Stef went on a road trip through 5 countries with his EV
Every adventurer dreams of travelling through different countries one day. Stef Peeters travelled to the south of France for the second time with his EV, a Kia EV6. This year, he made it a real road trip of over 3,600 kilometres. He looks back positively on this fascinating trip.
- Holiday destination: 2-week road trip: Germany, Austria, Italy, Monaco and France
- Vehicle: KIA EV6
- EV range: +/- 450 kilometres
- Route: Nurnberg (DUI), Steinach am Brenner (OOS), Lake Garda (IT), Monaco, Porquerolles (FR), Rennes (FR)
- Distance travelled: 3625 kilometres (full loop) - half in a day and a half
- Charging cost: 400-450 euro
Regenerative braking in the Austrian mountains
Stef already travelled to Porquerolles, an island in the far south of France, last year. For his second trip, he mapped out an itinerary to show his girlfriend some of Europe's most beautiful spots as a surprise. Via Germany and Austria, they drove on to Lake Garda in Italy. Then they drove southwest to end up on Porquerolles past Monaco. On the return trip, they first visited Stef's girlfriend's family in Rennes before driving home to Edegem.
Via ChargeMap, a smart route planner that calculates your route with the necessary charging stops, you can travel across Europe without any charging stress. As the only driver, those stops were also very welcome for Stef to take a break and stretch his legs. "The charging infrastructure in Germany and Austria is really excellent, but I had no experience driving an EV in the mountains. When I drove uphill, my range suddenly melted away like snow in the sun. Fortunately, while descending, I was able to recover energy by regenerative braking." This involves converting the kinetic energy released during braking/descending into electrical energy that powers the battery.
More expensive charging infrastructure in tourist areas
En route to Lake Garda, the Italian charging infrastructure was unfamiliar territory for Stef. "Charging costs in Italy are generally higher than in Germany or France. Something that was certainly also the case in Monaco. The more popular the location, the more I would recommend comparing charging station prices and choosing an option in a less crowded area. The short walks we are happy to take."
The pleasant bustle around Lake Garda and Monaco was exchanged for tranquillity on Porquerolles, a nature reserve where, incidentally, you are only allowed to cycle. So for the occasion, the Kia EV6 was briefly pulled over at the carpool car park in the port city of Hyères.
After the four-day relaxation on Porquerolles, it was time for the tough return journey via Rennes. A stretch of over 1,300 kilometres, half the total distance, was covered in just over a day and a half. "We left at 11am and knew we would be driving along the lesser motorways. Fortunately, Chargemap was able to indicate in time which stops were needed. For example, once I recharged when I still had a range of 150 kilometres, another time it was barely 14 kilometres." (laughs)
Two hours from Rennes, around midnight, things almost went wrong for a moment. "Suddenly we heard a loud bang. I immediately stopped my car and saw that my bumper was completely loose. We were fortunately able to reach our destination without any problems though. More than that, the breakdown assistance through LeasePlan went smoothly. When I reported my problem the next morning, I was able to visit a garage the same day who repaired my bumper. All's well that ends well!"
**Tips from Stef for a successful road trip **
Plan everything via an app that you have tested out beforehand. You can find the most suitable apps for longer trips in this blog on useful apps.
Take enough breaks, even if you still have enough driving range on your EV. Don't let your breaks depend on your range.
Hotels with charging facilities are not necessarily necessary. On the road, you will find plenty of opportunities to charge your EV. Also, just book your hotels on the day itself or see where you can get to with your EV at that time, that way you don't 'have' to be anywhere to stay.
Sometimes charging stations are not really clearly marked. In that case, put your EV aside for a while and prefer to explore on foot instead of doing so with your car.
Start your journey as soon as you get into your EV. A road trip with an EV is wonderfully peaceful and with a good app, you will never run into trouble. "Take the trip as a part of the journey!"