Tour d’Excellence: Day 1 – Geneva to Ascona

08.28.2023 – Day 1 – Geneva to Ascona, via the Simplon Pass – 315 km

6:15 a.m.

Wake-up call – It’s departure day!

7:00 a.m.

Appointment at Franco-Swiss customs to obtain authorisation for Sandro Mesquita to drive the German-registered ID Buzz in Switzerland. The customs officer seems a little tense – someone doesn’t like Monday mornings!

9:00 a.m.

The Tour d’Excellence adventure kicks off with a press conference at the Villa Sarasin next to Palexpo in Geneva. After a welcome message from CEO Sandro Mesquita, GIMS President Alexandre de Senarclens and Geneva Tourism President Sophie Dubuis took turns to speak. This is followed by a full presentation of the Tour d’Excellence by Frank M. Rinderknecht, Founder and Owner of Rinspeed AG. Then there’s a question-and-answer session with journalists followed by a photo/film shoot.


1st image: GIMS CEO Sandro Mesquita / 3rd image: Driver Frank M. Rinderknecht

10:45 a.m.

Start of the first stage, which will take us from Geneva (14°C and rain) to Brig via the Simplon Pass to Ascona. Arrival scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Sandro Mesquita completed the first stage with our VW ID Buzz. The “Minoukis” (Anouk and Camillo) are behind the wheel of the second bus. The trip to Brig-Glis went off without a hitch.

We decided to tackle the Simplon Pass without a quick charge beforehand. Our battery levels are at 32%, with a range of 92 km and a current average consumption of 22.6 kWh/100 km.

But the snow gets in the way of our plans, covering the landscape during our trip up through the pass. Who’d have thought there’d be snow banks in August!

At the top of the pass, the battery is at 14% range, i.e. 19 km, and fuel consumption reached an average of 26.8 kWh/100km. The temperature outside is only 1°C.

Since we were equipped with summer tires, the snow in the parking lots keeps us from heading out. We make a quick pitstop at the side of the road. Now our sneakers are soaked!

Now we need to recover as much energy as possible during the 50 kilometres back down to our next recharging stop, in Santa Maria Maggiore in Italy. In between, we stop for a delicious pasta dish.

It’s 12°C at Santa Maria Maggiore, our recharging stop. The battery level shows 15%, for a range of 51 km. Average current consumption: 22 kWh/100km. After charging for 17 minutes, we regain 13.92 kWh, taking the battery to 32% capacity with 118 km of range. This is enough to reach our final destination for the day: Ascona via Centovalli, roughly thirty kilometres away.

5:25 p.m.

Arrival at Ascona Lungolago.

We finish this first stage in the village of Tessin with a battery level of 31% (159 km).

Despite less-than-ideal weather, we had a quick photoshoot. After dinner at the Ticinella restaurant, we spend the night at the Park Hotel Eden.

Total distance covered: 315 km

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