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Where To Charge Your Electric Car In Croatia + Other Handy Tips
Electric cars are the vehicles of the future. Driving one of these beauties can at times be a little challenging when charging stations are hard to come by. Fortunately, the Croatian network of charging stations will allow you to have a trouble-free holiday.
When entering Croatia from the East, you’ll find the nearest charging station after the main border crossing, Balakovo in Vukovar. If you’re continuing your trip towards Zagreb along the highway, you’ll find charging station at Slavonski Brod, Nova Gradiška or the Stari hrastovi rest stop.
If, on the other hand, you decide to stay in the area and explore the beauties of the region of Baranja, such as vineyards, wineries and the nature park Kopački rit, pick one of four stations in Osijek to charge your car before continuing with your adventures.
Probably the easiest one to access is the station at the Portanova shopping centre. If you decide to pick one of the stations in the city centre, make sure to have some time left to walk around and feel the charm of Osijek, the largest city of Eastern Croatia.
In the North of Croatia, there is no need to worry about charging your car as there a quite a few locations to do so. If you’re wanting to see the beautiful baroque city of Varaždin, there are two stations in the city centre. A bit further north, you can also find the only electric car friendly hotel in this part of the country – the 4 star Spa Golfer Hotel in Sveti Martin na Muri.
It also combines a large wellness spa, a 9-hole golf course which allows it’s visitors to play golf every day of the year 24/7 (only five courses in Europe offer this), beautiful nature and great food. Given all the fun you’ll be having I’m guessing you will stay here longer than the time it takes to charge your car.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, has the largest number charging stations in the country, and you’ll find them dotted across the city and in it’s surrounding areas. The location of the stations have been smartly chosen and are easily accessible. You’ll find some of them in parking garages in the city centre including; Tuškanac, Petrinjska, Langov trg, Kvaternikov trg, and Gorica.t
In addition, there is a charging station in the business area of Radnička street, in front of the garage of the Green Gold complex, two stations located in the garages of the City centar One East and City centar One West. In both of these, you can ask for the RFID card at the information desk inside the shopping centre. Those of you who are staying at the Regent Esplanade in the centre of Zagreb really have it easy, a Tesla destination charging station is available there for patrons only. You can get all the necessary info at the front desk of the hotel.
When it comes to cruising the Croatian coast, you’ll find charging stations at all the major cities so you can enjoy the spectacular drive. Starting in Istria, there are Tesla destination charging stations located in front of Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Savudrija, Hotel Monte Mulini in Rovinj and Design Hotel Navis in Opatija. All three are 5-star hotels, offering luxury accommodation, you can wine and dine in style there, relax in the spa or at the beach and, of course, charge your car. Charging stations are available for patrons only. Other electric cars friendly hotels are the Aminess Maestral hotel in Novigrad and Valamar Diamant in Poreč. Public charging stations can be found in front of the sports hall in Novigrad, Poreč, and Opatija, in the large city parking in Poreč and also a few steps away from the Arena, the beautiful Roman amphitheater in the city of Pula.
Heading south along the coast, the island of Krk is an absolute must visit destination for electric car enthusiasts. Krk, Croatia’s biggest island, has embraced the electric car concept and was quick to install 11 car charging stations with all of them available for public use. Two charging stations will be welcoming you almost as soon as you cross the bridge connecting Krk with the mainland. The rest of the stations are strategically positioned all over the island so you can be confident you will have one nearby when you’ll need it the most.
Not far from Krk is the city of Rijeka, which has just one charging station inside the Zagrad parking garage. The nearby island of Cres has a charging station open to the public in Camping Kovačine and the Hotel Bellevue on the island of Mali Lošinj is also electric car friendly.
Following the amazing coastal highway towards Dalmatia, you’ll find a Tesla supercharging station in Senj, a small town famous for it’s strong winds. Another interesting location to stop and charge up is the Nikola Tesla memorial centre in Tesla’s birth place, Smiljan. It does require taking a short drive away from the coast, in the direction of the city of Gospić, but as Tesla was a genius best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system, this memorial centre is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are an electric car owner.
After returning to the coast, the next big city is Zadar. This region has only a few charging stations which can be found in the city and the surrounding areas. Here you’ll find Tesla destination charging stations situated in front of the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera in Petrčane and Hotel Boškinac on the nearby island of Pag. Both the cities of Zadar and Šibenik have just one public charging station each, both located in front of their Trade schools.
The city of Split , being the second largest city in Croatia is much better equipped who it comes to charging stations. A Tesla Supercharge station is situated near the hotel Katarina in Dugopolje. Dugopolje is the exit point from the A1 highway to Split. In Split city centre public charging stations are positioned in front of Hotel Cornaro and Hotel Park. The recently renewed Hotel Park is right next to the famous Bačvice beach, one of the symbols of the city, well known for the traditional game of picigin played by the locals there. In the garage of City Centar One in Split there is also a public charging station, the RFID card is available at the information desk inside the shopping centre. Split Airport has a public charging station in front of the main airport building and a Tesla destination charging station, for patrons only, is situated in front of the Le Meridien Lav Hotel in Podstrana, not far from Split.
It would be smart to charge your car in Makarska if you’ll be taking the ferry line Makarska – Sumartin to reach the island of Brač. Three public charging stations are available there, in front of hotels Dalmacija and Meteor and also in front of Aparthotel Miramare.
Heading further south two more public charging stations are on the way, situated in the cities of Ston and Metković. The southernmost of all stations in Croatia is a Tesla destination charging station in Dubrovnik, at the Rixos Libertas Hotel.
Currently charging on public stations is still free for all users, but it is not expected to stay that way for much longer.
Before choosing one of the stations, it is best to check its compatibility with your vehicle. This can be easily done by reviewing the specifications of each station on one of the available maps. You should confirm the type of connection your car equipped with and then check if they match the socket located at the charging station.
A significant number of publicly available stations allow charging to customers with single-phase or three-phase connections but not all, so do your homework.
Most stations are not equipped with power cables as most electric cars are equipped with its own cable. Exceptions are fast filling stations that allow quick direct current (DC) charging which have the power cable already installed.
There are two types of charging stations:
- Stations which do not require prior user identification (aka. Plug & Charge).
They are easy to use, but don’t allow other functionalities except for charging.
- Stations which require prior identification of users
User identification allows advanced services, such as control of the charging process in real time and the possibility of booking selected charging stations in advance. Identification is also required for preventing unauthorized access to the stations and to enable simple payment of service charges.
Users can be identified easily in two ways:
- By using the SMS service – follow the instructions at the station and send an SMS to the number listed there. Upon receipt of confirmation of a successful identification, the user can start charging.
- By using contactless (RFID) identification cards which are issued by the service provider. The way of obtaining identification cards may vary among different service providers, but usually, the RFID card is available at the information desk at the location of the charging station.