On vacation with the electric car

On vacation with the electric car

Range as the bottleneck of electromobilityDriving on vacation is a kind of supreme discipline when it comes to demonstrating a car's suitability for everyday use. This was already the case in the 1950s, when 25 hp and an interior filled to bursting point had to be used to maneuver children and their families across the Alps, and it is still the case now when it comes to defending the last bastion of the internal combustion engine: range.

Range is the elephant in the room that many passionate e-car enthusiasts tend to overlook, or try to charmingly sidestep in discussion. While diesel and gasoline engines run exactly as long as their driver can keep driving (apart from a possible refueling stop), electric cars depend on the remaining capacity of the battery – which is limited to a few hundred kilometers.

You can get to work just as easily as you can do the weekly shopping or go to the sports club, but the electric car reaches its limits when it comes to long distances. Must one with the vacation journey with the electric car thus with an approach time of several days count? In short: No, you can reach your destination quickly even with an electric car, if you keep a few things in mind.

1. Plan route

While there are now plenty of apps to help you find charging options for your electric-powered vacation vehicle (a good app is Chargemap, for example), regardless of the quality of the apps, there is currently a catch here:

Currently, in order to be able to tap electricity at a publicly accessible charging station, you need the appropriate equipment. This is either the app of the respective charging station operator or a special charging card. Because you don't get the latter just like that during the ride, but have to apply for it in advance, you should familiarize yourself in advance with the charging stations located on the route. This is how you can quickly find the respective charging station operators and, if necessary, obtain a corresponding charging card.

In order to put a stop to the payment confusion at the charging stations, the federal government has already brought a law on the way some months ago, which forces the charging station operators to more price transparency and a EC card payment possibility, for the journey into the vacation with the electric car is up-to-date (and it concerns here finally the vacation 2021) however still future dreams.

By the way: If you are already planning your route, it makes sense to look for so-called fast charging stations when choosing a charging station. This refers to charging stations with a capacity of more than 50 kilowatts. This recharges the battery much faster. Within 20 minutes, you have enough juice in your electric tank for the next 200 kilometers.

2. Use charging time

Despite the fast charging station, charging the battery takes much longer than filling up a combustion engine. After all, that's back on track within minutes and ready to take on the next 1.000 kilometers at a stretch. With an electric car, you are forced to take a break of 20 minutes or more.

During this time, of course, you can sit in the car and concentrate on making the time pass as quickly as possible. But this does not really make sense. Neither does it make the electric car charge faster, nor can you count this time as time well spent.

However, if you plan your route and plan to stop at one or the other fast-charging station, you can make good use of your breaks. There are many ways to do this, from the obligatory cup of coffee to a visit to a tourist attraction within walking distance. It is important not to see the charging time simply as lost time, but to make good use of the decelerating effect of the electric car. After all, you are on vacation.

3. Eyes on the target

The north is the new south – or something like that. While in the 50s and 60s the trip to Italy was the measure of all things, with the electric car you should better take the trip to the north. The reason: The charging network in northern Europe is much better developed than in the south. In the whole of Spain, for example, there are only 5.000 charging stations. By way of comparison, in Bavaria alone there are 8.412 charging stations. While the south is currently still a wasteland for electric vehicles, e-car drivers can relax and look forward to a vacation in the north.


Going on vacation with an electric car is actually a bit more demanding than with a combustion engine. In practice, this means a little extra effort when planning the route. The one or other small excursion on the way to the desired destination. At the same time, this is also one of the advantages of going on vacation with an electric car: deceleration.

After all, the purpose of a vacation is to relax. Why should one not start with it already on the journey? The eMobile Academy wishes all – whether electrically or conventionally on the way – a nice vacation.

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