Mumbai-Goa in a Tigor EV: A few tips on planning a long trip in an EV

Overall the cost of the travel to and from Goa was almost equal to the toll we paid.

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First proper road trip on the Tigor EV and 30,000km milestone achieved.

Recently my wife and I took the longest road trip in our Tigor EV till date when we took the car to Goa during the Diwali break. The car also clocked the 30,000km mark (in a year and 9 months) during the trip.

During the 30,000km, it was been a very enjoyable experience with the EV. The only major issue I have faced is the AC not working. A pigtail update which was given for most people who bought the first-generation Tigor EV Ziptron has solved the issue.

It was quite easy to do Mumbai Goa in an EV with the number of chargers on the way.

Mumbai to Goa-

We charged the car 4 times on a Fast Charger on the way and got to experience 3 different FC providers- Pune (Tata EZ charge at Ginger on the highway), Satara (Amrai Resort- had both Tata and Chargezone, more on this stop later), Kolhapur (JioBP) and at Belgavi (Chargezone again).

All the chargers worked. Found all of them being heavily used. The Tata FC at Ginger, Pune was under use 5 minutes before we reached. It’s a very good place to charge as it’s situated inside the Ginger Hotel and you don’t need to take much of a detour. The washrooms are of course clean at the hotel and there are enough food places within a 5-minute walk. The Tata EZ chargers are the most expensive of the 3 providers. The RFID card did not work, it doesn’t work at most Tata chargers, so if you haven’t got it yet, don’t bother. There was already a car waiting by the time I was at 85% soc and I stopped the charge at that level.

The drive up the ghat post-Pune drained the battery quite a lot, so decided to charge at Amrai Resort in Satara. This is also on the highway, albeit on the opposite side, so a 1.5km detour. This place has 6 FC guns from Chargezone with 1 gun out of order. There were also 3 FC guns and one 7.2kw gun of Tata. However, no one was using the Tata chargers. Out of the remaining 5 FC guns from Charge zone, all were occupied, while one Tiago EV waited. Basically a full house. The Tiago owner said he frequently goes on the route and he has found issues with the Tata chargers in his earlier attempts to charge on the FCs at Amrai, so would rather wait than use the Tata FC guns. The RFID from Chargezone works on their chargers and it’s a breeze to use

Here is my car charging at the Chargezone charger.

Here is a photo of all the Tata chargers, but not in use.

Next up was Jio BP. It was situated at the back of a petrol pump. There were 2 guns, one occupied and I charged on the remaining one. Very smooth process. JioBP also is currently the cheapest FC providers-charging INR 16 per kWh.

Next up is the Chargezone charger at Kolhapur. It’s within the parking area of a large hotel in the city. My wife had been keeping an eye on the charger and it was continuously showing as in use. So we decided to book a slot around the same time when Google Maps showed we would reach. On reaching we found that there was an XUV400 which had the gun locked but the screen said charging complete.

After a few calls with the swift and extremely helpful call center folks at Chargezone, they were able to call the XUV400 owner and he came and took out the charger from his car.

I was able to book a hotel/Airbnb in Goa which allowed me to charge the car by attaching an extension. and Airbnb both have a filter that you can use to filter stays which would allow you to charge your car. Nifty little feature if you ask me.

Here is a photo of my car charging from a cable being dropped from the first floor.

In all I spent about INR 1500 on charging while going to Goa, which makes the trip quite economical. However, it did take me about 3hrs more than what it would take me if I went in a petrol car and took the regular food break.

Traveling within Goa became free. No hackling with the scooty walas for the cost of the scooty.

Goa to Mumbai-

On the way back, we broke down the journey, staying a night in Kolhapur and another night in Pune.
We also mostly charged at the same spots we charged at while going to Goa.
In Kolhapur, the charging infrastructure just outside the Marriott is quite something. There were 6 fast chargers and 1 slow charger.

Overall the cost of the travel to and from Goa was almost equal to the toll we paid.

A few observations and learnings about doing long trips in an EV-

1. Planning is essential. Knowing where all the fast chargers are on the way is crucial. Depending on where you are going, plan the trip keeping in mind the chargers. Plugshare is a huge help here. However, it doesn’t tell you if the charger is functional. Add some money on each of the apps and keep it as the network might be iffy at the charger.

2. Only consider your car’s range as 80% of the real-world range. e.g. for my Tigor EV, I get about 220km on a full charge on Mumbai with the AC and a light foot. So I planned the trip so that I would charge the car after 150-170kms.

3. The fast chargers on busy highways are getting busy. Utilize the option to book your session which is available on most of the apps.

4. Ensure wherever you plan to charge, there is another charger within 20-30km from that spot so that you can make it to the next charger in case there is a queue at the station or that station is experiencing a power cut when you get there.

5. Speak to the hotel/Airbnb where you are staying. Chances are, they would allow you to charge at their premises overnight with a 16amp plug. Carry a spool of wire or an extension cord and you will be good to go.

Happy travels!

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