At the end of day 1 we had arrived at my friend Matt’s house with 115 km of range remaining. After charging overnight from a regular domestic 13A socket, the next morning we were up to 271 km. So the car was not fully charged, but this was more than enough for the day’s activities until we reached our first Tesla Supercharger stop on the way to Switzerland.
I think this shows that you can get by with charging overnight from a regular domestic outlet, but most Tesla owners choose to have a dedicated charging point installed in their garage or on their driveway which can deliver more power. With one of these installed it is possible to fully charge the car overnight and wake up to a “full tank” every morning. Which is much more convenient than waking up and realizing that you have to stop for petrol before you can go somewhere!
Heights of Heidelberg
Our first port of call for the day was the town of Heidelberg, near Mannheim. It was an easy half an hour drive with Matt as our willing tour guide…
Heidelberg was one of the few places in Germany to be spared destruction during the Second World War, and is known for its picturesque setting on the river Neckar and its imposing castle overlooking the town. Of course, the main attraction for me was the Heidelberg Bergbahn funicular railway. This has two sections and runs from the town via the castle right up the the summit of Königstuhl. Of course, I had the GoPro handy to film the whole thing…
From the top, there are spectacular views across the Rhineland.
After returning to the town, we enjoyed a traditional hearty German lunch and obligatory ice cream before it was sadly time to bid farewell to Matt and hit the road to continue our trip.
Heading for Switzerland
After a relaxing Autopilot cruise down the A5 Autobahn, we pulled into the Supercharger at Achern for our first stop, 107 km from Heidelberg.
Soon we had charged up to 284 km. The total cost was 50 euro cents – for me to use the facilities!
To break up our long drive to Interlaken, I decided we should head into Saint Louis, which was just off the Autobahn near the Swiss border. Saint Louis is actually in France, so we were able to briefly add a fourth country to our four-day road trip!
The vignette quest
Unlike in Germany, in Switzerland the Autobahns are not free to use. One is required to purchase a “vignette” for 40 Swiss Francs, which must be affixed to the windscreen. I wasn’t sure where to get this from and I didn’t want to risk entering Switzerland without it. So we ended up wasting time trying 3 or 4 different shops on the French and Swiss side of the border before finally managing to buy one in a petrol station near our second Supercharger stop at Pratteln in Switzerland.
Back on the Swiss Autobahn, we had a bit of a scare when we realized we hadn’t actually stuck the vignette to the windscreen. Suddenly, a police car was behind us with blue lights flashing! How could he possibly have spotted our missing vignette? Fortunately it turned out that he wasn’t after us and when I moved over to the outside lane, he sped past. Phew!
Arriving at Interlaken
After covering 446 km since leaving Schifferstadt in the morning, we finally arrived at our hotel in Wilderswil near Interlaken, after 10pm. We would need our sleep because tomorrow we would be tackling the Swiss Alps in the amazing Tesla Model S…
– On to Tesla Model S Road Trip – Day 3