Dream Vacation Come True

Two couples spent 6 wonderful days exploring Switzerland in a rented all-electric Tesla Model S.  In total we drove 750 miles (1200 km) in a car that was easily able to handle the steep mountain roads, capturing their potential energy on  the downhills and enjoying the powerful acceleration on the uphills.  Over the course of the 6 days we visited 5 superchargers . . . had zero fueling costs . . . zero tailpipe emissions and we saw mountains, waterfalls, beautiful scenery, met other Tesla enthusiasts, ate chocolate, and enjoyed many adventures.  Luggage for the four of us fit comfortably in the trunk and frunk with room to spare.

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Swiss Tesla Road Trip decal from car

Lessons learned:

Switzerland is a convenient country to explore in a Tesla Model S.  The numerous accessible destination and superchargers make it easy to travel without any range anxiety or compromises.  Most of the nation’s electricity comes from renewable mountain hydroelectric dams.  Switzerland has such a beautiful countryside that it is an ideal country for road trips.

Our Tesla rental didn’t have the panoramic sunroof which would have been nice to allow all 4 passengers a view up through the roof to see the towering mountain scenery. The sunroof option would be nice to look for in future Tesla rentals.

We should have asked the rental company if they would give us the phone app password so as to be able to access all those features such as helping to find where you parked, follow the battery status or prepare the car’s climate prior to entry.  We used valet parking at one hotel, but didn’t have a valet code to discourage joy-riding.  Unfortunately, on the last day the valet backed into something causing bumper damage (not sure how they could do this with sensors screaming STOP and a back up camera, but that is a topic for another blog post).  In any case, the hotel notified us and accepted full responsibility and the rental agency did not make a fuss and did not involve our insurance company which was a relief.

We learned that parking lots commonly have neon signs saying  “frei” but this does not mean “free” as in free beer but free as in “spots available”.  Most public pay parking lots offer EV charging spots and the electrons are free, at least in the ones we came across.

Below are descriptions of the 5 superchargers we made a point of visiting.  Each has 6 charging bays except for the first one (near Bern) which has 8.  Some offer 1 or 2 pull-in chargers as opposed to only the back-in stalls.

Rubigen, CH – Very near Bern (the capital).  For food there is a Denner (a chain grocery store) across the street for take-out and a quaint coffee place.  The lot is not paved but rather made of gravel. The 8 bays were adjacent to a cow field.  Quaint.

Martigny, CH – (30 minutes south of Montreux – on the way to Matterhorn)  Great food at Marche but can be slow during peak times.  Have to pay to use the bathrooms but you get a certificate which can be applied to food at Marche.

Archamps, FR – In a suburb of Geneva.  Excellent food at the Best Western (higher class than in U.S.)!  Not much in the way of other amenities around though.

Egerkingen, CH – (Between Bern and Zurich) at the Movenpick Hotel up the hill from the main highway for views of the valley.  You have to pay to park if you’re there >2 hours.  Food was excellent, but expensive.  They have ice cream.

Dietlikon, CH – in suburb of Zurich (5 miles from downtown) among a cluster of big box stores.  The charging bays are oddly stuck in a gas station in a very tight place. Locals seem to park there while they do their shopping.

In summary:

We had a blast.  We hope our excellent adventure raises awareness of the accessibility of a European dream vacation.  Teslas ARE available to rent.  Electric vehicles DO represent the future.  People in Switzerland seem to understand that.  It was fantastic to meet fellow Tesla enthusiasts in Switzerland.  We hope to keep up with our new acquaintances.

For two of us, our next Tesla Road Trip will be a family one in late November throughout the state Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, with 3 generations of adults in a rented Tesla Model S.  We’ll keep you posted.

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Rainbow road auto pilot easter egg
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