My name is Paweł Ciasnocha, and I was one of the lucky participants (and the youngest one) who took part in stage two of ESCP Europe Electric Vehicle Road Trip 2017.
I’m so happy that I could be part of this great event. My passion for Elon Musk’s companies started one and half year ago with Tesla. From that time I decided that the first car I will ever buy will be an electric vehicle, and it will be a Tesla.
Our trip started in Madrid, at ESCP Europe Business School campus. There, we learned about the developments of renewable energy in Spain. It was great to hear that Spain wants to guarantee more power during peak demand times to maintain more electric vehicle superchargers. We also had our first ride in the Engie car, a Tesla Model S 90D, which is extremely fast (0-60 mph in ONLY 4.2 sec) and it has the autopilot feature! There is a camera in front of the car and software that keeps it in lane, and it can even switch lanes for you. So – that’s the best part – you can take your hands off the wheel, reaching the second level of autonomy. I simply loved it!
The second day started with rain and low temperature but the nice atmosphere created by the road trip participants and Spanish countryside views kept us warm. We were driving in three cars: the Engie car, a Tesla Model S 90D; the EV-Box car, a Tesla Model S 85; and the ecar Renault Zoe 40. After we packed up our cars, we headed to our first supercharger which was in Ariza. Every hour on the road we were learning of new functions and features of our cars. This is my favourite thing about Tesla cars; even when you know your car well there will be updates frequently, consistently improving your driving experience. With a large distance to cover to get to from Madrid to Turin, this is what our two days looked like: driving on the highway enjoying the views, charging the cars over a 30 min break, driving again, then charging for 30 mins again etc.
However, at the last supercharger of the first day, which was in Girona, we decided to change our plans. I suggested we went away from the direct route and to the coast, because Jordi (our great cameraman!) Wanted to take some cool shots of the Tesla by the sea. My suggestion was approved by the group and so we drove to Banyuls-sur-Mer where were three destination chargers. This was all made possible because of the in-car map of the EV-Box and Engie Tesla cars which help you choose your route and find charging stations along the way. There we had a delicious dinner while the cars were charging. After two hours of driving again we reached our hotel in Montpellier.
On the third day we drove through Vercors Natural Regional Park. I cannot describe how beautiful that road was, the best way really is to see it with your own eyes! In our car we had wonderful people, and beautiful nature all around us, whilst the Engie Tesla car drove itself through winding roads with the sunroof and windows open. We drove in near silence (because it’s an EV), and so all we could hear were gentle tyre noises and the singing of birds, because in moments like these you have to turn off the radio! This is a feeling that I struggle to put into words, I hope everyone can one day experience this. If you are reading this blog, I urge you to drive an electric vehicle, to put it on your to bucket list of things to do before you die!
On our way to Turin we used Tunnel du Fréjus which is 13 km long through the impressive Alps mountain range. The highlight for me here was that we were able to drive through the whole tunnel on autopilot 1 (when you have to touch the steering wheel to let the car know that you are there). That was the end of the best part of second stage of the ESCP Europe EVRT or even – as i’ve heard later – one of the best parts of the whole ESCP Europe EVRT 2017!
As stage two came to an end, stage three began and this was marked by an e-Mobility Conference at Turin City Hall where we saw Councillor Pizano outline the city’s excellent plans for making Turin more electric vehicle friendly! We were able to showcase our three cars: EV-Box and Engie Teslas, and the ecar Renault Zoe in the courtyard of the City Hall, one of the busiest and most prestigious places in the whole of Turin. It felt great to have so many people, including press, media and government coming to see our cars and asking about the adventure we had just enjoyed!
As I hope you have noticed, I really like the concept of Global EVRT. It’s fabulous to see Ben and his team taking action to make the world a cleaner and better place to live, and I am so happy to have contributed and hope to continue my involvement with the work of Global EVRT. That’s the end of my first ever blog, I do sincerely hope you have enjoyed it. Keep up the great work Global EVRT!