I drove an EV on a 600-mile road trip – charging was a disaster and it took me hours longer than a diesel | The Sun

A DRIVER who took his EV on a 600-mile road trip has claimed that he faced a charging disaster and hours-long delays.

Lee, also known as the MacMaster, faced off against his pal Geoff in a race across the UK from John O'Groats to Lands' End, serialised in vlogs uploaded to his YouTube channel.

Lee used his £120,000 all-electric Porsche Taycan for the challenge, while Geoff drove a 2008 diesel BMW 320D, which he claimed to have bought for less than £3,000 on Facebook.

Over the next two days, Lee encountered a string of issues with the charging infrastructure across the country, leading to some long delays.

The duo tackled the monster distance in two legs, first from John O'Groats in northern Scotland down to Kendal, Cumbria, then from their to Lands' End in Cornwall.

On the first day Geoff, despite getting "very caught up in traffic" arrived at their overnight stop at 8.13pm, having left John O'Groats at 11.08am, having waited since 10am for the EV to charge so they could set off at the same time.



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That amounts to just an hour over the 7 hours and 59 minutes that Google Maps suggests the journey should take.

In contrast, Lee in the Taycan did not arrive until 9.34pm.

However, the next day was even worse, with Geoff having to wait for Lee while he charged up in the morning for another two hours and fifteen minutes.

Once they did get going, Geoff was able to cover the remaining distance in just under seven hours, starting at 10.30am and arriving at the landmark at 5.17pm.

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The story was not so simple for Lee, unfortunately, who found himself beset with charging trouble.

He experience hit-and-miss coverage, with some charging points simply not working, as well as long waits to access chargers and charge up.

You can't plan your journey unless you have a crystal ball"

The fuming EV owner said: "I'm doing my very best here to prove that electric cars are the future.

"I've tried my damndest and every charge point that I've been to has been taken up.

"You can't plan your journey unless you have a crystal ball…if you value your time this is absolute madness."

At one charging station, he even found himself stuck in the rain trying to operate a charger as the touchscreen and his app repeatedly failed, an experience apparently shared by everyone at the charging station.

When he tried calling the support number listed on the charger, he was told that the issue had already been reported but that they could not fix the issue.

All in all, Lee did not arrive at Lands' End until 9.46pm, four hours and 39 minutes after Geoff.

At the end of the trip, they got together and calculated how much quicker the journey was in the BMW taking both the delays and the time Geoff had to wait for Lee instead of setting off into account.

They found that Lee was delayed by exactly six hour across the two days, with an added three hours and 23 minutes added to Geoff's total time by waiting for the EV to be ready to go.

In total, the journey took nine hours and 23 minutes longer in the EV.

Considering that, according to Google, the same route should take 15 hours in total, this means that making the trip in the Taycan would take more than 50% longer.

And that was before they even got onto the matter of cost.

It's cheaper to go and fill up with diesel."

Again, Geoff and Lee's calculations saw the EV come out worse by far, even in comparison to an ageing diesel model.

The BMW had to stop to fill up twice over the trip, with a total cost of £122.08.

However, due to its lower range, the Taycan stopped three times on day one and five times on day two, and that's not even counting the time where the chargers didn't work.

The total cost charging cost worked out at a whopping £259.87, making it £137.79 more expensive to make the road trip in the Porsche.

That's enough to fill the BMW's tank another 1.4 times based on the average price of diesel according to the RAC, which would give another 1,089 miles of range, enough to do the journey again and still have some to spare.

Lee added: "I've had it up to here with electric cars.

"It's cheaper to go and fill up with diesel."

However, they did see some positives coming out of the EV experience.

They both agreed that the Taycan is an attractive car to look at and easy to drive, with the issues mainly being with the state of charging infrastructure in the UK.

In fact, Lee claimed that the last time he made the journey in the same car it was "much easier" because fewer people had EVs and so chargers were less likely to be full up.

He suggested that the major problem of EV ownership at the moment is that the existing infrastructure has not caught up with the demand for electric cars.

It is also worth remembering that public charging is much more expensive than home charging, which can be used for the majority of shorter journeys.

Porsche declined to comment.

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