Barry Chapman, a civil engineer, is another who admits to letting his home charger gather dust while he gets his power at South Mimms.
There’s a comedy moment when Sharon Christof hops out of her Model X only to find the Supercharger cable won’t reach. She jumps back in and reverses closer until the car’s back wheels are touching the ridge marker set into the bay floor. “You’d think that given how often I’m here, I’d know how to park,” she says. “We have a domestic charger but this is more convenient and, of course, the power is free.”
Free? In fact, every new Tesla comes with an annual allowance of 1000 miles of the stuff. In addition, those people who bought their Tesla before the company’s free-power-for-life offer ended can refer one new owner to Tesla to receive it as well. Many of the drivers we spoke to were on this deal.
The ease with which Tesla owners plumb their cars into the Superchargers is an impressive sight. No wonder business drivers clocking up proper mileages have taken to the cars.
One of them is Andrew Hodgson, CEO of a major automotive supply company. In the past two years, he’s racked up 45,000 miles at the wheel of his Model S. “Charging the car is very simple while the car itself has been totally reliable,” he says.
Hodgson works in London but lives in Norwich: “I’m just topping it up here. I’ll take a few client calls and have a coffee, then get on my way. Once gone, I never hold back and I’ve never experienced range anxiety.”
Sean Mulhern, an outside broadcast engineer, has done 38,000 miles in two years in his Model S; Andy Brown, a software writer, 30,000 miles since April 2017 (“My Model X has been from Monaco to Scotland”); and Hayley Elton 20,000 miles in 12 months in her Model S. Gary Woodhatch, a company director, is on 11,000 miles since December in his. “South Mimms is a great place for networking,” he says. “I’m sure we’ve got business out of it.”
Many of the Tesla owners I speak to are self-employed and their cars a business expense. To them, the financial advantages of EV ownership are obvious.