Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 – Road trip report: Cheshire to Canterbury & back

Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 - Road trip report: Cheshire to Canterbury & back

Frogletsmum drove from Cheshire to Canterbury & back in his Hyundai Kona Electric Premium SE 2019.


Introducing your road trip 

Winsford, Cheshire to Canterbury. Went for a special occasion dinner and overnight stay. Should have taken about 5 hours but took 8 ! This was not down to EV problems but there had been an accident on the M1 so the motorway was closed and traffic was diverted onto the M6, M42 and M40 which meant the volume of traffic (already bad as this was a Friday) was ridiculous.


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Planning & preparation 

I had carefully planned my trip using Zap-Map. I put in two alternative routes as I was undecided whether to use the M1 or the M40. To my horror, when I went into Zap-Map the day before to make a slight adjustment, some of the planned stops had disappeared and when I tried to re-enter them others disappeared. I gave up and complained to Zap-Map. I have subsequently learned they had an outage that day.



When I reached the M42 my decision whether to go M1 or M42 was made for me as the M1 had problems. I was quite happy about that as I knew exactly where I needed to stop and charge as I go down to west London on a regular basis. Traffic was horrendous and I crawled all the way to the InstaVolt hub at Banbury where I always stop. Despite the heat (therefore using the AC) I still had 58% range left ( from 100%) which was just as well , as the hub was rammed with cars queuing.


I debated using the Tesla hub a bit further down the road but given there were Teslas queuing, decided it probably wasn’t worth the extra mileage, so got back on the M40 down to Beaconsfield. I hadn’t stopped at Warwick as the Gridserve chargers there are a waste of time. Needless to say, Beaconsfield was busy. The Gridserve chargers were mainly occupied and with some problems (as usual) so I headed to the IONITY chargers.


4/5 were in use with the other one having problems. However, IONITY had sent out a very helpful guy who told me the wait would only be 10 mins as two were nearly finished and there were only two in front of me. I actually waited for 40 mins as these two were very inconsiderate and did not return when there cars had finished charging. The IONITY guy even went to try and find them. Surprise, surprise, one of them was a Merc driver who strolled back 30 mins after his car had finished “because he was having lunch with his family and didn’t think anyone would mind”, grrrrr!


Meanwhile, I had hitched up and had a quick 20 min charge to get me back up to 80% and I was off back onto the motorway. Crawled all the way round the M25. The M26 wasn’t as bad as feared but major roadworks at the M1 joining point delayed me further. My hotel had a destination charger and I was able to charge back up to 100% overnight.


Return journey next day, same route in reverse, was a doddle and I was at my son’s home in Oxfordshire in 2.5 hours with no stops. After meeting my new great granddaughter, I headed off again. Banbury stop off for 20 mins using the new InstaVolt superfast chargers took me back up to 85% and I headed home.


My horrendous journey south was not due very much to charging problems as the sheer volume of traffic and I wouldn’t have done it much quicker in an ICE car. However, there is a shortage of reliable chargers on this route. Gridserve chargers along this route get a lot of use but there aren’t enough and they’re also very unreliable.


Did you encounter any great driving roads on your road trip? If so, where were they and why were they great?

Motorway all the way so no real enjoyment!


The electric car itself 

This trip was on one of the hottest days of the year, yet I was comfortable all the way. I set the cabin temp and did use the AC. This was the first time I had used the AC for most of the journey and was surprised that overall it did not impact my range as much as feared. Overall, it made a difference of about 15 miles.


Road trip conclusion 

Despite the long journey time, I wouldn’t hesitate to go on a long journey again. In fact this allayed a lot of my fears. However, I did have the the advantage of using a route that I already knew well (the first half especially) so knew where to stop and recharge.


Once again InstaVolt and IONITY proved to be far better than Gridserve, both in the number of chargers, speed of charging and reliability. I was very impressed with IONITY having only used them once before. The young man at Beaconsfield went above and beyond, helping customers and making sure that the system flowed. My disappointment with other EV drivers who don’t follow etiquette and move their cars once charged, makes me think that perhaps we should go down the Tesla route and charge people who don’t move their vehicle within a reasonable time.


See other road trip reports here


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