Over the last 15 years or so, I have averaged around 10,000Km per year, so when I got the Ioniq I insured it for 15,000Km as being a new toy I was sure we would drive it a bit more. We had also decided we would take a holiday to Norway in June, so that will probably be at least 6,000Km round trip. So a bit of a buffer would be good. However after only 4 months we had already passed 10,000Km. As a result I increased my cover to 30,000Km back at the beginning of March. I hope that will be enough!

It seams to be a common theme amongst EV drivers that they end up driving far more than was the case previously in a “Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow” car. Why should this be? I can only speak about my own usage, but I find that there is a certain delight in driving a vehicle that is relaxing to drive. The noise level in the car is dramatically lower than in a conventional internal combustion engine. There is of course still tire and wind noise but the level is generally low, and usually masked by the radio anyway. The “instant” acceleration, the challenge to get the best range on a charge and just a different driving experience are all part of the equation. In the end driving an EV is just fun.

An EV does not encourage high speed, long endurance driving either, although the car is capable of 170Kmh such speeds make no sense due to consumption. The Ioniq battery is a usable 28Kwh, which is quite small, so you are more of less forced to stop to recharge every couple of hours or so depending on the road, speed, time of year, weather etc, or to put it another way every 150-170Km in Winter and every 220-250Km in summer. Personally, I have no problem with this as after 2 hours driving I need a break anyway to stretch my legs, have a drink or goto the toilet. This forced break is one of the objections I have heard from non-EV drivers and a reason that EV’s are not practical. These people often claim they will drive 800Km on a tank of fuel non-stop.

Personally, I call this total Bull.

Once upon a time,  I use to drive Munich to Cambridge or Munich to Le Mans in a day. Each trip was 1200Km or so, but always needed to stop. There was no way I could drive for 12 hours without a toilet break or something to eat, not to mention the dangers of getting overtired and stressed out. So over the last 15 years or so I have taken it a lot more relaxed when driving long distances. On the trip to Le Mans, I usually stop overnight in Burgundy, and have a a good meal and a refreshing sleep. Even so, the 700Km to Beaune from Munich we stop every couple of hours or so. The stops are typically 20 minutes or so, which, coincidentally is the time it takes to recharge the Ioniq from around 20% to 94%. This means that our trip really doesn’t take much longer than with our previous car. We may need to stop a couple of times more than we would otherwise, but it really isn’t much.

At least in theory.

We have not yet driven to Le Mans in the EV, that trip will be in July. I do have concerns about driving in France. I have seen some really bad reports about charging in France from Frank Doorhof (youtube Link), as well as “adventures” from other people.  One of the areas I need to pass through has only 1 rapid charger at a Lidl, and if that is out of commission, there are no alternatives except the granny charger in a domestic socket somewhere, and at our destination there are a few slow type 2 plugs in nearby villages. Having said that, it does look like some new rapid chargers are being installed at an autoroute exit about 20Km away from our destination, so there is hope. There is still a 240Km “gap” that I need to find a solution for. I could take an alternative route via Paris and the Périphérique, but I really, really hate that road. When eventually the chargers near Orleans are up and running again, it will be a lot easier. Still, until then West France is an area of concern for me.

As for the chargers at Lidl and co, I think they are super and I am really thankful to the companies concerned that they provide these charger. I do wish however they were available 24/7. I would rather have a charger open 24/7 that I have to pay for than one that is only open in business hours but free. Maybe they could somehow get connected to a charging network for the hours they are closed so we could pay for them outside of store hours ?

 

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