Updated: May 1
Happy Earth Day! Are you considering adopting an electric vehicle but unsure of what to expect? We spoke to Michele Bouquet, owner of her new MINI electric, to find out about her journey to driving green.
QN: What were your first thoughts about your MINI Electric?
I was a bit scared at first, it's different, like the way it works. But actually, after a while, it was very easy. I really enjoyed it.
When I tried the MINI Electric, the thing that was really making the switch for me was that it was even more fun. So it's not just about the environment, I mean, you need to enjoy the ride as well. As a driver, if you enjoy driving and if you like MINI already as a brand, then naturally you want to still enjoy this ride. There's also an aspect of cost, it's so much cheaper. You do one full charge at a hundred per cent, you'll have 160 kilometres.
So in the beginning, I was a bit nervous because I'm thinking I'm fairly busy, I always go about and I don't have the time to think about charging the car. How does it work? You know, which apps do you need to know? Where to charge? And there's a whole community actually under an app which is called 'PlugShare' where you can see what's happening.
There are many apps, there's 'Greenlots' and 'SP Apps'. But the 'PlugShare' app allows every driver, no matter which model and where they charge their car and how? To actually see the charging points and leave comments as well. So you can know, "oh, this has got four reviews of people who have tried it and it's not working." And so we help each other, it's a little bit like 'Waze', community-driven, it's the same thing.
And I think also it takes a period of time as a driver to know your pattern. In the beginning, I was just charging for a charging purpose, and then I realized, "wait a second, I might do something else as I'm charging, why am I just waiting there or feeling like I need to take the bus to go back home and come back again? I can do work!"
So I ended up doing things in the car, which I didn't think of doing before. Just move my seat back, charge my phone and have internet hotspots, and ZOOM in my car.
QN: What does someone who is thinking of making the switch to an EV need to know?
It's a shift, it's a change of behaviour, but it's also like you have to believe that it works and the fact that there's a community behind it means that surely if everyone else is doing it and it's working for them and they're all coming from such a different background than, you know, why not?
We need to get used to it, in a way, because I think Singapore is moving towards also being like a net-zero nation. The reality is that as more demand comes, then someone needs to supply. Considering that the Singapore government has a plan by 2030 to do many things, as well as having more charging stations. You can also see that companies such as Shell and all the likes are going to transform their petrol stations into charging stations. This has already started as more people are asking for it then companies and governments are forced to make the switch as well, which they've already started in Singapore.
Because a win-win comes from that the government is achieving the targets that they need to. We're helping protect our planet for future generations and at the same time we are already doing the right thing and we are starting all of this together, basically. So it's all community-driven demand for a better Singapore and better ways of living.
This content is brought to you in collaboration with BMW Asia.