From Middelburg to Trondheim

To Hirtshals

Last Saturday we left at 08:00 from Middelburg for the 1.100km drive to Hirtshals, Denmark. From there we would take the ferry to Larvik, Norway on Sunday morning.

It took us 14 hours to reach Hirtshals. Traffic was bad, very bad starting at Hamburg towards the border. Roadworks and border controls made it stop and go over almost 100km!

A short night followed since our ferry left at 08:00.

Lier South SuperCharger

After arriving in Larvik our first SuperCharger in Norway was Lier South, 100km from Larvik.

It was busy! After we parked all 8 stalls are occupied. Other Model S had to wait in the queue.

Lier South SuperCharger

A queue is bad, but it also shows that the infrastructure is used! It’s not a charger which is rarely used. From what I understood it was also a vacation period, so that might have caused the spike in traffic.

Lillehammer

After charging in Lier we headed to Lillehammer. We would stay the night there and charge again.

Fortum CHAdeMO

While heading to Lillehammer I stopped at a CHAdeMO from Fortum to see if I could charge there. The people from Fortum told me that I could use my Dutch phone and send a SMS to active it.

Well, that didn’t work. I borrowed a RFID tag from somebody else as a backup. On the Lofoten Islands I will need to use a Fortum charger, so I wanted to know if it worked. Lesson learned. It doesn’t.

Fortum CHAdeMO charger

Busy times at Lillehammer

On the E6 to Lillehammer we already spotted a lot of Model S coming from Lillehammer, so I expected the SuperCharger to be crowded.

It was! 9 of the 10 stalls we busy, so we parked at the last stall available.

As we were charging we saw more Model S arrive. We still had 100km left in the battery and we would leave the next morning. We vacated the stall and to decided to charge the next morning for the 155km drive to Dombas and Trondheim.

We checked in at the hotel and went for a dinner in Lillehammer.

SuperCharging with a cold battery

The next morning the car had been in -8C for the night. When I switched to ‘Drive’ a warning indicated that regenerative braking had been disabled. This was due to the battery being cold.

SuperCharging didn’t go very fast. When I just started it would charge with 17kW and slowly climbed to roughly 30kW before we had enough to leave for Dombas.

This was a similar experience as last year at the Krokom SuperCharger in -22C.

The picture below shows that we were charging with 24kW where under normal conditions it should have been about 80kW.

Slow Lillehammer SuperCharger

To Trondheim

From Lillehammer we drove to the Dombas SuperCharger. After a charge and lunch there we headed down to Klett (near Trondheim).

Nothing really special on this part of the trip. The temperature was about -5C and the (road) conditions were good.

To the Lofoten

Our destination is a house we rented through Airbnb on the Lofoten Islands.

From Trondheim we are taking the Hurtigruten ferry to Stamsund on the Lofoten. This will take 2 days.

From Stamsund to the house it is just 21km. Time to relax!

Energy Consumption

The tripmeter shows 1861km and a total usage of 391kWh. That’s 210Wh/km. Not bad at all!

To Norway and back using just Tesla SuperChargers

I had never seen the Aurora Borealis and with the growing SuperCharger network of Tesla Motors I’ve driven my Tesla Model S from the Netherlands to the North of Norway using just SuperChargers.

A 5412km roadtrip going through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway using just the Tesla Motors SuperCharger network.

An amazing trip through snow, ice, rain and -22 Celcius. Driven 100% electric and without a single problem.

I’ve written multiple blogposts about my trip:

Energy Consumption

Everybody always talks about how much more EVs start consuming in the cold. To see if this was true I kept a detailed triplog of every leg of the journey.

The sheet is on Google Docs and shows that over 5412km I used 1197kWh of energy. That comes down to 221Wh/km or 22kWh/100km.

That is 10% more then the ‘Typical Range’ (Tesla terminology) the car tells me.

The most Northern SuperCharger on the planet

Setermoen

After staying the night in Narvik at the Scandic hotel we left for the most Northern SuperCharger on the planet. Setermoen to be exact.

In Narvik it was +2 Celcius and some wet snow was coming down. We figured we were in for a drive on slushy roads again. That was true for the first 30km, but suddenly we started climbing and it started snowing!

E6 from Narvik to Setermoen

I also took a small video of the weather. It was fine to drive in, but as you can see, the roads are covered in snow and visibility sometimes wasn’t that good. Just use your common sense when driving in those conditions.

But finally, after 3346km using just Tesla SuperChargers we arrived in Setermoen!

Charging at the Setermoen SuperCharger

SuperCharger map arrow Setermoen

All the way from the Netherlands we’ve driven to the most Northern SuperCharger! A hard thing to do? No, not at all. Just make sure you adapt to the Swedish and Norwegian conditions. Be prepared, that’s all.

Tromsø

Setermoen was however not our final destination! After charging in Setermoen for a while we continued up North towards Tromsø.

In Tromsø we met with a future Model S owner, Thilo Bubek. When he saw I was making this trip he contacted me so we could meet up. We did and obviously we talked a lot, I mean a lot, about Tesla.

We also came to Tromsø to watch the Aurora Borealis. It happens that Thilo has photography as a hobby and he knew the good places to watch the Aurora.

Aurora at Sommarøy

It took an hour to drive from Tromsø to Sommarøy. We had stood in the -4C with heavy winds for hours and hours, but we saw a beautiful Aurora display! Clear skies with half moon.

Aurora Sommaroy Norway

Us at Sommaroy Norway

At 01:00 we figured it was time to go home, the display was over.

On the way back we made a quick picture of my Model S under the moonlight and a bit of Aurora:

tesla-model-s-moonlight

The credits for these pictures go to Thilo Bubek. He’s a lot better in taking pictures then I am!

To Trondheim

Tonight we are taking the Hutigruten coastal ferry from Tromsø to Trondheim. From there we’ll continue our journey back home, using just the SuperChargers again!

We passed the Arctic Circle!

Rain!

This morning we got up a 06:00 again to head to Narvik, a 500km trip from Mosjøen. We stayed the night in a hotel near the SuperCharger. As soon as I got up I went to the SuperCharger to fully charge the battery before breakfast.

When I walked out the hotel it was raining! What!? It also had snowed that night, but that later turned into rain. It was 1C when I got into the car.

The roads were all wet and sluggish, bad driving conditions.

At 07:15 we left the hotel and headed for the Storjord SuperCharger, a trip of 200km. The navigation told us it should take 3 hours, well, it took us 5.

Rain and frozen roads turn into ice. Ice is bad for driving on, so we had to take it slow and stop very often.

we are driving non-studded tires because we also pass countries where studded tires are not allowed and required. I know this is not ideal, but we had to. This morning I really wanted them.

After 2 hours the conditions got better, the rain turned into snow and the roads became less icy. Better conditions for my Nokian Hakka R2 tires.

Finally, at 12:20 we arrived at the Storjord SuperCharger!

New firmware with trip prediction

Last night I got a notification on my iPhone that a new firmware was available for my car. I configured it to update the car over night and this morning I got firmware version 6.1

This firmware brings a new feature where it calculates based on the speed limits, height difference and some other variables how much battery you will have left when you arrive at your destination. It basically tells you if you are going to make it.

We left with our battery charged to 90% and it told us that we would arrive with 29%. We arrived with 30%!

The next two legs of our trip today it also worked flawlessly, it was spot on in predicting.

The Arctic Circle

After charging at Storjord we headed for the Innhavet SuperCharger. Again a 200km trip where we would pass the Arctic Circle!

We started descending and at 650m above sea level we passed the Arctic Circle in windy, snowy and cold conditions, but we made it! Fully electric we drove 3200km from the Netherlands using just the SuperCharger network to the Arctic Circle!

Time for a selfie together with my dad:

Selfie Arctic Circle

And obviously a picture of my Model S parked on the Arctic Circle:

Parked Arctic Circle

Stuck at the Arctic…

But something else happened there as well! Due to the windy and snow conditions we saw a snow dune to late and couldn’t brake in time. The front of the car got stuck on it.

Model S stuck Arctic Circle

Nothing really bad. We were prepared, we had two shovels with us, so we dug ourselves out in about 20 minutes.

So I put my dad to work:

Dad digging Arctic Circle

After 20 minutes we were on our way again without any permanent damage.

The road to Narvik

After charging at Innhavet we headed for Narvik because there is a special Tesla owner there.

Tesla already blogged about Jens Kratholm. He owns 6 Roadsters and one Model S. Who says electric cars don’t work in the cold?

The road from Innhavet to Narvik was horrible again. Rain, snow, sluggish stuff on the road and a delayed ferry!

Wet road Norway

After taking the ferry we continued towards Narvik and we got stuck again! I politely pulled over for a Norwegian behind me, but since it was dark and raining I couldn’t see the parking spot properly. It was deep snow which had turned into a slush puppy due to all the rain. I started digging again….

At 19:00 we finally arrived in Narvik and had some coffee at Jens and talked about Tesla 🙂

Jens recommend us the Scandic Hotel in Narvik since it also has charging options. While we didn’t need the charge in Narvik to reach the last SuperCharger in Setermoen it would never hurt to do so.

The Scandic Hotel has two free 22kW (3x32A) chargers available where my Model S is now happily charging from.

Charging at Scandic Hotel Narvik

Tromsø

Tomorrow we are heading for Setermoen first, the most Northen SuperCharger on the planet! Afterwards we are driving to Tromsø where we will stay for a couple of days and hopefully see the Aurora / Northern Lights.

From Tromsø we will take a 2-day coastal ferry to Trondheim from where we will drive to Oslo and take a ferry back to Denmark. All again using just SuperChargers!

Fiskevägen and entering Norway

SuperCharging in the cold

Last night we stayed in a hotel in Krokom (Sweden) near the SuperCharger. The idea was to fully charge the battery in the morning and then make the 250km trip from Krokom to the SuperCharger in Grong (Norway).

I didn’t know what to expect from the trip, so I really wanted a full battery before attempting this 250km through the cold.

We were at the Krokom SuperCharger at 07:15 and this is what the dashboard showed me:

Minus 17 Celcius in Krokom

I plugged in with 282km of range left and wanted to charge to 100%, which in my case is 375km of Typical Range (Tesla terminology).

It turned out the battery was so cold due to being outside in -17C the whole night that the SuperCharger would only charge at about 20kW while heating up the battery.

This meant it took 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach 100%. I didn’t expect that. Lesson learned: I should have plugged in at the hotel. All ICEs were plugged in to prevent their engine from freezing. I never expected it to become so cold that night.

Krokom SuperCharger

So I got to watch the sun slowly rise above Krokom while the temperature dropped to -19C.

Fiskevägen

We took the route called Fiskevägen from Krokom (Sweden) to Grong (Norway). This is a fishing route which goes through the mountains from Sweden to Norway. In Sweden it’s route 340 where in Norway it becomes 765 and later turns into the 74.

An amazing route which can’t really be captured on camera. Frozen lakes, snow, more snow and small towns along the road. Oh and deer ofcourse, but those were hard to capture on camera!

The temperature dropped even further, down to -22C. We stopped a couple of times to take some pictures. As soon as you got out of the car you felt the cold hitting you.

Route 340 in Sweden

Green Highway

At the Krokom SuperCharger there was also a regular chargingpoint which I tried. It worked without any RFID card. I plugged in and my car started charging at 22kW (3x32A Type 2).

Green Highway Krokom

I found out that it was from the Green Highway. Looking at the map I saw that there also was a charging point in Rötviken, a place along route 340.

It was 95km from Krokom, so I figured it was a good place to stop, drink and eat something while we charged a bit at 22kW. Well, I turned out differently! I found the charger, but it was only 3.6kW (1x16A Type 2). Dead slow, really unusable in -20C. Being idle with the heater on a Model S consumes more then 3.6kW, so just being there drowned more energy from the battery then the charger could add.

Green Highway Rötviken

This project has been realized with money from the European Union. I really wonder who thought it was a good idea to put up a 3.6kW charger. That takes 30 hours to fully charge a Tesla Model S with a 85kWh battery!

Entering Norway

We continued via Fiskevägen (Route 340) and entered Norway:

Entering Norway

The scenery kept continuing and we also kept climbing until we got above the treeline on route 74:

Route 74 in Norway

Fresh snow and a spectacular view! It was time to take a selfie:

Selfie route 74 Norway

From this mountain pass we started to descend again and finally reach Grong in Norway. The SuperCharger there was covered in snow, so we couldn’t park easily.

Grong SuperCharger

At the SuperCharger it was -3C, a lot less colder then in Sweden.

After charging in Grong we headed towards Mosjøen where we are spending the night.

Energy Consumption

I must be honest, I got some range anxiety when I saw it was -17C in Krokom and knew we had to travel 250km through mountains without any charging options.

The first 95km from Krokom to Rötviken it was around -20C. The heater of the car was set to 19C and both seat heater were on full power. We used 23.60kWh, avering 240Wh/km or 24kWh/100km. This was with an average speed of 60km/h.

The second part was from Rötviken to Grong, 157km. This time we used 32.60kWh, that translates into 208Wh/km or 21kWh/100km. Our average speed was again 60km/h.

From Rötviken we started to ascend, so our consumption went up towards 280Wh/km, that got me a bit worried. Later on however we started to descend and even started to charge the battery again due to the regenerative braking of the Model S. I saw the battery indicator going up, instead of going down!

It was really the unknown which got me. 250km through -20C and no charging options available, but I quickly saw that we were going to reach Grong without any problems.

If you own a Model S and want to visit Sweden and Norway I really recommend that you drive Fiskevägen. What an amazing route!

Last SuperCharger in Sweden, going to Norway

Leaving Sweden

In the past two days we visited Stockholm and continued our journey towards Norway.

We both never visited Stockholm before, so yesterday morning we visited Stockholm. We saw Gamla Stan (Old City) and visited the Abba Museum. (My dad is a Abba fan!)

From there on we continued to the Sollentuna and Gävle SuperChargers. We spend the night in Gävle and today we continued towards the Krokum SuperCharger via the Sundsvall.

Nothing really special actually. It started snowing and the temperatures started to drop, it’s -11 Celcius right now and snow is still falling.

Heading to Norway

Tomorrow we are going to drive from Krokum to the Grong SuperCharger in Norway. This is a 250km trip via what it seems some very small towns.

It looks like we have to cross mountains as well, so we’ll do a 100% charge at the Krokum SuperCharger before heading to Grong in Norway.

250km should be doable under the worst conditions possible with a full battery, so it’s looking good. We’ll be in Norway tomorrow!

Energy Consumption

I’m keeping a detailed spreadsheet with the energy consumption during the trip and we are currently at 225Wh/km over 2200km. That is really not bad, I expected higher consumption.

To Copenhagen and almost in Stockholm

Leaving for Denmark

Yesterday we started our journey to the most Northen SuperCharger in the world, Setermoen in Norway!

We started in Amersfoort (The Netherlands) and from there on drove to the Emsburen SuperCharger in Germany. Charged for a bit and drove towards the Tesla Service Center in Hamburg. Although it’s not listed on the Tesla website or in the navigation, there are two SuperCharger stalls available during opening hours. A gap Tesla still has to fill with a permanent installation somewhere around Hamburg.

From the Tesla Service Center we drove to Rødekro, Middelfart and Køge (all in Denmark) before calling it a day. 900km was enough for that day.

The Køge SuperCharger however is a special one. It’s not completely finished yet, 6 stalls are operational, but it’s looking awesome!

Køge SuperCharger

Visiting Copenhagen and towards Sweden

We stayed the night in a hotel in Køge and the next morning we drove to the SuperCharger at the Tesla Service Center near the airport. Charged for a bit and went into Copenhagen for a quick citytour.

In the early afternoon we left for Sweden and drove to the Löddeköpinge, Lagan, Ödeshög and Tystberga SuperChargers.

Somewhere around the Lagan SuperCharger it started snowing and it didn’t stop for the rest of the day.

Lagan SuperCharger

The Nokian Hakka R2 wintertires work great in the snow. In wet conditions they aren’t the best, but as soon as the road becomes covered in snow you notice what they are made for. I’m really happy with them!

That’s the trip so far. Nothing special, the SuperChargers and my Model S simply work.

Energy consumption is currently at 220Wh/km over 1500km, that’s better then I expected. I’m keeping a detailed spreadsheet with a triplog which I’ll post at the end of my journey.

That’s it for today, Stockholm tomorrow!

Driving to the Arctic with my Tesla Model S!

The Tesla SuperCharger Network

The Tesla SuperCharger network keeps expanding rapidly in the US, Europe and Asia. Looking at the community maintained website supercharge.info I saw that the SuperCharger network was slowly expanding to the North of Norway.

I have never seen the Aurora and it’s still on my bucketlist. So watching the SuperCharger network expand I got the crazy idea to drive there with my Tesla Model S!

The Aurora

My father lives on Bali (Indonesia), but I thought it would be a very cool trip to do together. I gave him a call and he promptly answered: YES!

This January we will be driving from Amersfoort (The Netherlands) to the most Northern SuperCharger in the world: Setermoen in Norway!

6500km round-trip

Following the SuperCharger network through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway it will be a trip of roughly ~3.250km to the most Northern SuperCharger. So in total we will be driving 6.500km using just the Tesla SuperCharger network.

During the trip we’ll encounter rain, snow, temperatures well below -10C and the beautiful nature Sweden and Norway have to offer!

Route to Norway

Above is the route we will follow. The main goal is to only use the SuperCharger network. We might plug in at a regular socket overnight to keep the battery warm during the cold weather, but 90% of our charge should come from the SuperChargers.

Schedule

My father will arrive in the Netherlands on Jan 15th 2015 and we plan to leave the 20th or 21st.

The first day we will try to reach the SuperCharger in Middelfart (Denmark) and stay there for the night. The next day we’ll travel to Copenhagen and continue our journey to Stockholm and towards Norway.

Our current expectation is that the entire trip will to 3 to 4 weeks. We are not in a hurry. We both have never seen Copenhagen nor Stockholm, so we’ll probably stay there to do a quick city tour. Afterwards we’ll slowly continue our journey towards Norway and the Arctic.

If all goes well we should be back in the Netherlands on February ~20th, but we’ll see how it goes!

Preparations

Since we are going to be driving in sub-zero temperatures we have to prepare. We will be driving on remote roads and should be prepared for the fact that we might get stuck. We would rather not get stuck, but you never know.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2

It all starts with a good set of winter tyres! I bought a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 tyres. Tesla owners from Norway and the Northern parts of the USA said they were very happy with these under winter conditions.

‘Better be safe than sorry’ is probably a good thing when going to Sweden and Norway in January and February, so in case we get stuck along the road I bought a Multi-Fuel Stove from XGK:

XGK EX with bottle

The MSR XGK EX Multi-Fuel Stove burns White Gas, Kerosine and Diesel, which makes it suiteable for cooking while temperatures are well below zero. Should be get stuck on a very remote location we should still be able to cook ourselfs a warm meal.

Follow us!

During our trip I’ll be updating this blog and you can follow me on Twitter on @widodh.

We’ll be leaving for Norway somewhere around Jan 20th 2015! We are looking forward to it 🙂