Five quick questions and answers about electric cars, charging and holiday homes

For owners of electric vehicles, the combination of holiday homes and summer holidays can lead to unforeseen questions and challenges. Get answers to the most frequently asked questions in this min-guide.

Electric vehicles (EVs) and holiday homes can be a perfect match – as long as you have the right approach, knowledge and equipment.

One issue to take into consideration is that far from all holiday homes have a charge box.

EV owners should ensure that they have answers to core questions if the summer holidays involve a trip to a holiday home.

In this guide, we present answers to five of the most common questions that EV owners will have about holiday homes, EVs and charging. 

As an EV car owner, what should I look for when booking a holiday home?

In short, the most important thing is whether there is access to a charge box. While it is still a rarity, the number of holiday homes with a charge box is on the rise.

Holiday home leasing agents, especially the larger organisations, have introduced search functions that enable you to limit your search to holiday homes with a charge box. However, you need to be aware of what is meant by a charge box.

Terms such as “charging plug for electric car” do not necessarily mean that there is a charge box on the premises.

In addition, prices for using a charge box can fluctuate greatly depending on whether the box is set up privately or through a service provider. Contacting the leasing agent for additional information is advisable.

Can I use an emergency charger if there is no charge box?

One of the biggest challenges is what to do if a holiday home does not have a charge box. You may be tempted to plug your emergency charger (also known as the granny cable) into a standard socket.  

It takes some time, but the result is a charged EV.

However, you should be aware that it can be dangerous if you do not know the home’s electrical installations, so it is certainly not something we recommend other than in emergencies.

What is the problem with using an emergency charger at a holiday home? 

The problem is that most holiday homes’ electric installations simply are not geared to safely deliver the electricity that an EV needs when charging. If you are renting the holiday home, you likely do not know the details of the electric installations. 

Over time, using the emergency charger can damage the installations due to the heat generated. The wires can reach temperatures that are so high that there is a risk that they will melt. The temperatures can potentially damage other parts of the house as well.

What do I do if there is no charge box at the holiday home and my EV is running out of power?

Our advice is to briefly charge via the emergency cable at a time when you are using as little power as possible elsewhere in the building. Charge the EV to a level where you can get to the nearest public charge point and fully charge it there.  

If you do not know the local area, solutions like Google Maps or Chargemap can help you identify the closest charge stations.

My holiday home has a charge box. What should I look for now?

First of all, you should be happy that charging the EV is not going to be a major issue during the holiday.

If you want to look for the small print, check whether payment for charging is made at the end of the lease period as part of the settlement for total power consumption or separately, whether you need an app or a charging chip to unlock the charging box with, and whether there are flexible electricity prices during the day at the holiday home.

If the latter is the case, you can use the True Energy app to see when it is cheapest to charge. Here you must remember that the prices can vary depending on where in a given country you are.