“Fueling” the Battery During Road Trip

We have had no problems thus far traveling around Switzerland with our 255 miles of range (when charged to 95%).   The lowest our battery got was 79 miles.  We traveled without range anxiety due to a combination of superchargers and overnight destination chargers.  We also used free public chargers twice while parked during day activities (since it was free anyway).  We didn’t pay for any of the electrons.

The superchargers are conveniently located every 50-72 miles.  Even a 60 KWh battery Tesla would have no problem road tripping here.  Superchargers charge a Tesla at over 200 miles per hour.  Sixty minutes is the most a car would need to spend there.  40 minutes is usually sufficient since the battery isn’t typically at empty upon arrival and a full charge is not usually needed to reach your next charging destination.  We ate a meal while at the superchargers.  There are between 6 and 8 stalls at each of the superchargers we visited.  They all had food and restrooms accessible.  Information about existing and future superchargers is available at the website:   supercharge.info.

On this trip we found that superchargers can be a way of meeting the “natives” while exploring Switzerland.  Today we travelled from Montreux to a supercharger just outside Geneva (across the French border) and met a Swiss family plugging in their car.  We said “Hi” and chatted about the joys of driving a Tesla.  The driver, Olivier was with his 2 children, Coralie, and Frederick.  They invited us to have lunch with them at the adjacent Best Western Hotel.  Delicious food – really!  They were on a family holiday.  They gave us advice for how to best experience Geneva that afternoon, including where to park and what to see.  We enjoyed nice conversations as 2 of them spoke English well.

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Swiss family:  Olivier, Coralie, and Frederick at supercharger near Geneva

You could successfully travel around Switzerland by just using superchargers, but it is even easier if you can top up the battery wherever you are staying the night.  Two of the hotels we chose because they advertised electric vehicle charging.  The first had 3 Tesla High Power Wall Connectors (HPWC).  That was PanoramaHotel in Brunig Pass, pictured below.

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3 Tesla connectors charge at 60 miles per hour each.

This B&B had an amazing view of the mountain valley with several waterfalls from the rooms and terrace.

We gained 60 miles per hour of charge on the 32 amps and 230V HPWC.  This is faster than in the U.S. due to Europe’s 3 phase electricity.  It has 22 KW of power.  At that charging rate you don’t even need to stay the night (about $130) rate.  Charging is free for its restaurant customers.  1-2 hours at lunch or dinner would usually be sufficient juice for the next leg of your trip.  They have two items (fajitas) on the menu labeled as “Tesla Hits.”  The second hotel, Fairmont Montreux Palace, has two valet parking spaces that share a wall outlet containing both a standard Swiss home outlet and one that is similar to a the NEMA 14-50 we see in the U.S.

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Two common European plugs

The more powerful one provided us with 28 miles per hour charge while the standard one got us just 4 miles per hour.

We parked in pay lots twice that had EV charging.  The first was in the Tasch train station where every one parks to take public transport to see the Matterhorn near Zermatt.  That one required us to bring our own public charging cable (blue) – which was provided with the rental car.

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This public charger added 30 miles per hour in Tasch

The second was in Geneva at a randomly picked parking garage while we spent the day there.  It was just the standard residential outlet providing 4 miles per hour and required that we have our Tesla cable with us.

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Geneva

Both of these parking lots had 6 parking spaces reserved for EVs and neither one charged us for the electrons.

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If you are looking for a place to plug in, we us the very handy phone app, PlugShare, which shows you the nearest charging sites. Tesla superchargers and destination chargers are easily searched for on the car’s navigation screen or on the Tesla official website.  Other resources are Chargemap.com and Lemnet.org.

Switzerland is very accommodating to EVs.  It makes road trips easy.  “Fueling” can be fun.

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Near Tesla supercharger in Martigny, Switzerland

 

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