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Yesterday I drove my Nissan Leaf from my home in Saltash, Cornwall to Bristol. I could have taken the Ampera but it was Sunday and as I had no time restrictions I decided to do it in the Leaf now that the Rapid Chargers up the M5 were repaired.

The trip si about 150 miles each way and I was stopping at:

Exeter
Taunton Deane
Sedgemoor
IKEA Bristol

It was raining hard for most of the day.

Going was fine but on the way back the charger at Taunton Deane S failed with a Grounding error. Shucks!

The Ecotricity helpline were good as always but they suggested I talk to the service area manager for his permission to use the service road over the motorway to use the charger on the north. He doesn't have to give permission but they usually do if you ask nicely (!).

So over to the north... that then failed on me... insufficient input voltage.! Ecotricity again were friendly but what could they do? I just had enough to get me back to Bridgwater (in the wrong direction!).

Bridgwater worked and I charged to get me safely to Exeter. So as long as Exeter worked then I was home.

Exeter didn't work! :( I arrived with 7 miles showing on the dash and it is raining hard. There is a Nissan dealer (JFE Nissan) in Exeter but already 3.50pm and they closed at 4pm on Sunday. It is a bit cheeky of me to ask but if they wouldn't stay open for me then I was looking at a flatbed recovery and I would likely have to pay as my home is 50 miles.

JFE Nissan were great and offered to stay open for me. Result!

I got home frazzled but still kicking.

The moral of this story is whatever you do... don't expect rapid chargers to work and if you are doing a trip where you need to use rapid chargers and you don't have the time or the stomach to cope with failures then DON'T DO IT!

I will continue to use the Ecotricity network for now but only when I don't have a deadline or if I don't want the potential hassle/cost when they fail.
 

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That's very disappointing to hear but the dealer deserves a huge thank you for going the extra mile for you, nice to hear.

I'm hoping to drive to Walsall from Fleet, Hants next Saturday. There are plenty. Of chargers on the planned route but I'm going to have trouble if one or more are out of action. Fingers crossed!
 

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Ditto. I have southampton-newcastle planned.... doable as long as the chargers work. more redundancy (at slower speed) further south, more sparse going further north
 

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Ditto. I have southampton-newcastle planned....
Yep - there is plenty of redundancy all the way until Yorkshire! With Leaf range you should have little problem from Woodall (or Wetherby) to Scotch Corner (or Aston Hotel)!
If you've not done it before, you will be surprised how straightforward it is!
My advise is not to push for the 'minimum-stop strategy' - I don't think that running the car in outside the 20-90 band has any dividend. Charging takes longer at the extremes and its probably quicker overall to plan in a couple of extra stops!
 

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Just when you thought it was safe to venture back out into long distant EV only motoring hey Paul?

It reinforces the need for a 7 kWh post next to every Rapid Charger in case it is down. With a Mk2 LEAF / BMW i3 enabled with 7 kWh charging you can get 30 miles for every hour charge.
 

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This is where I hear Paul's retribution coming - even before I type.
What I read in Paul's report is a self-fulling prophecy. A prophecy made many time on this forum!
I don't understand why Paul passed Bridgwater if that meant he couldn't handle an outage at Taunton Deane (range 60) - its a matter for judgement but its always better to drive defensively, especially if you are using wipers and demist? There was also a CHAdeMO at Tiverton which was equidistant from Taunton Deane - but onwards - not backwards!
With a more cautious strategy (2 stop) Exeter would have been achieved much earlier. As for JFE Nissan saving the day - well I don't understand that either. There is a Moto service area, on the M5, with a CHAdeMO, so why would you use JFE Nissan!
Driving a BEV long-haul is straightforward, but you have to plan and be decisive.
Unserviceability will happen - but it you 'hang out there' and use your range to the limit - well you will have experiences - just like those Paul has described!
 

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I agree with all the above statements.

My first drive in my Leaf 2 weeks ago was a 265 mile drive home from the dealer where I picked the car up.

I wasn't stressed about getting to the next charging station. I was stressed that it would be faulty and I would be stranded for a few hours charging at 10A on a 3 pin plug!

Luckily the trip home was fine. But this week both my local ecotricity chargers are faulty and I have had to change my plans because of this situation! I don't have a problem with ecotricity as I am greatful for what they are doing for us EV owners. But why are these rapids so so unreliable. Earth fault seems the main problem with them. Will the manufacturer of these chargers eventually get this problem sorted???
 

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...Will the manufacturer of these chargers eventually get this problem sorted???
The short answer is 'NO'!
As for the long answer - well I think many of us are exhausted with the trying to get a reliable dialogue with the service providers. Ecotricity are probably best on customer service - but it can still take weeks (as Reading W) to get engineering work completed! As for the other service providers - best to say nothing, just in case the lose my membership details!
My last word - never pass a rapid charger if the next one is past your 'Point-of-No-Return'!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yes. Ikea Bristol was fine once I found it but it took 3 times round the car park!
 

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Echoes for me from today.

I drove from Telford to Southampton and back with 3 neighbours to see a micro anaerobic digestor.

Stopped at Hopwood, Abingdon Waitrose - which took some finding and failed at 60 %. Which meant another stop at Chievely. Then after our visit charged at Rownhams. Took me 5 mins plus to insert charger plug....not doing anything different to other chargers and it finally clicked in for no apparent new rrason. Charged again at Chievely, Warwick North and would have been enough but just to be sure 5 mins at frankley....again tricky charger plug.

Agree in retrospect could have had a better charging strategy would do it differently again.
 

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It reinforces the need for a 7 kWh post next to every Rapid Charger in case it is down. With a Mk2 LEAF / BMW i3 enabled with 7 kWh charging you can get 30 miles for every hour charge.
or even add the extra two wires in the supply cable and make it a 22kW post that gives real alternative to the ZOE, Model S, and future cars with three phase charging. You might even find that three phase cars use the post rather than blocking the 'rapid' charger :)
 

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or even add the extra two wires in the supply cable and make it a 22kW post that gives real alternative to the ZOE, Model S, and future cars with three phase charging. You might even find that three phase cars use the post rather than blocking the 'rapid' charger :)
Excellent point Kevin; is anyone even thinking this through as they do the groundwork for installs. I thought 20kW was the limit of single phase.....
 
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