A family-oriented motoring trip around the UK visiting a range of ecological and heritage sites to help promote the use and practicability of electric cars in the UK.
Lucy Rigley won the Motor-Vision Awards with her unique project “Are we there yet mum?”, an eco-friendly planned tour around Britain with her husband Mike and her two sons, 8-year-old Oscar and 6-year-old Dylan.
During her 1,000+ mile UK road trip, Lucy and her family will be visiting both historic and environmentally friendly attractions over the course of two weeks, all in a fully electric BMW i3 with a range limit of around 193 miles. Her aim is to help promote the use and practicality of electric vehicles and teach her family more about the environment on the way.
Thanks to our friends at ‘Best Car Finder’, Lucy and her tribe have been provided with a BMW i3 for the entirety of her trip.
This project definitely raised questions with our Motor-Vision team and maybe you’ve asked yourself the same; where will Lucy be visiting? How far she will be driving? And how will she manage to pull it off in a fully electric car? Let’s finds out…
York to the Tower of London (Total distance: 218 miles)
Lucy and her family will embark on their UK tour on Friday 26th July 2019. The first leg of their journey will be traveling 218 miles in the BMW i3 all the way to London to visit their first two locations.
As the BMW i3 has a range of 193 miles, it’s not possible for Lucy to drive the whole way from York to London on a single charge. However, with vigorous planning and initializing the features on Zap Map (a popular mobile app which shows where all electric charge points are in the UK and Europe). Lucy will be able to look ahead and plan to stop off at chargers along the way.
Their first stop is the Tower of London, where they will meet the Motor-Vision team whilst they charge the i3.
The Tower of London to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Total distance: 229 miles)
Following their day at the Tower of London, Lucy and her family will drive 11 miles to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, a botanical research and education institution in Southwest London. 11 miles may not seem a large distance but it is London after all…it might take a while!
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to The Living Rainforest (Total distance: 277 miles)
After a plentiful afternoon of learning and charging up the BMW i3, Lucy and her gang will then set off on a 48-mile journey to the Living Rainforest. A tropical greenhouse rainforest containing flora and species of all manor.
The Living Rainforest to Stonehenge (Total distance: 334 miles)
Their next stop is Stonehenge, a 41-mile drive from The Living Rainforest. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument consisting of 13ft standing stones in a ring and is easily one of the most notorious and mysterious monuments in the world. It’s quite a thought when you think how far we’ve evolved; from mysterious boulders to electric vehicles, who knows what’s next?
Stonehenge to The Eden Project (Total distance: 375 miles)
A 129-mile drive will take Lucy and her family to their fifth and arguably one of the biggest stops of their tour, the Eden Project. The Eden Project is an array of large biome domes containing plants from several climates and environments, a truly remarkable place to visit and one quite fitting for an all green road trip!
The Eden Project to the National Marine Aquarium (Total distance: 596 miles)
Lucy and her family will then travel around 90 miles to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, one of the largest aquariums in the UK. They are also well known for their widespread marine research, education and conservation.
The National Marine Aquarium to the Botanic Garden of Wales (Total distance: 749 miles)
Next up is another long-distance drive, 163 miles to be exact which will see the family arrive at the Botanic Garden of Wales. As the i3 has a claimed range of 193 miles, it’s possible that Lucy might be able to get there on a single charge. However, realistically it’s more than likely that Lucy will need to stop off to top up the battery at some point but this should only take around 30 minutes to charge it from 0-80% – we will see!
The Botanic Garden of Wales is the world’s largest single spanning greenhouse containing all types of plant. The centre is a visitor attraction but it is more importantly used for botanical research and conservation.
The Botanic Garden of Wales to the Centre for Alternative Technology (Total distance: 820 miles)
After a packed day of learning, the Are We There Yet clan will set off on a shorter 71-mile drive to visit the Centre of Alternative Technology, one of the most intriguing stops of their tour.
The Centre of Alternative Technology is a popular eco-centre in Wales which is dedicated to demonstrating and teaching sustainable development. Even though it’s called the ‘Centre of Alternative Technology’, the centre no longer concentrates exclusively on alternative technology and now focus more on sustainable living – most definitely an attraction suitable for this project!
The Centre of Alternative Technology to Greenwood Family Park (Total distance: 885 miles)
The last destination on the route is the Greenwood Family Park located in Snowdonia, Wales. It’s around a 65-mile drive away from the Centre of Alternative Technology, so it’s not an issue for the BMW i3. However, there should also be electric charger points available either on site or nearby to recharge the i3 whilst the family enjoy their day.
The Greenwood Family Park is a family activity centre packed with loads of fun things to do for her two children including tunnels, mazes, kid trails and other activities such as magic shows and craft lessons.
Greenwood Family Park back to York (Total distance: 1059 miles)
Finally, Lucy and her family will set off on a 174-mile journey back home to York. As the range of the BMW i3 is 193 miles, it’s more than likely that they will be able to make the journey back home on a single charge…good luck Lucy!
How much does it cost to charge the BMW i3?
In typical Motor-Vision style, our team investigated the costs involved in a trip like Lucy’s. One interesting fact and comparing electric vs petrol, is that if Lucy took a petrol-powered vehicle it would cost an average of £476 for fuel, whereas – with any luck – Lucy’s potential average in the BMW i3 is nearer £57 for the whole trip. Incredible savings on fuel!
The tables below show what the varying costs between home and public charging for the BMW i3. This data is provided by Zap Map, click here to find out more.
|Charger type||Cost/kWh||Cost to charge||Cost per mile|
|Home||14 p/kWh||£4.62||3.2 p/mile|
|Public Rapid||30 p/kWh (0-80%)||£7.92||5.4 p/mile|
How much time does it take to charge the BMW i3?
Depending on the voltage, the recharge time of the i3 can vary drastically. The table below shows the charging time for the BMW i3 based on different charger types that are available in the UK. This data was sourced from Zap Map.
|Rapid 50kW||Fast 22kW||Fast 7kW||Slow 3kW|
|35 mins |
|3 hours |
|4:30 hours |
|11 hours |
Lucy has taken this on board and will make sure to use the new fast chargers when possible to help avoid long charging times.
Planning a route
Organisation will be key, if Lucy wants to successfully complete her trip with the least amount of aggravation. Luckily, there are websites out there such as Zap Map that will help Lucy to pinpoint essential charge points along her journey.
Is it worth it?
You may think that saving money is all well and good but is it really worth the time, effort and organisation it takes to run a BMW i3? You can’t just climb into your electric car and set off on a long-distance journey without taking the time to plan your route.
Lucy has done her research. She has planned her route accordingly, making sure that the hotels she has booked have electric charger points available allowing plenty of time to charge overnight. Motor-Vision has found that it’s surprisingly common to find charger points at most hotel chains across the UK such as Holiday Inn (where Lucy will be staying along the majority of her route).
Additionally, many of the attractions she is visiting have electric charger points, either there or nearby so that the i3 can charge peacefully during the day, whilst the family enjoy their summer holiday!
Apps are now being rolled out to ease the pressure and stress regarding the location of charge points. By using the likes of Zap Map, Lucy will be able to locate nearby charger positions should she need to top up the i3 to complete the rest of her journey.
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