Bournemouth to Cheltenham and long (wrong) way home

By Gordon Fong

I headed off from our office at the Dorset Innovation Park to the NCP Brewery Quarter, with a good amount of charge as it would have been 100% at home with the Guessometer reading of just under 300 miles.

That section was 133 miles.

If I did the same return path, through Salisbury, getting home would have been 96 miles. Even with the lights on and heating, I think I would have had enough battery to make it with plenty of capacity left.

However, having driven three hours and spent two hours at the CyNam event, I wanted a return journey that wasn’t going to be too taxing, in terms of the country roads and the stop start of junctions and roundabouts. I wish sat nav would have another option besides, quickest, shortest, and most economic, to have one for the lesser taxing drive that might be a few minutes more, but has straighter more open roads. There are times where I blindly followed sat nav down country lanes, scraping the car on bushes, wondering where the hell I am going, for very little benefit.

I chose the A419, to M4, to A34 route – longer and easier, but I didn’t bank on two sets of motorway works with random detours. So frustrating, as with the first detour, I could have cut across to Romsey and down. Oh joy. It took four hours to get home and made for a tiring day.

I charged at Moto Chieveley which originally had a few Gridserve CCS chargers by the service building, but now has a brand new set of 12 super fast chargers so turn right when you get into the car park.

I had 23% and 58 miles range showing, and a pressure warning on a tyre, which would cost me £298 to replace, but that is another story as I put the puncture repair off as I thought the place was busy, thinking the slow puncture would last till the next day after I pump it up. What a costly mistake.

I saw the screen get up to a charging speed 173 kW before I went into the services. They are rated at 350 kW.

Cost me £16.78 to top up from 23% to 80%, at 79p/kWh. There are Instavolts and Shell chargers at Tot Hill but Shell pricing is nuts, and instavolt is not too far behind now. Original I would give all the love to Instavolt as their chargers would just work, but now I rate Gridserve for increasing their coverage and value pricing.