EV Holiday in the Lake District – Pain or Pleasure ?

After a long hybernation I would like to write about our experience of a 1 week holiday with our smaller EV (Battery only Electric Vehicle) the Hyundai IONIQ in October 2020.The IONIQ only has a range of about 120-150 miles, but we only live 70 miles from the Lake District near Darlington in County Durham. Why did we take the IONIQ and not our Tesla Model S which has a bigger boot and longer range of about 220 miles? Well the IONIQ is much smaller and not so wide, so for the narrow roads in the Lake District it is much better.Also we only have the car on our Lease for another 9 month.We thought we need to try it out on a longer journey.After all Hilary’s cousin has been with the same IONIQ to Scotland and done the NC500.

Our trip started on Saturday 17th October 2020 and we were heading from our home near Darlington on the A688 via Barnard Castle and A66 to the lovely Cumbrian town of Penrith where we filled up the car at a Booth supermarket.There were two Instavolt 50kw chargers and one of them would not work for me at first.None of my credit cards or debit cards were accepted as payments.Not a good start!😤 After talking to the BMW i3 owner that charged his car on the other charger it seemed a problem with Instavolt and not my credit cards.Phew! So I tried a few more RFID charging cards that I accumulated over the years and my virtual ChargePoint card on my iPhone worked in the end and we were charging. (Electric cars need patience!). We are pioneers and I love a challenge! (I contacted Instavolt and they said they would fix the charger and look into my problem.Nonotger Problem ever occurred again the whole time we were in the Lake District charging on Instavolt).

This is why we like the Lake District.Just look at the Autumn colour! You feel you are transported to the Black Forest of Germany but it is sooooo different!

October 2020 in the Lake District at Surprise View
Free charging in Glenridding near Ullswater (White car is our IONIQ)

Above picture shows a free Pod-Point charger.You pay for parking, but nothing for electricity.National Park likes you to drive a clean car! This car park is also near Aira Falls and we had a nice walk around there and a cup of tea in the local hotel café!

Aira Falls
Ullswater Steamers and History of Water Speed record attempts on this Lake in the 1960s

While Hilary went shopping for our breakfast and tea I made sure that the car got filled up with electrons! No smell and for £10 another 150 Miles!

Instavolt 50kw Charger at Booth Supermarket in Keswick

Why did we come in October when it was cold and possibly wet? Well the Lake District is lovely in the autumn and we just had a long spring and summer of shielding and the Government allowed us this window of holidays.We however did not go crazy and stayed all the time socially distanced.

Socially distanced cup of tea in a café in Grasmere
Same café from the other side of the river in Grasmere
Derwent Water Boat tour

It was a bit risky to go in the middle of October on a Boat tour but what else is there to do since all the museums and big houses are closed.Only outdoor activities were allowed so here we go.

Dramatic pictures of Derwent water in Autumn

Typical Pub in the Lake District.

Out for a meal.Very socially distanced! Boot and Shoe Pub Greystokes
Castlerigg Circle

Religious relic ?Who knows ? No manual left for us to determine what it is.Shame. Should have used stone tablets like the Egyptians.😀

Well as I said outdoor activities only and so a little rain could not stop us.

In the footsteps of Prince Charles…Who apparently stood here.😀

Where are we now? Well we came in the smaller car, so why not make a little tour up to the smaller roads.I picked a road with a George out view at the end of it, so I thought but it carried on and became a dead end, so we had to turn around and do it all over again and fight with much larger cars and even pickup trucks.Somehow we managed.We went on the B5289 around Derwent Water south of Keswick and went up to “Surprise View” via Ashness Bridge and walked around and took the first photograph you see on the top of this blog.We followed the road to the end and ended up at Watendlath Bothy.Apparently you can stay in a stable with a lamp and some rudimentary equipment for a night.

So above we find a picture of the Instavolt Charging screen.The IONIQ has a 28kwh battery, so at 15Kw added it was just over half, so a full charge would have cost us about £10.

So it was a total Pleasure in the end as we found that the car performed well and cost us very little and the roads were much less of a problem with the smaller car!

Cost of Electricity : 8 pence per mile

Compare this to Diesel in UK : £1.20 per Liter equals £5.40 per gallon.The average car does 40 miles per gallon.So a Diesel car would cost about 13.5 pence per mile.However with the roads in the Lake District maybe a bit higher.

So the conclusion is that a Battery electric car, even though no cheap home charging was possible, cost only 50% of a Diesel car to run ! AND NO POLLUTION!

Here is a map of chargers in the Lake District area and you can see that it is no hassle to find chargers.However mostly only two cars can charge at most places sometimes only one.So for the future this provision needs to be expanded greatly. All public car parks need at least 50% of their spaces filled with slow chargers so that everybody can fill up and 50kw chargers in some locations expanded to four or six chargers if not changed to 150kw chargers.

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