After Joëlle’s story of her adventures with her Renault Zoé, we pass the Chargemap mic over to Stanislas, electric motorcycle enthusiast from Vevey in Switzerland. Less than one year after purchasing his electric Zero SR/F motorbike, he has set himself the challenge today of travelling 4,000 kilometres across France. In this article, Stanislas shares his vision of travelling by electric motorcycle and his advice on how to get the most out of it.
Stanislas’ journey towards electric vehicles
Stanislas has long felt the magnetic pull of electric vehicles. Ever since ground-breaking models like the Renault Zoé were first launched on the market, the young Swiss set his heart on going electric.
But there were a few snags along the way. “I’d been determined to buy an electric car for ages, but my friends and family persuaded me to go for an ICE car instead – a decision I still regret today,” Stanislas confides.
After studying Geosciences followed by a Master’s Degree in Sustainability, his desire for a more eco-friendly form of mobility grew stronger. However, he soon turned to another type of electric vehicle. “At the time, I really wanted to take up motorcycling, but my green side wouldn’t hear of it. For me, it simply was not conceivable to ride anything other than an electric motorcycle,” says Stanislas.
So he looked into the models on the market and came across the Zero Motorcycles brand – and immediately fell for their smooth design.
From one day to the next, he decided to go for it. “Encouraged by a biking girlfriend, I decided to offer myself a motorcycle training course and get a licence. In early September 2020, just one week before taking the test, I finally received my Zero SR/F motorcycle!”
Travelling by electric motorcycle everyday
From the moment Stanislas bought his Zero motorcycle, there was no looking back! “Apart from 3 days when it snowed, I have constantly travelled by electric motorcycle. It’s always pure joy to sit astride my motorbike!” Stanislas claims enthusiastically.
With a maximum capacity of 14.4 kWh, the Zero SR/F’s battery offers a range of about 220 km – more than enough for Stanislas’ daily journeys.
The biker doesn’t have a home charge point for everyday charging. He depends solely on the network of public charging stations. “Free charging stations for two-wheelers have just been installed near my home. It’s really great to see these resources being set up to promote electric two-wheelers,” says Stanislas appreciatively.
Moving on from an internal combustion engine to electric power has some obvious advantages – on the condition that you are willing to change certain habits. For Stanislas, charging is not a headache: “Today, I no longer have the hassle of making a detour to fill up at a petrol station. I simply ride to my destination, plug in my motorcycle and get on with whatever I need to do until the battery is fully charged.”
First long journey by electric motorcycle
His first experience of a long journey requiring several charging stops took place around Lake Geneva, located between Switzerland and France. This journey of around 280 km helped Stanislas to become familiar with the issues linked with travelling by electric motorcycle.
“Having read several accounts of disastrous EV journeys on various forums, I wanted to find out what it was like for myself. Surely it wasn’t that complicated! I arrived at Lake Geneva to carry out my first charging stop and… Oh, great! The charging station was out of order. I felt I was really thrown in at the deep end!”
Fortunately, apart from this initial hitch, the rest of the journey was hassle-free. Stanislas returned from this first long journey by electric motorcycle with the desire to renew the experience.
Next step: 4,000 kilometres by Zero SR/F
A short while afterwards, Stanislas set himself the challenge of travelling 4,000 km by electric motorcycle within a period of 3 weeks!
Travelling out of his comfort zone
Why has Stanislas decided to go on this long journey? “The main reason behind this journey is to visit family and friends I haven’t seen for a long time because of the health restrictions. Last year, I already planned to make this journey by train, but this year presents the ideal opportunity to take up the challenge with my electric motorcycle.”
He also talks of his yearning for adventure – particularly inspired by the documentary series Long Way Up. “Watching Ewan McGregor and his gang on their long travels by electric motorcycle set me dreaming and made me feel like confronting the realities of travelling by electric motorcycle.”
As Stanislas also admits, “This journey is also a way for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone – which I don’t do often enough for my liking.”
Planning his journey by electric motorcycle
Even if he really likes the idea of setting out on a spontaneous adventure without organising everything in advance, he nonetheless felt it was necessary to plan his itinerary and charging stops with great care.
To help him plan the full route, Stanislas used several tools, including Chargemap. “I use Chargemap to identify charging stations more accurately in terms of their location, connector types and the power ratings delivered. It’s hard to find such detailed information elsewhere!”
Finally, as he lives in Switzerland, Stanislas doesn’t have sufficient mobile data services in France to access online tools during his travels. This added challenge hasn’t put him off. “I take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection in the evenings to help me prepare the next day’s journey. I download the maps so that I can use them off-line along the route.”
His tips for travelling by electric vehicle
We recently shared with you our 10 handy tips for stress-free charging during your holidays by electric car. To conclude our interview, we asked Stanislas what advice he would give when undertaking a long journey by electric vehicle. Here are 3 things he recommends.
1. Take your time
“When you are electric-powered, you have to change the way you perceive your journey. For example, travelling is more of a pleasure when you avoid the motorway and discover little villages. And in France, you save a bundle on tolls!”
2. Be prepared for anything and everything!
“I can never stress enough how important it is to plan your journey ahead of time and, above all, to expect the unexpected. I always try to have a Plan B just in case. For example, I try to avoid isolated charging stations.”
3. Get to know your electric vehicle
“Before taking to the road, it is absolutely essential to be familiar with your vehicle, especially its real consumption in different situations. For instance, I know that on my normal routes, my electric motorcycle clocks up around 6 kWh in terms of energy consumption. If I take the motorway, I estimate that my range will be halved. It is really important to find out this sort of thing beforehand if you want to avoid unfortunate incidents – even if you can learn a lot from them!”
We hope you liked Stanislas’ testimonial. And we are curious to know more. Are you a member of the community of electric two-wheelers? Please don’t hesitate to post up your comments and share your own experiences!
It was a great pleasure to welcome Stanislas at Chargemap. We would like to thank him for his affability and for sharing his experience with us. The whole team wishes him “bon voyage” as he travels around France on his Zero SR/F 🏍⚡️
We’ll set a date at the end of summer so that Stanislas can tell us all about his epic journey by electric motorcycle.
You can also follow his travels on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/rastanCH
To go on holiday in all peace of mind with your EV,