A British actor likely best known in his country for his role in the 1980s and 90s comedy series Red Dwarf has just made a pretty good case for driving green automobiles. Last week, Robert Llewellyn has completed an 862-mile round trip between London and Edinburgh in a Nissan Leaf and says he was able to save time by finding enough fast-charging stations the entire way, UK website Excite/Motoring says.

Llewellyn, along with co-driver David Peilow, knocked out the London-to-Edinburgh leg in a single day, in part because of the British network of about 150 fast-charging stations. Llewellyn used his Twitter feed to update the general public of the two drivers' progress, noting that the first leg took about 13 hours. The round trip was completed January 26.

Nissan can use all the positive publicity in can get, as UK sales of the all-electric vehicle failed to keep pace with the surging rate of demand in the US, where 2013 Leaf sales more than doubled from a year earlier to 22,610 units. In fact, in the UK, Nissan started offering incentives last month, things like free quick charging at Nissan dealerships, the ability to borrow gas-powered Nissans for free and free towing.


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  • 24 Comments
      Vlad
      • 10 Months Ago
      Robert proved that if you really need to do it, you can. I don't think anybody suggests that EVs not made by Musk are terribly convenient for a trip like this.
        Marco Polo
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Vlad
        @ Vlad It may come as a shock to you, but there are other EV sold in the world apart from Tesla.
          Vlad
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          ...and they work well for long trips?
      Paul Smith
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'd be interested to know what the trip cost.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Paul Smith
        He's sponsored by Ecotricity, so it's more like he got paid to do it. It's advertising. The charging was free. He did make this statement (among others): " If we had to pay for the electricity to fill up at commercial rates, it would be £1.38." http://llewblog.squarespace.com/electric-cars
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Then he needs to make a correction then, doesn't he? I took the quote (should actually be attributed to David Peilow, "...my co-driver on the trip is not only far more sceintifically qualified, he's also braver than me and went onto the Daily Mail site to post a comment..." http://llewblog.squarespace.com/electric-cars/2014/1/30/daily-mail-comments.html Or maybe commercial rates are cheaper than residential rates? IDK.
          BraveLil'Toaster
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          He also compared that rate to the £77.05 it would have cost to power the trip with gas.
          BraveLil'Toaster
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          That's not what it says on the site. He said it would have cost £17.02 at 14p per kWh.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Duh. Each fill-up would have been £1.38. They made nine stops, which would have brought the total closer to the £17.02 estimate. I guess David was estimating low. What source are you quoting, BraveLil'Toaster?
          krona2k
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yes for regular retail consumers of petrol and electricity in the UK the fuel cost will be about 1/5th - that's what I'm finding with my LEAF.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 10 Months Ago
      Not really what the Leaf was meant to do, but there's always a reason to do the undone. I'd take the train.
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        It's a road trip. The more times you stop, the better the trip!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @BraveLil'Toaster
          He was trying to do it within a certain time frame, so no, this was not a typical "stop whenever you see something cool" road trip. The whole point was to do as few stops as possible, making those stops as short as possible.
        danfred311
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        LTAW, it has a fast charge port. It's what it was meant to do. It's the way we are going.
      thecommentator2013
      • 10 Months Ago
      He proved what he didn't want to prove. a) The LEAF is not necessarily designed for long trips b) It's possible to do so, given you have enough time c) Fast Charging ain't what it's supposed to be (yet) d) Still a great car and will cover most of your mileage you need to do from MO to FRI
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's a start. With better car engineering the trip can be done much faster. Model S should be able to span the route quite quickly
        EZEE2
        • 10 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        That would only be about four charges, with juice leftover, so most assuredly. If the Brits are smart (Dan be nice) then they should establish that route as a new road race for EV's. Each year they show up and see who can do the route the fastest. Talk about great scenery....
      Val
      • 10 Months Ago
      What was the purpose of that trip? If it was to promote EVs and prove that they can replace gasoline cars, I would say it failed. The leaf was never meant for such trips, and skeptics would just have another proof that EVs are no good "Look, it takes forever to get where you want to!" If one leg of the trip is 431 miles, and it took them 13 hours, that means an average speed of 33 mph. That's dog slow, and nobody in their right mind would do something like that. Now, if it was done in a model S, even with the 60 kWh pack, with superchargers placed along the way, it may have been more tolerable. Now, it's like opening a tuna can with a spoon. Sure, it can be done, but WHY?
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Val
        Well, apparently three years ago someone did the same trip in a Mini-E. It took them so long that someone with a Tesla Roadster found out about it - in a *newspaper* no less - and beat them to the finish line. Now, with a decent quick charger network, even a Leaf can make the trip in less than a day. That's what the purpose of this trip/publicity stunt was. Advertising the network probably doesn't hurt, either.
      Marco Polo
      • 10 Months Ago
      IMO, the value of Robert Llewellyn and David Peilow's road trip, was to publicize the expansion of the previously, woefully inadequate UK public charging system. (remember UK domestic power is 230 volt) . As far as driving non-stop the 400 miles from London to Edinburgh in a Leaf , that doesn't seem to be such a great idea. Since the trip can be completed in any small car, in less than half the time. If the small car, is fuel frugal, like a Fiesta ECOnetic diesel) , the cost would only be about £9 more. So from an economic point of view, an extra 70p per hour, would seem to be very a very cheap price to pay, to not be forced to sit in a freezing Leaf for an extra 7 hours, or hanging around waiting for the Leaf to charge ! It's of little value publicizing the charging network , by creating a negative impression of the cars that use the network. The Volt European sibling, Ampera, can do the same trip in just over 6 hours, in far greater comfort, for nearly the same fuel cost. IMO, Robert Llewellyn and David Peilow's trip would have made more sense, and attracted a more positive response if they had selected a more suitable vehicle, like the Ampera.
      Rotation
      • 10 Months Ago
      How did he do that? I drove a mere 260 miles in one day and my car was maxed out on battery temp, meaning it wouldn't fast charge anymore if I tried (I didn't try). So how did he do this?
        danfred311
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        What was the ambient temperature? death valley?
        DarylMc
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Hi Rotation It's good to get an owners input. If I had a Leaf I would be quite happy to have travelled so far in one day. Can you clarify the scenario please.
        paulwesterberg
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Judging from the coat he is wearing I would say they had cool ambient temperatures offset the heat gained by cycling the battery.
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