Doing a road trip in an electric car really isn’t as hard as you think
We’ve been talking to our Motor-Vision Award winner, Lucy, a lot recently and have learned a great deal about her adventures in her BMW i3.
We’re very pleased that we could help Lucy’s motoring vision become reality and hope that her green tour of England and Wales has not only inspired her family, but also those who happened to read or hear about this incredible journey.
In case you didn’t already know, Lucy was a winner of our 2018 Motor-Vision Awards competition that we hold each year. We ask the public for their motoring ideas, dreams and visions and we pick the best and help them become a reality. We get all kinds of submissions through, from crazy restoration projects, races, road trips and fundraisers.
Lucy’s project idea was to tour England and Wales in an electric vehicle and stop at major sites that would teach her kids about the environment, nature and our planet in general. Once she was equipped with a fantastic BMW i3 and the Motor-Vision logos were slapped on the side, Lucy and her family embarked on a 1000-mile round trip visiting places such as The Eden Project, Stonehenge and Kew Gardens.
Visiting these educational sites with her husband, Mike, and two sons, 8-year-old Oscar and 6-year-old Dylan, was not the only purpose of this expedition. Lucy also made it clear that she also wished to help raise awareness for the practicality of electric cars and show people that travelling around half of the country in a battery-powered car is not as hard as you may think.
Although Lucy and her family did indeed prove that it’s completely possible, they also discovered some drawbacks that they may not have experienced if they were travelling in a petrol or diesel car. One of these drawbacks is the level of planning required.
Driving a conventional combustion car is easy. When you’re running low on fuel you just pull into the nearest fuel station. There are many of them dotted around the place and it’s hard to drive for more than twenty minutes on the motorway without passing one. For electric cars, such as the BMW i3 with a real-world range of around 165 miles, this is not the case.
The number of charging stations is growing each year but they’re still scarce when compared to conventional petrol stations. Furthermore, to add to the problem, electric cars are less efficient whilst travelling at high speeds and the battery will always drain fastest on motorway runs. This meant that the ‘Are We There Yet Mum’ project required a lot of trip planning, Lucy told us.
Not only do you have to account for extra stops to charge your car but you also need to be sure that the hotels you are staying at have car charging facilities as well.
So, why is it totally worth it? Well, other than the necessary planning, their extensive travelling was said to be a blast thanks to comfy seats, a low amount of cabin noise and a wonderful family as company. Moreover, the amount of money one saves on fuel is nothing short of incredible, especially if you’re travelling as much as Lucy did.
With today’s fast-charging technologies, certain chargers are capable of getting your EV back up to 80% in about half an hour. As the years go on, the inconvenience of charging is becoming less and less thanks to quicker, more advanced chargers and a greater number of charging stations available.
If you can get over the slight inconvenience of planning a journey more than you usually would, you’ll not only be saving money but also the planet. CO2 emissions play a major role in climate change and if people start switching to zero or low-emission cars, emissions will be reduced. Air will also become cleaner, especially in cities, which will also improve people’s health and reduce the number of respiratory health problems in the local population.
If Lucy could tour around England and Wales in an EV without an issue, so could you!
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