If you visit the mountains regularly you are constantly reminded of Global Warming and the impact on the environment caused by our day-to-day living. Cars are one of the main culprits but we are now seeing a surge in the popularity of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (EV), marketed as the clean answer to our daily commute, and mainly due to Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk. According to him, EV’s will replace combustible engines as the primary power source in the next 10 years.
This week the UK government followed other EU members to commit to removing combustible engines from our cars from 2040 which, for most of us (not Trump), is a great step forward in helping to combat climate change and the environments we live in.
Although 2040 is a long wait for most, you don’t have to wait to start enjoying the benefits of EV’s as the technology is already here and the range possible, with the latest battery technology, means that EV’s can be used as your day-to-day vehicle of choice. Keeping them topped up is getting easier as you can use Solar, an increasing number of charging stations around Europe or direct from your home grid. Purchase costs are still high but with the Tesla’s release of the Model 3 in 2018, estimated to be approx. $35k, EV travel will soon be within reach of the many.
Other car manufacturers are also looking to release better performing Hybrid and EV vehicles. We already have the ‘I’ brand from BMW but also new cars from Audi, Mercedes, and the new version of the Nissan Leaf are expected in 2018 and all these manufacturers claim to be able to deliver over the magic 200-mile range which only Tesla can currently brag about.
Getting to the mountains
Those of you who drive to the Portes du Soleil will probably think that an EV will not have the range or it will mean long delays whilst waiting for it to charge? With the Tesla S maximum range of 355 miles, this means only a single stop to recharge is needed from Calais. When you arrive in Morzine you can use a connection your accommodations electricity to recharge. There are over 900 Tesla Supercharger stations around Europe giving more than 6000 Superchargers which can give you a 170 mile charge in 30 minutes or a full range charge in just over an hour.
If you regularly drive you will know that you will need to refuel a standard car 2 to 3 time on the way to Morzine, and you will stop to rest so this charging schedule will not impede your progress, and you’ll save fuel costs and help the planet along the way. As an example of Supercharging costs, a journey from Paris to Rome is estimated at €60.
Ski Transfer Companies have been quick to get involved with EV’s benefiting the environment, reducing ongoing costs as well as providing a Eco Transfer service to Eco travellers. The team at http://themountainrescue.com currently provide a Luxury Tesla Exec service and are also looking to bring more hybrid based vehicles, which will bring Eco Transfers to more of us. If you fly into Geneva, and are interested in Eco Transfers, take a look at the companies below for available destinations;
The Mountain Rescue team provide Luxury Tesla Transfers from Geneva to most French Ski resorts from Val D’Isere to Courchevel to Avoriaz. The price form Geneva to Morzine is approximately €375.
Tesla Transfers provide a Taxi Service between Geneva and all the ski resorts in the canton of Valais (Verbier, Zermatt, Saas Fee etc.). Prices for taxi transfer between Geneva airport and Verbier is 490 CHF during the winter months, and 390 CHF in the summer. You can also rent a Tesla S for those of you interested in driving a Tesla yourself.
In the mountains
One of the benefits of EV’s is that each wheel can have its own motor driving it and therefore can replace the current gas and diesel guzzling 4-wheel drives making them extremely practical for mountain life. Slap on some Snow Tyres and you are away. There are a few concerns with EV Battery technology and the efficiency of their use when the temperature drops below the optimum. The team at the transfer company http://thecoolbus.co.uk give a great insight into their first use of a Tesla X, during the winter, in their blog article http://thecoolbus.co.uk/blog/are-transfers-electric/. Just to spoil the ending though, they have decided to buy another Tesla X which just goes to show you what they think!
In ‘conclusion’ Electric Vehicles look like they are here to stay and will have a very positive impact on the environment. Those of us who regularly travel to the mountains can reduce our travel carbon footprint for our yearly holiday, which will help us to enjoy our holidays that little bit more. The current available technology is almost accessible to the masses, at a price that is affordable to most as well as have the range to replace our current combustible engine based transport although there is still a question about access to charging stations and the performance in cold weather, and driving in the mountains. But its almost here….almost…