Operating instructions for the electric car: how to make the first drive work

You have never driven an electric car and wonder what the differences are and what you should know in advance? Our trainees Chris and Lydia grabbed an e-car from the fleet and show in their user guide what’s important when making the switch.

In our instruction video Chris and Lydia are on the road with the E-Golf from Volkswagen. Take a ride with us and learn the most important steps from planning, starting, driving to arrival!

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The biggest switch from gasoline or diesel to an all-electric vehicle is due to today’s battery capacities and the density of charging stations in Germany. Small errands or trips as a delivery service are no problem for e-cars. Longer distances, however, require some planning.

That’s what the electric car route planner from stromticket is for.de and goingelectric.en

Below we briefly explain both systems.


On stromticket.de you can easily plan your route by entering the desired destination address on OpenStreetMap. The map then shows you possible charging stations in the area, with charging point, type, plug and kW specification. Here you can simply open the route planner under the address and will be navigated as usual.

In the map you will find all charging stations where access and billing is done via the StromTicket system. In the coming months, the charging stations will gradually be integrated into the e-roaming system. Thus, in addition to the StromTicket, access and billing are also possible via various apps, such as e-Charging, as well as via charging cards.


As with other navigation services, you enter your starting point and destination. Now click on "Autoroute". The search determines all available charging stations on the route and automatically calculates the optimal route. Under "Options" you can select the electric car you use, so that the route planner automatically calculates the battery capacity and average energy consumption per 100 kilometers.

The route planner is calculated on the basis that the e-car is "fully fueled" at the start of the journey, i.e. the charge level is as close to 100 percent as possible. It is therefore important, as with the combustion car, to look at the relevant speedometer before you start driving. It’s a good idea to use every parking spot for charging, so you can always be sure you’re on the road with a maximally charged vehicle.


If you already drive a diesel or gasoline engine with an automatic transmission, you don’t have to get used to the shifting processes in an electric car. Also here there is a gearshift with the modes "Park" (P), "Reverse" (R), "Idle" (N for engl. "no-load") and "drive" (D for engl. "drive").

To start the engine, turn the ignition switch as usual or press the corresponding button. Immediately noticeable: Engine noise is minimal. It is important to keep this in mind when driving, because passers-by, cyclists and other motorists also perceive an electric car primarily with their eyes, but not so much with their ears. To better protect visually impaired people, for example, there are considerations in the U.S. and Europe about artificial sounds of an electric car. Here you can find out how according to the "UN Economic Commission for Europe" a mandatory acceleration sound for e-cars could sound like.

So driving with foresight is especially important until then, to protect other road users. To prevent additional loading time, it is also recommended to turn on energy consumers such as air conditioning, heating or ventilation only when really necessary.

After a quiet drive with no emissions at all, it’s best to park at a charging station. So you can be sure that there will be enough "electricity in the tank" for the next trip.


In our instruction manual, you learned what to expect on your first long drive in an electric car. Users of pure combustion cars with manual transmission will have to get used to the new system. However, if you already drive a car with an automatic transmission or a hybrid, you will already be familiar with some of the ways it works. It’s important to plan routes in advance, but that only takes a few minutes thanks to new online tools. In general, it is recommended to start with shorter city or. Start cross-country driving to get familiar with them. After that, even longer distances with intermediate charges are no longer a problem.

switch.de hopes you enjoy your first drive with your electric car!

In our next video, you will learn how charging at charging stations works, what different charging stations there are and what needs to be considered. We look forward to seeing you again.

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