Can we easily recharge on our way to vacation?

29 minutes: This is the average charging time seen at the electric terminals of Ionity, a powerful network that quickly interweaves its network on the highways of the European continent. And 29 minutes is definitely more than unleaded petrol.

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

Should the growing number of EV drivers be afraid to spend hours in service areas this summer?

Anticipating some occasional traffic jams, sector players want to be reassuring. ” The summer season presents a challenge that, in particular, the extensions we have recently launched in Metz, the station that covers the descent from the countries from the north to the south of France or Montelimar, will try to answer. In fact, all stations on the A6, A7 or A8 will be in active use during the summer.“says Caradisiac David Minyan, Ionity’s European Deployment Director. ” We are trying to run predictive models to estimate summer traffic, but it is very difficult because many factors come into play: travelers arriving from abroad, the number of cars on the road, car sales of electricity in previous months… »

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

+369% charge valid for a year in Ionity

Therefore, you should be wary of several “hot periods” during peak loads. David Minyan, again: ” We expect several days of peak usage at some stations. Crossovers have the advantage for us of dispersing usage a bit by impacting one side or the other of the highway, but this is really a time when there are people and that will apply to stations. »

Since the beginning of the year, zero-emission vehicles account for 10% of new car sales in Europe and nearly 12% in France, where there are currently over 570,000 vehicles in circulation. ” The number of foreclosures increased by 369% between the first quarter of 2021 and the same period of 2022. Ioniti says. When we tell you he’s accelerating on the electric front!

At the end of March, out of 428 service areas, 65% were connected or are about to be connected. In April 2021, we didn’t even have 20% » Cécile Goubet, Avere-France

The good news is that while France’s electric vehicle 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 bill. end of April.

Even if all these terminals are not deployed on the highway, the network will be dense enough to meet the excess demand expected in July-August.

Vinci Autoroutes has 110 equipped sites, i.e. 61% of its network, which represents 433 charging points, including 292 ultra-fast ones. In ASPR and the RAYON, 66% of the 98 roadside recreation areas are already equipped with charging points for high-capacity electric vehicles. According to an RTE/Enedis study, the demand for electricity during peak travel in certain areas could rise to 40 megawatts, which is the capacity of Orly Airport: “we will need significant investment to equip rest areas to make stops smoother“, a spokesman for Vinci Autoroutes recently commented to Caradisiac.

At the end of March, out of 428 service areas, 65% were connected or are about to be connected. In April 2021, we didn’t even have 20% “Remembers Cécile Goubet, General Delegate of Avere-France, in an interview with Caradisiac. ” We are on track to reach the January 2023 deadline, which aims to have 100% of the space equipped with charging stations. And even if we exceed the deadline of 2-3 months, it will not be too serious: the main thing is that we reach 100% before the summer of 2023. Everything is done quickly, with real stations with 4, 8 or 12 terminals, more than half of which produce more than 150 kW. »

So there is nothing to worry about on the network side, but provided you take some precautions. As such, it will be preferable to avoid driving on electric highways on “big” rush-hour Saturdays, at the risk of being subjected to small (many?) waits at certain terminals.

More importantly, be more aware of your car’s autonomy capabilities so you don’t turn a vacation trip into a godfather.

Yes, you still have a little bit to prepare for your long-distance electric trips and identify potential difficulties, but it is better to overcome them. Sure, a (small) price to pay, but it pretty much makes up for the pleasure of not having to pay more than 2 euros per liter of fuel anymore.