On Wednesday I had to go to Glasgow for an appointment. Usually I would take the train but this time I decided to try taking the electric car mostly because it was miles cheaper. It shouldn’t be cheaper to drive but it is. The train was going to cost over £140 return for two of us but the car cost very little because we stopped at free charging bays on the way.
It’s just over 140miles to Glasgow from Aberdeen. The car said it had 160 miles when I set out but I planned in advance to stop and recharge in Dunblane which is about 110 miles away. I like Dunblane and am familiar with it – I know where the charging stations are and it’s a nice place to stop for lunch on the way.
Straight after leaving Aberdeen it was clear I wouldn’t have made it to Glasgow anyway. The mileage was dropping much faster than the miles I covered. I’m not sure why the car does this. I realise that it varies depending on temperature and how I drive but it was a warm day. Eventually the battery level stabilised and kept in step with the miles I was driving. We made it to Dunblane with 20 miles to spare.
We plugged into the one of the charging bays at the Tesco supermarket carpark. I was lucky to get the last type 2 fast charger. The Renault Zoe can only plug into a type 2 charging bay. I’m not sure what we’d have done if it was taken or the charging station was broken. Range anxiety is a real thing and I understand why some people are reluctant to take the plunge to electric. Everything went smoothly for us and we spent about 1.5 hours in Dunblane – I had to do a bit of shopping and we had lunch. We set out again and the car was back up to 130 miles which was more than enough to get to Glasgow and back.
In Glasgow we plugged in again but it was tricky finding an available charging bay. We were searching the multi-story carparks at Glasgow hospital and most of the electric car charging bays were occupied by petrol cars which was very frustrating. Eventually we found one. They only have the slow chargers at Glasgow hospital but even the little charge we got made a difference as it meant on the way home we didn’t need to hang around in Dunblane for as long as we would have had we not charged at all.
I’ve never driven in Glasgow before and I was shocked by all the motorways criss-crossing the city. What a shame. They don’t help with the traffic problems either as we got stuck in queues as we left in the afternoon. I realise I was contributing to the problem but this is what happens when policy favours transport by car.
On the way back we stopped in Dunblane and again I was lucky enough to get the last available charging bay. We had an early dinner and went for a really nice walk stopping there for about an hour this time. It was so lovely and I felt the stress of the Glasgow motorways peeling away. They say there are health benefits of getting out into nature for even a short work and I don’t dispute it.
Isn’t it a lovely place?
I charged the car three times and didn’t pay for any of it. Parking in Glasgow was free too. Although it took longer it was significantly cheaper than taking the train or a petrol car given the price of fuel. It was even cheaper than the bus.