Quick update: We made it. The last stretch was pretty swift and quiet. Got the kids to bed and now time for a beer.
I think it went well, the problems we had were due to traffic and major accidents. Taking an ICE wouldn't have been any quicker. So, mission accomplished. We're not at the race tomorrow as we have tickets for the final race on Sunday. We'll be back online at EVIOM.im then.
Catch tomorrow's and Sunday's races on ITV4 or online at fiaformulae.com.
Today saw Pearl and Eva split up and look for clues.
Pearl headed for Nissan London West for a Rapid charge. The charger there was a little slower that the Ecotricity chargers, but free and there's coffee. It's was a beautiful day so a walk was in order. Next, a trip to Westfield Shopping Centre to try the slow chargers and get the tube into the city for a few hours before returning for some dinner and some important baby sitting duties. We'll come back to this experience later (Westfield, not the baby sitting).
Eva headed out for the afternoon on a mission to buy school uniforms from the local Asda. How exciting. We parked alongside an already charging Renault Kangoo ZE and got a good top up from the easy to use Source London CP there. About a 25% boost in all. So, happy with that experience, Eva headed to Westfield Shopping Centre for Dinner and a movie. And, of course to complete our charge.
Westfield has a large number of CPs on level 1 and 2 of the car park, plus a Tesla Supercharger. The CP are a mix of domestic 3-pin and Type 2s. Eight bays on each level I think. Sounds great.
This is were the trouble began. When Pearl first arrive ALL 8 on level 1 were ICEd. Later in the day a few came free but when we arrived in Eva we noticed that there were a number of EVs parked but not charging. I was annoyed at this but it soon became clear why.
Pearl was told by Source London that an Ecotricity card would work fine, it didn't. It's actually the other way round, almost any RFID card will work on Ecotricity CPs as they only need to check that the same card holder that started the charge can disconnect the car. The only Source London card we had was in Eva's glove-box. When Eva arrived we connected both cars and tried to charge.
Fail. We started to charge but after a minute or so they just stop. Pearl was at 80% so we gave up on that one. Eva was down on charge due to some less than optimal navigation earlier. After trying a few CPs it looked like Eva was charging OK so off we went to the pictures.
On our return we found the car no longer charging and I knew we hadn't been long enough for 100%. Turns out it had stopped. When starting the car I had an error light on the dash (and I'm sure less charge than we started with).
A pretty awful experience at Westfield, We'll be writing to Source London and asking for a refund on the £5 card. One thing I have found when planning travel to the UK in an EV is that none of these regional systems are set up for visitors.
All packed and ready for home, the kids can't cope with another museum or landmark. They'll have to put up with more Rapid CPs though as its a long way home. Given the traffic problems on the way down we've given our selves plenty of time.
Both cars are charged to 80% thanks to Nissan London West and Ecotricity on the M4. I popped out this evening to top up thanks to the Westfield failure. This means we can get some miles under our belt first thing.
Fingers crossed for a smoother trip for our 19:15 boat home.
We missed missed Lemington Spa/Warrick services (ehm), so we've switched from M42 to M6 toll to M42, M5, M6. Lots of options on this route but I've never had luck with traffic this way.
Stopped at Hopwood Park with 15% on Eva and 21% on Pearl with 14 and 20 miles range showing respectively.
There is only one Rapid, DC only, here but one type2 slow. So same drill, charge one then re other. Baby EVIOM is due a bottle, he asked longer to fill than the car anyway.
We did encounter one problem as the Rapid keeps failing (card error). I spoke to Ecotricity and they have this one marked as faulty anyway. However, we found that if we waited 5 minutes the CP reset and would start again. Given that it's 30 degrees here I supect hear is the problem.
So, some problems but nothing too bad. It does pay to have a backup plan when there is only one CP at a location.
Eva is now over 90% so plenty to get to the next point.
Another stop, and a bottle. We could carry on to next CP then Liverpool but as Mrs EVIOM wants to go to IKEA we are stopping here for a top up and lunch. That way we can take advantage of CP at IKEA and buy some bowls... Or something.
Temperature is is still high and battery temperature gauge is one bar below the red line. Air temp is about 29C as well. Air Con is well appreciated.
As I write this, and we've bought our picnic Eva is full charged and I'm moving the car for a Leaf driving from Gloucester to Galway.
Also, the last two service station had new Tesla Superchathers being installed. The more the merrier in my opinion.
Eva and Pearl are on board the Mannanan and charging happily.
We didn't need the IKEA charge, which means we would have arrived at Liverpool with about 40% left, even with a charge on the boat that would have got us home anywhere on the island.
Which means we could have done the whole trip in three stops. Not every journey of that distance could have been done in three. The spacing of the Chargers on your journey is key. In our case we had so many to choose from we could use the ones that fitted in with our food, baby and comfort breaks.
Two years ago when we got Eva I don't think we could have done that journey or our last journey to Yorkshire as the points just didn't exist. Ecotrity have done a brilliant job of getting these rolled out. I know we've come across a few faulty units on this trip which caused us to stay a little longer at one or two places but traveling with one car it wouldn't have made a difference.
I'm not sure about replacing petrol or diesel costs with candles from IKEA but I have a feeling we would have been stopping there anyway.