Very precisely 5,887 kilometers: this is what Guillaume and Romain traveled in September 2021 with a Tesla Model 3 Long Range to reach the North Cape in Norway from Cape Saint-Vincent in Portugal. Jean-Christophe, Alexandre and Charles decided to take on the challenge with a Hyundai Ioniq 6. Departure Friday September 15, 2023.
Without car or Tesla chargers
Traveling far in an electric car: several of our readers proved this summer through their testimonials published on Automobile Propre that it is now possible. Even with a roof tent, trailer or caravan. Doing it quickly is also less obvious.
Two years ago, the crew of the European Electric Cannonball covered almost 6,000 km in less than three days. Some will say that with a Tesla and the American manufacturer’s superchargers located almost everywhere in Europe, it’s easy. “ Guillaume and I invite anyone who is ready to try to beat our record, with the electric car of their choice, to take up the challenge », concluded Romain at the end of his interview.
Founders of the EV Channel on Youtube, Jean-Christophe and Alexandre decided to tackle the challenge in a Hyundai Ioniq 6 without using Tesla superchargers. “ Except to help us out, especially in Norway where we do not know the reliability of the main Kople network, not yet sufficiently developed and with small stations. Furthermore, on Tesla steles, the charging power is only around 40 kW for the Hyundai Ioniq 6 at 800 V, while it can approach 240 kW elsewhere. ».
A crew of 3
Alexandre and Jean-Christophe take with them Charles, the creator of Weelyke, a site presented as The Good Corner of electric vehicles : « It was Romain and Guillaume who advised us to be three in the car, because completing the route with two people is very hard to bear. We have confidence in Charles who also gravitates towards electric vehicles and has already had adventures, notably with a van in Australia. He is the ideal candidate: we get along well with him ».
Also contacted by telephone, Guillaume confirms: “ It’s safer to be three in the car to take turns at the wheel and get better rest “. Jean-Christophe explains: “ Between two recharges, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 can be driven for approximately three hours. It will be the same driver throughout. Then he will have around 6 hours to rest, while the other two drivers will take their turn one after the other. If we were all really tired at the same time, we would pause in our progress ».
At 4.86 m long and 1.88 m wide, their Korean sedan is spacious: “ The front passenger will be able to recline the seat without disturbing the rear passenger. We will have memory foam pillows designed for camping, earplugs and eye masks. It was also Guillaume and Romain who suggested these to us ».
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Following our article
« It was your article on Automobile Propre concerning the European Electric Cannonball that decided Jean-Christophe and Alexandre to contact us at the beginning of December 2022. We really hit it off straight away. We were also in contact with two other teams who were thinking of starting last year. They were unable to do so, one due to a health problem at the wrong time and the other due to availability issues. », reveals Guillaume.
« Romain and I, what we hope is that the trio will manage to beat us. He has good assets in hand. Already the car, very efficient and which recharges quickly. Jean-Christophe, Alexandre and Charles should also save time stopping at terminals. Unlike us, they won’t have to get off the highway to reach a station. They should gain at this level well over an hour compared to our timing », he figures.
For his part, Jean-Christophe also did his calculations: “ With the Tesla Model 3, they had to stop around thirty times to recharge. We, by letting the energy level drop between 5 and 15%, we think that 20 trips to the terminal should be enough. Not leaving the motorway to access the stations could reduce the journey between Cape Saint-Vincent and Cape North by 150 km ».
Choice of vehicle
The choice of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is not due to chance: “ We wanted to prove that it is possible to travel quickly and far in an electric vehicle other than with a Tesla. During our consumption measurements and our simulations to cover a thousand kilometers, the two-wheel drive Ioniq 6 appeared to us to be very efficient. It takes this car 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent energy in its 77 kWh battery. This speed and efficiency of the vehicle are assets for making as few stops as possible and staying there for a short time. ».
The three team members are supported: “ Already by the 36,000 subscribers to our YouTube channel and the 5,000 to our Instagram account. Enthusiastic, the manufacturer lent us the car and a charging badge. We are also financially supported by Carplug et Chargemap. Thanks to their opinions, users of the latter will help us in our search for energy refueling points. We’re not going to rely exclusively on the car’s planner ».
The crew did not plan to favor a particular charging network: “ On the other hand, if we have the choice between an unknown station and an Ionity, of course we will choose the latter because we will be sure to find the charging power there which will allow us to spend the least time stationary. However, we will not be able to count on this network everywhere due to our route. Thus in the Scandinavian countries, in particular when approaching the North Cape, but also in Portugal and Spain ».
A record to beat for motivation
A few hours before the big departure, Jean-Christophe feels quite confident: “ Romain and Guillaume embarked on a human adventure with the European Electric Cannonball. For us, it’s different, we have a record to beat: theirs. This is what will motivate us throughout the journey. We really appreciated their openness to others doing better than them, with another model of electric car. We will respect the speed limits. We will be able to prove it thanks to the Geotab box which will be installed in the vehicle ».
Respecting speed limits is also important for Guillaume: “ Otherwise, their attempt would not be comparable to ours. By sticking to it, we will be able to see the improvement in technologies and charging networks. We feel they are well motivated and it’s exciting. It excites us, and we share with them the excitement of this adventure that we will relive with them by proxy ».
With Romain, he hopes for a sequel: “ If they beat us, we can imagine a crew in long-range Tesla Model S doing even better. This car would be perfect for that. They and we form Franco-French crews. It would be good if the European Electric Cannonball was adopted by other European electric motorists afterwards ».
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Before departure, fears are of course palpable on all sides. For Jean-Christophe, in addition to the unknown regarding recharging after leaving Finland, “ it’s the stupid thing, the puncture, a breakdown of the car, or a difficulty of the rapidgate type vehicle to follow the charging and driving phases without rest. Also from us taking in a stray animal. To save time at the borders, we followed another advice from Romain and Guillaume: have with us explanatory sheets of our adventure, translated into all useful languages. ».
Having already made the journey, Guillaume envisages other potential difficulties which resonate with his own fears of two years ago: “ The right window to leave is three to four months from June. On September 11, 2021, we crossed into Sweden. Behind us, it started to snow. Jean-Christophe, Alexandre and Charles leave a little later in the year. The risk is greater for them to be confronted with winter roads ».
He adds : ” In this country, there are quite a few elk hanging around. Our cars are not as well equipped with lighting as those of the Swedes, with powerful light strips at the front. It also understands the possibilities of recharging to the north of the route ».
An expedition to follow
Thursday September 14, 2023 is the day that will take the three men in a Hyundai Ioniq 6 to Portugal: “ We will spend the night there. We will set off towards the North Cape the next day, Friday around 6:30 p.m. Our hope is to reach the cliff the following Monday as early as possible, around 2:00 p.m. ».
Information will be communicated through several platforms: “ Quite a few lives will be accessible from our instagram account. At the end of the trip we will publish a video on our Youtube channel. Our adventure will also be relayed on Polarsteps where many roadtrips are offered ».
Automobile Propre and I thank Guillaume and Jean-Christophe very much for their testimonies. We wish the latter and his teammates Alexandre and Charles success in establishing a new course record for the European Electric Cannonball. We have planned a second article after the event.
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