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.
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?