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Mini Cooper SE Level 2
Introducing your road trip
I had planned a weekend trip to Ghent in Belgium before the pandemic to take part in a big cycling event, which finally got rescheduled to September 2021. I had originally intended on taking my diesel car but my wife needed it to transport children and equipment that weekend.
So, I planned the trip with our Mini Electric, 210 miles door to door each way, going via the Channel Tunnel and then through France and Belgium.
Planning & preparation
I had to carefully plan charging points, especially researching fast charging in Europe, so used Zap-Map for the UK legs, as well as IONITY in Europe and general searching on EV charging in Belgian towns. Ghent has invested heavily in EV charging points, so I knew I would be fine at the destination.
I joined Mini Charging, which lets you use 27,000 charging points across Europe using an RFID card for access and then billing you in a consolidated invoice at the end of the month.
This let me find an excellent charging point at a truck stop in Veurne and then find a hotel in Ghent with charging in the car park I could automatically use.
I used fast charging on the main journey. I charged near the Channel Tunnel at a Bannatynes Gym near the Tunnel as I wasn’t sure if the advertised Channel Tunnel charging was working due to C-19 restrictions (something like £0.45/kWh), then again at Veurne with Ionity (£0.80/kWh) then finally at the 7kW hotel charging overnight.
I charged again on the return at Veurne, then found free rapid charging at the Eurotunnel Calais building, before driving the final 100 miles home to recharge at home.
All worked seamlessly!
The EV itself
The MINI was fantastic on the journey, rock solid on the motorways, feeling like a much bigger car. The MINI seats and driving position are excellent. Cruise control on the Belgian motorways kept the right balance between range and speed at approx. 73mph.
Road trip conclusion
A brilliant trip, would definitely do it again. Mini Charging is a great initiative and takes away all the concerns about finding charging points and connecting to them.