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halfway through germany in one day

faster than expected the day has come to drive to rosenthal. i’m really looking forward to meeting the guys at fine mobile. some last minute changes to the route and a decision to add a quick 30 minute charge in wurmlingen and the usual preparations regarding my travel cabling kit.

so, here i am, 4:40am. TW560 is fully charged, about 14°C and a sliver of dawn forming on the horizon.

TW560 ready to go!

TW560 ready to go!

although i am used to long-distance >450kms day-long drives on our tours, we seldomly go over 300kms/day.


View > rosenthal in a larger map

above is the route i will be following. it is a mixture of shortest route and avoiding major roads. (the map is interactive > just click). i am planning on consuming 44-47Wh/km depending on how things go. (each charge has a different colour on the map).

4:40am first light on the horzion

4:40am first light on the horzion

i set off and even though i am wearing a light jacket the cold is quite noticeable. fortunately, sunrise is at about 5.45am today.

it's getting brighter every minute!

it’s getting brighter every minute!

already in germany, i'm treated to a very nice sunrise!

already in germany, i’m treated to a very nice sunrise!

the black forest pushes consumption levels way beyond 47Wh/km. it’s a truly nice region but today, crossing it, i’d wish for less hills to cross.

after 164 kms (with a 30 mins quick recharge in wurmlingen) i arrive at the sonnenzentrum, where i had been for the recent TWIKE club general assembly. i knew that there would be a welcoming tri-phase plug here. i set the alarm for 65 mins and sleep through the first charge as if it had only lasted a minute.

tri-phase charging at the sonnenzentrum

tri-phase charging at the sonnenzentrum

i set off with an open canopy and temperatures rising. it is promising to be a very nice day!

north of the black forrest: flat, flat

north of the black forrest: flat, flat

following small roads i drive km after km without much traffic and beautiful landscapes. after the back forrest has been left behind us, TW560 and i enter a much flatter plateau and consumption levels sink dramatically.

thanks to my own route planning, i stick to single lane roads

thanks to my own route planning, i stick to single lane roads

my diet today... small german villages!

my diet today… small german villages!

eventually, i arrive at my next charging point > a drehstromkiste (german for ‘tri-phase box’). this charging network is currently the best in germany, since it guarantees 24h accessibility and mostly 32A tri-phase connectors – very important if one wants to get energy into one’s car quickly.

a drehstromkiste - 32A or bust!

a drehstromkiste – 32A or bust!

i eat lunch, drink a beer and head back to TW560 to find it at about 95% and press onward immediately.

this river was flooding the road just a few kms further down

this river was flooding the road just a few kms further down

very nice landscapes

very nice landscapes

heading to hanau, my next p&c charging station is at stadwerke hanau, the local utility company. here i’m in for a nasty surprise: the whole box is able to only provide 3kW! it was entirely my own fault: i should have consulted the entry for this charging station – it was clearly stated.

assuming that a local utility would have some kind of larger plug somewhere on their premises, i went to the reception and asked… no, was the answer. no further plugs are available. NOT a good service. with only about 15kms left i get back into the TWIKE and head to the next P&C station 11kms away. grrr.

what would jeremy clarkson do?

what would jeremy clarkson do?

having arrived at this next station, i discover that it is a very interesting park&charge charging point: given sunlight, the energy consumed is directly generated overhead. (as was the case when i was there)

deutsche bahn solar carport - today i'm physically charging with solar energy!

deutsche bahn solar carport – today i’m physically charging with solar energy!

another important learning for today is: without full, completed, charges and only multiple partial recharges, the TWIKE controller slowly loses track of exact charge levels. this is only a minor inconvenience, however, for i calculate the absolute energy absorbed and battery pack voltage in order to determine the DOD (depth of discharge).

after a few partial quick charges, certain counters are quite far apart!

after a few partial quick charges, certain counters are quite far apart!

i’m on the last charge – looking forward to arriving in rosenthal – with the sun slowly moving toward the horizon temperatures are going back to normal.

late afternoon outside hanau

late afternoon outside hanau

late afternoon in TW560

late afternoon in TW560

sunset over central germany

sunset over central germany

some small roday somewhere close to rosenthal

some small roday somewhere close to rosenthal

rosenthal is at the end of the world, figuratively speaking. kms after kms fly past, but i don’t feel like i’m making any distance. i, therefore, decide to take the motorway for the last 70kms.

i arrive about 8pm, check into a small pension in rosenthal and head out for a cold beer > looking forward to it!

this distance is more or less the maximum you will want to do with a TWIKE in one day – i’m looking forward to my visit tomorrow.

good night.

it has been a very long day!

it has been a very long day!