Portugal, part 2, charging around here

The “standard” charging method is with Mobi.e charging points: one card charges everywhere. This is the theory. In the real world: Mobi.e is still in its pilot phase. First: it’s still free. Second: the majority  of the charging points lack maintenance. Third: the reality is changing, as we speak, for the better.

Lately new 50 kW Mobi.e chargers have been installed all over Portugal. This is great news. All are compatible with the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, you get 250 km/h charging rate, free for now. You can go from the North to the Algarve and at any given 50 to 100 km (region dependent) you can access a Mobi.e 50 kW charger, even some lidl supermarkets have them. The bad news: some of these new installations (not even 1 month old) already have maintenance issues. Not all, but some. Also good news: the majority of the new ones enable simultaneous charging DC vs AC. If a CHAdeMO or CCS is busy, one can use the Mennekes 43 kW, paired with the 22 kW dual charger it’s a blessing.

Apart from the 50 kW chargers, Mobi.e also provides access to 16 A or 32 A single phase, or to 32 A three phase (3.7 kW, 7 kW or 22 kW) Mennekes. From these the 22 kW are most appreciated, unfortunately they are not the majority. This is also changing, being updated and upgraded, but not fast enough. The lack of thinking with the future in mind made that the majority of the Mennekes chargers installed in the beginning are 16 A single phase, and with time most of them are vandalized or inoperative for lack of maintenance. Being free has its price. Again, with the pilot phase beginning to phase out (in a not known so ever eternal near future), officials state there will be updates and proper maintenance.

Apart from the almost omnipresence of the Mobi.e network, some shops, restaurants and shopping malls provide different plugs where to connect your AC charger: Schuko plugs, 5 pin red 11 kW, 5 pin red 22 kW. Also popular are the blue plugs 3 pin single phase 16 A 3.7 kW (some more rarely also have the 4 pin red 11 or 22 kW plug).

A vividly boosting happy reality is the Tesla Destination Chargers: it starts to take form and it’s invading the charging network landscape, with its 11 kW and 22 kW variants. Hotels, resorts and private businesses are embracing it.

Superchargers? Not yet. Promised since 2014, almost there in 2016, not yet as we speak. Burgos is the nearest one from the North. Eventually they will sprout locally.

The best information source for the charging points is electromaps.com or its sibling App. Don’t forget to apply a convenient filter to get the kW source you are looking for, or you’ll be visually invaded with painfully slow 2.3 kW or 3 kW plugs.

Thinking to stay at a hotel or at a Pousada? Investigate first if they provide charging. Phone in advance, ask to speak to the Manager or the Maintenance guy. And think big: if they offer you a Schuko ask if they have a swimming pool. Those water pumps for cleaning and filtering do need three phase 16 A 11 kW at least! Make them deserve your reservation and money. Ask. Think big.

At a parking mall, some let you charge while shopping

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