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A beautiful day ahead…what to do?

Imagine: A saturday – my family fully booked with horse riding and shooting, weather forcast superb for all of switzerland… I decide to leave bright and early to drive wherever TW560 takes me.

although i started out as random as possible, arriving in chur gave me just a limited choice of places to go. therefore, i decided to do this trip in the opposite direction, without the passes, since they were still covered in snow.

i took the motorway, since i wanted to move away from where i usually am as fast as possible.

towards the alps!

towards the alps!

just 100% sun!

just 100% sun!

churfirsten, always a nice view!

churfirsten, always a nice view!

the alps, slowly coming closer!

the alps, slowly coming closer!

then, slowly, my battery was quite empty. my smartphone indicated a charging point just a few 100 meters from the motorway – when pulling up to the GPS coordinates, things turned out to be very interesting…

100% solar recharge

100% solar recharge

the solar tracker was producing about 10kW of power whilst i was only consuming about 7kW. my charge was therefore 100% direct-solar and the charge felt really good. the hotel just 150m away was very happy to provide me with some breakfast whilst i waited my 65 minutes for a full charge.

finally i'm climbing towards the st. bernardino.

finally i’m climbing towards the st. bernardino.

heading away from the motorway, i was very much aware that i was now in motorbike territory. sharp bends and scenic views are usually why switzerland’s passes are clogged with motorbikes during summer. What a sight to be alone on this road for about an hour…

aaah. snow & ice! that's why ther aren't any motorbikes around!

aaah. snow & ice! that’s why ther aren’t any motorbikes around!

2m high snow. really strange end of march!

2m high snow. really strange end of march!

Temperatures quickly are much lower as i’m used to. at 1500m, even in bright sunlight, i’m back to 8°C.

lake sufers, nearly there.

lake sufers, nearly there.

lake sufers, TW560 looking good!

lake sufers, TW560 looking good!

if you look around there are sill ski-lifts active and small dots representing skiiers are dotted on various hills. winter ist still very much in control here!

this time the st. bernardino pass isn't open yet!

this time the st. bernardino pass isn’t open yet!

i have to take the st. bernardino tunnel, since the pass is not yet open. i surprise some foreign tourists whilst crossing through the layby just before the tunnel.

last time i was on the other side of the tunnel, we stopped at a very small restaurant with an owner who had his single-phase plug listed in lemnet.org. the guy told us that within 3 years we were the second electric car to charge. this time things were slightly different:

the guy even installed a tri-phase plug outside since the last time i was here!

the guy even installed a tri-phase plug outside since the last time i was here!

he decided to seriously upgrade his infrastructure and install a 16A tri-phase plug. accoding to the owner, since we arrived last time, there have been many electric cars arriving – some even wanted to charge at 32A…

st. bernardino village’s restaurants are struggling to attract enough customers – the owner told me that an ev-driver usually spends much more than any other guest and stays just long enough to enjoy a meal – perfect for him to attract high-turnover business he usually would not have.

i stop the charge before the battery is fully charged. i have a 1400m descent ahead and the battery is looking forward to the energy recuperated on the way back down to bellinzona.

on the way back down to bellinzona

on the way back down to bellinzona

as i arrive back at about 300m, with careful driving, i’ve been able to get back about 850Wh – the battery is more or less fully charged. this is why i decide to press onwards on the motorway to lago maggiore, about 20km away.

such a beautiful place – just a few kms away from italy, the ice creams are phenomenal!

on my way back to airolo, i decide to charge at a RiPartTi charging station – i haven’t got a key, but i’ve been in the southern part of switzerland enough times to know that the charging stations cannot withstand some loving attention. this is where i get to try my type2 connector for a tri-phase charge.

all charge stations should have this choice

all charge stations should have this choice

one cable for at least 2 twikes

one cable for at least 2 twikes

then i head back to the gotthard.

on my way back to the gotthard

on my way back to the gotthard

since the gotthard pass is closed, yet again, i have to take the tunnel.

this time the temperature differerences are extreme: at the entrance, i’ve got about 11°C. inside, the temperatures slowly rise to about 33°C. really hot air suddenly engulfes the TWIKE! then, on my way back out of the tunnel, temperatures quickly fall back to 10°C… drastic changes! air quality in the tunnel is awful – breathing is really difficult. after crossing the alps many, many times, i wonder how our car managed to mask the bad air from us!

in the gotthard tunnel

in the gotthard tunnel

after charging in göschenen – nothing was open so i had to just wait whilst streaming some series via vpn from my server. just 55 mins later, the battery was full and i was able to drive 125 kms home on one charge on the motorway.

one very nice day!

one very nice day!

a very nice day, indeed!