The electrification of the private and commercial vehicle population in Germany is in full swing. The registration figures for battery-electric vehicles have now surpassed those of diesel cars. But isn’t the diesel the epitome of long-distance capability? There is no doubt about that. But e-cars, pure electric vehicles, have now also achieved a suitability for everyday use that makes a trip to the mountains – even in winter at temperatures around freezing point – quite possible.
- Charge safely: At home, at the rest stop and at the valley station
- Have a good trip: Premium e-limo Polestar 2 with room for skis and power for the motorway
- Green energy: Hydropower for cable car and wallboxes
Electromobility is booming. Stubborn reservations have already been countered by numerous practical experiences. And the ADAC not only offers its members e-cars to try out on lease, but also provides useful practical tips.
E-car and alpine skiing: to the wallbox at the ski station in Montafon
A ski trip in January from near Munich to the Vorarlberg Montafon with the Polestar 2 (Standard Range) becomes a test. Around 250 kilometres from the front door across the German-Austrian border near Lindau/Bregenz to the valley station of the newly opened Valisera gondola in the Silvretta Montafon ski arena are on the route plan. There, since December 2021, a proud 50 wallboxes have been waiting in the underground car park just below the cable car entrance to be used by “electrified customers”.
The luggage for the ski trip is quickly stowed away. In the Polestar 2, the hatch on the rear seat easily accommodates up to two pairs of skis. Ski boots, poles and a rucksack with the essentials for an overnight stay find enough space in the boot at the rear and in the Frunk at the front (storage space under the front bonnet).
At minus 5 degrees Celsius in the morning, the journey begins on the A96 motorway from Munich southwest towards Lindau. Battery capacity 97 %, average speed 110 km/h, distance cruise control and lane departure warning make the trip a relaxed journey into the ski day. At the Bodensee rest stop, there is still 27 % remaining capacity. So while buying the vignette for the Austrian Rhine motorway and having a cup of coffee, it is better to use one of the fast chargers at the car park, which are quickly found. The signposting to the charging stations here is on a par with that of the petrol pumps for combustion engines.
After just under half an hour, we continue and after about 100 kilometres, we enter the top floor of the underground car park under the brand new Valisera cable car, a semi-autonomously operated cable car of the latest generation. The ski ticket was already purchased online in advance in connection with the activation of access to the garage parking space for one’s own vehicle, 5 euros for the parking space and 15 euros flat rate for charging at one of the wallboxes (11 kW power) in the reserved area. In the rest of the car park, there are also 15 wallboxes freely available via the usual roaming providers, e.g. ADAC e-Charge, as well as a central fast-charging station in front of the complex with up to 150 kW power. The expansion stages envisage a maximum number of 600 wallboxes in the basement of the multifunctional Silvretta Park in parallel with the development of demand and the e-car stock.
E-mobile on the slopes
Interesting, as it is also completely electrified: The ascent from the car to the piste is by lift, escalator and the cable car, which is operated with an impressive 2000 kilowatts of peak power, to the summit region of the extensive Silvretta Montafon ski arena. By comparison, the Polestar 2 has a maximum output of 165 kW, which is still an impressive 224 hp.
With this view and the weather, the electric car is welcome to charge for longer. At an altitude of over 2000 metres, the mountain panorama and ski slopes of the Silvretta are equally impressive.
Nach dem ausgiebigen Skierlebnis sind die Oberschenkel leer, die Batterie des Polestar 2 aber voll bis oben. Die Ladung in der Tiefgarage während der Hotelübernachtung im Silvretta Sporthotel ist denkbar kurz. Ein Tesla-Schnelllader und eine zusätzliche Wallbox stehen zur Verfügung, der umfassende Ausbau der Ladeinfrastruktur im Hotel ist eine Frage der Zeit, immer mehr Gäste reisen mit batterieelektrischen oder Plug-in-hybriden Pkws an.
After the extensive skiing experience, the thighs are empty, but the battery of the Polestar 2 is full to the top. Charging in the underground car park during the overnight stay at the Silvretta Sporthotel is very short. A Tesla fast charger and an additional wallbox are available, the comprehensive expansion of the charging infrastructure in the hotel is a matter of time, more and more guests are arriving with battery-electric or plug-in hybrid cars.
The Explorer Hotel in Gaschurn also offers charging options for guests. Many more options can be found and booked in the Alpine region and beyond on portals such as www.emobilhotels.com on the internet.
The next morning, well rested, we go up the mountain again to enjoy the freshly prepared slopes and then start the journey home in high spirits and with a charged battery. From the valley station to home it’s all in one go, a good 250 km exclusively motorway and country road at a temperature around freezing point and travel speeds between 80 and 130 km/h. A small diversions takes us to the Lünersee and Latschau hydroelectric power plants, where “green energy” is generated. Several of these CO2-neutral power generators have existed in the Montafon for many decades.
When we arrived back in Munich, the on-board computer reported a remaining 6 percent battery capacity – not for the faint-hearted, but with some experience in an electric car and a wallbox at home, there were no worries. And if necessary, a short quick charge during a coffee break at one of the rest stops and car stations along the route would have provided a remedy. With the help of common charging apps on smartphones, more options for intermediate charging can now be found than expected.
Text and pictures:
Thomas Biersack. Our guest author is an editor at ADAC.
Picture 2: Moon Lounge c Silvretta Montafon, Friederike Weber