A Month In Spain

I spent a month in Madrid and left my Model S plugged into the garage at a 50% charge rate.

Beautiful El Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

Beautiful El Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

As many people know, European infrastructure is completely different than most of the US.  I was physically only in a car two times during my one month stay – to and from the airport.  Since the weather in September was lovely, I mostly walked.  I was living between Museo Nacional del Prado and El Retiro, which is my favorite city park in the world.  I took the metro a few times but not enough to exhaust my 10 ticket pass.  I also took the train to other sites in the area of Madrid.

Renault Twiz

Renault Twizzy

During my stay, Tesla began deliveries in Europe.  I never did see a Tesla but I did see one electric bike and an electric car, a Renault Twizzy.

I struggle to see a large vehicle like the Model S working very well in a true city environment.   I think many parking spaces in these older cities are not going to be very large so one would struggle to park the Model S.  Also in an apartment complex, I imagine it will not be fast to get a good electric outlet installed.  Citizens in Madrid have repeatedly told me that they are very resistant to change.

Secondly in some cities in Europe, I am not sure I would own a car depending upon the location.  Madrid has a very efficient Metro system where often the next train is only 5 or 10 minutes away.  Also unlike San Francisco, taxis are constantly roaming the streets and are not particularly expensive for the occasions when you need to carry bulky items.  The country has a nice train system for weekend excursions, and you can always rent a car.

Madrid Public Charger

Madrid Public Charger

I only saw one public charging station, and it appeared to be permanently out of service.  The Tesla Supercharger map indicates that in Winter 2014, one can drive from Barcelona through Madrid to Lisbon.   A few years ago, I toured Spain and Portugal extensively.  There is a very nice high speed train between Barcelona and Madrid but we did drive between Lisbon and Madrid in a rental car.

On my trip, I did check to see if my Tesla was still in the garage using my app.  Unfortunately someone in my neighborhood had their house robbed during my trip.

I think the Model S will work well in some locations in Europe where driving is more of a necessity than in Madrid.  I was reminded again how much energy per person we use in the United States than in so many other parts of the world.



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