On a charge: Driving the Jaguar I-Pace from London to Frankfurt

I'm learning lessons about cross-continent BEV driving. It may well be better to roll at a slower pace and save time otherwise taken up by charging. I just need an in-car app to do the maths for me. 

The drive across Germany now takes on a sweet rhythm. I'm on a northwesterly route home through the Eifel mountains, traffic is light and the speeds are good. On one derestricted and gently downhill section, there's even a chance to max the I-Pace at an indicated 129mph, 4mph above the official top speed. 

Obviously, charge depletes at a faster rate, but there's no ill effect on the three-stop strategy as I arrive in Ghent for a final overnight stop.  A pleasant surprise comes in the shape of an unused 7kW charger in the hotel car park, so I grab a chance to 'destination charge', urged on by the hotelier, who is an electric car enthusiast, and top up the range to a full 200 miles for the run back to London, where I arrive at lunchtime on Thursday.  In many ways, this trip was so very remarkable.

Just two years ago, it would have been impractical. Yet the speed at which Ionity has set up its network now makes it a reality and the charging hardware worked 100% reliably for me.  The cost was low, too.

At EUR8 per charge, total energy costs were GBP64 for 1064 miles. A 50mpg diesel car would have cost twice that. Time is a concern, though.

Seven hours were taken up by charging, but smarter planning might reduce that.  Better signage would enhance ease of use and fewer truck stop locations would improve the experience.

There's also work to be done on intervals between chargers and I reckon at least two fewer stops would have been possible given a wider choice of locations. A long-haul trip like this would also be much more relaxing with guaranteed destination charging because that would have eliminated another two stops.  But the biggest improvement in the future will be integrating in-car sat-nav with on-board range data and charger location finding to make planning the trip and responding on route to battery charge levels much easier. 

Right now, cross-Continental motoring is here and doable with the Ionity network.

For Autocar readers who haven't attempted such a trip, it's a new challenge that's worth accepting.

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