If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]
Please note that it is not permitted to have referral links posted in your signature. Keep these links contained in the appropriate forum. Thank you.

Driving to the UK for Christmas. Take the diesel or the EV?

  • 04-12-2021 2:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭remoteboy

    First up, the big caveat here is that this is all dependent on COVID restrictions not changing.

    I’m taking the car on the ferry a few days before Christmas and driving down to Berkhamsted - it’s about 400km from Holyhead (mostly motorway). Usually do it in the diesel Mondeo but would love to do it in the EV (ID3 58kw) this year.

    I’ve downloaded ARBP and it looks doable with one stop (or two if I want to arrive with a bit more charge). I can granny charge where I’m staying (with family) but there’s only one 7k charger nearby. It’s an 8 mile trip to the nearest fast charger according to Zap Map.

    So I’m wondering

    a) should I just take the diesel (and keep the EV for shorter trips)

    b) presuming that I am taking the EV, has anyone done a similar journey and do you have any tips - eg what’s an optimal SOC to arrive at a fast charger with?

    Thanks for reading



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,831 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    I don't drive an EV but I often take trips too the UK at this time of year in a diesel.

    From my experience of the traffic and possible weather conditions I would say stick with the diesel.

    You can fill it up and go door to door in comfort without worrying about tailbacks, diversions, road closures, queues at charger etc.

    If it was me I'd probably be itching to give the ID 3 the run but discretion would be the better part of valour and I'd leave it to the better weather and longer days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,027 ✭✭✭Lantus

    If you are just on your own then maybe. But I'd probably just put 900km of diesel in the tank and be done with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭bkehoe

    I've done the reverse a few times now and no issues. As long as you plan your charging stops sensibly then there's no drama.

    While I always use Stena, as I don't need the onboard charging, Irish Ferries has free Podpoint chargers on board some of their ferries if you travel with them. Just need to add it as a zero cost option to your ferry booking so that could give you 4 hours of AC charging to ensure you arrive in the UK with a nicely topped up battery if you need it.

    Your route conveniently could include a stop at the Gridserve hub at Rugby services ( for example and I suspect one other charge near Manchester is all you'd need? There's usually 2 or 3 50kW Gridserve chargers at each of the services along a 20-30 mile stretch of the M6 in this area, e.g. Lymm, Knutsford, Sandbach so plenty of backups if you've an issue at one. New 150kW BP chargers at the services near Manchester airport (a 5-10min detour from the M6).

    All the Gridserve chargers take contactless payment, check into Instavolt as well as good reliable backups that take contactless.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,126 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    EV can be done but I’d only do it (and I’ve done it twice) with a Tesla via Supercharger network. Stick with the diesel mate

  • I see Ionity are building a new charger in Stafford. That will make things an an awful lot easier for people.

    It makes a trip from Dover to Holyhead in a typical 55 to 60kw EV on the Ionity network with two HPC charges much easier but a location closer to Liverpool would still be preferable.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,640 ✭✭✭User1998

    I’d probably take the EV. Perfect scenario really. You’ll be leaving Holyhead with 100% charge and only have to make one stop which you would probably be making anyway as a rest break. And you have charging at your accommodation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭Orebro

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,067 ✭✭✭fricatus

    No reason not to bring the EV. Download Zap Map and filter for Gridserve and Instavolt, and see how your route is looking. Still takes a little planning, but if you're even a little bit flexible around arrival times, you should be fine.

    Check out my recent experience in this thread:

    Top tips: bring two cards (debit or credit) and let your bank know you're travelling so that they don't get blocked due to unusual activity. Gridserve will reserve £20 every time you charge, so that will tie some money up in your account for a week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I say go for it, UK charging network is vastly superior to the Irish one

    Download Zap Map, look up the chargers en route and ensure you have the right apps downloaded

    We charge probably covers a lot of the chargers, albeit at a higher price than the native apps

    You should be able to manage with a single fast charge either way. I'm guessing you are staying for a day or two so charging off the granny lead should have you fully charged for the journey home

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Registered Users Posts: 797 ✭✭✭sh81722

    No reason not to take the EV. I have driven to Finland twice from Ireland first on Leaf40 via UK and this summer on Model 3. I also went to Cornwall on a 24 kWh Leaf and that was painless also. The UK networks have only gotten better since our last UK trip which was back in 2018.

  • Advertisement

  • quoting myself as I can't edit anymore.

    planning permission for Stafford. Reportedly 12 HPC Ionity chargers to be installed and I'll assume they'll all be 300/350kW in power. If you are heading to the South East of England this will be a waypoint for you from Holyhead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭remoteboy

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I reckon I’m going to go for it. Have booked the ferry and reserved the pod points for the journey over and back.

    Have been using ARBP to figure out journey and it recommends two short stops (Wrexham and Rugby). 5hr journey time which is pretty much par for the course. Getting excited now 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭remoteboy

    Thanks for the link to the thread. Really helpful.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭bkehoe

    Good on you, I was rather surprised by the amount of people saying to bring the diesel!

    Wrexham seems a bit out of the way though isn't it - I'm guessing it's suggesting the A41 which is around 15 miles shorter but with any traffic will probably take longer. Also quite a lack of 50kW+ chargers along the route should you have any issues with the ABRP suggested charger. If you do the usual M56/M6 route, you've 3 Gridserve 50kW chargers at the M56/M6 junction as well which is just under 100 miles from the ferry followed by many Gridserve 50kW units (or alternative Shell/BP units) at almost every junction as you head south.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,626 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Morbid curiosity would lead me to try out the EV albeit with a bit of planning needed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,674 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    If you plan on sticking a roofbox on it, or worse-still bikes, then prepare for the added losses.

    Keep it to 110 if in doubt!

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Drive the diesel......between charge points been broken, bad traffic, potential road crash's blocking motorways etc it would be a nightmare in an electric. You are just putting yourself under undue stress

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,421 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Have you tried driving an EV through the UK, it's 100 times better than in Ireland. I will be doing Holyhead => Southend => Sheffield => Holyhead in a Mini SE with with 160km of range. My worst stop will be in North Wales where there are only 2 CCS chargers , though there is a second 2 CCS stop 5km down the road in case that one is busy. I'll also be charging at Rugby with it's 12 350kW CCS points and Braintree which has 20.

    Post edited by liamog on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,880 ✭✭✭remoteboy

    This is really helpful. I’ll look at amending my route. Cheers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Well Ireland is terrible so 100 times better :-)

    Personally I drive over to UK all the time, I wouldn't even bother with the electric. Enough to deal with than worrying which charger or which app you need etc. Then a bad crash etc and you can be stuck on a motorway for hours, especially at winter with snow etc. Not for me at this moment, maybe in future

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,421 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    How many times have you drove through the UK with an EV? The only app I use is my Google Pay on my phone, gridserve and osprey both use contactless payments and have multiple chargers per site.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I wouldn't drive it, I have a big durty diesel and I know I can fill it before getting on the boat and off I go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 754 ✭✭✭Zenith74

    I've driven across the UK a few time in Leaf24s, there are way more chargers, generally at least 3 at each location and they seem to be fairly reliable. I wouldn't think twice about doing it in the likes of an ID3, go for it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭bkehoe

    All you need to do is look at any of Bjorns camping videos to see how little energy the heating on a modern EV, especially ones with heat pumps use. Most seem to just be around 1% per hour when already up to temperature, and thats in the Arctic circle overnight. So there's no more inconvenience in the very unlikely scenario of getting stuck for several hours in traffic on a motorway in an EV vs a diesel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I have an EV, a couple of them. Stick the heating on and the range drops significantly. Heated seats it uses about 1% on all of them.

    It's the same on the diesel mind you but because you have a huge tank people don't notice it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 797 ✭✭✭sh81722

    My car uses about 1 kWh per three hours when stationary at 0 degrees with heatpump on so it would have to be a rather spectacular stoppage if you arrived with say 30% or more of battery (100->0% is 8/9 full days). We are talking about 3 full days here. I suspect a diesel would use about 0.5 l/h at idle so 30 litres of diesel would last the same 2/3 days.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,421 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    My own car uses about 2kW per hour to maintain a comfortable cabin in the current weather, on the flip side if you are in heavy traffic or making slow progress the energy used for motion is much lower. My car does 250km at 60km/h or 160km/h at 120km/h. The reduced speed should more than make up for any extra time taken and balance it out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Old diesel

    400 kms is 250 miles.

    I think its very doable with the UK charging networks.

    Can't see why you'd need a diesel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,176 ✭✭✭eagerv

    Doesn't Silent Running of this parish regularly travel to somewhere in the UK SouthEast? IIRC he used to do it in an Ioniq, then a Niro and now an ID.3. He doesn't seem to be around atm, but I remember he said the ID.3 was the easiest of all, probably due to only needing one very quick charge stop..

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Old diesel

    For my smaller battery car a Better Route planner reckons I could do that route from Holyhead with just over 1 hours charging time. If I leave Holyhead with 100 percent.

    I recommend ensuring that the ambient temp in A Better Route Planner is at the temperature its likely to be for the trip.