Mountains, lakes, snow and sun. In Austria you can have it all in a single day. It’s a joy to drive around the country, especially with an electric car. In Austria an EV really is in it’s natural environment. The country’s infrastructure is well organized.
I entered Austria from Italy and arrived in Corinthia, a southern province with thousands of lakes. The local government invested a lot in charging locations. They have this funny looking spots with chairs attached so you can read a book while you charge the car. Funny thing is that besides two Type 2 connectors the station has two CEE blue plugs which you normally find at campings. Probably for E-bikes.
Austria’s biggest provider of charging stations is Smatrix, they provide many stations throughout the country and also fast chargers. They made a deal with McDonalds and for costumers it’s free to charge your car. The stations are placed on handy locations which makes a road trip through the country pretty easy. Maybe a few fast chargers near highways would take away the final bit of range-anxiety.
The Austrian government has made a new law which says that when a new parking lot is being build, 25% of the parking spaces need the have a charger. This makes the Marinadl shopping center in Krems an der Donau with 55 chargers the biggest charge location in the country.
There are many EV-enthusiasts who started their own clubs to promote and share knowledge about e-mobility. I met Thomas Feck-Meltzer who is the founder of the Zoe Club Austria and doesn’t even own a Zoe. He believes electric cars are the future and want to promote it this way.
There is even a guy who drives around the country every weekend to check if the charging stations are working and reports this on apps like Chargemap.
Many big EV events take place throughout the country. The E-tour Europe had his finish in Salzburg. This is a big event where many teams compete against each other, of course many Tesla’s are in the race but also Leafs, Zoe’s and even the electric tuc tuc from the Pillgreens joined the rally.
The finish was held at the Kaiserhof Hotel. This hotel is completely adjusted to electric cars and thus called the ‘chargehotel’. They have around 5 type 2 sockets, 5 32A sockets, a fast charger and 4 Tesla SuperChargers. In the coming years they want to apply a charger to every station.
Another big event taking place is the Wave Trophy, organized by Louis Palmer who drove around the world in an solar car. It’s an event with a good story, they collect the wished of children about a better future and at the finish they deliver this to the United Nations HQ in Bern.
Austria is a good example of how EV infrastructure can be applied. Not many people drive electric so the balance between EV’s and stations is good. In Holland you can get the problem that you have to wait in line to charge, that might happen in Austria when there more people will drive electric but if they continue to build more stations it will stay perfect.