Looking for adventure: road trip to Eastern Europe in a Tesla
A road trip with an electric car is an adventure in itself. Especially if you head for the Czech Republic and Poland, Eastern European countries that are not yet fully ready for electric mobility. This is also the conclusion of LeasePlan's EV Readiness Index. LeasePlan employee David Hennion took up the challenge and drove his Tesla Model 3 to Prague. A challenge that he met with flying colours. Read the report on his journey here.
- Destination: Prague (Czech Republic)
- Distance outbound: 960 km in 12 hours
- Distance to return: 1,329 km in 14:20
- Vehicle: Tesla Model 3
- Actual range: +- 400km
- Stops: 3
- Total distance travelled: 4,000 km
- Total cost of recharging: about 200 euros
This summer, David headed to the Czech Republic and Poland with his son and a friend. In the Tesla Model 3, they first headed to Prague. They then continued on to Krakow, before exploring the town of Zakopane in the Polish Rockies and then on to Poland's capital, Warsaw, and the final destination, Gdansk. The trio then headed back to Vilvoorde. “In total, we covered about 4,000 km, if you count our stages,” explains David.
For the one-way trip to Prague, the trio drove 960 kilometres. David drove at a speed of 120 km/hour and recharged the car three times using a Tesla Supercharger. “Everything went very smoothly. I had carefully planned the trip before we left, and we chose accommodation that offered charging facilities. This is crucial in a country where the charging infrastructure is not yet well developed,” explains David. ”Our hotel in Prague was equipped with a double charging point. In Krakow, our hotel had four. In one hotel I only had to pay for access to the car park, and I could charge the car for free. In the other I had to pay an extra 8 euros, but I got unlimited charging. In Warsaw, I stayed in a hotel with no charging facilities. And the public charging infrastructure is not really developed in the city. So I charged my car in the underground car park of a large shopping centre.” In the end, David only paid 200 euros to charge his car during his trip. “That's a pittance considering the current fuel prices. Not to mention the other advantages of an electric car: I was able to park for free on the beach and I didn't have to buy a vignette.”
Apps that I used
Many drivers of electric vehicles download different applications and pay monthly subscriptions to be able to charge their vehicles abroad. According to David, this is totally unnecessary. He used a Shell charging card which allowed him to charge almost anywhere. “In addition, the Shell Recharge app offers a complete overview of all available charging points. What a handy tool.”
For the return journey from Gdansk, David adopted a different charging strategy. He decided to punctuate his journey of no less than 1,329 km with more short breaks. This tactic paid off, as the trio took just over 14 hours to reach home. “We started our return journey with a 100 percent charged battery. Our vehicle itself indicated a few stops along the way, but these would have taken a long time to recharge. Instead, I decided to use A Better Routeplanner, a free app that determines the best route for your electric car. It suggested short stops of 12 to 15 minutes.” David then drove in 170-200 kilometre segments, before stopping for 15 minutes at a Supercharger. It was only at dinner that the car was connected to a charging point for longer. “A perfect strategy, because more frequent stops also reduce driver fatigue. In the end, I followed Elon Musk's advice: don't take long breaks, where you have to wait for your car to recharge, but take regular breaks of very short duration and recharge your car a little each time. That way you will never feel like you have to wait.”
3 tips van David
- Determine your route in advance with the free application “A Better Routeplanner”. This planner takes into account the weight of the car, the weather forecast, your actual consumption and your charging stops. Ideal for a trip in an electric car!
- Get to know your car and its real range. Don't always rely on the on-board computer, as it doesn't know what to expect (like a mountain road or strong winds). Your mental calculation skills will certainly help.
- Public charging infrastructure is poorly developed in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Therefore, opt for accommodation with charging points and check in advance personally whether you can actually charge your car there. Also check the payment options. This will save you a lot of stress.