Peugeot iOn: Not back in 10 minutes, send help.

Range anxiety begins

Range anxiety is a bit of a horrible phrase, but no matter what you call it, there is no avoiding the fear of an electric car stuttering to a halt as you run out of power far from where you need to be.  It started when the car first turned up, with gags about having to follow colleagues home in case they got stuck on the hard shoulder as the batteries slowly drained to nothing.

After the debacle we had trying to charge the iOn following its first full stint on the road, the car spent some time in the car park as no-one dare risk the drive home. Despite sitting around for a couple of days it still had around half its charge left. I decided that it was time to give it another run out, this time just to the local Tesco around four miles away.

Knowing the short trip was hardly the most arduous of journeys, spent mostly on a free-flowing dual carriageway, I shouldn't have any worries. I was wrong. Before leaving I told the rest of the Parkers team I was going and if I wasn't back in an hour to come and look for me. This was a trip to the supermarket, hardly worthy of the kind of preparation Sir Ranulph Fiennes would be proud of. I just had a nagging feeling and nervousness that I may struggle to cover an eight mile round trip.

Even with the worries at the back of my mind, there's no denying the iOn is incredibly fun to drive. The instant torque and acceleration on offer is brilliant, although the journey quickly slowed as I decided a nice steady 56mph was my best bet of making a return. This didn't seem to please everyone around me though, especially the four 'yoofs' in the black Fiesta who beeped their horn and flashed me a finger.  

As I pulled in to the packed supermarket car park, I had lost just the one bar from the halfway mark, but even this seemed excessive considering my short journey in which - out of concern of power loss - I had no air-con and no stereo on. Amazingly, I did make it back to work - losing another bar of power in the process. This journey was never going to be a realistic problem, but this just highlights the kind of emotions an electric car can cause for the driver.

Current mileage: 678.6