One more week of electric driving completed and I find I’m suffering from a new condition called Range Anxiety. The car (pre-production model remember) only predicts a range of 66 km when I switch it on in the morning which would not be that hard to do in the course of a day so I’m constantly on Google Maps trying to figure out how far away somewhere is. But I felt I really needed to drive close to empty to get a feel for what the car is actually capable of.
So the plan for Saturday was to go to Howth to buy fish, have lunch and generally wander around. My new best friend Google Maps tells me Howth is 26 km from my house so that’s 52 km round trip which left a reasonably comfortable 14 km buffer. However when we got to Sutton we had a ‘discussion’ about going to Portmarnock beach. I lost the discussion so we went and added an extra 8 km to the journey (leaving 6 km in reserve). There are no charge point on the route really except a slow one in Bewleys Stockhole Lane and the nearest fast charge was near Swords.
In the end we got home having done 60 km with the range showing 16 km left on the clock. I even turned on the air-conditioning 10 km from home. Up to then I’d been using the air-conditioning we had as children – the window open and the wind in your hair and shouting to be heard.
The main lesson is that the range km is a very rough guideline, I find the power bars more useful. Also the power needle goes into charge whenever you slow down which means you are using some of the lost energy to charge the battery so the type of driving influences how much charging is being done and can extend the range. Motorway driving has very little charging compared to driving on back roads. The other great thing is that being stopped in traffic costs you nothing (unless you turn on the air-con).
So I’m now pretty confident that I can do about 80 km between charges – back to Google and the Charge Point maps for the next step…