@PerthandKinross @HighlandCouncil @ChargeplaceScot
A scenic trip North, nearly blighted by infrastructure.
That’s a quite strong I know, but what should have been a completely stress free journey was not. First things first, the journey north is largely an ascent. Naturally this has an impact on range, most noticeable over Drumochter. We had fully charged at Broxden, where there is currently a single working chargepoint for the Leaf. Out of a potential 6, two CHadeMO and four L3. Plugshare reveals that this has been the case for a while. Disappointing, as it is a very good facility when fully functional.
The Guess-o-Meter suggests that Aviemore is within range, but Drumochter requires a deal of energy to maintain a reasonable speed. Lower speeds may make it possible,but would be undesirable, if not also unsafe, for such a busy road.
With Rie-Achan Road CHadeMO in Pitlochry out of service since February (!) there is nothing until Kingussie. We arrived in Kingussie with less than 5% remaining. We hadn’t been using the heating! As a user this highlights a significant hole in the network. With just one charger down there is no fallback or overlap in the infrastructure.
Two obvious remedies exist.:
- A Rapid in Dalwhinnie, preferably with some L3 posts. Several locations spring to mind, but L3 charging at the Distillery, or in town to encourage stopping, as well as a Journey Charger at or near the Distillery would work.
- Provision of additional L3 chargers near each #JourneyCharger, would result in local spend, either through choice or need. Either is a win for the local community.
Privately, House of Bruar would also benefit from some L3 charging. A captive audience who want to spend time, tend also to spend money…..I have suggested this to them.
50% charge in Kingussie saw us comfortable to Aviemore, where the Journey Charger is just over the road from a cafe for a late lunch/early dinner. We were away for longer than usual, but the disk was on the dash as well as the Check-In on Plugshare
The return journey, with a very tired dog, was ‘downhill’ and this showed in the energy consumption. One stop at Broxden and home with about 64% reserve. So 38.5kWh northbound, 33kWh southbound. It was mild travelling North, so the heating was off. Southbound, dark, cold and heating on. Although I planned the journey with reference to Plugshare, just one more failed charger would have seen us on the flatbed. Still room for improvement in the network.
The car, perfect. Real world range at a steady 59 mph going north was 100 miles. It didn’t feel that way over Drumochter, but pretty much to the mile. Coming back, slower at a steady 55, it was about 112. For those who care that’s pretty much on the EPA figure of 107 mile real world range on average. No extra effort to try and hypermile, just using the limiter to set a comfortable travel speed, we were on a scenic day out after all……