Tesla drivers have experienced the specific charging advantages of an own network for quite some time now. We call it the ‘supercharger advantage’ – an own charging network for drivers of a Tesla vehicle. Simply choose the destination in the display of your Tesla vehicle, connect the charger and everything works. In my 14 months with a Tesla electric car so far, I have not once experienced a Tesla charger not working. No credit card or other app needed, invoicing is done automatically. Plug and charge – easy.
However, as much as the technical side works, the charging experience is lacking at most superchargers. Many of them in the South of Europe are based off the freeway, some close to hotels, mostly tucked at the back. Information about the surrounds of such superchargers is not available, the following image shows an example where the chargers near Avignon in France are tucked behind the garbage bins at the back of a Novotel next to the freeway. Not exactly a romantic place with a nice view, let alone an enjoyable meal or coffee available. Tesla chargers are functional - the experience is left to the surrounds and it is obvious that there is room for improvement on that side.
Charging in the city works in Europe
We have already stated in our MOTION charging review that today (means summer 2022) about 55% of all European fast chargers are located in just three countries: Germany, the Netherlands and France. These are publicly accessible charging stations with at least 150 kW charging capacity. Most European cities are currently expanding their charging networks too. Whether in Oslo, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Munich or Paris. The rise of the electric vehicle is leading to an enormous change towards public charging offers – bring your own cable that’s long enough and you’ll find your charging solution, in bigger cities no problem.
Other charging options on your travels
How about the smaller villages in the southern parts of Europe – does charging work there? My general answer is yes, as many smaller villages seem to have understood, that the electric traveller presents an interesting target group for tourism. Let alone the quiet drive into your village helping to combat sustainability issues. These chargers are usually slow with a typical charge of 7 kW per hour. Most of these AC chargers I used in France offered charging solutions by the hour. Watch out though: make sure your roaming card from your charging partner doesn’t punish your stay once you exceed a set limit of hours. This happened to me when my German charging card from ADAC/EnBW started punishing my stay above four hours with a fee despite the French charging provider offering me a solution that was cheaper for me to charge overnight.
Back to my point of electric travellers as an interesting target group. Hotels, and quite a few scenic places started offering charging. Best examples in Provence, where my family spent a few weeks this summer, were hotels, restaurants and a few wineries, where charging facilities were provided. Why not give your ev a boost too, when you enjoy the tasting of a selection of local wines (don’t drink and drive though).
Our friends in England have a few new possibilities when waiting for the ferry or the train to take them to mainland Europe. Charging when waiting for the ferry in Dover is possible with a wide selection of charging stations. Enough time for your meal or a shopping spree in the adjacent duty-free shop and this time is well spent while waiting for the ferry or train.
There are many use cases for the electric traveller. Charging solutions are offered left right and centre these days. There is no more reason for range anxiety when travelling across Europe these days. Such anxiety is more a psychological fear of changes to your daily routine of the past at petrol stations. It is about time to change your habits – for a sustainable way to travel to your holiday destination.
Photos courtesy of Michael Brecht.