Electric cars: Always start the journey with a full battery
Always start a journey in an electric car with a full battery or fall victim of a rookie mistake, says this driver who was at the mercy of a lithium battery.
The driver says the first hurdle to overcome is the battery range available. He calculated that with a 300 miles journey, and driving a Volkswagen e-Golf, he only need to make one stop on the journey.
The 3-Golf advertised range is 180 miles with a full battery.
Download a number of apps. This is what an Electric Vehicle owner needs to do.
Most charging points in the UK for example (where he drove the car) require mobile payment. They are not free.
He downloaded Ecotricity’s ‘Electric Highway’, ChargePoint, ZapMap, PodPoint, Polar, Source London and Charge Your Car.
“Each required individual account set up, card details, other personal information and EV information. Some require a monthly subscription payment plan… No thanks,” he wrote.
He was told most of the charging stations don’t work, leading drivers to experience “battery anxiety” whenever they set off on a long journey.
“For the journey down, the intention was to stop twice – at Bristol and Exeter. That quickly went out the window because we started without a full battery: rookie mistake.”
There are several downsides in the whole eco-system in place for EV owners.
Some stations only charge for 45 minutes, they only offer one type of each connector, the apps do not always work and charging may suddenly cut-off. You will probably get a notification by email and if you are not a mobile phone buff, you not know if your car is charging.
Not For Mass Usage
If several people are driving the same car – you can expect quite some queue and delays in your journey.
If you are stuck on a busy highway, it can be very frustrating for an EV owner.
Once you get the road freed for a smooth drive you will realise you need to go to the next charging point. Unlike humans, EV does not have small bladder but batteries will need an hour of charging.
Surprise, surprise. The battery range of the e-Golf dropped from 130 to 100 miles in what seemed like no more than 15 minutes drive. This is unlike modern fuel cars.
A Nissan Teana will conserve fuel during smooth drives and burn more during traffic congestions. Unless you keep shifting gear from Drive to Neutral and Drive, pressing on the brakes during those nasty jams.
But relax, for use as a day-to-day vehicle, an electric car is fantastic, says Mr Richell.
He says a single charge could easily last for four to five days for the short distance drives.
Another aspect of EV ownership: Using a standard 3-pin plug isn’t fast, it can take anywhere between 12-17 hours dependent on the car.
You can have a 7kw charger installed at your home for about £1,000, and government grants are available.
“Don’t use the air conditioning” and “drive slowly” or “don’t think of heated seats”. These are the drawbacks for EV’s.
But the long journey was still a good three more than the petrol alternative.
The lack of charging stations and options at these stations is another drawback.
If you do some “serious eco-driving” on the highways, you can conserve energy. This means a slower drive, indeed.
Most EV drivers in the UK hire a fuel car for their long journeys. Ridiculous. Because at the price you pay for the EV’s, you have to make a lot of sacrifices in the end.
The real value is in saving the environment and the current EV drivers are the heroes.