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How far will you drive this Christmas?

Posted by David: Dec 18, 2023 4 min read

Drivers in the UK will travel an average of just 53 miles each way to see friends and family over the festive period.

Pod Point recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 adults across the UK to explore the disparities in the travel undertaken during the holidays, whilst figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed the UK’s most popular electric cars, including the Tesla Model Y and MG MG4.

According to the results, drivers will travel an average of 53 miles each way to be with friends and family this Christmas, a journey that could be completed six times by the UK’s most popular electric vehicle.

With people across the country preparing for a festive journey to visit their loved ones, the survey shows that Londoners top the table for long distance travel, venturing an average of 70 miles.

Men (53.7 miles) are likely to travel slightly further than women (50.6 miles), whilst the gender divide is much smaller than the generation gap, with 18-34 year olds likely to travel almost 20 miles further than drivers aged 55+.

The study also showed that drivers continue to be concerned about whether they can make the critical Christmas roadtrip in an electric car, despite the UK’s most popular EVs being able to handle their trips multiple times over.

Over a third of drivers (36%) worry an EV wouldn’t have the range to handle their Christmas travel, but all of the UK’s most popular options can travel at least four times the average trip, with some being able to complete the journey seven times before needing to stop to recharge.

The figures also show that few British drivers relish visiting petrol stations, with women (43%) especially likely to say they do not enjoy the experience.

Pod Point CEO Andy Palmer said: “It’s no surprise that Brits are prepared to travel a long way to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

“The good news is that if they're in an EV, they can charge up at home and hit the road straight away, confident that the only reason they’ll ever need to visit a petrol station is to pick up a late Christmas present.”

Marking the release of the figures, Pod Point has provided a list of top tips for drivers to plan ahead before undertaking their festive journey.

How to maximise your range while driving an EV:

  • Watch your speed - The optimum speed for an EV is 50-60 mph and, generally speaking, the faster you go the more energy you’ll consume. While not always possible, we recommend sticking to this speed range or aiming for a 10 mph reduction in your usual speed whenever possible.

  • Take the scenic route - Any route that will require you to travel at a lower speed will actually enable you to go further in an EV. So, if you’re able to, ditch the motorway for a path less trodden.

  • Check your tyre pressure before setting off - Unnecessary rolling resistance can decrease efficiency and range, so it's always wise to check your tyre pressure is at the optimal level before setting off on your journey.

  • Get into the habit of regenerative braking - It’s one of the easiest methods of reducing energy consumption. Whenever a driver brakes, the electric motor in a regenerative braking system recaptures energy that would otherwise be lost and feeds it back into the battery, which in turns helps optimise its range. The amount of energy generated depends on the system, but it can boost your range. Just make sure you always have regenerative braking on and that you leave enough space for it to slow you down before you need the brake, which also makes for safer driving!

  • Prioritise your battery health over the long term - You can take steps to prolong the life, and slow the degradation of your battery. The better your battery health, the more energy it will hold, and the longer range you can get on a single charge.

The UK’s most popular battery electric vehicles, excluding hybrids. All data sourced from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, accurate as at 12 December:

  • Tesla Model Y: 31,083 registered between 01 January 2023 and 30 November, maximum range 331 miles. Can complete the average trip 6 times.
  • MG MG4: 20,330 registered, maximum range 329 miles. Can complete the average trip 6 times.
  • Audi Q4 e-Tron: 15,287 registered, maximum range 300 miles. Can complete the average trip 5 times.
  • Tesla Model 3: 12,856 registered, maximum range 421 miles. Can complete the average trip 7 times.
  • Polestar, Polestar 2: 11,440 registered, maximum range 406 miles. Can complete the average trip 7 times.
  • Kia Niro: 9,784 registered, maximum range 240 miles. Can complete the average trip 4 times.
  • Volkswagen ID3: 9,652 registered, maximum range 339 miles. Can complete the average trip 6 times.
  • Volkswagen ID4: 8,032 registered, maximum range 328 miles. Can complete the average trip 6 times.
  • BMW i4: 8,024 registered, maximum range 300 miles. Can complete the average trip 5 times.
  • Skoda, Enyaq IV: 7,222 registered, maximum range 351 miles. Can complete the average trip 6 times.

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