Astana – seems a bit like Ashgabat
Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan since 1998. The government invested huge amounts of money to build a futuristic city in the middle of the Kazakh steppe. Benedikt and I felt reminded of Ashgabat (see this post), except that Astana is a bit more “colorful” and not only out of white marble. The police, military and security presence is also unnaturally high in Astana.
Meeting Ueli Maurer
The Swiss Pavilion invited us to visit them at the Expo 2017. On June 11th, Ueli Maurer, Swiss finance minister and member of the Swiss Federal Council was also expected there. We had the great chance to have lunch with him and talk with him about our journey. Thanks to the team of the Swiss Pavilion for organizing this!
Bringing our Tesla on the Expo territory
We really wanted to bring our Tesla on the Expo territory. Traveling with an electric vehicle from Switzerland to Kazakhstan fitted so well to the topic of the Expo. We couldn’t organize this on the day that Ueli Maurer was present at the Expo. But, thanks again to the great team of the Swiss Pavilion, we managed to bring the car to the Expo territory in the night of the June 12th.
We got overwhelmed with requests of journalists that wanted to make interviews with us (see for example this and this article). The whole day long, except of the times that we visited other pavilions, we answered questions of visitors who were curious what the story of this Tesla is.
Visiting other pavilions at the Expo 2017
101 countries present in Astana how they interpret “future energy”. The main pavilion with 8 floors is the pavilion of Kazakhstan. In a building looking like the death star in Star Wars, the country established a very well-made museum about renewable energy. Of course, this pavilion is the most popular with the Kazakh visitors. 90% of the people seem to only take pictures (toooons of pictures) and enjoy the entertainment-shows in the pavilion.
Around the Kazakh death star, all other countries have their exhibition rooms. There is the German Pavilion, that is high in information, very well made and with a fancy, little excessive light show at the end. USA is saying that they are the source of energy (whatever that is supposed to mean – they had no real reference to alternative energy). The Lithuanian Pavilion is staffed only with native Lithuanians and it gives one a good impression of the country. We also liked the Polish Pavilion, since it covered well information about their state forests and how they perceive the topic “future energy”. Even the Vatican was present and we saw a very well-made movie about the creation of the universe ending with the thought, that it is our responsibility to care about what was created millions of years back. We saw many more pavilions, of course that would go beyond the scope of this article.
Charging in Astana
Somehow, we arranged to park in the underground parking of the Airbnb-apartment that we stayed at. We used a Schuko in the parking to charge the car during our first night in Astana to 90%. The security of that building was annoying. They unplugged the cable (luckily after the battery reached the 90%) and told us we would need to leave the parking garage (that was almost empty). Our Airbnb-host managed that we could return in the garage, but we weren’t allowed to charge there anymore. I wish, people would be better educated about electricity prices and unity. Most people don’t know what a Kilowatt hour is and how much they regularly pay for one. The price for one kWh in Kazakhstan is about 0,07€. That means charging 30 kWh (this is about as much as letting the air-conditioning for one room for 12 hours) costs about 2 €. We always offer to pay, but if people have no clue on how much kW what electric equipment in their house uses and what the price of one kWh is, they can’t relate to this price.
We changed front and back tires (to have a even attrition) in the underground garage of this building.
On our way out of Astana, we planned to charge at Astana’s only charging station. It was out of order… we managed anyways to drive the 250 km north to a natural reserve close to Shchuchinsk.
|Schuko||220 volt||10 amperes||2 kW||30 kWh|