I am Yogesh Dangi and this is my story about testing the limits of EV travel. I made this trip back in February 2021 after having owned an electric car for almost 2 months.
Buying an EV has been a decision born out of my love for the environment. Looking at all the current options out there, the only car ticking all the boxes for me was the Tata Nexon EV – Price, range, comfort, safety and looks. I like to call her “Bijli”.
I had only had the car for about 2 months and was itching to take it long distances and defy the general consensus that it is too soon for EVs to be making long trips. An opportunity struck when I came to know that some of my favourite artists were performing in Goa at the Hilltop Festival and Symposium Festival. A lot of my friends were going too, flying mostly. I got a couple friends together and decided to make the trip in Bijli.
Planning the trip from Udaipur to Goa
There was a lot of doubt, a lot of uncertainty. We started planning and found out Tata Power had installed fast chargers in Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolhapur and was testing them. So, we laid out a plan with the first 3 drives Udaipur-Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad-Surat, Surat-Mumbai ranging about 270 km and started on the morning of 10th February.
Now, 270 km on a single charge seemed very doable, what we didn’t know was that to achieve that we’d have to be hypermiling, driving on highways at speeds of 40-60 km per hour. It was a real test of patience.
Once we reached Mumbai, we could speed up. There were Tata Power fast chargers every 150 kms. Mumbai to Pune was lightning fast in Bijli. The climb did not feel like a climb, it was so smooth.
Upon reaching Pune, we found another Tata Power fast charger in Karad, ~150 kms from Pune and then another 70 Kms and we were at Tata Power’s last fast charger on our route in Kolhapur. We topped Bijli up and began our 250 Kms trip to Goa.
As we began to climb down the Konkan hills around Goa, things started to cool down so much and it was so scenic. Reaching Goa was bliss. The air, the beer, the sea, the sun, the birds, the palms, it was like paradise!
We reached Goa on the noon of Feb 12th with 15% battery. Two and a half days is a little too much time for the distance we covered but I’m sure it’ll only get better. Here, EESL had the only working fast charger in the Goan Secretariat. Of Course I wasn’t allowed inside. So, we got on call with Mr. Gopinath and Mr. Ravi from EESL and they helped set us up to charge Bijli at the Secretariat. I can’t thank them enough for their help and also Durga Motors, Goa for letting me top up my car when the fast charger wasn’t available.
5 Days in Goa attending the festivals, going to the islands, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and some untouched places was enough to bring out the joy COVID had sucked out of our lives.
Making the return trip
We left Udaipur at the noon of 17th February. By this time, we had figured out the exact plan to make time on our trip back. We tracked back to Kolhapur, topping up the charge at Karad, then Pune, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad and finally, Udaipur on the afternoon of 19th February making up half a day on our trip to Goa.
3200+ km and 5 days of driving in an electric car took a lot of courage, will, patience and love. I’m so much more in love with the idea of seeing more EVs on the road after this trip and it’s only just begun! We were amazed at how willing people are to help to see something special happen.
Can’t wait to take Bijli back on the highways, to places far! We’d like to thank TATA Motors, TATA Power and all the people along the road who helped us in any way, going above and beyond to see us make it!
About the author
‘I like to consider myself as an environmental activist. I install solar power plants for work. I participate in cleaning drives and I’m also helping plant a jungle near Udaipur’ – Yogesh Dangi
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