Motorists in the United Kingdom won’t have to worry about finding places to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) as they take the historic drive from John o’Groats on the northeastern tip of Scotland to Land’s End on the southwestern English coast, as Tesla Motors has partnered with hotels and other tourist destinations to install a network of 10 high-power charging stations along the route.
Each charging station is privately owned and available for public use, either provided free or for a nominal fee. The network is the results of a grassroots effort by Tesla Roadster drivers and the participating hotels and resorts. The stations will use Tesla’s High Power Connector (HPC), which delivers 70 A and can fully charge an empty battery in less than three hours. It also can “top off” a partially charged battery in a fraction of the time.
On May 21, Zero Carbon World founder Kevin Sharpe and EV expert David Peilow set off from John o’Groats for the 36-hour, 894-mile drive to Land’s End in a Tesla Roadster, taking turns at the wheel (see the figure). The drivers charged the car before the trip and six times along the way with a total electricity cost of 20 pounds, or about $30. Zero Carbon World is a charity dedicated to developing clean energy solutions.
“After crossing the country on a single charge in a Tesla Roadster, I realized that national coverage would require surprisingly few charge stations,” said Peilow. “I worked out the minimum number of sites for all of Britain to be reached and found locations where drivers would be keen to stop and recharge. Once the benefits of hosting an EV charger were explained, most sites jumped at the chance to have one.”
“The new network embodies Zero Carbon World’s vision of a carbon-free society and shows that eliminating fossil fuel emissions is well within our grasp,” said Kevin Sharpe. “The network empowers people to make choices that are pleasurable and consistent with their values of environmental stewardship. I’m thrilled to be the first EV owner to make the drive from John o’Groats to Lands End.”
Zero Carbon World