I drove an EV 300 miles to Glastonbury Festival – it cured my range anxiety

Mercedes EQS has the best range of any electric car I've ever driven – getting to and from Glasto without charging was easy

Mercedes EQS
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

I've been writing about electric cars for a long time – since 2013, so a decade before I joined T3 as Tech Editor – and without doubt one of the biggest fears for most people (as it unsurprisingly is with most tech) is that of battery life. Specifically with EVs it's range anxiety and the 'will I make it to the next charger?' conundrum. 

So when I this year decided to skip the coach or train transport options to get to Glastonbury Festival 2023 and rave my little heart out, the stars aligned (or maybe the solstice gods smiled upon me?) as I obtained an EV loan with the most capacious battery of any I've ever driven: the Mercedes EQS 450+, which has a 108kWh rating. 

It took a little thought, though, as Glastonbury Festival – which takes place on Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset – is a 150-mile journey from my doorstep. And knowing I was almost certainly going to return with a hangover of epic proportions, having EV range anxiety and finding myself stuck in a field in the wilderness wasn't a headache I could deal with.

Mercedes EQS

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

So, I figured, a 300-mile total range, with a 20 per cent buffer on top to account for any detours, totalling 360-miles required the clock, would make me feel as content as hearing Elton blaring out Tiny Dancer. So I was kinda gobsmacked when the EQS, its battery filled to 100 per cent via the charger on the side of my home, was telling me it would deliver 417-miles minimum. 

Typically a WLTP rating – that's the European standard rating system to represent how far a car will travel in typical mixed city and highway driving; in the USA it's EPA (which is typically more conservative and realistic with its range calculations) – will read well, but deliver much less on the road. Not so with the EQS: it's said to deliver between 392-to-487 miles on a single charge. I suppose that '450+' name really does make sense.

So I loaded up the boot – which, at 620-litres, is absolutely enormous in this 5.15m-long car – with tents, fold-out chairs, obscure volumes of rehydration salts (my word it was sunny on the farm and these were oh-so-needed), and all that other good stuff (Wellies, walking boots, trainers – Glasto being the most footwear-laden I've ever been in my life), and there was zero impact on comfort or space for up to four other adults.

Glastonbury Festival 2023

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Whilst embarked on the initial 150-mile journey – which was scheduled to take in excess of three hours, but took closer to four given the traffic – I was initially in doubt. 'Surely I'll need to charge this car at least once on the way back?' 'Best earmark all the charging points out in the sticks, just in case, eh?'. 

Nope, not at all: the EQS delivered its estimated distance with impressive accuracy, irrelevant of whether I opted to drive in Eco, Comfort or Sports modes to try and conserve that all-important battery life. My colleage, T3's Editor-in-Chief, had done a 300-mile journey entirely using the car's Level 2 Autonomous driving, but to really experience the reality for myself was something altogether different.

In the not too distant past I've had experiences with other EVs which haven't gone so smoothly. But perhaps driving a 750-mile round trip in an Audi e-tron S was too optimistic (that was delivering circa 180 miles per charge, though, which is part of the reason my range anxiety could be explained anyway). Other journeys I've ceased to use various heating/cooling functions and watched the range increase in front of my eyes. 

Mercedes EQS Driving Assistance Package Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Where the EQS 450+ really excelled, however, was in being able to utilise its full suite of trinkets unimpeded. And in this AMG Line Premium+ guise, this Mercedes-Benz has truly everything you could ever really want. Heated and cooled seats (the latter a life saver, believe me). A 'Hyperscreen' tech suite that's the most comprehensive display I've ever seen (it runs from passenger right through to driver's view). Full air conditioning, including in the back. Oh, and a pumping Burmester soundsystem that would make my feet vibrate with the bass.

So once I arrived at Glastonbury Festival, my only headaches were to do with artist clashes, because the very idea of range anxiety to get home had seeped from my mind. And getting back on the Monday was no problem – in the end I covered 310 miles on 75 per cent of the battery, with a spare 90-miles remaining in 'the tank'.

Of course a car such as this Mercedes does come at vast expense, so won't be in the vicinity of affordable for most, but as someone who's been waiting for a Polestar 2 on order for almost a whole year now, I'm looking forward to fully embracing EV ownership with range anxiety cured (if only more would take a leaf out of the 108kWh book). The only anxiety I now have is related to Arcadia's fire-toting spider stage, so I'll leave you with this image...

Glastonbury Festival 2023

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.