Life is an Eco journey, not a destination

A wise man once said:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ok, so that was actually Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but he had a point. Quite often, we’re in a rush to get to our destination, with little regard for the journey itself.

Yesterday, I was working from our Blackpool branch. Now, I live in the Yorkshire Dales, so I’ve basically got to drive across all of Lancashire to get to Blackpool. The “fastest” way, would be to jump on the M65, zoom across to the M6, then the M55. But the weather yesterday was glorious sunshine, and to be honest, I just don’t like driving on the motorway in rush hour.

The satellite navigation route planner in the LEAF defaults to the fastest route, but it can give you some more options, and best of all, it can tell you how much battery you are likely to have left by the end of your journey, depending upon which route you choose.

The “Fastest” route would be along the motorway, a distance of 58 miles, and an estimated time (due to traffic) of 1hr 25mins. Because of the increased road speed, and the fact that you tend to be accelerating on the motorway, rather than braking for corners and junctions (as you would on an “A” or “B” road), the energy consumption tends to be much higher for motorway journeys in an electric car. The sat nav reckoned I’d use 8 out of 12 battery bars on that journey, so I’d get there with about a third of the battery remaining.

Screenshot 2016-08-19 09.53.17

The “Eco” route would be along the A59 to Clitheroe, and then along B-roads, taking a slightly more direct route of 54 miles, but with an estimated duration of 2 hours. However, the trade off is that because the Eco route would involve more braking for corners, slower road speeds, and a slightly shorter distance, it predicted that I would only use 4 out of the 12 battery bars – so I’d get to Blackpool with two-thirds of the battery remaining – using half as much energy!

Screenshot 2016-08-19 08.35.49

So, in the spirit of Matthew 7: 13-14 (see Mum, I did listen at Sunday School), I decided to take the road less travelled.

The route took me through the beautiful countryside of the Ribble Valley, through rolling hills, over rushing rivers and babbling brooks. Along the B5269, through picturesque villages like Singleton, the road meanders through the Fylde plains, until finally we got to Blackpool.

blackpool sign on wall

The “Blackpool this way” arrow in Longridge reminds us that this was once the main route to the coast

Not once whilst driving did I feel bored or tired. The twisty roads with stunning scenery made the entire two hour drive a joy. I arrived at Blackpool with 64% of my battery remaining, as predicted by the sat nav.

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In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that I did exactly the same journey home in the evening. Again the navigation predicted that due to the slightly more uphill route home (Skipton stands at 400 feet above sea level, Blackpool is obviously much closer to the sea!), I should arrive with 2 battery bars remaining. Gosh darn it, it was right:

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So next time you’re planning a trip somewhere, why not try the Eco route instead? It’ll save energy, and you’ll enjoy it much more than the boring motorway anyway.

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