Electric car road trips: the best drives in the UK and around Europe

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Mont Saint-Michel:  stay overnight to beat the crowds

Quieter, more comfortable and more economical to drive – Europe’s finest road trips become a whole new experience in an EV

Why embark on an electric adventure? The benefits go far beyond a better carbon footprint. And with charging points being installed in more unusual locations, an EV road trip could take you to places you wouldn’t otherwise venture…

Calais to St Malo, France

3 – 4 days

Quiet, well-made roads and plenty of EV charge points makes driving in France a joy – and if you cross the Channel with Le Shuttle you can charge your car before you board the train, giving you a head start when you arrive in Calais. From here, head west to the pretty port town of Honfleur and neighbouring Deauville, then continue west along the rugged coastline, taking in the history of the Normandy landings and paying your respects at Omaha Beach. Then it’s on to the majestic Mont Saint-Michel (stay overnight here to enjoy it without the crowds) and finish off with a day and night at St Malo before taking the ferry back to Portsmouth.

North Coast 500, UK

7 – 9 days

Forward-thinking tourism folk in the Scottish Highlands had EV driving firmly in mind when they launched the North Coast 500 in 2015. This stunning coastal route starts and ends in Inverness and takes you to some of the most northerly points of the region via magical castles, seaboard villages, mountains, caves, canyons and, of course, a chance to sample some of the world’s finest whisky. Take your own electric vehicle or book a Tesla self-drive or chauffeur-driven tour with Ecosse EV and you can take advantage of the many – often free – charging points.

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Badische Weinstrasse, Black Forest, Germany

2 – 3 days

Schloss Staufenberg stands watch over the Black Forest

Schloss Staufenberg stands watch over the Black Forest.

Wine and dine your way along Germany’s Badische Wine Road, a 100-mile route that winds its way through the foothills of the Black Forest from the spa town of Baden-Baden to Freiburg, a university town that’s regarded as a role model for sustainability and the sunniest city in Germany. With so many fine wines to sample, you’ll want to add in a few overnight stays or restaurant stops, and many of the hotels here provide EV charging. Good bets include the funky Roomers Baden-Baden, or Hotel Ritter in the pretty town of Durbach, overlooked by the 11th-century Schloss Staufenberg from where you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views over the forest.

Tuscan Treasures, Italy

2 – 3 days

Take your time to savour the delights of Tuscany, staying in some of the charming eco-friendly farmhouses in the Chianti region that offer EV charging to their guests. Start with a day or two exploring the Renaissance wonders of Florence (best on foot), then pick up your electric rental car and head slowly south along the historic Via Chiantigiana, or SR 222, through the Chianti area to Siena, charging your car while you sleep. It’s only 40-ish miles each way, but you’ll want to make frequent stops to explore its castles and ancient walled villages and towns – Greve, Panzano, Castellina to name but a few – and to admire its stunning hills, vineyards and olive groves. Agriturismo Biologico Sant’Egle and B&B Paradiso No4 in Siena are just two places to stay, on or close to the route, that offer EV charging.

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The Hardangervidda Route, Norway

4 – 5 days

Hardanger Bridge, Norway

Sail quietly over Hardanger Bridge, Norway, in an EV.

The undisputed world leader on electric cars, Norway is the perfect choice for an EV road trip. Following National Highway 7, this stunning 290-mile drive from Oslo to Bergen, or vice versa, takes in Hardangervidda, Europe’s greatest mountain plateau, the beautiful Hardangerfjord, the country’s second longest fjord, and Vøringsfossen, Norway’s most famous waterfalls. Take advantage of the numerous charging spots en-route and also factor in time to allow stops for hiking and other outdoor activities. The wild landscapes will take your breath away.

Atlantic Highway, UK

4 – 5 days

See the best of the wild south west of England on this 180-mile route, which starts in Bridgwater, Somerset, curves round the Devon coastline following the A39, and then heads down through Cornwall to Land’s End. You’ll pass through hilly moors, stunning countryside, windswept dunes, seaside towns and have plenty of chances to take in the sea air and glimpse some Atlantic waves. You’ll find charging points in some quirky spots, too, such as organic restaurants, seafront hotels and even the stunning Minack Theatre.

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A loop around Jersey

2 – 3 days

It’s possible to drive around the island of Jersey in a day, but a two or three-day trip will allow you to properly enjoy its beaches, delicious seafood and quaint seaside towns and villages. It also means you can take advantage of hotel EV charging points to stop for a leisurely lunch or an overnight stay. Starting in St Helier (stay or eat and charge at the The Savoy Jersey or the Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa), head west towards the sleepy fishing harbour of St Aubin and on to St Brelade’s Bay. From there, take the stunning La Grande Route de Mielle, or Five Mile Road, up to the golden sandy bay of Grève de Lecq and Les Platons on the north coast, east to picturesque Rozel Bay and then follow the east coast road around to see the castle at Gorey and then back into St Helier.

Save on a new car

You can save up to £8000 on a new car with Griffin. The deals depend on the models available at that time, so the number of EVs to choose from will vary. Find more information here.

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