Electric vehicle route planning – When I get my electric car, the 2018 Nissan Leaf, I’ll be working for the summer and my journeys are going to be restricted to a short journey to work and back. I only get one day off per week so there are not going to be many opportunities to do longer excursions. It seems a little bit of a shame because I’m looking forward to the fun of electric vehicle route planning. From what I’ve seen so far in videos and read on blog posts it’s a really good idea to do route planning before you set out. You really don’t want to be in the situation of having range anxiety or high and dry without electrons. It’s not going to be much fun to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no power left in the battery of the car. So you need to make sure before you set out there are going to be sufficient charging point on the way. Better still if you can have a number of charge point options. This is to take into account the possibility of a charge point not working and you needing to find one nearby. Or the chargers are all occupied and waiting in not an option. You want to make sure you’re going to be able to complete your journey.
A proper long journey in an electric vehicle
I’d really like to do a journey all around the Peninsula containing Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. Electric vehicle route planning is going to factor high in the list of priorities. My starting point will be in the north-east in Catalonia 100 km away from the French border. The plan will be to go south and visit towns like Tarragona, Valencia and Alicante. To keep costs down I will make it a camping trip. I expect I’ll be able to charge up overnight in camp sites. Also want to check out the public chargers along the way to see how easy it is to use these as a traveller. I’ll drive from east to west at the bottom of the peninsula and arrive in Portugal. Then I’ll travel north until I get back into Spain again in Galicia and the Basque country. From there it’ll be just a hop skip and a jump in the foothills of the Pyrenees going east to Catalonia. A good trip with good electric vehicle route planning. The journey is going to be at least 2700 km and I’ve no idea how long it will take. I don’t want to have it as a sprint where I don’t get to experience any of the towns and cities along the way. It will be much more fun to stop and explore, especially as I haven’t yet seen places like Bilbao, Sevilla and Granada.
Electric vehicle route planning a trip to Madrid
Madrid is another city in Spain I haven’t yet visited. This would be good as a medium length journey to test out the capabilities of the 2018 Nissan Leaf. How do we go about planning the route to get us to Madrid? Here are some of the possibilities.
- Use the route planning system in the car.
- Make use of the route planner in the Nissan EV Connect application.
- Use Google maps to pinpoint waypoints and then use the cars ‘Nearby Chargers’ feature while travelling. When the car looks like it needs some juice, check to see what’s nearby and then go and find it.
- Find charging points along your route using application specific to the various networks. Here in Spain there is one I can use called IBIL which has electric chargers in filling stations around the country. (Not many places yet.)
- There are a number of applications which show charge points from a collection of suppliers, such as OpenChargeMap, PlugShare, NextCharge, ChargeMap and others. Within these applications you can find the charging points to book, use and to pay as well as sometimes being able to plan your route.
Let’s have a look at a few of these applications and make some comparisons. I’m still waiting for the car to arrive so I’ll start with the third party options.