Pitfalls, tips and tricks: How to enjoy a hassle-free holiday in your electric car

Embarking on your first holiday in an electric car can present one or two challenges – but a whole range of benefits, too. Our 11 tips will show you how to overcome them with ease.


Anyone going on holiday for the first time in their BEV (battery electric vehicle) can look forward to a pleasant, smooth ride – the car simply glides over the road, thereby ensuring you’re always comfortable, even on long journeys. 

However, newcomers to electric cars should consider a few things before heading to the beach or the mountains for the first time. It wouldn’t be particularly wise to simply set off without considering where to charge or how to pay for the electricity required, as is possible when refuelling a combustion engine. Charging these vehicles comes with the odd pitfall, but they are all easily managed with a little planning. Below is a list of the best travel tips to show you what you should bear in mind and what else is helpful.


1. The best countries for travel

Where will you go on your first holiday in your VW ID.3 VW ID.4, VW ID. BuzzAudi e-tron or Škoda Enyaq iV? If you choose a destination where the charging infrastructure is very well developed, you will enjoy a particularly carefree holiday in your electric car. In this respect, the front runners in Europe are the Netherlands and Norway. So why not head to the sea in Holland? Or go on a road trip from Oslo to Hammerfest? In general, the Benelux countries and Scandinavia are already well ahead when it comes to an expansive charging network, followed by countries such as Germany, France and Austria. While Italy is particularly well connected in the north, there are fewer charging stations the further south you go. The overview below sheds light on the situation in each country.


2. Travel locally – no need to stress about charging

Maybe play it safe for your first trip. This may mean opting for a nearby destination in Switzerland or neighbouring countries. In other words, choose a holiday destination that is no further away than the maximum range of many AMAG electric vehicles. As an example, the Škoda Enyaq iV has a range of up to 531 kilometres according to the WLTP standard, so you could easily travel to Liguria, Tyrol, Munich or Burgundy.


3. Choose the right hotel

More and more hotels are now offering charging points. In Switzerland alone, there are already over 300 in practically all categories. But in most holiday countries, the number of BEV-friendly hostels is increasing all the time. The same can be said for camp sites, too. If you are planning to stay in a holiday home, it’s important to find the nearest public charging stations since only a few holiday homes have their own charge point.



4. Plan the route wisely

When planning, the first thing to consider is how far you can go on a single charge. Route planners such as ABRP and PUMP are particularly helpful. Or why not go one better and use the route planner that is already incorporated into VW’s ID models or the Audi e-tron? If you are going on a long journey, the system automatically finds appropriate charging stops. 

In Europe, the e-tron route planner relies on Audi’s own highly developed network of e-tron Charging Services across 26 countries. VW uses the Europe-wide We Charge system. The Škoda Enyaq iV locates the nearest charging station using the on-board computer and uses the Powerpass card to charge abroad. 

Important: Do not wait until you have very little range remaining, in case the charging station is occupied or faulty.


5. Combine longer charging stops with breaks

When deciding on your route, make sure you consider the speed of each charging station. If you're travelling more cross-country, you’re more likely to come across 22 kW public charging stations that can take between 2 and 4 hours to provide a full charge.

Make a virtue out of necessity: plan a longer stop and do some sightseeing – or enjoy a long lunch on a local piazza. This means you can really embrace the holiday feeling while your car’s battery charges. 


6. Use the fast-charge network

An option that saves more time is scheduling regular, shorter charging stops – combined with a quick comfort break or buying some snacks. This approach is most suitable for travelling via the motorway network since the service stations here have charging points that can recharge your car in as little as half an hour. These charging points are offered across the network, are being continuously expanded and are linked to all AMAG brand charging apps. 

Note: only use the fast-charge network while on holiday since this charging method can negatively impact the battery’s service life if it is used too often and the electricity is more expensive. 



7. Get a grip on charging costs

Prices at charging stations abroad vary hugely, and are particularly high with foreign providers. What’s more, roaming charges apply there (similar to mobile phone providers). It is therefore worth choosing a Swiss provider in advance that also offers good network coverage abroad. Tip: There is a range of free charging options in many European countries. They can often be found at popular supermarkets.

It's best to use the charging networks provided by the AMAG brands listed under tip 4. They set their prices throughout Europe so you won’t be faced with any nasty surprises. The AMAG app is also very handy since it shows the next charging station. 


8. Rely on the AMAG charging card

The easiest way to pay to charge your vehicle while on holiday is to use the AMAG “electrified” charging and credit card. It is available as a charging-only card or as a combined charging and credit card. This means that you can easily charge your electric car on holiday from 54 centimes/kWh at 150,000 charging stations across Europe. The charging-only card is available from your AMAG garage, and you can apply for the combined charging/credit card here. If you add the charging card to the AMAG app, you can pay easily using your mobile phone. Tip: When in Switzerland, you will be able to charge at preferential rates of 45 centimes/kWh using the AMAG high-power charging network (currently under construction).


9. The golden charge rule

Never recharge completely. Instead, stop at 80 percent – and never allow the battery’s capacity to fall below 20 percent. This approach is considered ideal to maximise driving range while conserving the battery. Such charging tactics are also efficient: charging from 20 to 80 percent generally takes just as long  as charging from 80 to 100 percent. What’s more, the 20 percent lower limit can also be seen as a back-up plan in case you are unable to charge as planned at a charging station if it is in use or perhaps faulty. You should therefore consider alternative stops when planning the route.


10. Preserve the battery while driving

If you drive smart, you can increase the range of your electric car. And by driving smart, we mean driving as steadily as possible, without  accelerating too often or too quickly. The battery is also preserved through recuperation, which can be used to recover energy when braking. And why not ‘sail’ along? This is the term used when you drive in the slipstream of a larger car or van. But you must always maintain a safe distance, of course.

You can also do a lot right (or wrong) when parking: to protect your battery, in hot and sunny climates, be sure to park in a shady spot or even in a garage since significant heat can decrease the battery’s charging capacity. 

And also remember to adjust the tyre pressure before setting off – particularly if you have a lot of luggage, bike racks or a roof box since these increase the total weight. After all, if your tyre pressure is right, the vehicle’s rolling resistance remains low, which also preserves the battery.




Price: from 62’500 CHF

Unladen weight: 2224 kg 

Range: 340–480 km

Battery: 77 kWh 

Equivalent petrol cons: 2,6l/100 km 

Boot capacity: 543/1575 l 


Audi Q4 e-tron

Audi Q4 e-tron

Price: from 48’970 CHF

Unladen weight: 1965 kg

Range: bis zu 520 km

Battery: 52/77 kWh

Equivalent petrol cons: 2,1 l/100 km 

Boot capacity: 520/1490 l


Škoda Enyaq iV

Škoda Enyaq iV

Price: from CHF 42,590

Unladen weight: 1992 kg

Range: 410–532 km

Battery: 55/62/82 kWh 

Equivalent petrol cons.: 1.8 l/100 km 

Boot capacity: 585/1710 l



11. Remember your luggage

A charging cable is essential in an electric vehicle. This ensures that you could still charge your car via a standard socket in an emergency, as well as at charging stations. 

You should also pack the different charging connectors that allow you to charge at as many different points as possible. The vast majority of charging stations use a type 2 plug, while the CCS Combo or CHAdeMO plug is used when charging at 50 kW and above. 

Last but not least, remember to pack an adapter so that you can access any household socket throughout Europe.


To summarise: If you take a few things into account and plan ahead a little, you can look forward to a relaxing, carefree holiday in your BEV. If you're travelling with the whole family, you may also find this article helpful. 


Charging overview in holiday destinations

How good is the network coverage and availability of charging stations in European holiday destinations? And what else do electric vehicle drivers need to know? Here's an overview.

Austria's charging network is as good as Switzerland's. In the states of Vorarlberg and Upper Austria, there are plenty of options. You will just need to plan your charging stops a little more in rural areas. Good to know: Environmental speed limits that are in place on some motorways do not apply to electric cars in certain places. This means you can travel at 130 km/h rather than the restricted 100 km/h.

Germany is one of the best-equipped countries in Europe in terms of charging infrastructure. There are around 100,000 charging points in total. The network is particularly well developed in larger cities, and along the motorway. However, it is worth taking a look at the charging map beforehand when travelling in more remote areas.

The infrastructure in northern Italy is particularly good. So if you are planning a holiday in Piedmont, Lombardy or South Tyrol, you shouldn’t have any trouble charging regularly. However, the network is less well developed in southern Italy, with Calabria being the worst. There is also room for improvement in Sardinia. Good to know: When driving in Italian cities with a “Zona a traffico limitato” (restricted traffic zone), you can park your electric car free of charge.

Similar to Italy, not every region in France has equally good charging facilities. It’s easy in the north and south of the country, as well as in metropolises such as Paris and Lyon. However, there are significantly fewer charging points in central France. Having said that, anyone travelling south on the motorway or passing through France on their way to Spain will regularly find fast-charging stations.

Spain is lagging a little behind compared to countries like France or Germany. The infrastructure is only well developed in Catalonia and along large parts of the Atlantic coast. In contrast, you should plan your route carefully in the southwest since there are fewer charging opportunities.

The charging infrastructure in the UK is very good along key transport routes and in major cities. In cities that have an environmental zone, electric car drivers must register in advance. If you are planning a holiday in Wales or Scotland, it pays to be well prepared: The charging opportunities are not as good here as in other regions of the island.

After Norway, the Netherlands probably offers the most hassle-free electric car holidays – there are about 80,000 charging points here, which equates to an average of almost one charging station per kilometre.

Neighbouring Belgium has a very good charging network in the north bordering the Netherlands, as well as in the conurbations and along the main traffic routes. The network is sparser in the south of the country.

The charging network is most extensive in central Slovenia, along the main traffic routes and in larger cities. However, there is still a lack of fast-charging stations. Rural Slovenia’s network is still lagging behind so be sure to plan your trip (or route to Croatia) well.

When describing the charging network in Croatia, we can say that the charging infrastructure is good in the north and along the coast, but it is less extensive to the south. However, it is being further expanded – particularly along key traffic routes and around the cities.

The Danish network is of a high standard, especially in the Copenhagen area and along the east coast. Good to know: In some towns in the country, you are allowed to drive your electric car in the bus lane. Be sure to follow the relevant green symbol.

Norway is considered the leader when it comes to electromobility – partly thanks to significant state subsidies. However, the network is not necessarily as extensive in the more sparsely populated northern part of the country. In the south, you may have to wait a while to charge from time to time during the peak travel season given that there are already a high number of electric cars on the road. Good to know: If you drive an electric car, you do not have to pay any tolls or only a reduced rate on Norway’s toll roads.

What we have said about Norway also applies to Sweden: The network in more densely populated southern and central parts of the country is well developed, but it becomes noticeably sparser to the north.

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