Electric cars and self-drive holidays abroad

More and more drivers choose to invest in more environmentally friendly vehicles such as electric and hybrid cars. With this summer's self-drive holidays just around the corner, it is important to think about how to enjoy a safe and secure self-drive holiday in your electric vehicle since going abroad in your electric car requires good planning.

Typical electric car failures and how to keep on driving

Typical electric car failures are:

  • Dead high-voltage battery
  • Dead 12-volt battery
  • Flat tyre

If you are unlucky to run out of power, you can be towed to the nearest fast charging station.

Ordinary starting aid usually helps in the case of dead 12-volt battery.

In case of puncture, use tyre sealant or have the car towed to a workshop.

If you need roadside assistance, be aware that the vast majority of electric cars may ONLY be transported on platforms. This means that they may not be towed or pulled. Towing an electric car might cause irreparable damage to the car's drive line and battery, as the electric motor will act as a generator, thus sending the power "the wrong way". Some electric cars have special settings that need to be activated when the car is to be towed.

Pay special attention to road accidents
Fire and water in electric cars poses a particular risk in case of road assistance handling. Therefore, it is important to be particularly careful in case you have a road accident or similar with your electric car.

In the event of an electric car crash, there is a potential risk that the battery will burst into flames. A burning battery is extremely difficult to extinguish. Exposed wires pose a risk of electric shock.

Charging you electric car during your self-drive summer holiday
There are charging stations in most European countries, and there are several different websites and apps that indicate where the charging stations are located in the Nordic countries and in Europe:

  • Plan your itinerary in advance. This way, you will know, which charging locations it is possible to use during the trip.
  • Have an alternative itinerary and choose, for example, a hotel with the option for electric car charging so the car can be fully charged while you are at sleep.

We help electric car drivers in need of roadside assistance abroad
At SOS International, we have built up expertise and competencies within electric car roadside assistance in our Nordic and European roadside assistance networks. 

We advise everyone to contact SOS International as soon as possible if their electric car runs out of power or otherwise needs roadside assistance. SOS International can help with advice, guidance or assistance on any specific electric car model.

Read more about how we help electric drivers in Copenhagen drive on

Other good advice for electric car driver's self-drive holiday

Going on a self-drive holiday in your electric car requires good planning

  • If you take your electric car on your own self-drive holiday, you must first and foremost take the same precautions as you would for a long journey in a conventional car; for example, make sure the brakes are in order, check the tyre pattern and that the tyre pressure is correct.
  • Bring several different charging sockets and adapters in order to be well covered in the different countries and according to their standards. For example, Type 2 cable, Schuko plug adapter, adapter from red to blue CEE plug (often used on camping sites).
  • Remember that using air conditioning in an electric car can use up a portion of the battery capacity as it is powered by an electric compressor. This means that if you are running out of power and the next charger is far away, you should turn off the car's air conditioning.

More good advice for your next trip abroad
No matter where the next road trip takes you, SOS International gives you a number of good tips about the motoring holiday, the car, the driver, the passengers such as having children in the car, here:

Good tips about the motoring holiday

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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