Electric car attempts London-to-Edinburgh in a day (BBC)

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    They are getting better, but I still don’t like them! />:(” title=”>:(” class=”bbcode_smiley” /></p>
<p>Actor Robert Llewellyn is driving an electric car from London to Edinburgh to try to prove the journey is now possible inside a day.</p>
<p>He and co-driver David Peilow aim to cover the 400 miles (650km) or so to Edinburgh Castle by 1930 GMT today.</p>
<p>They set off in a Nissan Leaf from Marble Arch at 0630, and will use public charge points en route.</p>
<p>Just three years ago, when I attempted the same journey in an electric Mini, it took four days.</p>
<p>He and Mr Peilow will be able to take advantage of rapid chargers, which top up the battery to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes.</p>
<p>When I stopped at charge points three years ago, the process took up to six hours.</p>
<p>But now the turnaround is much faster.</p>
<p>“David has allotted 35 minutes for each stop, giving us time to find the charger, plug in, take pictures, have a pee and eat my pre-prepared sandwiches,” Mr Llewellyn told the BBC.</p>
<p><b>‘Cosy’ cabin</b></p>
<p>There are still only around 150 of these rapid charge points around the country, so the journey to Edinburgh is still a significant challenge.</p>
<p>But using the Leaf’s satellite navigation system will make finding them far easier.</p>
<p>It should guide the two men to the exact location.</p>
<p>Back in 2011, I spent valuable electric charge driving round car parks to find charge points that had not been marked on any maps.</p>
<p>And the old phenomenon of “range anxiety” is already a thing of the past.</p>
<p>The Leaf reminds its driver exactly how many miles remain before a recharge is necessary.</p>
<p>And whereas I was obliged to turn off the heating in the car to conserve energy, wrapping myself in gloves and a trapper hat, these two will be travelling in a perfectly cosy cabin.</p>
<p>“We can do it without range anxiety as no single stretch is anything near the car’s winter range. And we can do it in the warm,” said Mr Llewellyn.</p>
<p>Arrival?<br />According to his reports en route, Mr Llewellyn said the car was achieving an average speed of 68mph (109km/h) – much more and they would be breaking the speed limit.</p>
<p>But it is not only the practical elements of electric motoring that are getting better, it is also the economics.</p>
<p>Electric cars already offer a free tax disc, free parking in many places, free access to the London congestion charge zone, and minimal fees for recharging.</p>
<p>But the biggest hurdle to mass ownership has always been the upfront cost of the car itself, and this has come down dramatically.</p>
<p>By renting the battery separately, Renault has pioneered lower costs. After taking off the government subsidy, the electric Zoe is available for around £14,000.</p>
<p>Even the Leaf, which cost £26,000 three years ago, is now on sale for £16,000.</p>
<p>But will Mr Llewellyn’s journey to Edinburgh Castle in a single day signify that electric cars themselves have arrived?</p>
<p>As ever, the answer will probably be “not yet”.</p>
<p>Source~<br /><a href=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25878172

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