On Friday 24th Jan (average UK temp 3c) David Peilow and I drove a Mark 2 Nissan Leaf from Marble Arch London, England to Edinburgh Castle, Scotland in fractionally over 13 hours.
We had the heater on all the way, we drove at motorway speeds all the way (obviously we were constantly being overtaken by white vans travelling at 90+ mph) and never for one moment did we have 'range anxiety.'
We had planned the route, we always had a 25 -30 mile 'buffer' of extra range on the chance of a rapid charger being out of service.
So at this point I want to take my hat off to Ecotricity and Charge your Car because every single charger we used was 100% reliable. Not one teeny tiny hiccup.
David used an app called Leafspy which talks to the car by Bluetooth and gives very accurate, minute by minute data of energy use, battery temperature and estimated range etc.
Our total mileage was 407 miles. The charge stops were as follows and at each one we were charging for 25 minutes or less.
Started in London with 19.61 kWh in the battery
1st Charge Newport Pagnell 16.08 kWh
2nd Charge Leicester Forrest East 15.9 kWh
3rd Charge Tibshelf Services 14.8 kWh
4th Charge Wooley Edge services 15 kWh (this one was not really neccessary, see notes)
5th Charge Wetherby Services 10. 06 kWh
6th Charge Aston Hotel 18.06 kWh
7th Charge Hexham Leisure Centre 14.78 kWh
8th Charge Newton St Boswells 16.9 kWh
A total kWh consumption of 121. 58 kWh
At average current UK daytime tarrif of 14p per kWh would be £17.02
Now, as I explained in the previous post, all the electricity we used is currently free but this gives a realistic indication of actual cost.
According to Google maps, the expected fuel cost in a petrol car on the same journey would be £77.05.
The last charge took us not only into the centre of Edinburgh but off over the magnificent Forth Road Bridge and up to Dumfermline where we met a jovial bunch of Scottish electric vehicle driver, I had some pasta and fell to sleep.
We were met by really wonderful, supportive folks at pretty much every charge point, we were given cups of tea and Stottie cakes in Hexham, wonderful border cake and tea in Newton St Boswells, we had coffee with Leaf drivers in Wetherby and obviously I need the loo.
We didn't really need to stop at Woolley Edge services but there were people there waiting to meet us so we plugged in anyway.
At one point I tweeted that I was getting 'bladder anxiety' long before range anxiety, it was a lighthearted 'joke' type comment. I immediately started getting tweets suggesting I have my prostate checked as 'a man your age' needs to be aware of such things.
I was touched by the concern, but not as touched as I was by my doctor only 3 weeks ago during a regular check up who described my prostate as 'normal.' If you don't know how a Doctor checks a chaps prostate gland for signs of abnormality, I'm not going to describe the procedure here, let's just say it's 'intimate.'
Anyway, what we discovered was that the rapid charger network, which is expanding even more rapidly than we travelled, makes long haul journeys in electric cars extremely do-able. We heard that while we were driving 3 new rapid chargers were installed and came online in the UK.
We stopped at Scotch Corner services where a brand new rapid charger had just been installed, we plugged in for a minute, it worked, we smiled and carried on. For the statistically obsessed, the Leaf batteries would have absorbed less than 1 kWh in 1 minute so I haven't added it to the list.
Obviously driving in an electric car is slower than in conventionally fuelled vehicles, most modern fossil burners would have to stop at least once for a re-fill and a few more times for a wee.
A reminder that this trip was to test the system 3 years on from Brian Milligan and David Peilow's 2011 London to Edinburgh trip.
Here is David's assessment of progress