Have plug – will travel

Destination Grange-over-Sands to meet with friends. 182 miles – the Zoe claims a range of 245 miles. You would think it would easily do that – but it actually has an effective range of something under 200 miles.

So we planned a stop at Tebay Services – 150 miles and the battery was by then at 20%. All chargers on the south-bound side are Tesla. So we needed to cross to the Northbound side – taking in a No Entry sign en route. The charger worked once I had stepped into the hedge to avoid the bright sunlight which prevented me from reading the app which controls it. But once it started charging, we found that we were rationed to 45 minutes. So we moved on to Kittering Lake to top up. But the chargers weren’t working there.

And then we went to the underground car park at Booths in Kendal and charged to 100%. Success – at the third attempt!

There are no chargers at all in Grange-over-Sands but our hotel had offered us a three pin socket for our ‘granny charger’. We plugged in and went out for the day. But the Zoe soon sent me a message to say that charging had stopped because someone had taken the plug out!

Our journey home was better. Up the M6 to Booths in Penrith where the car park had chargers available 24 hours. We needed an hour to get to 100%. Tap on the window – car park now closes in an hour – but we had just enough time to get our charge completed

We got home from Penrith with a diversion to pick up grandchildren in Strathaven. 19% battery when we got home.

I’m sorry about this saga. The Zoe is as always swift and silent.
But the public charging network is an amateurish disaster. The range of the car matters – if it would do 400 miles we wouldn’t have any of these problems. But until we have EV’s which will do that, we need an effective, well-maintained charging network. And it just doesn’t exist.