ZOE Charging at London Gateway services (Image: T. Larkum)

The Joy of Public Charging

ZOE Charging at London Gateway services (Image: T. Larkum)
ZOE Charging at London Gateway services (Image: T. Larkum)

We recently attempted what was probably our most ambitious journey so far in the ZOE in a single day. We drove from home in Northampton to visit my parents at their home near Epsom in Surrey. Given the problems we had with public charging over the Christmas period, and the success we had with ‘little and often’ charging, it was an easy decision to use the latter approach.

The plan was straightforward – go down the M1 as usual and charge at Toddington services then, given the lack of public fast chargers on the M25 (our usual route), continue down the M1 towards central London and charge again at Scratchwood (‘London Gateway’) services. From the end of the motorway we would drive direct to Epsom to avoid the longer (but arguably faster) route round the M25.

The trip down was uneventful. There was no problem with charging at Toddington or London Gateway and we arrived in Epsom with more than half a charge remaining. After visiting, and late in the evening, we headed out to go home, just following the same route in the opposite direction. Having charged up at London Gateway heading north it was clear that we had enough charge to get home so we skipped the charge at Toddington and drove directly home instead. The distance each way was 82 miles, so the total journey was 164 miles.

I think it’s useful to point out that the two journeys were not symmetric – there is a big difference between heading home (where of course our home charger was waiting for us so we could arrive with minimal charge remaining) compared to heading to visit somewhere that has no charging available (so enough charge is required to return to a known charge point). The obvious lesson, perhaps, is to make use of the charger schemes available that provide free charge points to friends and family (such as the British Gas one).

In summary, the trip was very easy, straightforward and remarkably unstressful. Given we needed to stop each way anyway for comfort breaks the journey did not take much longer than it would have done in a combustion car. The benefits include the better driving experience and, of course, cheap fuel (all the charging was free except the initial home charge which was on Economy 7 – so about £1.80).

When the public charging infrastructure is operating correctly you wonder why it can’t always be like that – it just works!

Home Forums The Joy of Public Charging

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  ZCW Cara 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #7050

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    We recently attempted what was probably our most ambitious journey so far in the ZOE in a single day. We drove from home in Northampton to visit my pa
    [See the full post at: The Joy of Public Charging]

    #7059

    Surya
    Participant

    Good to hear that sometimes things go as planned 😀

    #7061

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Maybe one day it will be the norm!

    #7130

    nickh
    Participant

    My wife and I are travelling to Celtic Manor from Thames Ditton in about 10 days time. It’s 128 miles and Celtic Manor has a number of type 2 chargers. The issue is that the two Ecotricity fast chargers at Reading and Chievely have been showing as “out of action” for the last few days so that leaves us with only one fast charge option within range (64 miles from home) which is a bit of a risk. I’m going to be checking and giving them a call closer to the time that we travel to ensure that they are operational if at all possible, but it’s certainly giving me charger anxiety at the moment.

    #7131

    donald
    Participant

    I’m surprised you did not seek to make the journey in one go, the Zoe should make 82 miles, surely? Or have you parents not yet had a charging point fitted for your visit? :0

    #7141

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Donald, no my parents don’t have a charge point – that would have been a lot easier, as there aren’t any rapid chargers near them and I don’t want to sit at a slow charger when I’m supposed to be staying with them.

    #10354

    ZCW Cara
    Participant

    Hi all – it may also be helpful to know you can download an App showing you all EV Charging Station locations – this is an open source directory so all drivers can update it when they come across any unlogged charging stations or ones that don’t work or are no longer there. Check out http://www.openchargemap.org

    Also for when you want to take your ZOE away on holiday you can check to see which locations have Charging Stations to charge your ZOE while you stay – many of which offer free charging to guests. http://www.zerocarbonworld.org/zero-net

    Happy Charging and ZOE Adventures!

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