GQ indulging in the visual arts north of the border. We’ve been invited to view sustainable works in Dundee’s beautiful V&A, using natural materials, and we’ve mapped out a winding route to a sumptuous auberge, Braemar’s rightly hyped Fife Arms; a Victorian coaching inn that is a caber’s throw from Balmoral Castle and was bought and redecorated by Swiss gallerists Hauser & Wirth. It has Picasso’s and Lucien Freud’s as wallpaper.
Electric cars are good, and the I-Pace – despite little development since 2018 – remains one of the best. The problem, when one is in the sticks, is the charging infrastructure. Scotland has more EV chargers per capita than the rest of the UK. There are about 3000 charging points. However, what some energy suppliers describe as “fast” is what we would call glacial. The best we could find were 50 kW chargers that took 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 who, within seconds of plugging in the plug, ask how long you’re staying and scoff if they see you already have more than 50 miles of range.
You get used to the different plugs and apps and providers, but the system is disorganized – and this is far from a Scottish or Jaguar problem. The most hair-wrenching, it’s unreliable. Chargers often have problems. Sometimes you have to go through the process of tapping your card and plugging in and waiting for the system to connect to your car five times for it to work.
Sometimes the chargers are not where they should be. And people are in the dark about how much it costs to fill up your car, or how long it can take. What is needed are roadside signs, such as those of a gas station, indicating where the chargers are; how fast, how much and whether a slot is available.