Article / 24.6.2024

Five tips for enjoyable and easy summer adventures with your electric car

Electric cars are growing more and more popular in Finland. At the end of 2023, nearly 8% of the cars in Finland were electric cars, 56% of which were all-electric vehicles. Are you planning your first longer trip with an electric car this summer? Our expert's tips will help you plan the perfect holiday!

 Tip 1: Plan according to the destination

Päivi Linteri works as eMobility Product Development Manager at Helen and has years of experience in travelling with an all-electric vehicle in Finland and Europe. Päivi's first tip is encouraging: when it comes to electric cars, the same rules apply as with other types of cars. You don't have to plan your trip around charging stations.  

"Choose the destination and the route you would normally pick. Newer cars, in particular, have big batteries, and there are many charging points in Finland. Of course, charging stations may be a bit more scarce in northern and eastern Finland, but then again, so are petrol stations."


 Tip 2: Know your car

When planning a trip to a new destination, it's a good idea to know your vehicle. Like petrol cars, electric cars consume more at motorway speeds. What's important is to know the range; in other words, the distance that can be covered with a full battery under different conditions. According to Päivi, it will be easy to select the charging stations along a route selected with the car's range in mind.

Knowing the car's charging capacity is also useful. The real-life capacity can differ from that reported by the manufacturer. As the car is often charged at high-power charging stations during trips, the actual maximum capacity of your car determines the duration of the charging breaks.

Päivi believes that, if you are familiar with your car, there's no reason why you can't take a trip to Lapland, the archipelago or even outside the borders of Finland. For new vehicles, the range is usually around 400 kilometres. The length of the Turku Archipelago Ring Road, for example, is less than 200 kilometres. When it comes to international destinations, Päivi especially recommends Norway, a pioneer in electric cars.


 Tip 3: Make use of online forums

The easiest way to get to know your car is to drive it, but what about rental or shared cars?

"There's no reason why you couldn't take a trip, even if your information comes from external sources. Electric car users have an active online community full of useful information," says Päivi.

On Facebook, you can find both generic discussions and groups for each specific make of car. Participants share practical information on driving electric cars in northern conditions as well as tips for any problems you may face.

While online forums can be extremely helpful, Päivi recommends taking the advice with a grain of salt as the information is sourced from private individuals. For official manuals and technical details, turn to the manufacturers' own channels. Technical information can also be found on the website.


 Tip 4: The charging network is for everyone – know the charging etiquette

Everyone benefits from following the charging etiquette, especially during the summer holiday season when many are covering long distances on the road.

The charging stations often have a basic charging point and a high-power charging point. You can avoid excessively long pit stops by not charging your batteries to 100% at the high-power charging points. After reaching 80%, for example, it's polite to either continue your drive or move your car to a basic charging point.

Päivi recommends choosing accommodation where you can also charge your car. That way, the battery will be fully charged by the morning, making your trip easier.


 Tip 5: Learn the apps

The plethora of charging apps for electric cars may be tiresome, but after signing up, they are quite easy to use. Before arriving at a charging point, check that the app is ready for use and that your payment details are up to date.  

Päivi likes to make planning easier by using route planning apps, such as A Better Route Planner. The app determines the optimal route depending on the car's range, average consumption and charging capacity.  

Päivi also recommends charging maps. One of them is Helen's brand new Helen Charging that displays the real-time information of more than 700 public Helen charging points, as well as the contact details of 24/7 customer service. Helen Charging is part of the Oma Helen app. It comes with zero monthly fees; you only pay for successful charging.

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