Having done a trip to Dover in our ICEr recently we decided to try another visit in the Leaf. I have to say that it was the easiest of journeys to complete. We used the M1/M25/M2 for the trip setting off from Woolley Edge with a 90% charge in no particular hurry we made six stops on the way down mainly to check out the ecotricity locations although we had a list of where they were already written down with distances and times.
The amusing bit was running at 50 miles an hour on the Motorways for about 150 of the 300 miles on the down trip, not because we wanted to conserve the batteries but because of road works and ‘traffic management’ systems. The M1 had three massively long 50 MPH restrictions so whereas the ICEr drivers were getting upset we were tootling along at about optimum traveling speed for an EV. I think the biggest mistake was stopping to charge at the Moto Essex services next to the Dartford Crossing due to the incredible amount of traffic on the roundabouts getting to the services and then back onto the Motorway to cross. You would have thought EV’s would be exempt from the Two Pound charge and have our own passing point but we didn’t !.
On arrival at Whitfield, Dover (our destination) we used our Nissan supplied 13a home charger so the next day we had a full charge for the homeward trip. We changed tactics on the way back stopping every 60 to 65 miles and only taking 20 mins max to charge. Dover to Thurrock was the first stop then all the way to the M1 North Toddington Services then Leicester Forest Services where we stopped longer for dinner then with a 96% charge up to Woodhall and all the way home to Halifax making 4 stops in total. I think we would have probably stopped twice in an ICE car so we added around an hour to the trip by using the EV. Again the M1 was littered with 50 MPH restrictions which gave us quite a good increased range arriving back home with 33% charge. Essentially the Leaf does about one mile for 1% of battery at the right speeds so if its showing 96% you get around 96 miles as long as you run in B and don’t hammer it. My optimum speed seems to be 68 MPH in B mode. Oddly enough we didn’t see one single EV apart from another of those beautiful Tesla’s charging on the M2 South. All in all a very uneventful trip which is what you want every time isn’t it ?.
I noticed that all the repeated fast charges and continues driving pushed the battery temperature right up to just below the two red segments but no further, just in case I left it off charge overnight to allow the batteries to cool down, I will plug into the house system today or nip down to Nissan for a fast charge …for free of course. The total journey distance was just a tad under six hundred miles all of which was for free…apart from drinks & food at the services … no doubt Mrs B will be making sandwiches for the next trip or two !.