IRL

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TL;DR: It can be done, it's fantastic, do it.

This Taycanforum was a great resource for me when buying my Taycan so I thought I would share my experience of doing a roadtrip in it across Europe, in the hope that some of it will help someone. The trip did take some planning and preparation, and the below should give some pointers for anyone considering doing something similar.

I've grouped my preparations / experiences under headings that should help you find relevant information quicker (as opposed to having to read things you might already know).

Table of contents:
  1. Background
  2. Occupancy / seats
  3. Luggage
  4. Cables
  5. The Route
  6. Hotels
  7. Navigation
  8. Charging
  9. Toll tags
  10. Dashcam
  11. Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
  12. France - Paris / Macon
  13. Italy - Milan / Rome
  14. Ferry - Bari to Patras
  15. Greece - Athens
  16. Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
  17. Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  18. Lessons learned / recommendations
  19. Summary / return trip
Background
This started out as an idea for a guys' roadtrip, with no shortage of volunteers wanting to do the trip in the Taycan. My wife then declared that she really wanted to do the trip, and the enthusiasm soon spread to our kids. We decided it would be a great experience for them to see the different countries, cities, and cultures along the way, so the plan was changed.

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Occupancy / seats
My first challenge was whether the Taycan (Sedan) would comfortably fit everyone, along with their necessities, for an extended trip.
  • We are a family of five - four of whom are full adult size.
  • I'm also 6'4" and one of the kids is 5'10". So I figured it would be tight.
  • Normally, I drive with the seat back to the limit, but I found, with a little compromise, we could all fit quite comfortably.
  • Thankfully, our youngest (11) could fit in the middle seat. However, it is worth noting that it is not a comfortable seat for long journeys - we had to add cushions below and behind to make it tolerable.
  • The panoramic glass roof helped a lot with the kids' sense of space in the rear.
Luggage
This is where I became like Ryanair regarding bag restrictions. I couldn't 'test' the car with bags before the trip so I used the following website to calculate what the boot could hold and to set the initial 'policy' for the trip - https://how-many-bags-fit.com/.
  • The rear boot could easily fit five 'overhead-cabin-bags' (55cm x 40cm x 20cm), plus three rucksacks and two smaller bags (that fit in the two side compartments). The photograph below shows the space available with four of these cabin-bags already packed.
  • I used the front boot mostly for car related stuff like charging cables, passenger high-viz jackets etc., as well as the kids' bulky shoes that they wanted to take off when driving (this kept them easily accessible at stops).
  • I also found extra space for overflow items by lowering the rear seats when the boot was packed - the angle of the seats stop the cases from using all of the available floor space (and there is also extra space between the wheels of the cases that you can get at this way). I kept this area, and the underfloor compartment in the boot, for contingency (that was inevitably required as the trip went on).
1652519298751.jpeg


Cables
I brought the standard Porsche Type 2 Charging Cable for public charging, and the Porsche Mobile Charger Unit for connecting to domestic supplies.

Type 2 was standard in public charging facilities in each of the countries we visited.

The Mobile Charger Unit only came with a standard UK three-pin plug so I would need an adaptor to use it in Europe - be careful of the load limit of any adaptor if you need to do similarly. I intend to order an original European connector for it, to be safer.

If you haven't already used the Mobile Charger Unit, it needs to be set-up and configured before it can be used! I would recommend doing this before you leave home, when you have good Wi-Fi access for it to connect to.

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The Route
As a family trip, this was not about getting there as quickly as possible. It was not an endurance test. It was about the experience and experiences along the way. So I planned the route based on circa six hours of travelling each day - between four and five hours of driving with a rest and top-up charge half-way. This allowed us to leave each city after rush hour traffic each morning and arrive in the next city before evening rush hour. It allowed for a more leisurely wake-up each morning and meant that we had time to fit in some sight-seeing in the evening. It also meant that we had plenty of contingency time so we didn't have to be military-like with our schedule.

So our route ended up as a c. 2,500 km trip, which we did over eight days, with the following overnight stays:
  • Dublin, Ireland - Cherbourg, France (overnight ferry)
  • Paris, France (two nights)
  • Macon, France
  • Milan, Italy
  • Rome, Italy (two nights)
  • Bari, Italy to Patras, Greece (overnight ferry)
  • Athens, Greece
1652520053794.png


Hotels
We only considered hotels that had parking and EV charging. We found some hotels quoted both but were actually referring to local car parks or on-street charging! Some also wouldn't guarantee charging availability in advance. So we always contacted them directly and confirmed it was on-site secure parking and a guaranteed charging point before booking.

It is also worth confirming with them that their charging points are not limited to Tesla. One hotel we stayed in had mostly Tesla chargers, which wouldn't initiate charging - luckily they had one other point that we were able to use when another car was finished with it.

As we were staying in the centre of major cities, there was always an additional parking fee, but most of the hotels didn't charge extra for charging.

Navigation
I found Porsche Navigation feature-poor and untrustworthy for charge planning - both in the car, and on the My Porsche App .

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On one particular leg of the journey, I knew that there would be almost no charging opportunities for circa 200km. Porsche Navigation recommended a minor additional charge just before that 200km stretch that would then have me arriving at the next charging stop, a Porsche Centre, with just 7% remaining. It failed to recognise that the Porsche Centre would be closed when I got there! It also failed to recognise that the only other fast-charger in the town was out of action. Fortunately, I had ignored its recommendations and made sure I had a full charge starting the leg.

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Not being able to specify the State of Charge that you want to arrive with is a major limitation of the app. I wanted c.30% getting on the ferry in Italy to give me enough charge when we docked in Greece, but I had to do the planning separately to make sure this happened.

On another occasion, instead of recommending a motorway services stop, it took me off the motorway, through the toll-booth, to a car park - a car park that wasn't near any facilities, had a single charging pedestal that was already in use and had a queue of cars waiting. So we had to go back onto the motorway (through the toll again), and look for an alternative option.

The final straw for me was when it recommended I come off the motorway again, drive a number of kilometres through rural countryside, to the back of a remote warehouse. I only knew this because I had used Google Maps to explore the proposed stops before I set off. I am sure it was probably safe, but I wasn't taking a chance - with my family (or my car!).

Regardless of how much planning and tweaking I did in the My Porsche App before the journey, when I sent the plan to the car the car did its own route plan. So I quickly gave up relying on Porsche Navigation for charging. Instead;
  • I used A-Better-Route-Planner (https://abetterrouteplanner.com/) to do the outline plan and to identify fast chargers along the route.
  • I also validated and refined my stops using PlugShare (https://www.plugshare.com/).
  • I then manually entered each stop into the car so that I could have the turn by turn directions on the dash and Head-up-display (which was really helpful for adjusting to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Although, sometimes, it showed a 'mini map' on the HUD, which was far too detailed to interpret when driving). I took this photo of one of the more 'simpler' maps it showed - try interpreting this tiny image at the front of your car while driving.
1652521079860.png

  • In Italy, in particular, I found the Porsche Navigation instructions were not clear enough at times, so I had Google Navigation running in parallel on my phone. If there was a difference (and there was on a number of occasions) I always followed Google!
So, in summary, I wouldn't trust Porsche Navigation for planning your charges. It does take some advance planning for each leg of the journey but it soon becomes second-nature when you become accustomed to, and trust, the other apps.

Charging
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about how the charging would work in the different countries, but that quickly dissipated with each successful charging stop I did.

When I found a charging station that was compatible with Porsche, it was fantastic - particularly Ionity charging. Only once did the pedestal not read my RFID charging card, but I was able to activate it using the app. Italy and Greece were more fragmented and I had to use multiple charging company apps.

The companies / apps that I used in each country were:
  • France:
    • Ionity (Porsche Charging App)
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      1652530369345.jpeg

  • Italy:
    • Enel X Way Italia (Porsche Charging App)
      1652531994644.jpeg


    • JuicePass (Enel X) - One of the stops had a 'Free to X' charging pedestal that is apparently by Enel X but it wouldn't authenticate with the Porsche card or app. However, I was able to download the app and subscribe to their JuicePass service while we were there. Enel X site link/ JuicePass app link
      1652532203262.jpeg

  • Greece:
Some providers allow you to pay directly using your credit-card (without registering) but the rates are invariably more expensive than if you register through their app and then link your credit-card to your account.

Our total charging cost for the trip was just under €120. As I mentioned above, most hotels didn't charge extra for charging the car, so our hotel top-ups are not included in this total. Had we used public chargers for these, I estimate that we would have paid an additional €80 - €100.

One thing I noticed that the service stations could improve on is providing a windscreen squeegee at the EV pedestals. They usually have them at the pumps but none had them at the charging bays.

Toll tags
There are a lot of tolls on the route, so to eliminate the queuing I researched getting a toll tag that would work across the countries that we would be visiting. There was none that included Greece but BipandGo (www.bipandgo.com) and Telepass (www.telepass.com) would cover France and Italy for us (as well as other countries).

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I chose the 'Telepass Go' service, primarily because it links to your credit-card as opposed to directly into your bank account, and there is no on-going subscription charge, other than for the months that you incur tolls.

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I found Telepass to be excellent. I signed-up on-line and the tag was delivered by courier a few days later. I went through a cashier booth at the first toll we encountered in France (just in case the tag wouldn't work!) but it beeped first time and worked flawlessly every time throughout France and Italy.

Seeing the queues for payment, after just two or three tolls, we were soon glad we had the tag.

Unfortunately, there is no European-wide tag that works in Greece. Greece only relatively recently integrated their tolls systems so that one tag could be used across all the different toll-road companies. The tags also work differently, in that you have to add funds to the tag in advance. This can be done at any toll-booth.

Dashcam
I decided to install front and rear dashcams for extra peace-of-mind on the trip. After researching, I chose to have the Thinkware u1000 cameras professionally installed.
1652523755109.png

I also added the Thinkware Radar unit, which detects broader activity near the car when parked, to increase the protection and to help reduce the battery drain (by not having the cameras on standby the whole time).

If you are considering installing the same cameras, at 4k video quality, it needs a much bigger memory card than the 64Gb one supplied - I found it only provided a few hours of coverage before being overwritten. Connecting to it through Wi-Fi is also temperamental and unreliable, so I would make sure you get a good installer to train you on it fully. It worked for me at the installer's workshop but I haven't been able to sign into it since!

Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
We sailed with Irish Ferries (on their WB Yeats ship). It was excellent - very comfortable, good facilities, helpful staff. The sailing time was also very sociable - it departed Dublin at 16:00 and arrived in Cherbourg at 11:00 the next morning.

1652523913192.png


Charging is available on the ship, for an extra fee, but I had already charged the car shortly before boarding so I didn't book it. I opted for 'Speedy Exit' instead. In the photograph below the charging bay is actually on the other side of the car.

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We were lucky that the ferry wasn't too busy, so there was plenty of space around the car. If it had been busy, I would have booked the EV charging as there is more space in the charging bay.

Probably an obvious point, but worth remembering to raise the car when boarding. The Irish Ferries staff were excellent in proactively checking the ground clearance while guiding me up the ramp.

Also worth remembering to turn off motion sensors in the car when locking it (either on the power-off prompt on the PCM, if you still have it active, or by double-pressing the remote).

France - Paris / Macon
When we disembarked from the ferry in Cherbourg, the car automatically detected the change in country and adjusted the headlights accordingly. We headed directly for Paris, and just stopped once for lunch and a top-up charge at one of the service-stations that had an Ionity charger. Everything worked seamlessly.

When driving in France, you are legally required to have certain safety equipment in the car (warning triangle, high-viz jackets for all occupants etc.). It used to be that you also had to have replacement bulbs and breathalysers but, from what I read, these are no longer mandatory.

The AA website is a good resource for reading about the different rules of the road in France - The AA - Driving in France. A key difference with Ireland / UK is the priority at roundabouts where, unless there is a sign to state otherwise, traffic entering the roundabout has priority.

1652524911751.jpeg


The route to our hotel took us straight into Paris centre, around the Arc-de-Triomphe. If I had believed everything I read about driving around this infamous 10-12 'lane' roundabout I would have avoided it. Instead, I wanted to experience the 'challenge', and I am glad I did. Contrary to popular myth, your insurance does cover you for driving around it. However, for most claims, blame is assumed to be 50:50 between the parties as it can be so difficult to prove otherwise.

To drive around Paris - you need a Crit'Air emissions vignette - https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/. The sticker denotes how polluting your car is, which then determines what restrictions apply. Electric cars are allowed to drive freely around the city at any time. The sticker has to be affixed to the inside bottom right corner of your windscreen. Driving in Paris without this will incur an on-the-spot fine. You apply for the vignette on-line, attaching a copy of the vehicle registration certificate. It cost c.€4.50 (including international postage) and was a very simple process. Once approved, the disc arrived within a few days (to the address on the registration certificate).

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After Paris we drove to Macon for an overnight stay before continuing on to Milan. For expediency, we drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The scenery was amazing, although the next time I think we will go the long way around to enjoy even better views and driving.

1652525151259.jpeg


Other resources:

Italy - Milan / Rome
At the time we were travelling we were required to complete a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for entry into Italy (although we were never asked for it) - https://app.euplf.eu/#/

Be ready for the endless amount of trucks on the motorways in Italy!

Italy also has air quality restrictions in the major cities, referred to as Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). However, unlike France where the Crit'Air works nationwide, each of the cities in Italy operated different systems that needed separate registrations. This website gives a good overview - https://italybeyondtheobvious.com/dont-mess-with-ztl-zones/

1652527432183.png


  • Rome
    • Electric cars can also travel freely throughout the Rome ZTL and, this time, I was able to pre-register my foreign plate by submitting a photograph of my registration certificate - https://romamobilita.it/it/servizi/ztl
    • The application process is not easy to follow and it also doesn't automatically inform you if your application has been successful - you have to keep checking back.
    • Once you have applied, use this link to check: https://permessiweb.romamobilita.it/targhe/foreign/listrichieste.aspx (When you sign-in, select 'Menu' and take the second option down to view your application status).
    • I took screenshots of the website in case I needed proof that my car was authorised, as there is no other evidence provided.

      1652527726451.jpeg

Other resources:
Ferry - Bari to Patras
There are regular ferries from Ancona, Bari, and Brindisi in Italy to Igoumenitsa, Patras, etc. in Greece.

I chose the Superfast Ferries' overnight service from Bari to Patras (on their Superfast II ship). I preferred that driving route as well as the more sociable sailing times. It left Bari at 19:30 and, after a stopover in Igoumenitsa at 05:30, it arrived in Patras well before its scheduled 13:00.

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The ship, staff, and service were great. There was no EV charging facility on board but I had planned around that. Some of the island ferries in Greece really pack the cars in tightly but this wasn't that bad, and we were lucky to get a parking bay with plenty of space.

Greece - Athens
The road from Patras (and from Igoumenitsa) to Athens is superb. It's a relatively new motorway, with clear signage, good services, and great scenery. You can also stop off at the Corinth Canal for sightseeing and a bungy-jump along the way!

In Greece, there is always an attendant that pumps petrol / diesel for you at the service stations - they also try to help with charging but usually leave you to plug in and press the buttons on your app!

Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
Driving
: I am used to driving in the US and in Europe, but always in a left-hand-drive car. I used to think that the steering-wheel position was my subconscious 'switch' to drive on the other side of the road and I wondered how I would handle driving a RHD car in a LHD country. I found that I got used to it very quickly.

Most of the time you will be following other traffic but, when you are not, it just takes a little more care. Using the navigation system also helps, as it usually shows where you need to go on a complicated intersection.

The warning lights on the wing mirrors for Lane Change Assistance are also invaluable.

Toll booths: Toll tags help a lot by avoiding the need to reach across to pay (assuming you don't always have someone in the passenger seat). The only challenge I found was getting the car close enough to the cashier for the passenger to reach them (at the Greek tolls where we didn't have a tag) - I was just being uber careful with the car!

Headlights: The car automatically realigned the headlights for each country and prompted accordingly at every start-up.

Driver Assistance Systems
I found that the Active Lane Keeping, Lane Change Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems all really helped to make the driving easier and more comfortable.

Innodrive was more useful in France, where it appeared to be most accurate with the posted speed limits. In Italy it seemed to randomly invent speed limit changes along the motorways, despite no corresponding road-signs. On many occasions I was the only one on the road reducing my speed, for no apparent reason other than the car's system thought I needed to, so I eventually switched it off. When I arrived in Greece, the system announced that it had no data for Greece.

Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  • Insurance: My existing policy automatically covered me driving the car across Europe for 31 days, which can be extended if needed. It is important to carry a copy of your insurance documentation with you, as you may need to produce it.
  • Registration certificate: It is also mandatory to carry the car's registration certificate as proof of ownership. Again, you may be asked to produce it.
  • Roadside assistance: Some insurance policies also provide this but, if I needed it, I was going to rely on Porsche Roadside Assistance.
  • Spare wiper blades - allegedly they are different for right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive Taycans, so sourcing a proper replacement in Europe would be difficult if I needed them - so I brought a spare set just in case.
  • Breathalysers - it used to be mandatory to carry these when driving in France, but this is (allegedly) no longer the case. However, they were readily available on the ferry and at service stations.
  • Car service - it is worth having your car checked by your local dealership a number of weeks before leaving - there may be software updates or other known-issues that require preventative maintenance. Some of these may require parts that will need to be ordered so best to leave enough time before your trip. A first hand example of this for me was when an air-conditioning sensor failed just as I was getting on the ferry in Dublin - just what I needed, a roadtrip to Greece without air-conditioning! It was a known issue.
  • Travel / sea sickness tablets - I brought these for the kids, just in case any of the ferry crossings were expected to be rough (or they couldn't handle my driving!).
  • Emergency Services numbers - although it may seem like overkill, I wanted to make sure our kids knew that 999 in Ireland is 112 in Europe.

Lessons learned / recommendations
  1. Planning
    1. Doing some upfront planning and preparation takes away a lot of hassle and stress along the way.
    2. If you have time, plan to take the scenic route and avoid the sometimes boring motorways.
  2. Charging
    1. Don't rely on Porsche Navigation - have your preferred charging stops planned in advance.
    2. Charge at the closer chargers - just in case the later one isn't available for some reason (like the Porsche Centre being closed!).
    3. Charge more than you need to at each stop - it eliminates the risk of range anxiety and, if nothing else, reduces your charging time at your next stop.
  3. Travelling with kids
    1. The car recharges quicker than kids - we were never waiting on the car to charge.
    2. Kids slow down your best laid plans, sometimes by hours every day - so build in contingency time to avoid unnecessary stress and arguments.
    3. Four to five hours of driving with a break half-way worked really well for us each day.
  4. Just do it
    1. The car is amazing for roadtrips - the comfort, the silence, the smoothness, the performance ...
    2. You get used to driving a RHD car in a LHD country - most of the time you are following the traffic but when you are not it just takes a little more care.
    3. Ignore the online scaremongering advising everyone to avoid driving in Paris or around the Arc De Triomphe! It's all part of the experience and you will handle it - just close your eyes and go for it!
    4. Getting started can be daunting, and worrying about charging could easily put you off, but don't let it. With a little planning, and after a couple of charging experiences, it will become second-nature.
Summary / return trip
The trip was unanimously voted by all as a fantastic experience. We are now planning our return, this time along the coastal roads of Italy and South of France to Barcelona and across to Santander, where we will take the ferry back to Dublin.

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Pozuelo

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Great write-up. Mine are going to be embarrassing in comparison. I can see you are highly versed in presentations. I studied Computer Science back in the late 1970’s and the machines needed very large air-conditioned double floor and ceiling rooms and people that were trained to operate them. You learned machine language, FORTRAN, PL1 and COBOL to program them. I quit my programmer’s job in the mid-eighties and had no contact with PC’s until 2000, and I am self-taught in the use of browsers, email, apps and social media… all of which did not exist when I studied. So my knowledge is mediocre at best, and lacking in many aspects. Too lazy and proud to get any training any more…
 
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B61

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@IRL : fantastic journey…in sedan with 3 kids :clap: .
i guess all of them are boys, otherwise, there’s no chance that you could bring all the luggage, right?

@Pozuelo : hello, fellow cobol programmer :like:
(i started on ibm 370/148, with cics/vs, dl/1 and cobol … then moved to novell network, os;2, linux…ended programming in the begininning of 90’s…but i stayed in IT since todayand i’m going to retire in the next couple of month).
 
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NeilJ

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TL;DR: It can be done, it's fantastic, do it.

This Taycanforum was a great resource for me when buying my Taycan so I thought I would share my experience of doing a roadtrip in it across Europe, in the hope that some of it will help someone. The trip did take some planning and preparation, and the below should give some pointers for anyone considering doing something similar.

I've grouped my preparations / experiences under headings that should help you find relevant information quicker (as opposed to having to read things you might already know).

Table of contents:
  1. Background
  2. Occupancy / seats
  3. Luggage
  4. Cables
  5. The Route
  6. Hotels
  7. Navigation
  8. Charging
  9. Toll tags
  10. Dashcam
  11. Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
  12. France - Paris / Macon
  13. Italy - Milan / Rome
  14. Ferry - Bari to Patras
  15. Greece - Athens
  16. Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
  17. Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  18. Lessons learned / recommendations
  19. Summary / return trip
Background
This started out as an idea for a guys' roadtrip, with no shortage of volunteers wanting to do the trip in the Taycan. My wife then declared that she really wanted to do the trip, and the enthusiasm soon spread to our kids. We decided it would be a great experience for them to see the different countries, cities, and cultures along the way, so the plan was changed.

1652535560773.jpeg


Occupancy / seats
My first challenge was whether the Taycan (Sedan) would comfortably fit everyone, along with their necessities, for an extended trip.
  • We are a family of five - four of whom are full adult size.
  • I'm also 6'4" and one of the kids is 5'10". So I figured it would be tight.
  • Normally, I drive with the seat back to the limit, but I found, with a little compromise, we could all fit quite comfortably.
  • Thankfully, our youngest (11) could fit in the middle seat. However, it is worth noting that it is not a comfortable seat for long journeys - we had to add cushions below and behind to make it tolerable.
  • The panoramic glass roof helped a lot with the kids' sense of space in the rear.
Luggage
This is where I became like Ryanair regarding bag restrictions. I couldn't 'test' the car with bags before the trip so I used the following website to calculate what the boot could hold and to set the initial 'policy' for the trip - https://how-many-bags-fit.com/.
  • The rear boot could easily fit five 'overhead-cabin-bags' (55cm x 40cm x 20cm), plus three rucksacks and two smaller bags (that fit in the two side compartments). The photograph below shows the space available with four of these cabin-bags already packed.
  • I used the front boot mostly for car related stuff like charging cables, passenger high-viz jackets etc., as well as the kids' bulky shoes that they wanted to take off when driving (this kept them easily accessible at stops).
  • I also found extra space for overflow items by lowering the rear seats when the boot was packed - the angle of the seats stop the cases from using all of the available floor space (and there is also extra space between the wheels of the cases that you can get at this way). I kept this area, and the underfloor compartment in the boot, for contingency (that was inevitably required as the trip went on).
1652519298751.jpeg


Cables
I brought the standard Porsche Type 2 Charging Cable for public charging, and the Porsche Mobile Charger Unit for connecting to domestic supplies.

Type 2 was standard in public charging facilities in each of the countries we visited.

The Mobile Charger Unit only came with a standard UK three-pin plug so I would need an adaptor to use it in Europe - be careful of the load limit of any adaptor if you need to do similarly. I intend to order an original European connector for it, to be safer.

If you haven't already used the Mobile Charger Unit, it needs to be set-up and configured before it can be used! I would recommend doing this before you leave home, when you have good Wi-Fi access for it to connect to.

1652519730345.png
1652519852701.png


The Route
As a family trip, this was not about getting there as quickly as possible. It was not an endurance test. It was about the experience and experiences along the way. So I planned the route based on circa six hours of travelling each day - between four and five hours of driving with a rest and top-up charge half-way. This allowed us to leave each city after rush hour traffic each morning and arrive in the next city before evening rush hour. It allowed for a more leisurely wake-up each morning and meant that we had time to fit in some sight-seeing in the evening. It also meant that we had plenty of contingency time so we didn't have to be military-like with our schedule.

So our route ended up as a c. 2,500 km trip, which we did over eight days, with the following overnight stays:
  • Dublin, Ireland - Cherbourg, France (overnight ferry)
  • Paris, France (two nights)
  • Macon, France
  • Milan, Italy
  • Rome, Italy (two nights)
  • Bari, Italy to Patras, Greece (overnight ferry)
  • Athens, Greece
1652520053794.png


Hotels
We only considered hotels that had parking and EV charging. We found some hotels quoted both but were actually referring to local car parks or on-street charging! Some also wouldn't guarantee charging availability in advance. So we always contacted them directly and confirmed it was on-site secure parking and a guaranteed charging point before booking.

It is also worth confirming with them that their charging points are not limited to Tesla. One hotel we stayed in had mostly Tesla chargers, which wouldn't initiate charging - luckily they had one other point that we were able to use when another car was finished with it.

As we were staying in the centre of major cities, there was always an additional parking fee, but most of the hotels didn't charge extra for charging.

Navigation
I found Porsche Navigation feature-poor and untrustworthy for charge planning - both in the car, and on the My Porsche App .

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On one particular leg of the journey, I knew that there would be almost no charging opportunities for circa 200km. Porsche Navigation recommended a minor additional charge just before that 200km stretch that would then have me arriving at the next charging stop, a Porsche Centre, with just 7% remaining. It failed to recognise that the Porsche Centre would be closed when I got there! It also failed to recognise that the only other fast-charger in the town was out of action. Fortunately, I had ignored its recommendations and made sure I had a full charge starting the leg.

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Not being able to specify the State of Charge that you want to arrive with is a major limitation of the app. I wanted c.30% getting on the ferry in Italy to give me enough charge when we docked in Greece, but I had to do the planning separately to make sure this happened.

On another occasion, instead of recommending a motorway services stop, it took me off the motorway, through the toll-booth, to a car park - a car park that wasn't near any facilities, had a single charging pedestal that was already in use and had a queue of cars waiting. So we had to go back onto the motorway (through the toll again), and look for an alternative option.

The final straw for me was when it recommended I come off the motorway again, drive a number of kilometres through rural countryside, to the back of a remote warehouse. I only knew this because I had used Google Maps to explore the proposed stops before I set off. I am sure it was probably safe, but I wasn't taking a chance - with my family (or my car!).

Regardless of how much planning and tweaking I did in the My Porsche App before the journey, when I sent the plan to the car the car did its own route plan. So I quickly gave up relying on Porsche Navigation for charging. Instead;
  • I used A-Better-Route-Planner (https://abetterrouteplanner.com/) to do the outline plan and to identify fast chargers along the route.
  • I also validated and refined my stops using PlugShare (https://www.plugshare.com/).
  • I then manually entered each stop into the car so that I could have the turn by turn directions on the dash and Head-up-display (which was really helpful for adjusting to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Although, sometimes, it showed a 'mini map' on the HUD, which was far too detailed to interpret when driving). I took this photo of one of the more 'simpler' maps it showed - try interpreting this tiny image at the front of your car while driving.
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  • In Italy, in particular, I found the Porsche Navigation instructions were not clear enough at times, so I had Google Navigation running in parallel on my phone. If there was a difference (and there was on a number of occasions) I always followed Google!
So, in summary, I wouldn't trust Porsche Navigation for planning your charges. It does take some advance planning for each leg of the journey but it soon becomes second-nature when you become accustomed to, and trust, the other apps.

Charging
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about how the charging would work in the different countries, but that quickly dissipated with each successful charging stop I did.

When I found a charging station that was compatible with Porsche, it was fantastic - particularly Ionity charging. Only once did the pedestal not read my RFID charging card, but I was able to activate it using the app. Italy and Greece were more fragmented and I had to use multiple charging company apps.

The companies / apps that I used in each country were:
  • France:
    • Ionity (Porsche Charging App)
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      1652530369345.jpeg
  • Italy:
    • Enel X Way Italia (Porsche Charging App)
      1652531994644.jpeg


    • JuicePass (Enel X) - One of the stops had a 'Free to X' charging pedestal that is apparently by Enel X but it wouldn't authenticate with the Porsche card or app. However, I was able to download the app and subscribe to their JuicePass service while we were there. Enel X site link/ JuicePass app link
      1652532203262.jpeg
  • Greece:
Some providers allow you to pay directly using your credit-card (without registering) but the rates are invariably more expensive than if you register through their app and then link your credit-card to your account.

Our total charging cost for the trip was just under €120. As I mentioned above, most hotels didn't charge extra for charging the car, so our hotel top-ups are not included in this total. Had we used public chargers for these, I estimate that we would have paid an additional €80 - €100.

One thing I noticed that the service stations could improve on is providing a windscreen squeegee at the EV pedestals. They usually have them at the pumps but none had them at the charging bays.

Toll tags
There are a lot of tolls on the route, so to eliminate the queuing I researched getting a toll tag that would work across the countries that we would be visiting. There was none that included Greece but BipandGo (www.bipandgo.com) and Telepass (www.telepass.com) would cover France and Italy for us (as well as other countries).

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I chose the 'Telepass Go' service, primarily because it links to your credit-card as opposed to directly into your bank account, and there is no on-going subscription charge, other than for the months that you incur tolls.

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I found Telepass to be excellent. I signed-up on-line and the tag was delivered by courier a few days later. I went through a cashier booth at the first toll we encountered in France (just in case the tag wouldn't work!) but it beeped first time and worked flawlessly every time throughout France and Italy.

Seeing the queues for payment, after just two or three tolls, we were soon glad we had the tag.

Unfortunately, there is no European-wide tag that works in Greece. Greece only relatively recently integrated their tolls systems so that one tag could be used across all the different toll-road companies. The tags also work differently, in that you have to add funds to the tag in advance. This can be done at any toll-booth.

Dashcam
I decided to install front and rear dashcams for extra peace-of-mind on the trip. After researching, I chose to have the Thinkware u1000 cameras professionally installed.
1652523755109.png

I also added the Thinkware Radar unit, which detects broader activity near the car when parked, to increase the protection and to help reduce the battery drain (by not having the cameras on standby the whole time).

If you are considering installing the same cameras, at 4k video quality, it needs a much bigger memory card than the 64Gb one supplied - I found it only provided a few hours of coverage before being overwritten. Connecting to it through Wi-Fi is also temperamental and unreliable, so I would make sure you get a good installer to train you on it fully. It worked for me at the installer's workshop but I haven't been able to sign into it since!

Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
We sailed with Irish Ferries (on their WB Yeats ship). It was excellent - very comfortable, good facilities, helpful staff. The sailing time was also very sociable - it departed Dublin at 16:00 and arrived in Cherbourg at 11:00 the next morning.

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Charging is available on the ship, for an extra fee, but I had already charged the car shortly before boarding so I didn't book it. I opted for 'Speedy Exit' instead. In the photograph below the charging bay is actually on the other side of the car.

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We were lucky that the ferry wasn't too busy, so there was plenty of space around the car. If it had been busy, I would have booked the EV charging as there is more space in the charging bay.

Probably an obvious point, but worth remembering to raise the car when boarding. The Irish Ferries staff were excellent in proactively checking the ground clearance while guiding me up the ramp.

Also worth remembering to turn off motion sensors in the car when locking it (either on the power-off prompt on the PCM, if you still have it active, or by double-pressing the remote).

France - Paris / Macon
When we disembarked from the ferry in Cherbourg, the car automatically detected the change in country and adjusted the headlights accordingly. We headed directly for Paris, and just stopped once for lunch and a top-up charge at one of the service-stations that had an Ionity charger. Everything worked seamlessly.

When driving in France, you are legally required to have certain safety equipment in the car (warning triangle, high-viz jackets for all occupants etc.). It used to be that you also had to have replacement bulbs and breathalysers but, from what I read, these are no longer mandatory.

The AA website is a good resource for reading about the different rules of the road in France - The AA - Driving in France. A key difference with Ireland / UK is the priority at roundabouts where, unless there is a sign to state otherwise, traffic entering the roundabout has priority.

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The route to our hotel took us straight into Paris centre, around the Arc-de-Triomphe. If I had believed everything I read about driving around this infamous 10-12 'lane' roundabout I would have avoided it. Instead, I wanted to experience the 'challenge', and I am glad I did. Contrary to popular myth, your insurance does cover you for driving around it. However, for most claims, blame is assumed to be 50:50 between the parties as it can be so difficult to prove otherwise.

To drive around Paris - you need a Crit'Air emissions vignette - https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/. The sticker denotes how polluting your car is, which then determines what restrictions apply. Electric cars are allowed to drive freely around the city at any time. The sticker has to be affixed to the inside bottom right corner of your windscreen. Driving in Paris without this will incur an on-the-spot fine. You apply for the vignette on-line, attaching a copy of the vehicle registration certificate. It cost c.€4.50 (including international postage) and was a very simple process. Once approved, the disc arrived within a few days (to the address on the registration certificate).

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After Paris we drove to Macon for an overnight stay before continuing on to Milan. For expediency, we drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The scenery was amazing, although the next time I think we will go the long way around to enjoy even better views and driving.

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Other resources:

Italy - Milan / Rome
At the time we were travelling we were required to complete a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for entry into Italy (although we were never asked for it) - https://app.euplf.eu/#/

Be ready for the endless amount of trucks on the motorways in Italy!

Italy also has air quality restrictions in the major cities, referred to as Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). However, unlike France where the Crit'Air works nationwide, each of the cities in Italy operated different systems that needed separate registrations. This website gives a good overview - https://italybeyondtheobvious.com/dont-mess-with-ztl-zones/

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  • Rome
    • Electric cars can also travel freely throughout the Rome ZTL and, this time, I was able to pre-register my foreign plate by submitting a photograph of my registration certificate - https://romamobilita.it/it/servizi/ztl
    • The application process is not easy to follow and it also doesn't automatically inform you if your application has been successful - you have to keep checking back.
    • Once you have applied, use this link to check: https://permessiweb.romamobilita.it/targhe/foreign/listrichieste.aspx (When you sign-in, select 'Menu' and take the second option down to view your application status).
    • I took screenshots of the website in case I needed proof that my car was authorised, as there is no other evidence provided.

      1652527726451.jpeg

Other resources:
Ferry - Bari to Patras
There are regular ferries from Ancona, Bari, and Brindisi in Italy to Igoumenitsa, Patras, etc. in Greece.

I chose the Superfast Ferries' overnight service from Bari to Patras (on their Superfast II ship). I preferred that driving route as well as the more sociable sailing times. It left Bari at 19:30 and, after a stopover in Igoumenitsa at 05:30, it arrived in Patras well before its scheduled 13:00.

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The ship, staff, and service were great. There was no EV charging facility on board but I had planned around that. Some of the island ferries in Greece really pack the cars in tightly but this wasn't that bad, and we were lucky to get a parking bay with plenty of space.

Greece - Athens
The road from Patras (and from Igoumenitsa) to Athens is superb. It's a relatively new motorway, with clear signage, good services, and great scenery. You can also stop off at the Corinth Canal for sightseeing and a bungy-jump along the way!

In Greece, there is always an attendant that pumps petrol / diesel for you at the service stations - they also try to help with charging but usually leave you to plug in and press the buttons on your app!

Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
Driving
: I am used to driving in the US and in Europe, but always in a left-hand-drive car. I used to think that the steering-wheel position was my subconscious 'switch' to drive on the other side of the road and I wondered how I would handle driving a RHD car in a LHD country. I found that I got used to it very quickly.

Most of the time you will be following other traffic but, when you are not, it just takes a little more care. Using the navigation system also helps, as it usually shows where you need to go on a complicated intersection.

The warning lights on the wing mirrors for Lane Change Assistance are also invaluable.

Toll booths: Toll tags help a lot by avoiding the need to reach across to pay (assuming you don't always have someone in the passenger seat). The only challenge I found was getting the car close enough to the cashier for the passenger to reach them (at the Greek tolls where we didn't have a tag) - I was just being uber careful with the car!

Headlights: The car automatically realigned the headlights for each country and prompted accordingly at every start-up.

Driver Assistance Systems
I found that the Active Lane Keeping, Lane Change Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems all really helped to make the driving easier and more comfortable.

Innodrive was more useful in France, where it appeared to be most accurate with the posted speed limits. In Italy it seemed to randomly invent speed limit changes along the motorways, despite no corresponding road-signs. On many occasions I was the only one on the road reducing my speed, for no apparent reason other than the car's system thought I needed to, so I eventually switched it off. When I arrived in Greece, the system announced that it had no data for Greece.

Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  • Insurance: My existing policy automatically covered me driving the car across Europe for 31 days, which can be extended if needed. It is important to carry a copy of your insurance documentation with you, as you may need to produce it.
  • Registration certificate: It is also mandatory to carry the car's registration certificate as proof of ownership. Again, you may be asked to produce it.
  • Roadside assistance: Some insurance policies also provide this but, if I needed it, I was going to rely on Porsche Roadside Assistance.
  • Spare wiper blades - allegedly they are different for right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive Taycans, so sourcing a proper replacement in Europe would be difficult if I needed them - so I brought a spare set just in case.
  • Breathalysers - it used to be mandatory to carry these when driving in France, but this is (allegedly) no longer the case. However, they were readily available on the ferry and at service stations.
  • Car service - it is worth having your car checked by your local dealership a number of weeks before leaving - there may be software updates or other known-issues that require preventative maintenance. Some of these may require parts that will need to be ordered so best to leave enough time before your trip. A first hand example of this for me was when an air-conditioning sensor failed just as I was getting on the ferry in Dublin - just what I needed, a roadtrip to Greece without air-conditioning! It was a known issue.
  • Travel / sea sickness tablets - I brought these for the kids, just in case any of the ferry crossings were expected to be rough (or they couldn't handle my driving!).
  • Emergency Services numbers - although it may seem like overkill, I wanted to make sure our kids knew that 999 in Ireland is 112 in Europe.

Lessons learned / recommendations
  1. Planning
    1. Doing some upfront planning and preparation takes away a lot of hassle and stress along the way.
    2. If you have time, plan to take the scenic route and avoid the sometimes boring motorways.
  2. Charging
    1. Don't rely on Porsche Navigation - have your preferred charging stops planned in advance.
    2. Charge at the closer chargers - just in case the later one isn't available for some reason (like the Porsche Centre being closed!).
    3. Charge more than you need to at each stop - it eliminates the risk of range anxiety and, if nothing else, reduces your charging time at your next stop.
  3. Travelling with kids
    1. The car recharges quicker than kids - we were never waiting on the car to charge.
    2. Kids slow down your best laid plans, sometimes by hours every day - so build in contingency time to avoid unnecessary stress and arguments.
    3. Four to five hours of driving with a break half-way worked really well for us each day.
  4. Just do it
    1. The car is amazing for roadtrips - the comfort, the silence, the smoothness, the performance ...
    2. You get used to driving a RHD car in a LHD country - most of the time you are following the traffic but when you are not it just takes a little more care.
    3. Ignore the online scaremongering advising everyone to avoid driving in Paris or around the Arc De Triomphe! It's all part of the experience and you will handle it - just close your eyes and go for it!
    4. Getting started can be daunting, and worrying about charging could easily put you off, but don't let it. With a little planning, and after a couple of charging experiences, it will become second-nature.
Summary / return trip
The trip was unanimously voted by all as a fantastic experience. We are now planning our return, this time along the coastal roads of Italy and South of France to Barcelona and across to Santander, where we will take the ferry back to Dublin.

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Great report - really helpful advice. We leave for Italy in a few weeks - this has really whetted my appetite For the trip!!
 
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IRL

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@IRL : fantastic journey…in sedan with 3 kids :clap: .
i guess all of them are boys, otherwise, there’s no chance that you could bring all the luggage, right?

:CWL: Actually, two daughters!!! They did do a little negotiating with my youngest (son) for some space in his case but, to be honest, they were all great - they knew the limitations and worked within them. I did insist the skateboard had to be dismantled though!!! :)
 
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Chris8536

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I’ve driven all around Europe and through all those cities and never ever filed any of that paperwork. I think once the hotel I stayed at said they needed my plate numbers, maybe they did it.
 

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Thank you for "opening up" the route to Greece from Ireland – it looks very doable.

Your "navigation process" is identical to my own when planning a road-trip – it motivates me to continue my reverse engineering work to try and connect ABRP up to the PCM Navigation.

It failed to recognise that the Porsche Centre would be closed when I got there!
Porsche continues to "miss a trick" by putting their 350kW chargers behind Porsche Centre's gates – I don't know what they were thinking considering each charger was a €100,000 investment.

  • Spare wiper blades - allegedly they are different for right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive Taycans, so sourcing a proper replacement in Europe would be difficult if I needed them - so I brought a spare set just in case.
I can confirm this is true – and I got caught out in Sweden. Like yourself, a spare set are now part of my kit – it's such a simple preventative thing.

https://www.taycanforum.com/forum/t...arctic-circle-road-trip-2022.9393/post-137838

Italy also has air quality restrictions in the major cities,
Thank you for sharing the info on the super confusing Italian city entry rules – info like this is very helpful in the future when people do searches.

We only considered hotels that had parking and EV charging.
How do you find them? I use hotels.com (where I chase points) and use their fairly reliable "Electric vehicle charger" filter when searching.

So we always contacted them directly and confirmed it was on-site secure parking and a guaranteed charging point before booking.
You did well to get a charger linked to a booking – I've never managed to get anything concrete from a hotel. I consider it an advantage if reception even knows about them!

Headlights: The car automatically realigned the headlights for each country and prompted accordingly at every start-up.
Am I reading this correctly – that the car will switch over when it reaches the border of a country (and shows up the local speed limits) ? I always manually switched them over in the PCM settings – can I stop doing this?

Emergency Services numbers - although it may seem like overkill, I wanted to make sure our kids knew that 999 in Ireland is 112 in Europe.
[Geek warning]

112 also works in Ireland – its a EU wide thing – and has some characteristics that makes it more attractive to use than 999:

  • 112 works on any mobile phone – even if it is locked. 999 only works on unlocked phones.
  • 999 is effectively a "freephone" call to the emergency centre run/contracted out by the phone's network provider. To call it – it requires a SIM card with a working account (PAYG or contract).
  • 112 works all the time – the phone doesn't even need a SIM card in it. The state of your account does not matter.
  • [This is the biggie] 999 always routes the call through the phones current network provider. Dialling 112 allows the GSM network know its an emergency – the call will get routed via the cell tower with the best signal – regardless of who runs the cell tower. This greatly improves the chances and quality of the emergency call. For example, if you are on Vodafone and it has 2 bars of signal and you are near a Three Mobile cell tower that would give you 3 bars of signal – 112 call will get routed via that.
tl;dr: Encourage your kids to forget 999 in Ireland and the UK (not sure if Brexit impacts it there?) – 112 is your go-to number – especially on mobile phones. Less of a difference on landlines (what are those?)

The trip was unanimously voted by all as a fantastic experience. We are now planning our return, this time along the coastal roads of Italy and South of France to Barcelona and across to Santander, where we will take the ferry back to Dublin.
Thanks again for the comprehensive report.

I'm biased, but I have to say – the Irish are doing some great European EV road trips (and reports)!
 
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I’ve driven all around Europe and through all those cities and never ever filed any of that paperwork. I think once the hotel I stayed at said they needed my plate numbers, maybe they did it.
With your own car or rentals ? Rental's will have the paperwork already done and if your own – you risked a fine – but as @IRL mentioned – you might get away with it if you are not on Italian plates.
 

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TL;DR: It can be done, it's fantastic, do it.

This Taycanforum was a great resource for me when buying my Taycan so I thought I would share my experience of doing a roadtrip in it across Europe, in the hope that some of it will help someone. The trip did take some planning and preparation, and the below should give some pointers for anyone considering doing something similar.

I've grouped my preparations / experiences under headings that should help you find relevant information quicker (as opposed to having to read things you might already know).

Table of contents:
  1. Background
  2. Occupancy / seats
  3. Luggage
  4. Cables
  5. The Route
  6. Hotels
  7. Navigation
  8. Charging
  9. Toll tags
  10. Dashcam
  11. Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
  12. France - Paris / Macon
  13. Italy - Milan / Rome
  14. Ferry - Bari to Patras
  15. Greece - Athens
  16. Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
  17. Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  18. Lessons learned / recommendations
  19. Summary / return trip
Background
This started out as an idea for a guys' roadtrip, with no shortage of volunteers wanting to do the trip in the Taycan. My wife then declared that she really wanted to do the trip, and the enthusiasm soon spread to our kids. We decided it would be a great experience for them to see the different countries, cities, and cultures along the way, so the plan was changed.

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Occupancy / seats
My first challenge was whether the Taycan (Sedan) would comfortably fit everyone, along with their necessities, for an extended trip.
  • We are a family of five - four of whom are full adult size.
  • I'm also 6'4" and one of the kids is 5'10". So I figured it would be tight.
  • Normally, I drive with the seat back to the limit, but I found, with a little compromise, we could all fit quite comfortably.
  • Thankfully, our youngest (11) could fit in the middle seat. However, it is worth noting that it is not a comfortable seat for long journeys - we had to add cushions below and behind to make it tolerable.
  • The panoramic glass roof helped a lot with the kids' sense of space in the rear.
Luggage
This is where I became like Ryanair regarding bag restrictions. I couldn't 'test' the car with bags before the trip so I used the following website to calculate what the boot could hold and to set the initial 'policy' for the trip - https://how-many-bags-fit.com/.
  • The rear boot could easily fit five 'overhead-cabin-bags' (55cm x 40cm x 20cm), plus three rucksacks and two smaller bags (that fit in the two side compartments). The photograph below shows the space available with four of these cabin-bags already packed.
  • I used the front boot mostly for car related stuff like charging cables, passenger high-viz jackets etc., as well as the kids' bulky shoes that they wanted to take off when driving (this kept them easily accessible at stops).
  • I also found extra space for overflow items by lowering the rear seats when the boot was packed - the angle of the seats stop the cases from using all of the available floor space (and there is also extra space between the wheels of the cases that you can get at this way). I kept this area, and the underfloor compartment in the boot, for contingency (that was inevitably required as the trip went on).
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Cables
I brought the standard Porsche Type 2 Charging Cable for public charging, and the Porsche Mobile Charger Unit for connecting to domestic supplies.

Type 2 was standard in public charging facilities in each of the countries we visited.

The Mobile Charger Unit only came with a standard UK three-pin plug so I would need an adaptor to use it in Europe - be careful of the load limit of any adaptor if you need to do similarly. I intend to order an original European connector for it, to be safer.

If you haven't already used the Mobile Charger Unit, it needs to be set-up and configured before it can be used! I would recommend doing this before you leave home, when you have good Wi-Fi access for it to connect to.

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The Route
As a family trip, this was not about getting there as quickly as possible. It was not an endurance test. It was about the experience and experiences along the way. So I planned the route based on circa six hours of travelling each day - between four and five hours of driving with a rest and top-up charge half-way. This allowed us to leave each city after rush hour traffic each morning and arrive in the next city before evening rush hour. It allowed for a more leisurely wake-up each morning and meant that we had time to fit in some sight-seeing in the evening. It also meant that we had plenty of contingency time so we didn't have to be military-like with our schedule.

So our route ended up as a c. 2,500 km trip, which we did over eight days, with the following overnight stays:
  • Dublin, Ireland - Cherbourg, France (overnight ferry)
  • Paris, France (two nights)
  • Macon, France
  • Milan, Italy
  • Rome, Italy (two nights)
  • Bari, Italy to Patras, Greece (overnight ferry)
  • Athens, Greece
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Hotels
We only considered hotels that had parking and EV charging. We found some hotels quoted both but were actually referring to local car parks or on-street charging! Some also wouldn't guarantee charging availability in advance. So we always contacted them directly and confirmed it was on-site secure parking and a guaranteed charging point before booking.

It is also worth confirming with them that their charging points are not limited to Tesla. One hotel we stayed in had mostly Tesla chargers, which wouldn't initiate charging - luckily they had one other point that we were able to use when another car was finished with it.

As we were staying in the centre of major cities, there was always an additional parking fee, but most of the hotels didn't charge extra for charging.

Navigation
I found Porsche Navigation feature-poor and untrustworthy for charge planning - both in the car, and on the My Porsche App .

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On one particular leg of the journey, I knew that there would be almost no charging opportunities for circa 200km. Porsche Navigation recommended a minor additional charge just before that 200km stretch that would then have me arriving at the next charging stop, a Porsche Centre, with just 7% remaining. It failed to recognise that the Porsche Centre would be closed when I got there! It also failed to recognise that the only other fast-charger in the town was out of action. Fortunately, I had ignored its recommendations and made sure I had a full charge starting the leg.

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Not being able to specify the State of Charge that you want to arrive with is a major limitation of the app. I wanted c.30% getting on the ferry in Italy to give me enough charge when we docked in Greece, but I had to do the planning separately to make sure this happened.

On another occasion, instead of recommending a motorway services stop, it took me off the motorway, through the toll-booth, to a car park - a car park that wasn't near any facilities, had a single charging pedestal that was already in use and had a queue of cars waiting. So we had to go back onto the motorway (through the toll again), and look for an alternative option.

The final straw for me was when it recommended I come off the motorway again, drive a number of kilometres through rural countryside, to the back of a remote warehouse. I only knew this because I had used Google Maps to explore the proposed stops before I set off. I am sure it was probably safe, but I wasn't taking a chance - with my family (or my car!).

Regardless of how much planning and tweaking I did in the My Porsche App before the journey, when I sent the plan to the car the car did its own route plan. So I quickly gave up relying on Porsche Navigation for charging. Instead;
  • I used A-Better-Route-Planner (https://abetterrouteplanner.com/) to do the outline plan and to identify fast chargers along the route.
  • I also validated and refined my stops using PlugShare (https://www.plugshare.com/).
  • I then manually entered each stop into the car so that I could have the turn by turn directions on the dash and Head-up-display (which was really helpful for adjusting to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Although, sometimes, it showed a 'mini map' on the HUD, which was far too detailed to interpret when driving). I took this photo of one of the more 'simpler' maps it showed - try interpreting this tiny image at the front of your car while driving.
1652521079860.png

  • In Italy, in particular, I found the Porsche Navigation instructions were not clear enough at times, so I had Google Navigation running in parallel on my phone. If there was a difference (and there was on a number of occasions) I always followed Google!
So, in summary, I wouldn't trust Porsche Navigation for planning your charges. It does take some advance planning for each leg of the journey but it soon becomes second-nature when you become accustomed to, and trust, the other apps.

Charging
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about how the charging would work in the different countries, but that quickly dissipated with each successful charging stop I did.

When I found a charging station that was compatible with Porsche, it was fantastic - particularly Ionity charging. Only once did the pedestal not read my RFID charging card, but I was able to activate it using the app. Italy and Greece were more fragmented and I had to use multiple charging company apps.

The companies / apps that I used in each country were:
  • France:
    • Ionity (Porsche Charging App)
      1652521642811.png
      1652530369345.jpeg
  • Italy:
    • Enel X Way Italia (Porsche Charging App)
      1652531994644.jpeg


    • JuicePass (Enel X) - One of the stops had a 'Free to X' charging pedestal that is apparently by Enel X but it wouldn't authenticate with the Porsche card or app. However, I was able to download the app and subscribe to their JuicePass service while we were there. Enel X site link/ JuicePass app link
      1652532203262.jpeg
  • Greece:
Some providers allow you to pay directly using your credit-card (without registering) but the rates are invariably more expensive than if you register through their app and then link your credit-card to your account.

Our total charging cost for the trip was just under €120. As I mentioned above, most hotels didn't charge extra for charging the car, so our hotel top-ups are not included in this total. Had we used public chargers for these, I estimate that we would have paid an additional €80 - €100.

One thing I noticed that the service stations could improve on is providing a windscreen squeegee at the EV pedestals. They usually have them at the pumps but none had them at the charging bays.

Toll tags
There are a lot of tolls on the route, so to eliminate the queuing I researched getting a toll tag that would work across the countries that we would be visiting. There was none that included Greece but BipandGo (www.bipandgo.com) and Telepass (www.telepass.com) would cover France and Italy for us (as well as other countries).

1652523497394.png


I chose the 'Telepass Go' service, primarily because it links to your credit-card as opposed to directly into your bank account, and there is no on-going subscription charge, other than for the months that you incur tolls.

1652523182399.png


I found Telepass to be excellent. I signed-up on-line and the tag was delivered by courier a few days later. I went through a cashier booth at the first toll we encountered in France (just in case the tag wouldn't work!) but it beeped first time and worked flawlessly every time throughout France and Italy.

Seeing the queues for payment, after just two or three tolls, we were soon glad we had the tag.

Unfortunately, there is no European-wide tag that works in Greece. Greece only relatively recently integrated their tolls systems so that one tag could be used across all the different toll-road companies. The tags also work differently, in that you have to add funds to the tag in advance. This can be done at any toll-booth.

Dashcam
I decided to install front and rear dashcams for extra peace-of-mind on the trip. After researching, I chose to have the Thinkware u1000 cameras professionally installed.
1652523755109.png

I also added the Thinkware Radar unit, which detects broader activity near the car when parked, to increase the protection and to help reduce the battery drain (by not having the cameras on standby the whole time).

If you are considering installing the same cameras, at 4k video quality, it needs a much bigger memory card than the 64Gb one supplied - I found it only provided a few hours of coverage before being overwritten. Connecting to it through Wi-Fi is also temperamental and unreliable, so I would make sure you get a good installer to train you on it fully. It worked for me at the installer's workshop but I haven't been able to sign into it since!

Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
We sailed with Irish Ferries (on their WB Yeats ship). It was excellent - very comfortable, good facilities, helpful staff. The sailing time was also very sociable - it departed Dublin at 16:00 and arrived in Cherbourg at 11:00 the next morning.

1652523913192.png


Charging is available on the ship, for an extra fee, but I had already charged the car shortly before boarding so I didn't book it. I opted for 'Speedy Exit' instead. In the photograph below the charging bay is actually on the other side of the car.

1652524023040.jpeg
1652531773210.jpeg


We were lucky that the ferry wasn't too busy, so there was plenty of space around the car. If it had been busy, I would have booked the EV charging as there is more space in the charging bay.

Probably an obvious point, but worth remembering to raise the car when boarding. The Irish Ferries staff were excellent in proactively checking the ground clearance while guiding me up the ramp.

Also worth remembering to turn off motion sensors in the car when locking it (either on the power-off prompt on the PCM, if you still have it active, or by double-pressing the remote).

France - Paris / Macon
When we disembarked from the ferry in Cherbourg, the car automatically detected the change in country and adjusted the headlights accordingly. We headed directly for Paris, and just stopped once for lunch and a top-up charge at one of the service-stations that had an Ionity charger. Everything worked seamlessly.

When driving in France, you are legally required to have certain safety equipment in the car (warning triangle, high-viz jackets for all occupants etc.). It used to be that you also had to have replacement bulbs and breathalysers but, from what I read, these are no longer mandatory.

The AA website is a good resource for reading about the different rules of the road in France - The AA - Driving in France. A key difference with Ireland / UK is the priority at roundabouts where, unless there is a sign to state otherwise, traffic entering the roundabout has priority.

1652524911751.jpeg


The route to our hotel took us straight into Paris centre, around the Arc-de-Triomphe. If I had believed everything I read about driving around this infamous 10-12 'lane' roundabout I would have avoided it. Instead, I wanted to experience the 'challenge', and I am glad I did. Contrary to popular myth, your insurance does cover you for driving around it. However, for most claims, blame is assumed to be 50:50 between the parties as it can be so difficult to prove otherwise.

To drive around Paris - you need a Crit'Air emissions vignette - https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/. The sticker denotes how polluting your car is, which then determines what restrictions apply. Electric cars are allowed to drive freely around the city at any time. The sticker has to be affixed to the inside bottom right corner of your windscreen. Driving in Paris without this will incur an on-the-spot fine. You apply for the vignette on-line, attaching a copy of the vehicle registration certificate. It cost c.€4.50 (including international postage) and was a very simple process. Once approved, the disc arrived within a few days (to the address on the registration certificate).

1652525026788.png


After Paris we drove to Macon for an overnight stay before continuing on to Milan. For expediency, we drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The scenery was amazing, although the next time I think we will go the long way around to enjoy even better views and driving.

1652525151259.jpeg


Other resources:

Italy - Milan / Rome
At the time we were travelling we were required to complete a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for entry into Italy (although we were never asked for it) - https://app.euplf.eu/#/

Be ready for the endless amount of trucks on the motorways in Italy!

Italy also has air quality restrictions in the major cities, referred to as Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). However, unlike France where the Crit'Air works nationwide, each of the cities in Italy operated different systems that needed separate registrations. This website gives a good overview - https://italybeyondtheobvious.com/dont-mess-with-ztl-zones/

1652527432183.png


  • Rome
    • Electric cars can also travel freely throughout the Rome ZTL and, this time, I was able to pre-register my foreign plate by submitting a photograph of my registration certificate - https://romamobilita.it/it/servizi/ztl
    • The application process is not easy to follow and it also doesn't automatically inform you if your application has been successful - you have to keep checking back.
    • Once you have applied, use this link to check: https://permessiweb.romamobilita.it/targhe/foreign/listrichieste.aspx (When you sign-in, select 'Menu' and take the second option down to view your application status).
    • I took screenshots of the website in case I needed proof that my car was authorised, as there is no other evidence provided.

      1652527726451.jpeg

Other resources:
Ferry - Bari to Patras
There are regular ferries from Ancona, Bari, and Brindisi in Italy to Igoumenitsa, Patras, etc. in Greece.

I chose the Superfast Ferries' overnight service from Bari to Patras (on their Superfast II ship). I preferred that driving route as well as the more sociable sailing times. It left Bari at 19:30 and, after a stopover in Igoumenitsa at 05:30, it arrived in Patras well before its scheduled 13:00.

1652531383627.jpeg

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The ship, staff, and service were great. There was no EV charging facility on board but I had planned around that. Some of the island ferries in Greece really pack the cars in tightly but this wasn't that bad, and we were lucky to get a parking bay with plenty of space.

Greece - Athens
The road from Patras (and from Igoumenitsa) to Athens is superb. It's a relatively new motorway, with clear signage, good services, and great scenery. You can also stop off at the Corinth Canal for sightseeing and a bungy-jump along the way!

In Greece, there is always an attendant that pumps petrol / diesel for you at the service stations - they also try to help with charging but usually leave you to plug in and press the buttons on your app!

Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
Driving
: I am used to driving in the US and in Europe, but always in a left-hand-drive car. I used to think that the steering-wheel position was my subconscious 'switch' to drive on the other side of the road and I wondered how I would handle driving a RHD car in a LHD country. I found that I got used to it very quickly.

Most of the time you will be following other traffic but, when you are not, it just takes a little more care. Using the navigation system also helps, as it usually shows where you need to go on a complicated intersection.

The warning lights on the wing mirrors for Lane Change Assistance are also invaluable.

Toll booths: Toll tags help a lot by avoiding the need to reach across to pay (assuming you don't always have someone in the passenger seat). The only challenge I found was getting the car close enough to the cashier for the passenger to reach them (at the Greek tolls where we didn't have a tag) - I was just being uber careful with the car!

Headlights: The car automatically realigned the headlights for each country and prompted accordingly at every start-up.

Driver Assistance Systems
I found that the Active Lane Keeping, Lane Change Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems all really helped to make the driving easier and more comfortable.

Innodrive was more useful in France, where it appeared to be most accurate with the posted speed limits. In Italy it seemed to randomly invent speed limit changes along the motorways, despite no corresponding road-signs. On many occasions I was the only one on the road reducing my speed, for no apparent reason other than the car's system thought I needed to, so I eventually switched it off. When I arrived in Greece, the system announced that it had no data for Greece.

Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  • Insurance: My existing policy automatically covered me driving the car across Europe for 31 days, which can be extended if needed. It is important to carry a copy of your insurance documentation with you, as you may need to produce it.
  • Registration certificate: It is also mandatory to carry the car's registration certificate as proof of ownership. Again, you may be asked to produce it.
  • Roadside assistance: Some insurance policies also provide this but, if I needed it, I was going to rely on Porsche Roadside Assistance.
  • Spare wiper blades - allegedly they are different for right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive Taycans, so sourcing a proper replacement in Europe would be difficult if I needed them - so I brought a spare set just in case.
  • Breathalysers - it used to be mandatory to carry these when driving in France, but this is (allegedly) no longer the case. However, they were readily available on the ferry and at service stations.
  • Car service - it is worth having your car checked by your local dealership a number of weeks before leaving - there may be software updates or other known-issues that require preventative maintenance. Some of these may require parts that will need to be ordered so best to leave enough time before your trip. A first hand example of this for me was when an air-conditioning sensor failed just as I was getting on the ferry in Dublin - just what I needed, a roadtrip to Greece without air-conditioning! It was a known issue.
  • Travel / sea sickness tablets - I brought these for the kids, just in case any of the ferry crossings were expected to be rough (or they couldn't handle my driving!).
  • Emergency Services numbers - although it may seem like overkill, I wanted to make sure our kids knew that 999 in Ireland is 112 in Europe.

Lessons learned / recommendations
  1. Planning
    1. Doing some upfront planning and preparation takes away a lot of hassle and stress along the way.
    2. If you have time, plan to take the scenic route and avoid the sometimes boring motorways.
  2. Charging
    1. Don't rely on Porsche Navigation - have your preferred charging stops planned in advance.
    2. Charge at the closer chargers - just in case the later one isn't available for some reason (like the Porsche Centre being closed!).
    3. Charge more than you need to at each stop - it eliminates the risk of range anxiety and, if nothing else, reduces your charging time at your next stop.
  3. Travelling with kids
    1. The car recharges quicker than kids - we were never waiting on the car to charge.
    2. Kids slow down your best laid plans, sometimes by hours every day - so build in contingency time to avoid unnecessary stress and arguments.
    3. Four to five hours of driving with a break half-way worked really well for us each day.
  4. Just do it
    1. The car is amazing for roadtrips - the comfort, the silence, the smoothness, the performance ...
    2. You get used to driving a RHD car in a LHD country - most of the time you are following the traffic but when you are not it just takes a little more care.
    3. Ignore the online scaremongering advising everyone to avoid driving in Paris or around the Arc De Triomphe! It's all part of the experience and you will handle it - just close your eyes and go for it!
    4. Getting started can be daunting, and worrying about charging could easily put you off, but don't let it. With a little planning, and after a couple of charging experiences, it will become second-nature.
Summary / return trip
The trip was unanimously voted by all as a fantastic experience. We are now planning our return, this time along the coastal roads of Italy and South of France to Barcelona and across to Santander, where we will take the ferry back to Dublin.

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Great report. Just one point. I thought it was possible to set a minimum charge level at the end of a journey with the Porsche navigation? It’s an option in one of the menus. I’ve see a video of it.
 

LLA53

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Great report. Just one point. I thought it was possible to set a minimum charge level at the end of a journey with the Porsche navigation? It’s an option in one of the menus. I’ve see a video of it.
Yes this is possible I use it all the time. Once you have entered your route, go to route options and scroll to the bottom, you will see an option for the car to determine the min charge at destination, untick this then next one down set your own.
 

LLA53

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TL;DR: It can be done, it's fantastic, do it.

This Taycanforum was a great resource for me when buying my Taycan so I thought I would share my experience of doing a roadtrip in it across Europe, in the hope that some of it will help someone. The trip did take some planning and preparation, and the below should give some pointers for anyone considering doing something similar.

I've grouped my preparations / experiences under headings that should help you find relevant information quicker (as opposed to having to read things you might already know).

Table of contents:
  1. Background
  2. Occupancy / seats
  3. Luggage
  4. Cables
  5. The Route
  6. Hotels
  7. Navigation
  8. Charging
  9. Toll tags
  10. Dashcam
  11. Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
  12. France - Paris / Macon
  13. Italy - Milan / Rome
  14. Ferry - Bari to Patras
  15. Greece - Athens
  16. Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
  17. Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  18. Lessons learned / recommendations
  19. Summary / return trip
Background
This started out as an idea for a guys' roadtrip, with no shortage of volunteers wanting to do the trip in the Taycan. My wife then declared that she really wanted to do the trip, and the enthusiasm soon spread to our kids. We decided it would be a great experience for them to see the different countries, cities, and cultures along the way, so the plan was changed.

1652535560773.jpeg


Occupancy / seats
My first challenge was whether the Taycan (Sedan) would comfortably fit everyone, along with their necessities, for an extended trip.
  • We are a family of five - four of whom are full adult size.
  • I'm also 6'4" and one of the kids is 5'10". So I figured it would be tight.
  • Normally, I drive with the seat back to the limit, but I found, with a little compromise, we could all fit quite comfortably.
  • Thankfully, our youngest (11) could fit in the middle seat. However, it is worth noting that it is not a comfortable seat for long journeys - we had to add cushions below and behind to make it tolerable.
  • The panoramic glass roof helped a lot with the kids' sense of space in the rear.
Luggage
This is where I became like Ryanair regarding bag restrictions. I couldn't 'test' the car with bags before the trip so I used the following website to calculate what the boot could hold and to set the initial 'policy' for the trip - https://how-many-bags-fit.com/.
  • The rear boot could easily fit five 'overhead-cabin-bags' (55cm x 40cm x 20cm), plus three rucksacks and two smaller bags (that fit in the two side compartments). The photograph below shows the space available with four of these cabin-bags already packed.
  • I used the front boot mostly for car related stuff like charging cables, passenger high-viz jackets etc., as well as the kids' bulky shoes that they wanted to take off when driving (this kept them easily accessible at stops).
  • I also found extra space for overflow items by lowering the rear seats when the boot was packed - the angle of the seats stop the cases from using all of the available floor space (and there is also extra space between the wheels of the cases that you can get at this way). I kept this area, and the underfloor compartment in the boot, for contingency (that was inevitably required as the trip went on).
1652519298751.jpeg


Cables
I brought the standard Porsche Type 2 Charging Cable for public charging, and the Porsche Mobile Charger Unit for connecting to domestic supplies.

Type 2 was standard in public charging facilities in each of the countries we visited.

The Mobile Charger Unit only came with a standard UK three-pin plug so I would need an adaptor to use it in Europe - be careful of the load limit of any adaptor if you need to do similarly. I intend to order an original European connector for it, to be safer.

If you haven't already used the Mobile Charger Unit, it needs to be set-up and configured before it can be used! I would recommend doing this before you leave home, when you have good Wi-Fi access for it to connect to.

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The Route
As a family trip, this was not about getting there as quickly as possible. It was not an endurance test. It was about the experience and experiences along the way. So I planned the route based on circa six hours of travelling each day - between four and five hours of driving with a rest and top-up charge half-way. This allowed us to leave each city after rush hour traffic each morning and arrive in the next city before evening rush hour. It allowed for a more leisurely wake-up each morning and meant that we had time to fit in some sight-seeing in the evening. It also meant that we had plenty of contingency time so we didn't have to be military-like with our schedule.

So our route ended up as a c. 2,500 km trip, which we did over eight days, with the following overnight stays:
  • Dublin, Ireland - Cherbourg, France (overnight ferry)
  • Paris, France (two nights)
  • Macon, France
  • Milan, Italy
  • Rome, Italy (two nights)
  • Bari, Italy to Patras, Greece (overnight ferry)
  • Athens, Greece
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Hotels
We only considered hotels that had parking and EV charging. We found some hotels quoted both but were actually referring to local car parks or on-street charging! Some also wouldn't guarantee charging availability in advance. So we always contacted them directly and confirmed it was on-site secure parking and a guaranteed charging point before booking.

It is also worth confirming with them that their charging points are not limited to Tesla. One hotel we stayed in had mostly Tesla chargers, which wouldn't initiate charging - luckily they had one other point that we were able to use when another car was finished with it.

As we were staying in the centre of major cities, there was always an additional parking fee, but most of the hotels didn't charge extra for charging.

Navigation
I found Porsche Navigation feature-poor and untrustworthy for charge planning - both in the car, and on the My Porsche App .

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On one particular leg of the journey, I knew that there would be almost no charging opportunities for circa 200km. Porsche Navigation recommended a minor additional charge just before that 200km stretch that would then have me arriving at the next charging stop, a Porsche Centre, with just 7% remaining. It failed to recognise that the Porsche Centre would be closed when I got there! It also failed to recognise that the only other fast-charger in the town was out of action. Fortunately, I had ignored its recommendations and made sure I had a full charge starting the leg.

1652530185969.jpeg


Not being able to specify the State of Charge that you want to arrive with is a major limitation of the app. I wanted c.30% getting on the ferry in Italy to give me enough charge when we docked in Greece, but I had to do the planning separately to make sure this happened.

On another occasion, instead of recommending a motorway services stop, it took me off the motorway, through the toll-booth, to a car park - a car park that wasn't near any facilities, had a single charging pedestal that was already in use and had a queue of cars waiting. So we had to go back onto the motorway (through the toll again), and look for an alternative option.

The final straw for me was when it recommended I come off the motorway again, drive a number of kilometres through rural countryside, to the back of a remote warehouse. I only knew this because I had used Google Maps to explore the proposed stops before I set off. I am sure it was probably safe, but I wasn't taking a chance - with my family (or my car!).

Regardless of how much planning and tweaking I did in the My Porsche App before the journey, when I sent the plan to the car the car did its own route plan. So I quickly gave up relying on Porsche Navigation for charging. Instead;
  • I used A-Better-Route-Planner (https://abetterrouteplanner.com/) to do the outline plan and to identify fast chargers along the route.
  • I also validated and refined my stops using PlugShare (https://www.plugshare.com/).
  • I then manually entered each stop into the car so that I could have the turn by turn directions on the dash and Head-up-display (which was really helpful for adjusting to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Although, sometimes, it showed a 'mini map' on the HUD, which was far too detailed to interpret when driving). I took this photo of one of the more 'simpler' maps it showed - try interpreting this tiny image at the front of your car while driving.
1652521079860.png

  • In Italy, in particular, I found the Porsche Navigation instructions were not clear enough at times, so I had Google Navigation running in parallel on my phone. If there was a difference (and there was on a number of occasions) I always followed Google!
So, in summary, I wouldn't trust Porsche Navigation for planning your charges. It does take some advance planning for each leg of the journey but it soon becomes second-nature when you become accustomed to, and trust, the other apps.

Charging
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about how the charging would work in the different countries, but that quickly dissipated with each successful charging stop I did.

When I found a charging station that was compatible with Porsche, it was fantastic - particularly Ionity charging. Only once did the pedestal not read my RFID charging card, but I was able to activate it using the app. Italy and Greece were more fragmented and I had to use multiple charging company apps.

The companies / apps that I used in each country were:
  • France:
    • Ionity (Porsche Charging App)
      1652521642811.png
      1652530369345.jpeg
  • Italy:
    • Enel X Way Italia (Porsche Charging App)
      1652531994644.jpeg


    • JuicePass (Enel X) - One of the stops had a 'Free to X' charging pedestal that is apparently by Enel X but it wouldn't authenticate with the Porsche card or app. However, I was able to download the app and subscribe to their JuicePass service while we were there. Enel X site link/ JuicePass app link
      1652532203262.jpeg
  • Greece:
Some providers allow you to pay directly using your credit-card (without registering) but the rates are invariably more expensive than if you register through their app and then link your credit-card to your account.

Our total charging cost for the trip was just under €120. As I mentioned above, most hotels didn't charge extra for charging the car, so our hotel top-ups are not included in this total. Had we used public chargers for these, I estimate that we would have paid an additional €80 - €100.

One thing I noticed that the service stations could improve on is providing a windscreen squeegee at the EV pedestals. They usually have them at the pumps but none had them at the charging bays.

Toll tags
There are a lot of tolls on the route, so to eliminate the queuing I researched getting a toll tag that would work across the countries that we would be visiting. There was none that included Greece but BipandGo (www.bipandgo.com) and Telepass (www.telepass.com) would cover France and Italy for us (as well as other countries).

1652523497394.png


I chose the 'Telepass Go' service, primarily because it links to your credit-card as opposed to directly into your bank account, and there is no on-going subscription charge, other than for the months that you incur tolls.

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I found Telepass to be excellent. I signed-up on-line and the tag was delivered by courier a few days later. I went through a cashier booth at the first toll we encountered in France (just in case the tag wouldn't work!) but it beeped first time and worked flawlessly every time throughout France and Italy.

Seeing the queues for payment, after just two or three tolls, we were soon glad we had the tag.

Unfortunately, there is no European-wide tag that works in Greece. Greece only relatively recently integrated their tolls systems so that one tag could be used across all the different toll-road companies. The tags also work differently, in that you have to add funds to the tag in advance. This can be done at any toll-booth.

Dashcam
I decided to install front and rear dashcams for extra peace-of-mind on the trip. After researching, I chose to have the Thinkware u1000 cameras professionally installed.
1652523755109.png

I also added the Thinkware Radar unit, which detects broader activity near the car when parked, to increase the protection and to help reduce the battery drain (by not having the cameras on standby the whole time).

If you are considering installing the same cameras, at 4k video quality, it needs a much bigger memory card than the 64Gb one supplied - I found it only provided a few hours of coverage before being overwritten. Connecting to it through Wi-Fi is also temperamental and unreliable, so I would make sure you get a good installer to train you on it fully. It worked for me at the installer's workshop but I haven't been able to sign into it since!

Ferry - Dublin to Cherbourg
We sailed with Irish Ferries (on their WB Yeats ship). It was excellent - very comfortable, good facilities, helpful staff. The sailing time was also very sociable - it departed Dublin at 16:00 and arrived in Cherbourg at 11:00 the next morning.

1652523913192.png


Charging is available on the ship, for an extra fee, but I had already charged the car shortly before boarding so I didn't book it. I opted for 'Speedy Exit' instead. In the photograph below the charging bay is actually on the other side of the car.

1652524023040.jpeg
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We were lucky that the ferry wasn't too busy, so there was plenty of space around the car. If it had been busy, I would have booked the EV charging as there is more space in the charging bay.

Probably an obvious point, but worth remembering to raise the car when boarding. The Irish Ferries staff were excellent in proactively checking the ground clearance while guiding me up the ramp.

Also worth remembering to turn off motion sensors in the car when locking it (either on the power-off prompt on the PCM, if you still have it active, or by double-pressing the remote).

France - Paris / Macon
When we disembarked from the ferry in Cherbourg, the car automatically detected the change in country and adjusted the headlights accordingly. We headed directly for Paris, and just stopped once for lunch and a top-up charge at one of the service-stations that had an Ionity charger. Everything worked seamlessly.

When driving in France, you are legally required to have certain safety equipment in the car (warning triangle, high-viz jackets for all occupants etc.). It used to be that you also had to have replacement bulbs and breathalysers but, from what I read, these are no longer mandatory.

The AA website is a good resource for reading about the different rules of the road in France - The AA - Driving in France. A key difference with Ireland / UK is the priority at roundabouts where, unless there is a sign to state otherwise, traffic entering the roundabout has priority.

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The route to our hotel took us straight into Paris centre, around the Arc-de-Triomphe. If I had believed everything I read about driving around this infamous 10-12 'lane' roundabout I would have avoided it. Instead, I wanted to experience the 'challenge', and I am glad I did. Contrary to popular myth, your insurance does cover you for driving around it. However, for most claims, blame is assumed to be 50:50 between the parties as it can be so difficult to prove otherwise.

To drive around Paris - you need a Crit'Air emissions vignette - https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/. The sticker denotes how polluting your car is, which then determines what restrictions apply. Electric cars are allowed to drive freely around the city at any time. The sticker has to be affixed to the inside bottom right corner of your windscreen. Driving in Paris without this will incur an on-the-spot fine. You apply for the vignette on-line, attaching a copy of the vehicle registration certificate. It cost c.€4.50 (including international postage) and was a very simple process. Once approved, the disc arrived within a few days (to the address on the registration certificate).

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After Paris we drove to Macon for an overnight stay before continuing on to Milan. For expediency, we drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The scenery was amazing, although the next time I think we will go the long way around to enjoy even better views and driving.

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Other resources:

Italy - Milan / Rome
At the time we were travelling we were required to complete a European Digital Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for entry into Italy (although we were never asked for it) - https://app.euplf.eu/#/

Be ready for the endless amount of trucks on the motorways in Italy!

Italy also has air quality restrictions in the major cities, referred to as Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). However, unlike France where the Crit'Air works nationwide, each of the cities in Italy operated different systems that needed separate registrations. This website gives a good overview - https://italybeyondtheobvious.com/dont-mess-with-ztl-zones/

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  • Rome
    • Electric cars can also travel freely throughout the Rome ZTL and, this time, I was able to pre-register my foreign plate by submitting a photograph of my registration certificate - https://romamobilita.it/it/servizi/ztl
    • The application process is not easy to follow and it also doesn't automatically inform you if your application has been successful - you have to keep checking back.
    • Once you have applied, use this link to check: https://permessiweb.romamobilita.it/targhe/foreign/listrichieste.aspx (When you sign-in, select 'Menu' and take the second option down to view your application status).
    • I took screenshots of the website in case I needed proof that my car was authorised, as there is no other evidence provided.

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Other resources:
Ferry - Bari to Patras
There are regular ferries from Ancona, Bari, and Brindisi in Italy to Igoumenitsa, Patras, etc. in Greece.

I chose the Superfast Ferries' overnight service from Bari to Patras (on their Superfast II ship). I preferred that driving route as well as the more sociable sailing times. It left Bari at 19:30 and, after a stopover in Igoumenitsa at 05:30, it arrived in Patras well before its scheduled 13:00.

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The ship, staff, and service were great. There was no EV charging facility on board but I had planned around that. Some of the island ferries in Greece really pack the cars in tightly but this wasn't that bad, and we were lucky to get a parking bay with plenty of space.

Greece - Athens
The road from Patras (and from Igoumenitsa) to Athens is superb. It's a relatively new motorway, with clear signage, good services, and great scenery. You can also stop off at the Corinth Canal for sightseeing and a bungy-jump along the way!

In Greece, there is always an attendant that pumps petrol / diesel for you at the service stations - they also try to help with charging but usually leave you to plug in and press the buttons on your app!

Right-hand-drive car in a Left-hand-drive country
Driving
: I am used to driving in the US and in Europe, but always in a left-hand-drive car. I used to think that the steering-wheel position was my subconscious 'switch' to drive on the other side of the road and I wondered how I would handle driving a RHD car in a LHD country. I found that I got used to it very quickly.

Most of the time you will be following other traffic but, when you are not, it just takes a little more care. Using the navigation system also helps, as it usually shows where you need to go on a complicated intersection.

The warning lights on the wing mirrors for Lane Change Assistance are also invaluable.

Toll booths: Toll tags help a lot by avoiding the need to reach across to pay (assuming you don't always have someone in the passenger seat). The only challenge I found was getting the car close enough to the cashier for the passenger to reach them (at the Greek tolls where we didn't have a tag) - I was just being uber careful with the car!

Headlights: The car automatically realigned the headlights for each country and prompted accordingly at every start-up.

Driver Assistance Systems
I found that the Active Lane Keeping, Lane Change Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems all really helped to make the driving easier and more comfortable.

Innodrive was more useful in France, where it appeared to be most accurate with the posted speed limits. In Italy it seemed to randomly invent speed limit changes along the motorways, despite no corresponding road-signs. On many occasions I was the only one on the road reducing my speed, for no apparent reason other than the car's system thought I needed to, so I eventually switched it off. When I arrived in Greece, the system announced that it had no data for Greece.

Miscellaneous checklist / things to consider
  • Insurance: My existing policy automatically covered me driving the car across Europe for 31 days, which can be extended if needed. It is important to carry a copy of your insurance documentation with you, as you may need to produce it.
  • Registration certificate: It is also mandatory to carry the car's registration certificate as proof of ownership. Again, you may be asked to produce it.
  • Roadside assistance: Some insurance policies also provide this but, if I needed it, I was going to rely on Porsche Roadside Assistance.
  • Spare wiper blades - allegedly they are different for right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive Taycans, so sourcing a proper replacement in Europe would be difficult if I needed them - so I brought a spare set just in case.
  • Breathalysers - it used to be mandatory to carry these when driving in France, but this is (allegedly) no longer the case. However, they were readily available on the ferry and at service stations.
  • Car service - it is worth having your car checked by your local dealership a number of weeks before leaving - there may be software updates or other known-issues that require preventative maintenance. Some of these may require parts that will need to be ordered so best to leave enough time before your trip. A first hand example of this for me was when an air-conditioning sensor failed just as I was getting on the ferry in Dublin - just what I needed, a roadtrip to Greece without air-conditioning! It was a known issue.
  • Travel / sea sickness tablets - I brought these for the kids, just in case any of the ferry crossings were expected to be rough (or they couldn't handle my driving!).
  • Emergency Services numbers - although it may seem like overkill, I wanted to make sure our kids knew that 999 in Ireland is 112 in Europe.

Lessons learned / recommendations
  1. Planning
    1. Doing some upfront planning and preparation takes away a lot of hassle and stress along the way.
    2. If you have time, plan to take the scenic route and avoid the sometimes boring motorways.
  2. Charging
    1. Don't rely on Porsche Navigation - have your preferred charging stops planned in advance.
    2. Charge at the closer chargers - just in case the later one isn't available for some reason (like the Porsche Centre being closed!).
    3. Charge more than you need to at each stop - it eliminates the risk of range anxiety and, if nothing else, reduces your charging time at your next stop.
  3. Travelling with kids
    1. The car recharges quicker than kids - we were never waiting on the car to charge.
    2. Kids slow down your best laid plans, sometimes by hours every day - so build in contingency time to avoid unnecessary stress and arguments.
    3. Four to five hours of driving with a break half-way worked really well for us each day.
  4. Just do it
    1. The car is amazing for roadtrips - the comfort, the silence, the smoothness, the performance ...
    2. You get used to driving a RHD car in a LHD country - most of the time you are following the traffic but when you are not it just takes a little more care.
    3. Ignore the online scaremongering advising everyone to avoid driving in Paris or around the Arc De Triomphe! It's all part of the experience and you will handle it - just close your eyes and go for it!
    4. Getting started can be daunting, and worrying about charging could easily put you off, but don't let it. With a little planning, and after a couple of charging experiences, it will become second-nature.
Summary / return trip
The trip was unanimously voted by all as a fantastic experience. We are now planning our return, this time along the coastal roads of Italy and South of France to Barcelona and across to Santander, where we will take the ferry back to Dublin.

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fantastic report lots of useful info👏
 
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I’ve driven all around Europe and through all those cities and never ever filed any of that paperwork. I think once the hotel I stayed at said they needed my plate numbers, maybe they did it.
My view on this is that the restrictions are there for good reason and, as a visitor to these great cities, I want to be respectful of the local laws. I also don't want the risk or stress of potential confrontations while on holiday with my family.

Electric cars currently enjoy exemptions from these restrictions so there is no reason not to comply.

If (usually free) registration is all that is required to avoid either on-the-spot fines or confrontations, or having to pay / appeal a fine received in the mail, then I have no problem registering.
 

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My view on this is that the restrictions are there for good reason and, as a visitor to these great cities, I want to be respectful of the local laws. I also don't want the risk or stress of potential confrontations while on holiday with my family.

Electric cars currently enjoy exemptions from these restrictions so there is no reason not to comply.

If (usually free) registration is all that is required to avoid either on-the-spot fines or confrontations, or having to pay / appeal a fine received in the mail, then I have no problem registering.
It was more that I had no idea and no one told me!
 
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Thanks @tigerbalm

Hotels - searching was a family project! Everyone was given a different city to research - from hotels to sightseeing.

I think Booking.com was the favourite initial source, followed by direct contact with the hotel to validate the parking and EV charging. If they couldn't / wouldn't confirm either (in writing), they were 'disqualified'. We found some hotels also had better deals available when we called them directly and agreed to join their loyalty club - sometimes doing this also entitled us to other benefits such as upgrades, free cancellation, and / or free breakfast etc.

Until we had finalised our route and dates, we make numerous overlapping (refundable) bookings with multiple hotels.

Headlight adjustment - I just went down to photograph the message that appears on start-up ... and it didn't appear (Murphy's Law)!!! Maybe it is because the car is underground and not receiving a signal. :rolleyes: I will check again later and send a photo.

Local speed limits - apart from Italy, where it seemed to randomise speed limits, the car seemed to show them correctly for France and Greece.

Emergency numbers - thanks for the extra detail on this - I didn't know that 112 worked without a SIM or how it gets routed! I did know that it worked in Ireland but it was just one of the headings I used to make sure everyone in the family knew what to do in an emergency.
 

 
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