Blog: travel

Electric Drive to Business Meeting in Sardinia

A few days ago, I got a relatively short-notice invite to a business meeting in Cagliari on the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. I had to be there on a Thursday at 9 AM. The normal routine in my old days would have been to look for a flight, connections to/from the airport and probably also a hotel at the airport (depending on the time of the flight). A quick glance at the available options showed that there was only one single flight available that would serve Sardinia that day, an evening flight out of Milan. That would mean that I'd need to either drive down to Milan, park my car at some expensive parking at the airport or take the Bus over the San Bernardino Pass to Bellinzona, then take another Bus or Train to Milan Malpensa, then take the plane to Cagliari, arrive late at night, arrange a transfer to a Hotel in Cagliari for a short night. I would need to leave home at about midday the day before in order to get to the Airport in time. As I try to avoid flying as much as I can for environmental reasons, this option didn't sound very intriguing at all.

So I started investigating the option of an electric drive to Sardinia with my Renault Zoe. Unfortunately, all ferry connections from the north (Livorno, Genoa and Savona) would lead to Porto Torres in the very north of the Island, whereas Cagliari is on the southern tip of the Island. Of course, this is not ideal, but the island itself isn't too large: The whole distance between the very north and the south is less than 300 kilometers. And the ferry times are ideal: Departure in the evening at 8.30 PM, arrival the next morning at 6:00 AM. The driving distances seem ideal on the map:

The distances from my home in Thusis to Genoa and then from Porto Torres to Cagliari on the Island are both around the same distance (300 kilometers), so just within the range of my all-electric Renault Zoe. So the decision was made to turn this meeting into a little adventure and take the Renault Zoe to an unexpected drive to Sardinia!

And what a good idea it was: The original plan worked out perfectly, so that I left in the afternoon in Thusis, drove all the way down to Genoa, charged the car before reaching the port (in Serravalle to be precise - went to the hairdresser just in front of the charging station during the charge!), and then boarded the Tirrenia "Superman"-themed Ferry named "Athara" in the evening, had a meal and a beer in the onboard Restaurant, watched the busy port of Genoa on the upper deck while the ferry was leaving, before going to sleep in my comfy cabin.

The next morning I got up early, had a Brioche and an excellent Italian coffee on board, and then watched the landing manoeuvres in the port of Porto Torres, where actually a small pilot ship had to push our ferry with its big nose in order to turn the back side of the ship to the dock.

The rest then was just plain sailing in a fully charged electric car towards a beautiful sunrise, I was greeted by palm trees and wonderful nature. There is a dual carriageway all the way from Porto Torres down to Cagliari, but I had to stop a few times to admire the beautiful nature on this island.

The charge lasted all the way down to Cagliari, where I arrived just a few minutes late (due to a slight delay of the ferry and my photo stops), but of course I wasn't the last participant to arrive , those who know the Italian punctuality know what I am talking about ;-) !

So in the end the trip really turned into a relaxing holiday instead of a bleak business trip. I lost less time, spent more quality time, saw more of the country and used less energy. And you know what's best: I decided to take my son with me, too (you might have spotted him at the charging station), so he could enjoy a free adventure without any more energy consumption. What a cool adventure we had!