Blog: zoe2

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!

Choosing the Colour of my Zoe R135

I bought the Renault Zoe R135 as a replacement vehicle for the Zoe R240, as I wasn't sure if I would ever succeed in repairing the fault on the white Zoe (that was declared a write-off by Renault).

Normally , choosing and configuring a new car would be a very satisfying and nice task to do. But in my case, I was just frustrated as I basically still had a very young car in my garage, that just had been abandoned by Renault. So I didn't put great effort in the configuration process of the new Zoe, I simply went for the version with CCS charging ability, as this was the only thing I missed on my R240. And I wanted to let my children choose the colour of the car just to bring a bit of fun and joy into the process. So the very foreseeable thing happened: They went for the most special colour in the colour chart: Blueberry Violet!

With these two fixed variables (CCS and purple colour) I was able to source a car that was already on the production line in Flins, destinated to a dealer Showroom in Switzerland, which meant it was full-optional and available within a very short timeframe, which wasn't the case for normal orders as the demand at the time was quite high for the new ZE50-model with waiting times up to 5 months. The dealer was OK with me jumping the queue and taking over his car, so in a matter of about two weeks I took delivery of my brand new Renault Zoe ZE50 R135, still with very mixed feelings, as it is kind of strange to take over a car that I never wanted to buy. But anyway, this is the picture of the delivery back in early February 2020, and now after more than 60'000 km Blueberry and I became good friends.