Days 1 and 2: heading south
No need for a very early start from Frankfurt am Mein today. Our first leg should only lead us to Geneva – a stopover we’ve chosen because we’ve never been to this city before and it’s more or less located in the middle of our route. The shortest way to get to the south of France from Frankfurt am Mein would actually lead through France, but the praised infrastructure for EVs in Switzerland is simply tempting. And as always, we strive to see as many new places as possible.
So with the battery at 100 per cent – which is actually not recommended and makes only sense if you’re planning to set out on a longer drive – and the trunk full of stuff we’re southbound. After roughly 250 kilometres we’re stopping for the first time at a gas station with an ancient 50-kW triple charger… which is occupied by combustion engine cars! One of the drivers frees the spot for us, though, only to find out that this charger is not working!
The huge luggage compartment that’s also Simply Clever thanks to its hooks, boxes and nets.
Anyway, with still more than 20 per cent of juice this isn’t an issue – yet a negative experience as it forces us to make another stop quite soon. The guy who blocked the charger was very interested in the ENYAQ iV (“impressive car”), so at least we could spark a chit-chat that used to be called “Benzingespräch” (Petrol Talk). Will that change to “Stromgespräch” anytime soon?
Some kilometres down the highway we can see on the map that there’s a 150-kW charger not far from a fast food restaurant where we can stop for a proper break. Only 45 minutes later (which translates into a quick walk, a burger and a restroom stop) and with more than 90 per cent state of charge, we’re hitting the road towards Geneva again.
Southern Europe offers sun, sea and beautiful views.
For a second I’m tempted to try ENYAQ iV’s limited top speed of 160 kmh on the freeway, but it doesn’t really make sense. I rarely drive faster than 140 kmh which is an extremely convenient travelling speed. I switch on the travel assist and enjoy what a modern car is capable of. (Should I mention the massage seat?)
Not far from Geneva we decide to add some more kWh to our battery – we don’t know what the charging possibilities in the city centre will look like. However, this turned out to be a completely useless stop as a while later we’re parking in a parking garage with a free-of-charge charging spot – but only 3.6 kW fast. We don’t mind, it’s great for an overnight “refuel”. At 9 AM the ŠKODA mobile app notifies us “fully charged” – perfect!
Fully charging the battery is no problem at the hotel.
Our second leg from Geneva to Fréjus is simply stunning. We have left highways, taking smaller roads with wonderful views and less traffic. This results in impressively low consumption.
The next charger we find – using the highly recommended AirElectric app – is in a Provençale city called Manosque. Sadly, it’s not in the centre of the picturesque French town, but in a rather boring industrial area – we think... Until we realise that it’s just at the back of the French cosmetic company L’Occitane en Provence! There’s an impressive factory outlet store, open even on Sundays! This is exactly what happens when you’re “forced” to leave the freeway. Well, the stop cost us a bit more than just the price for the electricity. But who cares – this is a vacation!
In the late afternoon we arrive at our hotel in Port Fréjus. We’re relaxed after the drive and our ENYAQ iV sees the sea for the first time.