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For anyone who drives an EV.


Sep 17, 2020

The EV world was buoyed recently when 3 guys driving a Model3 went the length of the country in under 16 hours. Nothing special about that you might say.

What made this different is that they did it with just four charging stops which lasted a total of 91 minutes.

Just let that sink in for a moment. The full length of the UK in a single day with just 91 minutes of stops. There are many fossil fuel cars that couldn't do that.

91 minutes is the time at takes you to grab a coffee, a sit down lunch stop and a couple of quick loo breaks. This is pretty much what an ICE car would do.

Just to make it more interesting 2 of the four charges were not with the Tesla Supercharger network . They were done with Ionity chargers.

What this shows is two key things.

  1. Range is not an issue for EVs anymore.
  2. The charging infrastructure is getting better and better

Even a couple of years ago this would have been a difficult task to accomplish. The Ionity network wasn’t mature enough to deal with this then.

But with EVs now having ranges up to 300 miles and high powered chargers (HPCs) being rolled out in more and more places it became a question not of 'Can we beat the old record' but 'By how much can we beat the old record?'.

But we're not quite there yet. At least not as far as 'the public perception' goes.

I tweeted about this achievement on Sunday morning. Within 3 hours it had over 30,000 views and had been retweeted 30 times.

There were several comments on the Tweet but one of them said "Now do it with a non Tesla EV under £30k."

My immediate response was 'Why?'

The discussion - which didn't include the original commenter indicated that unless this could be repeated with a 'normal EV ‘it would  invalidate the results’.  I had to stop and think about this  for a moment.

Of course the person was partially correct: 

With an expensive car and super-fast chargers it is quite straightforward to do this now. But with a vehicle with a smaller battery and slower charging the result would be much different.

I went to A Better Route planner and replanned the route using an MG ZS EV (an EV costing less than £30,000) and the charge times leapt up to about 4 1/2 hours. Still not bad for a journey like that be less impressive  than with the Model 3.

But then it struck me that I was on a  fool’s errand. It reminded me of the  range wars around EVs. People said they'd ‘Only get an EV when it would do 150 miles'. Then 'when it would do 200 miles'. Then 250. Then 300. These barriers have already been broken by current models but still people want more.

So I replied: "It's a slippery slope. When it gets done for £25,000 they’ll want it for £20,000. Then it'll be wanted £15,000." Where does it end?

It's not the battle we want to fight.

For now we want to take a step back congratulate the guys who did the journey and let time and progress play their role.

More cars will take the challenge. The infrastructure will keep improving. The cars will keep getting cheaper. Electric cars will just become... cars..