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We have just completed a 295 mile trip each way from Huntingdonshire to Bude in Cornwall and I thought I would give an update on our charging experience on the trip.

The bad - Gridserve/Electric Highway still sucks. It is just not acceptable to have only one (or two) charger(s) at a location with a maximum of 60kW capacity on the primary motorway network. A typical experience was at Moto Bridgwater - a total of one charger and if an Audi e-tron turns up just before you then you're either going to have to wait an hour or move on. I chose to move on.

The good - Ionity works really well. I saw charging at up to 151kW with at around 100kW sustained up until around 45% charge. We used the ones at Cullompton and Chippenham (strangely positioned at a truck stop) and they were well located for making the journey home quick and easy. Even better the Plugsurfing card makes it cost competetive at £0.30/kWh rather than the eye-watering £0.72/kWh.

In Cornwall a GeniePoint subscription is essential as they seem to be the prevalent network. There are a number of well positioned 50kW chargers in carparks across north Cornwall - although some of them are in very weird places (including what seemed to be a semi-abandoned carpark at the Eden Project).

We weren't expecting to take the Polestar - we have an XC90 for these sorts of trips but circumstances meant that we couldn't use it. However it proved surprisingly practical.
 

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We have just completed a 295 mile trip each way from Huntingdonshire to Bude in Cornwall and I thought I would give an update on our charging experience on the trip.

The bad - Gridserve/Electric Highway still sucks. It is just not acceptable to have only one (or two) charger(s) at a location with a maximum of 60kW capacity on the primary motorway network. A typical experience was at Moto Bridgwater - a total of one charger and if an Audi e-tron turns up just before you then you're either going to have to wait an hour or move on. I chose to move on.

The good - Ionity works really well. I saw charging at up to 151kW with at around 100kW sustained up until around 45% charge. We used the ones at Cullompton and Chippenham (strangely positioned at a truck stop) and they were well located for making the journey home quick and easy. Even better the Plugsurfing card makes it cost competetive at £0.30/kWh rather than the eye-watering £0.72/kWh.

In Cornwall a GeniePoint subscription is essential as they seem to be the prevalent network. There are a number of well positioned 50kW chargers in carparks across north Cornwall - although some of them are in very weird places (including what seemed to be a semi-abandoned carpark at the Eden Project).

We weren't expecting to take the Polestar - we have an XC90 for these sorts of trips but circumstances meant that we couldn't use it. However it proved surprisingly practical.


I agree completely - we've just done a 375 mile each way (Warwickshire to Scotland) and shared the same concerns, but charging was easier than I had thought, although we did have to wait for up to 1/2 hour for the Ionity chargers at Gretna. I only got a max of 105kw/h at 35% SOC, but they were easy to use with the Plugsurfing card. There also seemed to be an issue with people leaving their car on charge and disappearing. We waited 15 mins for an owner to return who was at 100% when we arrived. The car was great to drive on a long journey though and the Adaptive Cruise Control was great for roadworks on the M6.
 

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With regards to the GridServe Electric Highway their goal was a 3 step process.

1. Change all existing Eccotricity chargers to the new ABB Gridserve units - for now they are limited to the 45-50kW's there were originally. ETA - 80% by end of Sept 2021 with 100% by end of 2021 - They seem to be on target for this goal.

2. Update the software to allow 2 cars to charge at the same time - they are not 120kW chargers as stated but in fact 2x 60kW chargers, so one car won't be able to get 120kW. No date on this but it's assumed once step 1. is complete.

3. Install a full hub at the services stations like they have done at the new Rugby M6 Services - Again no date but planning has been going on in the background since 2020. This won't happen over night... it's going to take years to add these to existing service stations on the main motorways. Planning, Electrical Infrastructure, etc.. then building them takes time. Therefore for now plan your trip in advance, and find a good multi-hub just off the motorway - there are plenty around now, even if it's just a 2 No. Instatvolt location.
 

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Point to note is that GeniePoint is now pay-as-you-go via the app too, none of this pre-pay on account rubbish. Definitely second the Ionity chargers at Cullompton though - used them perfectly in each direction from Warwickshire to Cornwall and back. Just make sure you use the Plugsurfing card or app though as the Ionity app wanted to charge me in gold bullion instead of 30p/kWh!
 
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