A road trip with an electric car (EV) is a great way to travel sustainably while enjoying the scenery and nature. In this article, you will discover everything you need to ensure a successful and worry-free road trip with your EV. We cover topics such as planning your route, finding charging points, packing the right accessories and much more. Let’s get started!
Travelling with an electric car
1. Plan your route carefully
An important aspect of planning a trip with an electric car is planning your route. Take into account your car’s range and plan your stops around available charging points. Use dedicated apps or websites to help you find the nearest charging stations.
2. Find and use charging stations
To avoid running out of power during your trip, it is essential to know where you can charge your electric car. There are several apps and websites available that can help you with this, such as ChargePoint, PlugShare and Fastned.
3. Take charging times into account
Charging times vary depending on the type of charging station and the capacity of your EV. Take this into account when planning your trip and allow enough time to charge your car, especially if you are travelling long distances.
4. Know the charging standards and plugs
There are different charging standards and plugs for electric cars, so it is important to know which ones are compatible with your car. This will help you avoid problems when charging on the road.
5. Take temperature into account
The temperature of the outside air affects the range of your electric car. At lower temperatures, your range is a lot lower, up to 200 kilometres compared to summer. Even a heavily loaded EV will not travel as far. So take this into account when you go on winter sports, for example.
6. Be prepared for the unexpected
Make sure you carry an emergency kit in case you get stranded or encounter problems unexpectedly. This kit should include: a mobile charger, a tow cable, a torch, warm clothing and a first aid kit.
Useful accessories for an electric car
1. Portable charger
A portable charger can be very handy during your trip, especially if you don’t have a charging station nearby. Make sure you choose one that is compatible with your car and has enough power to get you going.
Types of Charging Cables for Electric Cars
Charging an electric car can be done in different ways, depending on the type of charging cable you use. In this section, we will discuss four common types of charging cables: Type 2 charging cable, Type 3 charging cable, CEE power cables and the Type 2 to 230V Schuko charging cable.
Type 2 charging cable
The Type 2 charging cable, also known as Mennekes, is the most widely used charging cable in Europe. This charging cable is compatible with both single-phase and three-phase charging, meaning it can be used with both slower and faster charging stations. The charging speed ranges from 3.7 kW to 22 kW, depending on the capacity of the charging station and the car. Most public charging stations and home chargers in Europe are equipped with a Type 2 connection.
Type 3 charging cable
The Type 3 charging cable is mainly used in France and Italy. Although this type of cable is less common than the Type 2 charging cable, it is still compatible with many electric vehicles and charging stations in those countries. As with the Type 2 charging cable, the charging speed depends on the power of the charging station and the car, but generally the Type 3 charging cable is up to three-phase charging with a maximum of 22 kW. Going on holiday to France or Italy? Make sure you bring a charging cable with Type 2 plug for the car side and Type 3 plug to connect to the French or Italian charging stations.
Difference between Type 2 and Type 3 charging cables
The main difference between Type 2 and Type 3 charging cables is in the shape and design of the plugs. Type 2 charging cables, also known as Mennekes, have a round plug with seven pins, including five for communication and two for power supply. This design is the standard for electric vehicles and charging stations in Europe.
Type 3 charging cables, also called Scame, have a different plug shape with a special release mechanism. These plugs are less common and are mainly used in France and Italy. Although both Type 2 and Type 3 charging cables are compatible with many electric vehicles, it is important to know which type of plug is suitable for the charging stations on your route and your vehicle before you travel.
Mobile charging cable CEE power current
CEE high-voltage charging cables are used for charging electric cars via high-voltage sockets, which are often found at campsites and industrial sites. These cables feature a CEE plug at one end and a Type 1 or Type 2 plug at the other, depending on your car’s connection. Mobile charging cables CEE to power current can support both single-phase and three-phase charging (3-pole and 5-pole respectively), with charging speeds ranging from 3.7 kW to 22 kW.
Mobile Type 2 to Schuko 230V charging cable
A Type 2 to 230V Schuko charging cable, also called a mobile charging cable, is a convenient solution for charging your electric car via a standard household socket (Schuko). These charging cables have a built-in charge controller that ensures safe charging and does not overload the electrical system. Charging with a Type 2 mobile charging cable to schuko is usually slower than with other charging cables, with charging speeds usually limited to 2.3 kW to 3.7 kW. While these charging cables are less efficient than other options, they are useful for emergencies or when there is no access to a charging station.
Important considerations when choosing a charging cable
When choosing the right charging cable for your electric car, there are some important factors to keep in mind:
- Compatibility: Make sure the charging cable is compatible with both your car and the charging stations you plan to use. Check the specifications of your car and charging stations to make sure you choose the right cable.
- Charging speed: The charging speed of a charging cable can vary depending on the type of cable and the power of the charging station and car. Consider your charging needs and choose a cable that can provide the desired charging speed.
- Cable length: The length of the charging cable is important, especially if you cannot always park close to a charging station. Make sure the cable is long enough to charge your car even if the socket or charging station is further away.
- Safety: Choose a high-quality charging cable that meets safety standards and regulations. Cheap or uncertified charging cables can pose a risk to the safety of your car and yourself.
By taking these factors into account, you can choose the right charging cable for your electric car and enjoy your journey worry-free. Remember to always have a charging cable with you while travelling with an electric car, so that you are always ready to charge your car when needed.
2. Extension cord
An extension cord is a must-have for every EV owner. It allows you to charge your car in places where the outlet is further away from your parking space. Make sure the cord is suitable for outdoors and can carry enough power.
3. Tyre pressure gauge
Proper tyre pressure is important for maintaining optimum range. With a tyre pressure gauge, you can easily check the pressure of your tyres and adjust if necessary.
4. Navigation system with EV charging stations
A navigation system with integrated information on EV charge points is indispensable during your journey. It not only helps you reach your destination, but also shows the nearest charging stations and their availability.
Sunshades are useful for keeping your car cool while charging. This prevents your air conditioning from using extra energy to regulate the temperature inside your car. The exception to the rule, for example, is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with solar panel as a bonnet. In this car, the on-board computer and air conditioning are powered by the solar panel.
Frequently asked questions
- How far can I drive with an electric car?
The driving range of an electric car varies depending on the model and battery capacity. On average, EVs can drive between 200 and 500 kilometres on a single charge. Take into account factors such as driving style, terrain and weather conditions, all of which affect range.
- What is the cost to charge an electric car?
The cost of charging an electric car varies depending on the charging station and the price per kWh. On average, the cost is between €0.25 and €0.60 per kWh. Sometimes free charging stations are available, especially at hotels and shopping centres.
- How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The charging time of an electric car depends on the type of charging station and the capacity of the battery. At fast charging stations, an EV can be charged to 80% within 20-30 minutes. At regular charging stations, charging can take several hours.
- Is it possible to travel across Europe with an electric car?
Yes, it is possible to travel across Europe with an electric car. The network of charging stations is growing rapidly and more and more charging points are available on major routes and tourist destinations.
- Can I take an electric car on holiday to a remote area?
It is possible to travel to a remote area with an electric car, but it requires extra planning. Make sure you know the locations of charging stations and carry a portable charger for emergencies.
- Are there dedicated parking areas for electric cars?
Yes, there are often dedicated parking spaces for electric cars at charging stations and at other locations such as shopping malls and hotels. These parking spaces are usually close to the charging stations and sometimes reserved for EVs to ensure you have easy and quick access to charging your car.
Travelling with an electric car requires good preparation, but it is definitely possible and worthwhile. By planning your route carefully, bringing the right accessories and taking charging times and available charging stations into account, you can have a fantastic and sustainable holiday on the road. With growing infrastructure and technological developments, travelling with an electric car is becoming increasingly accessible and easy. So what are you waiting for? Plan your next adventure and explore the world in an eco-friendly way with your electric car!