Clare & Grant's Electric MINI Adventure
As it seems to be the trend in 2020, we opted for a staycation this summer, swapping Dubai for Dumfries and Galloway. Not only did this give us a chance to explore parts of Scotland that we’d never seen before, but we were also lucky enough to do so in the brand new MINI Electric.
Given it was the first time we’d ever driven a fully electric car we had some concerns. How much charge would we get out of it? What are the chances of us easily finding charging points in the middle of the countryside? Would it take forever to charge? Should we pack an extension cable?? Luckily these concerns were quickly dispelled thanks to the helpful team at Peter Vardy MINI who advised that we should download the MINI app. The app allows you to monitor your charge, check car status (doors locked/windows up) along with lots of other geeky features. It also allows you to acclimate the car before getting in, which fingers crossed would be required in Scottish summer.
Alongside the MINI app, the Zap-Map app was great for allowing us to plan the journey showing the charging station points along the way. The biggest surprise? Charging points are pretty much everywhere! Payments are all done through an app too so it really couldn’t be simpler.
Fully charged, Apple Car Play synced, up we set off from Edinburgh heading south using the onboard touch screen sat nav for guidance. Even through the busy city traffic, the MINI was a delight to drive. But it’s even better once you get out and on to the open country roads. With no gears to worry about and regenerative breaking helping to keep you driving efficiently, it was all about relaxing into the smooth rhythm of the drive and enjoying the instant power at your disposal.
We made it 78 miles to Dumfries before stopping for a battery top up and a coffee break. Using the MINI app, we were able to track the charging progress from the comfort of Costa (the rapid charger allows you to get an 80% charge in as little as 20 minutes).
Back on the road for the final hour of the journey, we made it to our lodges and parked up for the night. The next morning, we planned a tour around the villages of Dumfries and Galloway. Checking the battery status from the MINI app, we decided to combine breakfast and a charge. Our lodge location in Gatehouse of Fleet was pretty remote but despite this there were charging points readily available. Once fully charged (us and the MINI!), we navigated some impressive country roads, stopping off at various points to take in the views and some ice cream (thank you Scottish summer!). The morning charge did us the whole day, with the final stop on the tour providing a top up for the drive back to Gatehouse of Fleet.
Alas all good things must come to an end and our time was up on our short but sweet trip in the MINI Electric. Setting off from our lodge, we headed north stopping in Moffat after 50 miles for lunch and a final charge to get us home to Edinburgh with plenty of battery to spare. All in all, our various charges cost almost 3 times less than we would’ve spent in our own Diesel car. While gutted to hand the car back, it was awesome to have a taste of what the future of driving looks like and can’t wait for our next #MINIadventure.
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