Daily Archives: March 5, 2017

The Pleasure of Public Charging 2

Although our last long trip went well, I was a little nervous yesterday driving from Northampton to London and back as it was to an area, Hammersmith, where I hadn’t charged before. We were headed to the Odeon for an Elbow concert.

I did some pre-planning on Google Maps and Zap-map and spotted parking with charging very nearby at the Novotel hotel, with a couple of alternative locations slightly further away. If all else failed I could always do a rapid charge at a motorway services on the way home; however I wasn’t keen to have to stop if I could avoid it.

Charging the i3 in the Novotel car park (Image: T. Larkum)
Charging the i3 in the Novotel car park (Image: T. Larkum)

I drove the 85 miles down the M1 and along the M4 in EcoPro+ mode to maximise range, using the cruise control set to 60mph. This worked really well and we arrived in the Novotel with the car promising 140+ miles from the charge.

There were no signs for the charge points so we had to trawl the car park for them. We found two on a  wall, with adjacent parking spaces. However there was an Audience A3 e-tron charging in one, and a dino-juice Range Rover Evoque blocking the other.

Reaching the charge cable past the Range Rover to reach the i3 (Image: T. Larkum)
Reaching the charge cable past the Range Rover to reach the i3 (Image: T. Larkum)

Fortunately the i3’s ‘python’ cable was long enough to reach from the next space. We plugged in and with the help of an old Polar RFID card we were soon charging.

Five minutes later we were at the Elbow gig. That was a great success and it felt like a privilege to be there. They put on a fantastic show – with ‘One Day Like This’ in the encore, naturally – and a good time was had by all!

Elbow giving a great performance (Image: T. Larkum)
Elbow giving a great performance (Image: T. Larkum)

After the show we returned to the car to find it almost completely charged (98%). It had cost the usual £3.50 per hour to park, but just £1.20 to fill up the car.

Going home was a blast – with just 85 miles to go and 140 miles range predicted it was nice to put it into sport mode and race home, showing a clean pair of heels to all the fossil-fuel vehicles on the road. Confirming to me, once again, I could never go back to a piston car.

Total fuel cost for the 175 mile journey? About £4, including the charge in Hammersmith.