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I'm quite a fan of the Sodetrel Network on the French motorways. Like others posting in this thread I've also latched onto the odd free Lidl charger. But I have a hunch that driving on and off the French pay motorways to get a free Lidl charge may be a false economy.

Information about getting a Sodetrel card is on my blog about driving from London to the Swiss Alps in an i3. Go to the Backstory page and scroll down towards the bottom. www.i3gb2ch.wordpress.com
 

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You can use the new ChargeMap Pass with Sodetrel now - I found it nice and easy to order the card (the web site was in English; the card arrived just a few days after ordering). There's no subscription needed, but the per-5-minute rate is higher than if you did have a Sodetrel subscription (€1.10 vs €0.70). The ChargeMap Pass on Sodetrel works out to be roughly the same cost per charge as Ecotricity. You can also use a PlugSurfing fob but the per-5-minute rate is even higher.
 

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The ChargeMap Pass may be a better solution. The Sodetrel Card I have means I am paying a €3 per month membership fee.

Another warning is that the Charge Point screens are all in French and I didn't see a language selection button. That may seem obvious, and my rusty french got me by. But it's worth being aware of.

All that said, I'm struggling to find reliable information about RFID cards / Apps and Germany. Looking online it seems to be more of a lawless jungle than the UK with several operators on the autobahns. I'd still welcome someone who has been zipping along German motorways and has some experience and advice.
 

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All that said, I'm struggling to find reliable information about RFID cards / Apps and Germany. Looking online it seems to be more of a lawless jungle than the UK with several operators on the autobahns. I'd still welcome someone who has been zipping along German motorways and has some experience and advice.
It might be worth speaking to Craig Tonge and Jan Bart-Spang on the Renault Zoe Owners Club Facebook group. They did a charity road trip to Austria in the Zoe, passing through Germany on the way.
 

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I live in South Germany. Do you still need help with the mess of a charging situation here ?

I have New Motion, Plugsurfing, and SWM for my German and (hopefully) most EU countries, and is addition I have Ella for Austria, and Chargemap for France. I am planing a trip to Norway next summer so I have got Charge & Drive and Grønn Kontakt for that trip.

A lot of the motorway service centres have Tank&Rast. A lot, but not all, are free. They have an interactive map at https://tank.rast.de/fileadmin/documents/Karte_E-Mob_T_R.pdf unfortunately only in German, which shows you the details of each charge point. If the map has an asterisk then its a pay station. If its Grey, then its not yet in service.

Often Aldi or Lidl as well as IKEA have free charging.

I am based in the Munich area, so my knowledge is mostly from around here, but if you have any questions about the charging here, feel free to ask me.

What I am trying to find out is if its worth while to get a Type 3C cable for use in France and Italy. Theoretically no, but it appears there are still a lot around, and I will be having a need to goto Le Mans area quite often, and on route there are quiet a few places without CCS.
 

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Hiya, had a great trawl through this thread - thank y'all. I got my Leaf 3 weeks ago, have discovered not impossible to do longer journeys in the UK ( with lots of homework), my challenge now is to reach my gite on the SW coast of France. ( I'm sort of retired so can manage to be a bit zen about this, with a sleeping bag in the back!) ?
Things have moved on I gather from the start of this thread. Some I've learnt already, some are helpfully new info (thanks!) and summarise here:
* Type 3 connectors are being phased out so best just to avoid rather than investing in cables for these
* i've lashed out on a Shucko (spelling?) cable, this is indeed useful to charge at destination and back-up on the way.
* campsites and M. Leclerc stores will be ports useful in emergencies
* I have sent for a KiWhi card, this was good decision and I may just get it sent to England as requested, it will link to most chargers.
* Nissan Carwings isn'nt going to be much use in France, I'll need to have my ipad up and running to check possibilities via charge-map.com
* my route from Dieppe to down near Les Sables D'Olonne is possible, although the last bit is controlled by SyDev so need their card.
* not useful to me but may be for others: all the area north of Paris into Belgium and onward is apparently opened up by a UK Charge Your Card ( CYC) deal with euro access cards. Apply to them for details, I gather there's lots of rapid charging available.

Please correct me, or any added info gratefully received x
 

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Hi Fran - I've just joined this forum and as your post is several years old now I'm guessing you must have got travelling to France with your EV sussed by now! My husband and I are just in the process of buying a mobile home in Frejus and have flown down and hired a car this time but are hoping to travel down with our Nissan Leaf in future. Try as I might, I'm having difficulty finding out where we can charge up if we are brave enough to try and drive down from Dieppe - can you give us any pointers please? All suggestions gratefully received.
 

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Thought I’d just update this as I’m just back from a quick trip to Northern France, taking the i3 for the first time.
The general rapids at Folkestone Eurotunnel are working (and free), as are the Tesla chargers.
Some models of Corri-Door rapids at French services have been taken out of service “for safety reasons”, annoyingly including the one at the Aire des 2 Caps on the A16. The older DBT chargers still seem to be working fine. The Chargemap app has correct information.
I also used the Ionity charger at the Baie de Somme services on the A16 which is always a pleasant place to stop. Expensive but quick and four chargers right opposite the Tesla bays.
I have a Chargemap Pass which may not be the cheapest but worked perfectly on both Ionity and Corri-Door.
On my way back now and pleased to find the Ecotricity at Folkestone services is still on free vend...
(Of more local relevance - I’ve also worked out how to use the Type 2 chargers at E. Leclerc in Montreuil, happy to explain more if needed!)
 

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...out of service “for safety reasons”, annoyingly including the one at the Aire des 2 Caps Ionity and Corri-Door...
I’ve also worked out how to use the Type 2 chargers at E. Leclerc in Montreuil, happy to explain more if needed!
AFAIK, Aire des deux Caps hasn’t worked for years. :-(

I’d love to get the low-down on the Montreuil Leclerc please! Thanks in advance.
 

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AFAIK, Aire des deux Caps hasn’t worked for years. :-(

I’d love to get the low-down on the Montreuil Leclerc please! Thanks in advance.
You have to go to the Accueil desk and exchange some ID (they accepted a UK driving licence) for an RFID card which, when waved in the right place, releases the flap on one of the Type 2 sockets. It’s a minor pain because you then have to go through the same faff when you’ve finished charging/shopping, but the electricity is free and the spaces are far enough from the shop never to be iced. I’ve also always found the staff in there very helpful (I am quite a regular!)
 

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I also used the Ionity charger at the Baie de Somme services on the A16 which is always a pleasant place to stop. Expensive but quick and four chargers right opposite the Tesla bays.
As a matter of interest, how much does Ionity charge you if you buy using a Chargemap pass?
 

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As a matter of interest, how much does Ionity charge you if you buy using a Chargemap pass?
Euro 0.87 per minute apparently. It certainly felt expensive but I've never used an Ionity charger before.

(The Corri-Door charger at Aire d'Hardivilliers is 0.25 per minute with a 1.45 starting charge also using a Chargemap pass.)
 

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Euro 0.87 per minute apparently. It certainly felt expensive but I've never used an Ionity charger before.

(The Corri-Door charger at Aire d'Hardivilliers is 0.25 per minute with a 1.45 starting charge also using a Chargemap pass.)
Ouch! That's even pricier than if you just pay them directly (€0.79/min). Presumably the difference is Chargemap's take. Oh well - I was hoping it would be cheaper, but it looks like it's just Maingau that offers that benefit outside company schemes. Please somebody shout if there's any other way of getting juice cheaper from Ionity. But thanks for that.
 

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No prob. I went for Chargemap because it seemed a very convenient way of having a card that would work nearly everywhere in France (plus the app is good).
 
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