What a climb! Grenoble was at 250m and we climbed to 650m on the highway before turning off for the big climb. 16kms and 22 hairpins later and we were at 2065m in the ski resort.
We had 140kms (35%) of rated range at the bottom and 37kms (15%) at the top.
In addition, other cars were with chains or were sliding but we drive up with our 21″ summer tyres with no problem (except a small 4 wheel drift on one corner :).
And now it is in the garage and charging thanks to smittenbysnow.com.
Glad to have made it. So, you CAN cross Europe and go skiing in your electric car everyone!
This morning we drove down from the Pyrenees to Montpellier with 100 Km of range left. However it took us 30 minutes to find the recharge point in IKEA (it was round the back in the loading area behind closed security barriers) and then…. our worst nightmare … It didn’t work!. It would try to charge but would fail after a much of ominous clicks and bangs.
It took another 45 minutes to find the maintenance engineer but in the end we explained how important it was to recharge the car (there were no other fast charge points within 50 Km) so he helped us find a red 32A 5 pin socket hidden behind there cardboard compactor.
I plugged in our portable wallbox and wished for luck… And we got it!
It was awesome to see the car charging at 102 Km per hour as we were very near to being stranded. Very many thanks to IKEA staff for being so helpful.
So now we are running about an hour and a half behind schedule, but at least we know we will arrive.
We are right up beside Andorra in La Seu d’Urgell Parador where an excellent 22kW charge point has been prepared in the hotel underground car park.
The second leg of today’s trip was 287kms with some good climbs near the end. We left Zaragoza at 18.00 with 444kms of rated range and arrived here at 21.00 with about 10% charge remaining (I increased speed in the last hour with the intention of arriving with about 10% left).
So that’s 624.7kms today with no trouble at all. It is important to plan these trips and to control driving style in order to not use more power than necessary. So far we have used 123kWhs which is about 14€ of power.
When we arrived we jumped into the pool and sauna hence the delay in writing this entry.
Here are some pictures of the Parador…
The entrance to the hotel:
And the inner patio / atrium lounge:
The car is nearly fully charged so tomorrow we are up early and off down the North side of the Pyrenees to Montpellier where I hope IKEA will greet us with one of their excellent Nissan/Hagger 22kW charge points. Let’s see what happens… 🙂
We did 337kms in 3hrs 40mins including a 10 minute coffee break (so average speed was 96km/h).
We used 58,9kWh of energy so that translates to about €8 of power at night time rates or €10 normal rate.
There is about 27% of the battery left although the pessimistic range estimator in the Model S says that is just 96kms in ideal circumstances. Should be more like 120kms.
Now we have 3 hours to walk eat and shop (there’s a shopping mall adjoining the hotel which is great). Nice to have rest with the family frankly.
The boots are packed…
And the battery full …
It’s 10.20 and we’re off.
Snow chains for 21″ wheels over here are not that easy to find. THese are actually supposed to be for 4×4 vehicles, but they seem to fit as well as any chain and don’t foul any of the brake or suspension parts.
Should these give any trouble we’ve also got snow socks:
The trip is going to be through the Pyrenees mountains as this is slightly shorter than going round by the coast. It will take us past Andorra and up along the Mediterranean coast before going up to Valence, Grenoble and then our final destination, La Plagne.
The charge points are:
- Zaragoza lunch – the Hotel Reina Petronila (already visited there),
- Seu d’Urgell overnight – the Parador – the have confirmed that the 22kW power outlet has been prepared
- Montpelier lunch and shopping – IKEA – My friend James Morlaix has spoken to them but until we get there we will not know if it works or not
- Grenoble overnight – Friend’s house with regular Schuko outlet
- La Plagne – Smitten By Snow (www.smittenbysnow.com) have organised charging in the undergound car park.
Total trip is 1347kms, with some interesting mountain passes on the way and a good climb to wrap things up:
I am packing a portable wallbox and Mennekes cable, the UMC with red 16A adapter and Schuko adapter too, plus a few extra plugs and sockets just in case. Its always good to carry a multimeter, head torch, knife, scissors, screwdrivers and pliers in order to be able to adapt to any strange power outlets.
Hope to be off before 10am tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted on progress…
Last weekend we went back to Valencia, all 5 of us plus the dog. That’s becoming a simple drive now… 2 hours at normal highway speeds, then a rest stop at the Alarcon Parador, and then another 2 hours to our final destination.
So, on Friday we will do something a little more challenging… We will all pile into the Model S and do our anual drive from Madrid to The Alps, a week’s snowboarding, and then the return trip.
That will be 1400kms each way with a 1800m climb in the final 15kms. We will do two overnight stops with a total of 4 recharge stops on the way: Zaragoza, Seu d’Urgell, Montpellier and Grenoble.
I’ve got snow chains (not easy for 21″ wheels) plus snow socks if we are in a rush, and the car park at the resort seems to have a power outlet where we can leave the car charging during our week’s vacation.
To be honest, it is not quite the same as our normal drive… instead of arriving Saturday evening we are going to arrive Sunday morning. This is a shame, but if we can do the entire trip in an electric car, all 5 of us plus our gear, well I think it will have been worthwhile.
I’ll post details of the trip tomorrow, and we’ll blog as we go along so you can follow our progress.
Hemos podido leer hoy en El Pais otro articulo sobre el problema grave de contaminación. Se suma a los múltiples artículos que han sido publicados recientemente sobre el tema. Y en Madrid estamos igual de mal que en Barcelona amigos.
Es por eso que tenemos que cambiar a vehículos eléctricos. No el año de viene, y no solo cuando este igual de cómodo/rápido recargar que repostar.
Desde el articulo:
“Las Administraciones catalanas son incapaces de reducir los niveles de contaminación”
“que solo utilicen el vehículo privado si no tienen alternativa”
“las personas con problemas respiratorios no salgan de casa”
“principal problema de la capital catalana: el tráfico”
“hay demasiados coches en la ciudad y además son antiguos”
Comenta también que el protocolo para combatir la contaminación “pide a las compañías eléctricas y cementeras que reduzcan sus emisiones”. Es cierto, la luz generada de energía fósil también produce CO2, pero en España donde 30% de la luz viene de renovables, cada km eléctrico produce la mitad de CO2, y cada vez que aumentan los renovables reducen la CO2 por km.
Tenemos que cambiar hoy y juntos forzar un cambio, que es imposible conseguir si lo dejamos en manos de los políticos y las industrias actuales.
Es la población quien sufre las consecuencias de la contaminación y es la población quien tiene que forzar el cambio exigiendo vehículos eléctricos e infraestructura para facilitar su uso.
It was fun to read recently in Car Dealer Magazine and several other publications about a study that looked into the public perception of EVs.
The key quote for me is “…motorists are being asked to make huge compromises on aesthetics…”
Tesla (and to a degree Renault, Nissan and Chevrolet) make good “normal” looking cars that happen to be electric but the rest of the industry seem to forget to invite their best designers to join in when the EV prototypes are being drawn up.
An obvious example is the BMW i3. Sure, it is not the worst looking car on the road by a long shot, but neither does it fit people’s expectations the way most other BMWs do. I used to own a 2009 X5 and found its lines spectacular. BMW are great designers and engineers, but the i3 (and even the i8) are not their best attempts.
At the same time as they were designing the i3 they were also designing the X4. Is there any real reason the i3 couldn’t look more like the X4 and the rest of the family? Perhaps that was what was intended. To expel it from the group.
Lets compare these two BMW twins born in 2013…the i3 and the X4:
Its not a question of which one is nicer but that the i3 just looks totally different from any other BMW. Maybe more buyers would prefer the more traditional X4 look (or maybe everyone is actually tired of the BMW style and its the X4 designers that have made the mistake), but it is just a shame that choosing an EV drive train means choosing an aesthetic that is different and that may not appeal.
Diesels don’t look different from petrol engined cars, right?
And don’t get me started on the crazy rear suicide doors…. 🙂
This was a day trip for us – about 250kms each way going past the Gredos mountains and into the ancient and impressive city of Plasencia – but it could easily have been part of a larger trip as Plasencia is about half way towards Lisbon from Madrid.
The Parador is a historical monument to really take your time and appreciate. Above is a photo of the entrance, where you can park if you want, but as we wanted to recharge the Model S we were taken to the underground garage entrance which is built into the ancient city walls, and involves taking a car elevator!
It is every bit as tight as it looks in the photo – both mirrors folded in and red “stop” sensor warnings both front and rear! However, I can honestly say that the Model S fit both entering and exiting the garage, and the charge point the Parador team had prepared was our favourite 22kW outlet:
The contrast between this most modern of 21st century creations and the ruins of the original buildings form close to 1000 years ago visible through the garage window is worth contemplating.
As usual in Drive & Dream trips, a long lunch and walk around the town meant that the car was fully charged when we set off home. Both on the way down and on the way back we could sit at the legal speed limit all the way with no problems, and we got to enjoy a landmark location with great food too.
On a technical note, Plasencia is about 300m lower than Madrid and on the way we used about 210Wh/km whilst on the way back we used about 250Wh/km. The average for sitting at 120km/h is therefore around 230Wh/km for this P85+ with 21″ wheels.