Driving around Barcelona finding electric vehicle charging
My reason for going on these road trips in Barcelona to find and test these electric vehicle charging point is this. When you are in a hurry and driving from the airport with a carload of people you don’t want to waste time looking for charging points which are not going to work for you. That’s one reason anyway. Another reason is just because I wanted to go on a road trip and drive my car just for fun. It’s a good excuse to have a day out with my 2018 Nissan Leaf to go for a drive to Barcelona.
On this occasion I didn’t go into the centre of Barcelona. I stayed to the area north of the city. My first port of call was to Granollers to check out a charger listed in the PlugShare app. This was my first disappointment for the day. The charge point looked new and unused. I wasn’t able to use it either. The charger has been situated in the street, but has not yet been commissioned for drivers of electric vehicles. If I get a chance on give it another try in a month or two.
I looked on PlugShare to find out where was the nearest rapid charger to the one in Granollers. The nearest was only 23 minutes away in Santa Perpetua de Mogoda. So I set off using Waze GPS to guide me. It wasn’t too difficult to find although I did have to go to the next roundabout and turn round to come back to spot the entrance to the car park. The signpost for the electric vehicle charging was only visible from one direction.
This was a good place to stop in a car park for public buildings, there was a library and other buildings for the inhabitants of the town. I was able to use the library to perform a call of nature. I then went for a walk around the town and found there were plenty of café’s, restaurants, bars and supermarkets. This is useful if you need to get supplies or to get food & drink.
Apart from the rapid charger with the CCS and the CHAdeMO there was another charging post with two Type II charging sockets. At least if the rapid DC charging was unavailable for whatever reason you could still try the other charging facility. I used the Barcelona Live electric vehicle card to activate the rapid charging point. The other charging post had QR codes which you scan with your phone in order to activate.
I did need to stay too long at this charger and decided I would carry on to the next one I wanted to investigate. The next one is at Barbará de Vallés and one which is also close to the motorway. Either of these two charge points will be useful when taking a trip to the Barcelona airport. Both are handy to pull in and add a quick charge to make sure I have enough juice to get all the way home.
When I pulled into this next charger there was a Renault Zoe already using the rapid charger. I pulled up in front and I was prepared to wait for a short while. The driver was finished he is charging all decided he had enough and would be moving on. He could have just been being a gentleman to allow me to plug in. I gave him a friendly wave as he exited the charging point. This charge point was situated in a more industrial and busy area. I stayed for long enough to test the charging. I was only pulling in about 20 kW into the battery of the Nissan Leaf.
Another electric vehicle charging point to try and a place to go and have something to eat. I decided to drive to the IKEA furniture store. The food in the restaurant there is not too bad and there are a number of Type II charges you can use while walking around the magical mystery tour. It always takes a long way to walk around the maze which IKEA have constructed to make sure you walk past all of their products on sale. I ended up buying a few bits and pieces. When I got back to the car, Rosie the 2018 Nissan Leaf was fully charged. I was ready to drive back home.
The only stop I planned to make on the way back home was in Vidreres. This is a small town not far from the junction where you leave the motorway which goes towards Girona and head instead towards the beaches of the Costa Brava. St. Feliu de Guixols and Platja d’Aro. If I had missed out on all of the charging opportunities before and was getting low on electrons when I was not far away from home, Vidreres would be a good place to stop. It’s a fast charger and not a rapid charger, but good enough to put in sufficient kilometres in a fairly short time. I was glad to pull in and rest my eyes which were getting tired from the driving. The stop gave me a chance to stretch my legs even though there’s not much nearby the charging point worth walking to. 15 minutes at this electric vehicle charge point and I was ready to continue driving. I arrived back home with about 63% in the battery.
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I was finally able to log a 150 A session on the ChargePoint Express 250 station at ChargePoint Headquarters. The session went mostly as expected; however, the first step down from 150 A didn’t occur until 54% battery. Also, because this charger is limited to 150 A (the Bolt EV’s maximum charging current), I still wasn’t able to confirm whether the Bolt EV can draw additional power for battery conditioning and climate control when more than 150 A is available from the charger.
Nissan Leaf 2018 – Can you own an EV without a home charger? So for a month, I documented what I did while charging and how I pass the time. We’ll find out if you can live with an EV without a charge point.
*Disclaimer all information in this sheet is a guide for long journey’s in the Nissan Leaf 40kWh to help maintain and keep the temperature down. Any adverse effect or issues with your journey is the responsibility of the driver and in no way entitled to any refund or court proceedings with this free information. Have a safe journey and do let me know if this actually helped or if I just got lucky 🙂