Question: What happens if your electric car runs out of battery? Answer: Sharleen Spiteri lends you a plug socket and offers you a cup of tea.
That’s what happened to Linda Pilkington, a London perfumer, when her G-Wiz electric car ran out of juice. It has to be better than a burly RAC man called Steve arriving and placing your leccy car on a low-loader.
It is, without question, the most bizarre and random press release PetrolBlog has received. It’s a tale of how the owner of Ormonde Jayne Perfumery spent 15 years in the company of a G-Wiz called ‘Lucy’, having realised that her 1986 Peugeot 205 was “on her last legs”.
Is Linda Pilkington the only person to sell a 205 in order to buy a Reva G-Wiz? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.
A Mayfair-based perfumery has very little in common with PetrolBlog. On this website, Cologne is more associated with the production of the Ford Capri and the name of a V6 engine. It also happens to be the city in which you’ll find Europe’s tallest spire. This is something that might be of interest to the Russians.
I digress. The fact is, Linda’s tale of life with a G-Wiz is both brilliant and bonkers. “My husband was reading an article in a Sunday newspaper previewing the new G-Wiz, a little car, made in India from plastic. Frankly, it looked like something Noddy might drive,” she declared.
Then there’s the story of the test drive. “A kind gentleman arranged to meet me not far from Park Lane. After I had driven five minutes around Baker Street and St John’s Wood, he thought it would be a great idea if I could tackle Hyde Park Corner.
“Driving down Park Lane and then around Hyde Park Corner frightened the living daylights out of me, because when you put your foot down on the accelerator, the surge of power is delayed. So when I tried to negotiate the four lanes, and the horror of Hyde Park Corner, I did have a few people shaking their fists at me.”
The G-Wiz has that effect on some people.
Linda paid £7,000 for the G-Wiz in 2005, before selling it in February of this year for £1,350. In that time, the perfumer says she has saved “in excess of £100,000” by ditching petrol, which suggests Linda knows how to… ahem, sniff out a bargain.
It’s easy to mock the G-Wiz. Goodness knows most automotive websites have ripped the little car to shreds. It’s an easy target. It offered about as much crash protection as an egg box, it was as powerful as a garden strimmer, and it couldn’t venture further than Hammersmith flyover before needing to be charged.
But here’s the thing. Linda Pilkington is an intelligent lady – she bought a Peugeot 205. She also runs a successful business and has a neighbour with a fig tree. This was in the press release.
PetrolBlog would rather listen to somebody who owned a car for 15 years, than refer to yet another lazy list on the internet.
Crucially, she only encountered a flat battery on one occasion. “I had to push her to the nearest house with a light on. Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer from Texas, opened the door and was extremely kind. She let me revive Lucy and gave me a cup of tea.”
Would that have happened in an Audi A3 or a BMW 1 Series? Of course it wouldn’t. How many other electric cars can take you from Mayfair to Texas on a single charge? Still want that Tesla Model 3?
Sadly, Lucy has moved on to pastures new. “My husband has bought me an electric Mini, in racing green with go-faster stripes,” said Linda. It’s the end of an era.
Like I said earlier, the random tale of Linda’s G-Wiz is up there with one of the best press releases to be received at PetrolBlog. It deserves a life beyond the inbox. It’s a story from a non-car person – these are often the most insightful and relevant. Most people don’t care about steering feel, throttle response and a satisfying manual gearbox.
But they’d love to know what it’s like to drink tea with the lead singer of Texas. Linda’s been there and done that. G-Wiz, it’s true.