Are you going on holiday with your EV this summer? We have asked experienced e-drivers from different countries about their experiences and tips. This week, you will read the experiences of perhaps the most well-known Dutch e-driver and ambassador Maarten Hachmang.
How many times have you been on holiday with your EV and where did you go?
Let's see, six times now. With the whole family in a small Renault Zoé.
Three times to Italy, two of which for winter sports, twice to France and once to Slovenia. The next winter sports holiday in France in 2021 has already been pencilled into the diary.
Which holiday have you remembered the most and why?
The winter sports trip to Pampeago/Obereggen (South Tyrol) in Northern Italy. Because of the steep slopes and low temperatures in the last 6 km of the trip I lost about 50 km of range. Although I also found the 2018 summer holiday in to Tuscany special. With 270 km of range descending from the Gotthard pass and still seeing 270 km on the meter after 100 km. That was great. Slovenia turned out to be easy, there were already quite a few recharging stations and fast chargers (installed by provider 'Petrol' ... what's in a name).
Which countries in Europe do you think are a go with an EV and which ones are a no-go?
Benelux, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy are relatively easy because of the large supply of fast chargers and the relatively modest prices. However, Austria is incredibly expensive. The Nordics are also easy to do although, charging is expensive in Sweden. Challenges remain in the rest of Europe, such as the lack of roaming in the UK and the absence of fast-charging infrastructure in southern and eastern Europe.
Spain and France are currently among the more difficult countries with large areas with few charging facilities. This is particularly the case if you want to cross France with a CCS fast-charging car, because most of the Izivia fast chargers along the motorways have now been shut down and some locations have little power. Fortunately, a large market player will soon be solving this problem, or so I heard somewhere the other day. But also in Eastern Europe there is still too little charging infrastructure. I would never call it a no-go, every destination is reachable of course, but careful preparation is key. That's why I often write about it.
Which MSP card or app do you advise using during a trip through Europe?
I have no specific preference for a particular MSP. I'd say one that's high on the list. Possibly supplemented with one that works best in the country of your destination, as most people travel there as well. As far as route planners/charging stations are concerned, I enjoy using the Chargemap app. This is because users help each other by means of photos and comments at each charging station. Chargemap has saved me from potential problems on several occasions.
What is your golden tip for holidays with an EV?
Have confidence in your car and in the charging infrastructure. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to go to slower charging stations and that it takes extra time, or even an overnight stay in a hotel. If you're not under immediate time pressure, slow travelling is a wonderful and comfortable way to take a journey.