The route and the charging points were all planned out in advance, but with some flexibility. We don’t have to stop. And if we hit problems we have addresses for some alternative charge points. Don’t get me wrong, the scale and sophistication of our planning is one printed out sheet of A4, with a page of pencil scribble in a notebook as back-up. We’re also keeping an eye on our progress against the clock. If we slow down or stop too much we may not arrive until 0100 or 0200 the next day.
Having ummed and aahed about whether to take the stop at the service station at Sommesous, we find ourselves sat in a Bank Holiday packed car park. Our first time using the Sodetrel RFID card (costing us €3 a month plus a little extra for the charge itself). It’s a bit like Ecotricity in the UK with a network of fast charging stations, and lots on the main motorways. We applied online for membership and the card arrived in about a week to ten days.
The service station is a bit of a traffic jam and we drove right past the charge point. But having made only one questionably legal turn in the car park, we parked up and plugged in. Everything seems to be working like clockwork.
We now have on board a new passenger in the form of a spare plastic container for petrol (just in case we’re being a little over ambitious). We know we don’t really need it. But this is the first trip we’ve done line this in an electric car, and so we’re erring on the side of caution.
Thoughts so far? A tad slower than a diesel/petrol journey. We’re stopping more often and for longer. If anything, it feels a little dull. We would probably have been miserable as sin if we had encountered any real problems. But so far it doesn’t rate many stars as an adventure, in a way, more danger/intrigue would maybe have been welcome.
On the upside, we haven’t reached one charging point (so far) occupied by either a petrol car or another EV vehicle already charging.