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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it's one of my long posts ... grab a beer or glass of wine and enjoy!

So me and my wife have been very fortunate enough to have been able to work form Home since March! We have been looking at the same 4 walls for what it seems like an eternity. About 4-5 months ago we booked a Hotel+Spa over the xmas period just to get away for a change of scenery, plus it's our Son's Birthday on the 28th and we expect no party would be allowed with his friends.

We was planning to leave on the 23rd and return on the 29th. In preparation we have been in self-imposed Lockdown since Monday the 7th Dec, as we didn't want any reason not to go away plus didn't want to be carriers and a risk to others. Considering we have been very careful since March, this was just extra precaution to make sure we wasn't forced to stay at home over Xmas/Birthday. Our Spanish Au-Pair went home yesterday for the holiday, and due to Spanish restrictions he had to have a covid Test less than 72 hours before the flight. Well he did that and the result was negative as expected.

So yesterday (Saturday) the car was at 90% and after a return trip to Stanstead Airport to drop the Au-Pair off, I returned with 70% left.

The wife cooked up a nice curry for Saturday night ... I'm enjoying everything and my phone starts to ping a lot with messages. This was around 7pm. About 7:15pm I'd finished dinner and went to see what the fuss was about. Well apparently Boris has now decided to lock us down in Tier 4 from Midnight Saturday.

F***

Right then and there all three of us (me, wife, + son) were all massively depressed. We had done everything possible to keep ourselves safe, to make sure when we went away we wouldn't be a risk to others, our Aupair tested Negative, and now lockdown for another 2 weeks!! (min).

I started to look at a bottle Deanston 15 year old Whisky ... it was about to be seriously attacked! However then a thought hit me .... would it be possible ... could we do it ... am I mental?

Lockdown wasn't until midnight ... could we pack, load the car up, and get going by 8:30pm? Could the hotel take us early? Take our laptops so we can work Mon-Wed? Hell it was an idea!!!

By now it's 7:20ish ... I run outside and plug the car in and start charging. I was planning on the 3p last night to top up but to hell with it ... 11p per kWH is fine if I can get the car some more eco-juice.

Range anxiety was already kicking in ... the worry about a car we know others have had issues with ... the time we would be traveling ... would we have enough charge? ... the "poor" uk charging infrastructure ... all these tings going through my mind while we are trying to pack cloths, laptops, xmas/bday presents, charges, etc...

Ok deep breath. I had planned this journey for months. The original plan was to charge to 100%. Pre-Heat. Leave around 10am for Stratford-Upon-Avon 120 miles away. Then 50kWh charge at BP Pulse charger at the Crown Hotel while we had Lunch. Then to the Hotel south of Worcester arriving with 60%+ as the Hotel has no destination chargers.

I had back up's too ... There is a 150kWh Shell Recharge in Stratford-Upon-Avon too ... plus if I got really desperate there was an Instavolt 50kWh on the road to Worcester. Failing all that it was only 150miles to the hotel from home ... so could get there with 20% ish battery left.

I also had planned the route back via the 125kWh Instavolt at Banbury originally, but once we got the BP Pulse credit I'd found a couple of places to stop for food with a 50kWh BP Pulse charger.

However, I hadn't planned to leave with 80% battery at 7-8deg's late on a Saturday night, with no pre-heating, no planning, and no prep! We managed to pack the boot full (including the extra under the floor), plus the 4th seat in the back was loaded up as well. So the car was packed!

I had 5min's while on the bog before leaving and plugged everything in ABRP and while it said I could get here, it was below 5% battery. In addition if I asked to arrive with 60%+ charge it picked some odd chargers to charge for an hour or more, because I had BP Pulse set as a priority. No time to mess about with it now ... I just had to get on with it.

I knew the Instavolt at Banbury was well know on the SpeakEV forums and facebook groups as being very reliable, and decided that I'd stop there and get the charge I needed or at least enough to keep going. 95 miles ... 80% charge ... easy right? Well I really hoped so!!

So in the car now I enter the destination into Google. It came up with 0% ... I knew a 150miles with 80% might be pushing it ... but was expecting the more realistic range of 160miles (Double Battery %) but expected to see 5% or something. 0% meant I had to charge ... I had to stop somewhere.

Google suggested 12+ chargers ... the first 5 being BP Pulse but all 50kWh - some of them far from the main roads. However number 6 on the list (I had to scroll down) did show the Instavolt at Banbury. So I picked that, and of we set at 8:30pm. The GPA (Google Percent on Arrival) was 28% for 95 miles, 7 Deg C, and wet and light raining roads, no pre-conditioning, and all my fears pushed deep down inside - I had to rely on the fact the car for me at least has been solid and I'd done my research ... all "should" go well.

M25 / M40 - Sat Nav set to 75mph, inside Temp at 19deg - well short version everything went fine. Half way there I'd gained a % or two as well, so I started to relax and my worry started to fade.


Arriving at Banbury no one else was there, so pulled up dead middle and plugged in - we had managed 36kWh/100mi and arrived with 34% - that's 6% more than the GPA originally suggested.

I was getting 70kWh charge from 34% to 50% where then it dropped to 50kWh.

One nice thing is that now Google updates live the GPA to the next stop - I saw early videos where it didn't do this - Within seconds the % was at 1% for our final destination.

23mins and 拢8.81 later ... I had 65% battery with an GPA of 30% and 11:30pm arrival time with 60 miles to go. Instavolt may not be cheap (or free!) but I can't fault it's reliability!

The next leg went almost as smoothly ... the rain started to come down really hard so the trip consumption went up to 37.5 kWh/100mi ... I was going to take a photo but at that time my Priority was to get into the room and fall asleep. So I arrived with 33% battery left ... again a little more than the GPA but this time by 3%.

The car was faultless ... no ... the car was fabulous!! I even found out that If I put the steering into Standard rather than Firm, the LKA didn't seem to fight me as much - more testing required to see if this is true or a placebo effect.

ACC + LKA ate the motorway smoothly - it did help that they were not super busy - and was a breeze to do this journey. Even the 23min charge just few by ... I was chatting to the wife about stuff; she was impressed the battery % was visually going up so quickly but saying she wouldn't be happy to come here on her own - Costa shut and was a bit dark near the chargers - and some other EV chat - She liked the MG SUV that pulled up for a charge whilst we was there.

So there you go ... I was panicking over nothing! The journey, trip, and charging were all fine.

Today we got up and went into town, as there was a CYC (charge your car) charger at the local shopping centre. We found it ok ... Zap-Map now said BP Pulse RFID cards would be accepted there too, and it indeed it did! So a 1 hour max stay, I got 50% battery for free! 拢445.50 left to go!



Now I'm walking about thinking I'm an EV charging pro! 馃ぃ

Final note: Before these last two days I wasn't confident on the car or the infrastructure. The reason I wanted 30%+ battery at the hotel was so I had some built in margins and if I needed too I could drive around a bit looking for one that works, as I'm now away from an overnight charger for 10 days and at the mercy of the chargers out there.

I'm now really confident on what the car can do ... yes I'm still disappointed that the range is less (even considering winter + rain) than I expected, but at least I have confidence to drive it closer to the limits if I get either stupid or unlucky & desperate.

I will keep this post updated on how I get on over the next 10 days at the mercy of the dreaded UK EV Charging infrastructure!
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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Good write-up and decent economy too! Definitely Instavolt for the win, as they say. I tried a Polar charger today just for the fun of it and it wouldn't let me charge with my (new) RFID card even though I know it has the credit on it. Hmph...

While I was trying to get it to work, a chap pulled up in an e-Golf. Not wanting to be rude I let him charge and got chatting... turns out he works for Polestar UK as an electronics engineer! Funny old world :).
 

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So it's one of my long posts ... grab a beer or glass of wine and enjoy!

So me and my wife have been very fortunate enough to have been able to work form Home since March! We have been looking at the same 4 walls for what it seems like an eternity. About 4-5 months ago we booked a Hotel+Spa over the xmas period just to get away for a change of scenery, plus it's our Son's Birthday on the 28th and we expect no party would be allowed with his friends.

We was planning to leave on the 23rd and return on the 29th. In preparation we have been in self-imposed Lockdown since Monday the 7th Dec, as we didn't want any reason not to go away plus didn't want to be carriers and a risk to others. Considering we have been very careful since March, this was just extra precaution to make sure we wasn't forced to stay at home over Xmas/Birthday. Our Spanish Au-Pair went home yesterday for the holiday, and due to Spanish restrictions he had to have a covid Test less than 72 hours before the flight. Well he did that and the result was negative as expected.

So yesterday (Saturday) the car was at 90% and after a return trip to Stanstead Airport to drop the Au-Pair off, I returned with 70% left.

The wife cooked up a nice curry for Saturday night ... I'm enjoying everything and my phone starts to ping a lot with messages. This was around 7pm. About 7:15pm I'd finished dinner and went to see what the fuss was about. Well apparently Boris has now decided to lock us down in Tier 4 from Midnight Saturday.

F***

Right then and there all three of us (me, wife, + son) were all massively depressed. We had done everything possible to keep ourselves safe, to make sure when we went away we wouldn't be a risk to others, our Aupair tested Negative, and now lockdown for another 2 weeks!! (min).

I started to look at a bottle Deanston 15 year old Whisky ... it was about to be seriously attacked! However then a thought hit me .... would it be possible ... could we do it ... am I mental?

Lockdown wasn't until midnight ... could we pack, load the car up, and get going by 8:30pm? Could the hotel take us early? Take our laptops so we can work Mon-Wed? Hell it was an idea!!!

By now it's 7:20ish ... I run outside and plug the car in and start charging. I was planning on the 3p last night to top up but to hell with it ... 11p per kWH is fine if I can get the car some more eco-juice.

Range anxiety was already kicking in ... the worry about a car we know others have had issues with ... the time we would be traveling ... would we have enough charge? ... the "poor" uk charging infrastructure ... all these tings going through my mind while we are trying to pack cloths, laptops, xmas/bday presents, charges, etc...

Ok deep breath. I had planned this journey for months. The original plan was to charge to 100%. Pre-Heat. Leave around 10am for Stratford-Upon-Avon 120 miles away. Then 50kWh charge at BP Pulse charger at the Crown Hotel while we had Lunch. Then to the Hotel south of Worcester arriving with 60%+ as the Hotel has no destination chargers.

I had back up's too ... There is a 150kWh Shell Recharge in Stratford-Upon-Avon too ... plus if I got really desperate there was an Instavolt 50kWh on the road to Worcester. Failing all that it was only 150miles to the hotel from home ... so could get there with 20% ish battery left.

I also had planned the route back via the 125kWh Instavolt at Banbury originally, but once we got the BP Pulse credit I'd found a couple of places to stop for food with a 50kWh BP Pulse charger.

However, I hadn't planned to leave with 80% battery at 7-8deg's late on a Saturday night, with no pre-heating, no planning, and no prep! We managed to pack the boot full (including the extra under the floor), plus the 4th seat in the back was loaded up as well. So the car was packed!

I had 5min's while on the bog before leaving and plugged everything in ABRP and while it said I could get here, it was below 5% battery. In addition if I asked to arrive with 60%+ charge it picked some odd chargers to charge for an hour or more, because I had BP Pulse set as a priority. No time to mess about with it now ... I just had to get on with it.

I knew the Instavolt at Banbury was well know on the SpeakEV forums and facebook groups as being very reliable, and decided that I'd stop there and get the charge I needed or at least enough to keep going. 95 miles ... 80% charge ... easy right? Well I really hoped so!!

So in the car now I enter the destination into Google. It came up with 0% ... I knew a 150miles with 80% might be pushing it ... but was expecting the more realistic range of 160miles (Double Battery %) but expected to see 5% or something. 0% meant I had to charge ... I had to stop somewhere.

Google suggested 12+ chargers ... the first 5 being BP Pulse but all 50kWh - some of them far from the main roads. However number 6 on the list (I had to scroll down) did show the Instavolt at Banbury. So I picked that, and of we set at 8:30pm. The GPA (Google Percent on Arrival) was 28% for 95 miles, 7 Deg C, and wet and light raining roads, no pre-conditioning, and all my fears pushed deep down inside - I had to rely on the fact the car for me at least has been solid and I'd done my research ... all "should" go well.

M25 / M40 - Sat Nav set to 75mph, inside Temp at 19deg - well short version everything went fine. Half way there I'd gained a % or two as well, so I started to relax and my worry started to fade.


Arriving at Banbury no one else was there, so pulled up dead middle and plugged in - we had managed 36kWh/100mi and arrived with 34% - that's 6% more than the GPA originally suggested.

I was getting 70kWh charge from 34% to 50% where then it dropped to 50kWh.

One nice thing is that now Google updates live the GPA to the next stop - I saw early videos where it didn't do this - Within seconds the % was at 1% for our final destination.

23mins and 拢8.81 later ... I had 65% battery with an GPA of 30% and 11:30pm arrival time with 60 miles to go. Instavolt may not be cheap (or free!) but I can't fault it's reliability!

The next leg went almost as smoothly ... the rain started to come down really hard so the trip consumption went up to 37.5 kWh/100mi ... I was going to take a photo but at that time my Priority was to get into the room and fall asleep. So I arrived with 33% battery left ... again a little more than the GPA but this time by 3%.

The car was faultless ... no ... the car was fabulous!! I even found out that If I put the steering into Standard rather than Firm, the LKA didn't seem to fight me as much - more testing required to see if this is true or a placebo effect.

ACC + LKA ate the motorway smoothly - it did help that they were not super busy - and was a breeze to do this journey. Even the 23min charge just few by ... I was chatting to the wife about stuff; she was impressed the battery % was visually going up so quickly but saying she wouldn't be happy to come here on her own - Costa shut and was a bit dark near the chargers - and some other EV chat - She liked the MG SUV that pulled up for a charge whilst we was there.

So there you go ... I was panicking over nothing! The journey, trip, and charging were all fine.

Today we got up and went into town, as there was a CYC (charge your car) charger at the local shopping centre. We found it ok ... Zap-Map now said BP Pulse RFID cards would be accepted there too, and it indeed it did! So a 1 hour max stay, I got 50% battery for free! 拢445.50 left to go!



Now I'm walking about thinking I'm an EV charging pro! 馃ぃ

Final note: Before these last two days I wasn't confident on the car or the infrastructure. The reason I wanted 30%+ battery at the hotel was so I had some built in margins and if I needed too I could drive around a bit looking for one that works, as I'm now away from an overnight charger for 10 days and at the mercy of the chargers out there.

I'm now really confident on what the car can do ... yes I'm still disappointed that the range is less (even considering winter + rain) than I expected, but at least I have confidence to drive it closer to the limits if I get either stupid or unlucky & desperate.

I will keep this post updated on how I get on over the next 10 days at the mercy of the dreaded UK EV Charging infrastructure!
Have the same concerns about staying at a hotel nowhere near a DC charger and without a destination charger for a trip wifey and I have planned in March. Have thought about asking the hotel just to let me plug in a 3 pin extension cord to the side of the building (?somehow) and the standard AC charger that comes with the car to at least let me trickle charge while we are there for 3 days. Anyone else ever done this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anyone else ever done this?
That was my first thought to be honest if I got really stuck.

How far is the nearest 50kWh?

My next trick is to find places to charge whilst at some tourist attractions.

I did a ton of looking around on Zap-Map and Google for places to go and charge locally if I could. Even at 7kwh at 4 hours that's 40%
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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I always ask at any hotel or bed and breakfast if they'd mind if I hang a cable out of the window and most are quite happy to as long as no extension lead is used. If you don't ask, you don't get :) and of course it's polite to offer to pay for the electricity, which will still be a fraction of the cost of a rapid charger. I would say most of our holiday charging over the years has actually been via the granny charger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm going to a Haven caravan holiday park next summer. I'll be throwing the Granny out the window for charging while there!
 

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Have the same concerns about staying at a hotel nowhere near a DC charger and without a destination charger for a trip wifey and I have planned in March. Have thought about asking the hotel just to let me plug in a 3 pin extension cord to the side of the building (?somehow) and the standard AC charger that comes with the car to at least let me trickle charge while we are there for 3 days. Anyone else ever done this?
I did that at a Hyatt in California. Although that was with my Ioniq not my Polestar. Very nice to have a hotel let you plug in. I always Cary a 50鈥 extension cord with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So today went about 45min drive to Hereford. Got there and found an old 7kWh Chargemaster. Free to use now with BP Pulse (normally 拢1.20 connection fee, then free electric).

There an back, having some fun on some great A roads. 40kWh.

3 for 3 now successful charges!
 

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@GDank - thanks for sharing a very enjoyable read. Stories like these are very useful and informative for those anticipating their first EV arriving (like me!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No problem. For me it's a learning curve and I had many worries before we left too. 9 days, no destination charger, and we want to use the car while not lockdown and see the local area.

Our next trip is summer time up to the lakes... I'll be predominantly on the Granny for that! :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First failed charge on a 3-pin Chargemaster at an Asda.

I'm wondering if its my granny cable as I've never tested it.
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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Now that is strange as you can't generally go wrong with a 3-pin charger! What current limit did you set it to? Generally best to start at 6A and then work up if it seems ok after a bit. I've tested our 3-pin charger on both the Polestar and the Zoe and it charged both fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Probably the charger and not the cable, but as I've never used the cable before I can't be sure.

The charger kept telling to plug in, and the car was just yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also I broke the 1000 miles millage today!

Apart from that 4G black out we all had the car has been flawless.

I still think my Stinger was a better car overall, but I'm also glade I switched to an EV.
 

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I still think my Stinger was a better car overall, but I'm also glade I switched to an EV.
Getting to near 1k myself. This is legit the nicest car I've owned.

But my prior cars were optimizing for $$ not luxury so perhaps not the highest bar.
I do think my prior car (Camry) was more comfortable. It had more space, for sure. And I didn't feel as bad about just tossing stuff into it - if it got dirty or dinged up whatever.
And part of it is it didn't pick up speed nearly as well, so less likely I would feel like tossing and turning it around, which probably made the Camry nicer for the backseat passengers. I need to learn how to not have as much fun it for the benefit of certain passengers.

But the Polestar is smoother, quicker, quieter, and plain more nice feeling.
It does seem like some features like ADAS, speed sign recognition, and the 360 cam could do better in matching similar offerings from ICE cars on market. Will see how much is hardware dependent there or could be improved via OTA updates. And I didn't have those in the Camry, or whatever features I had the Polestar handles it much better.

Either way, totally happy with the car after ~1 month and almost ~1k!
 

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Today was my first relaxed day running errands... maybe 80 miles total. 'Love how smooth it is and how fast it is when it's helpful to be fast. Of course, I'm in the honeymoon phase, right? But then, that lasted years with my last car. 'Hoping for the same here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Another successful BP Pulse charge while at Lunch.

This EV life is easy (he says before the inevitable fall! 馃槀)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Had my first real issue today. Getting into the car this morning it was about 2 deg's C and for some reason pulling out the car park the camera's were not working. I didn't really need them so went on with my journey.

I popped down to Great Malvern and there is a car park near the main park. It has 3 No. Double Socket 7kWh chargers. The first two of them had "Out of Order" signs on them, which I didn't notice until after I had parked and got out the car, and the 3rd had an e-Golf and a Merc Plug in Hybrid attached.

I wasn't going to get much of a charge anyway, as we was there for only 2 hours, however was the first time I wasn't able to charge due to no spaces available.

Good news is that if I really needed a charge, there was a 50kW BP Pulse a few miles down the road at a local spa.

Back to the Camera's ... once I stopped the car at the car park I did the a full reset and they worked fine again, so no big deal.


So another point of interest ... it's the first time I've seen the regen be almost completely greyed out (like 99%). The car was at 94% charge and as mentioned it was 2 deg's this morning. I've never seen in that greyed out before ... the most was probably 75% with around 4degs C outside air.

When I back I'm going to post my full 1k+ miles review. All the good and bad. This thread is more about a blog of the trip and how the infrastructure holds up.
 
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