A few years ago, going on holiday in an electric car was more specifically reserved for electric motorists with a long-range model and taking routes that were already well-equipped with reliable charging stations. And now ?
A situation in development
Tesla owners have long enjoyed a significant advantage in traveling far and wide, mainly due to an efficient and expanding network of compressors. Certainly not uniform. In Brittany, Normandy and in the middle of the country, for example, there are still deserts. In fact, where the highways are long, most often.
If the cards have been redistributed, the number of motorists going on holiday with an electric car is always higher, and the electricity supply networks do not necessarily follow. Operators like Ionity, Fastned, Total, Allego and others are working to be more and more present on this summer’s migration corridors. And Tesla has opened many compressors for electric cars from other brands.
However, 2022 is still a transition year in which the national network is still too narrow to serve everyone at all times and all days of the week.
Citizenship and choice of stop times
In order not to find yourself in a difficult situation, it is preferable, during summer trips, to avoid peak times to recharge your electric car. It is primarily meals where this can get stuck. It pays to try to get through. Especially if you take the road early in the morning, eating lunch between 10:30 and 11:00 will facilitate access to the fast stations.
Taking advantage of this situation is a good thing. Another is to do it in a way that makes it easier for high-powered loaders to turn. That is, by not mobilizing places when the flow has become much lower, from e.g. 85%.
Associations such as e-France Café has designed an instrument to be placed behind the windscreen to indicate the estimated time of release of the cable and a telephone number to be called in case of emergency. If you do not have this plate that looks like parking discs for blue zones, this 2 main details can simply be written on a piece of paper placed in the same place.
Intelligent bottle feeding
If some charging stations on the main axes will be taken by storm on hourly amplitudes, which may be important, this will not be the case for a number of 22 kW AC terminals in municipalities that have been emptied of their inhabitants due to the holidays. Whether it’s here or elsewhere, do not hesitate to make small recharges during stops that can last an hour or more.
It was not necessarily useful for less than 2 hours for electric cars that had low energy chargers, for example around 3.5 kW. While Renault’s Zoé remains the benchmark for getting the most out of the AC network available on the road, more and more competing cars are equipped with 11 kW units. In that case, 90 to 120 minutes can increase the range by a hundred kilometers.
But be careful, many of these terminals slow down significantly when 2 cars are connected at the same time. Here, too, this scenario should not ruin other electric motorists’ holidays, and good citizenship remains the trump card in the game with 1,000 EV terminals.
Protect the battery
If the risk of fire on electric cars due to the battery is very low now, lithium-ion cells see their lifespan decrease when exposed to repeated heat strokes. To remove some of them, avoid charging them to 100% and then leave the car in direct sunlight afterwards, especially if it is for several days.
For the same reasons, it will be better to take the road as soon as the recharging is complete, rather than eating a meal in stiff arm. By running immediately, at a moderate pace and in a flexible way, the cooling of the package becomes better. Which does not necessarily mean that you drag yourself at 80 km / h on the highway. It is still possible to drive at 120-130 km / h without forcing the hills or multiplying the accelerations to overtake.
Also note that by recharging by less than 100%, the autonomy will be reduced, especially since the speed is high and the air conditioning is used. This is not necessarily a problem with high energy batteries: you just have to be aware of it so as not to be surprised.
Good knowledge of the manufacturers’ applications
About ten years ago, traveling far in an electric car required careful planning of your trip by planning emergency scenarios. For example, in the event of a terminal out of order on arrival at the station.
Now, thanks to the various applications available and especially those offered by the manufacturers for each of the models associated with their catalog, trips of several hundred kilometers can be made more calmly.
This will be all the more so when you master these apps, which can allow you to locate terminals, assess charging needs according to various parameters, including weather conditions, and reduce your consumption if necessary. Of course, you can read the manufacturer’s documentation for this, but the best way to get a handle on this software is still to watch a video on the subject.
Aids that must not be overlooked.
Do not hesitate to use YouTube by entering the name of your vehicle and the feature you want to find in the search box. Manufacturers, but also dealers and dedicated electric motorists regularly add interesting and very well-made videos.
Route planners are also popular. Such as ABRP (A Better Route Planner) and Chargemap. If they provide interesting help, do not hesitate to compare their suggestions with your spontaneous choices. Your intuition is not necessarily out of the question, especially if it is based on a good experience of the course. Sometimes these applications recommend detours that are not always very wise.
Dear readers, Avem and I wish you a pleasant holiday with your electric car. Do not forget to take your badge before you travel and favor those that will make it easier for you to recharge your roaming.