With an ever-growing number of charging stations across the continent, popular city breaks are now open to the EV driver.
Thinking of taking your EV on a continental city break? Electric car ownership is becoming a more viable option throughout Europe. Government incentives, schemes and an expanding network of charging stations are making it easier than ever to switch to an eco-friendlier vehicle.
A full charge will typically exceed 200 miles in most consumer EVs , giving you plenty of juice to hop from one stop to the next. Charging stations can be found across Europe in many of the same locations as they are in the UK.
Be on the lookout for:
So, when it comes to popular European city break destinations, who comes out top for the intrepid EV explorer?
Norway is at the top of the European EV table.
In the first months of 2019, electric vehicles accounted for near 60% of new car sales. In a country renowned for its stunning scenery and focus on green energy, it’s no surprise that Norway has an extensive EV network.
Government policy makes owning an electric vehicle an attractive prospect in Norway, with EVs exempt from the country’s famously high VAT and purchase taxes.
Oslo – With stunning architecture and even-more impressive views of Norway’s iconic fjords, the capital makes for a great long-weekend escape. Oslo is primed for electric car usage – plugging in costs as little as a euro an hour. Add to this the network of 2,000 charging points across the city, and there’s no reason to not explore Oslo.
Bergen – Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen’s ancient wharf is one of the country’s most celebrated historical landmarks. Surrounded by mountains, the Northern city is a nature-lovers dream. EV owners can access 63 charging stations as of 2019.
France, a nation known for its passion, art and romance – and perhaps soon, electric cars too.
Ranking just behind Norway for total electric vehicle ownership across the country, France has a blossoming EV infrastructure. Tax subsidies and incentives make owning an EV attractive. Though charging stations tend to be focused around major cities, there should be more than enough to get you from A to B.
The ‘City of Love’ is just a few hours’ drive from the UK via the Channel Tunnel. Enduringly popular as a city break, tourists flock from far and wide to enjoy the iconic Eiffel Tower or spend a lazy afternoon in the hallways of the Louvre.
There are around 830 registered charging stations in the capital, giving you plenty of opportunities to plug in and take a wander around charming Montmartre.
Sitting on France’s Mediterranean south coast, the glitz and glamour of Nice makes for a great sunswept escape. With 77 plug-in points throughout the city, you can leave the car at the station while you recharge your own batteries at the beach.
Germany and cars – a classic partnership. Capital of the modern car industry, some of the biggest names on the road were first crafted in German factories. Sporting a famously efficient stereotype, it shouldn’t be a surprise that EV ownership is growing here too. From the Autobahn to the Nürburgring, Germany is a country designed for car lovers and increasingly, the EV fan too.
With around 490 charging stations, it’s easy to get around Germany’s capital. Explore the historical Reichstag, or marvel at the 18th century Brandenburg Gate. With great museums and even-better bars and restaurants, there’s plenty in Berlin to pack out a weekend.
Munich’s annual Oktoberfest draws millions to the Bavarian city for a fortnight-long celebration of food and drink. There’s plenty to see and do at other times of the year, from the atmospheric Old Town to the former royal residence complex. There are around 378 plug in points in Munich to fuel the next leg of your European adventure.
Bikes are by far the most popular way to get around in the Netherlands, making it the ultimate destination for the sustainable traveller. But green machine popularity is growing. In fact, the Dutch are second only to Norway for electric car concentration, though France has more across the population.
Being a relatively small nation, you could cover Holland in one charge, but handily there are plenty of charging points.
Reachable by driving the Channel or ferry, the charming city of Amsterdam is an EV haven, with 847 stations despite its small size. EV drivers can enjoy plenty of perks in the Dutch capital, including reduced waitlists for public parking permits. You do have to pay a small fee to plug in at public charge points, with both standard and FlexPower stations available for cheaper, or faster recharges.
Like its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden is a growing market for electric car ownership. Government incentives promise worthwhile perks for early adopters of the eco-friendly car wave. A recent study by the electric vehicle database EV-Volumes predicts that electric vehicles could account for up to a quarter of the Swedish car market by 2021.
With 102 charging stations across the city, there are plenty of options when it comes to recharging in Stockholm. Explore the Gamla Stan’s fabled restaurants or wander the grounds of the ornate Royal Palace as you boost your batteries in this Nordic city escape.
Considering taking your EV vehicle to Europe? Check out electric car insurance with LV= or travel insurance if you’re thinking of renting an EV to make sure you’re fully protected on your European adventure.
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