Ready… Set…

Well, what can I say? With Vince at the helm it feels like the adventure has already begun! I hope you are enjoying the pages in the tabs above this blog, of special importance is of course the ‘Why are we doing this?‘ and ‘Donate‘ sections.

So why does it feel like an adventure? In true Vince style it of course started with a simple yet noble idea, “I want to drive the BMW i3, the one I got for Carole, from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Mesothelioma UK… it hasn’t been done before without all the fuss of experts and technical entourages… so let’s do it… let’s find out if it’s possible and raise money for Carole.” I am of course paraphrasing but you get the point. Simple task? Actually no…

So why IS this going to be so difficult? For starters the journey is roughly 900 miles and if you’ve read the page ‘Why are we doing this?‘ you may have noticed that a fully charged battery goes for about 100 miles (when driving economically of course). A slow charge takes about 12 hours (3-pin household plug), a fast charge takes around 3-4 hours while a rapid charge takes roughly 30 minutes… but we are yet to find one that works and it also costs a bit extra to charge!

Luckily, the range extender can charge the battery on the move to ensure we actually make it to a charging station in the first place! It will be interesting to find out how often we have to stop to charge, how long it takes to charge and how much it costs!

Oh by the way, charging isn’t as straight forward as you may think, especially when you’ve decided to hop through counties! After a little, not so straight forward, research I’ve discovered that there is no single national network to charge your vehicle; you need to do some preparation. There are regional ones and national ones, which sometimes overlap… and often the charging posts aren’t managed by the people/companies that own them. This all means that we are now in possession of 6 ‘access’ RFID cards, 2 mobile phone apps and quite a few helpline numbers (some posts are entirely pay-as-you-go, some are free and other’s you sign up to in advance). After ascertaining which card or app to use (depending on the charging point) you swipe it over the post and hey presto… electricity. The only other issue seems to be the possibility of discovering you don’t possess the right plug for the charging post you’ve parked next to… another benefit of the range extender! But what is an adventure without difficulty and uncertainty along the way?!

I’ve considered planning the whole thing so we know exactly what charging posts we’ll need to go to depending on miles driven and so on… but the problem here is that a charging post may be out of action, it could be extremely difficult to predict the exact electricity usage and range and most importantly… Vince is adamant that planning it would be totally boring.

Conclusion… we will begin driving on the 8th September, RFID cards and apps in hand, not use motorways (boring and drains battery quicker going at faster speeds) and pack enough warm clothing in case we end up camping in the Scottish Highlands.

Vince says – “Told you it was easy.”

Louise says – “erm!”

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