Picture this: Mid-June – a beautiful day with very clear skies: I get up early and see the alps beckoning in the distance. Swiss Meteo’s prediction of the day was spot-on and the reason why I had started a full-range ‘trip-mode’ charge for my TWIKE the evening before.
With a full day at my disposal, the evening before, I had started wondering where to go and what to visit. I’ve traveled extensively across Switzerland and have been to more places than many Swiss, including many of Switzerland’s beautiful road passes. There aren’t many left TW560 hasn’t been!
Whilst looking at the list, I noticed that Switzerland’s second-highest pass, the Nufenen pass was still waiting for a visit – so my one-day-trip (ODT) goal was set: crossing the Nufenen pass.
Time to get into TW560 and head towards the Swiss Alps!
With the newest capacity updated in TW560’s board computer, it shows a calculated range of 432km for today’s consumption estimates. This is still way, way more than 98% of all TWIKE’s in existence.
I’m really looking forward to today.
My first hour of driving takes me to Zurich and a selection of B-roads leading to Zug and then Lake Lucerne.
I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful country – Lake Lucerne is a treat … every time.
Another impressive engineering feat is the so-called Axenstrasse – hewn into the cliffs along the lake it offers stunning views when driving along and dips into many smaller tunnels.
From here on, the roads will be alpine roads and my current consumption of 38Wh/km will soon be a thing of the past!
Since the Nufenen pass cradles a mountain that is in both the Italian Tessin and German Valais regions, my route first takes me across the Gotthard pass into the canton of Ticino.
The road towards the Gotthard pass takes me into the Canton of Uri, which itself consists of a major and a few minor valleys. The major valley is where Europe’s cargo and more importantly in summer many people wanting to drive to Italy spend lots of time in traffic jams in front of the Gotthard tunnel.
Today I will take a smaller road leading up the valley to Andermatt. To which I’ve been many times with the TWIKE as it is the starting point of 3 different passes: Oberalp, Furka and Gotthard.
The day is fantastic – clear views and very nice temperatures.
I’ve lost count of the many times I’ve been to the Gotthard pass and how many times I’ve crossed the mountain range using the tunnel. It’s worth a stop and a photo every time!
At the end of the descent and close to Airolo, another road leads up to the Nufenen – with more than 60% still in the battery this is going to be a breeze.
The road itself is pristine – offering stunning views and, today, virtually no traffic.
From here it’s a beautiful 12km of recuperating down to the Valais valley – insert smug EV driver’s face here.
Having arrived in the valley, there are many options where to go next – drive up the valley and either opt for the Grimsel or Furka passes or drive down the valley and take the Lötschberg car train or go even further towards the French part of the valley.
Today it will be the Grimsel, as I really like climb and views on both sides of the pass.
Having arrived at the pass, I decide to stay for a moment and have some lunch. The restaurant here makes killer ‘Walliser Käseschnitten’ – Bread soaked in wine, one layer of ham and covered with molten cheese and garnish with whatever is available in the kitchen. What’s not to love? NomNomNom!
During my stay a friend of mine called me – he was at home with his kids whilst his wife was visiting friends and wanted to know how I was doing. Well, not to bad, thank you for asking. 🙂
He lives just outside Thun and we don’t get to see each other too much – I decided to ditch the rest of my plans for the day and offered to come and visit him as Interlaken and Thun are under an hour away from Grimsel.
With the new plan in place, I start my descent from the Grimsel pass. This pass is impressive due to the extensive hydroelectric dam cascade on the way down.
No longer looking to hypermile my way back home, I drive at higher speeds than normally and make good distance in no time, arriving at lake Brienz and taking the express road on the left side of the lake instead of the longer road on the right.
I arrive at my friend’s house and since I want to take the motorway home, I start charging off his 3-phase plug in his garage at the maximum my current charging setup allows for: 7.1kw. This will ensure I can go at maximum speeds on the motorway.
I stay for a few hours before bidding my farewell and get on the motorway – first direction Berne, then along Switzerland’s motorway 1 towards Zurich.
With the full battery, on a level road, I can reach 95 kph with cruise control engaged. This is ideal, as the TWIKE was never designed to be driven at full acceleration for hours on end. The motor will overheat and break – if this won’t kill it, the power boards of the inverter will fail. Driving at 80% maximum energy is the sweet spot and ensures that nothing breaks.
Since max available power is directly linked to the battery’s voltage, given the defined maximum Amps limit, a TWIKE’s performance is highly impacted by the voltage: at 18A and with TW560’s voltage ranges applied, the maximum power output variance is between 7560W and 5400W, which makes a massive difference!
This is only a thing requiring to be thought about if you’re actually driving anywhere. Given that this is Switzerland’s main motorway, I completely underestimated the amounts of traffic wanting to drive to the next mall or city.
Between Zurich and home, traffic was light and I was back cruising at max speed. The speed shown is ~GPS speed. This means that a normal speed indicator in a car would show around 103-105 kph on the dial. This is TW560’s max speed.
Just another few km and I’m going to be back home.
Today was a great day. Was able to cross one of the last remaining passes off my list and visiting a friend I don’t see too often!
Let’s go and see the stats for today.