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Which electric vehicle is best suited to go on holiday?

May 5, 2022

Being “tied down”: here is the #1 concern about electric vehicles, especially when it comes to going on holiday. How can you simplify your life in this scenario? Which electric vehicles are best suited for long trips? How can you best plan for charging at motorway service areas? Here are a few questions you can legitimately ask yourself. Follow the guide! Taking the motorway?

When thinking about the versatility of electric vehicles, the first thing that comes to mind is their range on the motorway, which allows the highest speed and therefore, in general, the shortest travel time... with the highest energy consumption value for an "EV"! The quality of the range planner, which is more and more often integrated into the vehicle's navigation system (GPS), will then be taken into account. Unless you want to play the broken-down car trick! Note that this can also allow you to pre-condition your battery; it will then be able to charge under the best conditions, and therefore generally more quickly(1). Please note that, depending on the operator, billing may be based on the energy sold (€/kWh) or on time spent (€/minute). You could then be well advised to have a vehicle that charges quickly... but we will come back to this. Rates sometimes depend on the brand of your vehicle, which may be a partner of these operators via specific subscriptions.

In general, to avoid bad surprises, you should choose charging hubs with a large number of charging points, so as to maximize your chances of finding one available... and in good operating condition.

You can't stop progress... especially when it comes to electric vehicles.

The latest example is the 800 V battery voltage available on the Audi e-tron GT, Porsche Taycan, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. This is enough to announce charging powers exceeding 200 kW. In this case, charging from 10 to 80% usually takes less than 20 minutes. 2

The range of an electric vehicle might not be the main factor to consider. In fact, only a few top-of-the-range vehicles exceed a 400 km range on the motorway, with batteries of about 100 kWh of useful capacity, and prices around €100,000! Overall, 300 km on the motorway can be considered as an interesting value, even if some people will be satisfied with a 200 km range on the high-speed road, which will come in handy a few times a year to go on holiday!

More than the capacity of the battery, which certainly has a strong influence on the range of the electric vehicle, it seems that it is the charging power that is more important. For example, you should choose a vehicle that can charge at a minimum of 100 kW at its peak - as well as a battery with the ability to maintain a sufficiently high charging power without "collapsing" too quickly! Let's take the example of the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric; although the maximum charge power promise is 130 kW, it quickly drops below 100 kW after 7 minutes, for a charge level of 33%. The charging power is 50 kW at 80% (which is still decent). (4)To optimise your charging time, remember to stick to the charging ranges that allow high power level…

Is slow driving better?

Finally, in order to increase your car's range and potentially prevent you from having to stop to charge it again, reducing your speed to 120 or even 110 km/h will significantly reduce your energy consumption. A vehicle's consumption is roughly proportional to the square of its speed. Don't be surprised to see “Economy” driving modes which limit the vehicle's performance and top speed in order to maximise its range.

In practical terms, is there more room in an electric vehicle?

Generally speaking, yes! In the case of all-electric cars, which have been developed as such, the aim is of course to maximise the number of cells in the batteries, which are placed underneath the floorboard, and there are fewer constraints associated with moving transmission parts. Hence the long wheelbases, sometimes 3-metre long, as on the Hyundai Ioniq 5. You can be sure to have plenty of legroom! In addition, the architecture of these electric cars is generally free of standard mechanical components... which frees up space for an extra boot in the front! This is the case for Korean manufacturers Kia and Hyundai with their EV6 and Ioniq5, Ford with its Mustang Mach-E as well as also for Tesla, which is the leader in terms of overall storage capacity. German manufacturers take less advantage of these assets, except for the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT, which also feature small front boots.

Fun little bonus.

Keeping you entertained during your charging sessions seems to be their mission: for the time being, Tesla is the only manufacturer to offer you a fireplace simulation, or even to play arcade games with the steering wheel and its associated controls.


1 Renault 2 3 Auto-Plus 4

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