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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most use for a leccy car will be local and home charging but we do several journeys a year to places round the UK that are more than 200 miles away. So charging enroute will be needed. The concern is that if I look on Zap map, and awful lot of charge points are reported as for example "issues reported 2 months ago". So the question is, how many charge points arent useable when you get there? Is it 50% or 10% or what?

And what do you do if you have a 300 miles journey - do you plan an overnight stop or do you hang around for 3 or 4 hours or just add say 25kwh to get to your destination?
 

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'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208
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Hi Michele,

I wouldn’t be too concerned or put off by the ZapMap reports. If you stick to a few trusted and highly reliable networks, and use a route planner, it’s difficult to go wrong.

There’s also no need to stay over somewhere in order to cover 300 miles. A car with 50kW charging can add 100 miles of range in about 40 minutes.
 

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'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208
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Here is a helpful guide on charging:

 

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And what do you do if you have a 300 miles journey - do you plan an overnight stop or do you hang around for 3 or 4 hours or just add say 25kwh to get to your destination?
Michele
Welcome. You need to have Plan B and C available if your first choice of stop is either broken or being used, but with the range of your Niro that should be no problem. Charging from 20% to 80% takes 30-40 minutes so long enough for a comfort break, cup of tea and a bun. You may choose to take less charge on board and charge at your destination as it reduces the journey time and "fast" charge points (7kW) are often cheaper than "Rapid" (50kW+) charge points, but that depends on the availability of charging where you are going (unless it is a round trip and you are back home in which case it is cheaper again).
Range anxiety is just that - a fear of the unknown but as long as you stay calm and have a sensible plan you'll be fine.

Edited to add - you'll be lucky to average more than 60 MPH on this country's roads so 300 miles represents 5 hours of driving. The official recommendation of the Highway Code is to take a break every two hours of at least 15 minutes when driving so it is not unreasonable to combine that with recharging an EV.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20
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The key thing is the e-Niro with a 64kWh battery has plenty of range, you’ll get a comfortable 200 miles unless you’re caning it in awful weather. Earlier EVs with much smaller batteries, in some cases, could only just reach the next rapid charger and if that was out of action you were stuck. I think you’d have to almost deliberately put yourself in that position with the Niro.

I made a 254 mile round trip on one charge in October, setting off at 90% and getting back with 8%. I’m doing the same journey again this week. Because it’s much colder I definitely plan a brief rapid charge at some point.

The charging infrastructure is.... not what we’d like it to be. You do have to plan ahead and it’s sadly necessary to have backup plans but there are plenty of rapids. You’re rarely that far away from one of the reliable networks such as Instavolt (they’ve done deals with McDonald’s and kfc so expect to see more of them).

As an example, plans for my journey this week this are very slightly more complicated because of COVID. I plan to stop at a BP Pulse charger in Mold that is almost definitely not working, because it’s cheap and I drive past it. My reliable second choice is an Osprey rapid in a pub car park at Ewloe, no detour required, but right now in Wales pubs have to close at 6pm, so that may not be accessible depending on when I set off. My next option will be to take a slightly irritating detour to an instavolt - because it’s highly likely to just work. Under normal circumstances that Osprey charger would be fine, 20 minutes or so would be easy.

Depending on who you ask we’re either still early adopters or we’re the beginning of mainstream. Either way, the charging infrastructure is improving. Instavolt are expanding their offering (all rapids, generally reliable, contactless payment, easy), Gridserve had just opened their fancy flagship services at Braintree, Shell are doing something interesting with a former petrol forecourt in London...

After all that waffle, probably the most useful thing I can say is my job can take me anywhere in the UK (current restrictions not withstanding) and I was happy I could make the e-Niro work for my needs.
 

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Michele, first welcome to the EV world. I can tell you from my own experience that this uncertainty and range anxiety will fade away very quickly. I am driving a car with "official" range of 200 miles. I've already done several 300+ trips and there is not a single issue.
As many above me had mentioned, by the time you have a break, a cup of coffee etc you will get another 80/100 miles in "the tank". So just forget about all of the fear and enjoy the experience. It is much more relaxing covering the miles in EV than in ICE car.
 

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It’s perhaps worth noting there can be varying reasons for “issues reported”. A slowly dying council owned rapid near me is on the charge your car (CYC) network. It hasn’t worked from the app for many months, so issues reported. It works just fine if you have a compatible rfid card, with the bonus of being free... it seems. Recently the display screen died, issues reported.... but it still does work.
 

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It’s perhaps worth noting there can be varying reasons for “issues reported”. A slowly dying council owned rapid near me is on the charge your car (CYC) network. It hasn’t worked from the app for many months, so issues reported. It works just fine if you have a compatible rfid card, with the bonus of being free... it seems. Recently the display screen died, issues reported.... but it still does work.
It's definitely worth reading the comments behind "issues reported". I see a lot of "issues reported" from people who have plugged into the AC rapid at Ecotricity and are only getting 7kW... well, duh.
 

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'19 i3 120Ah / '20 Kona 64kWh / '21 e208
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  1. Buy the e-Niro
  2. Sign up to Octopus energy (link below)
  3. Download A Better Route Planner (ABRP) app
  4. Get 30 day free trial to ABRP Premium (link below)
  5. Download ZapMap
  6. Download PlugShare
  7. Tell ABRP to prefer (or even only use) Instavolt and Osprey chargers
  8. Avoid Ecotricity chargers (for now)
  9. Plan long routes in ABRP
  10. Check status of suggested chargers on ZapMap & PlugShare
  11. Drive and enjoy!
 

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  1. Buy the e-Niro
  2. Sign up to Octopus energy (link below)
  3. Download A Better Route Planner (ABRP) app
  4. Get 30 day free trial to ABRP Premium (link below)
  5. Download ZapMap
  6. Download PlugShare
  7. Tell ABRP to prefer (or even only use) Instavolt and Osprey chargers
  8. Plan long routes in ABRP
  9. Check status of suggested chargers on ZapMap & PlugShare
  10. Drive and enjoy!
Can't disagree with any of that, but the sheer complexity of that would put a lot of ICE owners off as they just drive on routes that they know and don't refer to a map/Sat Nav let alone plan fuel stops.
 
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Yes, most of that is only really going to be necessary for the OP’s “several journeys a year to places round the UK that are more than 200 miles away”...but may as well get accustomed to it before you need to use it, I reckon.

I’m sure it is possible to manage without most of that and by just checking Zap-Map or even Google Maps when the battery gets low, and then heading to the nearest rapid and hoping for the best, but I think doing the above is the minimum required to give yourself the best chance of just having a really stress free experience on longer journeys.
 

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I wouldn’t travel beyond the range of the car. If you want enroute charging, pop to your local Tesla store and buy one of those ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The issue that concerns is the real world availabiloity of the charging points and the numbers that Zap map whows to be questionable.
A couple of cars ago we had a volvo saloon with the volvo lpg conversion and that had a 200 miles range on a tankful max. There were far fewer gas stations than there are leccy points but just like with an ev you couldnt count on a 5 min stop at the next garage / services / supermarket to fill the tank with another 600 miles. I remember how irritating it was to have to go to a special destination to fill with gas. Looks a lot better with leccy but only if the chargers are nearly always working.

I gather that some charge providers are more reliable than others.
 

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So the question is, how many charge points arent useable when you get there?
Only the one you need. Always have a plan B.


And what do you do if you have a 300 miles journey - do you plan an overnight stop or do you hang around for 3 or 4 hours or just add say 25kwh to get to your destination?

3 or 4 hours???? Why would you do that? Plan your journey so you don't have to sit for 1/2 the day doing nothing. We never stop more than 20-30 minutes unless we are eating.

Many rapid chargers have an overstay fee or parking limits. That varies between 40 minutes and an hour or two.
 

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I gather that some charge providers are more reliable than others.
Indeed Michele - stick mainly with Instavolt and Osprey and you should be covered for most journeys with a longer range EV and have very little issue.
 

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I would highly recommend having a play with abetterrouteplanner.com

Try setting it to only use the Instavolt and Osprey (formerly know as Engenie) networks.

Set the weather conditions to a reasonable worst case.

Set the car type an e-Niro.

Then input your regular journeys and see what it says.
 

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Looks a lot better with leccy but only if the chargers are nearly always working.
Even 95% uptime is going to give you trouble - especially at a site with only one charger.


I gather that some charge providers are more reliable than others.
Yes. Right now, I'd stick with Instavolt, Osprey, Genie Point and newer Pod Point rapids.


Things are changing.

Ecotricity are about to make a big comeback with large numbers of new reliable chargers.

Gridserv look very promising. Only one location at the moment but they are planning many more.
 

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With an e-Niro you dont' need to stop very often. You can drive right by most of the bottle necks and locations with unreliable chargers. The important thing is to plan ahead so you don't have to rely on a location with an unreliable charger.
 
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