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Through Europe in a Tesla Model S part 2: Electric detourAndy and Luke run into trouble on their 1,000-mile drive to Mobile World Congress, as the car takes them on a costly detour to find more chargers. (Part 2 of 3.)
Last time saw the start of our 1,000 mile electric road trip. We navigated the Tesla model S south from London, then under the sea aboard the Eurotunnel Shuttle. We've left the car charging at a rainy hotel car park in Calais in preparation for our epic day's drive down to the town of Lorange. Meanwhile, Luke and I have gone inside. Search of food. So we've lucked out slightly. Yeah. Out of the cold and into Continental Buffet. [MUSIC] It's not just electric soup cans though [UNKNOWN] is it? We're using electricity for all kind of Things. For example, I mean, here you'll see eggs being cooked through the application of heat and water. Star rating? I would say a real solid four out of five stars. [SOUND] Eating and ranking appliances kills about an hour, but every minute we wait means more range for the next stage. At last it's time to key in our next charge point 200 miles away. The car isn't keen though, and wants to take us there via another charge point in Lille. We don't want to get stranded, so we trust the car. The car it's very easy to drive, it's very smooth. Very similar to other electric experiences we both had. Would that be fair to say Andy>>I'd say that's fair>>Yeah, it's eerily silent, very smooth accelerations through ghosts away Right. In a very satisfying way and can feel the power. We can feel it but, with car requesting a detour, we aren't using it for fear of burning through our range. Cautiously, we make our way down the motorway to Lille. [MUSIC] We're going to stop here for about 20 minutes, give it a quick boost. Then get on our way. We should have enough power to get to the next stop anyway, but never hurts to have more. Actually, it kind of can. But as we cruise down to our next charger, we haven't fully realized the toll that stopping at extra chargers is taking on our schedule. For now it's a bite to eat, a power nap, and the companionship of our animal friends. [SOUND] Leg two was 200 miles, but it wasn't because that's the one when we should have gone from [UNKNOWN] to the charger, and it didn't. It took us to a different one en route, so whether it lets us go directly from here to [UNKNOWN], we'll see. It doesn't. The car wants us to make another half way stop even though the range indicator does suggest we can make it all the way. As the detour takes us further and further from anything resembling a motorway we start to get a bad feeling The detour is slow, the roads are slower. I'm really not convinced If it's worth the tradeoff in time, it's a little bit tougher because we don't know how smart the computer is, like if it's taking everything into account. I just missed turning. That's a dirt road. We are now cruising through very rural France on these tiny little roads. How has this happened? Why has this happened? Where are we? What's going on? I mean, we don't really know where we are. I'm hungry. It's going to get dark soon. We should really have remembered that on an electric trip, detours don't just add driving time, they add charging time too. And if the charger you are detouring to is a little out of the way your travel time can quickly balloon out of control. Having topped at the cars charger at the next stop, we make a tough call. Our initial plan was to get into Orange, in southern France for 6PM. That is turns out was well, Oddly unrealistic. Cause it's now half past six and we would still have four and a half hours just of driving time to get to [UNKNOWN] from here, excluding About two hours of charge maybe. About two hours of charge as well. Now we are going to stay in a hotel South of Leon which is about two hours. Less time. At 10:30 pm, after nearly 20 hours on the road and 600 miles traveled, we arrive at our impromptu stop for the night, an Ibis hotel with a charging station. We've made terrible time but hey, we're not stranded and we saw some chickens. Tomorrow, Barcelona. If it says we've got 100 kilometers to bear, then we can make it. The car's making a new noise.