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Electric Vehicle route to the alps, snowHeads ski forum
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Electric Vehicle route to the alps

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm driving to the alps in our new EV (Kia e-nero) this half term with the family and was hoping for some advice as to the best places to charge. I'm aware of the different route planners out there that are of some help but I am hoping for a tried and tested route.
Thanks in advance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Alps? So basically your looking to arrive somewhere between Marseille and Zargreb, my first tip would be to find out where your destination is...
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hobbiteater wrote:
Alps? So basically your looking to arrive somewhere between Marseille and Zargreb, my first tip would be to find out where your destination is...


And your departure point, not everyone lives in London!
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Idris wrote:
hobbiteater wrote:
Alps? So basically your looking to arrive somewhere between Marseille and Zargreb, my first tip would be to find out where your destination is...


And your departure point, not everyone lives in London!


Leicester, presumably.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As well as your start and end points, it'd be useful to know whether you plan an overnight stop, as that gives the opportunity to stay somewhere with a 7KW (or similar) charger to get to 100% charge, rather than the 80% charge you get to with rapid chargers. Another factor, that has no useful precedent, is how busy the motorway chargers will be, especially if travelling at busy times (most likely Saturday and Sunday daytimes will be busiest over half-term).

I'm intending to drive out late March (to Austria) in a Hyundai Kona (essentially the same as a Kia e-Niro), and am intending to have an overnight stop. I haven't looked at route details yet, but will probably aim to have off-motorway rapid charging options most of the way, in case the motorway chargers get busy, which probably means going through Belgium rather than France.

chargemap.com can give you route planning in Europe
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We are going to Val D'Isere in March. Deliberately having 2 stops on the way down, one near Epernay with a charger, one in BSM with a charger. We will take all luggage in the car ( iPace) and meet the other 2 who are flying in Bourg on Friday night. They will get bus up on Saturday and we will drive, to hit slopes first thing Saturday. It's 3 1/3 hours for us to the tunnel, so 2 stops en route to there at Rapid chargers, then one quick stop down to Epernay.

Returning, we will ski all day Saturday, hotel in Annecy ( with charger), then next night in Bethune ( with charger). We plan on maybe 4 charges in the wild in France, the others at our overnight stops. We have purposefully picked 2 extra days to have a more relaxed holiday around the skiing, as we enjoy driving, and will come off teh autoroutes when appropriate to buy wine / look at scenery, instead of just blasting down.

Charge stops will coincide with bladder stops and a bite to eat. Even though Ionity is costly, I know it will work with the car, and there are plenty on the route planned. Hopefully can use my chargepoint card to get a but cheaper.

Plugshare has been helpful re chargers in France.
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Check the details of your battery, isn’t it that it’s way faster to charge 20-80% than it is to charge 10-90%? Someone used that on a video to do one extra 15 minute stop on their journey, and ultimately arrived earlier than they would have if they’d taken a single stop with a longer charge period (according to car's ETA), as they skipped the slow charging capacity of the battery limits. A clever trick I thought.
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@endoman, When in Val where are you going to park the car? Batteries don't fare well getting cold and if parked outside at below zero temperatures for a week what will be the effect on the battery? Does the car need plugging in all week to keep it warmed?
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We have underground parking at the apartment. Should be fine not plugged in, Bjorn Nyland ( Teslabjorn) on your tube does many trips to the arctic circle in EVs. And yes, as soon as the charging slows on a rapid at 80% we will be off.
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Start point is Leicester, heading to Meribel.
Not stopping overnight and will be using the tunnel
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A better route planner is pretty sophisticated letting you define vehicle type state of charge starting and limit of charging etc as well as factoring in weather.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
boredsurfin wrote:
@endoman, When in Val where are you going to park the car? Batteries don't fare well getting cold and if parked outside at below zero temperatures for a week what will be the effect on the battery? Does the car need plugging in all week to keep it warmed?


From my experience parking a car for a week in sun zero temps makes no difference to the battery range. If you can pre-condition it though the morning of your departure (both ways) that will help as a lot of the energy is used warming up the battery to the optimum running temperature. Pre-conditioning gives you a few extra miles.

Also agree that charging to 80% should do you well - it takes almost as long to get from 80 to 100% as it does 20-80 as the battery management system slows the charge towards the end to protect the battery. Best analogy I’ve seen is filling a wine glass of water - if you switch the tap on full at the start or the end it makes a mess Laughing

Sorry, no help on charging en route but I’d definitely give it a go and only charge to 100% if you’re parked up overnight.
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bert7cosby wrote:
Start point is Leicester, heading to Meribel.
Not stopping overnight and will be using the tunnel


Your plan sounds "optimistic", in a Sir Humphry type way.

Assuming you've got the 66KW e-nero, the two planning sites I tried suggest you're going to need at least 7 charges (taking 3h30 to 4h00) on top of about 13h of driving if you try to go Leicester to Meribel non stop. That's somewhere around 17h on the road, or 18h if you include the time difference - So start from Leicester at 6AM, arrive in Meribel around midnight. Or start at 6PM and arrive at midday the following day. Can't say I like the sound of either of those. Plus half term - ugg - Eurotunnel and the French Motorways will be busy, possibly adding hours to the transit time.

For some reason the planners all take you via Paris, which personally I'd avoid like the plague. I'd go Reims-Troyes, but that seems to add on another hour which is strange since in a petrol car it's virtually no different. Perhaps the leccy is cheaper in Paris?
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You know it makes sense.
I’ve done this trip a few times in my Kia e Niro - both summer and winter without stopping.

A few things to note:

IONITY is your (expensive) friend. Easy to use, always works and usually at least 5 or 6 stations per site. If you are used to UK motorway charging, this is so much better (although much more expensive). You will need a Chargemap card to use them - this is important. Also they are not on all Aires - so you need to plan.

Chargemap is a good planner as shows all the chargers and has good filters. However if suffers from the same problem as all the route finders - it doesn’t take into account how many chargers are at a stop. I don’t fancy rocking up at a single station off motorway and finding it broken or in use. So I just use IONITY on motorway.

Be mindful that some aires are directional - southbound or northbound access only. This is a pain.

I do the Riems Troyes route and it works ok.

Southbound:

Aire de rely
Aire de Gueux
Aire de Langres Perrogney
Aire de Jura
Aire de Bonneville

Aire de Gueux is a pain as you have to go out of your way and past it, turn around and come back. puts 20 / 30 mins on your journey. Google maps suggests you go miles past to turn but you can turn as soon as you come off the motorway at the péage and come back.

Also there is a new IONITY charge bank being built at Reims which would make this little detour redundant - according to Chargemap it’s almost but not yet open - Champfleury le clerc.

I assume you already know the range reduction in the winter and the longer charging times.

It’s a long trip , but if you not sharing the driving you can nap when it’s charging.

I’ll post my northbound route in the next post.
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Northbound

Aire de Jura
Aire de Langres Noidant
Aire de Vrigny (charge to 100 percent)
Calais.

Aire de Vrigny (just by Reims) is a pain as it takes ages to get to 100%. However the reason for this is aire de Rely is southbound only - so there isn’t another IONITY north of this and it’s a trek back to Calais. However for me it’s the easiest.

They are building a new IONITY at Baralle which will sort this but it won’t be ready for your trip. Also you have to factor Calais - only has a slow charger. There is an IONITY just past Folkestone but I’ve never used it as have always managed to top up at Calais. I only go to London after that.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have a Hyundai Ioniq 5 coming in the next couple of weeks and am really tempted to take it on my ski trip in March, but don't think it's going to feasible. I always like to do the outbound trip (Market Harborough to Mieussy/Taninges) in one hit. Even with Ionity and the ultra fast charging capability I can see it being a stretch, so I definitely don't think I'd try it with an E-Niro which has a smaller battery and can't charge as quickly.
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SKia Optima wrote:
I have a Hyundai Ioniq 5 coming in the next couple of weeks and am really tempted to take it on my ski trip in March, but don't think it's going to feasible. I always like to do the outbound trip (Market Harborough to Mieussy/Taninges) in one hit. Even with Ionity and the ultra fast charging capability I can see it being a stretch, so I definitely don't think I'd try it with an E-Niro which has a smaller battery and can't charge as quickly.


Don't know exactly which version of car you have but here is what A Better Routeplanner - As recomended by Tesla Bjorn

https://abetterrouteplanner.com/?plan_uuid=b1bb93ca-ae9d-4a02-ac62-306bd256e421

Under 15 hours!

Lots of setting you can play with, personaly I'd avoid Paris
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@Ghanny all ultra rapid DC chargers take "takes ages to get to 100%" as they're designed to ramp down after 70-80% to prtect the batteries from high powered chargers. Porsche and Ioniq 5 let you go fast longest, even more than teslas. VWs are pretty slow.

So as mentioned above the technique is to do quicker stops from low SoC maybe more often rather than sti there through the 80s and 90s as charge dribbles in. An additional short stop can be quicker than longer deeper charges and ABRP lets you play with this. See Kyle Out of spec road trips on Youtube.
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I know that - the reason I do the 100% charge is there are no IONITY chargers north of Riems apart from Aire de Rely which is on the southbound carriage. I don’t use alternatives as I don’t want to risk waiting or arriving at a broken one. IONITY takes away that risk as there are at least 5 / 6 per charge area and they always work.
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@bert7cosby, not stopping overnight is the most dangerous thing I have ever done. Being tired is worse than being over the alcohol limit. Please do plan a stop is my only request, the battery going flat could be the least of your problems.
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Idris wrote:
Don't know exactly which version of car you have but here is what A Better Routeplanner - As recomended by Tesla Bjorn

https://abetterrouteplanner.com/?plan_uuid=b1bb93ca-ae9d-4a02-ac62-306bd256e421

Under 15 hours!

Lots of setting you can play with, personaly I'd avoid Paris


Getting the 73KW AWD model. I have been playing around with ABRP and would take my usual route via Reims and Troyes. Possible if you have the stamina, but I think I'd feel uncomfortable. My last trip in March 2020, I left around 4:30am and arrived in Mieussy at 6pm. I only stopped for petrol or bathroom breaks and did 130km/h most of the way. The sun had just about set so I wasn't driving up mountains in the dark and I only got up about an hour earlier than I would for work anyway, so wasn't tired.
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Interested in all these threads - I'm currently looking to order an EV to replace my company BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics saloon and wonder what I will do with regard to an alpine drive!

There can't be a car more designed for that journey than my current one - done it 5 times in it, it drives all day at 140kph with 4 people and a roof box on - fill up in Folkestone on my fuel card, fill up again just before Alps and a top up in Reims to get me back to fuel card territory, just sit back and relax, not really sure how it is being considered to be killing the planet given it amazing efficiency but hey ho.

I have looked at the Ionic 5 or EV6 and thought they would be OK, but our lease company won't do Hyundai/Kia, so I'm veering toward the Tesla Model Y (for the network) or Mustang Mach-E now with the Q4 e-tron as a maybe.

I certainly will be happy to give it a go - it will change our approach and mean (rightly) we take more breaks than the 1 driver change, 1 fill up that we do now, but I am quite excited by the challenge so will be hoping you guys update this with how you get on.

It's that or my mates 2012 S Max diesel until it dies or we are not allowed to drive diesels anymore.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A word of caution - coming back in August the Service area at Troyes Plessis has lots of charge points and is roughly halfway between the French Alps and Calais, sounds great on paper
BUT each charge point had a queue of at least two Dutch cars!
Lord knows how long they were going to be there waiting for some electricity.
I smugly passed by in my diesel car (on the way to the toilets) knowing I wouldn't need to fill up with fuel until at Ashford or maybe Calais having topped up the tank in Chambery....
I'm hoping Hydrogeon is the way forward as electricity certainly wont do the 9 hours from Calais with the two breaks we do to change drivers currently.

PS anyone waiting for a Tesla model 3, the ships from Shanghai are bringing in 18,000 in the next quarter (starting February)


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 25-01-22 12:22; edited 1 time in total
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@boredsurfin, to be fair, coming back in late July, the queue for diesel/petrol at the aires was over 45 minutes. At the worst aire, the shortest queue was 16 cars deep, and the EV chargers were empty.
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@snowdave, Flipping heck! In over 40 years of driving to the Alps I have never queued for fuel at an Air,
mainly because I fill up at supermarkets just off the motorway Toofy Grin
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There is a new IONITY charge bank just off the motorway at Troyes.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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boredsurfin wrote:
@snowdave, Flipping heck! In over 40 years of driving to the Alps I have never queued for fuel at an Air,
mainly because I fill up at supermarkets just off the motorway Toofy Grin


First one was bad, so I drove on, and obviously everyone else had the same idea, so the next one was almost gridlocked.

I only get around 200 miles on a tank, so I fill up everywhere. Aires, supermarkets, siphoning from parked cars... Happy

Hence why driving the EV doesn't give me any range anxiety, it's an improvement on my petrol car!
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Yes driving in big hits to the Alps at 130-140 km/h is the reason for existence for big diesel estates - and having done it in a 520d can agree it's one of the best. Edit - meant to say going at those speeds in an EV has a huge effect on realistic range (as it does in the ICE too). I get an EV later this year, too late for this season, but will be interested to follow people's experience and if the deployment of new fast chargers can cope with the peak-travel weekends like Feb half term. If that proves to be an issue I'd probably look to fly (more so if/when kids stop coming with us) or looking at hiring a diesel from the UK for just that week if it stacks up (winter tyres...?)


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Tue 25-01-22 13:27; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One of the benefits I have is never go at peak peak times, end of Jan and sometimes Easter as well.
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@endoman, be interested to see how you get on in the iPace, I just worked out a long trip I'm doing this weekend as one huge non stop trip in ABRP! The iPace takes 3hrs 15 mins of charging, a Tesla Model Y would take 1hr 11mins, amazing the difference charging speed has on bigger journeys.

One quick question, what would happen if the hotels you plan to stay at already have a car connected and charging?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
MHskier wrote:
Yes driving in big hits to the Alps at 130-140 km/h is the reason for existence for big diesel estates - and having done it in a 520d can agree it's one of the best. Edit - meant to say going at those speeds in an EV has a huge effect on realistic range (as it does in the ICE too). I get an EV later this year, too late for this season, but will be interested to follow people's experience and if the deployment of new fast chargers can cope with the peak-travel weekends like Feb half term. If that proves to be an issue I'd probably look to fly (more so if/when kids stop coming with us) or looking at hiring a diesel from the UK for just that week if it stacks up (winter tyres...?)

If only someone would make a big EV estate. I'd have bitten their hand off! I'm going to buy my current company car from the lease co once the new one arrives. Might be worth looking into if you can? We need a second car anyway and already have roof rack and snow chains that can't be used on my new car.
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Model X not big enough for you???
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Orange200 wrote:
Model X not big enough for you???

I'm not a millionaire! Razz
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kitenski wrote:
@endoman, be interested to see how you get on in the iPace, I just worked out a long trip I'm doing this weekend as one huge non stop trip in ABRP! The iPace takes 3hrs 15 mins of charging, a Tesla Model Y would take 1hr 11mins, amazing the difference charging speed has on bigger journeys.

One quick question, what would happen if the hotels you plan to stay at already have a car connected and charging?


They say they have multiple charge points, but there are plenty other options in the area for charging if they are occupied. We have plenty time, so an hour on a rapid would be perfectly ok. If I was doing it as a " how fast can I get to the alps" run then the iPace would be a poor choice. On Ionity IO have seen charging speeds over 100kW for a brief time. We have no charge stops planned that should take us more than 40 minutes.
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Quote:

If only someone would make a big EV estate. I'd have bitten their hand off! I'm going to buy my current company car from the lease co once the new one arrives. Might be worth looking into if you can? We need a second car anyway and already have roof rack and snow chains that can't be used on my new car.


I'm not really suggesting this https://www.mg.co.uk/new-cars/mg5-ev but hopefully some other manufacturers will follow suit and stop only offering SUV's
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How does your ipace take 3 hours to charge? I had one (gutted when I had to hand it back as I changed jobs) and to get to 80% on a rapid (rapid being 50kwh at the time) took about an hour. Are you trying to top up to 100% each time? Personally I wouldn’t bother. The extra few miles it adds for the speed of top up aren’t worth it IMO. Fab car though Cool
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SKia Optima wrote:
If only someone would make a big EV estate.

Not sure how big it is but how about the MG 5 SW?
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Other factor in relation to winter charging is battery heating - only tesla and maybe porsche seem to get this right atm with their nav-chargepoint-BMS software integrated in a way to know, based on the route, to calculate when to pre-heat and sacrifice some energy as it approaches a rapid charger. This let's them use the full capacity of the ultra rapid chargers where others on a cold battery pack may be throttled to <50kw. The others manufacturers need to do some SW development on this front as a -10 run down France could take considerably longer than you anticipate at those charging speeds.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 26-01-22 11:53; edited 1 time in total
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cheltom wrote:
Quote:

If only someone would make a big EV estate. I'd have bitten their hand off! I'm going to buy my current company car from the lease co once the new one arrives. Might be worth looking into if you can? We need a second car anyway and already have roof rack and snow chains that can't be used on my new car.


I'm not really suggesting this https://www.mg.co.uk/new-cars/mg5-ev but hopefully some other manufacturers will follow suit and stop only offering SUV's


Design limitations. Jacking upward any car body (to give current style that's in most offering) gives a whole slice of battery space under the "conventional" cabin space. Ideal for areas, low in gravity centre, away from primary crash structures, it seems to dominate the market. Some are effectively making a hole in battery "compartments" to put the passenger's feet.

Large estate evolved to sit occupants down low within wheelbase (just where the battery are now) with rear, aft of axle, ideally maximized for additional load. Certainly more of a challenge to build even in this form and include a range that would be expected.

EV facility is heavy there's no getting away from that, especially at long range provision. Many are heading to or easily exceeding the all up Kg of much criticised 4WD type models. Not currently much of a way round that, with keeping the battery centralized and low the most realistic option.
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MHskier wrote:
Other factor in relation to winter charging is battery heating - only tesla and maybe porsche seem to get this right atm with their nav-chargepoint-BMS software integrated in a way to know, based on the route, to calculate when to pre-heat and sacrifice some energy as it approaches a rapid charger. This let's them use the full capacity of the ultra rapid chargers where others on a cold battery pack may be throttled to 50kw


^This. I have a Hyundai Ioniq 5 that’s supposed to charge at >200 kW. Well, I’ve only tried public charging twice, both times the temps were at -5…0 C and saw a max of 110 kW after hovering around 40-60 kW for the first 15-20 minutes. Maybe the car was warming/preconditioning the battery during that time.

Before Hyundai can sort that poo-poo up and configure the battery heater to be set on 15 mins before arrival to a charging station one can easily double the anticipated time at charging station.
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