Saturday, February 03, 2018

The Diary's electric road trip

If you noticed your editor wasn't much visible in Kilcullen during the week, it was because I was on a very interesting road trip, writes Brian Byrne.

The Tesla Motors company had invited myself and fellow motoring journalist Trish Whelan to Alpbach in Austria to experience driving their Models S and X in snow, to show off the AWD capability of their cars.

And then to drive a Model S all the way back to Dublin, to show that an electric car can do the long distance travel thing just as easily as a standard car with a petrol or diesel engine.

It can. Leaving Alpbach late on Tuesday afternoon, we arrived back in Dublin at lunchtime on Friday, a total distance of more than 1,900km of which 1,750km was actual driving.

Under the sea on the Eurotunnel.
The rest was crossing the English Channel by EuroTunnel, and the Irish Sea courtesy of Stena Line.

Charging during lunch stop at Nancy, France.
On the trip we recharged from Tesla supercharger stations at Nancy and Reims in France, and Warwick in England. The car was also charged during hotel overnights in Zurich, Calais, and Holyhead (that last in the very unusual Chateau Rhianfa on Anglesey).

Overnight charging at the Chateau Rhianfa on Anglesey.

It was long driving each day, far more than anyone on holidays would sensibly do, and in a variety of conditions which included torrential rain. But it showed very much to me that electricity can be just as convenient a power source for a car as any other 'fuel'.

Heading for the Vosges area of France.
Oldest and newest on the historic road from London to Holyhead.
Both of us will be writing in detail of the experience in our respective motoring outlets, including our own 'Irish Car+Travel' magazine (the current Car Guide 2018 issue is in the shops at the moment).

But given the number of electric cars already in Kilcullen, as evidenced in a recent 'Bridge Magazine' article, I thought the Diary's readers might be interested.