There and back again... One members epic electric road trip from London to the Isle of Wight

By Alex | 14 February, 2018
Member User Info
There and back again... One members epic electric road trip from London to the Isle of Wight

Electric vehicles are increasingly popular and the answer to sustainable, low emissions and environmentally friendly travel. With a fleet of over 80 electric vehicles, Enterprise Car Club is driving forward the use of this method of transportation.

We decided to check in with Paul James, one of our members based in London, to see how his first EV trip went!

Hi Paul, what was the purpose of your EV trip?

I was travelling from West London to visit family 95 miles away on the Isle of Wight (so a ferry trip was involved)!

Why is it you decided to rent an EV as opposed to a standard engine vehicle?

I wanted to try it out after watching some Robert Llewellyn “Fully Charged” videos, and I love the idea of driving around without emitting any gases!

I heard the vehicles are quiet and zippy, and I knew my four year old son would be fascinated (which he and my father both were!)

Did you identify any limitations of using an EV?

I was very wary of using the air conditioning which I know saps power. The Nissan Leaf has a climate control option where it tries to keep the cabin’s temperature stable using just heat generated by the car and air from outside, but I did have to turn the aircon on every now and again as the windows could steam up. Not had to deal with steamed up windows in a car since I last drove a Golf Mk II!

And of course, the spectre of the battery not having enough charge to get to the next charging point, the next charging point not working or simply not being there, or your next charging point already being in use (both happened to me!).

I thought charging points would be cost free in the main… they’re not! They charge a connection fee and then a charge depending on how much electric you take. Fortunately, Enterprise Car Club cover the costs for charging the vehicle using the charge card provided in the vehicle. This is covered in the low mileage rates as part of my membership.

What were the positive elements of using an EV that were perhaps unexpected?

I did a big drive (160 mile round trip including a ferry journey) and it was like an adventure, with a real penalty of a flat battery and an immobile vehicle if I got it wrong; a good personal challenge and quite exciting if you like that sort of thing!

I also got to meet and talk to fellow electric vehicle drivers at charging points, people even approached me to ask what it was like driving one! I had a great interaction with a car park attendant who directed me to the charging point and guaranteed not to give me a ticket if I needed to overstay! I also updated my Facebook friends as I went and some of them were fascinated.

Of course not forgetting that the backs of high power electric chargers make great hand warmers!

What is your usual purpose for renting with Enterprise Car Club?

My main use is for family outings and shopping trips.

How would you consider using EV’s in the future?

I would use it for shopping or short trips. I’m a Costco member and its Sunbury store has electric charging points and guaranteed parking spaces right next the entrance and exit! I would also do my long journey again though as I know better what to expect!

I’m already looking forward to my next booking and am excited to hear when a greater range of EV’s will be available.

What tips would you give to new EV users?

Here are my top tips for your first EV journey:

  • On the high power charging points they charge very quickly (like 40 minutes) and get to 90% charge, but then slow down considerably (watch the AMPS going into the car).
  • Download the Zap-Map app.
  • If you’re doing a longer journey always have a backup charge location planned in case the one you’re driving to doesn’t work, or isn’t there!
  • Take a piece of cloth to wipe away condensation so you don’t have to use the aircon!
  • Check the in-car user guide to familiarise yourself with the car controls (a copy is also sent to your email confirmation)
  • Contact the Clubhouse through the in-car computer for any help or questions (I had a 5 minute chat with them before my journey)


You can try out your first electric vehicle journey by using the filter option on your vehicle search using the app or website booking tool. Do you have an experience that you want to share? You can email us at