A trip by an electric car can be breathtaking, impressive, and rich in unique experience. Especially when driving a brand new car. Hypothetically, this should have been the vacation of Alexander Jovilet and his family from Luxembourg, but instead of strong emotions, they got a lot of problems and experienced huge stress. The reason is the chaos prevailing on the chargers.


The unusual story was narrated by focus.de journalists. Alexander decided to go on a trip to France with his family. They had just purchased an electric SUV Kia e-Niro, and went on a vacation - what could go wrong?


However, after a while, the difficulties occurred. And they were related to charging: the infrastructure itself in Europe is already quite developed, but it is not easy for drivers without a "smart" control system that could check the charger's availability and compatibility with a car, book chargers, as well as navigate to them. It was this fact that turned a family trip into a real horror.


All along the trip Alexander, in fact, had one successful charging - the first one, before leaving home. In all other cases, there were problems. Namely:

  • The first charging station, located in Vichy, was occupied by another car. The Chargemap app (the family chose it as a travel guide) did not notify that the station couldn’t charge more than one EV at a time, so they had to wait for a long time.
  • The next "point" was the fast charger in Bergerac, which brought another "surprise" - it turned out that the Chargemap app is not compatible with this charger’s operator. The operator's representative suggested using another app. As a result, they succeeded to "plug", but the charging process was temperamental, so they refilled the battery by only a few percent.
  • Later, they found another charger, but it turned out that it belonged to the same operator, so it didn't work too (Alexander said that the charging process started, but it automatically stopped a minute later for unknown reasons). By this time the car was already completely discharged, so they had to call a tow truck; the Kia customer support picked the car. There was an assumption that the problems could be caused by technical malfunctions of e-Niro, but the diagnostics ruled out this version.
  • The car was successfully charged only at the holiday destination: Kia representatives took the SUV to the place of the family stay, so they charged it from a regular socket.
  • On the way back, charging was finally successful (the family used the Ionity network), although they had one incident - in one of the parking lots, someone turned off charging, so they lost a few hours.


In general, Alexander said that he was satisfied with the car, and he really liked the philosophy of electric cars but admitted that the infrastructure doesn’t work appropriately everywhere. We would like to add that if he used the To-U app, he could have avoided many problems, maybe even all of them.

The To-U application covers more than 65,000 charging stations in 47 countries around the world. It allows drivers to book a charger, get all the necessary information about it, map the best route, etc. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.


Source: focus.de

Aug 28, 2020
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