The first time you try anything new is always going to feel a little weird. It can feel a little bit unnerving when you start at a new company which has its own processes and digital programs or start using a new phone or laptop.
The same applies to cars. Every car has different procedures and every car operates in a slightly different way when it comes to driver assistance and alerts.
As a result, I was a little nervous when I was given the Porsche Taycan for my drive across Britain because I’ve never experienced the UK’s charging network. All my experiences of filling up have been with a fuel nozzle rather than a charging cable.
One of the reasons for my trip was to find out what it was like when an electric newbie like me was thrown into Britain’s charging network.
Fortunately, the Porsche Taycan was there to help.
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Ahead of the journey I had heard a lot of horror stories about the charging network. I’d heard how people had been left stuck at chargers that didn’t work or been taken to chargers that had queues of drivers waiting.
Charging speeds too were new to me. Regardless of what petrol station you drive to you know your car will fill up at almost the same speed as it would elsewhere.
The car though, came with a clever system to take away the stress. When you put your destination into the car’s sat nav, you’re given the option to say how much charge you would like when you get to your destination.
This might seem weird, but if you charge at home you might be comfortable with 20 percent, but if you’re staying at an Airbnb without a charger, 80 percent might be more practical.
Afterwards, the Taycan then plans out your charging stops for you. But there’s more.
As well as telling you where to stop and for how long, the car will also take you to high-performance chargers, ones which charge up your car faster than at other places.
Furthermore, if you’re a Porsche customer, there’s an added bonus if you stop at a service station with an Ionity charger where Taycan owners get a discounted rate on the network.
On one of their ultra-rapid chargers, a Taycan can charge from 5-80 percent in as little as 23 minutes, about the same time as an average stop at a traditional petrol station once you consider re-fuelling the car and getting a cup of coffee.
One of the misconceptions about electric cars is that you spend more time stationary. However, when you’re doing a long journey, you don’t just jump back in immediately. Unless they’re in a rush, most people take their time.
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It’s also important to bear in mind that most people won’t drive for 14 hours unless they really have to.
If you’re driving 300-plus miles from London to Cornwall or across Europe, stops will form part of the planning.
During my journey across Britain, I only had a couple of moments when I felt genuinely worried about charging, worries that probably won’t be there as the charging network improves.
In my final article, I will be talking about what I think about the UK’s electric renaissance and whether I would switch to an electric car today.
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