What happens when you can’t charge?

Sometimes, due to local grid/network issues, or (more often) due to misuse/abuse, the rapid chargers don’t work.

This can be a bit of a problem if you’ve just drifted into the motorway services with less than 20% charge, and it’s over 20 miles to the next services.

So when I had to drive back from Derby to Skipton yesterday, I made sure that I checked the status of the rapid network on Ecotricity’s website before I set off.

I could see that Woolley Edge rapid chargers were offline, and therefore I decided that I’d stop sooner than otherwise might be necessary for my first charge.

So I set off from Derby with 95% battery charge, and headed North on the M1. 40 miles later, I pulled in to Woodall Services with just over 50%, and popped the e-NV200 on the rapid charger. I was only there for 10 minutes, but that had boosted me back up to 78%.

I then headed North again, with 68 miles still to go until I got home. However, after a couple of miles on the M1, there had been an accident ahead, and the motorway was closed for the Air Ambulance to land, so we were diverted off at J33, and had to drive round the outskirts of Sheffield before rejoining the motorway further up.

I pulled into Woolley Edge a bit later, and confirmed that the rapid charger wasn’t working. If I hadn’t charged at Woodall, I would have been getting a bit nervous by now, as the next working rapid charger was at Ikea at Birstall (80+ miles from my original start point, and on the limit of what is achievable in the e-NV200 on the motorway with the air conditioning on). Especially as the diversion had added a few more miles onto the journey.

So I pulled into Ikea with 20% battery remaining, only needing really an extra 10% to guarantee my journey home (25 miles). However, I plugged in, went to stretch my legs and get a coffee, and got back to it around 25 minutes later, just as it was getting to 84% charge.

I got home with over half my battery charge left, and therefore it cost me less to charge it (and took less time) to get up to 100%, ready for work today.

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