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Charging in France

  • 02-06-2018 2:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 10,568 ✭✭✭✭

    Heading to France next month on the family holiday, and thinking of bringing the Ioniq. Has anybody had any experience charging in France? Are there any networks or app that are more reliable than others? Is CCS common, or are they mostly Chademo?

    So far, I have ordered a KiWhi pass and a Sodetrel pass, though I'm not sure if the latter will ship to Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,079 ✭✭✭fricatus

    No experience myself, but I did see a couple of videos by a Dutch guy called Frank Doorhof on YouTube. He and his wife drove an Ioniq from Amsterdam to Bordeaux and back, and at times it seems to have been an ordeal. Worth checking out, if only to learn from his first-time errors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭cros13

    I have both KiWhi and Sodretel. No issues getting them. Most rapids are triple standard.

    The things you have to watch are the older public level 2 chargepoints around France are Type 3 not Type 2.

    A useful thing to get as well is a plugsurfing tag ( ). That will allow you access to many of the other networks in the country. for a map of pretty much all the CCS chargers btw.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    How much driving are you going to do? Just ferry and then to destination within range or will you have to rely on fast chargers? The Frank Doorhof story is pretty scary. Basically a lot of chargers in France don't work and nobody cares. Imagine a gallic shrug.

    I've gone on holidays in the west of France by ferry bringing my own car and flying over to Nantes and renting. The latter usually works out no more expensive and you do not lose 2 days of your holiday because of the slow ferry. That said, I like the ferry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,009 ✭✭✭ei9go

    unkel wrote: »
    How much driving are you going to do? Just ferry and then to destination within range or will you have to rely on fast chargers? The Frank Doorhof story is pretty scary. Basically a lot of chargers in France don't work and nobody cares. Imagine a gallic shrug.

    Bit like Ireland then

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,315 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    It's far worse than here as there are a multitude of companies with their own chargers. And many of them don't work, and there aren't any reasonable apps that show which ones are working. And if you ring the number displayed, nobody speaks any other language than French, which was a bit of a problem for Mr and Mrs Doorhof :p

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,568 ✭✭✭✭Dont be at yourself

    Bumping this with a recap of my experience in case it's of interest.

    Drove about 1,300KM in my Ioniq over 8 or so days in Brittany. Overall, the trip went without a hitch, and I'd have no hesitation in similar trips in the future. A few observations and notes below:

    - The charging network is great -- triple-headed units along most major routes and type-2 chargers in every small town and village -- all well-maintained (none out of order!), well-marked out with reserved parking for electric cars. None were ICEd.

    - I didn't have to queue even once. Presumably the abundance of chargers and nominal charging fee (I spent about €50 in total on charging) deters abuse of the network.

    - In my experience, the fast chargers aren't typically located in service stations, more often located in a lay-by or parking lot off a main road.

    - While some chargers worked with a regular Visa/Mastercard, Chargemap was equally invaluable. You can order the card for €20, it supports all major networks, and the app itself is fantastic -- reliable info & photos, live status of chargers, engaged community, and a great UI. It then bills your card for any charges every month, no need to top-up in advance as with KiWhi card (which was also slightly more of a faff to order).

    - There was one 'black hole' without a CCS charger -- a stretch of 160K from Britanny up to Cherbourg. I was getting 220KM+ per charge, so was thankful of the Ioniq's efficiency (and the good weather). Topped up in Lidl in Cherbourg before boarding the ferry -- they've got 2x 22kW triple-headed chargers on free vend.

    - I sailed with Irish Ferries -- you can prebook an onboard charger, but I believe it's only type-1 so I didn't bother. For Ioniqs, the last CCS is currently in Gorey on the Irish side if coming from Dublin to Rosslare.

    - I did see a few other electric cars on my travels; another Ioniq BEV, and a Renault Zoe. Also had a few locals ask questions or sneakily examine the car as it was charging, so perhaps they're still more of a novelty over there?

    - The Ioniq is surprisingly roomy; 4 adults and a 2 year old in car seat, and still managed a huge haul of wine home!

    Also, tangentially, Chargemap list ESB Networks as a soon to be supported network; is there movement behind the scenes on monetising our existing network? I notice that they already report live status for our chargers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 619 ✭✭✭slicedpanman

    €50k on charging :O
    Enough for 2 more Ioniqs

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,568 ✭✭✭✭Dont be at yourself

    €50k on charging :O
    Enough for 2 more Ioniqs

    Whoops! You can tell I work in sales!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,829 ✭✭✭JackieChan

    - The charging network is great -- triple-headed units along most major routes and type-2 chargers in every small town and village -- all well-maintained (none out of order!), well-marked out with reserved parking for electric cars. None were ICEd.

    Are the type 2 typically free? Or what kind of price is charged?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,568 ✭✭✭✭Dont be at yourself

    JackieChan wrote: »
    Are the type 2 typically free? Or what kind of price is charged?

    No, the ones I used charged a fee -- I believe there was a connection fee + hourly charge. Totalled €2 - €3 per charge I'd say.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,080 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    Good info here.
    Anyone else got any recent experience of EVing in North west France?

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 157 ✭✭Melted

    What is the craic with a Granny charger? what 2 pin adapter would ye recomend?

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ConorF

    Anyone got any recent experience of charging in France? From the early posts in this thread, it sounds like they’re pretty well set up over there, but are there particular cards people would recommend? I just have ESB and We Charge cards for my ID.4 and I’m heading to France in August.

  • Registered Users Posts: 912 ✭✭✭Vico1612

    Does the We Charge card give you access to Ionity and other chargers in France ?

    Regarding cards, it all depends where you are heading ... I was over to visit family on the west coast - used Kia charge card for Ionity which was also accepted on some local chargers (I didn't need as home charger available) which use the Ouest Charge app/card. I also had the Izivia app as backup (it's owned by EDF , equivalent of ESB here)

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,376 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    If you the we connect ID app and go to the map, you can see which chargers your We Charge card will work on plus the prices. In general they charge a premium for 3rd party networks so don't expect the best deal

    Plugsurfing should also have a good number of chargers in France and I think Chargemap also have deals with a lot of the French networks

    Incidentally, ABRP have a charge cards feature in beta which you can select your cards and it'll try to match it to networks you can use. They don't have We Charge yet though

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,780 ✭✭✭eddhorse

    Can you also use the Tesla superchargers now in France?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,919 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    I'm going for two weeks in early June, will let you know how I get on. Will be relying on the Tesla charging network for long journeys (interested to see how busy the sites that have been opened up to all EVs will be) but will need to use the public network for charging whenever I'm just staying in a town for 4 days and will be using the car for daytrips etc. I have a Plugsurfing and Chargepoint account/card, I'm hoping they'll do the job. Chargepoint in Ireland still has the ESB chargers down as free to use though and if you try to use it with them it just fails so not sure how reliable that one is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭Sabre Man

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,780 ✭✭✭eddhorse

    Great thanks. More info here:

    Can I Supercharge if I am visiting the Netherlands, France or Norway?

    The Non-Tesla Supercharger pilot is currently limited to EV drivers who live in the following countries:

    The Netherlands, France, Norway, Germany, Belgium

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,146 ✭✭✭crisco10

    I'm just intrigued by the definition of "live" in that sentence. I live in Ireland, but do have an address in France....hmm

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,780 ✭✭✭eddhorse

    I'm guessing the card associated to your account or where the car is registered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,919 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    I'm just back from two weeks in France so thought I'd give an update.

    I got on completely fine in a 2019 Standard Range Model 3. In fact I don't think I used a non Tesla Supercharger for the first week, I charged the car enough to be able to arrive at my destination with 60-65% battery and this was enough to do me for my 3 days and get to the first supercharger en route to my next destination. The first Supercharger I used after driving from Cherbourg had 16 stalls and was full on arrival, this one was only open to Teslas too. I thought this was as bad sign but it turned out this was the end of a bank holiday weekend in France and the roads were extremely busy that day, after this one I don't think I used a site that was operating at any more than 30-40% capacity. That goes for ones open to non Teslas too, but I'd say the majority of sites I used were Tesla only.

    In the second week I used a few different AC chargers via the Chargemap RFID card I had ordered before I went, other than being slightly confused by how to use one model of charger (the limited instructions were all in French and I have none) they were all completely fine. One town I stayed in was busy enough and could be hard to get street parking in but the charger I used there was never ICEd which was good to see. One campsite I was at had two free 22kwh AC chargers on site which I wasn't expecting and was a nice bonus.

    I'd have no problem doing it again, I did around 2100km total and spent about €125 on charging. It would have been less if I'd done more AC charging in my first week as the superchargers are pretty expensive to use in France but I was more interested in convenience than cost. The only small downside of the charging situation for me was where they locate the supercharger sites in France. Instead of being at a services station just off a motorway like in Ireland, most of them were in the car parks of hotels etc. located in industrial estates on the edge of cities. You had to go a bit more out of the way to reach most of them and this added to your journey time on top of whatever charging you needed to do, it would be less of an issue in a car with a bigger battery than mine though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,997 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    Just to add another first hand experience to the thread.

    I'm in an ID.3 1st edition (58kWh usable battery) and did Roscoff to just north of Bordeaux... about 550km's. Car fully loaded (3 kids, 2 adults, full boot, full roof box)

    I had configured for extra weight and appropriate temperatures and arriving at chargers with 15% (to allow for Plan B's). I told it I wanted high-powered chargers only (no 50kW's, 100kW+). abrp said I needed 3 stops on the way down and 2 on the way home so that's what I went with.

    On the way down I stopped in Ionity Kergoet, TotalEnergies (190kW) in Nantes and Ionity Vendee. A total of ~60mins of charge time.

    I used my WeCharge card for the two Ionity sites and I ordered a RFID tag before I left to cover the TotalEnergies site and any Plan B's I might need.

    Kergoet was empty on the way down as was TotalEnergies. Vendee was full but one freed up within a minute so no waiting at all on the way down.

    Considering I was travelling on the motorway fully loaded and a roof box I was very pleased with the efficiency and didn't feel the car held us up at all as we needed to stop anyway. If I was driving an ICE on the same trip I would have done the same amount of stops, just probably in different places.

    The charging costs are different in France. Ionity charges per min, not per kWh. It was 80c/min, so not cheap, but I had no intention of pulling into single points of failure on holiday and charging at 50kW's.... I wanted the Ionity hub experience and nothing else. Total Energies charged per kWh.

    Ionity Kergoet (and my ID.3 with roof box)

    Ionity Vendee below, which also has a bank of Tesla chargers. Quite busy for both SuC and Ionity.

    Consumption for full trip over to France

    Total charging cost going over to France:

    Ionity Kergoet: €25.10/37.63kWh/31mins.

    Total Energies, Carqefou: €10.93/18.53kWh/13mins

    Ionity Vendee: €14.02/24.98kWh/17mins

    Total: €50.02 (plus the full charge at home before leaving, of course, but that's only ~€5)

    On the way home I skipped passed Ionity Vendee and just stopped at Nantes and Kergoet.

    The Nantes stop wasn't plain sailing this time. It has two chargers... 190kW and 50kW and there was an e208 trying to start a charge session when we pulled in so I had to go on 50kW and it was only giving me 20kW charge rate! 🤨

    I had to wait for the e208 to finish and then swapped over to the 190kW charger. Them are the breaks, and exactly why I wanted to focus on Ionity hubs! We basically lost 30mins there.

    Ionity Kergoet had 2 charging when I arrived so again no issue, plugged in and got 103kW from it. Charged to 90% as I wanted it to take me all the way to Roscoff and home when we got into Cork. Got home with about 30km on the clock so perfect!

    Efficiency on the way home was 20.3kWh/100km

    Total charging cost coming home:

    Total Energies, Carqefou: 50kW session:€7.01/11.87kWh/34mins 190kW session:€10.89/18.46kWh/17mins

    Ionity Kergoet: €33.18/46.96kWh/42min

    Total: €51.08

    So, even with the expensive charge rates for the HPC's it was still cheaper than an ICE (6l/100km would be ~€70@€2/ltr). Don't penny pinch when doing a long trip... just pay the price for the hubs and give yourself a stress free trip. Saving €20 isn't worth it if you have the family shouting at you!

    As an aside, the site I spend my hols on had multiple chargers and charge points on site. Apparently added over the last year or so. They seem to be a progressive site as it wasn't just one token charger.... they had 6!

    They had 1 x 24kW DC (CCS and ChaDeMo) charger and 5 x 22kW AC (dual port) charge points. So they could technically charge 11 EV's at a time!

    It wasn't free though. They used a combination of kWh and time. For DC it was 29c/kWh plus 9c/min. For AC it was 24c/kWh plus 4c/min.

    The end result is that if you have an 11kW AC capable car it effectively costs €5/hr which means 45c/kWh on AC... so, again, not cheap but for convenience I was happy to pay it rather than having to go offsite and sit waiting at public chargers.

    That per min fee really does make you monitor your charge session and disconnect as soon as you are done! Food for thought for the Irish providers!

    Summary... easy trip with the ID.3. Exceeded my expectations in terms of required stops and the roof box didn't hit efficiency as much as I thought it would. abetterrouteplanner is your friend, it really is very good and reasonably accurate and shows you what percentages you need to get to and how long it will take etc... it takes all the guess work out of it.

    Enjoy your trips to France! 😎