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Wales Road Trip - Charging advice sought

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
Heading from Fife to Pembroke next month in a TM3 SR+.

After reading threads on this forum I'm a little worried about the charging opportunities so would be thankful for advice from any residents in the area, or anyone that has done the same trip.

Here's the plan as a table as per abetterrouteplanner:

2020-09-08 16_10_48-A Better Routeplanner.png


And the map view:

2020-09-08 16_17_20-A Better Routeplanner.png


Looks like the only non-supercharger I need to use to complete the trip is in Cletwr Car Park in Tynywern. This is run by Polar. Looking at Zapmap people have used this with mixed success.

We'll be staying just outside of Pembroke for a week. I've planned to arrive with 30% SoC so will need to top up at least once during the stay then probably again before the return journey.

The rented accommodation seems to be powered by a slim number of solar panels only and is off grid. So don't think I'm going to be able to trickle charge there. Looking around Pembroke there doesn't appear to be any CCS chargers so will have to carefully plan around using 7kW chargers:

2020-09-08 16_23_23-Map of charging points for electric car drivers in UK_ Zap-Map.png



General advice appreciated but I think my particular questions are:
  1. Is the fast charger in Cletwr Car Park worthy of a visit or is there another in the area worth using instead?
  2. Looks like public chargers are Polar or Genie. Do you advise pre-registering and subscribing to a particular plan?
  3. Of the chargers around Pembroke, which would you recommend? (Some are at guest houses which probably rules those out)
  4. How is 'Cletwr' pronounced? :)
Thanks for any help!
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,421
3,602
Shropshire
You aren't making life easy for yourself. Wales in an SR+ is about as hard as it gets in a Tesla in the UK right now.
Have you considered your alternative routes as shown on the map? if you did one of them you could topup in Oswestry or Shrewsbury respectively which have several options. Those routes will take you via Tenby so you can fill up there at the instavolt ( which tend to be reliable) or one of the others. At least that way you will arrive at you destination with a lot more charge and thus have to worry about charging less while there. it will also be less distance to get a charge on the way home.
 

cezdoc

Member
Aug 15, 2015
527
808
Aberdeen, UK
Heading from Fife to Pembroke next month in a TM3 SR+.

After reading threads on this forum I'm a little worried about the charging opportunities so would be thankful for advice from any residents in the area, or anyone that has done the same trip.

Here's the plan as a table as per abetterrouteplanner:

View attachment 585852

And the map view:

View attachment 585859

Looks like the only non-supercharger I need to use to complete the trip is in Cletwr Car Park in Tynywern. This is run by Polar. Looking at Zapmap people have used this with mixed success.

We'll be staying just outside of Pembroke for a week. I've planned to arrive with 30% SoC so will need to top up at least once during the stay then probably again before the return journey.

The rented accommodation seems to be powered by a slim number of solar panels only and is off grid. So don't think I'm going to be able to trickle charge there. Looking around Pembroke there doesn't appear to be any CCS chargers so will have to carefully plan around using 7kW chargers:

View attachment 585861


General advice appreciated but I think my particular questions are:
  1. Is the fast charger in Cletwr Car Park worthy of a visit or is there another in the area worth using instead?
  2. Looks like public chargers are Polar or Genie. Do you advise pre-registering and subscribing to a particular plan?
  3. Of the chargers around Pembroke, which would you recommend? (Some are at guest houses which probably rules those out)
  4. How is 'Cletwr' pronounced? :)
Thanks for any help!
I've done similar trips but heading to family a bit further south so the M4 can come into play and I don't have to cross the Welsh charging desert & unfortunately don't have any advice for that part. Definitely a trip that needs a Plan B and a Plan C so I hope you get some good advice. As above I'd recommend Instavolt (it appears to be nearer Carmarthen than Tenby) as a reliable backup in the area.

The Warrington stop would be my first concern as it's only a 2 bay so you're likely to be sharing, if not queuing, and likely to be spending a lot more than 25 minutes there. Probably also worth checking if the hotel is open at present. Warrington used to have such a bad reputation for Supercharger delays that I've never tried using it - last time I went cross country I diverted through Burtonwood and the Mersey toll bridge but if you're stopping at Knutsford that may be too big a detour.

The other thing I'd say is 3-pin overnight trickle charging is _really_ handy if possible in a situation like this. If your accommodation has enough power for standard domestic appliances it should be possible - I've charged from a 3 pin in a static caravan before. Just keep an eye on the plug when first using it to make sure it's not getting too hot.

Cletwr is something like CLET-oor or CLET-ur. (As you're starting from Fife aim for "oor" as in "Oor Wullie"!)
 
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Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
You aren't making life easy for yourself. Wales in an SR+ is about as hard as it gets in a Tesla in the UK right now.
Have you considered your alternative routes as shown on the map? if you did one of them you could topup in Oswestry or Shrewsbury respectively which have several options. Those routes will take you via Tenby so you can fill up there at the instavolt ( which tend to be reliable) or one of the others. At least that way you will arrive at you destination with a lot more charge and thus have to worry about charging less while there. it will also be less distance to get a charge on the way home.
Thanks! I haven't investigated the other routes so will do so now based on your advice.

I'm certain it won't be easy but trust in this forum to accomplish it :)
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
The Warrington stop would be my first concern as it's only a 2 bay so you're likely to be sharing, if not queuing, and likely to be spending a lot more than 25 minutes there. Probably also worth checking if the hotel is open at present. Warrington used to have such a bad reputation for Supercharger delays that I've never tried using it - last time I went cross country I diverted through Burtonwood and the Mersey toll bridge but if you're stopping at Knutsford that may be too big a detour.
Oh no! I hadn't even considered issues with using Tesla Superchargers and was purely focussed on the Wales issue!

Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try a more southerly crossing and will see if I can give Warrington a miss.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,957
6,550
Surrey, UK
Don't bank on Warrington. Its the only supercharger that I have given up on. Admittedly it was Friday early evening, but there was even a car waiting outside the hotel car park. I came back very early the following morning, so had the place all to myself, but even then, it gave me the slowest charge ever. Part of that would have been down to too close to pre conditioning and it being cold, but I cut the charge short waiting having taken nearly twice the estimated duration.

I don't know if you could reach Stoke on Trent instead?
 
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Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
Wolfscastle Hotel - Polar - worked great for me the other day and a nice spot for some outdoor lunch

Haverfordwest Costa Coffee on retail park (Withybush) - Geniepoint - but it will get busier there

Both are 50kw options (40 in reality)
Was hoping you'd see this thread :)

Just looked at Wolfscastle, looks perfect for a meal out. OK, so that's my charge during the trip sorted then.
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
Don't bank on Warrington. Its the only supercharger that I have given up on. Admittedly it was Friday early evening, but there was even a car waiting outside the hotel car park. I came back very early the following morning, so had the place all to myself, but even then, it gave me the slowest charge ever. Part of that would have been down to too close to pre conditioning and it being cold, but I cut the charge short waiting having taken nearly twice the estimated duration.

I don't know if you could reach Stoke on Trent instead?
I'll be staying overnight around Knutsford so should be able to charge locally in the region somewhere. Getting to Stoke on Trent should be fine, especially as its looking like I'll now take the most southerly crossing suggested.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
1,564
1,226
UK
I live in Shropshire and I wouldn't cut across Wales. I'd be very tempted to use motorways cutting the corner using the M50/A40/A449 to pick up the M4 and charge at Sarn. It might be a bit fuither but it will probably be much quicker and reliable irrespective of charging
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,421
3,602
Shropshire
I live in Shropshire and I wouldn't cut across Wales. I'd be very tempted to use motorways cutting the corner using the M50/A40/A449 to pick up the M4 and charge at Sarn. It might be a bit fuither but it will probably be much quicker and reliable irrespective of charging
I also live in Shropshire and I disagree. I always cut across Wales. M5/ M4 route is a lot further and mid Wales is beautiful. As myself and others have said not sure the planned route is the best one but I think going motorway the whole way is too extreme a solution will probay take longer and will be very very dull.
 

LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,216
Wales
^^ this. plus on your way out towards the M4 from Pembs, you have the Instavolt 50kw on the A48 between St Clears and Carmarthen, which is rarely if ever in use. Not the cheapest but it works and you would only need 45 miles or so usable range left in the tank to make it there from Pembroke.
 
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GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
1,564
1,226
UK
I also live in Shropshire and I disagree. I always cut across Wales. M5/ M4 route is a lot further and mid Wales is beautiful. As myself and others have said not sure the planned route is the best one but I think going motorway the whole way is too extreme a solution will probay take longer and will be very very dull.

The OP is not starting in Shropshire though - they’ve got a big journey and you want to put then through a bunch of roads like those in Wales. Lovely drive if you want scenic. Not so good if you’ve got one eye on your state of charge, stuck behind a line of slow moving traffic and need the loo.

Let’s just agree to disagree
 
I think Sarn Park on the M4 will be your friend I guess. Its about the same overall trip time but about 60 extra miles (i just did Fife to Pembroke, arrive with 30% charge in a LR). Its not the most scenic route but it depends on whether you are 'driving as part of the holiday' or 'just want to get there' type of person. Driving through central Wales is fun though... probably just a more compact version of Scotland - that's how I felt when I used to work in Scotland and travel home to Carmarthen regularly.
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,121
2,212
Scotland
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have an overnight stop south of Manchester so I'm quite happy to do some scenic roads through Wales - just as long as I don't run out of charge.

I've spent some more time on ABRP and have come up with this:

2020-09-09 09_52_18-A Better Routeplanner.png


This avoids the Warrington supercharger in place of Stoke-on-Trent and uses Tenby Road Filing Station as the only non-Tesla supercharger which has been recommended. I'm actually rather pleased that I'll only need to stop 3 times to charge. Depending on how we're feeling I might do a close to full charge in Tenby which will give me plenty of juice for the week prior to filling at Wolfscastle for the return leg.
 
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LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,216
Wales
On the Tenby Road one - you will have to U-turn from Westbound on A48 slightly past that point, then come back Eastbound a bit, then reverse that loop to do the A48 crossing safely - it's no drama as only about 2-2.5 miles extra driving but just be aware it is not directly accessible Westbound. Don't be tempted by the opening immediately by the garage in the middle of the 2 carriageways as it's bloody dangerous with people killed there in recent years.

You drive round the back of the garage (stay left with the lorries) and then sweep round to the right then reverse in, there's loads of space and much less traffic going on than in the petrol station bit.

On the plus side it's Instavolt and I've never seem them out of service, plus very rarely in use, there is a separate cafe there also and a jetwash / workable toilets etc.

Obviously on your way home it's literally a slip road off the A48 then straight back on, in fact a good "I'll just check my acceleration" opportunity as the return slip is basically a T-junction on to the A48 :)
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,421
3,602
Shropshire
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have an overnight stop south of Manchester so I'm quite happy to do some scenic roads through Wales - just as long as I don't run out of charge.

I've spent some more time on ABRP and have come up with this:

View attachment 586158

This avoids the Warrington supercharger in place of Stoke-on-Trent and uses Tenby Road Filing Station as the only non-Tesla supercharger which has been recommended. I'm actually rather pleased that I'll only need to stop 3 times to charge. Depending on how we're feeling I might do a close to full charge in Tenby which will give me plenty of juice for the week prior to filling at Wolfscastle for the return leg.
I think that is a good solution and its good that you can do it without even a quick halt and volt in Oswestry. The roads in mid Wales are actually pretty good but a bit too twisty to be popular with Caravans so I find you can generally make good progress . The coastal road from plan A not so much. Just make sure your range calculations are based on the assumption of heavy rain and a head wind for the full duration of the journey. :D
 
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cezdoc

Member
Aug 15, 2015
527
808
Aberdeen, UK
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have an overnight stop south of Manchester so I'm quite happy to do some scenic roads through Wales - just as long as I don't run out of charge.

I've spent some more time on ABRP and have come up with this:

View attachment 586158

This avoids the Warrington supercharger in place of Stoke-on-Trent and uses Tenby Road Filing Station as the only non-Tesla supercharger which has been recommended. I'm actually rather pleased that I'll only need to stop 3 times to charge. Depending on how we're feeling I might do a close to full charge in Tenby which will give me plenty of juice for the week prior to filling at Wolfscastle for the return leg.
As per comments above, this looks like a good solution. If it was going to be dark I'd probably follow the motorway route but in daylight the cross-country roads will be enjoyable.

I like the fact that Gretna can be skipped with a range charge, it's an okay service area but I've had to queue there before (4 bay) and once missed my turn because there wasn't anywhere close to park and wait and due to sod's law another driver turned up when I was circling the car park. I always do Abington - Penrith now (my S70 needs to stop more often!). On the return leg at Penrith you can use the service road just past the hotel to cross over to the chargers on the southbound side (it is allowed and signposted).

I think Stoke-on-Trent (Keele) Southbound will pop up as a "high use" supercharger and default the slider limit to 80% but you can override that. It's another 4 bay site which increases chances of queues/sharing but unlike Warrington it's not the sort of place people hang around any longer than they need to and there's space to wait in view of the chargers if you end up in a queue. Sharing, plus only 40 minutes driving to warm up the battery, will likely add a bit of time to the charge time but at least it's early on in the day. Coming back, the northbound side is 8 bay (but you can't cross over unfortunately).
 
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Jeeves

Member
Feb 12, 2020
611
355
UK
+1 for the Tenby Road Filling Station Instavolt that I’ve used a few times, and a rather nice, warm, not-mass-produced pasty IIRC. I tend to just put enough in to get back to the Sarn Supercharger.

The Five Arches car park in Tenby has a bunch of 7kW PodPoint chargers if you were contemplating a day out or overnight there. I’ve used those several times and they’ve been reliable. Cheap to park overnight too.
 

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