Charging in Vente, Lithuania

Finally, fuse-box charging again

With friends, we spent a few days in Vente, a small Lithuanian village opposite of the Curonian Split. When we arrived Benedikt immediately found a fuse-box with three-phase electricity and was excited to set up a charging connection. We are used to be confronted with not so happy people when we try to set up a charging connection without previously asking. Accordingly, Benedikt and I were a bit nervous when the owner of our guest house arrived in the evening. But she was probably the coolest host we met on our journey. Not only was she happy to meet us, but she also offered a CEE-socket in the garage of the house that we had no access to originally. How great is that!

Wrong wired socket

Benedikt plugged the adapter and the NRGkick in and … nothing worked. The socket was wired incorrectly. A phase and the neutral was mixed up. Actually, this could have ruined the NRGkick and also the Tesla. Luckily, nothing like this happened. Benedikt fixed the socket and only a few minutes later the Tesla started to charge.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
fuse-box & CEE-16  220 volt  3 * 16 amperes 11 kW 60 kWh

Charging in Moscow, Russia

Moscow and its traffic

Moscow is huge, really huge.  With 13.2 million residents, it’s supposed to be the largest city on the European continent. Traffic is crazy in Moscow. The craziness is incomparable to Tehran (see this post), but traffic congestions are a major issue in Moscow. If you want to go anywhere, better take the Metro, because otherwise you might stand for a long time in one of the many traffic jams.

We left the Tesla parked for 3 days in front of our Airbnb house. The apartment that we rented was well situated and we could use the Metro to get in the city-center or even almost walk there.

Just being tourist

We spent one day at the Kremlin, but I got soon enough of all those tourists that heavily occupy the sights and the area around them. The other day we visited the Jewish Museum of Moscow. We learned a lot – not only about the Jewish, but also the Russian history. It was absolutely worth visiting the museum.

Moscow Tesla Club

There are about 300 Teslas in Russia. Many of them were resold by the Moscow Tesla Club. Tesla is not officially present in Russia yet. A team around Igor and Alexey established a great store around Tesla and Electric Vehicles (the team also distributes EV worldwide), as well as their own “service center”. One could feel the enthusiasm everyone had at the Moscow Tesla Club. We loved talking to Igor and exchanging stories of our journey and experiences with EVs together.

After a while being a Belgium couple appeared in the store. They traveled to Moscow by Tesla as well (they took a more direct root than we did, though). It was fantastic seeing another frunk, stuffed with cables and adapters. Sharing charging stories and other nerdy EV-talk was fun. It is special to us, if we aren’t the one who explain how everything works and what kind of UFO we travel with, but if the other side understands and can even give us advice.

First Supercharger since 3.5 month!

The Moscow Tesla Club helped to set up a Supercharger close to Moscow’s city border. Of course, it’s situated at a very posh golf club. We wouldn’t be the average Tesla driver in Russia. Usually a Tesla owner in Russia owns also 5 other expensive cars and has no idea where else to spend its money… anyways, we’re super excited to see for charging booths (3 European and 1 American – a combination of these charging facilities doesn’t exist anywhere else on the world).

We plugged in and the wires that weren’t exposed to anything more than 22kW for almost 4 months took the 90kW that this Superchager provided, very well. It will take us three to four more weeks until we’ll reach the next supercharger in Poland. We love the convenience of supercharging a lot (especially while travelling). I guess our journey really taught us to appreciate this comfort way more actively.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
Supercharger 88 kW 60 kWh

Charging in Chelyabinsk, Russia

Being welcomed in Chelyabinsk

Our drive from Kurgan continued west and ended in Chelyabinsk. Chelyabinsk is a city with about 1 million inhabitants. It seemed that it doesn’t have a lot more to offer than a pedestrian zone and some neat parks. It is written nowhere how hospitable and friendly people we would meet in Chelyabinsk, though. A hotel wrote us before arrival that they could offer us three-phase electricity. A charming receptionist that spoke great English helped with translation and the janitor helped Benedikt to connect our adapter to the fuse box in the basement.

The hotel wasn’t fancy. But the hospitality of its employees was exceptional. When we left the next morning (with a fully charged car) and received a matryoshka as a gift to remember the hotel, it really felt as if we have been guests for much longer or as we would say good-bye to new friends.

We continued later in the afternoon to the Zyuratkul national park.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
fuse box 230 volt 3 x 5 (32 possible) amperes 3 kW 40 kWh

Charging in Kurgan, Russia

Border Kazakhstan – Russia

The border between Kazakhstan and Russia would be our second last “real border”. Since both countries are befriended, we thought the border process should be easy. Leaving Kazakhstan was easy indeed. Entering Russia was little nerve-racking though. At the passport control, I went first and the border control discovered my visa from Iran and started questioning me, what I did there and so on (Benedikt thinks that they are afraid of terrorists coming to Russia – even though, terrorists from Iran don’t really exist. Terrorist organizations usually follow Sunni-Islam and Iran follows Shia-Islam). They also wanted exactly to know I am doing in Russia and so on. We had to wait for them doing a “special investigation” for about 30 minutes. After that, we got the stamps in our passport anyways. Our car got searched for about 10 minutes. After that procedure, we were free to go… uff!

Getting insurance and SIM-card

On a small both on the side of the street about 30 minutes after the border, we found the places that sold car-insurance. We were obliged to buy one (and from Kazakhstan we knew that police like to control this). After at least an hour in one of the booths, we had our insurance and a SIM-card. We managed all of this without really speaking any word of Russian and the insurance guy not speaking anything word of any other language than Russian. If people are patient, it’s possible to communicate in any language though!

Hotel & charging in Kurgan

We felt like already being in Scandinavia, when we started to drive in Russia towards the city Kurgan. Small lakes, birch trees and a lot of unsettled land form the landscape of this part of Russia. It is beautiful!

The first hotel we approached in Kurgan offered us right away help with charging (this is a situation that hardly ever happens!). There were small fuse boxes on the parking lot opposite to the hotel. The hotel organized an electrician that helped setting up a connection (even though this help wouldn’t have been necessary – Benedikt did this by now so often). Unfortunately, the connection wasn’t very strong. We could only charge with 10 to 15 amperes.

The hotel took extremely well care of us. They set up red and white security tape around the parking lot, so no one would enter during night. They also “secured” our charging cable during night (well… we planned to charge during night. I left the hotel to go on a jog in the morning and was quite surprised when I saw that there wasn’t any cable at our car anymore. But, we managed to charge the rest that we needed during the rest of the morning). Even though, somethings weren’t exactly what we asked for, we felt extremely well taken care off in the hotel in Kurgan!


outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
fuse box 210-225 volt 3 times 10-15 amperes 10 kW 40 kWh

Charging in Karaganda, Kazakhstan

Arriving in Karaganda

It was a long drive (350 km) from Balkhash to Karaganda (we crossed again almost no village or point of civilisation). By 10:30 p.m. we finally arrived in Karaganda and two friends of Meiran were waiting in front of an apartment complex (we met Meiran in Almaty – see this post). Meiran was responsible for the construction of the complex and owns a flat there. He offered us to stay in this apartment.

Charging in the underground parking

 Meiran’s colleagues welcomed us and showed us a modern fuse-box in the underground parking of the apartment block. It took Benedikt only a few minutes to set up a nice connection. Even though we had a strong connection, we charged with only 10 amperes and until the maximum of 85%. It’s better for the battery to leave it only for a short time fully charged. Before we left Karaganda after two nights, we fully charged the car.

Getting spoilt and learning about Kazakh history

On our first morning in Karaganda, we got invited to have breakfast at Meiran’s ants house. Of course, her self-made bread and everything else was delicious! We spent the afternoon at the KarLag-Museum. It is a museum about a large Gulag labor-camp during the Stalin-times of the Soviet Union.

We are thankful for Meiran for all his help and his great hospitality. We had a great time in Karaganda thanks to him. It really makes our journey special, meeting people like him!

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
connection to fuse-box 220 volt 3 * 10-32 amperes 22 kW 60 kWh

Charging in Balkhash, Kazakhstan

Meeting Meiram

When we were about to leave Almaty a guy on a brand-new Ducati motorcycle signaled us to stop. We drove to the side of the road and met Meiram. He himself traveled on a motorcycle almost the same route as ours. We will have noticed later that we were extremely fortunate to have met him.

Charging-attempt #1 and #2

Meiram knew people in Balkhash and arranged for us help with charging there. We met our “charging crew” at the city entrance. The first car workshop where we tried to find three-phase electricity, could only offer 16 amperes and Benedikt didn’t really find the earth connection. The next large car-workshop we drove to, was by chance a place where the NomiEV people also charged on their 80 E-days journey.We were excited, when we found a Turkish Style outlet in the workshop. Benedikt re-adjusted the adapter (we used the Montenegro-style plug a few times in Iran. That’s why the plugs of the adapters changed after we left Turkey again – see also this post). The fuses were set for 50 amperes, so we didn’t worry to let the car charge with 32 amperes.

Shortly before we wanted to leave, Benedikt checked the connection again – and there was smoke coming out of the outlet. Uuuuuups. Probably the plugs have not been used for a long time and dead bugs and the same started to slowly burn with the heat of the strong electricity. Since we didn’t want to risk setting the workshop on fire, we stopped charging immediately.

Charging-attempt #3 – finally a success!

There was a fuse-box close to the Turkish-outlet. Since it also had three-phase connections, the plan was to get the electricity from there. As soon as we were about to set this up, Benedikt noticed that he forgot our open adapter, his safety cloves and the screw driver at the first car-workshop we have been to (charging-attempt #1). We opened the Turkish adapter, dissembled it and used the three-phases and the earth connection to set up a new connection on the fuse-box. And voila, charging worked out! Since the cables got a bit worm (the connection cable to the fuse-box seemed to thin), Benedikt wanted to charge only with 25 amperes. That meant, the car needed to charge for the next 3 hours.

We get entertained by the best charging-hosts ever

Our charging-helpers were our hosts during the next 3 hours. They drove us back to the first workshop to pick up our forgotten stuff. Due to language misunderstanding, they also bought us a new screw-driver (we later gave our old one as a “souvenir” to them). After that, we went to a garden restaurant and had a late lunch there. The restaurant was at the shore of lake Balkhash and we went to the beach later. Lake Balkhash is apparently the 15th largest lake on the earth (16,400 km2), but only 26 m maximum deep. The water was therefore really worm (maybe 25 degree Celsius). Before we left Balkhash again, we got a beautifully painted plate of lake Balkhash as a gift to remember the city. We started our continues drive through the Kazakh step with a feeling of gratefulness to have experienced this superb hospitality. Thank you!

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
connection to fuse-box 220 volt 3 * 25 amperes 16 kW 50 kWh

Charging in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Enjoying Askar’s hospitality

Like in Bishkek, we also had in Almaty the privilege to be welcomed by members of the Tesla-family. Askar, himself an owner of a Tesla Model S and X, invited us to stay for 3 days in an entire house (three-floors with garden). The house was on the same road as his office building. Askar installed at his office different chargers. One of them a super nice 32 amperes wall-box. It was such a pleasure charging there! We were super grateful for meeting him and for all his hospitality. It really makes us happy to meet people like Askar on our journey.

Tesla meeting at Shymbulak

Electric vehicles don’t have many advantages in Almaty. But one of them is that you can drive up a hill to a skiing resort (Shymbulak), where no other cars are allowed (everyone else must go up to the village with a cable car). Together with Daniyar and Sanzhar, other Tesla owners of Almaty, we spent an afternoon on that hill and enjoyed lunch. Later that evening we had fun at a local brewery (that is owned by another Tesla driver). Almaty is a soviet city, but many parks and trees make the city very welcoming. We were surprised on the many super expensive cars we saw in the city. This together with the scenic view of the Tian Shan mountains made us feel like being in Zurich 😉. Even though we were only 300 km away from the Chinese border.

Supercharger in Almaty

At the above-mentioned Tesla meeting in the mountain restaurant, Sanzhar, one of the craziest Tesla drivers (he took this video of a swimming Tesla) told us about a “supercharger” in Almaty. In fact, the charger isn’t that “super”, since it offers only 10 amperes and has an American plug. That means, we can’t even use it. But, it was still fun checking it out.

Almaty was a welcoming city and we enjoyed having an entire house to ourselves. We didn’t really wanted to leave, but we knew, that new adventures were waiting for us.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
wallbox 210-230 volt 3 * 32 amperes 22 kW 70 kWh

Charging in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Charging in Bishkek

Niyaz from Bishkek got in touch with us, before we arrived at his city. He is the only Tesla driver in Kyrgyzstan. Another Tesla!!! We were so excited to see his white Tesla Model S 85 P (used to be a S 60, but he “pimped” it). Niyaz literally spoiled us. He organized a flat in the city center, where we could stay. In the basement parking of this apartment building, Niyaz has installed a CEE-32 to let Tesla-friends from Kazakhstan charge. He, himself, has an American Tesla that can only charge with one phase. It felt like a home away from home to have an entire apartment to ourselves, including a large kitchen and washing machine. We are grateful for Niyaz to introducing us to his city and helping us with the apartment and charging!

Meeting an old friend from Zurich

On our first real day in Kyrgyzstan, we went hiking in the beautiful Ala Archa National Park that is only 30 km away from Bishkek. In the early morning after this hike, Timon, a friend from Zurich, and his friend Arnauld, arrived in Bishkek to go mountaineering for the following 3 weeks in the Kyrgyz mountains. We found out only 2-3 weeks ago that our plans are overlapping and that we can all meet in Kyrgyzstan. We had a blast together and I am so glad it just worked out wonderfully.

Border Kyrgyzstan – Kazakhstan

After 3 great days in Kyrgyzstan, where we got absolutely fascinated by its natural beauty (we want to return some day to go hiking here), we had to leave towards Kazakhstan. The border isn’t far from Bishkek. Shortly before arriving to the border we exchanged the rest of our Kyrgyz money to the Kazakh currency. While doing this we apparently parked in a restricted area. That is what the police told us, when they pulled us out, a few meters after we left the parking spot. Benedikt discussed with them for 20 minutes and in the end, we could go without paying the fine of about 25€. It just seemed that they have the non-parking area there, to fine people who are parking there. They also fine/get bribed of people crossing an unnecessary stop sign without stopping (check out Caravanistan).

The border process itself went on the Kyrgyz side very smooth. On the Kazakh side, I got pulled out and had to go to a car-scanner. They seem to thoroughly search for drugs at this border. I played the little, innocent girl and could leave the car-scanning hall (without even using the car scanner or any other searching happening) only 10 minutes later. Another guy in the hall told me that he is already waiting for 2 hours. The border controllers dissembled his car. I left the border area after maybe 1 hour, all in all. The drive to Almaty took us another 2-3 hours after the border.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
connection to fuse-box 220 volt 3 * 32 amperes 22 kW 70 kWh

Charging in Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan


We had to have a guide with us anytime during our stay in Turkmenistan, except for our day in Ashgabat (there is enough police present in the city that guides aren’t necessary – that is at least my theory). We chose to travel with a tourist visa (and not a transit visa that wouldn’t require a guide), since this allowed us to plan better ahead. Many transit visa get rejected (this year roughly half of them). Further on, we wanted more than the minimum amount of 3 days of the transit visa to cross the country.

On our last evening in Turkmenabat, our second guide returned to Ashgabat and Bac, a local tourist guide, started accompanying us. He arranged that we could charge the car (three phases connected to fuses) at a car workshop opposite of his home. He invited us in the evening to join him to visit some friends. Turkmen people are just as hospitable and welcoming as we know that Iranians are. We enjoyed pelmeni, barbecue, Ukrainian Vodka, Turkmen tea as well as bread, baked in a clay oven in the back of the first family we visited. We feel very privileged that we could enjoy this fun evening with Bac and his friends.

Leaving Turkmenistan and entering to Uzbekistan

The next morning, Bac brought us to the border and helped us exit Turkmenistan. His help made this border-exit to one of the easiest. Unlike expected, the border crossing into Uzbekistan wasn’t bad at all. It took a while to fill out the customs forms and to get our medications checked (Uzbekistan is very restrictive on what kind of medications can be imported). All border guards were very interested in our car. We showed them some of the features of our Tesla and distracted them from their routine. That way, the car control was quite superficial. It took us only about 2 hours until we were in Uzbekistan. Compared with our last border crossing that took about 8 hours (see this post), this felt almost like nothing.

 outlet/socket  Volt  Ampere  kW  kWh
 connection to fuse box  240 Volt  3 * 16 amperes  12 kW  35 kWh

Charging in Isfahan, Iran

Besides the hotel offers in Kashan (see this post), we received many, many more messages after our ask for three-phase electricity on Instagram. Most people who messaged us either told us what touristic places to visit or they asked when they can see us.

In fact, our number 1 problem always is, how to charge the car. After that we need to find a place to sleep and eat. Sometimes the order and priority is different ;-). Only after those three problems (and sometimes additional ones like laundry, grocery shopping and so on) are solved, we start thinking about what sights to see or whom to meet.

Soheil in Isfahan was the only one who clearly understood what our problem is (the need for a place to charge the Tesla). He offered us three-phase electricity in his father’s factory.

Charging #1

Of course, we didn’t know what to expect when we drove to the industrial town of Isfahan. But the surprises couldn’t have been bigger. We were welcomed by Soheil, his mother and his sister, Mehrnoush, as well as one of his friends, Ali. Soheil and Ali were very curious about the car. Benedikt spend the afternoon talking to them and explaining. I spend the same time with Mehrnoush and her mom, wonderful people, who it was so great talking to. We all share the same interest in mountaineering. Especially the dad of the family, who unfortunately died last fall and who we would have loved to meet, was a great climber and hiker. He started in the 1980s a company for everything climbers need out of metal (carabiners, pitons, crampons, ice picks…) and other metal products (tea pots).


While we were chatting, and visiting the factory, the Tesla was charging on a stable three-phase outlet (Montenegro style) with 32 amperes and 22 kW.

It was really a great afternoon we spend together with the Samavatis. We just couldn’t refuse an invitation from the family to stay at their place overnight and have dinner together. This kind of hospitality is just amazing and we had a wonderful time at their apartment.

Meeting our fans

I was sick the third day in Isfahan (probably eat/drank something wrong). Due to that Benedikt had to go to a meeting of our “fans” by himself. We set up this meeting since many people waned to meet us (and see the car). We didn’t want them all at our hotel. About 25 to 30 people showed up for this meeting. Like any Tesla-newbie Benedikt could easily entertain them with the soundless car, suspension control, the car key, frunk and so on.

Charging #2

Before we left we went another time to Soheil and his family. Again, we had a great time together and the car charged up to 98%. This time, the cable/fuse didn’t really take the 32 amperes though. After about 1 hour charging, a fuse blew and the charging stopped. We only noticed at that point that the fuse was made for 25 amperes and the outlet for 16 amperes. It worked the first time to push 32 amperes through them, but after the fuse-blow we continued charging only with 20 amperes (on all three phases).





 outlet/socket  Volt  Ampere  kW  kWh
 Montenegro outlet  220 volt  3*32 amperes  22 kW  about 50
 Montenegro outlet  220 volt  3*20 amperes  16 kW  about 40