Driving Day 25: San Luis Potosi to a Petrol Station – 297.3km

This blog should be titled “Day 45: San Luis Potosi to Mexico City” as it was now Thursday, and we had to be in Mexico City by Thursday evening in order to have the car ready for a massive press and KPMG day at 8am on Friday. But fate, if there is such a thing, had something else in mind. At some point during the night, someone had turned on an appliance on the same mains ring as our chargers, and this extra power draw shut down half of our charging capacity by tripping a circuit breaker. They should have been on separate circuit breakers, but it appeared that this building was not wired in such a way!

Anyway, it was 10am when we realised this, and the car was not sufficiently charged for the journey into Mexico City. In fact, if we left it to charge fully, we would have no chance of getting there on time to meet our contact, Elia, an Imperial College Alumni, who had kindly offered to guide us through the city’s maze of streets and to the KPMG offices downtown.

So we decided on an interim solution; we would allow the car to charge up until 3pm which should, in theory, give us juuuuust enough juice to get to Mexico City, and it would also, in theory again, get us to Elia in time. We set off through San Luis to try and find our way out, all the time trying to avoid the hideous condition of some of the roads. Finally we got through the city’s maze of streets and onto the highway south. In order to reduce energy usage, we had only Nik driving the SRZero rather than having the additional weight or drag of a passenger…this is how close we were!

The drive south was again, beautiful, but our minds were more occupied on the very limited charge we had, the 2 damaged shock absorbers on the rear, and the ominous black clouds that accompanied the nightfall. In addition to this, the traffic heading for Mexico City was absolutely suicidal; huge 26 wheeled trucks were bearing down at us from all sides, overtaking in any space available even if that would mean breaking the speed limit or driving on the hard shoulder. But our driving skills, honed in the SRZero over the last month and a half, served us well and we navigated our way safely down the highway.

Imagine, if you can, the scene we were in; the rain began coming down in torrents, and the regular radio updates from Nik in the car seemed to indicate that we would not have enough energy to get into Mexico City given the stop/start nature of the traffic, and the water on the road which increases our coefficient of rolling resistance. We had to do something immediately to fix the situation, and so we decided to pull into a big petrol station and do an intermediate charge.

Upon pulling up into the petrol station, we got the usual stares and thumbsups from the locals, but the shop owner was rather surprised to hear that we wanted to traipse cables through her shop to a couple of sockets. Nonetheless, she was happy to help, and soon we had the chargers humming away and the car happily slurping up some juice.

Now we had a few hours to kill, and fortunately the shop was very well equipped with a sumptuous deli making some of the best sandwiches ever, Internet, and a wide range of drinks. As such, we were very well catered for as we waited for the car to charge up. We ate, drank, and did some work, including blog updates and website maintenance. No sleep was on the agenda though, and day 45 of this adventure ended with RGE, Claudio, Jonathan, Chris and Cynthia sitting in the petrol station each on our respective computers. Certainly not where we had planned to end up at this time, but with Mexico City just 70 miles away, we were confident we could make it to KPMG in time in early hours of the following morning!

One Response to “Driving Day 25: San Luis Potosi to a Petrol Station – 297.3km”

  • Charles H Schulmann says:

    Dear RGET ,
    we hope that in the near distant future your pioneering
    work will have transformed the EV landscape such that
    the batteries can easily be swapped so to say , for
    fully charged ones from any so called electric garage
    which will operate in parallel with today’s conventional
    garages ( tyres will still need to be correctly pressurized
    and maybe batteries will have to be water cooled while
    future windscreens and maybe even aero foils will need
    to be washed for better aero dynamics ) .
    At these EV garages , you will pay for the juice in the
    ” juiced up ” batteries which can easily and quickly
    be retro fitted in the begging EV .
    Your GPS Garmin will liase with the battery management
    system to provide you information about the range left
    in the current battery ( pun intended ) and the nearest
    appropriate EV garage for a refill replacement .
    While information on road , weather , traffic and tyre
    ( maybe dampers ) conditions will also determine battery
    range and offer more prospects to the would be EV motorist .
    We see this as an extension of your work , where probably
    new legislation will be necessary to standardize the
    facilities and corresponding hardware at a global level .

    We wish you our fondest regards from Ladysmith
    ( Kwazulu Natal ) in cold sunny South Africa ,
    Charles and friends .

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