Recently Glyn Hudson and his wife drove their fully electric 24kWh Nissan e-NV200 DIY campervan from North Wales to Jaén in Southern Spain travelling 1500 miles. What a truly epic adventure!
Glyn had said the UK and France legs were easy and Spain was a little challenging for a low range EV due to the lack of public rapid charge infrastructure. However it's just about possible and seems to be improving rapidly. Now they are enjoying some sunny climbing and campervan scenes in southern Spain.
Happy as Larry in their EV camper Charging selfie Lovely message from loved ones
Spot of breakfast anyone!
Glyn in his element
You can follow Glyn on his ENV adventure via twitter
This is my story of how my life began with electric vehicles
Back in 2012 my older brother was looking into buying a brand new Tesla Model S 85D in signature red, one of my favourite colours too in the Tesla lineup. Sadly my brother had a change of heart and bought a 3.0 diesel Range Rover Sport. Lovely car but not my favourite choice with it being a big oil burning gas guzzler! Now feeling slightly deflated about my brother no longer buying a Tesla. I started doing a lot of research into the whole electric car scene. First thing I wanted to do was test drive all electric cars that were available on the UK market. So i called my local Nissan dealership which at the time was in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. I was super thrilled to realise I could have a free 4 day test drive of the 24kwh Nissan Leaf Acenta. I planned to test the car out on my daily commute to work. It was a 76 mile round trip. I was told the car could travel up to 100 miles on a full charge. Little did I know that colder temperatures could effect the range of the car.
So the next day I unplugged the car from the charge cable and set off for work at 23:30, giving myself an hour to get to work. Normally this journey would have taken me 40 minutes in my current diesel car. I set off with 100% charge and I was feeling very confident indeed. Sadly I was not aware about preheating the car at this point. The car heated up really quickly as I didn't have to wait for an engine to warm up. I was sticking to the speed limit on the A roads and B roads. All was going really well, until I hit this very steep climb up the A4 past the city of Bath. Wow what a range killer! I was in panic mode immediately. At this time I had no idea about the different drive modes on the Leaf. If only I knew then what I know now. I eventually arrived at work with 13 miles left on the range display AKA GOM (guess'o meter). I didn't have time to worry about how I was going to get home at this point. Later that morning I was really concerned about what lay ahead for me, in terms of getting home with so little range left on the car. I decided to call the Nissan dealership where I had gotten the car from. I told them all about my journey to work that morning and explained how concerned I was about getting the car to a charge point to get home. Bearing in mind I had no clue of any charging apps like PlugShare and ZapMap at the time. I knew the car could inform me of some local charge points via the satnav and that's about it.
So later that day after a number of phone calls to the dealership. They finally came up with a solution to get me enough charge to get home. There was another Nissan franchise dealership that had a rapid charger and it was 11 miles from my work. After finishing my shift at work that day I slowly set off, praying I would get to the charge point. Gladly I made it with about 6 miles to spare and driving so slow. I was greeted by a lovely gentleman at the dealership who plugged the car into the rapid charger for me. I was so pleased to find out that he had quite a bit of knowledge on the Leaf. We sat down in the warmth of his office and drank coffee while he taught me a thing or two about the car. It was what I really needed and made me feel more at ease with the cars capabilities. Now I knew how to get the most out of the car I was able to get home easily with 13 miles to spare on the battery.
Since I was able to enjoy an electric car for 4 days I was starting to become excited about the possibility of owning an EV some day. So from here on in I made it my mission to test drive every electric car I could get my hands on. Next stop was Renault dealership where i managed to get a 22kWh ZOE for 2 days. I really liked the ZOE but my wife was not keen at all for some reason. She said it felt a bit cheap compared to the Leaf. Personally I think the ZOE is a fantastic city car! Luckily where we lived at the time was not too far from the Tesla store at Cribs Causeway in Bristol. I booked a test drive online in a Tesla Model S. I then had to travel to Castle Combe where Tesla had an experience open day for the general public who had booked online. We met at a beautiful hotel and was greeted with cake and coffee etc. Tesla really made you feel special indeed. I guess they would want to, knowing you may spend £60k plus on one of their cars. I just wanted to experience the drive, as i clearly couldn't afford one. A Tesla Model S P85 in grey was the car I was given to take out that day. My oh my and what a drive it was. The effortless acceleration and sheer smoothness was to die for! This was starting to become my dream car already. It's hard to explain really until you experience one. So I immediately booked another test drive a few weeks later and got to drive a few Model S's with different specs.
Since all of the above I have now test driven the list of electric and plug in hybrid cars below:
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
BMW i3 all electric and Range Extender version
VW Golf GTE
Nissan Leaf 40kWh
Renault ZOE 22kWh & 40kWh
Hyundai Kona 64kWh
I am keen to keep testing more new models as they come to market.
I can truly say i am absolutely EV mad now!
I am the proud owner of a Nissan Leaf 24kWh Tekna which I have owned since September 2017. I recently purchased a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV too. Reason for this purchase was to tow our caravan whilst getting all my commuting mileage in electric only driving. Which I am glad to say is going rather well!