Welcome to the last day of our trans-European TWIKE trip, TDE2017.

Weather throughout the last few days has been more or less grey and cold. (or just plain horrible). With our roof on, we can brave more or less any kind of weather, but TWIKEing is definitely about the experience with the roof off – enjoying the quiet humming of the electric motor and being able to hear the sounds around the vehicle.

Today, we were pleasantly surprised by rays of sun waking us and some blue sky greeting us outside.

Ah! Blue skies!
Ah! Blue skies!

After breakfast, we get back to our fully charged vehicle. A full 15.34kWh were charged during the night – I’m really happy that I’m able to finely tune the charge rate to have our batteries ready by the time we’ve planned to leave.

Li*-batteries don’t like being kept in a fully charged state for longer periods as this makes them age faster.

Ready for the last leg of our trip
Ready for the last leg of our trip

During the trips with my TWIKE I’m always amazed how much luggage fits into the back of it! After one or two days, packing efficiently and quickly is really easy. (O.K. a few years experience do help 🙂 )

If you ever wondered how much stuff goes into a TWIKE
If you ever wondered how much stuff goes into a TWIKE

We start our trip today driving towards our first pass for today, the Fernpass.

On our way to the dark side of the Arlberg
On our way to the dark side of the Arlberg

On the way to the Fernpass, we cross into a valley which leads back to the Arlberg pass – JC and I drove along that valley two years ago. Today, although the drive would have been nice, we’re happy to have a different route towards Switzerland – via Bregenzerwald and a small valley and another pass.

Early morning view towards Stanzach - We're not going there...
Early morning view towards Stanzach – We’re not going there…

Even though it’s Sunday, traffic up the Fernpass is light. The higher up the pass we drive, the more snow we see.

TW560 trying to hide... :)
TW560 trying to hide… 🙂

Our descent down the Fernpass charges our batteries with around 500Wh – with TW560’s new batteries this only contributes to our overall efficiency, our range is more than double of what we need for today. 😉

Warth, Arlberg
Warth, Arlberg

The valley greets us with beautiful weather and good road surfaces. Cruise control engaged, we drive for many kilometers with just a steady hum from our motor as our companion and us squinting into the sun.

The short video below shows how our cruising along looked like.

One last time, we climb all the way up to 1600+ metres altitude – very nice weather and clear roads turn our last pass of this trip into pure driving pleasure.

Hochtannbergpass - Winter wonderland
Hochtannbergpass – Winter wonderland

This time, our descent takes us to a region known as Bregenzer Wald. Far below the snow, here, spring is in full control and first flowers can be seen. This part of Vorarlberg is very nice for longer walks in summer and stunning views from surrounding peaks.

Bregenzer Wald
Bregenzer Wald

A few days ago, after seeing the route we had planned to take, a fellow EV driver from Vorarlberg got in touch with us asking if we wanted/needed a charge in Vorarlberg and offering us help with getting electricity from their local charging stations with their CEE16plus sockets.

Although we didn’t need any support getting electricity from these sockets, because I already have the required plug … and key, we were definitely interested in meeting a fellow EV driver and agreed on meeting at one of the many Vlotte’s charging stations.

But first, we have to cross another hill to get to the lower Rhine valley, where our chosen charging station is.

On our way back down to the lower Rhine valley - Dornbirn
On our way back down to the lower Rhine valley – Dornbirn

By the time we arrive at the charging station, Herbert Hämmerle, a retired local EV driver is already waiting for us. We had already met a few weeks earlier at the general assembly of Switzerland’s EV drivers’ association. He had already read all about our trip and was very interested to know more details.

Our short charging stop turned into a full hour of us discussing many interesting topics – one of which will make my trips to Vorarlberg either much more expensive or difficult: Vlotte will say goodbye to flat-rate charging very soon. After that , every charge will be a Type2, time-based charge starting at €0.60 to start the charge and €6 per hour for (slow) AC charging.

I get why they are forced to change the current model: (Greedy) EV (Tesla) drivers paying once and charging their (big battery-) cars overnight on a regular basis. (simplified answer)

The super-saturation of convenient no-fuss charging stations in this region will be missed!

Vlotte charging station - local EV enthusiast waiting for us
Vlotte charging station – local EV enthusiast waiting for us

We set off on the last leg of our trip with a relatively full battery. Since we already know this stretch of the road very, very well, we take the motorway to save time and get back home as quickly as possible.

With this kind of driving, we go though the remaining kilometres very quickly.

Munching up one kilometer at a time
Munching up one kilometer at a time

It’s always interesting to have cars from other countries overtake veeeeery slowly and have people take pictures and wave happily.

Motorway travel
Motorway travel

As we get to Winterthur, we leave the motorway for our last few km back home.

Nearly home - just another 4 km
Nearly home – just another 4 km

WE MADE IT! Happy and tired, rest of my family greets us as we arrive.

TDE2017 concluded - back home and happy
TDE2017 concluded – back home and happy

10 days across Europe – 2642km – 0€ energy costs, lots of friendly encounters, many new cities and places visited by my daughter and lots of meditation-like moments for me which took me far away from my daily grind at the office.

Thanks for reading / following TDE2017. Stay tuned for TW560‘s next adventure!

TDE2017 - day 11 GPS Track
TDE2017 – day 11 GPS Track

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