700 Miles in an EV

So having spent last week doing a 700+ mile trip across the UK (east to west) with some stop offs, I can now understand why using a Tesla gives folk confidence in an EV-only future. Compared to my Leaf, the Tesla experience is like living in the future.

Teslas charging infrastructure is miles ahead of the UK public infrastructure in terms of chargers per site, cars on the road per charge point, and distance between sites given the average range. With the Model 3 LR I was using, I didn’t feel stress from range anxiety.

It’s not that the Tesla chargers always work, but when you’ve got 8+ chargers at a site, one being out of operation, or them all being in use, is less of a problem, in part, because it’s likely one of the other 7 bays will be leaving shortly and you can move to that.

Not all supercharger sites are packed. At one site I was the only car for most of the time. Another Tesla rolled up 5 mins before I left, so the peak was 2 cars for 8 superchargers. This was a site that was ~100 miles from the next site, and so not in a charger-dense area.

Charging speed is also a key factor. My Leaf maxed out at 50kW, the M3LR hit nearly 250kW, meaning that in the time it took to stretch my legs and freshen up for the next leg, I’d added a meaningful amount of distance.

After the Leaf & public charger experience I was tempted to go back to an combustion engine vehicle, but the Tesla experience has put me solidly in the EV camp. There are issues that we need to solve around cost, etc., but those aren’t unsolvable problems.

I think, in the UK, we’re 3-5 years out from EVs being workable for everyone, but when the public network can match Teslas for charger count, charging speed and site density, and the sub-£20,000 EV cars can actually do 200+ miles, we’ll be in a really good place.