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Discussion Starter #1
TL;DR: have a plan B, a plan C, probably a plan D, and even then, be prepared to improvise. Or just plan for Instavolt all the way.

It was all planned out from 100% charge, not exceeding 65 mph:

1. Cambridge to Cirencester (116 miles)
2. Rapid up to 80% back on Pod Point at Lidl Cirencester (checked the day before on ZapMap)
3. Top up on granny cable over 3 hours lunch at relatives' house
4. Cirencester to Instavolt in Cullompton off M5 (110 miles)
5. Last leg to Padstow (100 miles)

Instead?

1. Pod Point totally dead at Lidl (called and it went offline that morning)
20200814_113112.jpg

2. Ancient CYC unit elsewhere in Cirencester (the only other rapid in town) wouldn't start charging session
20200814_114344.jpg

3. Gave up, went for lunch, then half an hour west to Stroud for a very fast 拢8 charge on Instavolt in a very cramped multi-storey car park (one false start, got two 拢5 pre-authorisations)
20200814_153621.jpg

4. Hammered it to Cullompton for a 40 minute rapidgate experience on Instavolt (free 馃榿because the contactless reader was dead and their phone support authorised a free charge remotely)
20200814_182746.jpg 20200814_183904.jpg

5. Arrived in Padstow with 16 miles left on the GOM after some range anxiety climbing hills in heavy mist. Hang granny cable out of window to avoid leaving battery so low.

There's no long stop planned on the way home, so what do I do? Shorter legs (averaging 4.5 miles/kWh) and seek out Instavolt even when they're miles off the motorway? Try Ecotricity every 50 miles and assume half of them are broken?

I knew things were bad with the charging infrastructure but hadn't really appreciated how bad until the first experience! Still, we got here and the rest of the family had already got in the beers and pizza 馃榿
 

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All is well that ended well then! 馃憤馃榿

I鈥檇 plan Instavolt all the way back if you can, or via anywhere with either at least 2 x Rapids or many singles in close proximity.

Instavolts are the closest thing we鈥檝e got to a sorted rapid charging network if we鈥檙e honest.

Polar are good, but only single site usually.

I usually have a look if they鈥檙e on the route, and ET as well, but have a plan to divert to the nearest Instavolt bank.
 

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Another suggestion is to slow down if possible. 62 mph or less will reduce pack heating and may mitigate rapidgate a bit. Slower will also improve efficiency and reduce required charging energy. With a reduction in rapidgate and better efficiency, your overall trip time may be better than driving faster (depends how much amps get throttled). ABRP does not account for rapidgate.
 

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There is a single Instavolt at the fuel garage at the north end of the High St in Stonehouse.
It is a bit cramped as there is an air pump by its side, best to park so somebody can be alongside to access the air pump if they need it. I have always stayed with car when I charge there.
Very short distance from the Stonehouse roundabout on the A road from the M5 into Stroud.
For family nice cafe short walk back in the High St but it shuts about 1600 hrs. Could drop family off and after charging there is a good car park between the cafe and the garage on the other side of the High St to go and pick them up.
That would give you the backup of going to Stroud mult-story again if there is a delay or a problem.
Forget Circencester - it has always been a wash-out for EV charging.

Alternative stay on M5 and use Gloucester Services - one of the nicest motorway services in the country. The cheese counter in the Farm Shop is amazing. The whole place is what all service stations should be like.

Padstow to Cullompton in one hop is to be right on the edge as you discovered the other way so how about Okehampton Services Plan A Exeter Plan B and Cullompton Plan C and or for a quick top up to have a margin for reaching Gloucester Services.
 

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Perhaps fit a mast and a spinnaker on the roof rack?
It could be a whole new set of topics.

鈥楽pinnaker or Gennaker for my trip back from the South West?鈥

or

鈥楾acking advice for 80 mile round trip鈥.

It would of course be interspersed with points from Tesla owners who can鈥檛 believe that everybody is still putting up with sails when composite wings are where it鈥檚 at, along with full auto tiller...
 

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I've been in that Stroud car park for charging many times. It used to be possible to drive in at the bottom and straight to the chargers but now you have to enter on the top floor and it's a long cramped descent. The chargers are tricky to access when you have the charging port at the rear as they're just at the bottom of the last ramp so you're trying to reverse while someone comes down the same ramp at high speed not expecting you. But 4 instavolts. There's also an Ecotricity just round the corner but the gate can be locked outside office hours.

For the journey back I'd agree go for Okehampton or Exeter first. More shorter stops is going to be faster anyway than a few stops trying to charge to 80% or above. The A30 across Dartmoor really sucks range.

I don't know how much distance it would add but from Padstow to Abingdon we use the A303 which these days has a reasonable selection of rapids. Our next Cornwall trip is planned for November and I think we'll try to charge at Route 303: 2 instavolt and a cafe though now I've got a Kona we might not actually need a charge at all but always best to charge before you think you need it.
 
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I have my zapmap filtered permanently on instavolt only and ignore all other networks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Appreciate the advice and suggestions!

Looking a lot like three Instavolts: Cullompton after 93 miles, Stonehouse 88 miles later, another 82 miles to Bedworth, then 77 miles home.

Will update after it's all gone wrong! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The Instavolt plan ended up going out of the window for reasons of comfort and timing.

100% success rate for Ecotricity stops at Exeter, Gordano and Corley Services with the tiniest hitch being a 5 minute wait for an engineer to patch the device software in Exeter. I must have done something right in my past life.

Exeter - 14.2kWh in 21 minutes
Gordano - 14.2kWh in 21 minutes
Corley - 17.8kWh in 31 minutes (not surprised that it slowed down on the third charge)

Average 5.1 mi/kWh (no thanks to hammering the last leg of the journey).

Best bit? A/C switched off exactly as I turned into our street.
 

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Thats a good result well done. What speed were you doing on motorways? I guess you had that strong wind on your tail.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The M5 was pretty congested so there were several slow stretches which really helped with economy, but other than those I tried not to go over about 62mph, drafting occasionally until I got bored of looking at a Morrisons logo or whatever. Saw 6.0 mi/kWh early in the trip.

I didn't care about the last 78 miles on the M6/A14, just 70mph through some heavy rain then plugged in at home near empty.

Also, I don't know who needs to hear this, but do not stop at Gordano Services. It took half an hour to get in and even longer to get out! o_O
 

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TL;DR: have a plan B, a plan C, probably a plan D, and even then, be prepared to improvise. Or just plan for Instavolt all the way.

It was all planned out from 100% charge, not exceeding 65 mph:

1. Cambridge to Cirencester (116 miles)
2. Rapid up to 80% back on Pod Point at Lidl Cirencester (checked the day before on ZapMap)
3. Top up on granny cable over 3 hours lunch at relatives' house
4. Cirencester to Instavolt in Cullompton off M5 (110 miles)
5. Last leg to Padstow (100 miles)

Instead?

1. Pod Point totally dead at Lidl (called and it went offline that morning)
View attachment 133691

2. Ancient CYC unit elsewhere in Cirencester (the only other rapid in town) wouldn't start charging session
View attachment 133692

3. Gave up, went for lunch, then half an hour west to Stroud for a very fast 拢8 charge on Instavolt in a very cramped multi-storey car park (one false start, got two 拢5 pre-authorisations)
View attachment 133693

4. Hammered it to Cullompton for a 40 minute rapidgate experience on Instavolt (free 馃榿because the contactless reader was dead and their phone support authorised a free charge remotely)
View attachment 133694 View attachment 133696

5. Arrived in Padstow with 16 miles left on the GOM after some range anxiety climbing hills in heavy mist. Hang granny cable out of window to avoid leaving battery so low.

There's no long stop planned on the way home, so what do I do? Shorter legs (averaging 4.5 miles/kWh) and seek out Instavolt even when they're miles off the motorway? Try Ecotricity every 50 miles and assume half of them are broken?

I knew things were bad with the charging infrastructure but hadn't really appreciated how bad until the first experience! Still, we got here and the rest of the family had already got in the beers and pizza 馃榿
Hi - Well first long trip to chesham from Lincoln. No problem 164 miles in tank and 131 miles for journey but I didn't allow very windy journey. Met family in Hemel with 10 miles to spare. However all points in Hemel were not working so had to drive 8.3 miles with 10 miles on clock. arrived with 0 miles left going down hill and arrived. Not a good experience with charging points in Hemel. Need to learn from you lot on how to plan journey better.
 

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Hi - Well first long trip to chesham from Lincoln. No problem 164 miles in tank and 131 miles for journey but I didn't allow very windy journey. Met family in Hemel with 10 miles to spare. However all points in Hemel were not working so had to drive 8.3 miles with 10 miles on clock. arrived with 0 miles left going down hill and arrived. Not a good experience with charging points in Hemel. Need to learn from you lot on how to plan journey better.
I would have routed via Milton Keynes and had a choice of dozens of Rapid choices. Always best to stop earlier than later. Especially if the early stop is virtually assured to give a satisfactory charge. It would add a couple of miles going that way but well worth it.
 

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I would have routed via Milton Keynes and had a choice of dozens of Rapid choices. Always best to stop earlier than later. Especially if the early stop is virtually assured to give a satisfactory charge. It would add a couple of miles going that way but well worth it.
Very round about to go via Milton Keynes. :)
 

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Very round about to go via Milton Keynes. :)
ABRP only shows a difference of 3 miles between three routes. And as it happens the shortest is across country and via MK. Quite surprised me actually.

And only a few minutes difference between all three routes as well - with the cross country route being shown as 2 minutes quicker than what seems to be the most direct. That also surprised me.

 

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ABRP only shows a difference of 3 miles between three routes. And as it happens the shortest is across country and via MK. Quite surprised me actually.

And only a few minutes difference between all three routes as well - with the cross country route being shown as 2 minutes quicker than what seems to be the most direct. That also surprised me.

I believe Mr_G was having a little joke about the number of roundabouts in MK... :)
 

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LOL. Perhaps. I used to live in a similar place in a New Town in Lancashire which was designed to be totally devoid of traffic lights and instead had hundreds of roundabouts. The local yoofs loved them for use with their drift machine hot hatches.
 
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