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Monday, 23 May 2011


Having spent most of the day underneath the 15 yr old Hilux pick-up rebuilding the front hubs, I was delighted to put down the spanners and get an invite from Matt Trevaskis of ecodrive to join him at Lands End for the arrival of a Tesla Roadster at the iconic signpost, marking the unveiling of a high power charging network from Lands End to John O'Groats.

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors  has partnered with UK hotels and tourist destinations to install the network, comprised of ten charge stations throughout Great Britain.

Each charge station is privately owned and available for public use, either provided free or for a nominal fee. The network is the result of a grass-roots effort by forward-thinking hotels and resorts and Roadster drivers. Now Roadster owners can enjoy their cars' breathtaking accelleration and 212 mile range as they tour Great Britain, and conveniently recharge while having a meal, using leisure facilities, or indulging in an overnight stay.

Tesla's High Power Connector (HPC) delivers a whopping 70 amps of electricity, fully charging an empty battery in less than three hours, and "topping off" a partially-charged battery in a fraction of that time. Complimenting the HPC network, Zero Carbon World   a charity dedicated to creating a clean energy future, has installed medium power connectors (MPCs), delivering 32 amps, at several sites throughtout Britain. Tesla's forthcoming Model S luxury saloon can also charge on the entire network.

The historic drive, from John O' Groats, on Scotland's northeast tip, to Land's End, in the far southwest, combined the Roadster's long range with the network's high power charging. On Saturday Kevin Sharpe, founder of Zero Carbon World, set off from John O' Groats in his electric blue Tesla Roadster along with EV expert David Peilow, both taking turns at the wheel.

'After crossing the country on a single charge in a Tesla Roadster, I realised that national coverage would require surprisingly few charge stations,' said David Peilow. 'I worked out the minimum number of sites for all of Britain to be reached, and found locations where drivers would be keen to stop and recharge. Once the benefits of hosting an EV charger were explained, most sites jumped at the chance to have one.'

The new network embodies Zero Carbon World's vision of a carbon-free society, and shows that eliminating fossil fuel emissions is well within our grasp,' said Kevin Sharpe. 'The network empowers people to make choices that are pleasurable and consistent with their values of environmental stewardship. I'm thrilled to be the first EV owner to make the drive from John o'Groats to Lands End.'

The welcoming committee at Lands End...Lower Treavers on the right!


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