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Old 01-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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BBC Drives Mini E from London to Edinburgh

BBC News - Mini adventure: how far can an electric car go?

EDIT - Some text

Quote:
Charging network

It would be easy to charge the car by asking successive pub landlords between Westminster and the Royal Mile if they wouldn't mind you plugging into their electricity supply while you had a drink.

That is until you mentioned that it might need a 10-hour charge and would need to leave a cable dangling out of the window overnight.

No, the only practical way for drivers to charge their cars is by using public charge points, of which there are thought to be as many as 500 in the UK.

No-one has actually added them up.

Even OLEV, the government office for low emission vehicles, doesn't know exactly how many there are.

So are there enough? And are they spaced correctly for me to get to Edinburgh within a working week?
Range anxiety

To try and get a better idea of feasibility we went to visit Calvey Taylor-Haw, who runs a business called Elektromotive.

At a factory in Lancing, West Sussex, he manufactures many of the electric charging posts that make up the network.

After looking at the map, he pronounces that the journey as far as Tyneside is perfectly achievable.

But between Northumberland and Edinburgh it will be a significant challenge.

"The gap is 87 miles," he says, "which is more than the range of your car.

"Ideally you need another charging post halfway between the two. Otherwise you are going to suffer range anxiety."

From where I'm about to sit, that's a serious understatement.
I think this is going to be crucial for uptake of these leccy cars. I have done this journey from Edinburgh to London and back in a day before, obviously with ICE.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So, the Mini E can go an average of 121 miles on a charge -- not bad. The Tesla would do it in two days, I think? Maybe the DBM Energy Audi A2 could do it in one go?

I think the Dolphin with a big lithium pack, or my CarBEN EV could possibly do this in one day, as well. At 150Wh/mile it would take about 75kWh to drive 484 miles. At 125Wh/mile, the pack would need to be ~60kWh. And at 110Wh/mile it would be ~54kWh; which is the size of the pack I am anticipating having in the CarBEN EV.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i saw this on the news today..
4 days for that trip? Wonder if the running costs include accommodation..

Its a bit of a useless attempt. Much better if they hypermiled it and saw how few charges they could do it in.

Did you see the article on cost comparison on small petrol car vs elec.?bit scary!
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I think the Dolphin with a big lithium pack, or my CarBEN EV could possibly do this in one day, as well. At 150Wh/mile it would take about 75kWh to drive 484 miles. At 125Wh/mile, the pack would need to be ~60kWh. And at 110Wh/mile it would be ~54kWh; which is the size of the pack I am anticipating having in the CarBEN EV.
I hope we see the CarBEN soon enough to see some range tests, its an impressive project so far. An issue with real world CarBEN may be weight - I'm sure it is light enough but I wonder about the environment.

For info the route from London to Edinburgh is more or less along the coast from Newcastle onwards - and that is the North Sea so lots of cross winds and rain. The last time I drove it I passed a stuck Land Rover, I was in Helga which was worrying...
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very good reply from my favorite auto maker.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, they drove a Tesla from London to Edinburgh in one day; in time to meet the BBC fellow in the Mini E when he arrived...

Here's the Tesla in front of Edinburgh Castle:

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Old 01-14-2011, 05:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think the Tesla comparison is a little bit unrealistic, different markets and spectacularly different price ranges. If they make this a regular thing and use more up to date cars (e.g. Leaf next year, maybe a Focus next) then it will be interesting. If they find an uncontraversial way of getting the true cost vs Diesel or Petrol and throw in a couple of ICEs for comparison then that would make it even better.

However is this totally realistic, are they getting some extra help not available to mere non-media mortals ? Compare and contrast if you will dear readers this passage from the BBC blog :

Quote:
Suddenly we see the lights of the Waitrose supermarket, and stress levels reduce.

Like the welcoming beams of a lighthouse, the blue luminescence of the charging point shines out across the car park.

But until today, this charge post will only work for a maximum duration of two hours.

The idea of that is to stop people blocking access for everyone else.

And I need to charge here for 10 hours.

Then Vicky, the manageress here, tells me that the company have just altered the software especially for me, so I will be able to charge overnight.

I feel like dancing around the car park.
from here (day three), and this item from another website

Quote:
I joined site over a 60 fine for using a Waitrose car park. I had done a large shop and then returned about an hour later. I was fined for returning within the two hours and they decided I had been there 2 hours 35 minutes
from here.

By the way if anyone from the UK gets one of these tickets the correct, legal, detailed response is to ignore them. And if they write to you any threatening letters afterwards, ignore them some more only more intently, maybe give the envelope a 'Paddington hard stare' :



before filing with the others. You can sit reassured that even with the added Paddington element, it has taken them considerably more time to create and send the letters than it has for you to ignore them.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sure, the Tesla is expensive, but the BBC is not being very fair. Apparently, 50% of all drives in the UK are 8 miles, and 93% are ~25 miles. There is a great high speed train from London to Edinburgh -- I've ridden on it a couple of times. That only takes about 4+ hours? Why would you drive any car?

Once more fast chargers get put in, the Leaf could make the drive in one day -- the charges would take a total of 2-3 hours.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Somewhat ironically the Mini is doing the return journey on a trailer and the journo is going back by train .

I don't think this is meant to be a real world excercise. I think the point of the beeb is that more people are likely to consider a Mini E than a Tesla, even without cost. More people buy even just the top of the range Minis rather than Lotus Elises because they have a reasonable boot and they keep you dry.

They have done it before, around Europe.



The beeb seem keen on at least having a go with leccy tech which is cool in my view. The Tesla crowd's feelings seem a little bit 'raw' when it comes to the beeb possibly due to Clarkson's antics when he tested the Roadster and gave the impression that it broke when it maybe didn't or not in the way shown or something.

Not everyone at the beeb is like Carkson, which is a double edged sword I suppose. At least they didn't go mad when a GWizz driver was killed.



(The fact it is an electric car was relevant because leccy cars were (and perhaps still are) excused from quite a bit of the safety testing needed for conventional cars in the UK).

Doing this journey by train is an irrelevant excersize for most people however I have had situations where I have had to jump in the car and driver 4-500 miles in an afternoon where the train is just not an option.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, the GWizz is a deathtrap, or so it seems.

Here's another take on the trip to Edinburgh:

Tesla Fan Drives Epic Electric Car Trip To Prove BBC Wrong - All Cars Electric

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