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@andyswarbs : Same here, really interested in your experiences! Great sharing!

We kept an ICE for long distance travel. As in places like France you can run out of charge before getting even in range of a charger. The result is a bit frustrating. The ICE is a lot costlier to own and maintain than the EV. We do 95+% of our rides with the EV. The ICE collects dust on the driveway. I studied the possibility of renting an ICE when needed. But that is not cheaper and the availability is of course not there when you want one... but one thing seems pretty clear at this time: when the old ICE is dead, we won't replace it with an ICE. The ICE being a Merc, it may last for a while though...
 

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I drove a Renault Zoe on Madeira last winter. It takes Mennekes Type 2 and 22kW AC charging. Wonderful experience.

The Chademos are fading away in Europe. Not sure what brands take Chademo in Europe. Nissan for sure. Currently Chademo is the only one doing V2G. CCS has no V2G yet. And while it sounds like a good idea, I doubt it makes a lot of sense with the current batteries as they would degrade a lot faster and car manufacturers may dissist the battery warranty. Efficiency and grid balancing is currently best served with charging during suntime at the work location. Let us do that first. Conclusion: Chademo has no strong selling point, all EV manufacturers are going to CCS, even Tesla.
 

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I've looked a bit further on Chademo. France is withdrawing the mandatory requirement for new chargers to have Chademo. Nissan's new cars, like the Ariya, for sales in EU are CCS! So it seems owners of Chademo ported EVs will soon have to buy an adapter... Not so in the US, where the new 2023 Leaf still has Chademo. That is probably a reflection of US being more "liberal" and not pushing for standardization as much as EU is doing ...
 

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More liberal or more reactionary? Not sure myself.

What matters to me is speeding up the transition away from fossil - and simplifying the marketplace seems to help, imo.
I agree, I was being nice :).

I believe Europe is doing great in the standardization department. And our US friends are clearly jealous of it. Those without guns that have no say that is :devilish:.

I find the charging discussion to be a very complex one and I don't see a clear way. I believe the companies investing heavily in roadside fast chargers are taking a big risk here. Without those horrifically expensive cabled high speed chargers today, decarbonization of road transport stands little chance. But even with those, long haul makes no financial sense yet. The investment needs to be recovered and the price of a kWh at a fast charger is ludicrous at 0.8 €/kWh or higher. I have a Peugeot e-208 and a Mercedes c300h diesel-hybrid. Even with today's diesel prices, long haul with the Merc is half the cost compared to charging the little Peugeot at those fast chargers. If you find one and if it works and if it is available. So that does not seem to be the answer to me.

But we still need (standardized) plugs, unless we go wireless. And I believe wireless may very well prevail. In the mean time, a standard plug certainly helps.

To date, slow charging is the name of the game for sooo many reasons and Andy is proving it here:
  • It is convenient. 99+% of a regular car's life is standing still... you can do it at home.
  • A lot cheaper and until today even sometimes free, but free won't last. Free is the treat for the early adopters.
  • Not so hard on the car's battery with today's cathode chemistry
It works for by far most trips one makes with a car. The long haul "let's do 1000 km in one day" is still a challenge. The DC fast chargers may not be the ultimate answer. It is the one that is being invested in heavily now. And I fear a wreck may come out of it.

Wireless seems to hold quite some good possibilities. It makes it possible to pick up charge while on the move.

One needs to think differently with an EV. Trying to mimic today's ICE model makes no sense. Plug in an EV whenever you can and there will be no range anxiety. If you can drive on a stretch of highway that "wirelessly" charges your car or - more importantly - your truck, suddenly things look a lot better for EVs. It may very well be that the plug will be something of the past in twenty years or so.

But then again, who knows what developments we will see... interesting times!
 

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I know what you mean about the capital investment required for HPCs but I'd respectfully have to disagree with your statement that long haul makes no financial sense. I've been doing long journeys in diesel/hybrid/plug in hybrid and BEV for 15+ years and the most recent journey I did (in a BEV) was the cheapest one of the lot in terms of energy costs.

Buying, maintaining, insuring two cars is surely more expensive than a single long range BEV, and 99% of the year I am running very short distances and then the savings are huge. This is without even considering the environmental benefits.
I fully agree with you and I must not have been clear enough, so apologies for that. Indeed, for a private car owner doing private type trips, owning just one car, a BEV, and taking the eventual hit on the fast charger will be a lot less costly than having two cars, one of them being an ICE.

The Merc is expensive to keep and we watch it collect dust on the driveway. The reason for us having kept the Merc is not so much the cost of fast charging as the availability of such chargers. In France today I cannot cover the distance between two fast chargers with the e-208 in some regions. And the e-208 does not have the space for suitcases, the dog and the dog stuff to take on a vacation. So that was a luxury choice we made. A small and nimble city dweller and a larger long haul cruiser is what we want. It does not have much to do with what I was trying to say.

Imagine you are a long haul professional. You do 1000 km a day in a vehicle like a taxi, a van, a bus or a truck. Then you are the designated user for which an investor will want to install a fast charger. Don't spend money on a fast charger for me, I hardly use them. I charge at home using my solar for almost everything. The fast chargers are for those who need them. And... they will find diesel is still cheaper today.

Just looking at the energy cost:
The Merc needs 6 litres per 100 km. That is 12€ per 100 km.
The Peugeot needs 20 kWh per 100 km on the highway (yes!) and 20 times 0.8€ is... 16€. Most SUV like EVs need 25 kWh per 100 km. Also the Ioniq 5. Yes, a Tesla uses less making this a tie.

The point I was making here is: "Are those investing in fast chargers ever going to make money?". It is not clear to me they ever will. And that is why I find Andy's report here so interesting. It seems Andy has not been using a lot of fast DC chargers (faster than 50 kW) on his journey yet. Andy is mostly using AC chargers.
 

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Agree on all of your points.

I did strongly consider selling the e-208 and use the money for the Merc to buy e.g. an Ioniq 5 or an EQC. We live in Ghent. You won't believe how much more parking options I have with the e-208 compared to the Merc... We just love the e-208. There you have it :) reason goes out of the window here.

And for long haul, the Merc is hard to beat on comfort. I've had an Audi A8 and a BMW 5GT before. The A8 was much better than the more recent BMW in terms of comfort. The Merc C class is like a small S... it is even better than the A8 overall - it is also 17 years more modern... . Climate control on the A8 has never been beaten though, it was fabulous. So you see... luxury animals don't always make the reasonable choice.

Of course you are right with taxis and delivery vans in cities. A lot of taxis in Ghent are EVs. And they do use the DC chargers.

And in France... the e-208 will only cover 150 km @ 130 km/h before it needs recharging ... that is the brutal truth... an Ioniq 5 stands a much better chance of covering the distance between DC chargers there... but that situation will hopefully improve over time. At which point I'm getting rid of the ICE and buy an EQC with wireless charging :cool:.
 

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As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It's not the Destination, it's the journey". :)
I hear echoes of "are we there yet?" from when my kids were young.
Haha, yes of course! You don't need kids for that, many grown-ups in my family have a destination they want to reach ASAP. They have a destination in mind, a limited time off, more than one who can drive and the wish to maximize their stay at the destination. They will do 1500 km in one day. Many are like that and it is good for the DC charger business. "Please stand in line, there are four before you waiting to top up their batteries..." they won't put up with it...

I like to keep a day's driving limited to 600 km. Meaning that reaching a destination some 1000 km away may take two or even three days. I hate driving. My mind cannot do anything interesting while driving, you need to stay focused on it. Having to top up every 150 km is a tad too much for long distance, it keeps me in the driving mode 2 hours more if I'm lucky and find a working and free DC charger every time. I would have to cut the drive in more pieces and cover 450 km per day... Once at destination though, everything would be fine, the drives are limited. Just a bit too soon... that is not what the e-208 is made for... I believe 400 km range @ 130 km/h is where the tipping point may be for some. The EQE can do that today. So it is coming.

@BeliEVer, the Ioniq 5 is not there yet with 300km, how do you experience that?

With EVs and wireless charging on the move, there is no longer any reason to stick with ICE. My ultimate wet dream: a fantastic relaxing cabin like the Ioniq 5 has, full self driving and wireless charging on the move. Would that not be great? It feels within our grasp to me, another 10 years or so...

In the mean time, we need to learn from Andy as BeliEVer said.... re-arrange the way we vacation and make the journey interesting with limited distance covered and interesting places to spend a few hours in. For that to be practical the EV would have to be able to take 22 kW AC. "Interesting Places" often do not have DC chargers, but the do have 22 kW AC chargers. The e-208 only takes 11 kW AC. The Zoë we had on Madeira had a 22 kW AC charger and that worked really well for me. If you buy an EV, go for the 22 kW AC option if it has one !
 

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It certainly helps being on your own, no debates on what to do, no grumpy passengers. Your e-208 has a greater range than my MG, aren't your figures slightly pessimistic if you can start the day with nigh on 100% charge, but I still intend to go to the Aosta valley in it. It's a trip I know well and in the past sometimes done in a day, with the occasional stop to turn off the engine of my ageing Fiesta/Fabia/i20 for some blessed relief from the noise and concentration, and a snooze. When I have stopped overnight it's been around your 600km mark, and with the MG current thinking is around 500km and stopping at Beaune. I imagine with the more comfortable drive and enforced stops one would be fresher even if the day in "driving mode" is longer.

Another stop, a la Andy, would change the character of the trip, but none the worse for that, but it's Italy I love and where my friends are, so hopefully just the one night stop. In all my trips I've never pre-booked a hotel until well into the day's journey and the only time time constraints have come into play was making the ferry. Perhaps one day I'll blog the trip as I've found Andy's interesting and informative: without any tales of charging mishaps, I would hope!
Not sure what you mean with "being on your own"? I always have my love with me and frequently also our Border Collie who certainly does not want to do more than 600 km :D. He is the one getting grumpy if we do more.

My e-208 range figures are on the money, I've got a full year's experience with it by now. The range can be increased by quite a bit if you drive slower than the 130 km/h allowed on the highway in France. Here is my experience numbers for distances over 50 km done at once:
Consumption [kWh/100km]Speed [km/h]Range [km] (bat 100%)
5%left in battery
Range [km] (bat 87%)Range [km] (bat 70%)
8,130526457368
11,650368320257
15,170283246198
18,690230200161
22,1110193168135
23,9120179156125

This needs a bit of explaining:
  • Never empty your battery. I leave 5% in as a minimum.
  • Charging to 100% takes "forever" due to the charging curve dropping off.
    • Fast DC charging from 5% at a 100kW capable fast charger will take 35 min to 80%, more than an hour to 100%.
    • I found around 87% still has OK charge speed, beyond 87% you need to have time... that last bit just slows you down.
    • So I have ranges for 100% battery, 87% (practical fast charge limit), 70% (limit for leaving car on driveway)
  • With shorter stretches the stop and go increases utility consumption (like airco) significantly.
    • every time you stop your car heats up, aircon has to cool it back and 0 km travelled...
So I may charge overnight to 100% before leaving, I'd make 180 km @ 120 km/h and I need to recharge. Drive a bit slower and you can get 190 km far.
Then you need to fast charge. The practical limit is around 85%, giving you 150, maybe 160 km range @ 120 km/h.
In France 130 km/h is allowed, the ranges would be even less....

Another piece of info is my automatic logger using flobz/psa_controller in docker on my NAS, these figures look worse because they are dominated by short trips:
Rectangle Parallel Slope Font Screenshot

This data is recorded by the car and reported to Stellantis servers, even if you do not use the data. flobz/psa_controller gets your car's Stellantis data from the servers.
So these are real world measurements. No bragging here. So I believe my data is solid.

I wish you a great trip to Italy. Just make sure you know where you can charge within a 150 km radius of the point where your battery is full :).
 

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I can get over 5 miles/kWh if I drive carefully, on the highway obviously much lower around 3.5 mi/kWh which would be 5.6 km/kWh

Going from 100% to 20% that would be 0.8 x 72 = 57.6 kWh and 57.6 x 5.6 = 322 km
Great calc! And how does that feel? What do you find doing long haul (600 km or more). Ok? Or just a tad short of what you’d prefer?
 

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I can do 1000km in a day, but I'm not gonna lie it's pretty exhausting!

It's not too bad if stopping every 2-3 hours and if there are 150kW+ chargers that are working and you don't have to queue for. I'm dreading this summer holiday now the pandemic is "over" and we'll be back to the great summer exodus to Southern Europe in July/August!
I’d be interested to read about your experience.
I just watched a video by a Canadian journalist who loves the Ioniq 5 and ordered one after doing a 4000 km test. He proposes to keep the speed at or below 110 km/h. He still managed a 300 km range at temperatures well below zero. That is impressive.
 

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I don't think my trip report would be worth reading - "I charged, drove fast for 250km, charged again...repeat 3 times...eventually I got to my hotel at 9.55PM just before reception closed!"

This is why I enjoyed reading Andy's trip report so much
Ah, well, I am interested because of the nice details: "I charged, drove fast for 250km, found a road stop in France with two slow chargers and 10 cars waiting... what now?" I hope you never are going to have to write this.

I would not mind cruising the EV through Flanders, The Netherlands or Norway... Germany is already a challenge and France can be charger desert in some places... I remember in 2020 a guy with a Zoë almost stranded, implored the hotel for charging his car so he could get to the next charger... he had to take a room and let the granny charger charge his car overnight... OUCH!! On some stretches of highway in France there are two charge points on a full 150 km stretch I was told by a Frenchman... imagine what happens there during summer holidays...
 

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As a navigator we try to find interesting places en-route. The on-board satnav can find places en-route - but you can't do that at the same time as using it to go through (complex) road systems you have never been though before. So either reading books such as the Rough Guide or googlemaps on a phone can yield better choices. I even found a fabulous picnic spot by searching for "picnic" along route one day. Googlemaps insisted it was closed, but I figured how can you close a picnic site, so ignored the problem and it was one of the better lunch stops.
OSM may be a good idea to have a look at too.

When we went to Madeira for the first time in 2013 there were NO maps of the island. NONE. Really... or so we thought. Google only had the Island contours and smartphones would die after 30 minutes of GPS, Michelin had no paper maps, not a single shop had a map, rentals did not have satnavs because there were no maps for them. A rudimentary tourist map was the only thing... until I discovered OSM. Open Street Maps. Done by cartographing enthusiasts, very detailed, very up to date, very informative on places like restaurants, ATMs, hike paths... wonderful! So I bought myself a Garmin walking GPS and the free OSM maps go on it. The GPS holds 2 AA batteries and does not need a powered backlight, it would last 8 hours on a couple of rechargeable AAs, traced where you were at what speed etc... it was a revelation. I brought 4 AAs extra, never lost power even on a long day of hiking (over 10 hours on a day... Madeira is wonderful).

In the mean time things have changed enormously, there is an abundance of map choices now. Smartphones last longer. The App "Topo GPS" is free, you need to pay (a bit) for the OSM map. That is a lot less money than having to pay for a walking GPS thing. Today I'd use the smartphone and bring powerbanks for a long walk.

I did not investigate yet where they are with regard to charge points. They just started with OpenChargeMap. There is an app for the phone, but many chargers are still missing.

I learnt to become much more aware of altitude in planning and execution. The more alititude changes you can do the better when your journey is about scenery rather than distance. Our upcoming French holiday will definitely be more about distance - driving down to Carcassonne and back over two weeks with a week in the middle at one place. Though going down should be largely D-roads leaving the autoroutes the return.
... and I think that is the choice to make in France... looking at charger maps it seems leaving the autoroute is what you need to do for finding a charger... Anyway, I leave the autoroute for a drink and a snack. The restaurants on the autoroute are what the French cynically call "restocroûte", certainly in the seventies the Jacques Borel restaurants were referred to as "Restocroûte Jacques Bordel". And I remember them... with the waiters in black pants and red jackets with bow ties... that is how old I am... those have gone now. And today such places are no longer safe.

Andy, it looks like you are set for a wonderful journey, you made the good choice!
 

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Sounds like quite an investment. Are you sure your rates aren't going to skyrocket to cover the expense?
I'm not sure that would be the case. It can be a perk to employees, at the same time a green image for the employer and a help to grid stability. It is the right thing to do for lowering our adverse impact on the climate. The electricity may partially come from PV/wind installed by the employer at the employer's location, reducing average electricity cost. I charge my EV from my PV at the cost of 15c€ per kWh. That cost is derived from the given that I get this amount for a kWh I'm injecting in the grid.

As I indicated earlier, it is difficult to predict where all this is going. Our governments will ultimately need to find another source of tax money, money they are losing over decarbonization. During the transition they can tax fossil fuels to kingdom come, but that has a very bad social aspect to it at this time. Once we get EVs affordable to the masses, around the 10k€ to 15k€ mark, this may be effective. But once fossil is gone, where do you get your money from? Taxing sunshine? Taxing employers that provide said perk? I hope not.
 

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Below what I meant with France being a charger desert. We are going for a trip to stock up on a bit of Champagne, I saw google maps could find the EV chargers on the way. Look at the huge difference in charger density between Flanders and France. The density seems OK around Lille and Reims, but anything in between... and you need to go off the hiway for most. I'm not sure how good the info is on google though... I do trust the map of Shell Recharge a lot better and it seems to indicate the same desertness.
Map World Atlas Parallel Font


It is possible for me to cover this with the Peugeot e-208 EV. From home to the 3 Brasseurs charging station is 177km. But... there is no CCS DC fast charger there, at best you get a 22 kW AC with Type 2 connector. So we need to take a two hour break there to get to the next one in Reims, before we get to our destination that has free EV charging.

So... we're taking the Mercedes that does the round trip on one fill of Diesel. Whatever is being said, data shows France is not serious about moving to EVs.

This trip is not an "Andy-type trip". We want to go there, visit some Châteaux to pick up some bottles and get back home. Not for EVs yet. If you really want to do this with the e-208, you'd need to make some interesting and valuable detours, add 4 days to the trip to stop at nice places where you can charge overnight. Cover 150 km per day or so. If I had an Ioniq 5 instead, it would look a lot more doable.

In my specific situation, I see it as such: having the e-208, doing almost all of our trips with it, we are significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Doing our occasional long haul with a diesel is not hurting that fact much. The smaller e-208 at lower speed is also quite efficient, much better for the city environment than a 2.5 t SUV EV. in terms of emissions (fine dust from tires) when driving cautiously. We can wait for the car market to normalize and develop EV technology further while feeling good about having done our part for the climate. Seems pragmatic to me.
 

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Okay guys, this has annoyed the pants off me but I didn't post about it whilst in Spain thinking I would sanity check when I was back in the land of miles rather than km.
...
And now I come back and I find a new magic speed limit of 64 whatevers appearing on my infotainment display. 64, what's that about? Anyway I know my goal - document, document, document. I guess country roads in Spain caused more problem than say motorway because forever we were changing from 50km/h to 90 to 50 to 30 etc etc. When I say forever, I'm talking often every 100 yards - oops metres.
Don't know if that helps, but some times I noticed (with rentals) there is a separate setting for the car system and the satnav. It seems you found the satnav setting and not the system one? I may be wrong, I don't know Hyundai very well. I rented an i30 like one in the US once. Pretty good car. But I always went for the Nissan Altima if it was available. Because I knew it well and it was wonderfully silent with its CVT. So I never got to know Hyundai well.

Also 64 mph... 103 km/h? that seems really odd ... by the way, France has been changing the speed limit on secondary roads quite often lately. It used to be 100 for the longest time. Then they dropped to 90 and now max is 90 dry and 80 if it rains.
 

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GoogleMaps is not the best source of info, imo - yet. We all know that some suppliers focus on certain areas. Here's a similar route using chargemaps. All of these are 43kw or above. Looks like a nice even distribution with about 3 or 4 showing as out of action.
Thanks, Andy, you confirmed Flanders is great, what about the stretch in France though?
Ecoregion World Map Product Nature
 

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And so we have planned the early part of our French trip. The first leg is 266 miles from Caen to La Rochelle and we have identified three charging points en-route that are about half way a) 35470 Bain-de-Bretagne, b) 44170 Nozay, c) 44810 Héric. When we checked two were being used last night - so we know they're good. So we'll head for the first, if that is busy or fails we'll head for the second etc. There are others but these will hit that 20-80% sweet spot. And then when we arrive in La Rochelle we'll recharge to 100%, spend a day on the ile-de-ré before heading to our week-long stay in the lot et garonne.

The second leg to L-et-G is only 165 miles, via the unmissable Saintes. In this very remote / rural area there is a 50kw charger just 8 miles away and anyway I am hoping to granny-charge on site.
Ow waw!! That is going to be interesting!!

We love those places too. Ile d'Oléron nearby is fantastic if you like Oysters, my wife really liked it there. But a bit busy and mondaine these days.

Lot et Garonne we went to in 2019 and 2020. A bit off the threaded paths and really wonderful.
 

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Is what chargemaps comes back with. Less dense, true - but we only need one working & available charger in a range of less than 100km. So if I was travelling down this route I might not need any along the entire stretch. Normally I plan to find a charger at say 40% if there are lots of chargers, 50% with less chargers.
Indeed. My fear with low density is the queue...
 
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