While many drivers have opted for EVs as an everyday means of locomotion, going on holiday with an all-electric vehicle can be a challenge as you are stepping out of your comfort zone. So what should you bear in mind when you go on a longer journey by EV - such as setting off on your holidays or going for a long weekend with your family? In this guide, we are going to present solutions on how to prepare your journey and charge along the way, and give you a few tips on how to enjoy your holiday with your EV to the full 😎
1. Preparing your journey by EV
When you are preparing a journey by electric car, the key point is to plan your charging stops ahead of time taking into account your EV’s range and the charging stations available along the route. It is also useful to select a holiday destination that possesses a charging station or charging point, or to look for hotels and campsites that offer charging facilities.
There are many apps and websites that can help you plan your journey and locate available charging stations. Travel planning tools such as Chargemap help you calculate your route in just a few seconds with the necessary charging stops for your EV so you arrive safely at your destination.
Overview of the Chargemap route planner
2. Charging equipment for your holidays
To travel hassle-free in your EV, think about kitting yourself out with the right charging solutions. This may include charging cables and a mobile charging station with adaptors for different charging connectors.
If you want to top up at public charging stations during your holiday, you should equip yourself with a charging cable compatible with your vehicle and charging stations with a capacity of up to 22 kW AC. Rapid charging stations (DC) which you usually find on motorways, already have a charging cable tethered to the station. For this charging solution, be warned that there may be long queues during peak holiday travel times and at popular holiday destinations!
Mode 3 charging cable for stations made in France, Mister EV
A charging cable for domestic power sockets can also be very useful when you go on holiday by EV. This compact, light cable can be very handy if you are planning on travelling outside urbans areas or if you are camping. While it does not deliver the same power rating as a public charging station or a rapid charging station, it can help you out in situations when access to electricity is limited. For travellers who want to go on holiday in Europe, don’t forget to check out the type of power outlet used in the country you are going to. Domestic sockets change from one country to the next and may be incompatible with your equipment.
A flexible solution for charging at the main charging points all along your journey is the mobile charger for electric vehicles. With its system of interchangeable adaptors, you can charge from domestic power outlets, at private or public charging stations up to 22 kW DC or using a P17 socket.
In all cases, you should find out about the charging solutions available at your holiday location as they are not always indicated on the website of your holiday accommodation. It might also be helpful to find out whether your holiday destination has a domestic power outlet available near the parking area so that you can top up in emergencies with a simple charging cable for electric power sockets.
With all this information on board, you can prepare your charging equipment to set off on your holidays behind the wheel of your EV.
3. Charging during your holidays
Before setting off, make sure you charge your EV to 100% to have full range, or if that is not possible, follow the instructions given by the car manufacturer. When the weather is very hot, think about programming the air conditioning while your EV is still charging a few minutes before setting off in your EV to avoid running the battery down straight away.
For very long distances, it may be a good idea to prepare your journey in stages with a night in a hotel or B&B equipped with a charging station. This means you can have a good night’s rest and charge up your EV before setting off fully charged again in the morning.
Public charging points are usually very busy during the school holidays. To avoid long waits or trying to get to charging points that are hard to access because the parking spaces are occupied by ICE vehicles, you can consider prioritising charging stations set up on secondary networks (towns and cities) instead of those located along the major roads.
To charge your EV in the summer at your holiday destination, it is best to charge at night when the heat is less intense as this is more efficient. Selecting holiday accommodation equipped with a charging station is therefore the best solution to spend pleasant holidays with your EV. You will be able to charge overnight and set off with a full battery the next day. Park your vehicle in a shady place if possible, or opt for a covered or underground carpark to reduce the amount of air-conditioning you need and preserve your battery.
And for winter holidays by EV, you can consult our guide to charging in winter.
4. Keep your charging equipment neatly stored and easily accessible
To avoid unloading everything from your boot on the journey to find your charging cable, think about kitting yourself out with a carrier bag for charging cables and place it in an easily accessible position throughout your journey. The carrier bag will protect your equipment from the rest of your luggage and you will keep your boot clean if you have to charge in the rain thanks to the waterproof covering.
5. Opt for eco-driving to avoid running on empty
You are about to set off on your holidays in your EV. To drive in the best conditions, here are a few good practices you should take on board.
By reducing your consumption during your journeys, you cut down on the number of charging stops. Here are a few simple tips you can easily put into practice:
- Opt for eco-driving, i.e. a reasonable cruising speed without abrupt acceleration.
- Use regenerative braking to recover energy on downhill slopes and when you are stuck in slow traffic.
- Go for secondary routes, which are often less congested and can be an opportunity to charge at less expensive charging points.
Just like for your everyday travels, follow the charging instructions of your car manufacturer which usually boil down to avoiding going below an available range of 20% and charging up to a range of 80%.
By topping up before your EV drops down to 20% of available range, you reduce the charging time and avoid having a flat battery. Charging time at a rapid charging station is estimated at around 30 minutes, which is perfect for a quick break.
If you are going on holiday during a heatwave, travelling by night is far more pleasant in an EV. You can top up in the best conditions when the temperature is at its lowest and you may be able to do without the air-conditioning altogether – which will have a positive impact on your EV range. If you are travelling by day, choose charging points that are in the shade as charging under a glaring sun will probably take far more time or may not even work.
First and foremost, it is essential to plan charging stops in tune with your EV and the charging stations available along your route. You are also advised to select a holiday destination equipped with a charging station or to look for hotels and campsites equipped with charging points – especially if you have gone for a holiday destination that is very popular, where it may be difficult to access the available charging points. You should also choose the appropriate charging equipment, i.e. a charging cable for charging stations, a cable to plug into power outlets and a mobile charging station with adaptors so you can charge from different types of power outlets.
Throughout your holidays, you are advised to charge your EV up to 80% and to programme the air conditioning during the charging session to economise on the battery level. In addition to taking on board eco-driving practices, think about following our advice on charging at night or in the shade when the weather is hot.
You are now ready to drive off on your holidays on board your EV and enjoy the journey to the full.
Please don’t hesitate to tell us all about your holiday adventures on board your EV. ☀️