Cupra Born 2022 long-term test

Cupra Born 2022 long-term test

As a result, life with an EV takes a bit of forward planning to ensure I always have the charge I need before I next get an opportunity to plug it in. I’m fortunate to have access to 11kW chargers at work, and one of my closest friends is a true EV-angelist who lets me leave the Born on his driveway for a few hours when I’m running low. He has even lent me the three-pin hook-up from his Jaguar I-Pace for emergencies – although it’s so slow that it’s barely worth the effort unless I can leave the car alone for 24 hours.

When I’m only doing short journeys around town (which, to be fair, has proved to be the central part of the Born’s remit so far), that’s usually plenty. The problem occurs when I have a long journey ahead, as I did with a recent trip from my home in London to deepest Worcestershire.

At around 160 miles each way, it would result in at least one charge being needed, particularly because I hadn’t until then spent much time on motorways, so its energy consumption at speed was a bit of an unknown quantity. (As a rule of thumb, I tend to get around 200 miles from a charge but will usually be looking for a plug after 180 or so.)

Using a combination of a charger at work and a socket at home, I ensured the battery had 100% charge before leaving and decided that the Instavolt Stroud Park charging station in Banbury, just a stone’s throw from the M40, would be an ideal top-up point.

At speed, the Born is a serene companion, its refinement and instant power delivery making it a fine motorway cruiser (even if, as with most electric machinery, its top speed is fairly limited).

Having left early on Sunday morning, I was feeling relaxed and confident by the time I arrived at Banbury with 53% of the 58kWh capacity left. I nabbed one of the remaining 125kW outlets (noting that the Volkswagen ID 3 nearby had been hooked up for 12 hours, hogging one of the fast chargers) and popped over the road for a coffee and a bacon roll while the car took 25 minutes – at a cost of £10.05 – to get back to 82%.

From there, it was a 120-mile round trip to Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, where I was due to spend the day at the brilliant Classic Nostalgia event. I thought I would have plenty in hand but, perhaps because I had been enjoying the Born’s rewarding chassis on the fantastic country lanes around Shelsley, it was beginning to look touch and go on the return trip to Banbury.

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