London to Edinburgh – by electric mini

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The BBC are this week doing a piece on electric cars and their supposed ‘big arrival’ in the motoring world this year. To test out their practicality the  BBC’s Brian Milligan is attempting to drive an electric Mini from London to Scotland, using only public charge points.

So is he likely to make it? The mini will require regular recharging (see the map) and there will be some moments of  ‘range anxiety’ as the later parts of the journey will push the car passed its theoretical range!

So, is this an unfair test of a car designed mostly for short-distance motoring? Yes it probably is, but if electric cars are to become a real alternative they do need to provide far greater range. Currently it is still not easy to drive an electric car any further than the supermarket and back.

One of the big issues at the moment is the availability of public charging points, there is thought to be as many as 500 in the UK, but even the authorities are not sure of the exact number!

Without doubt there are not enough currently across the UK, although there are plans in place to expand the network – including Nottingham.

This will be an interesting journey to watch, you can follow it on the BBC web page. Or  he will be tweeting from the #electriccars hashtag on the BBC Business Twitter feed.

UPDATE 11th January: The mini has reached Nottingham (after a day and a half!) and has been recharged for two hours to allow it to get to Sheffield (it started the day in Leicester – Sheffield is normally an hour and a half drive from Leicester!).

Apparently the mini is the first user of the two recharge points in the Victoria Centre in Nottingham – why does that not surprise me?

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3 thoughts on “London to Edinburgh – by electric mini

    Richard Baker said:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I had a look at your map and wondered whether he was
    stopping at every [fossil-fuelled] power station along the route.
    But perhaps I’m being cynical. Wherever he stops, I hope someone in
    the car design world can devise a method of making electric cars
    slightly noisier. I nearly got totalled as I walked into
    Sainsbury’s last night by a Lexus hybrid which stole up on me like
    a thief in the night. The smirk on the driver’s face was…well.
    irritating.

      Simon Dare responded:
      January 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Richard

      The BBC’s choice of car is also rather bizarre. The mini is not a production vehicle and is not currently planned to be! Quite why they didn’t go for one of the cars in the Governments discount scheme is anyones guess!

      Suffice to say we have a long way to go!

      Sainsbury’s is dangerous at the best of times!

      Simon

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon Dare. Simon Dare said: UPDATE; London to Edinburgh by electric mini http://j.mp/ent2uI […]

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