Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The road range anxiety debate

by Nigel Wigmore

THE single biggest concern about electric vehicles (EVs) to my mind is range — and I found out the hard way just how crucial an issue this is for potential buyers.

I attempted while driving this week’s test car, the Renault ZOE, to travel from Cirencester, where I now live, to Emmer Green near Reading to visit an elderly relative.

The all-electric ZOE arrived on a low-loader charged up to a range indicated of 70 miles: so far so good. But what should have been a routine journey, turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.

I checked the EV re-charging map on the internet the evening before to make sure I knew where I might top-up the battery en route. Remember, this car has no back-up engine — it is totally battery-driven, a true electric car. There were re-charging points indicated at M4 service stations on both east and west sides.

The one-way mileage from Cirencester to Emmer Green is 56 miles. So my wife (my sole passenger) and I knew we would have to top up the battery at some point. We decided we would do this at the eastbound M4 services at Reading, which should in theory have given us enough mileage to make the return journey.

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