Dense charging network in Europe
Benedikt and I traveled for over 72 days without any official charging station. We always managed to find electricity somewhere and planned with enough spare time for the task. Being back to the EU means for us being back in an area with plenty of charging opportunities (or so we thought). Despite plugshare.com, despite the EU and all the wonderful charging stations, today in Siaulai, Lithuania, we encountered our most serious problem so far…
Charging or rather not charging in Siaulai
We left Riga in the late afternoon and intended to charge at a CHAdeMo charger in Siaulai. What we didn’t expect was that the charger was out of service! We had our battery at 7% and there wasn’t really any other charging opportunity in the city. What to do? First, we asked at Lidl, the supermarket that provided the charger on their parking spot, if they have another three-phase outlet we could use for charging. They had none or didn’t wanted to give it to us. Second, we contacted someone offering a private CEE to charge EVs in Siaulai. Unfortunately, he was out of town and couldn’t really help us either. Benedikt already thought about camping at a Schuko outlet. That would have been the last option for me. It was about 7 or 8 p.m. when we started to drive around the city to look for restaurants or gas stations that might have a three-phase outlet. And then we found a small mall. Since we had quite a few good experiences with finding CEE-outlets in underground parking, we gave that one a try.
Charging (at least a bit)!
And there it was, right at the entrance door, a red CEE-32 outlet! There were even a few official charging stations in the garage! But, all of them were without electricity. No one in the shopping center was interested in solving this problem. We found one other, better hidden, CEE-outlet in the garage. Since it wasn’t our lucky day, the fuse blew after only 2 minutes charging.
We had no other choice but to go back to the “obvious one”, roll out an extension cord and charge like in a goldfish bowl. Luckily, no security noticed our doing. Unfortunately, we could only charge with about 13 amperes (even though the outlet was a CEE-32), since the voltage dropped increasingly with more amperes. It took us 2 hours to reach a percentage of the battery that would allow us to drive to the next charging possibility at a hotel, 80 km away from Siaulai.
The last charge of the night
With the 22 kw of the hotel charger that we could use for free, it took us another hour until the car was charged enough to finally drive to Kaunas. We left Panevezys at 1 a.m. and it took us almost 2 more hours to reach Kaunas. You can imagine how tired we were when we finally fell asleep in the early morning in our hotel beds in Kaunas.
|CEE-32 (strongly fluctuating voltage)
|3 * 13 amperes
|3 * 32 amperes