Electric Ed’s EV Diary: From Bridgend to Bethesda in an MG5 EV
Electric Ed is our resident EV expert at Nathaniel Cars. He’s here to answer your questions and share advice and tips about electric vehicles (EVs). In the next entry from Ed’s EV Diary, he shares another day in the life of an electric car driver. This month, Ed’s “zipping” off to North Wales.
As part of my switch to electric cars, I decided to use an EV for a few of the longer journeys that I drive on a regular basis. As you’ll have seen in my first entry in Electric Ed’s Diary, my experience of driving an MG ZS EV from South Wales to Southampton proved to be a great success.
Now, I was off to Bethesda, Bangor in North Wales. This journey was two-pronged, A chance to ride Velocity, the fastest zip line in the world! And travel there in one of the fastest selling EV’s of recent times, the MG5 EV.
I’d decided that there would be little or no “range anxiety” this time. Some people might worry about how far you can drive in an EV, but the MG5 EV I drove was capable of 214 miles when fully charged. So, this 180-mile journey should be a piece of cake. The latest version of the MG5 is capable of 250 miles on a single charge, so it’s now even easier!
Let the planning begin!
Electric cars are likely to require topping up more frequently than petrol or diesel cars. And the route from South Wales to North Wales is notoriously lacking in charging points. So, this would require some meticulous planning.
As with my last journey, mapping a route was going to be key. A quick visit to Zap Map, the mobile app for planning EV routes based on charging points, confirmed that the car was more than capable of arriving with no stops needed. However, the terrain and weather play a big part in maximising the vehicle’s range, which is worth considering when you’re about to drive through the middle of Wales at the end of September!
A perfectly plotted path
I decided that I would take a route through Aberystwyth, which meant that I could stop and have coffee with family along the way. The first half of the journey involved travelling comfortably at 70 mph along a stretch of motorway and dual carriageways. This is where the journey settled into a cross-country affair, with the MG5 proving comfortable, quiet and efficient.
I strategically chose Aberystwyth because of its many charging points. At the Morrisons near my family’s home, the GeniePoint charger made quick work of charging the MG5. Taking it from around 50% up to 90% cost a little over £6!
Charging was easy. If you’ve ever wondered how it works, check out our blog, Making EV Easy: How to charge an electric car.
This charge was not necessary, as the car would have made it in one go. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take that (again) range anxiety!
An unintentional but scenic detour
Refreshed and recharged I continued my journey with just under 85 miles remaining to my destination, Bethesda.
The remainder of the journey continued smoothly and without hitch, despite getting a little bit lost. I climbed through mountainous stretches and coasted down the other side, reclaiming some of the energy lost from climbing. Its worth noting that an EV will use more power climbing steep inclines, much in the same way that a car with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) will use more fuel.
Despite the detour, I safely arrived at my home for the next few days, revelling in the beautiful scenery and pondering the zip-line descent I would make the following day!
The following afternoon, after some birthday celebrations, it was time to make the short drive from the cottage to Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry. By now, trepidation was beginning to kick in. But the car performed faultlessly, attracting some admiring looks and plenty of questions from passers-by.
Having been fortunate enough to already experience zip lines in different parts of the world, I can honestly say that to do it on my home turf gave me an enormous sense of pride. It was exhilarating and quite cold.
After the thrills were over, a quick trip to Bangor was in order, to plug in the car ready for my return journey the following day. Here, I used an Ecotricity point, which topped the EV up to 90% in fairly short order and gave me the chance to pick up a coffee and some provisions for the evening. This cost a little over £9.
Zipping back home (and getting lost again!)
After a relaxing evening and a “sleep for Wales”, I was ready to make my return journey back to Bridgend.
I opted for a more scenic route on the way back, which did get me spectacularly lost at one point, but I managed to correct this and headed back towards Aberystwyth.
I had intended to use a charging point at a local craft centre, about 5 miles out. Unfortunately, a car that had finished charging quite some time ago was hogging the charge point.
With no sign of anyone returning to the car, I left a polite note on the windscreen, and continued to Aberystwyth to use the original charger. This time it was occupied. But this gave me a chance to chat with some other EV owners who were driving around Wales, sharing hints and tips from our own journeys.
Once the EV was plugged in, the GeniePoint charger made quick work of getting us to 80% and I was on my way again, homeward bound. The MG5 EV is an effortless car to live with, being quiet and flexible with a decent turn of speed, should you need it.
The remainder of the journey continued smoothly and without hitch, eventually getting me home with around 60 miles of charge remaining.
The EV stats from Bridgend to Bethesda
For the drive from South Wales to Bethesda in North Wales I:
- travelled around 380 miles (including our detour) in three days
- stopped to charge three times
- only spent a little over £20 on charging
- most frequently used GeniePoint charging devices
- encountered only one charger that was being hogged and one where we had to queue
The verdict on our zippy trip from Bridgend to Bethesda in an MG5 EV
My one piece of advice, now and for all journeys, would be to plan ahead so that you can make sure that chargers are in working order.
No need to ask if I’d do it again. The answer is, of course, yes!
A petrol car might have been a bit easier to fuel, and the journey in an EV takes some extra planning. But driving an eco-friendly, quiet car through such stunning scenery far outweighs any of this. As does driving 380 miles on less than £20!
So, what are you waiting for? Join the EV revolution!
Come to Nathaniel Cars for a test drive in one of the EVs from our range of electric cars. Pop into our Cardiff and Bridgend showrooms to find out more.