May 26, 2023
E-Mobility Road Trip to Norway - Interview with Ronald and Johannes
As our e-mobility enthusiasts, Ronald and Johannes, embarked on their electrifying journey to Oslo, they not only encountered breathtaking landscapes. Along the way, they had the chance to connect with electric car owners and share their stories and experiences. You may have caught a glimpse of this adventure on Instagram or followed them on Polarsteps, but their collection of stories goes far beyond that.
What was it like to spend 6 days on the road and drive over 4,500 km with an electric Hyundai Ioniq 5? What were the standout moments and challenges? Will there be more e-mobility-driven journeys? We have 16 questions to find out!
To give you a full picture, we’ll start with facts and figures
- Total distance travelled: 4.633 km (according to speedometer)
- Number of charging stops: 8 x AC (at go-e Fans without costs) 1 x AC (car park) + 1 x DC (go-e partner without costs) + 18 (HPC/DC)
- Average consumption: 22,36 kWh/100 km
- Charging costs: 245,17 €
- Charged energy: 885,85 kWh (paid) / 150,25 kWh (unpaid)
- Temperature / weather: between 5 to 22 degrees Celsius depending on day and time
- Average speed: 79 km/h
- Battery capacity: 77,4 kWh
1. You chose an electric car to get to Norway over a plane or a train. Why?
Ronald: Our first mission was to get to the Nordic EV summit, a great e-mobility conference in the North. We simply wanted to know whether we were able to reach it in time with an electric car. We could have used a plane, but we wanted to try.
Johannes: The challenge for us was twofold. Firstly, the goal was to demonstrate our own experience of driving long distances with an electric car for our clients and customers. Secondly, we wanted to take the chance to visit the very people we work with every day, like our resellers and the clients we connect with on social media or via newsletter.
2. Did you reach the goal of getting to the summit?
Ronald: We managed to do it, but it definitely had its challenges. It wasn't about driving an electric car specifically, but just overall. We met so many friendly go-e fans along the way, and it was really great talking to them and hearing their stories. We could have easily stayed there for hours.
3. Have you experienced range anxiety at least once?
Ronald: We once experienced… well… something similar to it. One day, we were especially pressed for time and so we drove at about 190 kilometres per hour for a while. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone because it depletes the battery capacity very quickly. That's why we didn't make it to the next planned charging station and had to find another one.
4. What was the lowest battery level you experienced during your trip?
Johannes: As I remember, it was around 30 kilometres.
Ronald: Except in this one situation, we always had more than 10% of all battery capacity.
5. How much did the location of charging stations affect your route planning?
Johannes: We needed some planning, but it was fairly easy. You open the app with charging stations and choose one of the charging spots along the way on the route you have already selected. It's straightforward.
Ronald: We used the Charge myHyundai app since we were driving the Hyundai Ioniq 5. There isn't any charging station owned by Hyundai, but they have roaming partners and show you nearly every charging station on the road. We only used the app sometimes, because the car's navigation system actually showed us all the charging stations anyway. So we simply planned our route with it and were then prompted by the navigation system to use a charging station on the route if the battery capacity was not enough.
We had a tricky situation with the filters in the navigation system when we were searching for a charging point. Initially, we set the filter to only show us charging stations that were not occupied. That seemed like a good idea, but here's the catch: it actually doesn’t show you the occupied charging stations at all. The problem is, by the time you actually reach it, it might not be occupied anymore as it was one or two hours ago. But that already impacted your planning, you started looking for other charging options along the way, and so on. So, you really have to think about whether you want to use this feature.
6. How expensive was public charging?
Ronald: We had a special tariff offered by Hyundai in connection with IONITY, therefore, we paid 29 cents per kWh and a fixed amount of 13 EUR per month. Otherwise, we would have to pay 79 cents per kWh. Many other electric car brands offer similar tariffs. By the way, if you don't have a charging app and just use your charging card, you don't always know how much you will pay per kWh at different charging stations, if you don’t have a tariff with fixed prices. There is nearly never a hint of price on the display.
7. You were leaving go-e magnets all along the way. How many?
Johannes: Around 70. We also were giving them to people we met on the way. Those magnets were quite popular, several people reached out to us to ask where they could get them, one guy we met even wanted some for his children.
8. Did you encounter any challenges during your journey?
Ronald: One pain was that there was never a hotel with a charging station. If we had been able to charge while staying for a night, our car would have been fully charged in the morning. And we would have only two charging stops between, instead of 3 or 4. Sometimes, we had to charge before reaching the hotel, which is why we arrived later, sometimes at night, which wasn’t very convenient. However, we booked the hotels at short notice during the trip. With longer-term planning, we might have made a different decision.
In fact, once, we stayed at a hotel with a charger. But it was hard to make it work. The app we used for all other charging stations didn’t work, we tried another one, and that one didn’t work either. Although the latter was advertised on the charging station. Only after downloading the third app and after changing to the identical charger next to it we managed to connect and charge.
9. During your travels through different countries, did you face any language barriers?
Johannes: It was just once and in an unexpected country, Sweden. We stopped at a restaurant by the highway. I was asking for water, and then it was funny because the lady working there didn't understand what I'm saying in English. We were trying to say something like, “Where do you have water?” or “Can we have some water?” Later, I saw a drink suspender with several options. One option seemed like it could be the Swedish word for water.
10. How many people did you end up meeting along the way? Who were they?
Ronald: We made 10 stops to meet people who were go-e fans and resellers. Many of them welcomed us with food and drinks, and if we stayed longer, they were ready to show us their house, give us a tour of the city or town where they lived and spend much more time with us. Their kindness and openness were really impressive.
Johannes: The people who reached out were a special kind of people. They wanted to share their stories, but they also were interested in the go-e products a lot. We truly enjoyed staying with them, and it was very hard to leave. Also, almost everyone gave us a bit of electricity to charge, sometimes from solar panels, so we were driving on green energy from the sun as well.
11. Can you share three highlights from your trip?
Ronald: The first highlight was meeting the very first client on our way, Wolfgang. He developed his own phase switching for the go-e Charger V2. And that’s really special because even we at go-e don’t offer that option. Only V3 and the later models offer phase switching.
Johannes: The next special event was meeting Gunter and his wife Dorothea from Germany. They had a “Trabant”, an old car built in East Germany in 1988. We had a short but memorable ride. The inside design was something: the car had a lamp hanging in front, a modern radio, and many more eye-catching elements you would never expect to see there. By the way, the couple received tickets to the Power2Drive Europe exhibition in Munich from us for free.
Johannes: And I can't forget to mention the ferry ride from Sweden to Germany. It was quite an adventure, and my personal highlight… The weather was stormy, the waves were high, and at some point, things like plates and other items around started falling, and everything was moving up and down. So I was struggling a bit to keep my course. Ronald was trying to pretend nothing was happening, but when he was walking it looked like Bambi on ice. So that was one memorable ride for both of us, - Johannes says laughing.
Ronald: Each visit of go-e fans and partners as well as the Summit in Oslo was a highlight of its own. It is a pity that we cannot go into detail about everything. Thanks to everyone we were able to meet and thanks for the hospitality.
12. Based on your experience, what advice or tips would you give to someone planning a similar trip with an electric car?
Ronald: You need a car with a decent range. Although, in principle, this can be done with any car. On our way, we were told about a man who drove a Renault Twizy from Munich to the North Cape (around 3700 km) some years ago. The range of this car is around 60 km. Plus, back then it was really a challenge as the charging network was much smaller.
13. What is the lowest acceptable car range for you for travelling long distances?
Ronald: I think 250 km is acceptable, and everything above 300 km is not just acceptable but also pretty comfortable. You need to consider that you can’t use 100% of the range.
14. If you could change anything about the trip, would you?
Johannes: I would not change anything, I think we were well-prepared. One small thing, though: I wish I used my 360° camera more often. There have been moments when I thought, “Eh, that would be cool to shoot,” but it was too late already.
Ronald: I would do it all over again. Our trip was filled with interesting people, we experienced travelling long distances with an electric car (something we often talk about), and we stayed in lovely places, for example, in a hotel in northern Germany that had rooms with a sea view. On top of that, we did make it to the e-mobility fair and back.
15. Do you have plans for more trips like this in the future?
Johannes: We would definitely want to have more trips like this. Many people reached out to us, saying they would be happy to meet us on the way, a lot of them from Austria. But during this last trip, we always had to be careful about the amount of time we stayed. That’s something to consider for the next trip.
Ronald: We could travel to Italy or Germany, for instance, but we need to select one region. Because the most interesting part was meeting different people, hearing their stories, and learning why they are living as they do. But we had to spend a lot of time driving in-between those meetings, which could be avoided if we stayed within the same area. So that’s the plan.
16. How would you describe your overall journey experience?
Ronald and Johannes: We had an absolutely lovely time, thanks to the incredible people we met along the way. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for their extraordinary hospitality, as they made us feel like part of their family and went above and beyond to show us around. From inviting us over for scrumptious breakfasts to treating us to delicious dinners, their kindness and friendliness made our experience truly special. In particular, we would like to thank Wolfgang in Traunwalchen, Wilhelm in Edling, Reinhard in Vaihingen/Enz, Uwe in Sehnde, Axel from Prokot Elektrotechnik in Hannover, Michael in Schneverdingen, Steffen in Stralsund, Gunter and Dorothea in Rosenbach, Nils and Isabell in Oberaurach, and the Nelhiebel Elektrotechnik team in Munich.
Looking back on their journey, Ronald and Johannes admit that they had some challenges, such as the lack of hotels with charging stations. Nevertheless, the meetings with customers and partners left a lasting impression, and the generosity of those they met, who provided them not only with delicious food but also sometimes renewable energy for the car, made the journey more sustainable and simply unforgettable. When it comes to travel plans, it sounds like new e-mobility adventures are to come.
Keywordsgo-e, electric car, road trip
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