We completed a 1,623 mile electric vehicle trip where we were dependent on public charging infrastructure. Here are the stats.
Energy and cost
The total energy use was 375 kWh, which averages out to 4.3 miles per kWh in the Fiat 500e. Before this trip, miles/kWh was not a metric we’ve used. We preferred “miles per percent of battery” as our guide: it’s pretty easy to use if watching the remaining battery power, but we had to calculate it manually. By looking at kWh energy in and out on this trip, it has made miles/kWh meaningful to us.
We spent £96 on charging (and probably a similar amount on Dark Chocolate Teacakes).
In England, we were mainly billed by the kWh. In Scotland it was that or a connection charge and then a lower price per kWh. I assume the connection charge discourages small “I don’t need it but as I’m here…” charges. A few places put a time limit on rapid chargers (and associated overstay fee), which makes sense to share out the rapid resources.
Where we charged
We mainly used Instavolt, ChargePlace Scotland, and Pod Point chargers to supplement any Airbnb or similar charging we had during the trip. Some locals we spoke to disparaged the reliability of the ChargePlace Scotland chargers. But we found them to be excellent.
Our strategy is to find charging with nice dog walks, and failing that at least a good cup of coffee. And never standard motorway service stations.
At one stop, when the rapid charger had done its work before I’d finished my cup of tea, I reflected that sometimes better doesn’t mean faster. Better, for us, is a place we want to stop at, and we’ve been lucky enough to find a few.
But sure, for others, when you just need to go from A to a distant B as fast as possible, there’s going to be a welcome place for charging as fast as a petrol pump. But we don’t need it for the kinds of trips we do.
As Jane said, we had one moment of range anxiety but zero actual problems.