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Rental car electric option?

Hi! I am wondering if anyone has experience renting an electric vehicle in France and can speak to just how challenging (or not) it is to find places to charge. How long does it take? I have experience charging Tesla, but not sure how things work in France. Jackie Kim

Posted by
363 posts

Finding places to recharge is easy - most towns and villages have them, as do supermarkets and tourist attractions.
As to how long a recharge takes - that depends on what the car can take, and what is delivered at the recharge station. There are Tesla rechargers scattered around the country, mainly at tourist attractions and hotels.

Posted by
655 posts

Finding a place to charge that you want to hang out at for an extended period of time (like overnight) may be a bigger issue. If there is no where to charge where you also recharge your head at the same time, I'd personally rule it out.

Posted by
2396 posts

That's just added stress to the stress of travel, why put yourself through that? I saw charging stations pretty liberally sprinkled throughout Paris but they were usually full. You might also Google up some British car magazines (like CAR) because they are fond of driving electrics on the Continent and can regale you with their adventures. Spoiler alert - it doesn't always work well and you often have to ditch the car in a shopping center or hotel or even a friendly car dealership to juice up. The larger issue is, if you're concerned about saving the earth, you can't beat the efficiency of trains, trams and subways.

Posted by
27438 posts

Will you be trying to charge a Tesla or a normal car, like a Renault? The two charger types are different and often not colocated. There are online maps available and I expect the hire company has an app.

Posted by
3615 posts

Many non-Tesla charging stations require some sort of registration, or at least a specific app, which is cumbersome. Unless you are planning day trips around a central location where you can recharge (Western Provence would be ideal, for instance), I think it is a little bit too soon to plan a roadtrip in an electric car in France. I am quite confident that the picture will be very different by, say, summer next year, though.

Posted by
363 posts

The idea is to recharge when the car is about 30% full, and take it to 80%. Charging time is usually between 20 and 30 minutes on most modern electrics. If you let it drop below 20%, recharge time is a lot longer, as is the charge time between 80 and 100%.

I live in a village of 1000 people (300 of whom are in the nursing home). We have 3 public chargers. The two villages either side of us, one has a population of 130 and has two chargers, the other is 100 people and has one charger. I rented a very cheap ( 6€ a day) electric from the supermarket and had huge fun. Never had a worry about running out, but I wasnt doing a road trip.

A friend recently bought a Tesla. His 500 mile trip from Amsterdam to central France takes about 25 minutes longer than it did in his old car. He has never had a problem finding recharge

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you everyone for your advice! We'll be road tripping from Paris to Honfleur and then to Bayeux and then to Mont St. Michel. Return via Chartres. I'll probably end up renting a gasoline powered car.

Posted by
27438 posts

or diesel for even better mileage and comfort. I love the hill start and deep grunt in low gears going up (and down) in my car and the diesel runs at so much lower revs.