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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - first posting so please excuse the newbie question!

I've had my Leaf 40 for a few weeks now, only ever charging at home. I'm shortly going on my first long journey - from the North East to Birmingham. I've downloaded the Ecotricity app, and everything seems fairly straightforward.

The total journey is approx 260 miles. I'm planning on re-charging twice, after approx 100 miles and 200 miles (first-time owner's range anxiety!) with my partner checking the availability of charging points on the Ecotricity app shortly before arrival.

I'm getting approx 4.5 miles/kWh with day-to-day driving. Should I get similar on a motorway at mid-60s mph?

Is there anything else I should be aware of? Any hints & tips much appreciated!
 

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It will be lower on the motorway. I suggest trying A Better Route Planner, it will recommend where to charge and for how long. You can set the arrival % higher if you are worried, say 25%.
 

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ONTO/Evezy £50 Code: CADA7
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You're all good. You're going to be on big motorway routes pretty much the entire journey and with a LEAF, you have the ability to use any Ecotricity rapid chargers thanks to Chademo. As a bonus, I travel up and down the A1 and M1 all the time, and recently pretty much all the chargers have been free vend mode so you'll possibly be able to use them without needing to pay via the app.

Your efficiency will vary wildly on the motorway but it will typically be lower than you are guessing there. As above you're best off using ABRP to plan your route and find the best places to charge.

Only tip I'll give you is to avoid charging at Wetherby on the A1 assuming you're coming that way. Despite there being 3 chargers there it's always insanely busy and you'll probably have to wait to get plugged in unless you're travelling in the middle of the night. So if you need to charge in that area try looking for Polar or Instavolt chargers just off the motorway instead.
 

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Another tip - do you have a service area close to home that you can have a quick practice on before you launch out into the big wide world? That way you'll be familiar with what to do when the time comes. It's what I did when I got my Leaf.

Seeing as there is no connection charge on Ecotricity, you only have to see that the charge has started and leave it going for a few minutes, before you head off home full of confidence :)
 

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This time of the year nice and warm, you should expect to get between 110 miles and 120 miles range at 65mph - 70mph, without any worries. (depending on head wind or tail wind) - (assuming that you have a 100% full charge when your set off)

With the 40Kwh I always looked to recharge ever 90 / 100miles or so - your first charge will be reasonably quick or normal but remember that the battery has no active cooling so when you reach the second rapid charge the battery will have started to heat up, so the 2nd rapid charge will be slower.(rapidgate)

Keep an eye on the battery temperature, if it starts to get close to going into the red, then slow down and duck behind a wagon at 60MPH for a while and the battery temperature with soon come down.

Battery's don't like excessive heat, cause premature degradation.

Check the chargers that you planning to use on ZAP MAP or Plugshare to see if there is any issues with them -

Just been checking the chargers myself for my trip up north next week, seems to be a lot of issues with Ecotricity Chargers at the moment.
 

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Just have a plan B for faulty chargers although Chademo has been more reliable on Ecotricity units.
 

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Personally I'd look at all the EH units along your route and plan to stop at the first one after 80miles that's on Freevend and then the same again further on. In this warmer weather you'll be fine to get at least 130miles but aiming to sit at around 60mph and enjoying a relaxing drive. It also focuses you on driving more sedately when aiming for freevends I find 🤣 if you start with a full battery it will loads and 3 rapids in a day shouldn't be too bad as you won't need to rapid charge for long, probably about 30mins a piece of say.
 

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How do you know in advance which units are on free vend? I've just turned up and on occasion been pleasantly surprised to see that the first screen says to choose which plug is required, rather than the normal (paid for) one that says to use the app.
 

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How do you know in advance which units are on free vend? I've just turned up and on occasion been pleasantly surprised to see that the first screen says to choose which plug is required, rather than the normal (paid for) one that says to use the app.
Try typing the 'pump' number into the app. If it constantly claims to be out of service or in use every time you check, its likely in free vend mode. You can also look out for comments from others on Zap Map.

We're back at the point where most of the chargers are on free vend again at the moment anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all for taking the time to reply. You've taken away some of my anxiety - I just need to get the first trip out of the way and then I'm sure I will be fine!
 

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Have you been on your trip yet ?

We picked up our leaf on Thursday afternoon and drove it 40 miles home. Battery was at 60% or so and we charged it on the granny cable overnight.

Trip up to the Lake District the next morning after our full charge. Stopped at Tebay and did a quick charge on the ecotricity charger. Easy to use and it was contactless payment.

I did set up the app first.

Piece of cake this EV ownership so far !
 

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Have you been on your trip yet ?

We picked up our leaf on Thursday afternoon and drove it 40 miles home. Battery was at 60% or so and we charged it on the granny cable overnight.

Trip up to the Lake District the next morning after our full charge. Stopped at Tebay and did a quick charge on the ecotricity charger. Easy to use and it was contactless payment.

I did set up the app first.

Piece of cake this EV ownership so far !
Tebay has original DBT Brand Ecotricity chargers. They definitely don't support contactless payment?

One of them is regularly on free vend, but when functioning normally you have to use the app to pay for and operate the charger as they don't have a built in credit card terminal, and the RFID Smartcard readers were disabled many years ago.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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This time of the year nice and warm, you should expect to get between 110 miles and 120 miles range at 65mph - 70mph, without any worries. (depending on head wind or tail wind) - (assuming that you have a 100% full charge when your set off)

With the 40Kwh I always looked to recharge ever 90 / 100miles or so
So you are giving yourself a 10 mile margin for your Plan B!!!?

(With respect Dave, sorry ...) My advice; don't do 'that'. Charge frequently and often, and have a Plan B and a Plan C if B fails, and know what you are going to do if Plan C fails.

Also, for that sort of distance, driving slower will get you there quicker. Go at 60 max. What you lose in average speed (which is virtually nothing on a long trip with varied roads) you will gain in reduced charge times.
 

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Tebay has original DBT Brand Ecotricity chargers. They definitely don't support contactless payment?

One of them is regularly on free vend, but when functioning normally you have to use the app to pay for and operate the charger as they don't have a built in credit card terminal, and the RFID Smartcard readers were disabled many years ago.
Ah sorry you're quite right. It was the app I used. I got confused with the contactless parking up in the Lakes - DOH.

Very easy anyway.
 

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So you are giving yourself a 10 mile margin for your Plan B!!!?

(With respect Dave, sorry ...) My advice; don't do 'that'. Charge frequently and often, and have a Plan B and a Plan C if B fails, and know what you are going to do if Plan C fails.

Also, for that sort of distance, driving slower will get you there quicker. Go at 60 max. What you lose in average speed (which is virtually nothing on a long trip with varied roads) you will gain in reduced charge times.
Hello @donald, couldn't agree more and fully respect what you are saying, which is very good advice, but (there's always a but 😀) I was specifically replying to the original post, which requesting advice, on making a 260 mile trip, mainly motorway driving, indicating that they were planning to drive a 65mph.

The LEAF 40Kwh has no battery cooling, the battery seriously heats up in response to RAPID charging, on a 260 mile trip, the aim would be to RAPID charge the least number of times to avoid excessive heat in the battery and RAPIDGATE, on the 3rd RAPID charge of the day. On a run like this it makes good sense to charge at 90 / 100 mile intervals, with the range that the battery hides away, at 100 miles distance and in summer, there will probably be 35 miles range left for a plan B, although a plan C would certainly be squeaky bum time, granted.

Yes, driving at 60mph is best practice, for economy thus avoiding unnecessary charging, but (another but 😀) the discussion starter said that they were new to EV's so I didn't want to suggest this as it's a bit of an alien concept, when you are a newbie. Also it's really hard to do 60mph if the motorway is busy. Its either 55mph behind slow wagons or 65+ mph in the middle lane, plus the gentleman said he wanted to do 65mph, so who am I to tell him, he's wrong.

My reply was based on my own experience of driving 260 miles from the south coast, Hampshire to Wetherby, with a 100 mile and 90 mile stops for rapids. (always had a plan B - plan C would have been a flatbed)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm really appreciative of everyone's helpful replies and advice - thank you,

Thing's I learnt from my first long trip:

Yes, 60mph is a much better speed than my intended 65-70, and I quickly settled into the comfort of inside lane 60mph driving. Previously (in my ICE) I would have have driven as fast as speed limits would have allowed; I found that EV driving is so much more relaxing and although the trip took a little longer, I arrived much fresher and less tired than I would have done in my ICE.

The motorway charging experience was painless, and there was always a free charger at Plan A (so never needed to go to plan B). I was probably helped by the discovery that the Leaf's mileage range turned out to be greater than my partner's bladder range!

Charging while we were away was, in contrast, slightly more hassle than I expected. I couldn't park close enough to where we were staying to use a granny charger (I knew this in advance) and getting to a Rapid charger in a semi-rural location proved to be a minor irritation. Also twice when using ChargeYourCar, I couldn't get to charge first time via the App but each time it worked on the second attempt even though I don't believe I did anything differently.

Finally, on the journey back I charged up to 130 miles at Ferrybridge, believing that by dropping my speed to 55mph this would get me the 105 miles back home. But the range then steadily dropped quicker than the miles I was covering so frustratingly I had to stop at Durham services to get a quick 15 minute charge to get me home.

But its all a learning experience and the serene driving experience more than compensated for any minor charging/range irritations, which were probably a result of my inexperience anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@GOSPORT DAVE
On a run like this it makes good sense to charge at 90 / 100 mile intervals, with the range that the battery hides away, at 100 miles distance and in summer, there will probably be 35 miles range left for a plan B.

Apologies if this is a daft question, but I don't understand what you mean by "the range that the battery hides away"?
 

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But its all a learning experience and the serene driving experience more than compensated for any minor charging/range irritations, which were probably a result of my inexperience anyway.
Fancy driving being relaxing, not a peeing contest to see who can fastest but in a terrible mood. :p
 
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