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Future car challenge

This Saturday sees the future car challenge roll into London with a display area set up on a closed regent street.
The challenge is to drive from Brighton to London using the least amount of energy.

Was thinking we could see if we could have a little meet there Saturday if anyone is around.
Would be interesting seeing some of the other electric cars and doubt any twizys would be in attendance, could maybe make it onto the display!

I’d be up for this if you want to jump in mine. You got any more information on it? Obviously I won’t be going to Brighton and back!

Yes I read about this… I’m involved in an event till 3pm on Saturday so cant go… Did look at the satnav and it stated it was 44miles from Southend, so was tempted… Not sure if the range at high speeds for long periods would do that distance.

I’m pretty sure you’d severely struggle to get from Southend to central London. I wouldn’t chance it!!


This is the timetable for the whole thing. The event on regent street is from midday till 4. No ideas if we would be able to park with the display but always worth seeing if they let you (twizy is only small) if not can always find a source london spot to park in and get a cheeky charge. There will be a zoe as well as some interesting prototype jags! I believe our friend and twizy owner Nikki aka aminorjourney will be in attendance in her nissan leaf. Sounds good James if your up for it.

if you are thinking of going on saturday, parking is *free in westminster pay by phone bays for EVs but remember to park in just one end on the bay to leave room for other Twizy users :slight_smile:

*free for up to the maximum time , usually 4 hours.

Sorry I missed you all, but the event was great fun! :slight_smile:

Here’s our rundown of the event–which we took part in!

[FONT=arial]We took part this year as a family! :slight_smile:

We were offered a free entry into the event because they wanted a Leaf to take part. At the time we were invited, they didn’t have a Leaf entered, so we said yes.

We wanted the event to prove that a real electric car could make the trip without any problems: a REAL family car, not one with a slimmed down, professionally-coached driver and a following support car.

So, we planned to do the entire event in the Leaf, not use any kind of trailer or tow (nearly every other car was trailered there.)

Leaving on Friday at 6am, we headed down from Bristol to our favourite Leaf garage – FJChalke, Wincanton. They are wonderfully courteous to Leaf drivers, have a wonderful Leaf lounge, and have some excellent complementary coffees and teas.

(They even touched up the paint on a scratch on the car for free while the car charged!)

After Wincanton, we headed down to Southampton. Much less of a nice experience there, with the coffee and tea costing 20pence per cup. A horrible waiting area too, and the rapid charger is a nightmare to pull into because of its location.

The dealer itself is on an onramp, which makes it easy to miss if you’re not careful.

From Southampton, we went across to Worthing. Because of the problems last year charging at the Brighton Metropole, we decided to rapid-charge to 50% for the final 14 miles or so.

It’s worth noting however, that Worthing’s rapid charging station, unlike its slow charging stations, is around the back of the dealership. Apparently, that’s to stop kids vandalising it.

Yeoman Nissan, Worthing, went well, and we headed to Brighton. It took somewhere around 1 hour to make that final few miles, but we got to Brighton without a problem.

And because the longest part of the trip was 60 (ish) miles, we kept the car warm at all times, using the rapid charging station time to pre-heat (re-heat) the car for the next segment.

On arrival, the event organisers wanted us to charge right away, using the provided type 2 charging units. As a consequence, the car was finished charging by 9pm.

On Saturday morning, despite attempts to remotely start the climate control, the car didn’t turn climate control on because of a problem with the charging station. As a consequence, we left for Maderia drive with a cold car.

When we started the run, the car was still cold, so we kept use of the screen demister to a minimum.

With two adults, two kids, luggage and two dogs, our car was probably much more laden down than everyone else’s, but it made the 65 mile trek to London–including an 8 mile stretch of Motorway at 50-60mph–without fault.

When we arrived in London, however, there were no charging stations at the event for us to use, and we only had 6 miles of remaining charge.

Because we planned to head out of London that evening, we pulled out of the Regent St. display, and drove over to James St. NCP carpark to charge.

We arrived there with 4 miles of remaining range, to find that the charging stations were still all 13A domestic sockets instead of type 2 charging units.

We plugged in, and took the dogs for a walk in the park.

After 2.5 hours, we had 40 miles of range (4 bars), enough to make it out of London to the rapid charger at Nissan HQ.

Arriving there, we encountered the NEW, slim Nissan Leaf charger, similar to the Abingdon rapid charger. It worked a treat, and we were off to Oxford after 35 minutes or so.

The next part of the trip went easily. With a full charge and plenty of range, we had the heating on, drove at 65 mph, and arrived at the M40 junction 8 rapid charging station without a care in the world.

It was working just fine-- although the type 1 and type 2 stations aren’t commissioned at the moment…

We gave the dogs a run, had some grub, and came out to find that our Leaf had finished charging and someone else was there charging their Leaf! they’d carefully disconnected us, and put their own Leaf on the rapid charger.

(I’ve forgotten the Gentleman’s name: he was a doctor from Hampshire…)

From there, we made a quick hop over to Abingdon. Only 15 miles or so, but essential to visit for the top-up to Bristol.

Abingdon Waitrose’s rapid charger was working great, so we charged up there to 100 percent, and picked up some things from the store.

Then, my wonderful wife managed the last bit of the trip with skill. Keeping the heating on for MOST of the trip, we managed the final 65 miles without incident. We pulled into the driveway with 4 miles remaining.

A great weekend! :slight_smile:

IT’s left us with two key notes:

  1. rapid charging really is the way to go for long-distance trips. But it only works if the rapid charging stations are at 50 mile intervals, and are reliable.
  2. after 26,400 miles, our Leaf has probably now lost about 10 miles of range over new, although it’s still possible to eek out 70-80 miles on a good day (read good weather!)
  3. when it’s cold and/or wet, the range really does suffer. Torrential hailstorms as we left Brighton was the primary reason for arriving in London with such little charge!



Great post with really interesting details-the fast charge points are the way ahead, as you can in theory make the same time on longer runs as in a petrol car with coffee stops.
The ZOE looks like a good proposition with 100-130 mile rang and the 80% fast charge in 30 mins-I wonder how it will compare with the LEAF in real use?

Once people start buying more EVs, we’re going to need more fast charge points!

yes indeed it is very well and appreciated post… well i have seen different mileages. those are really satisfactory as compare to other petroleum consumptions.