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Testimonial: On the road to a stress-free holiday by electric car

Pierre, who lives in Toulouse, switched to an electric vehicle in 2020, and now there’s no turning back! He and his family regularly make long trips in their electric car, and this summer was no exception. We talked to Pierre to find out more about their adventures in their Hyundai Ioniq 5.


Electric cars for the whole family

When Pierre decided to transition to an electric vehicle in 2020, the Kia e-Niro was an easy choice. It offered the ideal level of comfort for a primary/family car and, most importantly, the whole family approved!

Shortly afterwards, Pierre purchased a Renault Zoe as a secondary vehicle, used mainly by his partner for short everyday outings.

In the e-Niro, Pierre was able to experience his first 100% electric long-distance journeys. Although he was very happy with the Kia, he decided to switch to a Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD 72,6 kWh in April 2022.

“She’s just wow…” Pierre shared on his Instagram account, @elec_my_ride. “There are 4 of us, and I wanted more room (boot, interior). Most importantly, thanks to its DC ultra-fast charging, it can charge from 20% to 80% in 15 minutes, which gives us 300 km!”

Summer holidays in an electric car: +1000 km without a bump in the road

How did your travels go?

“Our trip went very smoothly! We left Toulouse as a family and dropped the kids off in Aveyron before hitting the road again to spend a few days in Marseille,” Pierre explained.

Holiday trip by electric car calculated in the Chargemap route planner
Pierre’s holiday trip to Marseille in the Chargemap route planner

During Pierre’s 1,000-kilometre round trip in his Ioniq 5, finding and accessing the charging stations proved generally straightforward. 

However, Pierre did encounter some charging setbacks along the way. During a Toulouse – Cap Ferret – Collioure trip in July 2022, he recalled: “We made it 530 km in a single day… with the kids! Going back through Toulouse before heading off to Collioure, I had to deal with a lot of faulty charging stations, which made the drive much longer…”

To avoid these stressful situations, Pierre tries to plan his charging stops in advance. The Chargemap mobile app has proved a vital asset: “I always plan my trips using Chargemap’s route feature. It’s the only tool I use to locate suggested charging stations along my route.”

Once his charging stops are all mapped out, Pierre uses the on-board system Apple CarPlay, compatible with Chargemap, to get to each stop.

What did you think of the number of EV drivers on the road this summer?

“I’ve been driving an electric car since 2020, and I’ve noticed that there are more and more people at the charging stations, especially on the motorway,” Pierre explained.

In fact, in France alone, out of 162,794 vehicles put on the road in the first half of 2022, plug-in electrified vehicles represented 17%. (Source: Avere-France Press Release – 12/07/2022)

However, during his trip, Pierre noted that the majority of electric vehicles he encountered at the charging stations were foreign. “In France, we do drive electric cars, but they are more widespread in other countries. At least that’s how it seems during summer charging stops!”

What do you use to charge at public charging stations?

“I use the Chargemap Pass at almost all stations, and my Hyundai pass on some charging networks” said Pierre.

Talking about his experience with the Chargemap card, he explained: “The fact that you can plug in almost anywhere is very convenient! Since I started using it, I’ve only encountered one issue while trying to charge. The Chargemap customer service team was very responsive, and the error was quickly resolved.”

What are your thoughts on the charging station network?

“Overall, the network of charging stations is well-developed, but it still depends on the region,” Pierre stressed. “For fast charging, I find, for example, that Aveyron ranks below cities like Bordeaux or Perpignan, where the network is pretty good.”

As explained above, one of the advantages of the Ioniq 5 is its ability to charge up to 232 kW. Naturally, Pierre mainly relies on fast-charging stations during his travels. 

“Compared to 2 years ago, lots of motorway service areas have charging stations,” noted Pierre.

According to the ASFA (Association of French Motorway Companies), 219 service areas were equipped with charging stations as of 30 June 2022, which represents 60% of all areas in the network. This number has almost doubled compared to spring 2021. In total, we are talking about nearly 800 charging points, 70% of which offer ultra-fast charging, i.e. over 150 kW. (Source: Avere-France Press Release – 12/07/2022)

Pierre’s tips for long trips in an electric vehicle

Plan your charging stops in advance

“Almost every day, I find myself extolling the virtues of EVs to people who are ready to switch to electric but are scared of breaking down… which almost never happens!” Pierre told us.

Electric vehicles are no longer reserved for short everyday outings. With a little preparation, going travelling in an electric car is very possible.  To avoid any unpleasant surprises, Pierre recommends using Chargemap’s route feature to plan out your charging stops.

Overcome unexpected obstacles by identifying alternative charging stations

Before each of his long trips, Pierre uses the “Stations” button in the Chargemap route planner to check the charging stations around his intended stop. “It’s always reassuring to have a plan B in case the stations are busy or out of order,” explained Pierre.

To learn more about the options for customising your routes in the Chargemap app, watch this short video.

Check the services near the charging stations

During his holiday travels, especially with the family, Pierre prefers to stop and charge in areas where they can also take a meal break. He also avoids industrial areas with few services, for example.

To weigh up your options, you can go directly to the details sheet for each charging station on Chargemap. You can also filter the stations according to the amenities available in the area. 

Check out the “Community” tab to see all the comments from drivers who have visited the station… and share your experience the next time you charge 😉

Learn more about the ways you can contribute to Chargemap

Seize every charging opportunity

“Don’t forget: in your electric car, you should be charging when you stop, not stopping to charge!” Pierre advised on his Instagram account. 

One advantage of electric vehicles is that you don’t just fill up on the road. Whenever you park your electric car to pay a visit, go to the cinemas or run some errands, it’s a good time to charge. So try to plan your charging around your stops, not the other way around ⚡️

A big thank you to Pierre for his time and his feedback! Be sure to check out his Instagram account @elec_my_ride where he shares his experiences with electric vehicles.

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