In the evening, we reached Ordu. It’s a small town right at the black sea. Tourists are mainly Turkish or Arabian. The city just seemed to rebuild every road there was in the city and so it took us a while to reach a small hotel close to the sea front.
The hotel’s manager was very helpful, even though it needed some time convincing him, that we could charge at his place (otherwise we would have not stayed there). He found a Turkish three-phase outlet in the hotel’s kitchen. Benedikt built the adapter for the plug and about one hour after we arrived, the Tesla was ready to start charging. We arranged that we could charge overnight, after the kitchen stopped working, so our cable wouldn’t be in their way.
We left the hotel with a fully charged car the next morning to head further east towards Trabzon.
Ilgaz Mountains have a cute little skiing resort. Since the skiing season just ended, there was almost nobody in the hotel we stayed at. To find out where to charge our car, we showed the receptionist our cheat sheet (we have a paper for each country we pass, with pictures and short explanation of who we are, what we need (three-phase electricity) and what that means (hours it needs to charge, kWh we will charge…)) . It helped her to understand that she needs to ask the hotel’s electrician. He would be the one who could help us. This person, accompanied of two of his colleagues, who were curious to see a Tesla, brought us to the abandoned garage at the backside of the hotel where we parked close to a modern three-phase outlet. Next to the modern red outlet a black, Turkish-style outlet was hanging. We did not build the adapter for that kind of outlet yet (but we bought that plug already, check out this post). Thankfully, the electrician rewired the modern red outlet so it would also have electricity on it.
Only a few minutes later we pluged in our NRGkick and started charging. I wish hotels would always be that cooperative and helpful as this hotel was. Benedikt and I already tried to find out some regularities on what kind of hotel is better to ask and what the best procedures are to receive three-phase electricity. So far, we probably got intuitively better to find the right places to ask. But since every country is a bit different, we don’t have the “most successful way” to ask for electricity yet.
Istanbul is packed with charging stations. We ended up charging in the garage of the hotel we stayed at. The garage has several modern Typ 2 outlets that we just plugged in and charged. We were totally impressed by the service level of that hotel. Not did we have a great room in the 17th floor with a view over parts of Istanbul. But also did we enjoy the SPA facilities and the parking garage. All of this cost us about 70€ per night. Due to the lack of tourists in Istanbul, one is able to make quite a good deal there.
In Istanbul we met Emir, an absolute EV-enthusiast (find out more about him and the meeting with him on his blog). He was so helpful and is such an inspiring personality. We are so happy that we met!
Emir showed us what kind of plugs could be helpful to us in Turkey. We bought the most common one in a large “technician mall”. That plug was used several times throughout our journey through Turkey. The red “normal” Typ 2 plug is not very common anywhere outside of western Europe.
From plugshare we knew that electricity shouldn’t be hard to find in Plovidiv. Arriving at about 8 p.m. in the evening, we started to search for an hotel immediately. Even if there is a charging opportunity in a city, we still prefer staying in an hotel that offers us an electricity outlet. It is just convenient if the car is right outside of the building where we are staying at. This simplifies logistics a lot. After being denied in four hotels, we finally found one hotel where a super helpful receptionist managed to find a Schuko wall plug. Of course that Schuko did not give us a whole lot of electricity. To have 95% of the Tesla’s battery charged before leaving to Turkey, we put the car the next morning in the garage of a shopping center nearby.
Plovidiv is a nice city. A stroll through its roads sweetened our waiting time for the car to be fully charged. We left for the direction of Turkey in the early afternoon and reached the border with about 45% of our battery left.
Our laptop broke in Montenegro. We knew that there is a Lenovo Center in Sofia. Therefore, our first destination in Sofia was the mall, where a Lenovo store was located at. As we experienced it before, we found a nice 11kW electrical outlet in the garage and our car was charging, while we were trying to get our laptop repaired and while we had dinner.
The next day we were planning to drive towards the south-east of Bulgaria. To make the 200km to Vishovgrad, the village where our friends Julia and Miroslav live, we needed a bit more energy. Since the hotel that we found (at 11 p.m.) could not offer any electricity outlet, we charged the next day at a public charging station in front of an insurance company in downtown Sofia.
The tiny road was packed with cars when we arrived. An employee of the insurance company helped us by somehow making most of them leave. We charged 22kW for about 2 hours and left with almost 100% to the south-east of Bulgaria.
Charging in Kosovo was a super easy task. Our host Bekim booked a hotel for us and already asked them to provide us with a three-phase outlet. We again used our three-phase plug from Montenegro. Our stay in Giljan extended itself to 4 days and it was never a problem to park the car right in front of the entrance, where the outlet was.
After a few days, we found out that a bank in Giljan downtown also offered a charging spot. Unfortunately, only one phase. The bank seems to have an EV and for that car the one phase is probably enough. Still, we were surprised to see something like this in Kosovo – one of many positive surprises in that country!
Click here for the biggest of those surprises.