The reason for our trip was an unfortunate one. My granmother passed away at age 90, on Monday 3rd of April' 17 and we had a choice of taking a flight next day or driving to Poland. As we did 1,000 miles in 2 days (ish) using our Nissan Leaf 24kw last year, we decided to consider driving to Poland.
We checked Plugshare, it was over 750 miles, and it looked doable, and we knew what to expect from last year trip.
We literally throw our stuff into the car, and started driving, no preparation at all, just last year experience, and the new motion card.
Starting location: Cambridge, Endland (UK).
Start Date/Time: 3rd of April 2017 3pm local time.
End Location: Kostrzyn nad Odra (Poland), 5th of April, 11am local time.
How long did it take?
It took us 43 hours (including time zone change), and we stayed in a hotel in Antwerp, Belgium and Magdeburg, Germany.
What has changed since our last trip?
It's been less than 8 months since 1,000 miles trip and new noticed the following changes:
1) More rapid charges
One "below" Schonefield aiport which was a big help! (Last time we got stuck in Berlin due to app issues, and we didn't have this option).
Rapid charger in Szczecin, Poland. Now we can go from Kostrzyn and Odra to Szczecin and back, no problem!
Poland has very few chargers, but several more in critical points and long distance (biggest savings) would be possible!
If it was up to me (and it isn't) I would go with Chademo Rapid Chargers (yellow) in the following locations:
What about Electric Car Challenges?
Let's what has changed since last time.
TOP 5 Challenges:
Challenge #1 - There is no Single Card / App for charging in UK / Europe.
Challenge #2 - Single Rapid Charge Station.
Challenge #3 - Planning the trip.
Challenge #4 - Where is the charger?
It seems like this one is improving, we did notice more signs in UK and Germany, but we are still missing a sign that says "Rapid Charge in 20 miles"
Challenge #5 - Infrastructure
This is improving! I would say +10% for rapid chargers.
Any new challenges?
Now that you mention it ;)
Challenge #6 - Connectors
Connector are still a problem, Fastned solved it by always giving all connectors (Chademo, CSS, Type 2 43kW, Tesla Adapter and I probably missed something), but it really would be much easier if we had just one!
Challenge #7 - "Super" Rapid charge
We should soon see 150kW chargers, which is x3 more than 50kW (Chademo). Unfortunately we need to wait for next-gen cars to support it, and I believe only Kia Soul and Chevy Bold support 80kW? (Tesla being an exception).
This would also be great time to introduce single connector! but how likely is that to happen?
Challenge #7 - Battery Upgrade!
Renault Zoe announces you can upgrade to bigger battery! Great! Unfortunately I cannot do the same with Nissan Leaf and it's unlikely to be possible with most EVs on the market, but there is great demand and I all cars should have this options in the future, and car manufactures should focus on battery selling or leasing. Leasing would make sense if there was option to upgrade.
Challenge #8 - Range extending trailer
I'm looking forward to range extending trailer (Nomadic Power). If price was right I would be first to buy one! This also gives option to hire "extender" for let's say £20/day and forget about range anxiety for long trips! With this option we could buy lower range cars, and much better price and just extend the range (Challenge #8) or upgrade the battery later on (Challenge #7)
Challenge #9 - Caravan (towed trailer)
Here is an idea, why should someone not offer a caravan with detachable range extending trailer (2 in 1)? I would be first to buy one ;)
Challenge #10 - Price
Let's face range with new model is starting to fit >80% of driving without lossing convenience aspect (once people try and see how easy it is), however price is still a major blocker.
If it was up to me (and it isn't) I would go with the following options:
30kW (100 miles)
45kW (150 miles)
60kW (200 miles)
75kW (250 miles)
90kW (300 miles)
Once the difference between 30kW and 45kW is very little, I would drop the 30kW option.
This should hopefully give uk 30kW for the same price as diesel car, which would essentially make diesel/petrol cars obsolete, as the savings in Petrol and maintance would be to great to continue ignoring, and for higher spec people could comfortably do 30k+ miles / year, which is a big savings in petrol, even if battery is more expensive.
We have decided to combine our User Group Seminars with driving our Griffy (Nissan Leaf) across Europe and we called it Katie and Emil Europe Tour Spring 2017.