The question I hear quite often is whether we should make and report such EV trips. What’s the point in this moment of adoption when everyone knows you can go any distance in your electric vehicle? You can do it comfortably now, after all, and travel cheaper than when you’re pumping bloody oil into a smelly gasmobile. Well, people don’t – I mean, not everyone does. Besides the sheer fun of completing an EV quest, the point is always to prove to non-believers (they always outnumber believers) that you can go any distance in your EV. You can do it in good time and in great comfort, and you’ll travel cheaper than when pumping bloody oil to use in a gas-powered motorcycle.
This is exactly why the journalists of WysokieNapiecie.pl leave their love partners, sacrifice some exciting office time and go challenge another corner of Europe – this time driving the Hyundai Kona Electric. As you may have read in the two previous articles, they reached the Bosphorus Strait (which has been voted the most easterly point in Europe). It was the latest stage of a 4-year VE effort. To sum up again, they went to Nordkapp (northernmost point in Europe), Cap de Roca (westernmost point), Pointe Marroqui (southernmost point), and now the Bosphorus. So it’s time to have fun and show some more facts about electric vehicles.
4 seas in one day
One thing is for sure – no one can complain about the views on this trip. Starting from the Black Sea, skirting the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea, we reached the coast of the Ionian Sea after 945 km (587 miles). Although the journey was mostly on expressways and highways, it took us just over 11 hours. In question, the slowness of the exit from Istanbul, countless speed limits on Turkish roads, a long wait at the border, and… 3 charging sessions (instead of 2 possibly, but the team gave in to fear of unavailable Greek stations) . The Shell Recharge card had ruined the WysokieNapiecie.pl drivers and the vision of using ElpeFuture’s Greek network, not offered as part of roaming and perhaps not fully operational in the relaxed spirit of warm southern Europe, scared them a little. All in all, they decided to do three charging stops, as a precaution.
The first stop was made while we were still in Turkey after three hours on the road, to do some small shopping. It took 25 minutes with a ZES 120kW fast charger. After another 3 hours of driving they made a longer stop for dinner in Greece which took 55 minutes – so even a slower 50kW charge was good and sufficient. A little concerned about the potential charging situation in Greece, the team opted to do the third charging stop after 2 hours of driving to suck up all the available kWh, which meant 55 minutes of extra charging time. It was also, remarkable as it was, the only time the team had to wait for the car to load – unlike two other instances where the car was waiting for them to complete their races. Compared to an ICE car, the extra time added was 30-40 minutes, as the rest was part of normal commuting behavior, whatever you’re driving.
As for the costs, the Balkans are quite expensive. The cost of fast charging in Turkey (€0.53/kWh) and Greece (€0.65/kWh) can be considered high. On the other hand, the Greek hotel charged only a symbolic € to recharge the Kona, which means that the average energy price along the four seas was €0.41/kWh. Doing the usual calculation of the cost per 100 km, it seems quite high at €7.60, but the same price would only buy you 4 liters of fuel (petrol at €1.95/l, and diesel at €1.87 /I). Fuel is significantly more expensive than what Europe was used to before Russia started the war in the East, and now fuel and energy prices keep rising.
Stay tuned for the 4th article documenting this trip, to be published soon. And let us know if you have any questions about charging in these countries or taking a Hyundai Kona EV on a road trip!
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