My last road trip of 2022: Unplanned drive to Kanyakumari in MG ZS EV

At the first charging station, there was a Citroen C3 EV test car plugged in. So while I was waiting for my turn, I explored the Citroen in detail.

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With the year end approaching fast, I was itching for one last long drive in Lightfury before the end of the year and a solo one at that. An opportunity presented itself with two days of responsibility-free time, which is a rare luxury for married men with kids.

During my solo drives, I primarily focus on the drive and not the destination and a good time to gather some thoughts and catch up on a few podcasts/audiobooks.

With no destination in mind, I winged it by not booking any accommodation. This was a risk given it’s peak holiday season.

Charged the car to full and left home at 4:50AM still unsure of the destination. Finally, as I took the car out of the parking space, I decided to hit the southern tip of India, i.e. Kanyakumari.

I took the NICE road and hit the NH44. The early morning traffic out of Bangalore was a bit sparse, and I was able to make quick progress towards the first charging stop at A2B Rasipuram. That’s a distance of 217Kms. I was able to maintain speeds between 100-120kmph.

Surprisingly the traffic was well behaved and disciplined. That’s a rarity on Indian roads.

I reached the Zeon charging point at 7:52AM. There was a Citroen C3 EV test car charging out there which meant I had to wait 15mins before I could plug in.

This gave me an opportunity to explore the C3 in detail. On the exterior except for the charging flap on the bonnet, there isn’t much difference between the EV and its ICE sibling. The same goes for the interiors. Only change I could notice was the drive selector in place of the gear lever. Unlike the other EVs in the market, the drive selector is similar to the gear selector of the Skoda Octavia. Also carry forwards the parking brake of its ICE sibling. Battery capacity is 22KW and the peak charge rate was 25KW. I didn’t click any pics though. The driver mentioned the range is around 150-200Kms and it’s not due for launch anytime soon. As I was charging another C3 test car arrived.

I plugged in to charge after the C3 left. Also had a quick breakfast by that time. Charged to 82% from 24% in under 40mins and left towards Kanyakumari. Traffic was sparse after Namakkal and again made quick progress towards Zeon charger at Temple city near Vadipatti. Reached the next charger with 22% SOC left and plugged in for a top up. I had a quick bite to eat and topped up the car to 95% in 50Mins.

I had sufficient charge to reach Kanyakumari and headed off towards the southern tip. The drive was uneventful and I was maintaining 95-100kmph speeds. The road conditions were excellent throughout. Stopped at a couple of places for a few pics. I reached Kanyakumari by 3:30PM and first decided to top up the car. Battery SOC was at 18%.

There is a charging station by Relux near Kanyakumari and I headed there. Relux had recently introduced a new feature of reserving a charging slot and I had reserved a slot from 4PM-5PM. Since I was there early, I decided to charge. I could charge to 29% when the was charger reset and the session was stopped. Post reset, I was unable to charge because the system was reserved. The charger was not recognizing my reservation. A quick call to Relux support helped. They reset the charger remotely and I was able to charge. The car topped up to 98% in a little over an hour. Left the charging station and drove towards Kanyakumari to catch the sunset.

As expected, there was heavy traffic and crowd. There were traffic jams and it looked like I couldn’t reach any good spot for viewing the sunset. Also decided against staying overnight at Kanyakumari.

Decided to head for Madurai for night stay. The evening traffic was high, but I was able to reach Madurai by 9PM with 5% SOC. The reason for high consumption was due to multiple quick accelerations to overtake. Also, the 3 back to back fast charging sessions with no room for cell balancing had its negative effects on the range. I decided to first charge the car and then head to the hotel for the stay. I could charge the car to 98% in 70mins and I used the AC charger to top up the last 2% to 100.

Retired for the night and I was ready at 4AM for the final drive back to Bangalore. The early morning drive was peaceful with minimal traffic and it helped in maintaining higher average speeds. I reached the final charging point at Thoppur toll plaza at 7:30AM. Kept the car for charging while I had my breakfast at a nearby hotel. Topped up to 73% from 24% in about 30mins. The last leg to Bangalore had regular heavy traffic, especially after Krishnagiri, but I was able to maintain a good time finally reaching home at 10:20AM with 31% SOC left.

Final stats

  • Total distance driven: 1314Kms
  • Total time: 29h 30Mins
  • Driving time: 18h 50mins
  • Avg. speed: 70KMPH
  • Avg. consumption: 7.2KM/KWH
  • Time spent for charging: 4h 36mins
  • Total cost of charging: Rs. 4729.51
  • Cost per KM: Rs. 3.6/KM
  • Few pics from the drive.

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