Regular visitors to Ski Flight Free may recall that in September 2022 we reported that transfer company Cool Bus were upgrading their fleet of electric vehicles to include three new Mercedes EQV minibuses.
Now the season has finished we checked in with founder Rob Forbes to see how the new vehicles worked out.
The electric minibuses “have been great!”
“The EQV’s have been great!” Rob told us. “Range has been better than expected. It probably helped that the start of the season was warmer than usual.”
“I had concerns that they might not do Geneva to Val d’Isere/Tignes without a quick charge stop, but that has not been the case.”
Rob had been concerned about the lack of a fast charger en route without going via the longer motorway section via Chambery:
“Fortunately Tesla opened a charging station in Albertville which was open to other brands. This meant we could take the shorter route knowing there was a back-up fast charging solution if the arrival SOC (state of charge) started to look tight. However, in the end, we didn’t need this option at all.”
250km range in winter conditions
Mercedes quote a 350km range for the EQV. Rob found that in most winter conditions, including the climb up to resort, this was more like 250km.
“On the flat and in normal temperatures, that means the quoted range is realistic.”
“We use the new Tesla charging station at St Julien, near the Swiss border. This opened last summer and also accepts other brands. We find the EQV’s actually charge quicker at these than our Teslas.”
Rear seat removed to create space for skis
There are some negatives of the Mercedes EQVs, according to Forbes.
“The Mercedes boot space is limited in comparison to VW Caravelle, for example. On our models, we have removed one the rear seats to ensure we always have enough space for skis.”
“However, they are very nice to drive and a lot of our drivers prefer them to the Tesla Model X.”
Electric transfers since 2016
The Cool Bus have been using a fleet of Tesla Model X electric vehicles for transfers to ski resorts in the Tarentaise valley for seven years. In that time, the vehicles have clocked up nearly 700,000km of zero emission transport.
Keep up the good work guys!