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Beginnings of EV use, real world.

UKPhil68

New member
Hello All,

Long time lurker, first time poster here from the UK.
There's a lot of discussion on this subforum about pickups being enough, not enough; range being enough or not enough so I thought I'd post with my experience so far and link to another bloke doing far more than me.

I've run VW transporter vans and Nissan Navara (Frontier) pickups in the past but have recently moved over to an electric Nissan E-NV200.
Its the 40KW/hr model, so has 150 mile Imp. range.
I'm a welding inspector in the UK gas industry, so work all over the UK.
I've thrown a camp bed and a coolbox in the back for now to test out the usefulness of a small electric van.
I'm currently working 170 miles from home, so charge at home using a wall outlet. We have 240V 16A here in the UK so charges over the weekend easily,
I then stop 90 miles in to my journey, top off and get to work with about 30-40% left.
That usually takes around 40 mins at the moment and costs around £8-00-£9-00. All the chargers are swapping over to PAYG using contactless card billing so dead easy to use.
What I'm finding is that, by the time I've been for a pee, bought a coffee and a pastry, got back to the van and eaten/drank them I'm only sat for 15-20 mins waiting.
I'm using this as a convenient nap time, given its usually 6-00AM and I'm 53!
I'm lucky, in the UK some of the supermarkets are offering free chargers in their carparks to attract customers so get free fillups during the week, while camping at a local site.
Home on a friday is a similar trip: half-way ish, top up and home.
One added bonus, is that the heater-A/C works when plugged in so I can sleep at a nice 18c whatever happens outside. it seems to use next to no energy either, not noticeably extending my charges.
There is another bloke over her who has gone whole hog and made his van into a tiny camper; he is @glynhudson on Insta and Youtube.
He's done 1500 mile trips on a 24KWh , all over Europe!
So, it can be done; yes, there are sacrifices in mainly speed and time, but I'm coming to enjoy a slower and more relaxed pace!
Hope this add a bit to the conversation!
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Europe distances are pretty short. The comparison in the US are what US drivers call local trips. Just as an example my mother in law finally left our house to drive home. She has a Subaru Crosstrek lives 750 miles away not a local trip. She crosses sections of the west coast with very little in the way of services. When she made the trip here, she passed through 280 miles of 112 degree temps and a wild fire that had closed the highway down to 1 lane. My mom has a 300 mile range Tesla and has family along this same route. She takes her old Subaru not the Tesla given range, services, charger access once at family house etc.

Having said all that!! Since COVID I have been running my kids all over town swim and outdoor sports in my wifes plug-in hybrid 20 mile range. We went 18 months between gas station visits. Our house has a sizable solar power system typically 100% covers our usage and car charging. But!!! A full EV would surpass our power generation capacity and be too expensive to charge at home. Thats where wifes office perk of free charging would be crucial to us having a full EV.
 

raggedphoto

Member
Thanks UKPhil68 for adding to the EV chat, it's nice to hear real world accounts of the rapidly growing technology!

I have a plug-in-hybrid like calicamper and it's been a huge eye opener for my wife and I. I would love to go full EV once we settle into a more permanent home but for now we are stuck with 120V 15A. Hopefully the US will get going on rapidly expanding the infrastructure needed in a way that works for every car manufacture and not just certain brands, I see a real bottleneck coming if individual companies like Tesla, Ford and Rivian have charging stations that only work for their cars.

All that being said if I had the money I would buy a Rivian tomorrow to replace my expo rig for North America trips, it takes a bit more planning but people have taken their Teslas on 3,000+ mile road trips here in the US without much hassle. Americans (especially here in the west) can get paranoid about being stranded but even in the most remote areas you're never really that far from a gas station. My Tacoma has about 300 miles of range, I stopped carrying extra fuel several years ago realizing that I've never come close to needing it with just a little pre-planning.
 
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