It’s not just the UK which is experiencing a big surge towards electric vehicle (EV) ownership. It’s happening all over Europe too.
And even though our continental cousins are facing the same issues as we are here in the UK – a growing EV car parc with a charging infrastructure that can’t keep up – many European countries are quite well organised when it comes to running battery powered vehicles.
Latest figures from last year show that there are at least 250,000 EV chargers across Europe with several thousand additional fast chargers for drivers who need a quicker turnaround. It’s not a lot different abroad than it is in the UK when trying to find a charging point and using it.
So can you even contemplate taking your EV on a long range continental holiday trip without the (long) range anxiety?
Yes, you can. Tusker, which specialises in salary sacrifice schemes, is campaigning constantly to help customers understand more about electric vehicles and their increasing advantages. And that includes enjoying their cars on holiday.
“With the right planning, a decent satnav, an dedicated App and a means to pay for your electricity, you and your family can enjoy a great summer holiday in Europe in an electric car,” says Vicky Anderson, Tusker’s marketing director.
“Technology is improving all the time and, while it takes a little thought and planning before you set off, having a holiday road trip in an EV makes a great break while helping the environment in the UK and other countries.”
As EV know-how develops, manufacturers are giving their cars greater and greater distances. It was only a few years ago when 100 miles on a full change was considered pretty good going.
But specialist website Electric Vehicle Database says that the average range now stands at 214 miles. Many cars can do well over 300 miles so getting where you want to be is not quite the worry it was five years ago. It just requires the same planning as you would do here in the UK, and regular stops for charging can be worked into the whole holiday experience.
There are Apps available from most suppliers to help you find a topping-up point, and most EVs come with a satnav equipped to help you with this important issue too. Some cars, such as Teslas, have satnavs that even plan in charging point stops on your trip and work the duration needed for the charge into the total journey time.
Ionity, for example, has 1,800 charge points on main roads in 24 different European countries. With 428 locations already they are currently building 37 more and continue to expand.
Allego is another European car charger provider expanding across the continent. It has 28,000 points already in 15 countries. Charging sessions can be paid for using its MSP (Mobility Service Provider) card or with your own credit card via its Smoov app.
Free-to-download apps that will help you get safely to some much-needed electricity for your car include:
PlugShare: includes a trip planner and checks for you that the plugs available will fit your car
Chargemap: finds the best match for your car from 450,000 points
Greenlots: gives results by nearest station, charger type or your ‘favourites’ list
NextCharge: allows single charging for multiple subscribers
ChargePoint: filters out incompatible stations and lets you check your charging history
You’ll find charging points across Europe in public places such as supermarkets, railway stations, shopping centres and motorway service areas. Planned well, and you can coincide your charge points with stopovers for lunch or a rest break for the family.
The Netherlands has the most charging points in Europe, with around 85,000 to stop at while France (55,000), Germany (50,000) and Italy (22,000) all offer good coverage.
Steer clear of Eastern European countries if you don’t want range anxiety. Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria and Hungary have relatively small numbers of charging stations. Cyprus and Greece are also behind in taking the lead with charge points.
But, planned well, and with the right satnav and app helping you there’s no reason why any European holiday shouldn’t become the break you need.