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Electric cars: can we easily recharge on the road to vacation?

Electric cars: can we easily recharge on the road to vacation?
Written by madishthestylebar

29 minutes: this is the average charging time observed on Ionity electric terminals, a high-power network which is rapidly weaving its network on the motorways of the European continent. And 29 minutes is definitely longer than filling up on unleaded.

However, thousands of electrified motorists will use Ionity or its competitors, from Tesla (part of whose network is now open to other brands) to Fastned, this summer on the road to vacation.

Should the growing number of electric car drivers be afraid of wasting hours in service areas this summer?

While anticipating some occasional “traffic jams”, the players in the sector want to be reassuring. ” The summer season represents a challenge, to which the extensions that we recently launched in Metz, a station which covers the descent from the countries of the north to the south of France, or Montélimar, will in particular endeavor to respond. In fact, all stations on the A6, A7 or A8 will be heavily used during the summer“, declares to Caradisiac David Mignan, director of the deployment of Ionity in Europe. ” We are trying to run forecast models to assess summer traffic, but it is very difficult because a lot of factors come into play: travelers coming from abroad, the number of vehicles on the road, car sales electricity in the previous months… »

Even if the forecasts are difficult (especially when they concern the future, as Pierre Dac said), we can be sure that there will be people on the roads this summer.

+369% charging acts over one year at Ionity

A few “hot spells” are therefore to be feared during traffic peaks. David Mignan, again: “ We expect a few days with peak usage at some stations. The crossovers have the advantage for us of diffusing the use a little, of impacting one side or the other of the highway, but it is indeed a time when there are people and that will refer to the stations. »

“Zero emission” cars have represented 10% of new car sales in Europe since the start of the year, and nearly 12% in France, where there are now more than 570,000 in circulation. ” The number of charging acts increased by 369% between the first quarter of 2021 and the same period in 2022 “says Ionity. When we tell you that it is accelerating on the electric front!

At the end of March, out of 428 service areas, 65% were connected or about to be. We weren’t even at 20% in April 2021 » Cécile Goubet, Avere-France

The good news is that while the French fleet of electric cars has increased by 35% compared to June 2021, that of the number of terminals deployed on our roads has grown in parallel by 81%, to reach 60,040 units at the last score at the end of April.

Even if all these terminals are not deployed on the motorway, the network appears sufficiently dense to meet the over-demand expected in July-August.

Vinci Autoroutes has 110 equipped areas, i.e. 61% of its network, which represents 433 charging points, including 292 ultra-fast. At APRR and AREA, 66% of the 98 motorway rest areas are already equipped with high-power electric charging points. According to an RTE/Enedis study, the need for electricity during travel peaks could rise to 40 megawatts in certain areas, i.e. the power of Orly airport: “ we are going to need significant investments to over-equip the areas in order to make stops more fluid “, recently commented on Caradisiac a representative of Vinci Autoroutes.

At the end of March, out of 428 service areas, 65% were connected or about to be. We weren’t even at 20% in April 2021 “recalls Cécile Goubet, General Delegate of Avere-France, interviewed by Caradisiac. ” We are on track to meet the January 2023 deadline, which aims for 100% of areas equipped with charging stations. And even if we exceed the deadline of 2-3 months, it will not be too serious: the important thing is that we arrive at 100% before the summer of 2023. Things are quickly set up, with real stations with 4, 8 or 12 terminals, more than half of which deliver a power greater than 150 kW. »

Not too much to worry about on the network side, therefore, but on condition that you take a few precautions. It will thus be preferable to avoid driving on electric motorways on “big” Saturdays at rush hour, at the risk of exposing yourself to a little (a lot?) wait at certain terminals.

More importantly, it is better to be aware of the capacities of your car in terms of autonomy so as not to transform the departure on vacation into a way of the cross.

Yes, you still have to prepare your long electric journeys a bit and identify potential difficulties, but to better overcome them. A (small) price to pay certainly, but that will largely compensate for the pleasure of no longer having to pay more than 2 € for a liter of fuel.

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