Although, strangely, the higher emission band saw a decrease.

The new proposal was by no means perfect but EVIOM were glad to see some progress from an EV perspective, which this blog is unapologetically biased toward.  The existence of modern zero emission EVs had been acknowledged and EVs registered in category 'L' were to pay £0. Whatever you call it, this is a "road tax" and there is the question of whether EVs should be exempt. In answer to that we'd say that once more than half the vehicles on the road are zero and/or ultra low emission it won't be sustainable to have a zero or very low rate of duty. However, we are a very long way from that tipping point and until we get there cleaner vehicles must be encouraged for the sake of health and the environment locally and globally.

The Order was withdrawn by Minister Harmer as he thought the majority of the Legislative Council would vote against it. It would seem that government isn't willing to make changes that could prove unpopular with some and again prove the lack of commitment to environmental issues and reducing emissions.

The Department has outlined the principles behind its proposals and supplied supporting information, comparisons and examples. However, it is clear that some Tynwald Members still have questions, so I am happy to organise a briefing to provide a fuller understanding of the changes and the alternatives

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK

To be clear, EVIOM has at no point asked for EVs to be exempt from paying any kind of duty. What we have been asking for is parity with other vehicles of the same type but propelled by other means. To us it would make sense to categorise a vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf, as category B in the lower emissions band. Once the older, more polluting vehicles age out and are removed from our roads the duty paid for this band would have to increase to maintain revenue for the island's road infrastructure.

Ideally EVIOM would have liked EVs to be categorised by the type of vehicle they are rather than all lumped together. Also, some government documentation states that a driver must be over 21 to drive a vehicle in category 'L'. These are issues the DOI had not addressed in this new proposal, but we hoped this would be the first step.

EVIOM has also been made aware that it's a bit of a lottery when registering an EV or PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), with some vehicle owners paying five times more than others for the same car! It does seem very strange to us that the category of a vehicle for the purposes of both taxation and driving licenses should be open to interpretation.

As always, please leave your comments below.

There are some parts of the Isle of Man Government who intend leasing the right to extract new fossil fuels from the sea bed in Manx waters. EVIOM believe that to do our part in fighting global warming, fossil fuels should be kept in the ground and resources be directed toward renewable energy.

We'd ask you to take a look at the petition below and sign if you agree:

We believe that exploration and extraction of fossil fuels (possibly using fracking techniques) is not compatible with the islands environmental commitments and it's UNESCO world biosphere status.

FOE Media Officer Falk Horning explains more petition

One question we often get asked at EVIOM is how many Electric Vehicles there are on the Isle of Man. We've asked Vehicle Licensing a few times over the years recently we got the figures sent though. It's tough to know the exact number as not all vehicles are Manx registered due to being recently imported or maybe if someone has a UK address a car would be registered there to benefit from the UK's Plug-in car grant. Other issues with counting EVs is that the vehicle categories used when registering on the Isle of Man. Some EVs seem to end up being registered as Category B, some Category L and some hybrids seem to have made it through to Category L regardless of whether they have a plug or not.

All this makes a true count impossible but we can report on the number registered as an 'Electric Vehicles' and Category L. These include cars, vans motorcycles and mopeds all lumped in together.

At present there are 93 registered EVs on the island. There are 63 hatchback cars, 10 vans, 7 motorcycles and 3 mopeds. There are also a handful of vehicles classed as quadricycles and agricultural vehicles along with one very interesting vintage car circa 1916. If the owner of this vehicle would like to get in touch EVIOM would be very keen to take a look. As many makes and models are singular we won't publish a complete list of each but the over 50% of the total are Nissan, 43 Leafs and 8 eNV-200 vans. After that we are into single digits for Peugeot, BMW, Tesla and Renault.

Cars and bikes aren't differentiated, so along with the others we have a total of 10 electric 2 wheelers including mopeds, maxi scooters and the famous Saroléa Manx 7.

Strangely there is at least one or two vehicles on the list that are hybrids of the non-plugin variety so it's strange they make the Category L list but it has become clear that vehicle category can be somewhat hit and miss here on the island. Plug-in Hybrids shouldn't be on this list either and we have no way of knowing how many there are presently. This is a shame as plug-ins are rapidly increasing in numbers on our roads.

It's a small number compared to the large amount of vehicles per head on the Isle of Man. Given many discrepancies in vehicle registration categories, however, it doesn't seem that the count is complete or indeed accurate but does give an indication of the numbers.

If you own or know of any of the interesting or unique EVs on the island please get in touch as we would love to learn a little more about them and you.

EVIOM is pleased to report that the anomaly surrounding vehicle duty for zero emission vehicles has been raised in the House of Keys this week (Tuesday 14th February).

David Ashford (Douglas North) asked the Minister for Infrastructure, Ray Harmer, "what consideration had been given by his Department to varying vehicle duty for alternative fuel cars?" Mr Harmer advised he intends to take a revised Vehicle Duty Order to Tynwald this March. This interim order will address a number of different issues but he did confirm that he proposes to include a zero rating for electric vehicles. Over the next 12 months the Department will carry out a review of road pricing and attempt to address the balance of maintaining revenue with the Government commitment to reducing carbon emissions and incentivise "desirable behaviour". The review will involve looking at strategies employed by other jurisdictions and will include some kind of consultation.

Recognising that Electric cars, or EVs, are the predominant type of zero emission vehicle Mr Ashford pushed for confirmation that all types of alternatively fuelled vehicles will be included in the review and close attention paid to changes announced by the UK Chancellor in their 2015 budget for April this year. From April, in the UK, zero emission vehicles will have a standard rate of £0 but if the list price is over £40,000 they will pay the additional rate of £310 a year for 5 years. The Minister confirmed that he will "take a very close look at what is happening in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom."

It is not just about carbon emissions; it is also about affordability and the commercial sector.

Ray Harmer MHK - on the subject of vehicle duty based on CO2 emissions

MHK for Ramsey Dr Alex Allinson also highlighted the current anomaly of zero emission EVs paying more duty than low emission or hybrid vehicles. Dr Allinson went on to ask if there would be any other incentives to try and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the Isle of Man? Mr Harmer confirmed his Department would be looking at this but warned that in order to introduce a similar scheme to the Plug-in Car Grant in the UK it could cost the Manx tax payer in the region of £300,000.

Those other schemes such as grants could be looked at, but we have also got to take into consideration budget factors.

Ray Harmer MHK - on plug-in vehicle grants

The lack of public charging infrastructure and how this could hamper attempts to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles was also brought up during the discussion by Mr Ashford. Mr Harmer didn't reply with any specific plans in this area but did say that he would like to work with other Departments and the MUA on the provision of public charging as well as encouraging overnight charging when demand is low and off-peak tariffs are available.

I do think it is something to actually work together as a Government looking at both the economic benefit and also the potential new innovations in the future.

Ray Harmer MHK - on the question of public charging infrastructure

Audio from 3 FM article -

EVIOM are pleased this is finally being looked at as we have been highlighting vehicle duty anomalies since 2013. We look forward to seeing what changes will be made in the short term and hope for much greater encouragement of EVs on the island in the long term. If you haven't seen it already I encourage you to take a look at this post on EVIOM entitled EV Disincentives – A Letter to Your MHK a post that outlines what we see as the main disincentives to owning an EV on the Isle of Man and what we'd like the Isle of Man Government to consider in order to encourage the uptake of EVs. In it we ask you to forward this letter, along with a covering letter/email, to your own MHK.

14 Feb 2014 House of Keys Rolling Hansard RHC 
DVLA - Vehicle tax (VED) is changing…


EVIOM has written the letter below outlining what we see as the main disincentives to owning an EV on the Isle of Man and what we'd like the Isle of Man Government to consider in order to encourage the uptake of EVs. This would go some way towards helping meet the island's climate change targets as well as improving our air quality. We'd like as many people as possible to forward this letter, along with a covering letter/email, to their own MHK.

The Isle of Man – Zero Emission Transport

Back in 1996 the island was reported to have the highest car ownership levels in the western world[1] . In the UK alone the increase in the number of diesel cars registered since the year 2000 has gone up over a staggering 3000%[2].

Yet reducing emissions from vehicles by the introduction of zero emission technology is only seen as a “long-term” aim in the government's Climate Challenge Mitigation Strategy[3].

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) technology is now highly advanced and vehicle manufacturers are gearing up to switch to electrified drive trains in the next couple of years.

The Isle of Man is an ideal place for this type of vehicle but we are concerned that, given the track record of previous administrations and despite having a 5-year plan, very little progress will be achieved over this period.

Some of the detail given below may seem extremely trivial but the debate on climate change strategy has been going on in government since the mid-90s and still we have nothing to show for it.

When you read on, remember it is not about money or government revenues but about getting ready and being prepared for a new generation of cleaner, emission free transport systems. But, more importantly, providing a healthier environment to live in. The government has not monitored the air quality for the last 7 years[4] and this should have been done as part of a duty of care and the health of its citizens[5].

We have waited 20 years for the Isle of Man Government to act, let us hope that further inaction over the last 3 years will not be repeated and some hard decisions made very soon.

Purchase Incentives

There is no Isle of Man government grant towards the purchase of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) as introduced into the UK in 2011. Twenty-two European countries currently provide financial incentives for consumers to purchase plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)[6].

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) there is to be a “range of initiatives to encourage the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles”.

Will this range of initiatives include purchase incentives?

Another incentive required is to ensure that all car sales outlets on the island give a commitment to the government that they will allow the purchase and maintenance of BEVs. There is only one outlet currently that sells and maintains BEVs.

Home Charge Points

In other countries the take up of BEVs has been encouraged with an offer of a grant towards the installation of a home charge point. This currently isn’t the case in the Isle of Man.

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) there is only a commitment ‘To investigate the provision of incentives to encourage the installation of charge points in domestic properties” 

Will it really take 4 years for this investigation? We need this type of incentive now to encourage the take-up of BEVs.

Charge Points

When all electric motorcycles were introduced at the TT motorcycle races in 2010 (then known as TTXGP) the government asked the electricity authority (the MUA, previously the MEA) to provide ‘charging points’ for ‘electric vehicles’. They provided three 16-amp ‘Caravan’ type hook ups in Chester Street car park, Douglas and car parks in Castletown and Peel. These were not BEV charge points and were simply an outdoor electricity supply. A modern BEV would have to park for possibly 3 hours at these points to gain a significant charge, that is if they can get to park at one, as they are frequently occupied by fossil fuel burning cars (ICE or Internal Combustion Engine). Added to this you had to register and be given a key to unlock the covers over the socket outlet.

The MUA currently operate 3 BEVs (Peugeot iONs) and DEFA acquired a BEV (Nissan Leaf) and it soon followed that modern charge points (CPs) were provided at DEFA and MUA headquarters and also later in Castletown and Ramsey. These CPs are slow chargers with a maximum 32 amp output, the same as a ‘home’ charger. In 2016 Port Erin Commissioners also provided their own slow CP on their premises.

The initial signage at some of these points designated them as ‘parking’ bays when in fact they were ‘Charging’ bays. This caused lots of confusion, particularly for users of the Chester Street bays. When charging an EV at any of these points the electricity was free and there were no parking fees. Some EV owners took inappropriate advantage of the situation and the reaction of the car park operators (Douglas Borough Council) was to reintroduce the parking fee. So the only incentive here was the free electricity and at the current supply rate, amounted to a few pence over a maximum allowed 3-hour charge period. Why the operators could not just impose a parking time limit, as happens in Port Erin, is not fully understood. In Ramsey, one charge point has a time limit and the other does not.

The charge points in Castletown and Ramsey have proved problematic, both in design and reliability. The two in Ramsey have been physically damaged and the Castletown one was off-line 8 months waiting for parts, which could have been bought from a DIY store!

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the current administration” (up to November 2016) it is stated that “we will commence a programme to increase the number and distribution of ‘fast’ charge points”.

How far has this programme developed and will there be any consultation with BEV owners where these CPs will be situated, so as to avoid the issues we currently have using the existing CPs?

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the following administration” (after November 2016) it is stated that we will “develop and extend the existing network of CPs targeting key strategic locations around the island.”

Again, will the previous problems with introducing new CPs in a piecemeal fashion be addressed? Can we have an assurance that a standard set of guidelines are created with regards to type of charger (slow, fast, rapid), signage, time limited charging and cost of using the service?

Vehicle Licences

Under the old system, before CO2 emission related vehicle duty was introduced, an all-electric vehicle was categorised in ‘Class L- Electric vehicles’ and currently this rate stands at £14.00 per annum.

Back in 2013/2014 BEVs (e.g. the Nissan Leaf) were categorised as Category ‘B’ a ‘Standard Motor vehicle’ and duty was charged in accordance with the information on the registration document. However, the cubic capacity of a BEV is ZERO and the system will only allow the input of a positive number (e.g. 1cc) and this is how they were charged until it was brought to the attention of the Post Office that the cylinder capacity was non-existent. Refunds were applied to all registered BEVs that had been incorrectly categorised; including the BEV operated by the Post Office themselves!

Following the introduction of the CO2 emission related vehicle duty, whereby duty payable depended on the amount of CO2 (g/km) emitted by the vehicle, the licencing department omitted to include all Category ‘L’ Standard motor vehicles in the banding for low emission vehicles. This has been the case for almost 3 years and the lowest category – Band ‘A’ still refers to vehicles with ‘up to 50’ g/km CO2 emissions. This implies 0-50g/km but the department has stated, “in order to have a license based on emissions the vehicle has to have some emissions”.  They are still issuing renewal forms for fully electric vehicles and printing “1cc” on the forms.

There is NO acknowledgement the ZERO emission vehicles exist and this has led to BEV owners paying almost 3 times the licence fee paid by a polluting vehicle.

As an example the owner of a ZERO emission car such as a Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe pays almost 3 times the licence fee as the owner of a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 GX3h Auto or a VW Golf 1.4 TSI GTE DSG and we all are aware of how accurate the emission data is for these vehicles as both manufacturers have been taken to court over this very issue!

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the current administration” (up to November 2016) it is stated that we will “commence work to introduce a vehicle licensing regime based on an initial point of sale levy (from 1st. April 2019) commensurate with vehicle emissions and the existing Manx scheme thereafter.” And “to commit to lowest practicable licence fee for Electric vehicles until 2020.”

Does this mean we will have to wait 3 more years to fix the ludicrous situation where zero emission vehicles pay more licence fee than polluting vehicles?

Owners of BEVs have paid the wrong vehicle tax for 3 years now and it looks like they will only be guaranteed to pay the lowest rate for 1 year. How is this an incentive for anyone to own a BEV?

The DOI’s inability to fix this disparity,  an “oversight” in their words, despite assurances that it will be corrected each year does not inspire confidence that the new “regime” will be fit for purpose. What assurances can be given that this will be a fair system and also encourage BEV up-take?

Reduced cost electricity

As more and more people registered with the electricity authority (the MUA) they offered to change the electric meters for domestic customers to one that offered a dual operation. i.e. the standard tariff from 07:00 a.m. until midnight and then an ‘off-peak’ rate midnight to 07:00 a.m.

This was the ONLY major incentive for BEV owners on the Isle of Man BUT…….

when we say ‘off-peak’ there now appear to be two rates of ‘off peak’ electricity.

The off-peak rate has now been increased for anyone wishing to charge their car whilst other domestic off-peak users continue on a lower rate.

Clearly there is no sense in this either as ‘off-peak’ is well defined and rates should be the same for all. (In fact the lower ‘off-peak’ rate actually operates within part of the peak load times - 14:00-16:00, and this makes even less sense.) I.e. on the lower rate ‘off-peak’ rate you pay less for some ‘peak’ time electricity.

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) part of the ”range of activities to encourage adoption of BEVs and BHEVs …... could include an attractive electricity tariff structure”

It also recognises that “supplying BHEVs and EVs with electricity may be a useful application for spare grid capacity”.

As an incentive to EV ownership, will those who choose to charge their EVs and BHEVs at home, on a domestic tariff, be given a better ‘off-peak’ rate that those on other domestic ‘off-peak’ rates?


This document highlights the current lack of incentives for anyone on the Isle of Man to own an EV. In fact, any small concessions that have been given in the past have been eroded and no longer serve as even a small incentive to own an EV.

The concern is that the government has been slow to recognise the existence of EVs and their important place in the drive to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

A further concern is that the government’s strategy towards significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will not be achieved until hard decisions are made and more immediate action taken, effecting, amongst other things, the take-up of zero emission transport. The plan for the first 5 years, in respect to EVs, needs to achieve more in the short term to encourage residents to consider a change in the type of vehicle they purchase or drive.

A download of this document and a suggested covering letter is linked to below as well as the document covering the Isle of Man Government's Climate Challenge Mitigation Strategy.

[1] Isle of Man Today Article - So, how did we get here 10/11/16 -

[2] SMMT - MVRIS New Vehicle Registrations UK -

[3] A climate challenge mitigation strategy for the Isle of Man 2016 – 2050 section 2.8

[4] - Air Quality -

[5] Public Health Act 1990 section 88 -



TT 2016 is just round the corner and that means another installment of the TT Zero race. Mocked by some, loved by others, you can't argue that the rate of progress these bikes and teams have made since the first electric race over the mountain course in the the form of the TTXGP. Anyone with an interest in the sport or automotive technology can't help but be impressed.

Here's a quick reminder of where we came from. The 2009 TTXGP winning lap by Rob Barber on the AGNI was 87.434MPH and the first TT Zero race in 2010 was won by Mark Miller on the MotoCzysz E1pc at an average speed of 99.604MPH. By 2015 John McGuinness took the Mugen Shinden to the win at 119.279MPH.

This year sees the return of McGuinness and Anstey with team Mugen on the new 2016 Mugen Shinden Go. Victory's sole rider, William Dunlop, will ride the new Empulse RR. Friends of EVIOM, Saroléa, return to the island and have confirmed two riders this year, Lee Johnston and Dean Harrison will ride the beautiful Belgian bike for the one lap race.

The official TT programme shows other entries from the Universities of Nottingham, Brunel and Bath. A Lito TMR (I couldn't find any information on this machine), one unconfirmed machine ridden by Antonio Maeso and an intriguing entry for Mark Miller and Splitlath...

There is also a third Saroléa bike in the list but as mentioned earlier, the actual entries do tend to vary a fair bit between the programme and the start line on Wednesday of Race Week.

EVIOM wishes all the teams and riders the best of luck and is looking forward to a great and hopefully record breaking race.

To find out more information on practice and race schedules visit and listen live over the air or online via Radio TT. The race will also be shown on ITV4 in the UK and IOM.

mua_logoManx Utilities has published the new Electricity tariffs that will take affect from the 1st of April 2016.

The unit price will drop from 16.25 pence per unit to 16 pence per unit for the standard domestic tariff, commercial customers drop from 16.75 pence per unit to 16.00 pence per unit.

Those domestic customers on the Comfy Heat or Electric Vehicle Tariffs will see a reduction of the off peak unit price drop to 7p from 8.75p. Those generating their own electricity will maintain the 8.75 pence per unit buy back price. If your're not already on the Electric Vehicle Tariff then I recommend you contact Manx Utilities. Unfortunately owners of plug-in hybrid vehicles currently can't take advantage of this tariff. EVIOM would like to see this changed.

This all seems like good news, although the daily standing charge will increase from 15 pence per day to 19.5 pence per day for both domestic and commercial customers.

The revised charges are likely to represent approximate monthly increases of £0.85 to the average residential consumer’s electricity bill.

At first glance it seems that EV owners charging overnight on the EV Tariff will see a benefit from these changes.

For full details see statutory notice at: statutory-notice-april-2016.pdf




You may or may not be aware that Tesla Motors visited the Isle of Man recently to meet potential customers and offer test drives in a Model S P90D they brought with them. EVIOM managed to wangle a go.

Lets get the numbers out of the way first. Or rather the numbers and letters. The model we tested was the P90D, that's 'P' for Performance as this model has the more powerful motor in the rear. '90' denotes a battery capacity of 90KWh, it's the 85KWh model with an optional upgrade giving the car an increase in range of 6%. The 'D" means all-wheel drive, one motor in the front and one in the rear with no heavy drive-shaft between the two axles, this means the floor of the cabin is flat and there are no restriction of leg room.

Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.07.09The Model S comes in a range of versions from the rear-wheel drive 70 starting at £51,900 all the way to the P90D at £84,500. Both prices are before incentives such at the UK plug-in car grant if you are able to register the car in the UK rather than the Isle of Man. There are a range of additional options available such as Smart Air Suspension which automatically adjusts itself to the road surface and is location aware so can learn where your steep driveway is and raise the suspension for you. There is also the famous Autopilot feature which allows the Model S to automatically steer within its own lane, it has traffic-aware cruise control and will park for you as well. Our Model S had the acceleration choices of Sport and Insane mode allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60MPH in in just 3.1 seconds, the optional Ludicrous mode decreases this to 2.8 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds. Not bad for a 7 seater luxury car. Range is the Tesla's other impressive number with NEDC claimed figures between 275 and 320 depending on the battery chosen. Take a look at the Tesla Motors website and build your own model S to the spec you want.

The numbers are all very impressive, whether they be prefixed with pound signs or suffixed with the letters M, P and H. But what Tesla Motors have built here is a high quality luxury car with superb ride quality, more technology that the space shuttle (maybe not a SpaceX rocket) and negligible running costs. One potential owner said he wouldn't be buying a Model S after all because of the price of electricity on the Isle of Man. This seems to be the most misinformed reason for not buying a Tesla, assuming you could afford the asking price, so I got out my calculator. If you charged the P90D at the peak rate electricity price of 16.25p per unit it would cost you £14.62 (plus VAT at 5%) to charge from totally flat to full and on that you could reasonably drive around 300 miles. If you can't afford that then you can't afford any car let alone a Tesla!

The car drives so smoothly whether you're in traffic, pootling around country lanes or exploring all that Insane mode has to offer. No matter how you are driving it there are no extra vibrations or noise, something that EV drivers are already accustomed to. The Tesla just turns this up to 11, or down from 11, erm... Throttle response is instant as there's no waiting for revs to build or for an automatic gearbox to decide what gear you should be in. I recently drove a Mercedes C class (hybrid) and was so annoyed by the throttle lag and noise from the engine when it finally decided to do what I told it to do. EVs have spoiled me on this front but this is the 21st century after all. Although all modern EVs have this instant torque and response you can use the Model S as you like without worrying about range due to the size of the battery.

The battery itself is an impressive piece of technology. You can charge the car from a  domestic 10 amp 3-pin socket, giving you a measly 7 miles per hour on charge, right up to the Tesla Supercharger which has a whacking great 120KW DC Screenshot 2016-02-03 21.21.10kick and will give you 170 miles range per half hour charge. The Tesla isn't picky when it comes to charging, the car has a type-2 7-pin socket with a range of standard and optional adaptors allowing you to take advantage of almost any kind of power socket such as an industrial 3-phase supply or a CHAdeMO DC rapid charger such as those found at UK motorway service stations and supplied by Ecotricity. Both the Tesla Superchargers and Ecotricty rapid chargers are free to use.

The interior of the car has everything you'd expect on a high-end luxury car, there's too much for me to list here. The most striking feature of the interior is the 17" touch screen which makes up the centre console.

From here you control most of the car's functions from media, navigation, phone, lights, ride height, regenerative braking and even check you calendar. It's quite an imposing console and I must admit that at first sight it gave the impression of a 60 inch TV in a bed sit. Once you realise that there are no other buttons or controls on the centre console it starts to look OK, much like that 60 inch TV over time. For the iPad generation its intuitive and responsive to use.

The Model S is far from being an everyman car, but this is precisely what it isn't trying to be. Tesla took a top down approach when building cars for the first time with the Roadster then the Model S and soon the Model X. If you were in the market for a high performance yet practical luxury car it would be ludicrous (no pun intended) not to go for the Model S. Just because you have the finances for a car like this doesn't mean you want to throw money away on services and fuel costs. Plus there's the superior feel and response of the electric drive train, once you've driven electric you won't want to go back to 19th century technology. I don't want to get into the debate on whether EVs are "green" but they are responsible for fewer harmful emissions in our towns and cities so that has to be a consideration too and that also means that the Model S is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

I like what Tesla and their CEO Elon Musk have tried to do. They've aspired to create a new car company that doesn't follow the same tired road that the rest do and have forced the established car manufacturers into a position where they are playing catchup. Tesla have made their patents freely available to anyone to try to encourage others to start building credible EVs, it's amazing more haven't as yet. The Tesla model S isn't a car I can't afford to own myself but it's certainly one I aspire to own, that's got to be the mark of a great piece of design, engineering and not to mention marketing.

EVIOM would like to thank Tesla Motors for allowing us the test drive. Especially Jean-Luc and Wendy from Tesla Motors, Manchester South.

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