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Report: We took the trip Prague – Dusseldorf by Electric Car

It’s Tuesday around 1pm and our work team is embarking on a business trip. Tomorrow, Wednesday, an important business meeting awaits us. Because our boss is an electromobility lover and has not yet put his half-year-old Tesla to a proper distance test, we are setting out for approximately 720km long journey without the purring sound of a combustion engine. Everything will make even more sense when I tell you that the core business of our company is design and manufacture of traction batteries for commercial and industrial vehicles.

Beginning of the Journey

We are perfectly prepared. The car is charged up to 99% SOC. After lunch at Sterboholy Europark, also our stomachs are satisfied. We are traveling in three people and that is the optimal number for a long journey in a Tesla 3. I’m sitting on the left back seat and I’m making a temporary office from the other seat. How else to take advantage from an afternoon spent in the car when one is not driving. It is unthinkable that my colleague sitting in the passenger seat or myself could help with driving. I have not yet got to know a Tesla owner, who would let this car out of their hands.

There is no shortage of Tesla Super-chargers in Germany, so our vehicle has conveniently planned charging stops along the way. Friends of mine and I normally drive the far distances to the north of Germany or, traditionally, Norway every year for our passion – kiteboarding. So, my worries about the trip are not about the distance. What worries me the most is not knowing how the traveling will turn out with an electric car. In total, the vehicle has three stops planned for charging on the way. That doesn’t sound too bad.

We have the first stop planned at the charging station just past Dresden. At the moment, it can be seen that only one vehicle out of six possible vehicles is charging there, so we do not anticipate any occupancy problems. Perfect.

Nossen, Sangerhausen, Staufenberg

The journey is going along smoothly. The highway is nicely clear. Only one surprising thing pulled me out of the travel lethargy between enjoying the scenery and looking at the company email. Shortly after crossing the Czech – German border, a German police patrol chose us. A police motorcycle led us to the nearest highway rest area, where his colleagues were waiting. And there were many of them! At least 5 police vans. Probably the German “Operation Christopher” (code name for a week-long intensive police intervention on Czech roads – control of drivers and cars). The in – depth inspection was replaced only by an inspection of our IDs and we were free to continue our journey.

We’re stopping at the charger for about 25 minutes. We replenish approximately 50% of the battery. A short walk to the petrol station shop and we are ready to head off.

The next stop is at the outskirts of Sangerhausen just past Leipzig. After about 170km from the last charging station. We’re having a snack at the restaurant here and staying for about 40 minutes.

The last planned stop is the station close to the city of Kassel, about 140km further. Here, we can count an incredible 14 Tesla charging stations plus chargers from other providers. We are the only at the moment charging vehicle. A short stop – a walk, refilling of water and after 20 minutes we’re setting off. Our last part of the trip took us to our booked hotel. It’s around 10pm and before bedtime, we’re getting a well-deserved beer. The car is charging on low power mode overnight at the hotel charger.

Morning and Way Back

After the night, both we as well as the car are fully charged for a following day. We are in a good mood. We are having an all-day meeting with a company involved in the production of public transport vehicles. We are interested in the electric ones that need a battery system (trolleybuses, e-buses).

We consider the meeting a success and a little after 3pm we’re setting off back to the Czech Republic. Charging takes place at the same stations as the day before. The highways are again very clear. We’re crossing the border at about 11pm and getting home around midnight. Eureka.

Technical parameters of the journey

  • Total travelled distance approx. – 1,500km in 2 days
  • Average electricity consumption approx. – 20kWh / 100km
  • Cruising speed around 130km/h on the highway
  • Only occasional use of Tesla’s dynamic capabilities (no great accelerations)
  • Interior air conditioning ON throughout the whole journey
  • Air temperature during the day +30°C
  • Approximate cost for electric energy is 85 EUR

Conclusion

Travelling by electric car over long distances may seem like a significant restriction of freedom. In my opinion, however, it is mainly about changing acquired habits and mind-set. As the biggest benefit of forced stops (and there weren’t many), I take the fact that the driver and passengers get a break from continuous driving, which, although it doesn’t seem to be the case, is very exhausting. A short walk, stretching or visit to the restroom is a welcomed refreshment. Thanks to this, one feels much more alive at the end of the journey than after driving with only one to two short stops.

Due to the fact that the stops are planned on selected chargers, I would not recommend a longer journey for parents with small children. However, the electric car has proved its worth for long business trips, and I will definitely not resist to take another business trip by electric car.

Superchargers

  • Im Industriegebiet 1, 01683 Nossen, Germany
  • Am Mittelfeld 5, 06526 Sangerhausen, Germany
  • Triftstraße 11, 34355 Staufenberg, Germany

Jakub Eliáš – nano power a.s.

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