Today has been simply a great day of travel. 230 miles of easy paced driving with regular “comfort breaks”. Once we get the charging network properly sorted out in the UK (Ecotricity and Nissan clearly are getting some way there) then trips like this will become commonplace and people will finally start to take EVs more seriously.
The frustrating thing is that you don’t need to be able to do long trips like this to properly justify an EV. Most people that have a 2nd car do less than 30 miles a day… in fact most people that own just one car do less than 30 miles a day. However, if it is your only car then it is a bit of a leap to EV and I accept that, but there are loads of people who need a 2nd car and an EV is perfect for most of them.
Nevertheless, being able to do longer trips is a requirement most people will want and quite right too in my opinion. At this rate I don’t think it will take many more years before travelling throughout the UK in an EV without the need for special planning becomes a reality.
I normally drive the Nissan Leaf in D mode instead of ECO and I drive with the voice guidance off. I find that most of the time I really don’t need those aids in my normal day to day driving but on these longer trips I use them. The consequences of missing a turning could be disastrous and so I want all the help I can get. I am starting to get used to “her” voice now. At first I found it quite distracting.
In spite of some longish legs today (65 miles) I have found that I haven’t needed to charge for more than about 45 mins anywhere. The shortest was about 15 mins to 80%. Also, none of the charging bays were blocked and all the chargers worked! Than you to Ecotricity and Welcome Break for this super network.
Driving speeds today were mostly 55-60 but on the leg between Michael Wood and Oxford there is a long hill shortly after leaving the motorway and I must admit that I did have a little niggle in the back of mind as to whether I would make it to Oxford as the estimated range did drop 10 miles below what I thought I needed. However, experience told me that in all likelihood the estimate would improve once I descended down the other side and it did and I arrived with plenty to spare. It does show that experience in driving an EV, and particularly getting to know your particular EV, is hugely beneficial in a way that isn’t quite so important with an ICE car.
My last charge of the day was at Smith’s Nissan. They are so friendly and helpful there. I am looking forward to charging there again before launching myself north on Saturday morning.
So a good day.
Tomorrow will be interesting. I am visiting the Green Britain Centre from Ecotricty in Swaffham. It is about 55 miles from here and so I will definitely need charging to full (or near full) before I can return to Peterborough but the rapid charger is out of action. I shall aim to get there early in the hope I can plug into the AC charge post as early as possible and I will have to stay right up to when they will normally close. We will see just
how that works out!!!
Early start tomorrow then with a departure at around 7.30.
Watch out for my Tweets @paul_churchley and a blog post tomorrow evening when I shall report just how a day of 55 miles each way went without rapid charging.