Visiting France with your EV – The ultimate guide

Visiting France with your EV – The ultimate guide

This article is part of our series of EV travel hacks to drive around the world with confidence with an electric vehicle.

Visiting France with an EV

You’re planning to visit or drive across France with your EV for your next holiday? In this guide, we gathered the best trip planning tools, our favorite EV charging apps, and all the things you need to know to travel in France and find places to charge for your EV.
 
In this article:

Finding and paying for charging

Our top picks
Chargemap is the most popular charging app in France. It provides information about more than 450.000 charging points in Europe including direct payment to over 200.000 charging points. With its very active community in France, it contains the most up to date information thanks to frequent charger check-in from local users and includes comments and pictures.
Compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, it can be displayed directly on the dashboard on vehicles equipped with this function

Don’t forget to order your RFID badge (19.90€) to access the several networks that are not compatible with app payments.                                                                                                                                                                                     Chargemap in-car integration 

Alternatives
Shell New Motion offers one of the largest coverage in Europe with access and payment to more than 275.000 charging points.
 
With more than 1 million users, the PlugSurfing app is a robust tool to find charging in most European countries. The pricing model is fairly transparent with 10% added commission on public pricing.
 
ChargePoint is a reliable and competitive partner all across Europe and France is no exception.
 
The new kid on the block is coming to the charging market with an original flat-rate approach. The concept is as simple as a mobile phone plan: purchase a quantity of kW at the beginning of the month at a fixed price and redeem it at all charging network partners.
Very interesting pricing but pay attention to the coverage in France as only a handful of charging operators are on the network at the moment.
 
As its name suggests, Chargeprice helps its users compare charging tariffs across thousands of charging stations in Europe depending on your vehicle, state of charge, and roaming network operator.
A must have if you own several charging cards as the same charging session can cost from 1 to 5 depending on your operator and plan subscribed.
Things to remember
Chargeprice has the best coverage in France by far but sometimes you will be able to find cheaper options using the other big European network. If you happen to be registered to one of those apps, don’t forget to double check for the best pricing.

Plan your itinerary

ABRP or A Better Route Planner is probably the best EV route planning tool in Europe. It is no exception in France and will suit the needs of the most demanding users with lots of options and filters available to precisely plan your trip according to your need and preference. With compatible cars or via an additional dongle, ABRP will be able to read your vehicle’s state of charge and adjust in real time to your route and planned stops.

 
Chargemap recently added a trip planning tool and combined with direct payment at the charging station, it makes a great solution to navigate France.

Recommended fast charging networks

France was late to the party when it came to offering a decent fast charging network on the world famous autoroute. This development is now accelerating with the extension of the network from local and the large European operators in the country.
You will find here a list of the main charging networks offering fast charging on the most traveled routes.
Good to know
Always travel with at least a RFID card as many chargers, especially slow AC chargers, are not yet compatible with mobile of contactless payments.

Ionity

With more than 100 charging stations available on the country’s motorway delivering up to 350kw, Ionity is the go-to charging network to travel across France. Most payment methods are accepted including credit cards, and most charging cards but also Plug & Charge with compatible vehicles.
Note, some stations offer only a limited number of charging points with sometimes only 4, which means that can be quickly occupied during busy days.
Tesla has finally opened its Supercharger network to non-Tesla owners in 8 countries including France where it operates 115 Supercharger locations. The only way to pay for charging at a Tesla Supercharger is via the official Tesla app so do not forget to create an account before you start your journey.
As of May 2022, not all the Tesla Superchargers are open and access can be restricted to customers located outside of this list of countries.

The Dutch operator, famous for its
yellow roofed stations and reputation for reliability operates in 8 locations, mostly located in the North East of the country. Compatible with contactless debit cards and with most charging cards, It is the most versatile when it comes to payment.
The French energy company has deployed chargers ranging from 50 to 175kW in more than 50 locations in the country. Often located alongside the classic petrol station network from the brand, these charging stations benefit from the service stations amenities such as shops, restrooms or restaurant making them a practical place to charge.

Find a place to stay with charging

Charge while you sleep. Charging at a destination is always the most convenient and often cheapest option. With r3charge, you can book more than 5.500 EV-friendly hotels in Spain equipped with EV charging stations or located next to public charging. In one glance, find and compare accommodation options for every budget equipped with electric vehicle chargers.
More info here.

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