What name would you like to appear in your article?
What is the make, model and year of your EV?
Tesla Model S 70D 2015
Wiltshire to Perth, Scotland for a holiday. Our longest trip with our used Tesla.
Planning & preparation
From previous EV experience I had checked chargers en route and at our destination. Being a Tesla we had access to their Supercharger network. One reason we chose eastern Scotland for a holiday was the good availability of chargers. PlugShare is useful for trip planning and from the Tesla dash you can see live availability of Superchargers as you travel.
We stopped at Preston for the night on the way to Perth and got a top-up at a BP Pulse rapid charger at the hotel. This only ran at 30kW however, which delayed bedtime! At our destination we were close to a Tesla supercharger site but did most charging at 22kW AC chargers which are plentiful in Scotland and free. These are ideal as destination chargers; in 2 to 3 hours we were full again.
For the return trip, 430 miles, we didn’t need to plan. The car suggested charging stops at 2 Tesla locations, which went very smoothly. No waiting and the car was often ready in less than 30 minutes before we had finished eating. The only issue was non-EV cars using the Tesla charging bays as parking (known as ‘ICEing’).
The EV itself
The car was built for longer journeys like this. The more an EV is used, the warmer the battery gets and as long as it has good cooling (which most EVs do) then the result is fast charging and maximum power availability. This was very enjoyable on the quiet roads we found, for example up to Braemar. On motorways we used Autopilot most of the time, which reduces driver fatigue and statistically is much safer. The car has huge amounts of room for luggage. Even though the car is nearly 6 years old it feels new and for the price there isn’t anything else that comes close to a used Model S for a trip like this.
Road trip conclusion
A great success. I certainly plan to make longer road trips further into Scotland and Europe. Our trip coincided with a new contract for Swarco to take over the ChargePlace Scotland network, which should mean even more charges available. At one location (Pitlochry) there was only one AC charger working out of 6 plugs. At St Andrews there were lots of chargers that simply didn’t work. It’s essential to be aware of what the charging networks need in terms of cards or apps to access them, unfortunately. It isn’t yet quite as easy as pay-as-you-go, outside the Tesla network.