Travelling Britain’s Coastline In An Electric Van

Shutterstock / Gorlov-KV © Electric Van

Did you read the story of ultramarathon man Nick Butter in the news recently?

Nick has just successfully completed a challenge like no other: running the length of Britain’s coastline. This epic, extraordinary journey took him 128 days!

Any way you look at it, the numbers are impressive:

  • Nick covered a whopping 5,255 miles (more than 12,000,000 steps)
  • He spent more than 1,400 hours running
  • He burnt out 14 pairs of trainers!

Inspired by this challenge, van leasing company Van Ninja wanted to find out how an electric van would fare on the same journey.

The route

If you were to follow the exact same route as Nick, you’d begin your rather exquisite adventure on the coast of Cornwall at the world-renowned Eden Project. Then you’d navigate your way up the coast towards Hampshire, and on towards Kent.

Now starts the extensive journey north. You’d travel up the East coast, passing through the likes of Norfolk, Yorkshire, and Northumberland, before crossing the border into Scotland and weaving your way up towards the capital.

Then, you’d get onto the famous North Coast 500 (recently voted the UK’s best road trip).

It’s not long until the descent south again begins. Back down towards Dumbarton, Dumfries, Cumbria, Cheshire, and through into Wales.

After you navigate your way through the stunning Welsh countryside, you’d prepare to complete the penultimate stage of your journey.

Leaving Monmouthshire, you’d tick off Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, and then arrive back in Cornwall.

The time

According to Volkswagen, the e-Transporter’s battery can be charged from empty to full in five hours 30 minutes, offering a range of 82 miles.

With this in mind, during the course of the 5,255-mile expedition, you’ll need to stop on 65 occasions.

This is based on access to a 7kWh vehicle charging point, which is the standard device in homes around the country. It’s often available at the likes of hotels, pubs, and other hospitality venues.

So, the number you’ve all been waiting for . . .

In order to do a full sweep of Britain’s coastline in an electric van, it would take you 357.5 hours in charging times, and 51 hours of driving. This is providing you were able to travel at an average speed of 50mph.

If you incorporate the government and RAC suggestions of taking a break for 15 minutes following on from two hours of driving, this will add an additional six and a half hours onto your total journey time.

That means driving the entirety of the British coastline in an electric van would take at least 17 and a half days!

But, what about the cost?

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that despite taking the same amount of time as a cruise around the Mediterranean, it’ll only set you back 2-3p per mile. So you could do this trip for between £50 and £75, in comparison to £745 in a diesel alternative.

Now all that’s left is for you to plan your journey and hit the road!

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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.