Like many families, our Communications Manager Katie and her family, decided to stay in the UK this year and see a bit of the west country rather than heading off abroad. For two weeks, Katie and her family travelled almost 1000 miles across England in search of sun and family fun. This is her account of how it worked out with her Audi e-tron 50.
It was the first time we had done any major travelling using the charging network, and we definitely had some friends who were sceptical about the feasibility of this and how hassle free it would be, given the network not being as strong as it could be in some areas of the country.
We set off for Burnham on Sea, via Weston Super Mare from Hemel Hempstead early in the morning one Friday, to try and beat the traffic. This meant we could stop at Portishead for breakfast and to stretch our legs after 2.5hrs in the car, which with two small children and a lively dog, was definitely needed. I had found a place which served an “all you can eat” breakfast which also had a car charger so it was win win for everyone. Cost to charge: £8.93
On to Weston Super Mare for the beach for the day having stuffed our faces. I had found a car park one road from the beach, which had charge points so took the opportunity to top up the car despite it only lacking the miles we’d used from Portishead. Cost to charge £2.08
We stayed the night on a farm in Burnham on Sea before driving on to Looe in Cornwall the following day. We made the journey via Canonteigen falls (absolutely recommend by the way, quite a sight) and Plymouth for a supermarket shop for the week. We did that at Morrisons in Plymouth as we’d been told the supermarkets on the road into Looe were small and not well stocked and which worked well as they also had a rapid charger. Cost to charge £12.66 (FYI – Genie Point seem to work out a lot more expensive than others!)
We then went on to Looe where we went out and about exploring for a few days. We found that Looe had one rapid Genie charger, which was unfortunately out of service for our entire week and which caused a momentary panic! On arrival, we found that Looe isn’t very car friendly, so it didn’t actually prove a problem for us. We travelled around 5-10 miles each day to local towns and beaches and did one cheeky charge at our accommodation, which topped up around 30 miles on a 3-pin plug overnight just to see us through one day.
Mid-week, we took a day trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan which meant we needed to charge, which we did with another yummy breakfast en route at a local pub where the cost to charge was £4.28
Our other activities, including some go karting, axe throwing, surfing, beach and water park fun were all within a few miles of our accommodation so we used just a few miles each day. It meant travelling back to Devon wasn’t a problem with the car as it still had around 100 miles in it from our mid-week charge.
Saturday was time to leave Looe and head for Dartmouth. As we couldn’t access our next accommodation until the evening, we went to Paignton for the day to have a look around and while there, had lunch while the car was charging. Cost to charge was £5.26
Spending a few days in Dartmouth exploring the area, we only used around 50 miles in total throughout the week. We used the car each day, but only to get to and from the town, local beaches and restaurants.
On the Wednesday, we headed to Torquay where we went to Kents Cavern, prehistoric caves and needed to get some shopping, so went via the Lidl in Torquay, which had a rapid charger. 40 minutes and £7.10 later, we had a full charge.
On Friday, we took a 25 mile trip to Newton Abbot to the River Dart Country Park which is another gem in the area and definitely worth a visit. After an exhausting day of adventure fun, we stopped in Totnes for dinner on the way home and took the opportunity to charge the car at the local Morrisons supermarket rapid charger. Cost to charge £9.33
All too quickly on Saturday it was time to make the trip home from Dartmouth to Hemel Hempstead, stopping at Wincanton services (which was 95 miles from our starting point) for lunch and a break from the traffic! Cost to charge £15.08
All in all, we had a fun-filled two weeks in Somerset, Cornwall and Devon where we travelled all over and didn’t have to worry about not having anywhere to charge the car as there always seemed to be a charger en route. We only spent one charging session actually waiting for the car to be charged as we had meals or activities planned while the car was charging, which worked out well. It absolutely didn’t cause any issues and I was really pleased with our adventure as it means we’ll not even think about it next time – forward planning is always going to be a thing but even that took no time at all with the zap-map app.
Our friends who holiday-ed with us, spent over £200 on petrol during their holiday and adding up our electricity costs, it seems we spent a lot less. An equivalent audi car would have been even more so we definitely made a saving without really any hassle.
In summary, we covered 949 miles in 15 days
Total cost in charging: £64.72
Total cost in an Audi Q7 (which is the nearest Audi equivalent diesel car) at 131.9p per litre £242