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Across Poland by electric car (2021). Travel report.  1350 km in 4 days with a Nissan Leaf 62kw

Electric cars are increasingly appearing on Polish roads. Currently, there are over 35 000 plug-in vehicles. The government promotes this solution by subsidising vehicles or charging infrastructure. What is the use of this kind of vehicle in today’s reality? What can the driver expect when taking a longer route? I will try to describe the conditions during the 4-day trip, during which I had 1350 km to cover. I will also mention the car itself.

 

Nissan Leaf 62kwh

Chademo and Type 2 charging

iOS apps, latest versions

 

The journey started at the dealership in Warsaw, with a distance of about 270 km to Kalisz. The battery was practically full. I reached Sieradz (200 km) with a reserve of 17%. On the way I quickly found a charger – it was GreenWay in a shopping centre. I pulled up to the place and there was no signage. I drove around the mall, then stopped and started reading on the app where the charger was located. As the instructions indicated, it was in the upper car park of the shopping centre. Charging the 50kw DC took 53min, the car consumed 27 kwh and the cost was about 60 PLN. I arrived in Kalisz with energy for the next drive.

 

What was the biggest problem with charging in Sieradz? I didn’t know if the charging station would be free. Greenway only offers a live preview, but what if someone arrives 5 minutes before me?… Luckily for me, the station was free – the next station was 60 km away.

 

The next time I looked for OrlenCharge. How much trouble I had trying to run the application! I could not register in any way. It turned out that the application has errors and it is not possible to enter the name or surname correctly. The problem was solved by typing everything in lower case… but how was I supposed to know that? Additionally, there is a 200 PLN fee, which is refunded after the session.

 

Welcome to Kalisz, that is another hassle while loading the car! Charging stations are so rare that one of the few choices are dealers’ garages. A trip to Audi, and a Nexity charger. I drive to the site, but the station was busy. I drive up to the site, but the station is busy. Someone finishes loading, then packs things into the car – they had a mini picnic in the process. Unfortunately, there are no “attractions” near the station, we can only count on the gas station opposite. The time has come for me, but in no way can I start charging. Pressing on the post and on the smartphone, I still could not start charging. I asked the companion next to me how he managed, I heard that he also tried to connect, but without success. Only after 30 minutes did he start the process – with the help of the staff at the Audi dealership… I drove on.

 

Ecotap-Poland, modern equipment from ABB, lots of space, signs pointing towards the charger. So the first impression is positive. I plug in the car, but the app cannot process the payment. In the method selection, entering credit card details is blocked. I restart, try to enter the data again, still without success. Fortunately, there is a service number listed at the charging station. I called. No one picks up. After a while I get a call, tell them about the problem and wait for another person to call me. I finally got the information to provide billing details and the bill will come at the end of the month. The first charging session took 4 minutes. A whole 2.73 kWh, after which the charging stopped. Luckily I was still in the car and started the second charge… I checked on the forum that the situation likes to repeat itself. I restarted and continued for 19 minutes which gave 11.07 kWh. 

 

In the evening it was time to check the only and in addition free charger in Ostrów Wielkopolski. All the spaces were occupied, however, after arriving a basic AC charging point became free. As I’ve grown accustomed to, it’s not perfect here either. No clear  information, no contact to anyone – but the station exists. DC fast chargers were busy, and when I plugged in the AC, it didn’t recognize the vehicle. I couldn’t start a session at all. Could it be that the power draw on the other stations was too high? I don’t know. 

 

On leftover energy, I returned to Kalisz, where the hope was the AC station of GreenWay partner in the Hilton. You have to pay an extra 5 PLN to enter the car park. Charging lasted 38 minutes and replenished the energy by only 6%. It costed me 13 PLN.

 

As I don’t have a home charger yet (waiting for a connection), at the end of the day I had to charge from a regular socket. 10 hours at 230V gave 20% battery. 

 

The journey to Poznan was definitely safer. There are already some points as well as a lot of competition, so you can choose.

 

To sum up, driving 1050 km in three days cost me about 370 PLN. 

This gives 35,24 PLN per 100 km, using mostly fast chargers. 

 

When buying an electric car, in my opinion, you have to reckon with your own charging point. An ordinary socket and 32 hours of charging do not pass the test. Longer routes are possible, but the uncertainty of a free charger arises. There are stations available in larger cities, but we always go to them without any guarantee of a free spot. For example, we have 500 km to go, we set off fully charged and have to stop on the road. As long as it is 45 minutes, when we eat something and go to the restroom, there is no problem. However, when we still have to wait, say, 20 minutes before someone releases the charger and only then charge our own car… it becomes annoying.

 

About Nissan Leaf

 

The latest Nissan Leaf is a great “civilian” car. Well designed and intuitive. The only things that stand out on the road are the green plates and the silence (even in the latest 2021 model you can fully turn off the artificial sound). The active cruise control works well, able to brake to zero and self-start with the car ahead. Autopilot, or rather keeping you driving in the middle of lanes, works well on expressways. Outside built-up areas and on “islands” in the road it can get lost. The multimedia system definitely deserves a mention. It works smoothly and can also be controlled with buttons and a dial. Considering the Nissan Leaf in its most powerful version with a real range of about 300 km, this is a car rather for short journeys. Acceleration to 100 km/h of less than 7 seconds is definitely sufficient in the city, and the safety systems are a plus.

 

How Share.P can help in today’s reality?

 

We keep an eye on the market and respond to real problems. The charger reservation system will contribute to less stress and easier trip planning. Circling around will no longer be necessary. Driving somewhere further away and having to wait for a charger? It’s no excuse… With Share.P, no one will take your spots a moment before! This is a huge improvement in comfort.

 

To popularize electric cars, more charging stations are also necessary. Thanks to Share.P, those on private property can also be used! 

 

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