Here is my story of a Roadtrip from Southern Germany’s Bad Tölz to the Norwegian Capital of Oslo. The reason for this long trip is the NORDIC EV Summit, where I’ll be participating and hosting a panel discussion. The two-day Nordic EV Summit happens each November, this one being the first event after the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2020. I have decided to drive to Oslo in order to show our readers as much as potential critics with range anxiety, that long distance travel in an EV is simply no problem these days. You don’t even have to be adventurous, a little planning helps though.
We have decided to take three days on our way up to Oslo, thus visiting friends in Potsdam and having a sneak peek into the latest developments in Copenhagen. I admire the Danish city for its clear vision on urban mobility based on bikes. Copenhagen is the bike capital of Northern Europe, very much comparable to Amsterdam or Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Including our planned deviations, we will be travelling from the very South to the very North of Germany (south of Munich to Rostock at the Baltic Sea). We’ll take a ferry to Denmark, drive through Sweden and we are planning to arrive in Oslo on Sunday. A total of around 1,750 kilometers are waiting for us, hence I started preparing the route with a couple of Apps helping me to sort out our charging.
For those of us, that drive a different EV than a Tesla, the App ‘A Better Routeplanner’ is a great tool to help find the right charging stations on your way. Quickly sign in your electric car and check the navigation as much as the necessary charging times. Our advantage however is, that we drive in our Tesla Model 3 and have all necessary gadgets at hand, both in the car itself, as well as in the Tesla app.
For our start in Bad Tölz, I have charged the Tesla at 100%, I usually don’t do this but hey – we might need the extra few percentage points of range on this trip. Two weeks of luggage, about 300 copies of the MOTION Magazine and two adults mean, that the Tesla is fully loaded with content too. At the Summit, I’ll present the Edition 0 of our MOTION Magazine to our partners and those to be.
Heading for Potsdam
We are heading for Potsdam, a few kilometers west of Berlin, a mere 600 km away. All in all we need three stops at the Tesla Superchargers to fill up our vehicle. Let me bust a first myth here: all three stops at the fast chargers in Hilpoltstein, Helmbrecht and Beelitz together took us 47 minutes, representing an average of 15-minute charging time. Fast Charging, a quick bite and a stroll around the place actually help make that trip an easy and relaxed one.
While most Tesla Superchargers in Germany are rather joylessly positioned behind fast food chain outlets, gambling places or even sex shops next to the Autobahn, the last one in Beelitz-Heilstätten was a real beauty in the middle of the woods next to the historic buildings of a lung hospital. This location is a rather sought-after place for charging, as we saw 14 different Tesla vehicles in the 20 minutes we stopped for our charge. Lesson learnt: we need to improve our fast charging experiences across the country. Clean toilets and some catering are a must, a nice walk in a park or adjoining forest would be a welcome premium.
On our second day, we start at 7am in order to catch a ferry a further 250 km North in the harbor of Rostock. The empty streets of Potsdam and a foggy and wet Autobahn through Brandenburg provide a spooky background on our way up to the Baltic Sea. Here we enter the ferry together with an international mix of passengers and their vehicles: from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany down to some Italian travelers. All these driving ICE’s, there is only one VW ID.4 and our Tesla representing electric cars here. Room for improvement I’d say.
After two hours the ferry arrives in the port of Gedser, we are in Denmark. Our next stop is the Supercharger of Koge, a few kilometers away from Copenhagen. This place is interesting, as the 26 Superchargers here are heavily frequented, hence charging is only allowed up to 80 percent. Here the rain stops us from stepping out and talking to the other Tesla drivers. We juice up the Tesla in order to have a bit of reserve for tomorrow’s drive across the Swedish border and continue our way into the Danish capital.
Copenhagen has managed to change to a bike city. There is still a nice co-existence with other means of transport, but the city also made clear, that e-Scooters are strictly regulated, hence we do not see a lot of them blocking the pathways or lying on the ground. There are quite a few electric cars on the roads, traffic in the city is amazingly relaxed despite the pouring rain.
When we continue our journey on Sunday, we find ourselves almost on our own in the streets of Copenhagen. It is an early morning and we enjoy an amazing play of sunshine and rain on the Oresund Bridge. Simply breathtaking, this bridge connects Denmark and the adjoining Malmo, located on the southwest coast of Sweden. A further 700 km of drive are waiting for us, an incessant play between sunshine and rain on the Swedish West Coast.
We use the Supercharger Falkenberg in the South of Sweden and tested the nerves of my co-pilot as we reached the charging station with a mere 3 percent left in our batteries. Uddevalla in Sweden and Vestby just outside Oslo were our next stops and the closer we got to the Norwegian capital, the higher the density became with electric vehicles on the roads.
I didn’t really count the different brands but a rough estimate saw the four Tesla models in the lead, followed by brand-new VW ID.4 vehicles (which came as a surprise) and the Audi e-tron SUVs in next place. Obviously, we saw some Polestar vehicles on the freeway too, but I somehow had expected a few more of the pure electric brand of the Volvo Group. We also saw the brand-new NIO as well as an Xpeng EV, both just recently launched in Oslo and I’ll be writing more about these new entrants into the European EV scene in the coming days.
All in all, our EV Roadtrip was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We took our time for these 1,750 kilometers to enjoy the autumn scenery from the Alps to the Baltic Sea. Some might call this a new luxury of traveling with time on our hands. For me this is the essence of safe and joyful drives with a new type of vehicle – quiet, sustainable and with many interesting talks at charging stations across Northern Europe. Our Model 3 ‘consumed’ an average of 19.6 kWh per 100 km, for a fully loaded vehicle and these cold conditions, this is an excellent level.
Driving an EV from the very South of Germany to Oslo in Europe’s North is simply no problem at all. Can’t wait to join my fellow speakers and experts at the Nordic EV Summit and discuss the imminent tasks to transform mobility to become smarter and more sustainable. I will host a panel on the topic: “Accessible Charging for All”, long distance fast charging is certainly not the issue any more.