Hi - OP here!
You're right, Xinix - I'm very much a proponent of EVs. I've been driving electric for more than 4 years; I've encouraged two of my friends to also buy a Leaf each. It's absolutely my go-to for my next car, and I am prepared to make compromises to make that work.
The question is how far I'm willing to compromise, even as a fan of EVs:
I'd have no problem stopping for 10 minutes "once in a blue moon", or even 20 or 30 minutes every time I do those longer journeys IF I had confidence that it would only be a brief stop. However, I've probably used rapid chargers maybe 20 times so far, and about 25% of the time it's proven to be a problem. I've encountered:
- broken chargers (more than once; despite the provider's own website saying they were up and running) leaving me unable to charge
- a long queue (caused by someone using a rapid charger at 3kw to recharge their hybrid)
- chargers refusing to accept payment and hence work
- charges on the map not existing in real life, and vice-versa
- rapid charger cables being locked into my car because the app crashes, leaving me trapped, and requiring a lengthy wait in a phone queue until someone can remotely reset the charger (had that one twice!)
It's this rubbish that I'm really trying to avoid!
And, it's worth not losing sight of the up-front cost of the cars. I can get a c.2 year old e-Niro for just under £30k; I don't know what a petrol or PHEV equivalent would cost - but not too far off half that? OK, i'll recover some of that in running costs, but that extra money up front is a big consideration for me.
Plus, my wife and kids will be in the car for each of these journeys. They don't share my interest in EVs, and will therefore be a lot less understanding if/when something goes wrong.
So, I'm trying to find a way to make this work - I had hoped the e-Niro would be the magic answer that would allow me to go full-electric but yet completely escape the perils of the public charging network. Not sure it 100% achieves that. Which leaves me with having to make some tricky choices!
(Counter-argument: yes the charging network is improving all the time; no, I've not tried Instavolt - maybe they're better and I've been using the dodgy networks and getting a bad experience!)