Cost per km came to Rs. 3.
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It all started with me convincing my wife why a Nexon EV Max with a 4L premium makes sense over the petrol variant. The break-even number was set at 60000 kms.
This is a story of me speed-running that number to gain the upper hand in arguments for future wasteful expenditures.
- Step 1. Convince Wife that Club Mahindra membership is worth it.
- Step 2. Book Ashtamudi Resort for Jan 2nd to Jan 5th.
- Step 3. Calculate the costs of all modes of transport to Ashtamudi for 4 passengers. EV > Train (3rd AC) > Train (2nd AC) > ICE Cars.
- Step 4. Chart Course on Plugshare, coz EV was always going to win. This game is rigged.
Jan 1st 2023.
Odo Meter stats at approx 8300kms. 4 of us & a full Bootspace.
Road trip is planned for 4:30AM. We start at 6:30 as ‘intended’.
The road trip begins, First stop is at Hotel Aishwarya Bhavan 8:15 AM. Battery is at 58%, 120KMS in. We have breakfast and charge the car. The car is charged to 100% by the time we’re done with breakfast and restroom breaks.
Relux 60KW Dual gun charger.
Food – 8/10
Restrooms – 9/10
We start the second leg, Roads are good , Wife takes the wheel (she’s recently started driving and loves the EV or is just tired of hearing me talk about it all the time and plays along. Irrelevant either way.)
Before she knows it, we’ve done 200 kms and it’s the longest she’s ever driven. We had planned a stop at TML Kaveri(50KW Zeon Charger) in Trichy but due to some roadwork we couldnt make the turn. We keep driving straight and i suggest we skip it and head to Hotel Arun Cafe (24KW Zeon Charger) which is around 30 Kms away just outside of Trichy. The range is around 75KMs. Worst case we can head back to a couple of chargers inside trichy. The last 500m is done with low performance mode as the battery drops to 11%. Its 12:30 and put the car on charge, Next stop is Hotel Temple City just past madurai approx 140kms away. We have lunch and the car is charged to 67% in an hour approx.
Food – 6/10
Restroom – 5/10
Third leg i take over while wife and friend sleep in the back, friend’s wife and me chat about EVs and cars as friend is planning to get a car for himself. I attempt my sales pitch for EVs. This is harder than expected as I’m unaware vulnerabilities i can exploit to convert this pitch into a project. We reach with 17% at 3:30 and find that an MG ZS EV is parked trying to figure out how to start the charger. We contemplate heading back into madurai for charge 15 mins away or just wait it out. We decide to wait it out and just relax for a while.
The MG charges for a solid 1 hour (he mentioned 30 mins initially). Going back to madurai (15 mins away) would’ve been much faster as there were multiple chargers faster than the 24KW charger in Hotel Temple City. Anyway we have some food and finally get the charger at 4:40 and charge to 74% in 69 Mins approx. We leave the place and head to Tenkasi where we’ve planned our first overnight. The 1 hour delay has ressulted in some night driving we didnt intend.
Food – 8/10
Restroom – 10/10
We reach Laughing Waters Fine Stay around 9:15PM near Coutrallam Falls and they offer us a 15amp charger to charge overnight. I’ve called ahead and made sure they do have a 15mp plugpoint just to be sure. The owners are lovely and helpful (they’re in talks with Zeon to setup a charger soon).
Food – 7/10
Stay – 8/10
Overall Experience – Automatically 10 coz they had a charger
2nd Jan 2023
We decide to head out to the falls but are told there’s a small private falls for 200 bucks per head. We decide to check it out, The private falls was quite underwhelming and disappointing as it was just a rivet falling maybe 10ft. 15 mins in we’re having fun coz the pressure was good and while it wasn’t as impressive the falls would’ve been, we had it to ourselves. We decide we’ll visit the falls before heading out, which we promptly forget to do as me and my friend are busy discussing cars. This will soon result in a ban on cars being a topic during the road trip.
Enroute to Ashtamudi there’s an elevation of around 1000ft which the Nexon EV MAx handles with ease even in ECO Mode albeit the effiiciency was reading at 175-185wh/km compared to the usual 133-140wh/km. The ghat section drive was incredible, we dropped the windows and the sunroof to enjoy the breeze and views and the rest of the trip was simply stunning. The downhill actually increases the charge by 2% due to regen. The whole drive is incredible albeit slow due to the ghat sections and cities we’re driving through. The overall trip was 3:30 hours approx and we reach club mahindra around 3. I setup the car for charge in their 15 amp plug points and we checkin.
Summary of First Half of the journey – Cost of Travel is 2300 approx. kms covered 775. Efficiency is around 136WH/KM which works out to an avg range of 295 kms. Most of the trip was as planned except for the 1 hour wasted at Hotel Temple City.
3rd Jan 2023
We’re woken up by bleats to find some Goat Grass Cutters. Pretty Neat!
We decide to head out to Jatayu Statue and Varkala Beach if time permits. As usual we’re late but the drive is amazing. Kerala is beautiful !
Finally, we reach Jatayu Statue (around 60 kms away) and goddamn its beautiful.
We spend a couple of hours relaxing there and spending time in the arcade below. Too late for Varkala Beach we figure we head to some nice restaurants for some good Kerala Parottas!
A quick google search tells us Hotel Kamal is a great place for Parottas Hotel Kamal we went! Google took us through extremely tight roads some of which we weren’t sure were roads, and just as we were contemplating if this was a bad idea- Loh and Behold a wide beautiful road. We drive down a bit and Hotel Kamal it is. We overeat as was intended and the food was amazing. True to the reviews, the Parottas were soft and crispy. Chef’s Kiss.
We head back and after a long physically exhausting day we decide it’s time to watch ‘Tenet’ for some mental exhaustion coz we’re masochists that way. The movie starts around 11pm and at around my 12 midnight my state of awakeness is ‘inverting’ and im dreaming about the roadtrip we’ve had so far. Its fair say the concept of inversion was lost on me at this point and we decided to call it a day.
4th Jan 2023
We wake up and im still blown away by the views. Kerala you damn beauty.
We take the day easy and finish the movie, pointlessly debate the plot, succumb and google theories, debate more and finally decide we need to get out of the room and spend sometime shooting balloons and acrhery, etc
5th Jan 2023
The plan is to head straight to Chennai (750KMS). We plan to leave at 4:30AM and again we’re late and leave at 7:00AM.
First stop is around 9:45 at Misty Mountain Experience, Its quite an uphill and the drive is brilliant, we drive with the windows & sunroof down. There’s occasional traffic jams due to sabrimala buses but we eventually make it and stop for breakfast. The place is really welcoming and made for a great start to the trip! The car is charged to full by the time we’re don and we continue to uphill a few more kms before the decline begins. Driving down the declines is just so much fun! The car regens and gains 3% approx. By the time we’re downhill we’ve covered 60 kms approx and barely used any battery.
Food – 9/10
Restroom – 10/10
Next, we head to Tata Kaveri Dindigul but when we reach there, A Nexon is already charging. We decide to soldier on and go further to Hotel Arun Cafe. We reach by around 4PM with 12% to spare. the ghat section had considerably slowed us down and it was too late for a proper lunch. We decided to eat some chaat and do a top-up charge just to get us to Veg Aswins restaurant which has a 50KW charger for faster charging. So with a quick 30 mins stop we charged to 39% and began our journey towards Veg Aswins Restaurant which was approx 80kms away.
Food – 6/10
Restroom – Unusable as someone had decided to leave presents.
When we were getting close the turn to Veg Aswins was blocked due to some roadway work and the first pangs of range anxiety were felt… Not too much as we had 12% range which is a good 40-45 km range andt aswins was only 4-5 kms detour. We take a turn and my friend spots the restaurant on the highway which was much earlier than google was showing us on the map. Turns out Zeon’s position on the map was slightly off but luckily we caught it and reached with 11% charge. Put the car on charge and went for a late lunch-early dinner at 5:45. It was getting dark and we had 267 kms to cover. Easily doable albeit with a bit of night driving. Food was simply excellent, and the restrooms were perfectly usable.
Food – 9/10
Restrooms – 7/10
While 267 kms is doable we decided it was unnecessarily risky to push to the last 10% and that we’ll take a quick stop at Hotel Aishwarya Bhavan.
The last leg of the road trip begins and while this would normally be the most silent part of a road trip we had more than enough excitement with an idiot lorry driver driving on the wrong side and suddenly deciding to cut across the road, causing everyone to scream. Started with a long horn and calmly slowed the vehicle down to prevent getting hit from behind (Wife had her opinions i should’ve done it quicker backseat drivers amirite). The car behind me slowed considerably as well and made it safe for us to change lanes in the last second and avoid a collision. Rest of the trip was smooth and we made it to Hotel Bhavan by around 9PM. Had a quick 30 mins stop for refreshments and restroom , car charged to 65% and we were off!
Dropped friends off and got home by 11:45-ish leavin the odo at 9950.
I’m 10K closer to My wife approving all my expenses in 50K more kms guys. If someone has a bridge to sell me, i might just be gullible enough.!
- Overall Kms – 1646
- Charging Cost – 5K approx.
- Cost per km – Rs.3
Regrets – None
Roadtrips are feasible again.
Speed summary –
- Ghat Sections – 20-60kmph
- Cities – 40-70kmph
- Highways – 80-110kmph
Thoughts on this roadtrip if i taken an ICE Car –
If i had taken the same trip in an ICE car i would’ve saved 1 hour onward to ashtamudi due to the Hotel Temple City Waiting and maybe 30 mins of the Aishwarya bhavan wait towards the end. More or less the trip would’ve been similar.
- Petrol Car with a mileage of 10-14 – Cost 13-17k (Based on my experience of driving Seltos DCT, Altroz DCA and I20 Manual.)
- Diesel Car – Not really sure as i haven’t driven many diesels.
Thoughts on Train + Taxi for local Transport
- 3AC Train + Taxi for Final Leg Cost would’ve been 14K
- 2AC Train + Taxi for Final Leg Cost would’ve been 18K
We would’ve had to book a separate cab for touring inside kerala which is added cost.
Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.