Ah, the joys of family road trips! The anticipation, the excitement, the… electric vehicle charging? That’s right. We decided to embark on a journey from Buckingham to the picturesque Dordogne in a Tesla Model 3. Range anxiety, blocking the ferry and running out of charge?
Setting Off from Buckingham
Our journey began in Buckingham, and with two young children in tow, my primary aim was to keep the car as charged as possible.
Toilet breaks with kids are unpredictable, and I didn’t always follow the Tesla’s charging suggestions. Instead, I’d search for the next Supercharger location on the Tesla navigation. Our first pitstop was at Gridserve/Tesla on the M2. A 45-minute break for toilets and drinks, and voila! We had a nearly full charge.
The Dover-Calais Crossing
We reached Dover and, to our delight, P&O Ferries had availability on a DFDS vessel. We were onboard in no time. Now, I’d heard rumours about ferry operators being wary of EVs, expecting them to spontaneously combust or something. But our Tesla was treated just like any other car.
We switched off the Sentry Alarm and enjoyed a smooth crossing. And guess what? Contrary to tabloid tales, our battery level remained unchanged upon arriving in Calais. So much for draining the battery and causing a Channel Crossing catastrophe!
The French Adventure Begins
Our first French stop was after about 70 miles at Aire De La Baie De Somme. The kids were famished, and Le Pizza Hut was a welcome sight. And, of course, there was a Tesla Charger. Full bellies and a full battery – the perfect combo!
Then came the dreaded Paris leg. Note to self: Avoid Parisian traffic in the future. After a gruelling four hours, we reached Orleans. A quick 20-minute Supercharger stop outside the city, and we were off to our hotel for the night.
The Journey South
The next day, after a delightful continental breakfast, we hit the road. With the Tesla’s handy navigation, finding Superchargers was a breeze.
We stopped at Châteauroux Supercharger, nestled in the beautiful grounds of the Relais Saint-Jacques Hotel. Plane spotters, there’s an airport nearby!
A couple of hours later, hunger struck again. We pulled into Tesla Supercharger E.Leclerc Limoges. Pro tip: Choose the E.Leclerc one, there are two near Limoges.
It’s a mega place with a vast supermarket, a food hall, and a 250kw supercharger. 15 minutes later, we were on our way to Camping Le Paradis Dordogne.
A Week in Dordogne
Our week in Dordogne was magical. The campsite had on-site fast and destination chargers, ensuring our Tesla was always juiced up.
Destination chargers and a fast charger if need be meant that the car was always fully charged for a day of exploring the local area.
A fantastic campsite for families, three pools, splash park, a great Kid’s Club entertainment team and much more
We spotted some unique EV colours from the Netherlands and noticed many EVs, even towing caravans. The best part? Every charger in France works, and they’re never blocked by petrol/diesel vehicles. They’re everywhere, making it easy to park and charge.
The Journey Back
Our return journey was just as smooth. We stopped at the Limoges Supercharger again, then Veirzon. We stayed overnight in Chartres, a much better option than Orleans, and made our way to Rouen. The Supercharger there was quaint, surrounded by woods, perfect for a picnic (though watch out for mosquitos!).
Finally, we reached Calais, topped up at a Supercharger, and boarded a bustling ferry home. With a full charge, we drove straight to Buckingham without any stops.
So, why the regret? Because France’s EV infrastructure is leagues ahead of the UK’s. Every time I read a tabloid article bemoaning EV ownership, my blood boils. Our most expensive charge was £18, and the entire trip cost around £70. Plus, French motorways even indicate which services have EV charging. It’s these little touches that make all the difference.
In conclusion, my only regret about driving my family to France in an EV is the sheer jealousy I feel towards France’s superior infrastructure. But hey, at least we had a fantastic trip!
At every Supercharger stop, our EV Styling Tesla became an instant showstopper. It wasn’t just the sleek design of the Tesla itself, but the stunning alloys that truly set it apart. We received a barrage of compliments, with many fellow EV enthusiasts inquiring about where we got such exquisite alloy work done. It was a testament to the impeccable craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal that EV Styling brings to the table. If you too want your EV to stand out and make a statement, don’t wait. Elevate your vehicle’s look with EV Styling today. Transform your ride, and let it be the envy of every Supercharger stop!