Our first month of EV travel has been busier than we expected with the Zoe clocking up 2,175km.
We certainly did not intend to travel quite so many kilometres but family needs had us on the road a lot more than planned. We were thankful that we only needed to pay $57 for our electricity rather than the $418 that filling up with petrol would have required.
A consequence of these high kilometres (for us) has been a compression of the time available to ‘learn the ropes’. We now have firm favourites for our top-up charges on the trip between Kerikeri and Auckland (they all currently offer free charging) and are getting pretty expert at calculating the range we will get. On the hilly country roads Zoe’s computer is telling us that we are still ‘fast’ drivers (but not ‘sporty’) and as such we are only getting between 72-77% of our available range of around 300km. We rarely use our car in Kerikeri but in our travels around Auckland we are getting close to the ‘gold standard’ with around 95% of the range. I suspect our rural travels won’t improve much.
Ruth has got into the swing of things and is now expert at determining what charging stations we can use, how to get the power flowing into the battery and what getting ICED means. ICED is when a car with an Internal Combustion Engine parks in your EV charging spot. We have not worked out what the appropriate course of action should be. Leave a polite note to help to educate the person or slash their tyres. Unfortunately under the latter scenario you become the villain so I suspect pointless notes are the order of the day. Parking behind them and charging for an hour could be an option if the cable will reach – so far it has not been a huge problem.
The next step in our education will be undertaking some genuine touring that involves traversing areas that are not so well kitted out with charging infrastructure that suits our vehicle. When I look at the map, that incorporates a fairly large slice of the country. When thinking about booking an AirBnb property you need to determine; 1. can you get the car close enough to run a cable to a power point and 2. is the owner friendly to your needs.
Camp sites are generally not a problem, we are set up to plug into a powered tent or caravan site. Hotels & Motels pose a similar problem to AirBnB although some of the more forward thinking hotels already have EV charging outlets installed. In some cities charging points have been installed in some public parking buildings so you can charge up for the cost of parking in the building. Public charge points are mushrooming so I hope that any inconveniences we experience are going to be fairly short term in nature. This summer is probably going to be our only challenging year.