London to Sheffield Charging tips?

Anyone got any favourite charging locations or tips for charging on the way from London to Sheffield?

Is it a good idea to pay for A Better route planner? I tried the free one however can’t select how many charging stations and not particularly keen on going to a corner of a car park to charge, whilst driving solo. Although for this reason will drive up in the day.

Wondering if sticking to instavolt or shell card charging stations, possibly less of a queue?

Given how long it feels like I have been with Onto still not ventured out too far in the EV, first trip up North for friend’s birthday bash.

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Assuming you’re going straight up the M1, you’ve got things like BP Pulse and Ionity at Milton Keynes coachway, Gridserve and Instavolt at Rugby and Corley (both need a slight detour on to the M6), Gridserves at Leicester Forest East and Donington Park etc.

I find ABRP free version absolutely fine for planning. You can add waypoints, so if you know you want to stop and charge at Rugby services for example, find it on the map, click the icon, add waypoint.


Which part of London are you travelling from? Is the M1 or A1(M) more convenient? If the latter, I quite like Markham Moor. Four high power Shell Recharge units. For contingency, there’s also four InstaVolts and a BP Pulse in the area.

What EV have you got?

Will there be destination charging where you are staying in Sheffield?

Appreciate you don’t want to be too specific about addresses, but if you gave us two postcodes, one near where you are leaving from, and the other near where you are going to, someone could give you some really good advice.


Depending on your Range

Milton Keynes Park and ride - Next to M1 - J14 MK10 9RU BP/Ionity

M1 Services J29A McDs/KFC - S44 5FD Instavolt and Osprey

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@seabass Thanks, good idea with the waypoint. ABRP free version used to let me add in the departure and arrival charge %. So far says one stop at Nottingham Gridserve with arrival of 10%. Clearly I could charge more. Gridserve isn’t included but an option at least.

@E7EV helpful as always, noted Markham Moor sounds a good option.
EV iD3.
No destination charging. I can see quite a few chargers in Sheffield on zap map. Postcode lets see. Here are two postcode Starting: ** . Near: **

Not taking train driving London → Sheffield → Lincolnshire → London

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We goto Sheffield via the M40, M42, M1 from Maidenhead.
I always aim for Instavolt charging locations so we stop at Banbury, Appleby Magna and Duckmanton.

Banbury has lots of capacity so we never have any problems.
Appleby Magna is a McDonalds with only two stations so we have to sometimes queue.
Duckmanton is KFC with only two stations but it’s never been busy. There are also two Osprey chargers in the pub next door.


It still does! Click the little pencil icon next to the departure location and it’ll let you fill in departure SOC. You can do the same for destination (I think) or change the settings of the planner itself to say you want to arrive at a specific SOC.

I’ve always found ABRP overestimates how much charge you’ll use.


PlugShare is quite good for planning a journey, better than ABRP as it has went downhill since last update

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160 miles via the M1. You should be able to do it in one go in an ID.3 and the current warm weather. A destination charge to 100% or a rapid charge to 80% for the return trip (If you can best at the end of your outward journey, as battery will be warm and SoC low meaning it will charge very quickly). A top up at Ionity MK Coachway may be necessary. Although if you keep to 60mph, you could well make it with only 80% charge. Those with ID.3s can confirm.


Banbury is my favourite when I’m near London, not really needed on the way out but if you can make it coming back depending on the route it’s a good shout.

Another two on my favourites list for when coming back from down south, a couple of InstaVolts - one in Coalville which is a minor detour and one near Burton.

I personally use a combination of Zap-Map and the InstaVolt app to see if a charger is free. Be sure to have a couple of backup options along the route.

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Looks to be a few LiFE rapids in various car parks in central Sheffield. Should be free access with the Shell Card. Overstay fine after one hour.

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I’m another fan of Instavolt if you’re leaving comfort zone of known charging. And then Osprey (Shell RFID).

I like these CPOs’ own apps - Instavolt especially is really easier to see available stalls / number of stalls in a simple:


Or 5/8

… as you browse an area.

So, of course you cannot predict availability 100 miles up the road, but if you have at least one with, say, 4 or more and other sites not too far away it can reduce your charging anxieties a bit.

I also like WattsUp - purely because it has the colourful little logos spread along your route and I think the pictures appeal to me! :joy:

Of course then you end up with more apps than you can shake a stick at - but basically go for the ones you can get familiar with.

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+1 for using the providers’ apps. I had a trip up to North Suffolk last week, and there was a 120kW InstaVolt charger that wasn’t showing on Zap-Map, which I used.

Rightly or wrongly, I tend to find out what amount of charge I will use for the journey, and then I try and find somewhere not too far off the route to charge up when I’m going to be around 10-15%. That way, it charges very quickly up to whatever I need. (I use roadside AC charging near where I live, so I’m happy to arrive home between 10-20%.)

I’ve found rapid DC charging isn’t worth the time it takes for anything over 30-40%, for me at least.

One final thing I’m more than happy to do is to take a slight detour off the motorways and major A roads to visit a quieter charging location. Up to 10 miles away is fine as there’s often a nice sixty mile an hour a road there anyways, and over the length of the journey, it doesn’t amount to much extra time but with lots of stress and worry removed. I always do this by checking the shell / insta / bp apps after getting a rough idea of my route, and it’s proven great, so far….


I do exactly the same thing now that I have a charger in my street. And on the return trip into London, the expected range usually increases as you start to hit the slower roads. Even if I come back via the M25 and M11, you can easily eek out the remaining kWhs by decreasing your speed. It’s still quicker than stopping for a quick splash and dash.


Totally, it’s the best of both worlds really and it does make me yearn to live somewhere where I could charge overnight on the drive. Then I remind myself it would cost a fair few quid itself which also would need factoring in the overall costs. Those Allego chargers around Newham can be got for 25p/kW via some of the subscription apps, I know it’s more than Octopus go but you would need to do almost five thousand miles to recoup the cost of the home charger first. (Which you would if you did have the option but I don’t so it’s all pie in the sky anyway!)

I’ve also taken to only charging up to what I need to get home plus 50 miles’ish instead of waiting for it to get to 80%, I’ve done a few where by the time I’ve got my brew for a pound in BP I’ve got enough to head off.


Thanks so much guys this is super helpful.

I didn’t spot the edit pencil on A Better route planner :joy: Will take a look at plugshare & Watts.

Do you need to drive at 60mph :snail:?. I will heed the advice using the speed limiter and ACC. I can’t remember the last time I did 60 on a Motorway, in all of the places I didn’t need to charge on the route.

I tried the ACC around town this week. On an open stretch might be good, going under bridges it hit the brakes from 50mph to 30mph luckily no other cars behind. I wonder if you use it on long drives. Does it use more power to keep to the speed & break? when I would normally coast.

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While it’s a simple fact that more speed = more drag = lower efficiency, I’d say that a motorway is a motorway.

If I may, respectfully, suggest, you might like to step back - maybe you’re overthinking this. :thinking:

One of the (many) benefits of an EV is that you should arrive with nice low stress levels 🧘‍♂️

ACC is an aid to your journey - if it works for you fine. But, at first, it can be stressful wondering how it’s going to behave - even that it’s going to stop you when necessary. Whilst it absolutely will, it is indiscriminate in reading traffic around you on three- and four-lane. Don’t use it until you are comfortable with everything else.

Speed - follow the flow! So, you start off using a ‘bit’ more juice in your mind! But a) you haven’t got to worry about cost because you’ve already prepaid for the miles you drive and b) driving as you normally do and being able to anticipate slowing traffic means you won’t be burning up the electrons unnecessarily, or if you do you’ll part recoup them through regen.

You won’t achieve a stress-free journey if you set out thinking you shouldn’t go above XXmph but you have a 40tonner on your rear bumper for 100 miles.

Drive your own drive, in the knowledge you have a Plan A and Plan B for charging stops - you’ll end up being too conservative anyway.

Set the heating/AC for comfort. Play some nice soothing music. Enjoy the sunshine … and the thoughts of clean air your car is producing.

Let the electrons take care of themselves.


Agree with @K12Beano drive any EV just like you would an ICE, after all it’s a full replacement.
Go with the flow on the motorway it’s far safer, keep your distance as normal.
Forget all the many electronic aids, it’s just a car when all said and done.
Once you are happy driving it, experiment with one thing after another.


As above, as long as you’ve got charging locations in mind for certain parts of the journey then just drive as normal.

I do my regular 70mph on the motorway and while I could probably eke out a few more miles if I took it steady, it doesn’t exactly annihilate my range. And if you’re planning to stop anyway, it doesn’t make a massive difference.

I can empathise though, I was bricking it before my first long drive that I’d get caught out but in the end there wasn’t an issue. If you’ve got a passenger though, I always ask them to check X and Y points every now and again to make sure the ones I want are available and if not, if the next one is free.


I’ve never drove any different apart from when I had the E2008 for 2 weeks.

I drive just as in an ICE and I always try to avoid going below 50 miles if I can. You will find a charger within the M1 junctions sometimes a mile from the motorway.

Use google maps or another sat nav to work out distances and keep a note.

In the ID3 I get 220 in this weather, so In get about 170ish before I charge doing 70.

5 min planning before you set off works a treat.

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