This article details our Hyundai Kona Electric travels through Greece, Albania, and Croatia after the first part of this trip from Warsaw, Poland, to the easternmost point in Europe and our earlier EV journeys to Nordkapp (the northernmost point in Europe), Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point in Europe), and Punta Marroqui (the southernmost point). (Click here to view the prior article.)
ALBANIA GREECE Are there fees in Albania? is a phrase we hear frequently because it is a vacation spot that is growing in popularity. Well, to be honest, we still don’t know much about this because the team didn’t use many chargers that were available to the public. Actually, at the hotel, they only utilized one destination charger. The reason why is a little more nuanced than just not having any.
First off, Albania extends 400 km from south to north, thus there was no need to charge the Kona given its usual range of 500 miles. Second, it’s a fact that there aren’t many charges in Albania (there are officially three publicly accessible DC charging stations). Third, the group neglected to purchase a SIM card for Albania (available on the border for 20, but nobody felt like being bothered time-wise or cost-wise). At the same time, it was accepted by all that the cost of utilizing the internet on a typical roaming plan—6,000/GB or more—was excessive (make sure you turn off your mobile data roaming on your phones when entering Albania, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Turkey otherwise you may be in for a nasty surprise). Without the ability to use an app, finding a charger was useless. As if that weren’t enough, the team’s charging roaming cards wouldn’t start any of the chargers, so we had to download an app. Well, have a look at the comment regarding the internet above.
The lesson was retained: when it comes to EV infrastructure, Albania lags behind other European nations. Given where it is in its development, it makes sense that the nation has other priorities. Let’s hope they make progress on EVs and other areas that are necessary to improve the life of Albanians.
The Kona EV arrived at the Adriatic Hotel in Durres at the seashore where a very kind guard, with some decent English, plugged in EVs according to what the owners at reception desired. Nevertheless, finding a hotel with a charger wasn’t too difficult using Booking.com . The guard would carry out all necessary tasks in place of an app at the time and duration you specify for your EV’s connection and charging. The cost per kWh turned out to be pretty expensive because each hour cost $4 and the Kona charged at 6.7 kW. Our road-trippers requested a total of 3 hours of charging because the Kona didn’t require that much power. The price of charging was added to the hotel bill. clean and orderly.
Let’s discuss the Albanian stage in greater detail, as our Kona was really effective there. I’m delighted to report that despite traveling on some of Albania’s most notorious roads, the one along the shore is in excellent shape, with very few holes and bumps (one of them quite deep, though, and a less careful and impatient Albanian driver lost one of his wheels seconds after he had overtaken the Kona). In any case, at speeds about 3080 km/h (1950 mph), energy use averaged 12 kWh/100 km, and it would have been less if it weren’t for certain difficult ascents over mountain passes from sea level to 1000 m (3280 ft) above sea level.
If you ever decide to travel to Albania, be sure to stop in Butrint. Here, you will get a taste of the Balkans in a nutshell thanks to the city’s well-preserved city walls of a Hellenistic settlement that provided shelter to Troy survivors, basilica from the early Christian era, and Venetian fortress (no chargers there, though).
DUBROWNIK, ALBANIA Did I mention the 500 km (310 miles) range of the Konas? I’m sorry, but the team got it completely wrong. It seems like we all overestimated the power of the crossover! Energy usage averaged(!) 10.7 kWh/100 km while traveling from Durres to Dubrovnik (really, while driving up a little), translating to a range of 600 km (372 miles). You certainly can’t whine about that. Okay, so the squad generally traveled on public highways when across Albania the day prior, occasionally exceeding 100 km/h. But today, as we traveled through the northern parts of Albania and Montenegro, our Kona EV slipped down lovely, twisting roads past hills and tiny seaside towns. Lower speeds were required for this picturesque road, never exceeding 7080 km/h (4350 mph). Additionally, the majority of the roads in Montenegro and Albania are in decent shape, so the suspension of the automobile is not put under stress.
When comparing the lists of accessible chargers, it is clear that Montenegro has a greater GDP and state of development than Albania. There is just one DC charging station that the general public can use (in the capital of Podgorica). However, there are quite a few AC charging stations accessible while travelling. In one of the team’s favorite charging stations, the Kona arrived in this manner (and they have seen plenty). In Sveti Stefan, the station was located in a small parking lot over the beach. Starting it with our Polish credit card was satisfying. Being back in Europe for EV charging was a nice thing. Regarding the scenery, it overlooked a small island that had formerly been a fishing community and a pirate hideout before being transformed into a luxurious resort that, among many others, was frequented by Marilyn Monroe. The team sipped coffee on the beach, took in the scenery, and made their way to Croatia because their budget did not allow them to spend $1,000 for a night at the Amani Sveti Stefan (although you are more than welcome to take advantage of this chance yourself).
What a letdown that Croatia’s largest local charging network, Elen, is still disconnected from Europe. That is, no roaming plan allows you to use it. Hrvatski Telekom, a lesser rival, came to the operator’s aid without intending to open a new account with them. It’s not perfect because you can’t start it with the card, but the software made it work. The fact that it worked and enabled our tiny Kona to travel to Dubrovnik with its wonderful city walls and winding streets was all that mattered in the end, even though it wasn’t the kind of electric vehicle experience we had all hoped for. In October, it’s still warm and there aren’t many obnoxious visitors around. If possible, stop by. Another calm night of charging at a modest bed and breakfast awaited the Kona. 15 was sufficient to be completely charged in the morning and leave for additional EV exploration. More to come.
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