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Bradford, West Yorkshire
Bradford, West Yorkshire

This is aimed at people who would like to take their EV on holiday with them or go for a road trip somewhere in Europe.

So, can I charge my EV abroad?

Many Electric car drivers living in the UK ask themselves this question.

Luckily, most EV’s nowadays can use a lot of the European charging network.

However, you could find a few pitfalls on your way!

Before going to Europe it’s a good idea to check which chargers there are nearby and how they work with your own car.

It’s worth noting that in mainland Europe (so excluding the UK) there are a total of 916 “List A” Electric Vehicle charging sites.

These are publically accessible locations with charging points.

Although, there are many more privately owned locations available, this number does not reflect the actual availability of charging points on the continent. Taking a trip with an Electric Car is a question that has both time and place limitations.

For drivers who can just manage with daily driving, the question boils down to whether you need to brave the long travel in your EV.

When visiting another country, many Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers use public charging stations.

The possibility to use charging points abroad depends on what type of electric car you are driving.

Things to be taken into consideration

When thinking of taking an Electric Vehicle on a holiday, it is always worth checking out the country you are visiting for charging point possibilities.

They might not be so easy to come by.

There are different systems in place across Europe, and the US too has its own infrastructure which differs from state to state, making recharging points unappealing or sometimes non-existent.

Especially in France , Electric cars have become more popular over the past years, however finding charging points can still prove to be difficult when travelling abroad with your EV .

Also taking into consideration the congested city streets, and how far you’ll be stopping off along the highway (for overnight parking or charging).

Make sure to plug in using an adapter, if the foreign socket is different from in your own country!

Otherwise you risk damaging the power inverter unit (PVU).

If your car has a three-phase socket, it may be charged at any public AC charging station across Europe.

You should begin by contacting your vehicle manufacturer since different models come with different pre-packaged equipment.

Some will make use of conductive connections into which you simply plug the connector, while others will need additional equipment.

What are the requirements for going abroad with my EV?

There are several requirements for taking an Electric Vehicle abroad:

  • A “fully charged” battery (not necessarily 100%)
  • An “international” type of charging cable with either two or three round pins, depending on your country/region.
  • The correct socket adapter for the country to which you drive. This adapter changes from region to region and MUST match your charging cable and the electricity outlet in the country to which you drive. 
  • Ensure your car insurance covers you for driving abroad.
  • It is recommended that you take your motor insurance certificate.
  • Another essential you should have when driving abroad is a breakdown cover.
  • A first-aid kit is required in your car if you visit certain European nations, with additional legislations such as a fire extinguisher, bright clothing, warning triangle, headlamp beam reflectors and spare bulbs.
  • If the number plate does not have a UK identifier, replace the GB sticker on the rear of your car.
  • Valid Driving Licence.

Can I take my Lease EV abroad?

When you acquire an EV through a lease, the vehicle becomes the registered keeper of the car.

To drive it outside your country, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate foreign travel papers.

You’ll need a Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103) and a letter of authorization from your lease company.

If you let a company-owned vehicle, you’ll need the registered keeper’s letter of authorisation, as well as the vehicle registration document or a hiring certificate, as previously said.

How much does it cost to charge an EV in a foreign country?

There are numerous providers in other countries that provide charging points, just like there are in the United Kingdom.

Costs vary significantly, but it’s usually better to have an account with an operator to get the best pricing.

Although most points may be accessed using a network RFID card, key fob or app, finding chargers where you can use contactless debit and credit cards is not always straightforward.

Fortunately, there are services that allow you to establish an account that works with numerous networks, reducing the number of apps or cards you’ll need.

Own a TESLA?

Tesla owners will be relieved to learn that there are now over 600 Tesla charging stations throughout Europe.

With more than 6000 chargers accessible across 27 nations .

Around the world, there are more than 2,000 Tesla Supercharger sites, while you may use the Go Anywhere route planner to plan your trip.

Want to learn more about EV’s?

Why not gain some knowledge on Electric Vehicles and take an Hybrid/Electric Vehicle course.

MTC Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Courses

Hybrid Training Course, Level 1 – Raise Awareness
Hybrid/ EV Training Course, Level 2 – Light Vehicles 
Hybrid Training Course, Level 2 – Buses 
Hybrid Training Course, Level 2 – HGV’s
Hybrid Training Course Level 3 – Cars

The Level 1 Hybrid and Electric Training Course, is to raise awareness of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. This course is aimed at anyone that may come into contact with Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.

Level 2 Hybrid and Electric Light Vehicle Training Course, Level 2 HGV Training Course and Level 2 Buses Training Course. The Level 2 course is aimed at mechanics and car valeters.

The Level 3 Hybrid and Electric Training Course, is aimed at technicians and mechanics.

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