During a holiday journey from Berlin to the north German island of Usedom, you tested how well e-mobility works over longer distances. What impressions did you take with you?
I liked Usedom. The drive with the e-Golf was fun. However, we also experienced some difficulties which disrupted our plans. We had to be more flexible than with a diesel or petrol engine. The reason was neither the e-Golf nor the e-mobility itself, but rather the state of the infrastructure around the e-car. Overall, I came home with a mixed picture.
Let’s start with the positives – what convinced you the most?
I like the driving feel. Electric cars are dynamic, you don’t have a transmission. At the same time, it is a pleasant, quiet driving experience. It’s fun, although I usually prefer to travel by train on longer journeys. The second plus point: an e-car takes away some of my guilty conscience. After all, there are always discussions about the eco-balance. But when I think about the goal of the so-called energy transition, to significantly increase the share of green electricity, then electric vehicles are clearly better for the climate than combustion engines. In addition, they drive without local pollutant emissions.
What are the disadvantages?
I had to plan the route more carefully, so that I could use intermediate stops to charge. On the way there, we got to know a nice little town that we would have passed otherwise. Also, the hotel search was restricted, as I had to pay attention to charging stations in the proximity. As a mobility researcher, I enjoy this kind of thing. But probably it is not everybody’s cup of tea. It becomes unpleasant when something unexpected happens.
The evening before the trip, the hotel had to cancel our booking. Of course, it was difficult to get a replacement at such short notice. In the end we stayed in a hotel that was four kilometers away from the next charging station. We had to walk this distance to our accommodation in the evening and back the next morning. We had good weather – it was a nice walk. But with small children or on a business trip you don’t need something like that to happen. We had a second problem during a break on the way back: When we came back from dinner, we noticed that the charging station had not been working.