can we recharge easily on the way to the holidays?

29 minutes: this is the average charging time observed in the electrical terminals of Ionity, a high-power network that is rapidly weaving its network on the highways of the European continent. And 29 minutes is definitely more than lead-free filling.

However, thousands of electrified drivers will use Ionity or its competitors, from Tesla (part of whose network is now open to other brands) to Fastned, this summer on their way to vacation.

Should the growing number of electric car drivers be afraid of wasting hours in service areas this summer?

While anticipating some occasional “traffic jams”, industry players want to reassure them. ” The summer season represents a challenge, to which the extensions we have recently launched in Metz, a station that covers the descent from countries from the north to the south of France, or Montélimar, will seek to respond in particular. In fact, all stations on the A6, A7 or A8 will be heavily used during the summer.“, declares Caradisiac David Mignan, Ionity’s deployment director in Europe. ” We are trying to run forecast models to assess summer traffic, but it is very difficult because so many factors come into play: travelers coming from abroad, number of vehicles on the road, electricity sales in previous months… »

Even if predictions are difficult (especially when it comes to the future, as Pierre Dac said), we can be sure that there will be people on the roads this summer.

+369% billing for more than a year on Ionity

Some “hot hours” are therefore to be dreaded during traffic peaks. David Mignan, again: “ We expect a few days with peak usage in some seasons. For us, intersections have the advantage of spreading the use a little, of impacting one side or the other of the highway, but it is really a time when there are people and they will refer to the stations. »

“Zero emission” cars have accounted for 10% of new car sales in Europe since the start of the year and nearly 12% in France, where there are now more than 570,000 in circulation. ” The number of collection acts increased by 369% between the first quarter of 2021 and the same period of 2022 “, says Ionity. When we say it’s accelerating on the electric front!

At the end of March, of the 428 service areas, 65% were connected or about to be connected. We weren’t even at 20% in April 2021 » Cécile Goubet, Avere-France

The good news is that while the French electric car fleet has increased by 35% compared to June 2021, the number of terminals deployed on our roads has grown in parallel by 81%, reaching 60,040 units in the last score at the end of April.

Even though all these terminals are not located on the highway, the network appears dense enough to meet the expected excess demand in July-August.

Vinci Autoroutes has 110 equipped areas, that is, 61% of its network, which represents 433 charging points, including 292 ultra-fast ones. At APRR and AREA, 66% of the 98 motorway rest areas are already equipped with high-power electric charging points. According to a study by RTE/Enedis, electricity demand during peak hours can increase to 40 megawatts in certain areas, i.e. Orly airport power: “we will need significant investments to equip the rest areas to make the stops more fluid“, recently commented in Caradisiac a representative of Vinci Autoroutes.

At the end of March, of the 428 service areas, 65% were connected or about to be connected. We weren’t even at 20% in April 2021 “recalls Cécile Goubet, General Delegate of Avere-France, interviewed by Caradisiac. ” We are on track to meet the January 2023 deadline, which targets 100% of areas equipped with charging stations. And even if we exceed the deadline of 2-3 months, it will not be too serious: the important thing is that we reach 100% before the summer of 2023. Things get set up quickly, with real stations having 4, 8 or 12 terminals, more than half of which deliver a power of more than 150 kW. »

There’s not much to worry about on the network side, therefore, but on the condition that you take some precautions. It will therefore be preferable to avoid driving on electric highways on “big” Saturdays at rush hour, otherwise you will be exposed to a little (too much?) waiting at certain terminals.

Most importantly, it’s best to be aware of your car’s range capabilities so you don’t turn the holiday departure into a cross.

Yes, you still need to prepare a little for your long electric journeys and identify possible difficulties, but to better overcome them. A (small) price to pay, of course, but that will largely offset the pleasure of not having to pay more than €2 for a liter of fuel.

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