Colin, aka the PlugSeeker, tells us what he’s doing to help people switch to electric – and why charging and range aren’t barriers to making the swap.
Colin’s always been eco-minded – ahead of the curve with things like reinsulating his house, fitting LED bulbs and reusing shopping bags. Over the past ten years, and with the birth of his children, he became ever-more aware of climate change and the kind of world he wants them to grow up in. An electric car was the obvious next step.
‘In 2013 I leased my first 24 kWh Nissan LEAF,’ said Colin. ‘And I was hooked. It wasn’t just about the ecological side. It’s smooth, there are no fuel smells or oil leaks on the drive and it’s nippy for a family hatchback.'
Encouraging take-upAs a fairly early adopter, Colin has been instrumental in shaping and boosting the British electric car market. ‘By encouraging the switch to electric, I feel I’m doing my bit towards going low carbon.’
Realising there wasn’t a single place to find all public chargers, Colin set about adding all the chargers in his local area – and far beyond – to PlugShare, a free app. With many people now doing the same, PlugShare is a great resource for electric car drivers around the world.
And Colin didn’t stop there. He collaborated with Gill Nowell to help build EVclicks, a free online library of photographs of all things EV. And around three years ago, he decided to have a go at making YouTube videos. ‘I thought back to when I started – what questions did I have? And the PlugSeeker was born – mainly to help people who are new to it.’
Fighting fear, uncertainty and doubt
There are a lot of concerns and misconceptions from those thinking of making the switch, which Colin works to address both in his YouTube videos and on social media. He thinks a lot of it is about changing your mindset – and not expecting everything to be exactly the same as driving or fuelling a petrol or diesel car.
‘Charging is a big one. People think that without a home charger, they can’t go electric. But plenty of electric car drivers happily live without home chargers – who has a petrol pump at home, after all? Public charge points are springing up all over. As are other cool new things like Ubitricity lamppost chargers, where you can plug in your car overnight at a lamppost outside your flat.
‘Another one is range. People say, “Well, I can drive my car 500 miles without stopping”. Do you have a bladder of steel? Don’t you need some food, or a drink? It’s not responsible to drive that far without stopping, even if you can. And most people in the UK drive less than 30 miles a day on average – easily within range of electric cars.’