RE: Fluence in Wales
Thanks. Yes I noticed some mention of our car, but not until after buying it.
The car looks still better in the flesh than the photographs suggest. I particularly wanted those wheels and was content to forgo the folding seats and so on. It's just right in white and we have been piling on the miles.
Perhaps I should say that Mrs P has been piling on the miles, I have to book up ahead to get my turn. She loves it's silence, un fussiness and easy recharging. It's easy to park up, plug in, and then unload the boot. Very smooth motoring experience.
But I did take it to the Porsche dealership in Cardiff, where they decided to loan me a Panamera hybrid for a day's trial, perhaps knowing an early adopter is worth cherishing. It's a very heavy car, and feels it. But it's not as quiet as the Fluence because of huge wheels, but the same relaxing progress on battery alone is there, and the power is sufficient.
When the petrol engine lights up, there is little extra noise, and it comes on and off seamlessly with only the huge bank of dashboard displays to show what is happening. It's another very easy car to drive, and relaxing too, unless you are like me and have a great time pressing buttons.
I've not been a fan of hybrids, and have only previously tried the Prius, which didn't impress, but this Panamera is clearly in another dimension. It even had progressive regeneration, pressing the brake gently increases the amount of engine braking and electricity being returned to the battery without immediately appearing to apply the disc brakes. It's uncanny and works well.
But the price, at close to £100,000, is the killer, even if road tax is zero, and the miles per gallon is close to 100. That's the cost of a pair of Tesla S, so that's my next test drive.
I spoke to a Porsche owner who was in the showroom. He was a young hospital doctor with two babies. He might have been the ideal candidate for the Panamera, but almost shuddered with fear at the thought of an electric car. Most car companies will have no problem selling electric cars once they have got people to try them, but getting the unsophisticated punters to try will be an uphill task.
But it will happen. Forty years ago people were telling me I was mad to have a computer at home, now they all do. Thirty years ago people were telling me it was absurd to have a mobile phone, now they are queuing up and down the high street to buy them. Ten years ago when I got my first HP smartphone and tablet computer, people assured me they had no purpose, and would never become main stream.
Meanwhile the Fluence has an adoring home.