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Militant EV driver!
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As I posted on Sunday, it's 3 years since I raced the BBC's Brian Milligan from London to Edinburgh in a Tesla. Some of you may remember that he set out to do the trip in 4 days using a Mini-E.

That was clearly rubbish, as that car had 50A charging and with a proper plan it could have been done much quicker. Anyway, I borrowed a Tesla and did the trip in a day.

The BBC cried foul, claiming I had the EV equivalent of a "jet fighter" and they were trying to demonstrate what reality was like for a family car. Nevermind the fact that the Mini was a prototype that was not on sale and I was driving a production car which showed a glimpse of things to come.


At the time my retort was that the Leaf was going to be on sale within weeks and that it would also be able to do this trip in a day. Well, now we can :)


I mentioned it to Robert Llewellyn and he jumped at the chance of coming along. The original plan was to do it on the 3rd anniversary but other things cropped up, so instead we are going for it on the 24th.

Robert is going to film it for Fully Charged and he's blogged about it here: http://llewblog.squarespace.com/electric-cars



Tracker: http://glympse.com/092Z-5CH2

----- Edit by @Paul ----

Some media coverage or related web content:

 

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If you're stopping at Leicester Forest East RC I would love to come along and show some support!
 

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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #7
I'll publish a route nearer the time. I've got a query in with CYC so that might affect things and you never know what might be installed...
 

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I'll publish a route nearer the time. I've got a query in with CYC so that might affect things and you never know what might be installed...
I would suggest a lot of traffic cones, need them set up to ensure charging posts are not ICd.
I will need to see if I am at a loose end when you arrive in Edinburgh.
 

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I would love to do it with you guys!

I do have a small concern over battery temps. When I did 400 miles in a day a couple of weeks ago the battery temp got up to over 51C and the top white bar was on on the temp gauge. I reckoned that that 10 rapid charges in a day is probably about the maximum you could do in a Mk 1 Leaf before the temps get into the red. It isn't a conclusive test so it might be one or two more or less depending on conditions, whether you need 100% or 80% etc but 400 miles is going to be about the limit. It might be different for the Mk2... I don't know.

So, depending on where/how many times you charge so London to Edinburgh may be a bit borderline :(

However, if it looks possible then if you don't mind me tagging along behind you I'd love to do it. Perhaps doing with more than one car for the whole trip and others dropping in for sections of the route it might add a bit of PR appeal. Is Ecotricity helping out?

If a 100% charge was needed for the range at any point then the gap between cars should be nearer 60 mins IMO :) Or we could all leave at once and just queue at the first stop for each to clear ahead.
 

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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #10
It's going to be a blast.

I'm budgeting for 7 rapid charges, once every 50 miles. Battery heat is on my mind but I think we'll be ok in these ambient temps.

You could follow or another option might be to interleave between our charge stops. There are so many on the M1 now that we will miss every other one.
 

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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #11
And by the way, when I first thought of this last summer I was going to do a 32A charge in York which I thought might help cool it off. But then Wetherby came along.
 

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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #14
OK picking this one up again...

I will publish the interim timings shortly. We've got a rough idea of stops but things could change if we get wind of rapid chargers going offline in the meantime. Right now one is offline and one isn't installed so it's anyone's bet ;)

What would be great is if local peeps could test the charger on the day and alert us to problems.


On the way back we are thinking of leaving in the early afternoon and breaking the journey half way. There was also talk of visiting the Sunderland plant so it may make sense to stay close by. Can anyone recommend a place (or better still, has a couple of spare rooms :) )?


More to come...
 

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I'll publish a route nearer the time.
OK, I did this route in Mar 13 and it took 2 days to Edinburgh. Temperature was as low as -6C, so there were some challenges for the iMiev. Return journey was warmer, but 3 u/s rapids in-a-row screwed everything!
For this exercise, I might be more impressive if we had more than a Leaf claiming the plaudits. There is no reason why an i3, or Zoe could not complete the challenge?
I certainly would be prepared to demonstrate the capability of the iMiev 'city car'. I won't catch a Leaf, but I would be satisfied with the wooden spoon!
Incidentally London-Paris and London-Brussels are also on my todo list!
:cool: Sitting in the sun - far away! Haven't seen an EV for 4 weeks!
 
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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hi Brian,

As I said to Paul, you're welcome to tag along but please be mindful that the purpose of the trip is to recreate the drive that I did against the BBC 3 years ago - more quickly and in a car 5x cheaper. We've got multiple press and photo ops lined up now, including with the very same BBC reporter that did it in the Mini-E. Should be interesting...

The risk I see of billing it as multiple cars from different places is it takes away that direct message of "London to Edinburgh is now possible in an affordable car, look we're doing the same test".

It also increases the chance of a 'fail'. Now that might seam mathematically counter-intuitive, but you can bet ya bottom dollar that if one car failed, that would be the headline and not the fact that the other(s) made it. Think of how the media spin any of this stuff. There is also the question of queues at rapid chargers, another 'failing' they might highlight.

So if you would like to follow us, please do, but follow on 30 minutes behind :)


Alternatively, I think a better option might be to arrange a big follow up event that has been 'inspired' by this drive.
 

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Alternatively, I think a better option might be to arrange a big follow up event that has been 'inspired' by this drive.
David, I think that might also be the answer to my wishes to do the Cornwall to Edinburgh trip in parallel :)

If there are other drivers throughout the country that would like to do a follow up "inspired" by your trip then that might be a great way to push the message home that yes, 3 years on, that trip is "now possible in a family affordable car" as your trip has shown but this is now happening all over the UK.

You are an inspired.

Now all we need is for someone to organise and publicise it...
 

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I'm in favour of creating some positive publicity for EV Motoring - to counter all the whining that we get from the motoring press. My trip to the Highlands was done with the endorsement of one of the major motoring mags - and the final article was reviewed and polished with the Editor, several times - but it never got published!
The reality is that EV 'good news' doesn't get reader reaction - its 'open season' denigrating EVs - that may get some indignation!
I don't want to tread on DP's toes - if he wants to recreate the previous 'disaster' one vehicles - one route of 'screened chargers' - and (hopefully) one vehicles arrival - that may get some recognition.
However, a multiple vehicle 'wave' would have more drama to add to the story! Indeed the successes and failures of the 'advocates' could tell an even richer story? If 20 EV drivers valiantly want to battle through all the flawed UK EV infrastructure - then that really would be newsworthy! The drivers who arrive after the champagne will be the real heroes!
I'll buy the beer for all those who arrive after 24hrs!
 

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Totally agree with you Brian. One car is but a drop in the ocean and says more about the people doing it then the cars. Now, do it with lots of cars and from different parts of the country and you have a story that says a lot about the cars and technology and one that is difficult to counter.

... but as you say... it is @dpeilow s call :)

I really like the idea of getting together an event after the event... Not just London to Edinburgh but everywhere to Edinburgh (or perhaps to somewhere more central so all the trips are one day each way max) to show that it isn't just celebs that can do this stuff. To show that it is happening all the time by normal people day in, day out.

That would say much more than any individual comparing to a single trip today to 3 years ago. I'd like to see DPs trip be the catalyst to something bigger.
 
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