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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after 7 weeks of ownership and just using the Kona for commuting 25 miles per day I'll be talking her on a trip to the Cotswolds (199miles) staying at a hotel then onwards to Oxford (68mile)for a day out, back to hotel then on my last day will be visiting Warwick and Warwick castle before returning home. Theres a slight trepidation, a feeling like its the wild west out there as to the availability, the reliability and multitudes of charging points and Companies.
 

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Well, after 7 weeks of ownership and just using the Kona for commuting 25 miles per day I'll be talking her on a trip to the Cotswolds (199miles) staying at a hotel then onwards to Oxford (68mile)for a day out, back to hotel then on my last day will be visiting Warwick and Warwick castle before returning home. Theres a slight trepidation, a feeling like its the wild west out there as to the availability, the reliability and multitudes of charging points and Companies.
This is not a big trip, best not over think it.
 

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With the range of a Kona, you'll have plenty of scope for fallback charging.
What I do is print a route plan with a list of chargers, with backup chargers that can be used if the original choice fails. Include postcode for quick Satnav programming, register with Apps for chargers you are likely to use that need them.
Suitably prepared, enjoy the adventure!
Zap-Map, ABRP (A Better Route Planner), Plugshare, Gridserve and Instavolt are good to know about.

This is not a big trip, best not over think it.
True :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With the range of a Kona, you'll have plenty of scope for fallback charging.
What I do is print a route plan with a list of chargers, with backup chargers that can be used if the original choice fails. Include postcode for quick Satnav programming, register with Apps for chargers you are likely to use that need them.
Suitably prepared, enjoy the adventure!
Zap-Map, ABRP (A Better Route Planner), Plugshare, Gridserve and Instavolt are good to know about.


True :)
Thanks for the advice. I'm just recovering from surgery and not supposed to lift anything heavier than a bag of sugar, so anything that takes the worry out of a first EV trip is great to have. 4 days after getting back I'm going to London for a week then back home for a day before setting off to Cornwall!!! The Kona and charge points will be getting a good testing
 

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Thanks for the advice. I'm just recovering from surgery and not supposed to lift anything heavier than a bag of sugar, so anything that takes the worry out of a first EV trip is great to have. 4 days after getting back I'm going to London for a week then back home for a day before setting off to Cornwall!!! The Kona and charge points will be getting a good testing
Ah, ok. The best advice is to give yourself lots of time. Set out an hour or so earlier than driving time suggests so as to give plenty of time for charging, possible queuing. If your remaining charge to next charger or destination ( from satnab) looks a little tight, slow down!
 

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Not sure where you're based. If you post your route, someone can give suggestions if you like.

Do you have charging at the hotel? It looks like there's 8 slow BP Pulse chargers near Warwick Castle - well, 10 minutes away. Which may come in useful. Depending on your route, you might be able to use the Instavolts at Banbury.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so very much, I'm based just outside York, in Yorkshire. I have zap-map but really this is a leap into the unknown. There is charging at the hotel, (de vere Court at Tortworth) 2 for Teslas and 1 for me and the rest of the entire EV world!!! so I'm not going to bank on it being available, or working.
The Kona will get me there with no problem, it has a longer range than me at the moment, but looking at stopping off near Gloucester to charge up before the final leg to the hotel, this will leave me with ample range for Oxford the next day.... Ah Oxford... never been but will be utilising the Park and Ride, I've been told its very good. I'm not sure yet if the P&R has charging points, but it'd be a bonus if it does. Thank you again for your kindness and reply
 

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I think you've got the right idea: stop not long before you reach the hotel, and give yourself at least enough charge to get to the hotel and then to a charger the next day. Or more if you fancy staying longer.

Then if the charger at the hotel is available, you wake up with a full battery; if not, you at least have enough to get you going. It's always worth getting in touch with them and saying you want to charge. They may put cones out to prevent it being ICEd, or they may be able to reserve it for you.

There's chargers at Michaelwood Services, but being Ecotricity I wouldn't swear blind that they'll be working.
 

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Spooky my Kona returned from that very hotel on Friday
Yes there is a grey type2 tethered that gives a freebie full fat 7.2kw -------- if it's not got someone on it.
Seemed to be first come first served, but clearly marked so minimal chance of ICEing - however see below.....

When my car was plugged in on Weds later afternoon a Tesla pulled up to one of the 2 Tesla points, and a Mitsi Outlander to the far right Rolec 13amp 3pin.
The Tesla was still plugged in on Friday morning. The Oulander was never plugged in at all but it did leave lunchtime Thursday. I unplugged and moved my car after 5hrs on the grey, mid eve Weds.

I easily got 290 miles out of a "tank", such is the beauty of the Kona.
Your Gloucester/Stroud area for a top up is a very sound idea, then if the hotel grey isn't available it's not a 'mare.

PS the charging points at the hotel are way easier to find than the bedrooms, talk about rabbit warren.
Staff good tho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very spooky. Thanks for this great bit of info. It seems like a nice hotel, normally we use travelodge or Premier Inn, but 'er indoors' found a good offer at the De Vere. (well she thought it was a good offer, lol).
 

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Hi @Ukflyer . We recently did a round trip holiday from Co Durham to Plymouth with two EVs (Leafs). All worked out fine with a bit of (but not too much) planning. Just don't rely on motorway services. Be prepared to choose chargers just off motorways and you'll be alright. Enjoy the driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm back after a near 700 mile drive to the Cotswolds, Oxford and surrounding area, here's what happened. Stopped off at Tamworth services, Southbound, for a break and charge to 93%, all went well, only 1 charger but it was available and took contact less debit card. Arrived at hotel (de vere Tortworth), checked in and popped on charge on their one and only type 2, 7kw charger. (The other 2 are Tesla only, a 4th is a 3 pin socket for the granny charger) I noticed a BMWi3 plugged into the Tesla charger and a BMW hybrid plugged into the granny socket. After a couple of hours, 'er indoors' wanted to find a local village shop for a bottle of plonk for later, so off we set. On returning I found all the spaces, for charging taken up, another BMWi3 was using the type2, the original i3 was still on the Tesla, the 5 series, hybrid was still on the granny socket and a Mercedes was in front of the other Tesla charger but not plugged in or anything. Having plenty of juice I parked up in the normal car park intending to charge at Oxford Park and ride next day.
After breakfast I noticed the 5 series Hybrid was STILL in the granny socket after 16hrs!!! The i3 was still on the type 2 and the other i3 was still on the Tesla charger, the Merc was still there just parked.
Arrived at Oxford Park & ride to find, once id found it among the bushes, the charge point was RFID card only and wouldn't work with my Google pay.
So abandoned that idea. Had a lovely day out in Oxford and returned at tea time. Decided not to risk the hotel chargers being blocked by others charging so stopped off at a supercharger, found that I had to register all my details and debit card first, then plugged it in... It threw up a fault and refused to charge, on examination I found possibly because some tit had thrown or driven over the connector and cracked it so it wouldn't lock into my car. Getting a bit low on juice I stopped at the next service area and found it was the same charger company from previous services so was already registered....and joy of joy it worked. Me and 'er indoors' had a romantic meal of a few pieces of KFC and a coffee waiting for the charge to finish.... and it did... after about 10 mins and not much charge, so re-did it and got it charging again to 90%. We went to a local pub (The Royal Oak) but was too late for food because of the time wasted on charging or finding a working charger so went back to our hotel and luckily they took pity on us and let us order food despite the late hour. I checked the charging points and found the BMWi3 which was plugged into the tesla charger had unplugged the hybrid from the granny charger (it was still there) and plugged his own granny charger in. The only type 2 space was taken by a 4litre 4x4 diesel hybrid BMW. One Tesla space was taken by an Ice car and the other Tesla, space was taken by another car but not charging.
The next morning the 4x4 BMW hybrid was still plugged in, the Tesla charger had a hybrid VW golf taking the space, the granny charger had a Mercedes parked there and another i3 sat in the remaining space but not charging.
On the way home, but with ample charge I stopped of at Tamworth services again but their one and only charger had a EV van charging with 35 mins still left to charge.
Moving onto the next service area to see the state of play, I found every charger out of service, finally stopping off at the next service area just to see what the situation was, I found all the chargers being dismantled ready to be replaced with new ones, but of course there wasn't one left available for use.
Arrived home with 19% battery and 40 miles of range left. Thankful to the 64kw Kona, if I'd had anything much lower capacity it could have been even more of a trial. Sooo what an experience!! Sorry if its a long winded report, but just wanted to tell folks of my first long distance experience and the pitfalls.
 

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Did you report the ICEing to the hotel? I‘d also have had a word about the long stay of the other cars but I guess residents will be expecting to park for a while so unless you have a valet service to shuffle things along there isn’t much you can do about it other than get more spots enabled for charging
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Did you report the ICEing to the hotel? I‘d also have had a word about the long stay of the other cars but I guess residents will be expecting to park for a while so unless you have a valet service to shuffle things along there isn’t much you can do about it other than get more spots enabled for charging
I did email the hotel, pointing out the concerns about hybrids which have miniscule batteries and alternative propulsion (petrol diesel) and pure EVs which have variable range and could become stranded and the stress that is put upon owners when there aren't chargers available and suggested that the chargers be pure EV only. To their credit they replied that it was something they hadn't considered or realised might occur that hybrids and ICEs might block the spaces when they installed chargers for EVs and would be looking at installing signs as per my suggestion.
 

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I did email the hotel, pointing out the concerns about hybrids which have miniscule batteries and alternative propulsion (petrol diesel) and pure EVs which have variable range and could become stranded and the stress that is put upon owners when there aren't chargers available and suggested that the chargers be pure EV only. To their credit they replied that it was something they hadn't considered or realised might occur that hybrids and ICEs might block the spaces when they installed chargers for EVs and would be looking at installing signs as per my suggestion.
With respect, I have to disagree. Destination chargers are for everyone on a first come, first served basis. PHEVs have just as much right to them and, because they cannot use rapids, maybe more? BEV drivers are also “guilty” of plugging in when a charge is not essential, either to get some cheap/free lecky or to avoid having to make another stop later in the day. The more miles a PHEV can do on electric the better. When you, and I, decided to go full BEV, we did so knowing the charging infrastructure was less than perfect and it is our responsibility to deal with it. If not we should have bought an ICE or PHEV. If that hotel stops PHEV drivers using an available charger, they may justifiably loose future customers.
 

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One of the issues clearly raised here is that the charge points are mis used, and it's sensitive area for the owner of the site to Police. Globally, not just UK, not just this particular site.
The post 12 by @Ukflyer nicely describes the mess of "wrong" vehicles, right vehicles but not using ( or stopped wayyyyy ago.
I guess the biggest problem I think, is not moving on when you're done ( on top of only being there if you are plugged in ).
(A week beforehand when I was at this exact place a Tesla plugged in as I was doing so at 1500Weds, and they were still plugged in 0900 Friday --- the average hotel emp could be forgiven for thinking "they are still using it" )
The hotel doesn't require users to log at reception they are actively charging, that would help some, but, as they don't require general car parking users to log registration numbers they can't chase people up blocking the bays without charging/.

I'm also kicking myself for not pointing out earlier to the OP about the Oxford in-city car park with the free-to-use type2s, and get this >>>>> 40+ of them !! ( you have pay to use the carpark but the electricity is free )
Westgate, Thames Street.
 
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One of the issues clearly raised here is that the charge points are mis used, and it's sensitive area for the owner of the site to Police. Globally, not just UK, not just this particular site.
The post 12 by @Ukflyer nicely describes the mess of "wrong" vehicles, right vehicles but not using ( or stopped wayyyyy ago.
I guess the biggest problem I think, is not moving on when you're done ( on top of only being there if you are plugged in ).
(A week beforehand when I was at this exact place a Tesla plugged in as I was doing so at 1500Weds, and they were still plugged in 0900 Friday --- the average hotel emp could be forgiven for thinking "they are still using it" )
The hotel doesn't require users to log at reception they are actively charging, that would help some, but, as they don't require general car parking users to log registration numbers they can't chase people up blocking the bays without charging/.

I'm also kicking myself for not pointing out earlier to the OP about the Oxford in-city car park with the free-to-use type2s, and get this >>>>> 40+ of them !! ( you have pay to use the carpark but the electricity is free )
Westgate, Thames Street.
Agree that EV parking places should only be used by EVs that are plugged in and charging, with the following caveat. At a hotel people will typically be plugged in all night, or for a whole meal time, or, if there for work, for the duration of the meeting etc. If the rules are not clearly signed and “policed” it highly likely they will be abused.

Now that EVs are becoming more common, 2 or 3 destination chargers are never going to meet the needs of a large hotel. It would be most unwise to rely on these, they should just be considered a bonus if you happen to find one available.
 

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Agree that EV parking places should only be used by EVs that are plugged in and charging, with the following caveat. At a hotel people will typically be plugged in all night, or for a whole meal time, or, if there for work, for the duration of the meeting etc. If the rules are not clearly signed and “policed” it highly likely they will be abused.

Now that EVs are becoming more common, 2 or 3 destination chargers are never going to meet the needs of a large hotel. It would be most unwise to rely on these, they should just be considered a bonus if you happen to find one available.
agreed. Thats why I think there needs to be an alternative for ‘mass’ parking/charging where you potentially expect people to be parked longer than the time needed to charge. Like having multiple connectors running off a single ’distribution point’ and managing the charge distribution so if you’re fully charged (or 80% whatever based on demand) it cuts your power down/off and sends it to another vehicle on the line.
 
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