Sligo to Enniskillen in an Electric Vehicle

A blog post with a bit of a difference. Andy got a 2013 Renault Zoe last year, it’s an electric vehicle, which he’s always wanted and it’s a lovely little car, even though before he bought it I wasn’t sure about EVs at all, I also wasn’t sure about automatic vehicles. I have since changed my opinion, I absolutely love driving it and it’s a great nippy little car, easy to drive and very pokey.

Anyway Andy was itching to see if the car would get to Enniskillen, which you might think is no problem, but the maximum range of the car fully charged is around 150km and that’s just by the guessometer, which as it says on the tin is just that – a guess, so not entirely accurate. This is because it’s an older 22kw model. Again you’d think this was no problem but the range is a bit iffy, it depends on a lot of factors, the weather, the speed, the weight in the car, etc.

Yesterday we set off and the car wasn’t fully charged, it was 117km and the distance from home to Enniskillen is 82km so I have to say I had severe range anxiety, I’m anxious at the best of times so this added to it! Andy was driving and he’s really good at not using all the range, he keeps to a steady speed and he’s good at regenerative braking (which puts some power back into the battery).

We took the back roads, me nerves were in tatters, between dealing with narrow roads and watching the range of the car going down, I was in bits! We went via Dowra, so the roads were quieter and they weren’t ‘fast’ roads. I’ve noticed that if you are driving the Zoe on dual carriageways going over 80kmph it eats the power.

I’m amazed to say we got to Enniskillen with 52km left in the car. That’s nothing short of a miracle! So fair play to Andy for the great driving and fair play to Zoe for getting us there.

There are a good number of chargers for electric vehicles in Enniskillen so we got charged OK. I would say don’t bother with the Asda charger, you need to register with a company and half the sticker is missing so you can’t read the instructions, also it’s a 3 pin charger so you’ll need your granny cable – and it’d be a really slow charge.

We charged at an ESB NI charger, we have a card for their chargers, it’s free to charge on them in Northern Ireland at the moment, but I don’t know when they will start charging to use them.

With a full charge I was a lot happier coming home, no range anxiety – for a change.

I have to say I really love the Renault Zoe, although an older one would be no good for me with the exploring I do. Most places I visit don’t have chargers. I would love to get a newer 40kw or the brand new ZE50 (which is 50 kw – and has a range of up to 395 km). The Zoe has made me think about electric cars in a different way though. If you are in the market for a new car I’d really recommend one.

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