How many of you reckoned we'd make it to Scotch Corner then? Not many, I suspect - and nor did we, frankly.

On our way north in BMW's electric Mini, Sheffield proved too far as a stopover. At constant speed on the motorway, the Mini quickly runs out of power. With no brake energy regeneration to top it up, it actually burns through battery charge faster than the car's remaining range predictor can allow for.

That meant diverting to Nottingham, to the Victoria shopping centre, where Elektromotive - the company responsible for most of the on-street charging points you see around London - has a number of 13 amp charging posts. We were lucky to find one next to an empty parking bay; the one next to it was rendered inaccessible by a badly parked C-class. Note to car park operators: if you're going to bother with charging posts, make the parking bays next to them EV-only

We pitched up at 2.00pm with 26 per cent battery charge showing, and six hours, several coffees, dinner and an unofficial city tour later, we left with 76 per cent charge available, and 88 miles of range - according to the Mini.

That ruled out Scotch Corner; the utopian-sounding Travelodge Leeds Colton became our next best destination - 68 miles away.

By the time we'd made it halfway, I was regretting having left the charging point so early. That 20-mile comfort zone had evaporated somewhere nearly Clumber Park on the A1, and I was seriously considering stopping for a cheeky hour's charge.

Until I got off the A1, onto mixed pace country roads, when that magic 20 miles reappeared. It's as if this car is playing chicken with you on multi-laners, urging you to stop, whispering "you'll never make it." But the moment you slow down to speeds it's more comfy with, the bluffing stops.

At one point, the Mini E's drive computer was warning that it would run out of power seven miles short of Colton. The thought of a seven mile walk across the dales at 10pm didn't fill me with joy. As it happened, we came off the A1 early and arrived at the hotel with 12 miles to spare.

As you read this, we'll be on our way to Newcastle, where I've arranged for an on-street, 32 amp, four-hour charge for the Mini, and then on, across England and over the border to Dumfries. By the end of the day, I'm hoping to have notched up 450 tailpipe-emissions-free miles in three days. And more to come...