A round Wales challenge + London to Wales and back in an electric car. The aim is to try and drive around the whole of the welsh coast and on the Welsh side of the English border and back to our start location in a new £22,000 Peugeot e-208. Easy or media nightmare?
Well this was the route which kept as much as possible within the Welsh border and visited every Welsh Tesla Supercharger currently open to non Tesla’s.
One Trip, three Tests
There are many many stories being pushed in the UK media about driving electric cars. This trip is going to focus on a few of them and provide you with an accurate picture.
- The Car – We’ll give you our impressions of the Peugeot e208 after what is likely to be over 1,200 miles in one week (equivalent to an annual mileage of 62,000 miles)
- The round Wales Trip details here
- The Charging – We’ tested out whether the Peugeot can overcome some fairly long distances between Tesla Superchargers to travel all the way round Wales on Superchargers alone. We also checked out some public charging networks in Wales on other days. Do they work, are there queues, how fast are they and how easy to operate. Wales is still light on charging (except in the South) compared to much of England.
- The new 20 mph urban speed limit in Wales – will it delay our 500 mile trip and is it in the right locations
Introducing #ElectricMustard our new test vehicle
According to the optimistic official WLTP result, this 2023 E-208 should manage 232 miles per charge. Most testers reckon nearer 180 miles is achievable so we’ll be testing that too. In our first 150 miles we’ve got 4 miles per kWh. On the 46.3 kWh battery that’s 185 miles and we’d need stretch that to 4.3 to reach 200 miles or 4.5 to reach 208 miles. Temperatures are forecast for 13-16C with early fog followed by rain!
We’ve done lots of #EVDaytrips in a Tesla Model 3, very easily frankly. But do those nightmare media stories about EV and charging network nightmares resonate any more if you try it in a small car that you can buy for half the cost and isn’t a Tesla?
Our test car is a new 2023 e208 Peugeot e208 Allure premium+ we found one for 34.8% off list price with no haggling, pre registered for just £21,969 with just 1 mile on the clock. A petrol one ordered off the Peugeot website the same week would have set you back £23,810 so £1,841 more than what we paid for this EV. To find out how to bag an EV bargain yourself our article is here.
We chose #ElectricMustard to find out what it’s like if you have to rely on charging a bit more often but still quite quickly. We also chose EM because its charge port is situated in the perfect place for Tesla superchargers which in Wales are nearly all open to non Tesla’s. Finally this car has the same hardware as many other cars and vans from Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen so if this car can do it so can most of them, including the Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Start point Penally near Tenby in Pembrokeshire
- Departure was early with just 64 miles range at 6:50am.
- Not the quickest run with very wet and sometimes thickish fog. Some fab views in between fog pockets but no time to stop.
- Just a 43 minute 28 mile journey to our first charger
Charge stop 1 – Carmarthen Supercharger
- It is in a car park with a minimum £3 fee.
- Arrived 23% charge, Depart 79% charge in 31 mins
- 1 hr 19 minute 70 mile journey to Cardiff Supercharger.
Charge stop 2 – Cardiff Supercharger
- Arrived 39% charge, Depart 49% in 6 mins
- this Charge stop was only made to tick the box for visiting “every Tesla Supercharger open to non Tesla’s2. Cardiff supercharger is at a service centre with toilet facilities but much further off the M4 than next stop Newport. There is a handy drive through Costa between this Supercharger and the M4.
- A 24 minute 13.5 mile journey to Newport
Charge stop 3 – Newport Supercharger
- Arrived 44% charge departure 90% in 37 minutes
- needed a 90% charge to reach Flint Supercharger.
- Located at the Celtic Manor Resort, there are no car park charges at time of writing for up to 3 hours. Not only are there V3 Superchargers but more Tesla destination chargers than I’ve seen before while the vast but interesting conference hotel has many eating and coffee facilities.
Charge stop 4 – Flint Supercharger
- A 4 hour and 5 minute 165 mile with slow traffic to Flint
- having left Newport with 90% we got the equivalent of 194 miles range for 100%
- Arrival 5% departure 77% in 31 mins
- this was a very efficient 4.5 miles per kWh meandering mainly on the Welsh side of the English border behind slow movimg A road traffic. Nice scenery!
- It was neither the shortest nor quickest route, but it lifted the efficiency of the trip so far to 4.2 miles per kWh
- The Peugeot really impressed on this run. Efficient, quiet and that 165 miles on 85% of the battery is genuinely useful on longer trips. It opens much more choice on where to charge and when – because its fast, or a multi charger hub rather than having to stop at single slow less reliable chargers because you really have to.
- Obviously arriving with 13 miles range could be the basis of one of those media stories about “butt clenching range anxiety”. It really isn’t like that. The sat nav showed the distance remaining and this was consistently about 20 miles less than the car’s range. If I wanted I could increase the range, or lose it by travelling a little quicker on the dual carriageway sections. The 7 miles off the 20 was once I was sure about range, and also due to some additional miles for a diversion from a closed section of road.
Charge stop 5 – Aberystwyth Supercharger
- A 3 hour 11 minute, 144 mile to Aberystwyth via Bangor
- Weather was… wet.. hopped out to visit the Ffestiniog Railway station nearest to Portmeirion and then a very wet mach loop – no low flying jets on that day.
- While phoning my hotel to check when dinner finished I discovered there were no meals on monday nights.. so the restaurant by the Aber chargers turned out to be very handy.
- Arrived 8% departure 89% in 59 mins
Finish stop – Penally near Tenby in Pembrokeshire
- A 2 hour and 5 minute 71 mile trip to the finish with 481 miles on the trip, 4.1 miles per kWh efficiency and an average speed of 41 mph
- route turned out to be a little odd.. very cross country often on single track lanes.
- Arrived with 57% charge.