Which personalities have problems with electric cars?
Some people buy an electric car because they want a new experience. Or to signal that they are keeping up with developments. Or they want to contribute to a better environment, or to get attention. Or... Anyway, it's a paradigm shift, which not everyone realises. A much bigger change than they thought. Then there can be problems, as I wrote in my article here on LinkedIn - Should you really get an electric car? (June 2023)
Many people are now thinking about buying their first electric car. Is it a good idea for you? Not always - especially for older people who don't want to learn something new. Hmmm. If you don't want to learn the most important things about a new electric car, then of course you shouldn't get an electric car. Otherwise it won't be good. You must learn the most important things about the car and how to charge it in different ways.
The change can be compared to when typesetters in printing companies were no longer allowed to work with lead type. Instead, they had to use a terminal, where they saw the text on a screen. The job went from being concrete and tangible to more abstract. It was the same when punch card operators got rid of the punch cards and their punch card machines. Instead, they got a terminal, tape drives, line printers, etc. Some managed the change. Others did not. They had to retrain because the match with their personality was poor. They wanted to work concretely with their hands and not just with their "head".
So what are the major differences with an electric car? They are
• There are not so many charging points, but even that is improving.
• Charging takes more time for most electric cars, although technological developments are gradually reducing charging time
• The batteries have a lower capacity when it is cold and they also need to be used to provide heat.
• That an electric car is more like a computer on wheels, so you have to like data. But you don't have to be a super expert. It's a bit like Word (Microsoft), which has lots of functions, but most people only use a few.
• Being "monitored" by the car's computer, so you don't make dangerous mistakes. There are of course advantages to this. However, you usually have to adapt to the car manufacturer's approach, i.e. you can't always choose.
• That you have to learn a lot of new things
But there are also important advantages;-) An electric car means that you have
- no internal combustion engine with many components that can break down. It also requires a lot of maintenance. This makes it less risky to buy a second-hand electric car, whose engine is fairly simple and small. Hybrid cars have room for two engines...
• get a lot of good assistance from the car's computer, i.e. not just "monitoring".
• have lower running costs
• contribute to a better environment and the driver gets a better "brand";-)
Then you can add How long does the battery last? Tesla, which I have, has a guarantee that the battery should be able to be charged to 70% up to 8 years. Last year I read about a study regarding Tesla cars. They were eight years old and were still 90% chargeable. In addition, there is an intensive development of batteries and their charging. This will surely mean that batteries and their charging will only get better and better. The day you need to change your batteries, they will be cheaper, and you can charge more.
So how can you manage the differences in a good way? It depends on the conditions, of course. In my case, I have a Tesla Model S, which I bought second-hand. An important reason why I chose Tesla is because its founder, Elon Musk, is an IT expert. IT is the most strategically important competence for an electric car. Tesla also has its own charging network, which works very well. Easy management and fast charging.
As mentioned, Tesla's network works very well. It is even integrated with the cars. For example, when you register your route in the navigation function, it automatically adds suitable charging stations. The function also considers if a station is very busy. It then suggests that you charge where there are several free chargers. But what happens when you are travelling in areas with few charging stations? Well, of course, you must use other providers for charging. Here you can get help from general apps that show several charging networks. In addition, there are several specific ones that belong to a particular charging provider.
When travelling on a longer journey, where charging is needed along the way, it is important not to plan the route only to the destination but to the next charging station. Remember to have a suitable backup. Otherwise, it can be stressful. NOTE! Assistancekåren has a good insurance policy if the battery runs out. Only 250 SEK/year.
Another method is to produce a map of the area where you will be travelling. Then you register suitable charging stations on the map, which makes it easier to make a quick decision on charging strategy when improvising your driving. Otherwise, it can be unpleasant - especially if you have passengers. They may have to wait a lot while you search here and there in apps. Even worse if it's in a hurry and maybe even cold/dark.
That said, it's easy when there are Tesla stations. Usually it is free, but now other electric cars can also charge at some Tesla stations, so it is often more crowded than before. Avoid shopping centres, because many people like them.
Navigating to and finding charging stations will be easier if a passenger is involved. One person drives and the other navigates. A passenger can also assist with other tasks. Of course, this requires some training to make it work. Schedule it appropriately - don't rush it! But of course it can be a challenge if the co-passenger is not so keen on using data.
Charging is a big change. It takes time and what should you do? Of course, the most common thing is to eat and drink, but you may have your favourite places, which can be a great benefit during the trip. A good option is to read - especially if you have your daily media digitally. You can take a walk. And so on.
What has been difficult is when there is no Tesla station. To begin with, there are often different designs for the apps. Not always so educational. You can wonder if the people who have made them have tested them on some "ordinary" people. It can sometimes take 15-30 minutes to get it to work. The worst thing is when it turns out that you can't actually charge at the charger. You try and try. Eventually you realise that the charger is probably not working.
My worst example was in the town Katrineholm. I had a change of plans and needed to charge. I got a tip about a charging station with a very low price. Eventually I realised that none of the three chargers worked. Then I found a newly built station with several fast chargers quite close by. Fantastic, I thought. Couldn't get the first one to work. Tried the second one. There seemed to be problems there too. Then I called support. It turned out that they had no contact with the charging station. Of course, this meant that charging didn't work either. Hmmm. What to do? Found an additional station. Then had to get a new app. It didn't work right away, but then I asked another "charger". He was able to help me. Overall, it has usually been the best support with others at the charging station. The conversation that then arises, during both cars' charging, has usually led to a good and instructive exchange of experience.
One tip is that when you get an app, you should register in all ways before you go on a trip, so you don't have to stand there in the rain/dark and do it then...
Tesla's phone support is very good. They also have communication with your car, so they can help very well.
The electric car computer
It is really a showpiece in a Tesla e.g. the large screen provides an overview. But compared to using a Mac, there is still room for improvement. There are video clips, but rarely how to do the whole chain - from start to finish.
Sometimes strange things happen... Once, when I was going to an airport, the car's computer was "dead". I poked around here and there, but nothing happened. Oops, I thought, how will this end? Then I called support. It was like reaching SOS Alarm. For example, immediately a very appropriate question: Have you lost the car key (it's electronic)? In my case, there was then a procedure to do to restart the computer. Now I have learnt how to reboot and noted how in my smartphone;-)
There are several error messages, for example that a camera is dirty or dazzled, because the Tesla has several cameras. Sometimes you are a little careless with the controls, for example in the beginning I mistook the gear selector and the windscreen wiper. Then there was an error message that the car would stop if I did not adjust the gear selector. That would not have been fun when I was driving at 100 km/h on a busy motorway. You must take it easy...
I once overtook a truck on a motorway and the car braked suddenly. Not fun, but I slowed down. It worked out fine. Probably I had come too close to the lorry or I didn't steer perfectly forward. But it was unpleasant, so again - as an electric car driver you should be the calm type and not panic or become hysterical.
Learning to handle the electric car
There is a lot to learn, but as with new computer programmes - you don't have to learn everything. Tesla, for example, has many videos, but I lack support for actions from start to finish, i.e. where several functions are involved. In addition, it would be good to have information on what you need to learn at the beginning - the most important things you need to know. Otherwise things can go very wrong.
In the beginning, it may be wise to have a small driving school with yourself. If you have a partner, it is important that your partner also learns. It is good if both can learn early on because it gives a better understanding of the driver's behaviour.
For which personality is having an electric car the biggest challenge?
A father in his 60s told his son that he was thinking about getting an electric car. The son quickly replied: You can do that when you start liking to use computers!
So which personality fits with an electric car? Below is the HumanGuide concepts used, the core is a personality test. The underlying theory consists of these factors
- Power, i.e. result-orientated, fast, energetic, enterprising, etc.
- Exposure, i.e. attention-seeking, spontaneous, charismatic, etc.
- Imagination, i.e. creative, novelty-seeking, enthusiastic, flexible, etc.
- Contacts, i.e. contact-orientated, wants to be in a team, easy-going, etc.
- Sensitivity, i.e. sensitive, service-oriented, adaptable and similar
- Quality, i.e. high level of ambition, persistent, long-term, etc.
- Structure, i.e. rational, factual, control-orientated and similar
- Stability, i.e. traditional, security-seeking, economic, etc.
More information about the theory and the HumanGuide concepts can be found here humanguide.org.
One might wonder how different factors like having and driving an electric car? Note that no one has just one dominant factor but several. The factors control what you like and don't like to do. These are your driving forces. Well, values and some other things also influence what you do in different situations.
Anyway, here are my reflections on how someone reacts when they have a certain factor that is dominant.
Let's start with the driving factor Kraft. They like it when things go fast. That could be bingo, because many electric cars are really powerful. Kraft appreciates quick acceleration. Much less hassle with the car. They want ease of driving and maintenance, which an electric car provides in many respects.
The disruption is that they have to plan a lot more compared to a traditional car. This makes it a particular plus for them if a well-charged car can go a long way.
As for those with Exposure, an electric car is almost bingo - especially if you were one of the first to have one. You get a lot of attention with a Tesla, for example. How well an electric car turns out as a whole depends mostly on the other dominant factors in the personality.
For Imagination, it can also be bingo, as the car represents a new paradigm. How exciting to discover everything new! However, it will be the same as for Exposure. It is particularly challenging if they have a low value for Structure.
Contacts can get a kind of bonus from having an electric car, as others may be curious and seek contact. But Contacts are not so keen on a lot of planning and learning. If you have fun in the EV and travelling with it, that's positive.
Typical of the reflective factors is that they don't rush things. They like planning and being on the safe side. But the electric car is something new, so that's a challenge. On the other hand, all the factors have to decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Sensibility really likes the fact that the electric car is good for the environment. It is more silent. No exhaust fumes. Less technology to maintain and so on. The challenge is that it is more computerised, but it is more and more part of everyday life. You can't get away from it, because then you get problems.
Quality, as Sensitivity, likes to be a good citizen. To contribute to a better world. Quality is certainly careful to choose the most suitable electric car, which improves the conditions for the car's use and maintenance. Is well versed in the use and care of the electric car.
Structure acts similarly to Quality. The car's computer also provides more control. Bingo! Structure also likes to use computers and planning;-)
For Stability, an electric car can be a big challenge. Firstly, it is something very new. And it is usually more expensive than a conventional car. BUT electric cars are usually much cheaper than cars with an internal combustion engine. They also have lower maintenance costs. Fewer components can break down. Overall, car costs become more predictable. In other words, there are many pluses for Stability.
When you've read this far and haven't bought an electric car or only have a hybrid (a first step), you must think: Will I like this?
I now "glide" with my electric car... I can look forward to car journeys, which I didn't always do before. It is pleasant to drive. Much more interesting, i.e. not as monotonous. It can be like that for you too, if you accept the necessary adaptation and also do the "homework".
Finally, my personality has Imagination and Structure as dominant factors, so the conditions for the electric car are very good in my case. I even spent a few hours writing my two articles on the electric car and gathered some observations to support them;-)
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