1750 miles in 10 days a Nissan Leaf around Britain?

Now, before I start I want you to know (if you don’t know already) that I am completely mad! It must be so because my wife, my friends and most people I talk to say so… I believe them! There is lots of evidence to support this view… I rode a small 50cc scooter capable of 40mph max from London to John O’Groats and back for a children’s charity… I sailed my 21ft fishing motor boat, single-handed and unsupported, around Britain to raise money for the RNLI… and now I have decided to take my Nissan Leaf electric car on a 1750 mile trip around Britain! Like I said – MAD!

This latest bought of sheer madness has come about for a few reasons. I have had my Nissan Leaf for 4 months now and I am thrilled to bits with it. It does everything needed of it day to day without any of the dramas that programmes like BBC’s Top Gear suggest will happen to every electric vehicle (EV) owner. I have never run out or even get close, I never have a problem finding a charging point – I charge at home overnight. It costs me next to nothing, well, about 1p/mile using power on Economy7 overnight from Ecotricity’s 100% renewables tariff which means my Leaf is 100% emissions and CO2 free in normal day to day use. In fact, we simply never use our diesel 2nd car. Yes, that is right… we now consider the Nissan Leaf our first and primary car and the other is relegated to long-distance duties only and so it isn’t used hardly at all. Do we need the 2nd car? Possibly not but that discussion is for another day 🙂

For some reason there are so many misconceptions about EVs and EV ownership and I have decided to to do a major event to publicise the truth about many of them. Specifically:

  • EVs are only good for short journeys
  • There is nowhere to charge them
  • You are always in danger of running out of power
  • They are not “Zero Emissions”, you just shift the emissions from the tailpipe to the power station
  • They are very expensive
  • The “dust to dust” effect on the environment is worse than cars using fossil fuels.

I am not going to discuss these issues now but I am sure I will do so in future blogs (if I haven’t already).

So what am I going to do?

I want to take my Nissan Leaf around Britain. I have to use existing charging infrastructure so it makes sense to visit all the Nissan Leaf dealers where the majority of fast chargers currently are. So this my outline terms of reference:

  • Visit all 26 Nissan Leaf dealers in mainland Britain.
  • Charge as I go visiting as many dealers a day as I can to reduce the duration of the trip and to show that EVs can do sensible distances per day with the correct charging infrastructure.
  • Talk to the dealers on my way round regarding the Nissan Leaf, charging, emissions etc.
  • Accommodation will be in hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and friends and family. Camping is not feasible given the exhaustive nature of the trip and the need to get good rest each night.
  • Publicise the event as much as possible to get over the messages. It is vital that we get national coverage from all media including TV, newspapers and social media.
  • Encourage as much involvement as possible from others with other EV owners joining me for legs that are local to them.

Initial route planning suggests that the trip would need under 10 nights away from home and would cover about 1750 miles… Who says EVs are for short trips?

So there you have it… an outline plan to get me and my Leaf out and about to show what can be done with the current generation of EVs given a decent fast charging infrastructure.

I should point out that at this stage this is all just a plan. Things may change or it might not happen at all. If you feel you have something to contribute towards such an event I want to hear from you. Is this a good idea? Should I do something else which might have a greater benefit to EVs and their take up? Do you want to be involved?

Please get in touch.

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