Life with a Jaguar I-Pace: is charging a nightmare?
While the I-Pace has an official max range of 292 miles we’re seeing a real-world 200 miles.
The disparity is driven by use of the air-con and other electrical systems, the size of your wheels and (obviously) how you drive. But while 200 miles is sufficient for most usual commutes (the average in the UK being 9.7 miles), if you need to travel further, you’re left at the mercy of a random charging infrastructure. Some of which works seamlessly (like the 50kW Polar unit at my local pub), while some is poorly maintained and at odds with the quality of the rest of the EV experience. We love the I-Pace, but unless infrastructure catches up with the quality of cars, it’s hard to see how the EV revolution will gain momentum.
I miss petrol stations. More precisely I miss breaking my journey by filling my car with fuel, taking the time to browse what our competitors are up to on the newsstand, grab an issue of Classic Tractor magazine and stock up on ill-advised food. Part of the joy of running an EV on a regular commute is that, when you return home, you plug it into the wall and the next day repeat the exercise. But while the convenience is excellent, it does rather remove the weekly audit of what it’s costing to run the vehicle.
The variation in charging times and infrastructure was brought home recently. I had borrowed a Tesla Model 3 for our Awards shoot and stopped at Tesla’s Supercharger in Burbank to charge. Having parked in a bay, I plugged in and set about writing a feature while it charged. My ability to concentrate was disturbed by the noise and physicality of the rate of electrons being fired into the vehicle.
At its peak, the Model 3 was charging at a rate of 535 miles an hour, and you could feel the process all around you, which was mildly unnerving. Back in the UK, I had to charge the I-Pace to make it home. I stopped at South Mimms and connected to the fastest charger. At its peak, it was charging at 14 miles an hour. The I-Pace is great; sadly the charging experience has a long way to go.