09.04.2023 – Day 8 – Alexandroupolis to Istanbul – 292 km
With our battery fully charged for a 365 km range, we set off for Istanbul. We traveled more than twenty kilometres on the motorway through a desolate landscape destroyed by fire.
Arrival at Greek customs, with no waiting and a friendly customs officer.
Arrival at the Turkish border, where the border guards were heavily armed on the Turkish side. Despite their appearances, the customs officers were very friendly and carried out a thorough check of our vehicles and documents.
All in order, we continued our journey to Istanbul: battery level 83%, 292 km range, 25.5° C.
Stop to recharge in Keçan. Frank downloaded his… 23rd application. The app worked, but we didn’t receive the activation code we needed to recharge. VW employees came to our rescue an hour later. It turns out that with our Swiss SIM cards, we couldn’t get the code by SMS. Our guardian angels from VW drove Frank and Rainer into town to buy two Turkish SIM cards and exchange Turkish pounds.
We could finally recharge to 94%, or a range of 327 km, and drive on to the next charging station. However, we didn’t forget to check whether the electricity supplier at the next station would accept both our new SIM card for activation and our credit cards for payment. This was good thinking on our part: the application only accepted American Express cards, and the activation code was not sent to foreign mobile numbers or by e-mail.
Second recharge to bring the battery up to 100% (346 km). At last we were back on the road, but not without becoming the proud owners of a 24th recharging app.
Arrival at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bahçelievler/Istanbul.
For the first time, we encountered a lot of headwind, 4-5 bf (approx. 20 to 38 km/h), which translates directly into higher electricity consumption. We finished this stage with a battery level of 40% (149 km) and an average consumption of 22.8 kWh/100km.
Total distance covered: 3033 km – daily stage 292 km