10 Countries In 24 Hours Electric Marathon
Auto Express|October 16, 2019
Crossing a continent in a conventional car requires very little thought, but what about in an electric vehicle? We put Ionity’s network to the test in an Audi e-tron
Vicky Parrott

Lake Bled in Slovenia is not an obvious starting point for an extreme electric-car road trip. From the puttering hire boats to the gorgeous Alpine backdrop and appealingly tacky casino, it’s hard to imagine that in a little more than 24 hours I will have eaten up 1009 miles, 10 countries, seven rapid charging stops, and more coffee and crisps than I care to think about.

But that’s the plan, and the Audi e-Tron is the car for this marathon drive – one designed to illustrate how far the electric car and the fast charging infrastructure have come. After all, long-haul electric motoring used to be reserved for Tesla, thanks to its Supercharger network.

For the past year, a joint venture called Ionity (formed by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Volkswagen and Ford and joined, in recent weeks, by Hyundai and Kia) has been rolling out super rapid 350kW charging stations. That’s 100kW faster than Tesla’s latest V3 Supercharger, and Porsche’s Taycan can take full advantage of it, adding 100 miles of range in less time than it takes your barista to misspell your name.

The e-tron’s 150kW maximum charging rate is more typical of most premium electric cars, and we were about to find out what that charging speed – good for around 100 miles in less than 15 minutes – did for cross-continental travel.

Numbers are one thing, though. Actually covering such a huge distance without getting stranded courtesy of a plug-less autoroute is a far better and more colourful test of where the electric car and its charging lifeblood stands.

We left the heady holiday shores of Lake Bled at 8.30am with a full battery and 211 miles of range showing. One effortless, a short hop across the mountainous Austrian border, and we were one country down.

By 10 am we reached our first charging stop, at an Ionity station near Gmund. Sadly, you need an app to charge here, although Ionity bosses promise they will introduce contactless payment soon. The app is mercifully simple to use and Ionity currently charges a flat fee of eight euros (£8 in the UK) per charge, although that’ll change to a price per kWh in the near future. With Audi’s 95kWh battery down to only 70 per cent at this point, it takes 20 minutes to get a full battery (charging slows when you get to more than 80 per cent), and we hit the Austrian motorways again.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM AUTO EXPRESSView All

MODERNA MASERATI

We get a behind-the-scenes look at the hi-tech innovation that’s putting this famous car maker at the cutting edge

4 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

Black Box Insurance Slammed As Malfunctions And Complaints Rise

‘Intrusive’ technology criticised as insurers force policyholders to defend anomalies in the telematics data from their cars

3 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

EV Maker Rimac Prepares To Hit The Big Time

New C_Two arrives this year UK sales set to begin in 2021

3 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

BMW 5 xDrive45e

First UK drive Plug-in combines efficiency with performance

3 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

Mercedes-AMG A 35

First UK drive Saloon option now available for rapid compact Merc

2 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

Bentley Bentayga Hyor

First UK drive can firm's first petrol-electric model fill the gap left by old diesel?

3 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

Baby Jeep SUV Due For 2022 Launch

Small model takes on Juke Electric 4WD in pipeline

2 mins read
Auto Express
January 09, 2020

3 Million Dangerous Failures Mot Results Reveal Shocking State Of Britain's Vehicles

Official almost 10% of all tested vehicles are driving with defects listed as ‘Dangerous’

1 min read
Auto Express
October 02, 2019

10 Countries In 24 Hours Electric Marathon

Crossing a continent in a conventional car requires very little thought, but what about in an electric vehicle? We put Ionity’s network to the test in an Audi e-tron

6 mins read
Auto Express
October 16, 2019

Juke Builds On Original's Success

Nissan adopts an evolutionary approach for the small SUV’s styling, but improves its tech, practicality and driving manners

4 mins read
Auto Express
October 16, 2019