EV Charging Diaries - WFH with a Nissan Leaf
Posted by Jasmin: Apr 24, 2023 • 9 min read
Ever wondered what a week in the life of an EV driver looks like? Your wishes have been answered!
We’ve asked drivers to share the inside story on life with an EV: how much it costs to charge, how they coped with range anxiety, the lot.
This is one driver’s story:
Car: Second-hand Nissan Leaf
EV driver since: June 2022
What made you decide to get an EV? Mainly sustainability reasons. We have a 100% renewable energy tariff, so I liked the idea that we could reduce our fossil fuel usage by charging from home.
Best EV experience: Every time I wake up in the morning to a fully charged car. The novelty is yet to wear off.
Worst EV experience: Getting shouted at by somebody blocking a rapid charger but not charging. Is there a consensus on charging etiquette yet? (Yes, there is!)
Charging set up: We recently upgraded from a 3-pin cable to a Pod Point Solo 3. It's been super helpful to be able to track how much we're spending on charging through the app, although we haven't tested out the scheduling feature yet as we don't have an EV electricity tariff so we tend to just plug in when we need to charge.
Typical weekly mileage: My partner and I both work from home, so during the working week our driving is mainly going back and forth to the gym and the odd errand. We do a lot of longer trips on the weekends though, whether that's visiting family, heading off on a hiking day trip, or going for a staycation.
6am: Begrudgingly head outside and unplug the car ready for a trip to the gym before work. It's fully charged after being plugged in overnight, which goes part of the way towards easing the pain of how cold it is this morning.
8.30am: Back from the gym and at my desk ready for a day of work.
12.30pm: I didn't think I'd be out in the car again today, but I realise I have some library books that need to be returned so I drive into town to drop them off on my lunch break.
Total miles: 20
Time spent charging: 0
£ spent charging: £0
6am: Another day, another gym session. I do love how quiet our car is to drive and nothing makes that clearer than driving when there's no-one else on the road. The lighter mornings mean that a couple of birds are awake and chirping, so I enjoy listening to them on the drive.
Total miles: 12
Time spent charging: 0
£ spent charging: £0
5pm: We're meeting some friends for dinner after work in our nearest city, so we set off as soon as is acceptable to log off for the day to try and make it there on time.
6pm: We only got stuck behind one tractor, so we're a few minutes early. We spot a whole fleet of 7kW Pod Point chargers right outside the restaurant, so decide to plug in for a top up while we eat. It feels ludicrously cheap in comparison to rapid charging, although my partner kindly reminds me it's even cheaper to charge at home.
I wonder at what point the novelty of serendipitous encounters with chargers in the wild will wear off. On our one year EV anniversary, perhaps? Or maybe when there's a chargepoint everywhere you park?
8pm: The car battery is still pretty full when we get home, which makes sense since we've hardly driven so far this week. We've got a long drive tomorrow but I decide not to plug in when I get home.
Total miles: 31
Time spent charging: 3 hours
£ spent charging: £4.77
10am: We're off to a wedding today, which is very exciting as it's the first of our friends to get married! We stock up on snacks for the journey before heading out. Theoretically, we should be able to do the drive there and back without needing to stop to charge so we cross our fingers and hope for the best!
12pm: We arrive and head to the ceremony without a second glance at our range.
11pm: Ready to head home after a lovely day, we set off and seem to be the only ones on the road. My partner is driving, so I have the nail-biting job of cross-referencing the car's remaining mileage with the distance outstanding on Google Maps. It's not a compulsory task, but as the buffer shrinks ever smaller (a product of the freezing temperatures and us having the heating on), I find I can't look away.
11.30pm: We have less than 10 extra miles on the car and, not the type of person to take risks, especially when there's a good night's sleep in jeopardy, I call it and open up Zap-Map. Luckily, there's a rapid chargepoint in a hotel car park that seems to be available and adds less than two minutes onto our journey. I'm extra pleased because I've been desperate for the toilet for the last twenty minutes, so I'm glad of the excuse to stop.
11.45pm: 10 minutes of rapid charging was all we needed to top up enough to make it home. The end of a very long day is in sight.
Total miles: 98
Time spent charging: 14 minutes
£ spent charging: £4.27
Today we do a grand total of zero miles. What wild lives we lead. In the evening I plug the car in so that it can charge overnight ready for a trip we're taking tomorrow.
Total miles: 0
Time spent charging: 12 hours
£ spent charging: £3.86
7am: I'm out early this morning to squeeze in my long run (marathon training) before we set off for the weekend. Somehow, it manages to rain the whole time which starts off as annoying but ends up being mildly liberating.
9.30am: Get back home and decide to plug the car in to soak up a few extra miles of charge while I have my breakfast. Every little helps.
10am: We finally make it out the door with around 98% charge and head on our way to the Surrey hills for a little weekend away. The hotel we're staying at has a bunch of chargers nearby according to Zap Map, so we're feeling pretty relaxed about the journey.
11am: Stop off for a wander around a National Trust property en route. Somehow, it's still raining. Sigh.
1pm: Make it to the hotel with plenty of charge. We'll need to top up before our journey home tomorrow, so we make a plan to charge at a carpark near the restaurant we're going to for dinner.
7pm: We try to use destination chargers in the car park while we go for dinner, but alas, they're all in use. It's great that more people are going electric and making the most of public charging, so we don't mind. The pull of pizza is too strong, so we decide to find a rapid on the way back to the hotel. For some people, I know this would be annoying, but I quite like the adventurous side of it. Plus, it still beats having to go to a petrol station (I'm one of those people that always hated the smell!).
8pm: Rapid charger located and we're finally plugged in and charging. We use the time to make a plan for tomorrow and catch up on some life admin. It might not be glamorous, but it's very productive.
Total miles: 92
Time spent charging: 32 minutes
£ spent charging: £12.23
10am: After breakfast and a wander around the hotel grounds we're back in the car and on our way home, hoping we don't get stuck in traffic on the way.
11am: Halfway home and we decide to make a stop for mid-morning coffee and cake. What else are Sundays for? There are a bunch of rapid chargers in the car park, but we have enough charge to make it home so we don't make use of them.
1pm: Make it back home just in time to plug in to our Pod Point home charger (I always feel nervous if the car has less than 20 miles range which reminds me of my internal combustion engine days when I'd get sweaty palms when the tank was almost empty!).
Total miles: 78
Time spent charging: 14 hours
£ spent charging: £4.27
Miles driven: 331
£ spent on charging: £29.40
Number of charges:
- Rapid: 2
- Homecharge: 2
- Destination: 1
This week included a lot more driving than normal, but for the most part I managed to charge while out and about without a hitch. For me, being able to delete the task of regularly going to a petrol station from my life is more than worth it. Charging at home is the most convenient thing I've ever experienced so, for the amount of driving we do, an EV is a no-brainer.