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Tesla Model S 90kWh 2016
First Road trip from Maidstone in Kent to Malta to visit family with a month to spare. France, Switzerland, Italy, Sicily, Malta and Gozo.
The first stop was the Euro Tunnel and Teslas are defaulted to the coach carriages as they are wider than most cars. From Calais we had a quick sprint down the A26 to the 6 Tesla Superchargers south of Reims; the French roads are like silk compared to the UK. First night was in Nancy then passing through Switzerland to south of Milan for the second night.
Tesla Superchargers are mostly sited at hotels as they are open 24/7 and you can get a good meal or snack. After travelling down through Italy we crossed over to Sicily on the 30 minute crossing and then down to the bottom of Sicily and then took the 90 minute ferry to Valetta, Malta. The trip down was 1,720 miles and we did 690 miles driving around Malta and Gozo before returning and totalling a round trip of 4,210 miles
Planning & preparation
The route to Malta was all mapped out on the Tesla centre screen, giving charging distances and charging times, all I had to do was decide how much driving we wanted to do in a day. Then the fun was in booking a hotel that accepted dogs and had chargers nearby. Sunday is a good day to travel through France as there are no lorries and the traffic is very light.
Toll tags are a must as you don’t need to stop at the toll booths, just drive through at 30 km/hr. All hotels were booked with free cancellation on the mobile app which saved on the paperwork. We also carried a full size spare wheel.
The distance between charges was according to how fast you drive and the weather conditions. All the Superchargers are shown on the large centre screen and have live availability. To date, we have used 117 different Tesla charging locations across the UK and Europe and have never had to queue or had an out of service Supercharger. Prior to this Malta trip, we had 2 trips to Granada in Spain and have since been on a further 4 trips to Murcia.
At most of the Superchargers we only needed 15 – 20 minutes charge. As this Tesla was a 2016 purchase all the Superchargers and destination chargers are free. This was part of the sales promotion at the time and stays with the life of the car and passes onto the next owner too.
The EV itself
The car is a joy to drive, so silent and smooth and is amazingly quick of the mark. It could do with a bit more ground clearance and could do with more cabin storage space also. Parking is a challenge for the supermarket bays but it also has the biggest loading area and can take 3 metre timber inside with the boot closed.
Road trip conclusion
This trip was very enjoyable given that we didn’t try and break any daily driving records, mostly 380/450 miles a day. All main roads too as you can’t cover that distance on back roads. In 2017, there weren’t many other charging stations for other makes and this trip would have been a challenge but now in 2021 things are getting better.
Charge to 80% is best as the last bit can take ages by which time you could be 70 miles further down the road. Charging at hotels allows you to fill to the max for the next days drive while you check-in and have a bath!