Malin to Mizen on one charge

AA drives Merc EQS the length of Ireland on one charge.

Can you drive the longest possible distance between two points in Ireland, from Malin Head to Mizen Head, without stopping? Wait, there's more - can you do that in an electric car?

Total journey of 615km

Well, yes you can and Paddy Comyn and Blake Boland from the AA have just done so, driving from the top of Ireland to the bottom in a Mercedes EQS without stopping to charge up the car's battery. The pair covered a total of 615km - around 170km less than the EQS's total official WLTP range on one charge.

The boys from the AA used a route commonly used by cyclists and runners on charity events, but the human-powered brigade usually take a couple of days to cover the distance. The Mercedes did it in nine hours with Paddy and Blake taking two-hour shifts behind the wheel.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS has a 120kWh battery, 107.8kWh of which is usable. As well as having a very large battery, the EQS is also very aerodynamic. It has a drag coefficient of 0.20, which makes it the most aerodynamic car in production according to its maker. The WLTP-rated range of the EQS is as high as 784km. However, the 'real world range' is about 600km.

Chilly temperatures and driving rain

"Mizen Head to Malin Head is a drive of 602km as indicated by Google Maps, and without stops takes about eight hours and twenty minutes. The idea of driving it in a fully electric car without charging en route seemed like an unachievable task as little as a couple of years ago. The task was made even more difficult by the conditions in mid-January. With temperatures ranging from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius and heavy rain all day, the car would be stretched to its limit. Winds were strong, predicted to be approximately 30-40km/h for most of the day. Being mostly a crosswind, it would not help efficiency," said AA Ireland's Blake Boland.

To go the distance, the Mercedes would have to average 17.6kWh/100km if the team was not to get stranded on a lonely road in West Cork. Not only did the car have to reach Mizen Head, but it also had to run for another 20 kilometres to reach overnight accommodation, as there are no charging points at the Head itself.

"A journey of this length would cost as little as €13.50 for somebody charging at home on a night rate of 12.6c per kWh. However, it could also cost as much as €73.50 using ESB High Power public chargers," adds Boland.

Made it with a narrow margin

As it turned out, the Merc made it with charge to spare, but not much - just two per cent remained in the battery at journey's end, enough for around 15km, having averaged an impressive 16.8kWh/100km all the way.

"Electric vehicle technology is getting better, battery technology is improving too, so we decided to see if we could complete this particularly Irish challenge on one full battery. Unfortunately the charging network at both ends of the country are poor, so we has to take some extreme measures to give ourselves the best chance, using three-pin plug chargers to trickle charge out of B&B windows," said AA Ireland's Head of Communications, Paddy Comyn. "We are really missing a trick by not adding more chargers to tourist points of interest such as Mizen and Malin."


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Published on January 16, 2023