Man smiling at camera whilst sat in the cabin of Peugeot e-2008
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Electric car - how is it different?

One of the hurdles that prospective electric car drivers must overcome is understanding what they are really like to drive. 

There’s no engine, no manual gearbox. Something that was once so familiar is completely different. The dynamics have changed and the driving experience for anyone considering an electric car lease can feel very new.

That was very much the case for a member of our marketing team, Ryan, who we sent out in a Peugeot e-2008 to experience a pure electric vehicle for the very first time.  

Eager to see what all the fuss was about, Ryan took the keys of the e-2008 and headed out for a spin.

This is how he got on.

Peugeot e-2008 parked in forest

Driving experience 

My journey started with a driver’s worst nightmare, temporary traffic lights. I was stuck in some quite heavy traffic, but this wasn’t such bad news. It allowed me the chance to get my head around how to best utilise the accelerator and understand the sheer amount of deceleration you feel with even the slightest lift. 

Do I need to brake here or just lift? It’s a concept that can sound quite alien to your typical combustion-engine driver, but you quickly find your rhythm. 

The e-2008 was at its best cruising along at 40mph. It offered such a relaxing driving experience, with a good balance of power and comfort. 

Like many have said before, it does resemble that feeling of your first time in an automatic car, but there’s no great roar of the engine.  

Being an electric car, it’s quieter and you have that instant torque available to give you some serious power. I quickly found myself feeling right at home in the e-2008.

Man driving Peugeot e-2008

Instant torque

An electric car’s instant torque is so often heralded as one of their biggest selling points. It’s what makes them so unique when compared to a traditional combustion engine, so, I was excited to experience this.

The e-2008 was quite steady and soft pulling away and after a slight pause…

Wow. 

Having the ability to call upon that much power so quickly is a tantalising prospect. This was by no means a Tesla Model 3 or a Porsche Taycan, but you certainly feel the force pulling you along like a go-kart. 

I’m by no means the biggest petrol head out there, but I do enjoy my time behind the wheel. Even after just one drive in an electric car, it makes you question the kind of driver you are compared to the one you think you are.  

Without the groans of a manual gearbox, I found myself having to keep an eye on the speed of the car. You’re quickly forced to adjust your senses, as you can no longer rely on the noise of an engine, which can be as much of a visual indicator as it is an audible one.

Let’s talk about sound

I've watched enough Formula E to have a good understanding of the struggles that manufacturers face in trying to make an electric car sound exciting. There are no high-pitch screeches, but at the same time, there are no loud rumbles from an engine. It sounds, without being facetious, like an electric device.

I only spent around an hour or so behind the wheel of the e-2008 and the audio elements of the drive left me with more questions than answers. 

I can see why some love it and others detest it. It must be noted that there was some noticeable tyre noise coming through the e-2008 but alongside that was a subtle hum from the electric motor. 

As you lift off the accelerator, you’re met with a hiss that resembles that awful sound you hear when you let air out of a balloon – you know the one. 

Electric cars are often billed as this beautifully silent driving phenomenon, but the overall experience in the e-2008 was quiet, but certainly louder than I expected. Perhaps I was being overly aware, or actively listening out for any slight murmur.

To begin with, it can sound odd but it quickly becomes background noise as you get into the drive and I am sure once you start clocking up the miles, it will be something you’ll quickly forget about.

Peugeot e-2008 cabin dashboard

Range anxiety 

One of the biggest fears about going electric. You know exactly where you stand with a combustion engine, but there’s still some trepidation about electric range.

In truth, it has been the biggest factor in my decision to not go electric yet – that and the struggles that come with charging on a new-build housing estate, but that’s a conversation for another day! 

The e-2008 has a claimed range of 206 miles and as I parked up at the end of my test drive, it was flitting between 80-90 miles left as it dropped to just below the halfway line on the battery indicator. 

The constant fluctuation of miles took a moment to adjust to, but it certainly gave me some confidence in the car’s true capabilities.

Verdict

Has my first experience behind the wheel of an electric car changed my opinion? Yes, in more ways than one.

It made me question the so-called ‘driving thrill’ that we’re searching for behind the wheel, is it pure power and speed that we're after? The endearing roar of an engine? Reliability and comfort? For some, it could be all the above or somewhere in between.

Having the ability to instantly call upon that gust of power is quite the sensation and one that may be more than a novelty that wears off over time. 

My overall experience in the e-2008 was one of relaxation and comfort. The drive was smooth, reasonably quiet and when I needed that oomph of power, it was there. 

It gave me the confidence to explore an electric car lease in the future without missing out on an enjoyable driving experience, especially if it could help me save money with low running costs, while also driving more economically.

Peugeot e-2008 parked in countryside

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