Together we saved more than 125 liters of petrol for our country and we did not pollute the air in the beautiful western ghat mountains. All of us would want to do this again and again and again!
So Level 2, 15 Amp sockets is what we were after. Two normal stations were installed by PluginIndia community and Mahindra Reva at Khandala and Nerul, Mumbai. All of a sudden, Mumbai-Pune was possible.
A distance of 150 km, 1 way, might appear trivial. But it is not as trivial as it sounds. The reason for this is the Sahyadri mountains at Khandala/Lonavala, where we descend from an altitude of 625 meters to around 50 meters.
This is not an issue while going from Pune to Mumbai as we go down and regenerative braking helps us gain energy!
The problem as in all EV's is the huge energy consumed while climbing uphill.
The fear of the ghat (mountain) along with lack of dedicated charge stations ensured many in the community did not dare venture in the expressway!
Ultimately the ghat proved to be a non issue due to strategically placed charging stations, efficient EV driving habits and well designed Mumbai-Pune expressway which eliminated steep hairpin bends.
Pune-Mumbai-Pune : Yellow e2o - Eva
Now that we have 2 dedicated stations, i would not have to go through all that and i wanted to find out bout the experience!
My video blog sums up the experience pretty well. Eva did great during the trip!
- The electric car is super efficient on straight roads. You are left wondering as you drive for around 10-15 km and then see the energy consumed is just worth 8-9 km. The sheer frugality of energy consumption just blows your mind. No oil based car can show such efficiencies. An electric car takes less and gives more. Now that is the future, available right now!
- Its all about regenerative energy! EV owners always keep tabs on the amount of energy that gets stored back into the battery while going downhill. The Pune-Mumbai drive, due to the downhill ghat - is the perfect opportunity to send electrons streaming back into the battery pack as you take your foot off the pedal.
This killer feature, not available in ICE cars, again increases efficiency.
- As it was the first exploratory drive from the community, I was never alone - the entire community was with me on the Pune, Mumbai and even people from the Delhi Whatsapp group!
It was funny to read messages while i was waiting or driving! (I know i should not read while driving!)
"Can you make it back?", "How much regen did you achieve?", "Woaaah that is insane efficiency!", "What is the SOC (State of charge) at this spot?, "Wow! You made it past the ghats!", "Tell me the SOC at this spot and i will calculate the efficiency!"
- My efficiency record after reaching Santa Cruz, was 68 Watt hour per km, which sounded amazing. That record stood just for a few days! Mr Sagar Kulkarni broke it the following week! (See below)
- People on the expressway always turn and look at Eva instead of looking ahead and driving! Bad Habit.
One dude slowed his SUV and said - 'Respect!' (Maybe he saw the 'No Mo OIL' sticker! Or maybe he was sarcastic!)
- We all know what Valet Parking is. We EV drivers found a new term - It is called "Valet Charging" !
We can go to a Mahindra dealer and give our keys to someone. The car gets parked and is also set to charge!
Pune-Mumbai-Pune : Red e2o - Helios
The journey while coming back took us double the time to reach Pune around 6 hours since we had to charge the car due to ghats for around 2 hours. It was again comfortable journey with the AC on and cruising average speed of 55-60 Kms constant. Both ways the car speed was the same, sometimes we reached a speed of 65-70kms.
In short it was a good experience to travel in an electric car, as it also pulled some attention on the expressway with thumbs up and hand waves in favor of the car. It was also the cheapest ride to travel between two cities. Total cost from Pune-Mumbai and back was Rs. 100 (the charging cost I had to pay at Khandala).
So overall a big thumbs up to the e2o for its performance and surprise it gave us!
Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai : Red e2o - Lucky Wonder
Since I was taking the e2o outside city for the first time I was initially nervous about the same.
But special and heartiest thanks to the Pune-Mumbai EV community for the great encouragement, support to go for it.
Also thanks to Nitin, Iqbal from MReva for providing assurance if any problems occurs they will be there for rescue!
Thanks to Farah Halim,Raphae Halim & Amit Gupta for great company and making the trip so memorable, fun &,enjoyable without them I would have got lost!
Initially i was nervous but as i kept driving, i realized it was fun and easy than driving here in Mumbai. The roads are very well maintained, lots of space, full of greenery , no steep slopes and hard bends. All this made it a total pleasure to drive.
In-fact many times while driving i used to take photos,videos.
Charging e2o at Nerul,near Food Plaza ,& Khandala also acted as break time for us to refresh and chill out and got time to explore the near locality.
After driving at good high speed on expressway on reaching back to Mumbai, I started overtaking here which I used to not do before. Also haven driven on the expressway on the e2o now, i do not feel like driving here in Mumbai which always full of traffic. I feel like going back again!
Mumbai-Pune trip on an electric car was amazing, thrilling, fun, adventurous experience.
Everyone should drive an electric car outside Mumbai in the near future.
Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai : Green e2o - Zero
Going to Pune was adrenalin rush, making a point that Zero can go places too.
I have driven 24600 km as of today on 10th Dec 2015, without using a single drop of oil or polluting my city.
I finish 16 months of riding the e2o, a pleasure to me, an envy to others. Looking now to go further.
And Yes! I would absolutely do Mumbai-Pune with Zero, again and again and again!
Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai : Blue e2o - T2PO
after the droid in StarWars ;). We headed out of Mumbai one morning with a companion EV driver / friend.
Our plan was to travel for more than 400 km to
- Navi Mumbai
- Bhugaon, on outskirts of Pune
- Ananda Kriyayoga Ashram near Lavasa
- Back to Mumbai
Our next stop was at Khandala at the Khandala Motor Garage. Mr. Allauddin is most friendly and accommodating.
Very professional too, starts his stopwatch the moment u start charging at the community charge station set up by PluginIndia at his workshop. He will also make sure that you get the most charge for the duration u charge at his place. Such is his hospitality. Hats off to him.
We then visited Sagar, who lives in Pune and has a solar power system. He was kind enough to let us charge and give a demo of his system. We have made another wonderful friend due to T2PO!
The road to Ananda amongst the hills was a great re-gen experience. We were looking forward to a peaceful, meaningful getaway option that would get us closer to ourselves. Being lovingly welcomed by both Mama (dog) and Charlie (cat) along with Damodar (resident) immediately made us feel at home except that there was no electricity then, no internet or phone network. In pitch dark silence we could hear the crickets, distant sounds from the village close by, feel the presence of hospitable people and smell the hot buffet dinner.
Enjoyed our stay and courageously started our journey back home. Some 200 kms ahead of us in an EV. One thing that worked in our favour were the downhill of the ghats. It was an effortless drive and felt as if it was a robot driving it. For quiet sometime neither did I press the brakes nor the accelerator. It kept a good pace of 50-60 kms downhill with perfect re-gen.
Made it in good time, safely back home. Carrying wonderful memories and energised to take life head on.
The car has made us come one step closer to our goal of achieving a clean, green and responsible lifestyle. It has definitely brought about a unique change in our life, got us connected to wonderful people and through PluginIndia we have had more opportunities than we could fathom.
Joy to you!
Raphae and Farah Halim
Sagar was kind enough to let us charge the cars.
It was great experiecne for the community to understand how the solar power system works.
Zero pollution emitted on the route.
Yes! These are baby steps for electric car road trips in India. But if this is the future of road trips, i'am not worried!