Electric travel log. Moldova Electro Marathon 2020
Interview with one of the participants of the 2020 Electro Marathon caravan, Ion Malanici from UNDP Moldova, who drove a Hyundai Ioniq
Moldova Electro Marathon is becoming a tradition, not only a beautiful one but also an eco one. Compared to the first edition, during the third one, which took place recently, we notice how the electric car infrastructure in the country is evolving.
Just two years ago, we only had about 5 charging stations in Chisinau and… almost none in the country. In the autumn of 2018, UNDP Moldova teamed up with PiataAuto.md, and other visionary partners, and started the first edition of Moldova Hybrid-Electro Marathon, which was attended by 100% electric cars, hybrids with plug charging and traditional hybrids. It was the first step and it was logical to be as inclusive as possible with the models and types of propulsion.
Also in 2018 UNDP Moldova initiated a project to create a national electricity infrastructure. The 2019 edition followed, with 100% electric cars and now here we are in 2020, making progress, despite the difficulties that this year has brought.
The infrastructure development project is also in full swing and we already have over 70 charging stations, 33 of which were installed by EV Point, thanks to the partnership between UNDP Moldova and the Agency for Energy Efficiency of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
Our colleague Ion Malanici tested live what can be done today in Moldova with electric mobility. Ion drove the UNDP electric car, a Hyundai Ioniq, and below you see his electric travel log.
1. Is this your first time driving an electric car such a long way?
Even the first time ever I drove an electric car. And also my first experience on a long distance through our beautiful country in the fall and with a wonderful expedition team.
2. What is the biggest difference between driving a fuel car and one on an electric battery?
The only difference I felt was the charging time; with a car on fossil fuel it is not necessary to plan every gas station on your way, there are enough stations on the route and you are not afraid that you will run out of fuel halfway.
With the electric car you need a little bit of planning, choosing the route so as to make sure there are charging stations on your way. But a good tip would be to have an extension cord in your trunk all the time. You can find an electrical outlet anywhere, even more than gas stations.
3. What was the biggest challenge of this expedition?
My challenge was the expedition itself, to cover those 500 km from south to north and reach my destination in a timely manner, so that the rest of my fellow adventurers do not have to wait for too long.
”From the beginning we knew that the Hyundai Ioniq would have the biggest issues, because it loads for more hours. Ion, the driver from Ioniq, part of the UNDP Moldova team, has a great experience as professional driver, but not with electric cars. For him, except for two days of preparing the cars for the marathon, this electric tour was his first experience in the world of electro-mobility. But this is exactly what makes things even more interesting, to show how a person can adapt to an electric car from the first, a person who has driven conventional cars all his/her life.”
From the article published on piataauto.md
4. What did you like most about this marathon?
It is that I saw how easy it is to travel through Moldova now with an electric car, the network of charging stations is so vast that you are relax starting on a long drive.
5. How convenient was it to load the car along the route?
For me as a first timer, it was very simple and convenient, it was quite a relaxing process, but I did not have other previous experiences to compare with. It was more difficult when some stations did not allow us to charge two cars at the same time and then we had to wait for each other. But it was a minor inconvenience.
”We enjoy coffee, croissant. And then we started. We, both ZOEs, drive as a group, but we could separate soon. When we arrived at Balabanu, in variable conditions of super dense fog, we stopped for a coffee. Meanwhile, the messenger is ringing. Ion sends a picture that he is in Cimișlia, at the outlet! What? How? How is it possible to be so fast? Does the professional driver have a much better strategy and is about to beat us?”
Ilie Toma, editor-in-chief of Piataauto.md
6. How far would you venture to go on an electric car?
I would love to discover Romania, I think that if I had an electric car I would be ready for such a route.
7. Can you imagine Moldova full of electric cars and charging stations?
Yes. And not only do I imagine it, I really want it, I’m ready to go with an electric car, as this marathon was enough for me to convince myself that this is our future and I am ready to be part of it.