Tesla Model Y 2022 – Road trip report: Cardiff to Caernarfon & back

Tesla Model Y 2022 - Road trip report: Cardiff to Caernarfon & back

Carwyn drove from South Wales to North Wales & back in his Tesla Model Y LR 2022.


Introducing your road trip 

My favourite weekend of the year is that of the Welsh Castles Relay which is a 20 stage road race across Wales. It’s over two days in June starting in Caernarfon on a Saturday morning on finishing in Cardiff on a Sunday afternoon visiting many Welsh castles en route. I partake on behalf of a ‘business house’ and as well as running one of the shorter and less challenging legs, I play the forward or sweep-up role taking or picking up runners.


I’d taken part in the event a number of times over the years using the Land Rover Discoveries I previously owned but this would be the first trip in an EV! I did my research beforehand and identified that public charging opportunities at any speed were well behind in North Wales compared to where I live in the South.


Caernarfon would be a 150-mile trip from home and the convoluted route back to Cardiff as well as the moving around of runners would be a lot of miles. Fortunately, a matter of days before the journey SWARCO in conjunction with Transport for Wales commissioned two 50kW chargers (79p/kWh) at Dolgellau which was our lunchtime stop on the journey up on the Friday. I charged up to 100% with the aid of my solar panels before I left home and with four up we arrived 100 miles or so later at Dolgellau with about 67% remaining. Both chargers were free and I topped up to 100% during a quick lunch break.


I had a bit of an issue all weekend with releasing the holsters from the chargers which I fed back to SWARCO who advised to actually push in the charger when selecting the charger cable to assist in it’s release. During the weekend I kept to the maxim of ABC, ‘always be charging’, whenever we stopped at leg changeover points; in reality I didn’t need to.


Tesla Model Y 2022 - Road trip report: Cardiff to Caernarfon & back


I charged again at Dolgellau and Newtown with SWARCO on the way back down. I found the 50kW chargers at Morrisons Bangor and Brecon, belonging to GeniePoint to be out of order. I charged up on the Dragon Charging 22kW charger in Brecon (65p/kWh) using my Type 2 cable which I had taken with me for the trip, I don’t usually carry it. I found the Connected Kerb chargers at Caerphilly weren’t live yet and their machines in Cardiff (near the end of the race) were all in use.


I topped up to 92% near home as we were going away again the next day and needed a fast charge. The space that the car provided us over the weekend was tremendous in carrying people and bags. Very annoyingly I didn’t actually record the total mileage for the weekend but for the whole of June I’d covered 1,313 miles in total including a return trip to Bristol Airport and a trip to Tenby. The car used 247kWh/mile of electric. In summary, taking an EV on a big trip through Wales worked out fine.


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Planning & preparation 

I’m on Facebook pages for EV users in Mid & North Wales. I’d added all the Apps to my phone with payment methods. I’d researched Zap-Map to find locations as well as the maps on the Apps. I’d e-mailed GeniePoint to ask the score about Caernarfon as it had been reported as out of action for weeks beforehand, I didn’t get a reply. I’d also e-mailed SWARCO to ask advice on charging in North Wales who did respond accordingly.



  • SWARCO at Dolgellau twice, Newtown and Aberdare – 50kW (79p/kW). Issues encountered with cable not releasing from charger which I fed back.
  • GeniePoint at Caernarfon – 50kW machine broken and Brecon – whole machine not working.
  • Dragon Charging at Brecon 22kW at 65p/kWh
  • SWARCO at Llandrindod Wells and Caerphilly – couldn’t get the cable out of machine
  • Connected Kerb at Caerphilly – was all there with the QR code but wasn’t actually commissioned yet.


In summary, SWARCO have got a very good network across Wales but be wary of the releasing issue. Connected Kerb have sprung up across South Wales but more of a destination charger as you need a type 2 cable.


Tesla Model Y 2022 - Road trip report: Cardiff to Caernarfon & back


Did you encounter any great driving roads on your road trip?

The A470 all through Wales is a great driving road depending on traffic. Also, the A483 Newtown to Llandrindod Wells.


The Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y was perfect for the job with so much space for occupants, often four or five up and the huge amount of space in front and rear boots was utilised. Acceleration was useful for overtaking. Car was very comfortable and great for the journey and had enough ground clearance and traction to park in off-road places where necessary. All round cameras proved useful for parking & the sat nav was very good.


Road trip conclusion 

A great success! I probably tried to charge more times than I needed to. Obviously, a lot more expensive to use public chargers than to do so at home where I have solar panels and a cheap overnight EV tariff. But I still believe it would have been no more expensive than a fossil fuel car overall and obviously emissions for the weekend were zero.


See other road trip reports here


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