Driving Your EV Abroad Tips
It was a big decision but you have finally made the purchase of an electric car for your day-to-day commute. You done the homework and understand exactly what mileage you cover weekly and where you are most likely to charge the vehicle. All is going perfectly well but holiday season is approaching and the possibility of taken your newly acquired EV overseas might be a little daunting! Should you be put off, or will it be a plain sailing? Lets find out…
Can you travel through Europe with an electric car?
You can indeed travel throughout Europe with your electric car it just requires a little planning and understanding of the particular route or adventure you wish to undertake.
Can you charge an Irish electric car in Europe?
Yes, unlike charging your phone abroad where the standard three-pin socket needs a European converter to two pin, car chargers are pretty much harmonised across Europe. Standard charging comes via a Type 2 connecter and if your car can take a fast charge option then you will find most stations are also equipped with CCS Type 2 charge units.
Is it possible to charge on the ferry?
Yes it is possible to take a charge on the ferry crossing but you will have to get in touch and possibly make book the charging port with the provider. Do not assume there will be power as chargers are limited and only found on more modern vessels. If possible it is in your best interest to always have plenty of charge before embarking on any ferry crossing.
Where can you charge your car in Europe?
As with most modern EV’s they are fitted with European map navigation that can pick up on charge points nearest to you. Some help plan your journey and calculate exactly how often you will need to stop and for how long. If your car is not equipped with this technology then there are many apps for your phone that can do the exact same thing. Take Plugshare.com for example, which features over 300,000 chargers across Europe and helps you to plan your trip. Pricing will vary depending on the country you visit but there should be no astronomical surprises with similar prices to Ireland and cheaper regularly found. The other good news is that most ferry crossings are now offering a charging overnight option, which could leave you with a full battery and ready to leave for you destination on disembarking the vessel.
Will my Irish EV Charge Station cards work abroad?
Most likely not, unless it came from the vehicle manufacturer with European recognition. Thankfully, there are companies who can provide an RFID card that works on several different networks, reducing the number of cards or apps you need to obtain. Logging onto websites like www.chargemap.com/map will again help in this regard. You can obtain a Chargemap Pass RFID card, in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. Many are now also pay as you go meaning you can simply use your credit/debit card.
Are long journeys really possible in an electric car?
Yes you can undertake long journeys once again with a little planning or foresight. The more understanding you have of the journey you want to take, the less likely you are to feel any range anxiety. There are certain things to consider though. Naturally you will be carrying more weight on holidays with bags etc. Some even choose to fill a roof box or small trailer but all these items have to be factored into your predicted range. The electric car will be harder on its battery with more drag, weight or the Air Conditioning on full blast each day! Factor these things in and be clever with your battery usage and always err on the side of caution.
Can you take a leased car abroad?
Yes you can take a lease car abroad. Naturally there are time constraints with have foreign registered vehicles in other countries but for a two week or even a months holidays there shouldn’t be a problem.
What are the legal requirements for driving abroad?
Your full license is most certainly required and in some cases an International Driving Permit. If you buy a motor insurance policy from an EU-based insurance company you will have the minimum compulsory level of insurance required to drive in any EU country. However, you should always tell your insurance company if you plan to take your vehicle abroad and check with them what exactly is covered on your policy. You can usually take your car for up to 31 days to another EU member state for no extra charge. Your existing cover can be extended for stays of up to 60 or 90 days duration but you may have to pay an additional fee for this cover. Other additional types of cover while driving abroad can be added such as break down assistance. It is worth having a copy of your lease agreement with you also as the authorities have been known to ask for proof of ownership or lease contract.