EV Summer Holiday: Cruising from Belgium to Portugal

14 Sep 2022

The Summer holidays are gradually coming to an end everywhere in Europe, and it’ll be back to school and off to work for most of us. Luckily, there’s just enough time to share Jonas’ EV road trip story. He and his partner travelled from Belgium to Portugal in their Polestar 2. They managed to drive an astonishing 6,000 kilometres this summer, and were excited to share their story with us.

Going on a summer holiday by EV is becoming more popular and accessible because of our expanding charging network across Europe. However, many of us still see it as a daunting challenge, so we asked Jonas some questions to ease your mind.

How would you describe the overall EV holiday experience?

It’s definitely different but in a positive light! The fact that you have to stop for about 20 to 30 minutes every few hours ensures you arrive at your destination less stressed. It allows you to enjoy more places along your route instead of driving past them. In fact, we really appreciate how EV has changed how we go from A to B. To give you an example of a comparison with a non-EV: It has only taken us 2 hours more from Bruges to San Sebastian, which is a distance of 1,000 kilometres. So, we felt better rested, enjoyed seeing more sites along the way, and saved fuel by driving electric, and we only “lost” a mere 2 hours. We’d say that is worth it. Also, not to forget, the car is more silent, so we enjoyed a little peace and quiet on the road.

How did you prepare for this trip?

Naturally, if you travel by car on petrol, you don’t really have to prepare as much as with an EV. However, it was worth it. We prepared by installing specific navigation apps to find charging stations more easily. The apps we used were ABRP, Shell Recharge (EU), Tesla (also for non-tesla users), Electro Maps (Spain), Wenea (Spain), Zunder (Spain), Iberdrola (Spain), MIOO (Portugal), and Google Maps.

The ones we ended up using the most were the following: ABRP (A Better Route Planner) is a website and app that, as the name suggests, helps you to create the best and smoothest EV experience. You fill in your destination, and it plans an entire trip, including charging stops, duration, and ongoing information about your trip.

If you are using the Shell Recharge card, the Shell Recharge app is also a great help. It shares charging points and provides an easy top-up option for your card. Besides, it allows price calculations, and you can filter charge points based on charging capacity, connector type, and availability. This helped us to ensure we were making a stop at a station where we could use our card to charge.

I am a bit old school, so I wrote everything down so I could easily insert all the information into my phone whenever I needed it. We also used Google maps; however, it sometimes suggested stops we did not intend to use.

In Spain, we noticed it was better to start using Electro Maps because there are providers that Shell Recharge doesn’t support. Through Electro Maps, we bought an RFID card with which we could pay.

Were there any hiccups on the trip?

In general, we are eager for faster chargers to become more widely available, and it would be good if government could remove ‘“non-EV’s” from charging stations. We learned they could fine them, though not remove them from the spot. If they could, it would’ve saved time on some occasions.

Any final tips?

Don’t be afraid – it’s very much possible to drive long distances with an EV as long as you come prepared. Try to make it part of the holiday and adventure, and we can assure you will enjoy yourselves.

Enjoy your holiday!

Did you know all Allego charging stations provide 100% renewable energy? By charging at our stations, you reduce your carbon footprint while you’re on the road to your destination!