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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, we have started our summer hols in our Kona 64k. This is three weeks in Northern Spain followed by two weeks in France. There's a week back in the UK inbetween - don't ask!!!

Our strategy for charging is that every B&B/Hotel we have booked has a charging point, and because we're not travelling more than say 150 mile in a day then it should be a stress free holiday. Recharging our car should always be arrive, plugin, enjoy sleep, unplug and go. We don't (we think) need to charge at any public chargers en-route. Though I would like to try some. I'm hoping to do a log of much of the charging experience of Spain as we go, and hopefully France as well.

Right now we're on day 3. Driving from Oxford to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to Bilbao we had a very smooth two-night crossing arriving in Bilbao yesterday first thing. As far as we could see there was only one other EV on the ferry - a Tesla.

So our first stop yesterday was the Guggenheim museum, featuring lots and lots of the very best cars from around the world. One was from around 1900 was - electric! Perhaps I will post a picture of it soon. Right now we are staying north of Bilbao in a rural B&B which has two tesla destination chargers in its car park. The owner kindly ensured we were plugged in and charging up last night. So we added about 40% to get us to full. Today, our last night at our first B&B, we're topping up the 14% we used driving on fabulous coastal roads to get ready for our longest journey tomorrow.

What was disappointing about the Guggenheim is that all it's EV chargers were in use. This was free destination charging and we couldn't use it! So disappointing.

Map World Atlas Parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Given my relationship with Mr & Mrs Karma, I would be arriving at the charming B&B 10mins after you ....

Out of interest did you use the Instas at Portsmouth Cont Ferry port before boarding ?
(Or the Morrisons' GenieP a mile further in to town ? )
We visited friends in Fareham first so charged at tesco hyperspace first - nice 50kw charger, but nothing to do there.

Shame we weren't there at same time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We drove 150km west along the coast today, mostly using the largely free motorway, shy of santander. Our second bnb has allowed us to park in their garage and granny charge at 2kw. Fortunately I bought a toughleads adapter to give best chance of a good solid charge. By 4am we should be fully charged ready for our climb into the Picos De Europa starting at 9 tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
With a full charge to start with, yet another day of travelling west and I am beginning to understand how big Spain is (compared to the UK)! Tire Wheel Plant Vehicle Car


We followed the coast road (as walked by many doing the camino de santiago) rather than the motorway. Just before Oveido we headed inland to a very remote village Tierra Del Agua. It has two type-2 chargers.

Initially neither were working, and I put it down to flaky power supply. But after some head scratching it turned out the power wasn't switched on. Once connected - and switched on at the switch in the bar, 7kw starts to trickle through.

They're not charging for this but it could charge 9 euros. Personally I don't mind paying 9 euros for a nearly full charge!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We're having a relaxing day. Tomorrow could be a full tour of roman bridges and mountain passes. Given the distance of the circuit I will want a top up charge at an imbredola station. Noone wants to run out of battery close to the top!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Did you get the Iberdrola app setup already?
I installed it but gave up trying to register. It wanted Spanish address & passport stuff. It said I could continue without registering. However in the end I didn't need a charge so never even bothered!

Perhaps when I was looking at it when I was far too tired (2am ish), perhaps it's the warmer weather, partly it is the slower driving. We left our base camp (Tierra Del Aqua) with a full charge. The route went north to Cangas to Onis for it's famous roman bridge and then south through Oseja de Sajambre and then back to TDA - 100 miles/177km and about 4 hours of driving.

Leaving the only way out the dashboard kept say "cannot recharge - the battery is full." Seeing this go on for several kilometers is a bit disconcerting, but a full battery is a full, end of. About an hour later on one descent we saw the most amazing thing - recharging rate just climbing and climbing. Normally in the UK my kona hovers around 4 (down to 3.3 in winter and up to 4.5 in summer. When I saw it go up to 16m/kwh I thought this was ridiculous. And then...
Speedometer Vehicle Gauge Personal luxury car Measuring instrument


We drove through two summit passes - one at 900m and another at 1100m. A number of motorbikes - some from the UK. But mostly we saw nothing except the fabulous scenery.

We arrived back with 64% still remaining. Didn't cost us anything, because no-one has charged us to charge our car. Back home friends are trying to work out how to offset their increasing diesel costs and as I speak driving much of the North of Spain with zero electricicty costs seems almost doable. (Yes I know there are a couple of B&B's ahead that charge 12euros a night, big deal!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okay I've installed a height above sea level app, and that helps explain the tour in the picos de Europa. Our accommodation at Tierra del Agua start point was 800m above sea level, so the overall climb to our first pass was only 100m more and the second only 200m more, or so. This circuit thus was never about going from a low base to some high pass, since we were already high. Rather it was more about the super efficiency of EVs in general and the Kona specifically as an ultimate example in such an environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Today we came back down from the mountains and have headed further west on the E8 again-another 150 miles or so to another very remote B&B, like a mile or so up a dirt track. Met by two tesla destination chargers and so tomorrow we'll have yet again a full charge for no cost.

En route we dropped into a jaw dropping seaside port called cudillero that made us think we were in Greece. We took as many photographs there as we have possibly taken on the rest of our holiday put together. A fabulous place for our lunch break.
Cloud Sky Building Plant Natural landscape


Tomorrow we've got a relatively short hop to our westernmost destination, Lugo. That will be a change because we'll be in the old quarters of the city centre. And I believe they will charge 12 euros for our top up. We'll need that because the coming days will be our longest journeys.

One final thought for tonight. At our b&b we've been chatting with a couple of nice Americans from Atlanta. They've spent most of their touring holiday in Portugal and commented on the incessant toll booths they drive through. None of that in Spain, here is just like the UK, get on the high quality autovias and go as far as you want.

On final final thought. Some of our accommodation costs aren't cheap. But to help offset these treats we don't eat out, rather pick up fruit and veg from supermarkets and have a coolbox permanently plugged into the 12v socket. Before we left home I made 9 pots of hummus and today I finished off the last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
We're now in the centre of Lugo, in a posh old hotel inside the roman walls. Only 1 hour charge needed using again a tesla destination charger.

We've had a great journey, morning at a great unesco water mill. If you want to learn everything about grinding wheat this is a great place.
Plant Water Body of water Brickwork Natural landscape


The afternoon was spent at a hill Fort that is like maiden Castle on steroids.

We don't eat out much partly because we're vegan but also I cannot eat tomatoes. So catering for ourselves works well. When we have tried to eat out I'm getting sick of the ubiquitous Spanish love of avocado (guacamole) and bread with everything. Much of the bread looks nice, smells nice but mostly it's not wholemeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Not sure how expensive Portuguese toll roads are but you should try the €16,80 for Aosta to Torino, and add on around another €10 to get up to the Monte Bianco tunnel! If you are going anywhere near the centre of Torino getting the train is the obvious choice.
I adore Turin. Spent so much time there over the years, including working there briefly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Better now than sat at a charger, did you put a credit card on it, they don’t accept all of them?
Very true. Not added one yet. Still finding charging at hotels is stress free. Tonight we're in a cheap hotel but it has the usual pair of tesla destination chargers. This hotel charged 20 euros but it makes life so easy. And anyway 20 € for nearly 40% charge is worth it, imo. (Still laughing at diesel & petrolheads where 40% of a tank at 2 euros per litre is going to be the best part of fifty squid, never mind having to waste time at a garage.)

Today we stayed off the autovias and toured the rute os ancares looking at pre-roman round houses. It's amazing to drive all day and hardly see any other vehicle.

The only time we felt surrounded was at O Cebreiro, an ancient hut village that is just off the autovia and so attracts coach parties. But it is at about 1300m above sea level and has unparalleled vistas both in front and behind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Off topic, I know but here's a couple of asides to travelling abroad. The last major trip we did was pre-covid 2019 & pre-EV. It was 3 weeks by bus & train to Italy and Switzerland. All worked a dream, even getting from above St Moritz to home from 9am to 11pm same day. For that trip we had two bank cards to use abroad - Starling & Monzo. Two cards gave is a better chance in case one had problems, but both were fine.

This time I decided to add two extra ways of paying abroad - a Chase card and have that linked to my phone to pay by phone. That has worked perfectly as well. First time using google autopay was nerve-wracking but it just works.

I wanted to use pay by phone to help harmonise how I was paying for things. Not got there yet. But after we get home I can do that.

The second thing completely bemuses me. No kettles!!!! I have been counting on having a kettle in the hotel rooms to do my own green tea and porridge in the morning. I live by these!!! But everywhere seems to have stopped having kettles.

In europe of course many places have coffee makers. These are a nightmare. I used to drink lots of coffee, espresso, you name it. Not now. I rarely have a coffee. What's a nightmare is gettingone of these coffee makers able to run clean water through so that me delicate green tea isn't over-powered by coffee dregs.

Yes, we may end up in a hardware store and buy a small travel kettle!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Could you clarify something for me please? Tesla chargers. I understood that Tesla chargers used the chademo connector, apart from being only for Tesla cars. Am I wrong? Are they now usable for Konas as well?

Lawrence
Hi Lawrence. Tesla destination (ie not superchargers) chargers are all type2. They come in pairs, usually one marked for tesla and the other markers for "other electric vehicles". I don't think there is anything technically different, but if you are a tesla owner and charge at a tesla destination charger (presumably the one marked tesla) then you get free charging. Non-tesla charging is charged at a rate determined by the site owner, and as far as I know that can be anything from £0 to whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
And so we're in Leon - and charging at our hotel FC Infantas. The hotel has its own parking underneath and has two type-2 charging points (not Tesla this time, and not tethered). Plugged in, went up the lift to check in, told reception I was plugged into the left one and she clicked something on her screen and reported my car was now charging. Yippee - another 45% going in to full.

If I haven't said this before using overnight destination chargers are a great solution for charging because you get to 100%, whereas en-route charging usually stops at 80% - if you don't want to sit in the middle of nowhere for the slow part of the charge to complete.

Today's excursion was to Las Medulas. At around 800m this was a crucial gold mining area for the Romans. No wonder the spaniards went off to South America hunting for gold - the Romans had taken all theirs! As well as mind-blowing history - Romans bringing water from far afield and literally blowing mountains up using same - this is a place of quite extra-ordinary beauty.
Sky Mountain Natural landscape Plant Bedrock

And so mad dogs & my wife and self wandered walks to caves etc in 30 degree heat. The viewpoint at Orellán is essential, imo. We drove to it but you can walk up from the village as well (well signposted but involves a steeper climb so better shoes/walking sticks might be good). From the viewpoint for a few euros you can even walk inside - don't miss the opportunity.

Las Medulas is a tourist trap. Coach parties & grockle. One grockly advantage was actually being able to buy a vegan ice-cream. Oh, and oh, I had a Green Tea with my ice cream that just so hit the mark.

On the drive into Leon I finally added my monzo card to the Iberdrola app. So now I should be ready to charge at an iberdrola station.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Tomorrow is one of our longer drives - from Leon to Segovia, arguably the highlight of our trip. We're missing out Valladolid, although my wife just said it has one of the best sculpture collections?!?!? The main reason for missing it out is because it is a big city, big enough to have a clean air zone policy. When we travel to France we already have our clean air zone pass, but I didn't think it was worth it for just one city as part of our Spanish trip. Also I just don't want to bother popping into a big city even if my car is not contributing to fossil fumes!

Today we were true tourists. The highlight of Leon is its Cathedral. Not for us! It was a dark place (even in brilliant sunshine) and at 6 euros per person was a waste of time. We've just finished our day at Gaudi's Casa Botines building and staggered at how you can build a multistory building without terra-firma beneath you. The whole revisioning the museum has been done extremely well - even including a self-driven 3d virtual tour from above of some Gaudi's main buildings. The art galleries at the top of the building even included some modernist paintings and we ran out of energy to get over the official museum of modern art. Next time.

Back to travelling across Europe with an electric car and a thought occured to me. All the destination chargers have been type-2. No sign of chademo anywhere. So don't try doing what we are doing with say a Nissan or Renault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
BTW, I asked hyundai uk whether and when my 64k battery would be replaced. Whilst not definitive about my car the email said batteries were coming into the UK, target to complete by October, and working round the country in batches by region.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
With a steady 70mph we arrived in Segovia with something over 40%, straight on charge and by now full again. We drove past the largest wind farm I've ever seen. Spain may be backwards in its tobacco dependency and slow take up of EVs, but it's wind farms are brilliant.

Segovia does not disappoint. Arriving late afternoon we had time to walk down to the aqueduct. . It's strange to think the kingpin of the roman empire, ie Rome was brought to its knees by the visigoths who stopped the water supply into Rome (visit to aqueduct park highly recommended) by attacking this magnificent kind of structure, I think in the 3rd century. But that doesn't detract from the brilliant engineering and legacy of such as Segovia aqueduct.

Tomorrow we have a full day of seeing more of the beauty that is Segovia.

In preparation for this whole trip I updated the infotainment system. This latest update seems faster and more responsive. Also it seems to have some usability improvements. Whatever I am pleased to have gone through the process.

Our car has now clocked over 36k. Apart from the 12v fun (we're on our third 12v under warranty) the car has not missed a heartbeat. We replaced the nexen tyres with Michelin Crossclimates at around 32k. They feel more solid.

When we bought the car we bought 40k worth of servicing. I've not regretted that decision. EVs are new technology and even if hyundai get some aspects of customer service wrong they are finally responsible for keeping my car going through all the strange battery updates etc etc and no-one else is capable of doing that. I spent 40k on this car, paying a few quid to ensure it stays being one of the best cars around seems money well spent.
 
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