Going electric on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Going electric on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road
excursion tip for sustainable adventurers
The journey is the destination, and this is especially true on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Boasting 36 hairpin bends, the high alpine dream road takes you right into the middle of Austria's largest national park and up to almost 2,500 metres above sea level. This natural paradise can also be conquered by going electric: 15 charging stations offer continuous e-charging reliability along the way for all those whose focus is on sustainability during their trip. The starting point for this unique excursion destination is just a few kilometres from Zell am See-Kaprun - and today we're taking you with us!
Knapp 25 Minuten entfernt von Zell am See-Kaprun nimmt eine der schönsten Straßen im Alpenraum ihren Anfang: Die Großglockner Hochalpenstraße. Von oben betrachtet schlängelt sich das Meisterwerk hochalpiner Straßenbaukunst wie ein schmales Band durch grüne Bergwiesen, schroffes Geröll, Eis und Schnee. Seit knapp 90 Jahren ist die Bergstraße eines der wichtigsten Wahrzeichen Österreichs und zieht jährlich tausende Besucher an. Gemeinsam mit Patrick Lange, dem zweifachen Ironman-Sieger von Hawaii, haben wir uns im Rahmen der Audi driving experience auf den Weg gemacht, um die Großglockner Straße elektrisch zu erobern. Dafür waren wir mit dem Audi RS e-tron GT unterwegs.
Starting point: Zell am See-Kaprun
Your favourite holiday region is the perfect base for your day trip along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Starting from Zell am See-Kaprun, the route initially runs about 20 kilometres to the Fusch/Ferleiten ticket point. If, like Patrick, you are on tour with an electric car, you will find a time-saving 120 kW fast-charging station here.
Our tip: The Eco-Ticket
And there's more good news for you as an environmentally friendly driver: using an e-car, you get a discounted Eco-Ticket for 32 euros (instead of 40 euros). The discount is valid for electric cars as well as hydrogen cars, but not for hybrid vehicles. To get the discounted ticket, simply show your registration certificate at the ticket point!
With a fully charged battery, the driving fun uphill to 2,500 metres can begin. Bend by bend, the powerful Audi RS e-tron GT winds its way uphill. The relaxed uphill cruising is complemented by the delightful silence: no noise from the car’s engine interrupts this nature experience.
Patrick Lange, who also drives an Audi Q7 e-tron in his private life, is enthusiastic: "When you can feel sustainability, it's really fun and a cool thing. By the way, he is not the only athlete who trusts the full power of an electric drive. Successful ex-ski racer Anna Veith also drove her Audi Q8 e-tron on the Audi Alpine Tours on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, and is thrilled with the driving experience: "Driving this car up the beautiful route to the Glockner was both a pleasure and a delight. What impresses me about e-mobility is the power behind it, with the cars radiating a lot of calm at the same time." Perfect for enjoying the scenery!
Rewarding breaks: exhibitions on the mountain
On our way towards Franz-Josefs-Höhe - our destination for today - there are always stops, vantage points and exhibitions that are ideal for a break. These include the modern Haus Alpine Naturschau museum at 2,260 metres above sea level. The main topic here is ecology, and an educational botany trail invites you to stretch your legs a bit.
Our next must-see is the highest accessible point of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, the Edelweißspitze at around 2,500 metres above sea level. We reach the vantage point via a small cul-de-sac that branches off from the main road: Once at the top, the Edelweißhütte mountain inn awaits us. This inn is steeped in history, and boasts an extraordinary 360-degree panorama with views of more than 30 three-thousand-metre-high peaks. We can even make out the northern flank of the Grossglockner now!
Welcome to the Mankei inn
Time for lunch: We have chosen something very special for this! We continue on the main road to the Fuscher Lacke. This is where the Gasthof Fuscherlacke inn, also called Mankeiwirt, stood for many years: The original owners retired in 2019. The inn was acquired by Ferdinand Porsche in 2021, and was carefully converted in the summer of 2022. The Porsche family has close ties to the Zell am See-Kaprun region and, as an architect, Ferdinand Porsche wanted to seize the opportunity to revive this alpine hut at 2,262 metres. The F.A.T. Mankei has been officially open since May 2023. Of course, we stopped there on our trip - not least to enjoy the excellent espresso!
Goodbye Salzburg, hello Carinthia!
After our lunch break, we continue to the Hochtor pass, the apex and border between Salzburg and Carinthia. There is often snow here even in high summer - maybe you'll be lucky and can compete against your co-drivers in a snowball fight! By the way, an exciting exhibition about the "Passheiligtum Hochtor" also awaits you here.
In the footsteps of Emperor Franz Josef
We are now slowly approaching our destination for the day, the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe. From here you have a perfect view of the Grossglockner - Austria's highest mountain. In addition to the 3,789-metre Grossglockner peak, the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps - the Pasterze - also captivates all visitors. Incidentally, this lookout point is named after the Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef, who even visited it in person. Apart from the panorama, a visitor centre with four exciting exhibitions about the Grossglockner awaits you here, and you can watch ibexes in the Swarovski observatory. If you want, you can also take part in the free guided tours through the Hohe Tauern National Park. Two one-hour guided tours are available here free of charge every day from mid-July to the end of September.
E-charging station at over 2,000 metres
And your car also deserves a boost here: supply your vehicle with new energy at the highest-situated e-charging station directly on the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe.
Refreshed and inspired by the various nature experiences, we make our way back to Zell am See-Kaprun together with Patrick Lange. The route back is by no means boring: we discover many special features again from a different perspective, and we stop more than once - to take photos, enjoy and savour moments.
Do you also want to experience the GROHAG by electric car?
All details are available HERE.
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