‘I tried driving an EV from Land’s End to John O’Groats’

Electric cars have come a long way in the past decade. In 2013, there were just a handful of models on the roads as manufacturers who dipped their toes into the tech were regarded as oddities.

Fast forward to September 2023, and the entire automotive industry is submerged in the electric revolution. Almost every big brand from Porsche to Nissan, from Renault to Rolls Royce is selling electric cars.

The charging network has finally begun to catch up too, chargers are now much faster and more evenly distributed across the UK, a process which means long-distance electric motoring is becoming less stressful.

Or is it? To find out what it’s like to drive an electric car over a long journey, I decided to attempt to drive a Porsche Taycan from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a day.

I arrived at the Land’s End start line at around 05.30 with the wind blasting through the peninsular and a wave of nervous anticipation rushing through my system.

READ MORE ‘I bought an electric MG eight weeks ago – it’s incredible value for money'[LATEST]

The car at my disposal was a Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, a model with a real-world range of around 275 miles and over 300bhp being driven through the rear wheels.

On my route, I used the sat nav and its inbuilt charging guide to tell me where to charge and for how long. This was useful for range anxiety, but not completely fool-proof.

The first leg of the monster 800-mile journey was through Cornwall’s sweeping back roads. Here the Porsche felt in its element, the steering was direct, the traction out of corners tremendous, and the power always on tap.

Along anything other than the narrowest and bushiest country roads this car dominates corners like a Hans Zimmer musical score in a Christopher Nolan film.

Unfortunately, Land’s End and John O’Groats are not tied together with twisting B-roads, but hundreds of miles of motorways and soon I was deep into the A30.

To maximise range, I put the car into ‘Range’ mode, turned off the air-con, and turned on the regenerative braking to put some energy back into the battery down the A30’s many hills.

My first stop was Cullompton Services on the M5 and just a few miles into the journey there was a problem. You might imagine that sitting in a car this expensive and this posh would be like sitting in an armchair in a first-class airport lounge. As I later found out, it wasn’t.

Driving down the day before I’d developed serious pain in my knees, back, ribs, chest, and even my elbow. I hoped that adjusting my driving position and using the cruise control would fix these problems.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

‘I drove the UK’s slowest electric car up London’s steepest hill'[LATEST]
‘I drove the loudest sports car in the world – like a tent in a hurricane'[LATEST]
‘I drove a classic Mini with no doors around London and it was terrifying'[LATEST]

It didn’t, and by the time Scotland was hovering into view, I was in a great deal of discomfort despite using the heated seats to help my back and stretching when possible.

What’s more, I realised that time wasn’t on my side either. I wasn’t the first electric car driver to attempt Land’s End to John O’Groats in a day. However, while other drivers had done the whole journey in 15 hours, I realised that I wouldn’t make it to my destination until the next morning, nearly 24 hours after I set off.

As a result, as I crossed over the Scottish border, I began to question the safety behind what I was attempting.

Driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a car is not a dangerous thing to do, but to attempt to do so in a day by any metric is a bit extreme and, ego aside, safety must be the priority.

With this in mind, I aborted the attempt on John O’Groats and set the sat nav for a hotel I’d booked as my backup in case the attempt failed.

Even this proved slightly eventful when I was guided to a high-performance charging point which existed, but wasn’t plugged in.

Despite this minor hiccup, I eventually parked up at a hotel north of Edinburgh 14.5 hours after I set off, exhausted.

The car had performed well in every area it was designed to do, but there are still some limitations to electric motoring.

Source: Read Full Article