Can you go on holiday in an electric car?
Whether it’s a week on a beach or something more adventurous, more people are choosing to holiday in an electric car. But are they up to the job?
We caught up with Peter Carol, co-owner of a specialist outdoor shop in North Wales, to find out how he got on during a trip to Orkney this summer.
Hi Peter – Orkney’s a long way to travel from your home in Llangollen. Why did you choose to drive all that way?
Orkney is an amazing place and my wife Lesley and I have always wanted to visit. We visited our friend Sue who’s an archaeologist so we went and looked at sites that were older than the pyramids – like a 5,000-year-old burial chamber. We watched birds, went sea kayaking and walking. We even saw orcas! I don’t fly for environmental reasons and, well, why go abroad when you can have such a great time in the highlands and islands?
Did you have any worries about making the journey in an electric car?
Not really – because I’d done enough research into charging points and our car has decent range. We knew we could comfortably get 250 miles from a charge without trying and there were plenty of places to top up as we travelled north.
We used our long-range Kia e-Niro 2 and it was a great choice for the trip. The official range is about 280 miles but we’re getting about 300 miles. I do try to drive efficiently though…
Charging map of Orkney
Orkney’s a rural destination – were there enough chargers?
Absolutely – the closest were about a mile away from where we stayed, but we didn’t need to use them. We travelled all over the place, and to other islands – and I was never worried about running out of charge.
We got a ChargePlace Scotland card before we left, which made life very easy. ChargePlace Scotland is a national EV charging network developed by the Scottish government. Having a card felt a bit more reliable than using a debit card, especially on older machines. The prices are very good too – the most we paid was about 30p per kWh.
We probably went to about twice as many charging stations as we needed to. It wasn’t a problem – it was just a really convenient way to do things when we were stopping in a town to look around.
How was the car?
There’s plenty of space for the two of us to take a really spacious tent and the equipment to make it comfortable. If we still had kids at home and wanted to camp it might be a bit tight, but it’s great for two. I’ve even brought a kayak back from Scotland on the roof before!
One thing I’ve really grown to appreciate is the driving assistance. If you’re going a long way then things like adaptive speed control mean you feel a lot fresher after a few hours of driving.
Peter Carol is highly qualified in leading and coaching in the outdoors and ran an outdoor adventure activity business for 25 years. Originally training in Mathematical Engineering, Peter chose a less corporate route and has now lived in North Wales for most of his life where he runs the specialist outdoor shop ProAdventure in Llangollen.