Just a quick – non-TWIKE-related – entry for Lisbon. I’ve been to Lisbon many times, as has my wife – so no extensive description of the town this time.
Our kids and haven’t been to Lisbon yet and given that one didn’t feel like doing the hard-core discovery with me and my wife was more for some relaxing drinks, I decided to take the rest on a whirlwind touch-and-go of Lisbon.
One of the best ways to get around in Lisbon is by metro – a day- ticket is super affordable and quickly bought. We’re ready for some fun!
I could post many of the iconic tram car pictures – no need as the Internet is full of them. I took the young ones on the full length of tram 28 and then decided it was time for some rooftop drinks – we met up and my wife and I took – for the sake of keeping our transport electric – a Tesla ModelX to the rooftop venue. The large front window really worked well in Lisbon’s narrow inner-city roads.
Although it’s a hassle to always have to show either a vaccine pass or a valid negative test, I think Portugal is doing it right: Test – Test – Test. You can be part of any activity either by being tested recently (which is free for Europeans – for us another reminder that Switzerland isn’t part of Europe) or a valid vaccination certificate.
We get to the venue and are pleasantly surprised that there is space for us all without a wait. We get some Portonics (the summer drink) and let the view do the rest.
For me there was still one task open: Charge the TWIKE as I didn’t want to deal with non-functional charging stations yesterday after my long drive from Porto to Lisbon. Spoiler Alert: It’s not a happy story.
I discovered yesterday that in all the new and fancy parking garages in Lisbon all the charging stations were only for local cards and weren’t part of any roaming system. There is an app for seamless parking and charging, but it requires a Portuguese Tax ID and other stuff. Thanks to my local company I have a tax number but even with this very rare combination I was unable to do more than arrange parking with the app, even if it advertises charging, too.
To cut a very long story short: I went to a few other charging stations around town – accelerated and slow and tried my cards or apps. NONE WORKED! Every single charging station refused all my cards and apps with ‘unknown card’ or ‘unauthorized card’ or in full passive agressive mode just ignored the cards and beamed a friendly ‘scan card’ at me.
Neither the local Virtual Charging Providers (VPC) such as KLC or charging providers such as MOBI.E (who require you to have a Portuguese energy contract to get an RFID card and don’t roam with anyone (so incredibly backward to assume no-one else than Portuguese would need electricity) could help me.
Neither did the support people understand what roaming was or how to get me electricity…) Very quickly I had spent the better part of two hours trying out various chargers and various providers and NONE WORKED.
This just confirms what I’ve been experiencing during the last few years is still true: Except for Tesla no-one is really focused on providing charging as they would provide petrol: to anyone, from anywhere, barrier-free by credit card. I don’t care if I have to pay more for the KWh as at home but:
FOR CHRIST SAKE: START ACTING LIKE BUSINESSES WANTING TO EARN MONEY AND NOT LIKE STATE FUNDED GO-NOWHERE-PROJECTS HAPPILY SINKING MONEY IN BLACK HOLES WITHOUT KPI’S AND RUN BY PEOPLE WHO THEMSELVES DON’T DRIVE ELECTRIC CARS ANYWHERE.
On a lighter note, to charge, I parked on the side-walk just outside of our AirBnB and did some free-style charging …
…until I noticed that this late and with only one phase I’d have to leave my TWIKE outside until late, which I didn’t want to do … how to add more power without a three-phase plug?
Easy with a TWIKE: just run another lead and you’ve doubled your throughput!
Whilst this was going on, I eventually caught up with my family who were enjoying one of the many viewpoints throughout town:
We then went to another very small restaurant as our young ones liked yesterday’s experience and wanted to continue the discovery of local tastes and flavours… Lucky me I know some places worth going!
By the time we got back to our place, TW560 was fully charged and I drove back to the secured parking garage we had chosen for our family car.
Everyone was looking forward to the beach and some R&R – me and my wife will start very early tomorrow, as we want to drive on some very small roads along the southern Atlantic coast and make it to Portugal’s southern-most point before following the Algarve coast eastward until we get to our place just outside Albufeira – a concession towards our kids so they could have some bars and other similarly-aged people to interact with.