Going on a summer holiday with your electric car? Here’s how our colleagues did it!
Every summer, many people from Belgium take their car to drive to a sunny destination. This is of course no problem with a conventional car, but what about an electric vehicle (EV)? A lot of drivers are afraid that the range of their car’s battery is insufficient and that the journey will take much longer. Yet you have nothing to worry about, according to two LeasePlan employees who used their electric car to drive south.
Anyone who drives an electric car in Belgium will soon realize that the driving range of an EV is more than sufficient to get through the day. Few people cover greater distances on a daily basis than the 250 kilometers that most electric cars can do without issues on a full battery. On holiday, however, things are a little different. When you travel south, you may well have to cover 1,000 kilometers. So, how often do you have to stop and how much time will you lose during those unavoidable breaks? And who can assure you that your destination has enough charging stations?
Of course, it is perfectly normal that people worry about the driving range of their car. After all, you go on holiday to relax and do not want to feel stressed. Fortunately, there is no need for the latter. An electric car is perfectly capable of getting you to your destination smoothly. Especially if you take some time to prepare your journey in advance. Several LeasePlan employees have experienced their first major trip with an electric car this summer. Two of them are happy to talk about their journey and explain why most of the headaches about an electric vehicle are not justified.
Jan Pieter: “The Autoroute du Soleil has lots of fast chargers”
- Holiday destination: The Vaucluse & Dordogne (France)
- Distance travelled: 2,700 kilometers
Car: Polestar 2
Jan Pieter travelled with his family to one of the most popular destinations in Europe: the south of France, more specifically Carpentras in the Vaucluse. To split the journey in two, he made a stopover in Dijon. From Carpentras he later drove on to the Dordogne and from there he returned to Belgium. With 800 kilometers, the final stage was the longest of the entire trip. “I was a bit worried beforehand, but it turned out to be unnecessary. Especially if you plan the trip well ahead. Compared to the Netherlands or Germany, France is certainly not the best EV country in Europe, but the Autoroute du Soleil has clearly been given priority when it comes to the installation of charging stations. You find lots of chargers on the classic Belgian holiday route. During the return trip, we needed to put in a little more effort to find charging stations.”
According to Jan Pieter, he has not lost much time at the charging stations. “Do not believe everything apps tell you. For example, it looked like I was going to have to charge three times between Antwerp and Dijon, but we could easily cover the distance with just two stops. Especially when you are on the road with your family, and everyone has a drink and goes to the toilet, time flies during a stop and your battery is soon fully charged.”
What Jan Pieter also remembers from his first electric car holiday is the amazing driving comfort. “It is always a pleasure to drive an electric car, but especially when travelling it feels very comfortable. Driving in a traffic jam is less tiring and the car also makes less noise. After all, you do not have to deal with a cooling system that runs at full speed when it’s 30 degrees outside.”
David: “I would immediately do it again”
- Holiday destination: Istria (Croatia)
- Distance travelled: 2,600 kilometers
Car: Tesla Model 3
David drove his Tesla Model 3 to Istria in Croatia. A long journey that he split in two with a stop and overnight stay in Germany. “I was not too worried, especially since you can find Tesla Superchargers virtually anywhere. For the first part of the trip, I covered about 800 kilometers and stopped twice to charge. Yet, we would otherwise also take a break every 300 kilometers. In fact, I never stopped for more than 25 minutes to charge.”
David had also prepared his trip well in advance. “The only thing I wondered was whether there would be enough room at the charging stations. Fortunately, Tesla provides about 20 places at each charging point. This was more than enough, especially in the month of June. And when booking hotels, I now also check to see if there is a charging station available or if there is a public charging point nearby.” “Having lots of storage space is a key benefit of a Tesla. The car is also equipped with the latest technology, so you are always at ease. I would immediately leave and do it all again”, concludes David.
3 golden tips
Both Jan Pieter and David think there is no need to hesitate about going on holiday with an electric car. For a peaceful trip, they have three crucial tips:
- Plan your journey in advance: what is the best route to take? Are there charging facilities at your hotel? Those are all things you can check from home. It is also a good idea to install several apps with routes and charging points on your smartphone. One app will get you very far, but the combination of multiple apps will always find an available charging station.
- Don’t travel on busy weekends: even with a conventional car, it is best to avoid the black Saturdays in summer. With an electric car you risk having to wait for a charging station to become available. But if you drive at less busy times, you have absolutely nothing to worry about and will soon find an available charging station.
- Take your charging cables with you: you do not know beforehand which type of socket you will need. Therefore, make sure to have your normal cable with you and, in case of emergency, also a cable you can plug into a conventional socket.
Going on holiday with your electric car? Just do it, it’s perfectly possible. With good preparation, your journey will even be much more pleasant. Especially if everyone respects the courtesy rules at the charging stations. Are you already a Happy Charger? Find out more and request your own Happy Charger disc for free.