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Experience with long distance trips (Europe) after 1 year - Tesla Charging Network

  • 01-09-2021 12:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭

    Hey Guys,

    Thought I would give some feedback here as I just passed the 1 year of ownership mark for my M3 SR+ and this is a bit of a different review as its not of the car but of the charging network.

    After previously driving an iPace - E-Tron and and i3 simply put the Model 3/Y (and the Model S/X with CCS) are the only vehicles you can complete long distance European trips with ease.

    You can use Tesla CCS Chargers (Very reliable) on top of existing Third Party CCS Loading options.

    The GPS system really makes is seamless to tap in a Location 2500 km away and just drive, this is currently not possible with any other vehicle on the market.

    Many hotels and restaurants / shopping centers have dedicated Tesla Type 2 Chargers.

    You just plug the car into a Supercharger (DC Rapid Charger) and it starts charging, you don't need to pull out the wallet of cards.

    Long distance trips done so far this year

    Dusseldorf to Giżycko 1300km

    Dusseldorf to Copenhagen 760KM

    Dusseldorf to Karlovy Vary 616KM

    Dusseldorf to Ventimiglia 1150 KM

    Those are round trips of course, the one to the North of Italy was a trip down through Austria along the coast and back through France then Switzerland and through Germany again.

    Do not worry about the range of the Vehicle, the loading network is the most important factor if you want a hassle free experience.

    The Tesla Network is unparallelled, IONITY and other are lightyears behind in terms of coverage and are a mess of cards and different tarrifs.

    Until then it is simply not possible in any other vehicle no matter how large the battery pack to drive anywhere in Europe. (or at least to get back without some discomfort / Long waits)

    For example, on the way a few months ago to Warsaw the Navigation system notified that there was "Reduced Service" on the Supercharger outside Łódź, rolled into the charging station and there was a guy there saying he was waiting for me, they were having some issues with the new setup and wanted to test it under load, he waited and monitored everything to make sure it was ok and they also redirected 2 other Tesla Model 3s there that they have on hand in various regions to run regular tests on their Superchargers.

    My experiences of different charging Networks with Fastned, EnBW, IONITY, Gateway, Greenway, Innogy, Fortum and a few others were all mixed, mainly consisting of having to mess around with cards or an app and/or call them to do something (reset the charger or they said they'd schedule service and go find another charger)

    If and when Tesla open the network to others at the end of this year, I'll switch from Tesla to something else, if they don't then I'll go for a Model Y Next :)

    IMO everything else requires a second car (i.e. rental or just purchased on for that purpose)



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,652 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Just to note, Tesla navigation from point A to point B will take ferry distance as distance driven so you need to mentally take that into account when figuring out SOC requirements...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭redcup342

    Yes, you just hit the "Avoid Ferries" option in the Navigation.

    Drove to Copenhagen via the Puttgarden Ferry (100 euros booked 2 hours before in advance) and drove back via the Great Belt Bridge then down through Flensburg on the way back. (36 ish euros if I remember right)

    Don't really need to think about SOC requirements, just leave with 80-90% and you are fine, I'd never really start a long journey with an empty battery anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,021 ✭✭✭sh81722

    As mentioned on the TM3 thread we did a 9000 km European road trip last month on the LR and the difference was night and day compared to similar trip on a LEAF 40 three years earlier (the rapidgate was surprisingly the least of the worries then as we planned around it).

    I actually forgot to pack all the 3rd party tags like plugsurfing and the trip still was a success, and not once did we need to wait for a charger to become available. Once another car plugged in the "B" when we were using "A" slowing us both needlessly down on less than a busy site, but that was the height of the problems. Oh yes, one pair of Superchargers was also down on a new site in Easterly France (Val-de-Meuse) but as there were, I think, 12 chargers in total it was just a mild inconvenience. We just happened to plug into the dead one first.

    Alternative networks do actually work but with way less capacity available and a million apps required. We did charge on various other networks: Twice in Germany at hotel parking garages overnight, and then in Helsinki and Eastern and Northern Finland that had no SuCs and where we used following apps: Fortum, K-lataus, Virta. It always felt needlessly difficult to have to register with the networks to just start the damn charging. And due to charger limitations the stops required were longer than with the Tesla chargers. I think we only encountered one non-Tesla charger that was over 50 kW aside Ionity which we boycotted on principle due to the high cost. Hope Tesla will price the chargers stupid expensive to Ford/Hyundai/Porsche/VW drivers when the network is opened.

    But based on the trip back in 2018 on the LEAF, almost any BEV is suitable for long distance driving with careful planning. Tesla is the only one that does not require planning at all (unless you travel through Eastern Poland, Baltic or in East/North Finland where planning is required also with a Tesla Model 3 LR). The car even tells you to slow down to X if it determines you otherwise won't make it to the next charger. One of the nice and relaxing features of Tesla was that the range estimation at the Energy graph was always bang on if not a bit pessimistic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭redcup342

    I've done the same trips with other EVs, while it's possible it's not easy and the risk of something going wrong is very high (i.e. your necessary charge might just be 1x50kW efefac Charger and if that's broken you are completely knackered.

    Poland was fine for me with the mix of SCs and Greenway/Orlen chargers.