Electric cars are the future: Linda Grave on why East Anglians need to get one

PUBLISHED: 15:53 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:52 06 January 2019

Linda Grave from EV Driver.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Linda Grave from EV Driver. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Linda Grave is the owner and Co-founder of EV Driver Ltd, which deals with all aspects of charging Electric Vehicles. Linda sits on a number forums helping to ensure EV charging is implemented and able to keep pace with demand. Following 10 years in banking, entrepreneur Linda started her fitness business 25 years ago, when her sons Ben and Jake were small. Her passion for the environment led her into the world of renewable energy, running East Green Energy with her then business partner. During this time she, along with four dear friends, founded Breakthrough Breast Cancer Suffolk fundraising group. It became one of the most successful fundraising groups in the country. Linda talks to Gina Long.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

Born and bred. I was born in our family home in Hacheston - Wisteria cottage, a 600 year old a renovation project in progress. The ceiling in the bedroom was completed the day before I was born, much to the horror of the midwife.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

The landscape. We have such variety, the estuaries, forests, coast and the biggest skies. 
Being outdoors in East Anglia is a must.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

The road infrastructure and traffic congestion is getting worse. Travelling in and out of the county on our A roads is painful at times. As you would expect, I drive an electric car which makes sitting in stationary traffic more pleasant for those around me, as there are no tailpipe emissions. I use rail travel whereever I can but this has issues too.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

I am so spoilt living in Woodbridge. It’s hard to choose just one. The Galley, The Riverside and The Table are my top three in no particular order.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

In summer it’s a bike ride, run or walk with friends. Maybe a pub is involved. Winter is kitchen suppers with friends and family.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Well, I was lucky enough to have Framingham Castle as my wedding venue. I jokingly said to John (my husband) I would not marry him unless he could get me a castle, so he did! I also went to school in Framlingham so the castle has always been a backdrop.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Spring. We have the best, most defined seasons here. We get the sunrise before anyone else. Get to Dunwich for sunrise on a spring morning - you will be amazed. We have amazing food and music festivals too.

What is always in your fridge?

Yogurt and hummus.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Health and family first and there is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing.

What’s your favourite film?

At the time of writing it’s Elf, best Christmas film ever.

What was your first job?

Polishing wheel back chairs, worst job in the world. 25p per chair. It was a petrol-based wax and would sting your fingers. The boss (my mother) was very picky and would reject anything less than perfect ...the joy of a family business.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have a clock that was lovingly renovated by my father. It’s never actually worked. As we grew up in an antique shop, things were often sold by the time you got home from school (this included my bed being sold while I was in it and the kitchen table during a meal). The clock was there for as long as I can remember.

Who do you admire most?

My mother, Joyce Hardy, brought up four children and ran a very successful business. My father died when I was only 10 years old, having started the antique business only a few years before. You never notice or appreciate the effect it has on you at the time. It’s just your norm. All four children are very close and we all run our own businesses and thank our mother for the ‘in- built’ entrepreneur gene.

What is your biggest indulgence?

It’s probably boots, according to my husband anyway. I think it’s just that I never throw any away, so it appears that I have a lot!

What do you like about yourself most?

I have my mother’s smile and I use it a lot. Thanks Mum.

What’s your worst character trait?

Scatter-brained. I get ideas and throw them out in no real order. Sorry team, I am trying.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Lake District. The one thing we don’t have in East Anglia is mountains. I do love a good hill walk, again with a pub at the end.

Best day of your life?

This is hard. I am very happily married, have two wonderful sons and now two fabulous daughter-in-laws. I’m going to say my wedding day, but really it’s all three weddings.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

I make my own oats, apple, nuts and seeds with an orange squeezed over and take it to work. I always eat at my desk whilst reading the morning emails with the best coffee from H&H.

What’s your favourite tipple?

Wine, wine and wine...

What’s your hidden talent?

I can play a mean game of pool and I have the loudest whistle.

When were you most embarrassed?

When I walked through the foyer of the bank I was working at with my skirt tucked in my knickers.

What’s your earliest memory?

Chasing our chickens around the garden on a hot day and laughing. I am not sure why I was doing this and I am sure I wasn’t supposed to.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah as it’s hauntingly beautiful. Then it would need to be followed by Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I have run the London Marathon six times.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

It was a teacher that said I would never come to anything. She made me doubt myself and my ability. Maybe that’s what has also driven thanks Mrs X.

Tell us why you live here.

It’s simply the best place to be. I can cycle along the estuary into the forest and arrive at the sea. It’s the great outdoors and I just love it.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

To appreciate this beautiful region. I want us all to look after what we have now. I am passionate about the environment and have spent 
the last 12 years working with tech that reduces our carbon emissions. When you are due to change your car, make sure it’s electric. You will be amazed at the sheer performance, the cost savings of driving electric with the added bonus of no tail pipe emissions. This will benefit not just you but everyone in the region.

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