Our Easter EV Road Trip Diary

27th April 2022
Compare the Market have just released research showing that an Electric Vehicle (EV) is approximately £600 a year cheaper to run than a car fuelled by petrol or diesel. Is that true or are the figures being spun to convince us to switch sooner?

Last week, one of the EVC crew took a family road trip from the West Midland to Scotland and back via County Durham. Here is a little diary of how it went.

Saturday: The Kia E-Niro was charged overnight to approximately 90% by our Zaptec home charger. A bit of forward planning on Zap-Map meant we knew how far we could drive before needing to recharge. Our main concern was whether the charge points would be in use or out of service.

Sunday: Leaving as early as the kids would tolerate we were on the road at 7:15am and headed north on an almost empty M6 for about 2 hours. Our 245 miles ‘in the tank’ was down to about 90 miles by the time we pulled into our planned breakfast stop at Tebay Services in the Lake District.

The two GridServe charge points (with 3 different connections) are tucked away behind the main building but an eagle-eyed staff member saw that we were fully electric as we pulled into the car park and pointed the way to the chargers. All the chargers were available and working.

Had they not been available we had planned enough charge to get us to the next 2 service stations just in case!

Charging using the CCS (50kW) plug meant we had time for a quick breakfast and returned to a 97% (265 miles) charged battery at a cost of £19.50, payable by Contactless, no account set up necessary, no RFID required.

The drive to Edinburgh was about the same distance and again we had about 90 miles of charge left on arrival. 3 days of mostly walking up and down hills followed but we did use the car once for about 30 miles (to see the sea).

Now to get home.

Wednesday: Scotland has lots of chargers available but many of them are part of the ChargePlace Scotland network which requires a pre-registered account and card. Zap-Map pointed us to another GridServe charging station in an IKEA car park on the way out of Edinburgh.

‘Anyone fancy meatballs for lunch?’

Again there were 3 connections (CCS, CHAdeMO and a Type 2), all available and all working. These ones were easier to find as the tarmac had been painted blue with a plug icon. Several meatballs later and at a charging cost of £18.60 we had 265 miles available and were on our way to the final stopover in County Durham.

It was a warm day and so the AC was on which does use the battery so the mileage available decreases. Bear that in mind when planning trips, especially in winter!

Thursday: Our final charging station was courtesy of GeniePoint in Morrisons supermarket in Bishop Auckland. GeniePoint requires an account which we were able to quickly set up via a smart phone. No RFID card required. 45 minutes and a black coffee later we were back on the road with £18.58 worth of charge and more than enough mileage to see us back home.

At a planned lunch stop (courtesy of Morrisons’ meal deals) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, we could have charged for free in the cafe car park (suggested £5 donation) but as we had more than enough miles to see us home we didn’t need to make use of the great offer.

Pulling up outside the house we had about 60 miles of charge left. Job done.

Driving distances further than your EV range takes a bit of planning but if you tie it in with rest and refreshment stops it works a treat.

To summarise; 3 charge points, all easy to use, all available, cost a total of £56.68. If we add the cost of the initial home charge (less the mileage left at the end) then we spent approximately £65 to cover 630 miles.

My previous vehicle was a 1.9 Passat Diesel estate, capable of that entire journey on one tank of fuel. At an average of 45mpg and a diesel price of £1.76 that is a cost of around £93.00. Yes, we stopped and spent money on food and drinks but we would have mostly done that anyway, whatever vehicle we were driving.

We might do 5 or 6 of those length journeys a year, but most of the time we would just be charging at home on a far cheaper tariff rate.

Service Stations need to continue installing more charging facilities as the 2 or 3 chargers we used could easily have been engaged by other drivers, and with no queuing system it’s down to the drivers to be courteous and move their car when they have the required charge.

This will evolve over time but for now, our Easter road trip was without incident (except for one of the kids falling in the sea!).

If you want to know more about EV Charge point installation for your commercial property, vehicle fleet or your home please contact EVC Solutions – The Vehicle Charging Specialists, and be part of the future, today.

Andy Pressdee
Social Media Manager
EVC Solutions Ltd

At EVC we do business that won’t cost the earth.

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