How many miles can you do in an electric Renault Megane?
Last time I reported on the Megane, it was an account of range as the weather hovered around zero degrees, which turned out to be 140 miles, worst case. A web commenter said that this means the Megane is only for "people who don't need to drive more than 100 miles a day, I assume".
Which is an entirely understandable view of EVs if you haven't used one. But actually you can rapid-charge en route, not just top them up overnight.
See, I just did a trip of 240 miles before noon, then 60 miles running around near my destination in Belgium. The second afternoon I set off on the return trip starting at 2pm. The weather was cold, blustery and often wet.
So if you ignore the extra local mileage, you could say I proved it possible to do 240 miles in the Megane before noon, have a good lunch, then drive 240 miles home in the second part of the day. Plus a Channel crossing each way.
Teslas still get exclusive use of Superchargers in places where there's most demand, but in quieter sites the rest of us can use them. So having started fully charged at home in North London and driven to the Chunnel at Folkestone, I used the Supercharger there to add a quarter of a battery's worth during the few minutes' wait for my turn on the Shuttle.
The only issue is the Supercharger cables are short because Teslas have their port at the corner and in the Megane it's some way back. I had to park creatively.
Next stop was to an Ionity 350kW job near Mons, then on to the destination near Charleroi. The Mons charge was exactly to spec: 20 to 80 per cent in half an hour. Which turns out to be one ham and cheese croissant, one espresso, two simple emails and one pee.
I was hungry and would have stopped anyway. That means the total delay due to charging to get me to my destination was zero minutes. After all at both Folkestone and Mons I had to be stopped for other reasons. And I arrived at the end with 60 per cent charge remaining, so needn't have stopped so long.
Coming home, I did Calais in one hit, got straight onto a Shuttle, and so arrived in England nearly flat. No bother as there's a charge hub near the terminal on the M20, and I just gave it the partial charge I needed to get home. That was 13 minutes. Which was really the only time I was waiting for it to charge on the whole out-n-back trip.
This steady-state autoroute driving gave me a true bad-weather range of 190 miles. That's with cruise control at an indicated 115km/h, a speed I chose as it's 72mph so gives me data that's useful for UK motorways.
It's interesting that I got more range while driving faster than that time I first checked it. Engineers tell me that's because if you use the car every day the battery never really gets cold, so works better. If it's standing for a few freezing days, it'll work less well on the first trip.