GQ is indulging in the visual arts north of the border. We’ve been invited to view sustainable works at Dundee’s stunning V&A, using natural materials, and we’ve plotted a winding route to a sumptuous auberge, Braemar’s justifiably hyped Fife Arms; a Victorian coaching inn that’s a caber toss from Balmoral Castle and has been bought and redecorated by Swiss gallerists Hauser & Wirth. It has Picassos and Lucien Freuds for wallpaper.
Electric cars are good, and the I-Pace – despite little development since 2018 – remains one of the best. The issue, when one finds oneself in the sticks, is the charging infrastructure. Scotland has more EV chargers per capita than the rest of the UK. There are approximately 3000 charge points. However, what some energy providers describe as ‘rapid’ is what we’d call glacial. The best we could find were 50kW chargers which required three hours to charge the Jag. And because there are often only one or two chargers in each location, if you have an EV you’d better get used to other motorists pitching up within seconds of you plugging in, asking how long you’ll be, and scoffing if they see you’ve got more than 50 miles of range already.
One gets used to the various different plugs and apps and providers, but the system is disorganised – and this is far from a Scottish or Jaguar issue. Most hair-tearingly, it’s unreliable. Often chargers have issues. Sometimes you need to go through the process of tapping your card and plugging in and waiting for the system to connect with your car five times before it works.
Sometimes the chargers aren’t where they’re supposed to be. And one is in the dark about how much it’s costing to fill up your car, or how long it might take. What’s needed are signs beside the road, like a petrol station’s, which point out where the chargers are; how fast, how much, and if there a slot available.