Back to Seville after the holidays
Hello again! I’m Ivan, member of Cable Energía’s Business Development department, you may remember me from last week’s post. In it, I shared with you my experience returning home for Christmas, a 13-hour journey in a 100% electric car. Getting to Oviedo from Seville via Portugal was not easy. However, after being challenged by the electric vehicle charging network that guided my way… I made it!
It was time to return home from holidays and getting back to Seville. The come back would be different, as I was carrying with me all the learnings from the outward journey. Do you want to know how it went? I’ll tell you about it below!
The first day I left my house nervous, the trip was starting strong. Do you remember Filomena? Some of you are probably still living the effects of the storm. Well, this first journey was the mountain section of the Huerna on the AP-66, at the highest moment of the storm, with roads that were not in the best condition. I did not know how the car would be responding.
I got over the mountain pass with pretty good consumption results (less than 25 kWh/100 km) and charged without any major problems at one of the chargers I had already used on the way in Palazuelo.
In the afternoon, I arrived to Zamora where I charged at a Schuko plug in the car park of the hotel where I was staying. However, being a domestic plug, it was designed to provide auxiliary services in the car park, not to charge electric vehicles. This could cause problems to the hotel because of the excess power. In this situation, I proposed to the hotel manager the installation of an intelligent charging point, which, among other benefits, would allow him to balance power and give priority to the demand of the hotel over the energy demand of the car.
The next day, I returned early to my journey, suffering the effects of the storm, driving in -7 degrees at 10.30 in the morning, with all that that implies. Although the consumption of EVs on the motorway and at low temperatures normally goes through the roof, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Nissan Leaf only consumed 2 or 3 kWh/100km more than normal.
My next stop was in Salamanca, where on my outbound journey I had experienced some problems recharging. I decided to give the charger a second chance and try it again, but weeks after my first encounter, it was still not working. It was the APP that was giving me glitches and not allowing me to start charging. Moreover, I was pretty sure that the charger was working perfectly. Who is responsible for the maintenance of the chargers?
Finally, thanks to a Nissan Leaf user who was charging before me, I was able to activate charging through his account, and then compensate him for the payment via Bizum. One of the positive things about driving an electric vehicle is that those of us who are part of this group support each other, as we know that sometimes it is not easy because the charging network is still lacking.
Had it not been for their selfless help, I would probably have had to change my travel plans, as the Nissan dealer who had saved me on the way there was closed.
The final destination for the day was Plasencia, where I spent the night. I decided to charge in the Circontrol 22kw charger or the hotel where I was staying, which was not integrated with any APP. To activate it I had to go to the reception and ask for it to be activated, a process that could have been saved if the charger had been integrated in an App…
My last day of the trip went normally, stopping to recharge in Almendralejo the enough power for getting to Seville without any problems. Once again I found an unintuitive APP with a long and complicated registration process, but at least this one worksed and I was able to charge the vehicle normally.
The Almendralejo-Seville section gave me the opportunity to experience a long stretch of motorway with an interesting gradient, perfect for testing how this affected to the autonomy of the car.
The Almendralejo-Seville section gave me the opportunity to experience a long stretch of motorway with an interesting gradient, perfect for testing how this affects the autonomy and to be able to squeeze the vehicle’s performance.
After a steady climb of almost 500 metres, I could see a considerable increase in fuel consumption which, if it had persisted over time, would not have allowed me to reach Seville in the time I had planned. However, as soon as the descent to Seville began, I did not worry about it, as the electric vehicle not only does not consume, but also recharges the battery when going downhill.
After my odyssey to reach the north, this trip has been a great experience. I have been able to enjoy a calmer and more pleasant journey thanks to everything I learnt on the way there.
I think it is necessary to standardise the use of chargers, regardless of the company that manages them, in order to facilitate their use and speed up the user experience. A charger with an APP that is not updated and is exclusive makes it impossible to use.
On the other hand, I think it is important to implement charging stations in hotels and restaurants. When EV users travel, we always plan our trip in such a way that we can have lunch or dinner at the same time as charging in a restaurant.
In addition, when it comes to accommodation, we look for a hotel where we have access to a charging point that allows us to have the car charged the next morning. With more and more EV users, adapting to this new future is necessary for everyone, otherwise they will lose potential customers.
Finally, I am satisfied that I was able to complete my trip without major inconveniences and being 100% sustainable. I admire the new developments that are taking place in the electric mobility sector, from the incredible increase in the capacity of car batteries to the large deployment of chargers that is taking place. It is becoming easier and more convenient to travel long distances in an all-electric car, but we must continue to invest in it so that more and more people use sustainable transport.