Lancashire to Hampshire (249-mile EV road trip)
Despite electric vehicles being more advanced than ever before, there is still a common misconception about their inconvenience when travelling long distances. We at Octopus Electroverse have decided it’s time for that to change!
Some of you in the EV community have reached out to us; sharing your real experiences of long-distance driving in an EV. In this edition of EV Driving Stories, Wayne Follett is telling us about his 249-mile trip from Lancashire to Hampshire!
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Let’s get plugged in…
Tell us about your journey!
My wife and I started from our home in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire. Our destination was Chandler's Ford in Hampshire, where I'm originally from. We were heading south in our MG4 SE SR 51kWH, purchased (new) October 2022, to see family and surprise my niece for her 11th birthday.
I'd spent some time using a route planner to try and work out the best places to charge, I've worked out pretty quickly that flexibility and patience is the key. We are new to EVs and new to this car, but we were up for the challenge. Initially my wife wanted us to take our second car (petrol) but, after some persuasion, decided to change her mind… we are now back on speaking terms.
Our MG4 has an LFP chemistry battery. I know that this particular battery does not like the cold weather (in terms of charging performance and range) and therefore, being new to EVs, wasn't sure how well it would perform.
Our first stop was at an IONITY charge point in Stafford. Pulling into the charging bays, I could see 3 of the 6 were empty. I thought we'd cracked it, however, I'd failed to notice the queuing EVs across from me - a nice lady politely told us that only 3 chargers were working and that everyone else parked was waiting.
Overall this stop took about an hour and a half, including the charge. Despite MG’s claim that the 4 will charge at 117 kWh in ‘ideal conditions’, we charged at an average of 42 kWh on the 150 kW units, which I wasn't massively impressed with. This could have been due to the battery temperature, charger condition, or any other external variable.
Leaving IONITY at 80%, I was aiming for a second charge along the A34. We pulled off at Abingdon. I thought we'd use the Instavolt units at McDonald's; a chance to charge and refuel ourselves. I'd made a rookie mistake.
The McDonald's we stopped at didn't have chargers - I'd looked at the wrong one! My wife wasn't impressed. Luckily, a quick check of the Electroverse app on the inbuilt map revealed a 50 kWh Shell Recharge unit in the Waitrose car park not so far away. Fortunately, this unit was free to use, the Electrocard worked, and we were able to hit the road again!
After 2 stops in total, with rapid and fast units, the final leg to Chandler's Ford was smooth sailing. Our hotel had 7 kWh posts on free vend, and I slow-charged to 100% overnight.
How far did you travel and how long did it take you?
Our total distance covered was 249 miles and it took us just over 6 hours. Comparatively, in our petrol car, this would have taken us around 4.5 hours.
How much were your charging expenses?
£14 at IONITY and £11 at Shell Recharge.
Did you find the Octopus Electroverse app and card useful?
I used the app to quickly find chargers in the Abingdon area - I think it will be better when route planning is enabled in the app*. The Electrocard worked first time on the Shell Recharge unit. I could also see my charging costs very quickly after disconnecting.
*route planner is now available in our app, download on Apple App Store and Android Google Play!
After this drive, would you take another long EV road trip?
Yes, I'm confident, though possibly a little more patient than my better half. Even though EVs are not new, it does still feel as though you're a pioneer when setting off on a journey that will require a charge.
In future, I will plan stops where there are several charging options nearby. For some drivers, this is possibly still too much of a hassle, and perhaps EVs add another unwanted problem. However, I've learnt to plan ahead with multiple options and to not run to such a low state of charge, just in case.
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