Recent articles about holiday trips with electric cars showed that long distances can be done well abroad, certainly with a Tesla. This brand has its own network of fast chargers in Europe. Rides with other cars require a little more planning. This time AutoWeek sets off with an Audi, among other things to get acquainted with the Ionity network of charging stations.
Also check AutoWeek.nl
Where the previous journeys with the Hyundai Kona Electric and Tesla Model S to Spain and southern France respectively, the final destination this time is Lake Bled in Slovenia. The route of around 1,600 kilometers runs through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and Austria.
See also: With the electric car to Spain, is that a good plan?
Newcomer to the market
The vehicle is the Audi e-tron, a higher-class model that was introduced at the end of last year. In the first seven months of this year, 478 copies were registered in the Netherlands, with which the Audi scores better than the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model S.
The e-tron has a battery pack of 90 kWh in the floor and, according to Audi, comes under ideal conditions 411 kilometers away. On the highway with the air conditioning on, however, the action radius is below 300 kilometers.
The Audi e-tron is an electric newcomer on the road (photo: AutoWeek)
Four hundred new charging stations in 2020
Because this trip is organized by Audi, there are far fewer hooks and eyes than the previous journeys through Europe. This trip was conceived to show that a range of around 300 kilometers is actually more than sufficient.
After all, it doesn't happen that often that you cover enormous distances. We are still left with the ingrained image of a 1,000-kilometer driving range in mind. Compared to that, the 300 to 350 kilometers are skinny.
Fortunately, the Audi can be recharged very quickly, wherever possible up to 155 kW, so that in just fifteen minutes an additional 150 kilometers of driving range is added. This is possible at the Ionity charging stations, among others. This network is being rolled out by Audi together with Porsche, the BMW Group, Daimler and Ford in order to speed up electric driving.
The intention is that by 2020 there will already be four hundred so-called high power charging stations at strategic locations. The posts can load up to a speed of 350 kW, which the cars that are currently available cannot even handle.
354Can you go on holiday with an electric car and caravan?
Electric car pleasant vehicle in the mountains
After leaving Amsterdam, we reach the Ioninty charging station just outside Liège after about 250 kilometers. Because this is a press trip, no posts are occupied. So it won't always be like that in practice. We see a charging speed of 142 kW, which means that we only need 25 minutes to top up the 58 kWh used again.
In the Alps, the electric Audi proves itself as a wonderful travel car, since driving in the mountains is a lot more pleasant with an electric motor than with a combustion engine. Thanks to the high traction force, climbing is a breeze and during descents the braking energy flows back into the battery pack.
Our stop in Bolzano, Italy, shows that the network has not yet been fully rolled out. Audi has installed a mobile fast-charging station there, an extremely large powerbank that has failed. There are two large containers and two charging stations, which together can charge four cars at the same time with 150 kW.
Volkswagen, the parent company of Audi, is actually developing such a powerbank for electric cars. Earlier this year, Volkswagen presented its ideas on the subject: a mobile charging station with a capacity of 360 kWh that can charge up to a maximum of 15 electric cars.
See also: How easy is a ride to the South of France with a Tesla?
Charging sessions still cost-effective
The Lake of Bled is the end point of the journey. As expected, we made it. The prerequisite is a good charging network with ultra-fast chargers. And of course we were lucky that a charging station was always available. The costs were not too bad.
A charging session at Ionity always costs 8 euros, regardless of the number of kWh's that you charge and that makes this provider quite cheap at a charging session from around 30 kWh.
We have a total of seven times charged, but to deliver the Audi full again at the end, we would have to plug in again. In short: almost 1,700 kilometers for 64 euros. With an Audi Q7 TDI we would have burned around 160 liters of diesel.
The Audi e-tron has a load capacity of up to 150 kW (photo: Audi)
Also check AutoWeek.nl