I charted a route with CNET Senior Editor Luke Westaway, who was joining me on this road trip, that relied on three types of charging points, commonly referred to as slow, medium and rapid. The slowest charging point would take up to eight hours to recharge the Leaf, while the most powerful would boost the car to 80 percent charged in only half an hour.
Our planned route would take us from London to the Peak District and back again, avoiding major cities and the main motorways where charging points are easy to find.
Using a combination of Google Maps and Zap-Map, a site that shows the location and live status of all the UK's public charging points, I knew the number of miles between each charging point on our route. The Leaf has a theoretical range of up to 100 miles on a full charge, but in reality that number is closer to 70 or 80 miles, even when you're driving carefully.
To complete the route in our planned two days, these charging points would be our lifeline.
In plain English:
We planned a 500-mile roadtrip through rural England in a car that needed to be charged eight times in 48 hours. Guess how it turned out?
Have a friend with an electric Fiat. He drives 60 miles to work, plugs his car into the wall, works 8 hours, then drives 60 miles home. 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year. Know what he doesn't do? Expect to find rapid chargers in rural England.