Plymouth to Gateshead – 920 miles

On 15th September a conference is being held on Sustainable EMobility in Europe. It is bringing together many of the stakeholders from the UK and Europe to discuss many of the challenges surrounding creating a sustainable charging infrastructure for EVs (electric vehicles). It is in Gateshead… I live near Plymouth in Cornwall… 460 miles away!

It goes without saying that as I have an EV (Nissan Leaf) that it would make sense to go to this conference in the EV. However, the Nissan Leaf has a useable range of about 90 miles between charges and it is very early in the development of the charging infrastructure (hence the conference!) and so getting there would present a bit of a challenge. However, doing the trip in the Nissan Leaf might highlight some of the issues being discussed and so I thought I would give it a try.

I thought it would be useful to consider this trip first by using my diesel car and then compare what must change to do it in the Leaf.

In my younger days I might have done a trip of 460 miles in a single day. A very long day but it is achievable. I have done a similar journey from London to Edinburgh in a single day but I was 30 years younger and the roads 30 years ago were much less busy. I would not recommend anyone do a 460 mile trip in a single day without multiple drivers.

So it requires some overnight stops. One half way, two at Gateshead and one on the way back. So, 3 nights accommodation – say, £150. My diesel car does about 40 mpg and so fuel would be about £140. This gives a ballpark cost for the trip at £290 and 3 nights away from home.

In the Leaf things are not that different. I can get to Wetherby in just 2 days and that is just 80 miles from Gateshead so if I use Wetherby for my final overnight stops I can do the whole trip in 4 days… a stop half way to Wetherby, drive the 80 miles to Gateshead and back on the day of the conference, and then 2 days home. So 4 nights accommodation – say, £200. Fuel (electricity) is mostly free or nearly free. I would need a 2 week subscription to the CYC charging scheme to give me access to chargers at the MetroCentre, Gateshead and also possibly at Seaham, but that is just £5 and gives me unlimited use of the slow and fast chargers in the North East Plugged in Places area. So this gives a ballpark cost for the trip at £205 and 4 nights away from home.

As you can see, doing the trip in the Nissan Leaf takes just 1 additional overnight stop and is considerably cheaper not to mention the saving of 200kg of CO2 (allowing for typical grid of 70g CO2/km)!

It is true that right now the electricity is mostly free and I am sure that this will change as the number of EV owners grow but again, that is precisely the topic of the conference! Nonetheless, should I have needed to pay for the power used it would still be considerably cheaper to do the trip in the Leaf.

I shall be posting more detail of the trip in the next week or so and you can follow me and my EV activities on Twitter @snaxmuppet.

More details on the conference – http://www.enevate.eu/events/events_conference.pdf

If you are going then ping me to meet up.

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