EV adventures: JMG colleagues go on zero emission staycations

There’s so much to explore in the UK and with more of us choosing to holiday on home soil as a result of the pandemic, an electric vehicle (EV) is the ideal travel companion. With more charging points being introduced across the country and advances in tech, electric cars are becoming even more flexible, so taking one on a cross-country road trip has never been easier. Not to mention the reduced costs and fewer emissions.

But don’t just take our word for it; from driving to the Yorkshire Dales, exploring Scotland, or having a family day out at Duxford, our colleagues share their own experiences of road tripping in an electric car so you can feel confident in electrifying your next adventure…

Alex Brown, Head of Digital Marketing & Transformation

Staycation: Southampton to Yorkshire Dales

Car: Jaguar I-PACE

Why did you make the switch to electric motoring?

I made the switch mainly for environmental reasons but I was also interested in learning more about EVs in general. I also discovered it’s a lot cheaper than owning a petrol or diesel car, as it’s more tax efficient and has fewer running costs, so that was definitely a plus, too.

How did you plan for charging on staycation?

The Jaguar I-PACE has a real-world range of around 250 miles which is more than enough for my everyday journeys, but this was the first long distance trip I’d done in the I-PACE so it required a small amount of planning. For my staycation I drove to the Yorkshire Dales and stayed there for a week, then went to Manchester for a couple of days. I then drove back down to Southampton and then went back up to the Peak District to visit my parents before travelling back down to go to a wedding.

When driving to the Yorkshire Dales I knew I would have to charge up on the way, so I located the main charging points enroute before setting off. I used Zap Map to find charging points but there’s lots of tools you can use. Zap Map shows real-time information so if a charging point isn’t working, another EV driver will register it on the app. You have to pre-register for some charging points and create an account to use them, but many now operate on a ‘swipe and go’ basis where there’s no need to register.

Rather than stopping at a petrol station, fuelling up and being back on the road again in five minutes, stopping to charge your car prompts you to take a break, which works really well for long journeys.

What would you say to somebody contemplating making the switch to EV?

Do it! It requires a little bit of planning for long journeys but the savings far outweigh the time spent planning - and I don’t miss visiting petrol stations. There’s also a real sense of camaraderie and community amongst EV owners. People are really friendly and helpful, always happy to share tips and advice – it’s really nice to be a part of.

Aidan Smith, Video Content Creator

Staycation: Suffolk to Scotland

Car: Mercedes-Benz EQC

Why did you choose to road trip in an electric car?

The obvious answer would be because it costs a lot less than taking a petrol or diesel car. However it was my first opportunity to experience a long journey in an electric car, as I’ve only ever driven EVs for short periods of time. I’m very lucky that I get to spend a lot of time around electric cars, but this was my first time driving an electric car from Mercedes-Benz.

How did you plan for charging on your staycation?

The EQC is capable of roughly 240-260 miles of range and, on my way up to Scotland, I’d booked to stay in a hotel around 280 miles away from home. We set off and after 200 miles on the road we stopped to charge the car, which took around an hour. When we arrived in Scotland we found some of the charging points were actually shut, but this just meant we had to plan around it.

We used Zap Map to find different charging points and, as I have a genuine interest in EVs, I enjoy the small amount of planning that’s involved with a long journey. When you’re smart about charging, you can easily fit it into your plans so that you don’t lose any time. Throughout our entire staycation we lost no time whilst charging the car, as we parked up and charged at places we wanted to explore.

What would you say to somebody contemplating making the switch to electric?

The initial transition to electric can be scary, but it’s easy to think of it like plugging your phone in to charge, as the majority of us do this every day. Once you’re in the routine of plugging your car in overnight at home, during the day at work, or planning your route when you go on holiday, it becomes an easy and natural process. There’s so many benefits to driving electric so I encourage everyone to give it a go. Taking the EQC on our staycation made it an even more enjoyable experience.

Matthew Waghorn, Aftersales Manager, Mercedes-Benz of Colchester

Staycation: Colchester to Duxford and Peterborough

Car: Mercedes-Benz EQC

Why did you make the switch to electric?

I talk to so many customers about electric cars and the best way for me to learn about them was to drive one. After the first three months of driving the EQC, I knew I didn’t want to go back to petrol or diesel cars. Owning an electric car has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of EV and a whole new community of drivers – there’s so many exciting things going on in the industry and it’s great to be a part of.

How did you plan for charging on your days out?

Over the weekend I drove 450 miles: on the Saturday I drove from Colchester to Duxford and back again, and on the Sunday I drove to Peterborough and back. Before each journey I had a rough charging plan, using apps like Zap Map or Pod Point, and the EQC also tells me where the nearest charging points are via Mercedes Me. You’re never far from a charging point, wherever you are. Yes there’s a little more planning involved, but the car does the majority of it for me.

I really wanted to visit the new Braintree Electric Forecourt from Gridserve, so I also planned that into my journey. It has a range of shops and dedicated work spaces, and there’s so many ways to charge up – from using a charge card to contactless debit. It was an amazing experience and when I got back to the car I felt well-rested. Over the course of the weekend it cost me just £7.50 to charge the car for the full 450 miles.

What would you say to somebody contemplating making the switch to electric?

I’ve always been a petrolhead, owning Mercedes-AMG vehicles and fast motorbikes, but now I’d choose an electric car time and time again. There are so many benefits to driving an EV, from low running costs to becoming part of a great community – not to mention that the cars are fantastic to drive. I encourage everybody to test drive an electric vehicle to experience what it’s like behind the wheel. But it’s not just about the cars, it’s about the way of life. Going electric is easily the best decision I’ve ever made.

Mercedes-Benz EQC 2021

So what are you waiting for? Pack the car, load up the tunes, download Zap Map and hit the open road for your next great British staycation.

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