Genesis Electrified G80 saloon tackles the High Road, with Guy Loveridge at the wheel…
I live in a village of 1,500 odd people in West Yorkshire. We are 8 miles from Huddersfield and within 30 miles of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford. We do not have a single EV charging point in the place. Late in 2022 I had the opportunity of borrowing a Genesis Electrified G80 for a week. Having driven its smaller sibling last summer I grasped this chance. But, what to do with it? Having ventured along the #NC500 (in a Kia Stinger) in the summer, I reasoned that the 80 was more suited to a family holiday than a blast over those roads, and so I checked – Kinloch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross is remote, tiny, a population of around 300 and YET – thanks to Highland and Island Development Board money, from the European Central Bank Regional Development Fund, this village has 9 EV charging points publicly available. Perfect! So off we went to try out the ever-increasing theory that you CAN use an EV now on a proper, traditional family touring holiday.
We set off from our Yorkshire home with a full car, of luggage, people and charge! Our journey was 331.5 miles, and our starting range was 335 according to the dashboard. This all looked immensely promising, and we headed out. The twin motor Genesis is smooth and almost silent in operation. Its comfort levels are sky high, and it is just an amazingly comfortable place to be on a long journey. Out first leg was up the M1 and then the A1 to turn left at Scotch Corner and head across country to the M6 on the A66. The first stop was at the superb Mains Gill Farm Shop for secure lunch and supplies for the first couple of nights stay at Rannoch. (We were to be in a self-catering Lodge beside the Loch itself).
We rested about an hour to browse, shop and buy our supplies, before getting back on the road. Here I soon realised that our predicted range was not “real world” and that we were going to fall short. This was not too alarming, as obviously we had used the air conditioning, lights, radio etc, and there were plenty of charging points noted on the route. We pressed on. The M6 gives some amazing views as one presses through the edge of the Lake District, but it also brings mists and patches of fog, we were travelling in late October, and so the lights and wipers were brought into play and the range continued to drop – was this “range anxiety”? Well, not really as we were able to find loads of charging points. The issue we found was, they did not work! We pulled into two motorway service areas and neither had working chargers. We pressed on and ended up on a trading estate in Carlisle which, luckily, had a rapid charging point. We plugged in and spent our hour there wandering around the shops. I was actually most delighted to find a box of 10 Scott’s porridge oats with golden syrup for only £1 – my breakfasts for the week were secured!
We returned after an hour and had increased our range by 140 miles, sufficient to get us to our home from home, and at a reasonable cost as well (£28:50) We regrouped at the car, climbed in having disconnected and headed out once more. This detour added about 15 miles to our journey total, but we had recharged so all was well.
Sadly not, the weather closed in and we needed lights and heat and wipers and, having celebrated crossing the Border it did not tax even my basic mental maths skills too much that, if we wanted to get to Rannoch we had enough charge, but, what if we could not use one of the chargers in the village? Being a little risk adverse, given this was my first long drive in an EV I decided to call in again and recharge. This time we found a drive through bakers with a charge in Stirling and so plugged in and enjoyed a mid afternoon snack of Mutton pies and Yum Tums. Actually, most welcome and rather delicious. We had to spend longer parked here as the charger took longer but, we got back on our journey and made it to our destination intime for an evening meal and a relaxing night being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Loch lapping at its shore and the birds and beasts of the evening.
The trip had taken us about three hours longer than we expected and used a lot more electricity than predicted but, the comfort and ease of use of the 80 made up for this. We were on an adventure, after all! The next day saw us venture out in the 80 and it was a delight, sure footed and powerful, again giving us the chance to relax. One becomes so used to the sound of an internal combustion engine that not having that background roar is rather a distinct change, but also a not unpleasant relief.
At the end of the day, I dropped the family off at the apartment and then headed to the resort office where they had two EV charging points. Excellently sited and, I was delighted to learn, just £15 for a 12-hour recharge! I was more than delighted with this and so paid my cash and strolled back up to join my family, safe in the knowledge that we would have a fully charged car, rearing to go in the morning on our planned trip to see family in Dundee. Whoops – the best laid plans of mice and men….etc – when I got down to the car in the morning and unplugged it, we had not been charged one amp. I pointed this out to the staff who were full of apologies, and it transpired that the cleaner had switches EVERYTHING off when she left after her out of hours shift. Frustration ensued and we decided to head to Pitlochry, the nearest town of size. We knew that “ChargePlace Scotland” had a number of chargers in a public car park there, and also that, checking online “House of Bruar” had some as well. Excellent shopping to be had there says Mrs Loveridge so we head that way. Our range was down to 12 miles but as House of Bruar was only 7 away, I was not worrying. Sadly, the web site was aspirational. Covid had forestalled their plans to install a Charging point, so we had to head to Pitlochry.
Concentration on recharging braking meant we had 7 miles to go and a range of 8. Now, this was REAL range anxiety. With hearts in mouths, we made it to the car park and there was a spare charger! Joy of joys. I leapt out, clicked the flap open and connected up. My wife got onto the phone and tried to activate the charge. UNFORTUNATELY, due to the nature of the EV charging deregulation in Scotland, there were loads of companies who leapt upon the band wagon, only to ail and they have mostly been absorbed into ChargePlace Scotland BUT the tech has not yet caught up! Any number of sites, they would/could not tell me how many, are not yet under their remote control and thus they can’t guarantee to supply you. Luckily on this occasion we were able to move across the car park to some units which were theirs from the off and connect up. To be fair to CPScotland, their customer advisors are superb and the App pretty easy to use, its just that even charging points branded as there are often not controlled by them, for the reasons noted above. Still, Pitlochry is a fabulous little place so a couple of hours there is well spent. IMPORTANT NOTE – even though you are charging up in a designated charging place, you still have to pay for parking. We saw a few people being caught out here and also getting rather upset to be fined whilst charging up! Still, we got our fill and were happy, and relieved, for another three days. We visited Rannoch Station and enjoyed a superb smoked salmon bagel for breakfast, a must if you ever head that way.
Our last charge was accomplished by one of the public chargers in the middle of the village. This one was only accessible via the app, as the card reader on it had been vandalised. As we sorted out switching the juice on, another gentleman came and plugged his KIA into the point net door. He had some pearls of wisdom about using an EV in the Highlands, as he had been visiting the village for years, using an EV for the last 3. He had to change mobile phone provider as his last one had zero signal in the Glen (worth remembering this one – check coverage!) and also emphasised the importance of bringing your membership card for CP Scotland, as some of the machines need them to get even close to delivering electricity. This charge was successful overnight, and we were able to depart with a full charge the next morning.
Our return was via Stirling, as I was going to Edinburgh to watch some international Rugby. Our hotel there advertised that they had two EV charging points. They did…..BUT – these were very much first generation. I plugged in and was faced by the car’s screen telling me that I had nearly TWO DAYS to wait for a full charge. This showed a 1.3kw input (See the photo I took for proof!)….
I consciously uncoupled and legged it, I still had almost half charge, and used the same drive through bakery – great for power, not so great for the waistline and then found a service station on the M6 where we were able to top up in 45 mins enough that we could get home.
So, our verdict? Yes, you CAN use an EV for a semi “off grid” holiday, in Scotland but you really do have to prepare and plan a heck of a lot more than with a conventional and traditional motor car. EVs are truly right up to the mark now, it’s just a shame that the infrastructure is so far shot of the mark as to make things almost unworkable away from metropolitan centres.
As a conveyance the Genesis Electrified G80 is an amazingly capable and luxurious beast. There’s no doubting its sophistication and also its performance credentials, with twin electric motors producing a total of 370 PS (364 bhp). That’s enough to send it scooting to 62 mph from rest in just 4.9 seconds, and with a theoretical top speed of 139 mph. The price of the car, as tested? £65,805 plus extras, making £80,215 altogether.