SOS International assists drivers of electric cars abroad

More electric cars than ever will roll on Europe's roads this summer. Are you one of those who look forward to a driving holiday with lower emissions and more money in your wallet? Then you are in for some planning.

Many people are expected to choose a driving holiday this year, not least those who have invested in an electric car, and can count on at least 25 percent lower costs, compared to driving on petrol or diesel. Nevertheless, you will need to keep your eyes open.  The price of electricity, too, has augmented, and suppliers operate on a free market where a kilowatt can be priced between 0.3 and 11 EUR, says Jeppe Damgaard, Technical Manager at SOS International.

- You will need to check where the charging stations are, which chain they belong to, how quickly they charge, as well as the price, he says, and recommends downloading various apps, where you can get all this information.

The market for electric cars in Europe has exploded, and the infrastructure is expanding at a steady pace. For instance, along the Autobahn, finding charging stations should be no problem, though sometimes you may have to wait, when the pressure is high. Denmark and Norway are fairly well equipped. In other places, the charging stations can be farther apart, and demand may exceed supply.

Charge when you have 20 percent left
- Never let your battery run totally empty. Plan on charging when you still have 20 percent left, so there is a margin to look for charging options, Jeppe Damsgaard continues.

He also recommends holiday drivers with electric cars to bring their own charging cable on the trip. You should always ask before charging through an ordinary socket, for example at a rented summer house.

Though this is very rare, a vehicle driving on a battery is a potential fire hazard. If you get unlucky, it is important to turn to electric car professionals for help. An electric car must never be towed but must be transported on the platform of a tow truck, to avoid electricity running in the wrong direction. Some electric cars also have specific settings to be done before towing, even on the platform.

- Let the pros handle your car. That way, you can feel safe, Jeppe Damgaard states, and adds that SOS International has agreements with a large network of towers throughout Europe, who know what they are doing, and who have working knowledge about different types of electric cars.

Read more: Three tips from the psychologist for this summer's road trip

Tips and tricks for a holiday in an electric car

  • There are numerous web sites and mobile apps where you can find charging stations along the roads in the Nordics and throughout Europe; start with the countries you are planning to visit
  • Carefully plan your route
  • Choose destinations and hotels where you can charge your electric car, while enjoying the views, dining well or sleeping
  • Never wait too long; it is time to charge when the battery still has 20 percent left.
  • Bring your own charging cable
  • A high-voltage electric car has to be towed to the nearest charger if it runs empty. A 12-volt battery can usually be started with an ordinary jump starter.
  • Always have a professional towing company take care of your electric car. It has to be towed on the platform of the towing truck
  • Remember that water and battery is a bad combination. Never extinguish a fire on your own
  • Stand away from the car in case of a serious accident
  • Contact SOS International as soon as possible, if the battery is completely discharged, or if you need any further assistance or advice

Contact us

Are you travelling and in need of acute assistance?

Contact SOS International's alarm centre on +45 7010 5050.

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