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Do you remember when…352 miles in an EV seemed like madness?

  • 11 October 2019
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Do you remember when…352 miles in an EV seemed like madness?
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Well our very own@Chris_OVO completed and MPG Marathon to find out if it was truly madness, or another EV myth….

 

EV Marathon

I may be new to OVO Energy, but I am far from a novice when it comes to electric vehicles - in the last three years I have covered more than three thousand miles in pretty much every EV going. My EV journey started back in 2015 with the BMW i3, but the real story began in 2017. I’ll share a little about my experience now - maybe it’ll remind you of a simpler time and show just how far EV’s and the infrastructure have come in the last two years.

 

I certainly raised a few eyebrows when I suggested using an electric vehicle on the FleetWorld MPG Marathon in 2017. With two days of driving, each involving 175 miles across varying road types, the suggestion that an EV could do it without charging was deemed madness by my colleagues.

 

Undeterred by their jibes - and their insistence that I would end up on a flatbed - I pushed on and Hyundai kindly provided me with an Ioniq, at that time featuring a 28kWh battery. No EV had completed a day on the MPG Marathon without charging before, and I was a complete novice to eco-driving - far more known for my reputation as an ace karter and autotester.

 

Quick calculation time. Usable battery in the Ioniq was apparently 27kWh, and the route was around 175 miles per day. That would mean an average of almost 6.5mi/kWh, and my early driving in the Ioniq was suggesting that 6mi/kWh was possible, but that I would need to find a bit more.

 

Day One:

Starting with 100% battery, I fully expected a rapid charge of 10 – 15 minutes at some point along the route as range-anxiety was sure to get me. As I passed beautiful countryside scenery, I pushed the Ioniq to 6.8 mi/kWh by cycling through the different driving modes and employing some simple eco-driving techniques.

 

Reaching the final stop of the day, I had 50 miles to cover and 49 miles on the range. Egged on by fellow competitors who wanted to see the car both succeed and fail in equal number, I risked it and set about making history  - by completing a day without charging the Ioniq became the only fully electric vehicle in the event’s history to have achieved this!

 

Day Two, 1am:
Disaster. I was setting off the next day by 7am, and I had plugged the car into the only available charger - a granny socket giving a very slow trickle charge. I’m sure we’ve all had that worrying moment where we thought that something was wrong with the charger, and I woke in the early hours with a feeling of despair. Going to check the charger I found that the weight of the cable and transformer had pulled the plug partially out of a damaged socket and that car hadn’t been charging. Plugged into another socket, I awoke five hours later to find the car on 73% battery. 

 

To ensure I would make it to the finish line, I plotted the route around available public charging points using the Zap Map app before we departed. Preparation paid off and I made it to the stops and waypoints, topping up with two 20 minute charges and one rapid charge along the way before crossing the finish line with plenty of miles still on the clock.

 

Overall:

Simply by employing a handful of eco-driving techniques, I managed to achieve an official average of 6.2 mi/kWh over 352 miles in total, and over a single day the Ioniq successfully beat the manufacturer’s NEDC rating. The actual average mi/kWh was the 6.5mi/kWh I had initially aimed for! Total electricity consumption for the event was under 57 kWh which is equivalent to 273.44 miles per gallon of petrol. At the time, it was possible to do this journey for less than 2p per mile!

 

Additional note:
The MPG Marathon was plain sailing as I was extremely light footed… on the journey back however, I limped the last 3 miles in turtle mode and bailed one mile short of home, embarrassingly stopping at my parents and begging to plug the granny charger in.. so near, so far!

 

I’d love to hear more of your epic EV journeys, so please share them with us!  

 

All the best 

Chris B

OVO Marketing  - EV Products


2 replies

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Thanks @Chris_OVO for the story, it must have been an amazing experience! I only get to drive mi 24kW Leaf and I experience anxiety every time I go to Bristol airport and have to stop halfway through the journey and I worry if the charger will be working and free. 

I bought the car from Leeds which is 265 miles from Honiton, that was my first drive in an ev (alright first was the 10 minutes drive, I tried it out at a dealer in Exeter...) It took me about 15 hours to get home. As I was driving on motorway I only had about 40 miles range after each top ups. I had the wrong postcode for first charger and ended up on a dirt road by the motorway passing by some dodgy caravans. I managed to get to a shop at an industrial estates and plugged my car in with the granny charger. They looked at me if I was an alien! :smiley: It was not embarassing at all! And they forgot to switch the socket on, so I wasted another hour there. Some of the chargers were in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night I was there charging my car, which was a bit scary. By the 5th or 6th charging I started to get the hang of it though. It was exhausting, but at the same time I kind of enjoyed it.

I would love to try different evs, but even my local nissan garage doesn`t sell the new one, which is disappointing. I am happy with my car though, it is very comfy and the ride is fantastic!

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Hi @Andras - range anxiety is a real thing isn’t it! I’ve had plenty of experiences of unusual charging locations, and I know what you mean about charging in the middle of the night - i’ll share the story of my 30kWh Leaf road trip from Bristol to Brugge and Brussels soon, and that involved a 1am charge stop at a very small Netherlands roadside services with some interesting locals...

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