Wayne J drove from Northamptonshire to the Lake District in his Polestar 2 Long range Single motor 2022 electric car.
Introducing your road trip
As a relative newbie to EVs, having had one only about 4 weeks, this was our first long trip away from home and our first time using public chargers. This was a relatively modest trip from Northamptonshire to the Lake District for a long weekend, hardly an epic trip by any means but a useful initiation.
Planning & preparation
Other than the obvious things such as checking tyre pressures, it was a simple case of charging to 100% the night before, ensuring that the cable was packed in the ‘frunk’ for easy access and checking IONITY rapid chargers on their website. For some reason these didn’t display on the Google maps route planner which is native to the Polestar, which is odd given Polestar’s deal with PlugSurfing at discounted rates.
Perhaps this is because they were not directly on the route but the small detour was worth it for the 150kW, 30p per kWh charger. However, it was simple to check online and then plot them as destinations. I also checked to see if the hotel had a charger and it claimed to have 2.
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The first stop was at IONITY Blackburn, my first ever away from home charge. It was totally painless: easy to do, the PlugSurfing card worked as expected and within a few moments of arriving I was seeing just under 150kWh. The services themselves were great, relatively new, not too big or too small & not too busy either. I was the only EV there but it looked as if all the chargers were working.
At the hotel (Lodore Falls) there were 2 x 7kW chargers operated by ‘charge assist’. The staff at the hotel were fairly clueless about charging. One charger seemed to connect then disconnect constantly and there was a fundamental flaw in the fact that you needed a mobile signal to initiate charging but there was none and the wi-fi signal didn’t reach the car park. So you had to connect the cable, walk back to the hotel, initiate the charge and then return to the car only to find it had disconnected so you had to remove the cable, reconnect it, walk up to the hotel….and so it went on.
At Booths supermarket Keswick there were 4 x 50kW chargers at 68p per kWh, all functioning and it proved a good place to stop for a top-up to 80%.
The return saw us stop once more at IONITY Blackburn for a top up to 90% on the rapid chargers at 30p and again at Stafford. At Stafford there seemed to be an issue with the chargers accepting PlugSurfing cards but this was sorted with a quick call to their support team and the problem was fixed quickly by rebooting the chargers.
Did you encounter any great driving roads on your road trip? If so, where were they and why were they great?
The scenery around the Lake District is stunning but as far as driving roads go, they’re generally too congested and too narrow to consider ‘fun’. The Lakes are about the scenery not the roads. Having been on many biking (motorcycling) trips to Scotland, I’m afraid that the Lakes aren’t really ‘drivers’ roads’ or at least not the ones I was on.
The Polestar 2
This is my first EV and my first longer trip. The Polestar 2 was great, it’s quiet and relaxing to drive and the single motor still has enough oomph for everyday use. The range was never an issue and the infotainment system actually showed the range going up not down as the journey progressed.
If I had one criticism of the Polestar, it’s the fact that it’s so quiet that bad road surfaces really accentuate road/tyre noise, especially if the radio is turned down. On good roads however, there’s hardly any noise, including wind noise. I really appreciated the refinement of the car, no engine noise, no gearbox whine & a fantastic infotainment system.
There is some stuff that really should come as standard such as adaptive cruise control and perhaps blind spot monitoring (part of ‘Pilot’ pack) but given the choices on the options, I went for the ‘Plus’ pack with the panoramic roof, heat pump etc. At this level/price, the driver aids should be standard.
Road trip conclusion
A great first road trip, hardly epic by any standards but a good initiation. A little time planning stops went a long way, especially as I was seeking IONITY due to the preferred rate. Given that I’m a newbie to this, anyone else I met driving an EV was helpful and willing to offer advice, as there are obviously a multitude of providers and apps out there.
The few stops I had were painless, a rapid charger gives enough time to have a coffee and stretch your legs and the ‘pre conditioning’ of the batteries when adding charging stops means charging is quick from the moment you plug in. 95%(ish) of my journeys are local commuting and I charge at home but it’s still good to know that longer trips can be done with ease.