Electric Car – Day 2!

Day 2

I was a bit disappointed to find the car only had 53 miles charge on it when I picked it up this morning, I thought it would have about 70 like yesterday. But it was only onl charge for an hour and a half before closing time. I knew Bourne was about 20 miles each way so I thought it would be plenty and google had already told me there is a chargepoint at Larkfleet Energy in Bourne. What I had forgotten though was that I wasn’t actually going to Bourne, I was going to a village 5 miles beyond Bourne (an extra 10 mile round trip). By the time I had stopped off in town en route to get a couple of keys cut I was at my destination but with only 26 miles left for the return journey. I programmed the SatNav to check the true mileage home and it was 25 miles. I rang Larkfleet to ask if I needed a card (like the Lincoln charger) only to be told their charger was currently not working. Argh! Dare I risk it, with one mile to spare?  I knew from my Lincoln run that it was possible to re-harvest some of the energy but I could also get stuck in a queue. Deciding I couldn’t risk it I used the domestic charger to plug into my friends house for two and a half hours. This gave me only 25 miles of additional charge but at least with 51 on the clock I knew I’d get home safely and be able to put the vehicle on charge in the garage for the whole of the night until morning. This would definitely give me enough to do the same run again tomorrow.

The children are excited by the car and have already worked out that their tablet can wirelessly connect to the car and they can be in charge of the music! The songs are listed on the media screen and full functionality of play, pause, skip etc are available on the touch screen.

I’ve also looked up chargemaster on the internet. They are an EV network which is marketed as Polar. You can purchase a polar card which is £7.95 a month (first 6 months free) but it takes a few days for the card to come. So I’ve downloaded the Polar Instant App. The minimum initial top up was £20 so I’ve registered my credit card and ready to go. There’s just a £1. 50 fee per charge. The app is good. There seems to be at least one charge point in all the major local towns and more in the cities.

I’m feeling positive, albeit the little scare earlier today. Just need to plan properly and not guesstimate distances! It does feel good having done my trip today at zero cost when it would normally zap a quarter of my little Audi fuel tank – about £10.

The car is lovely and quiet and I’ve had the aircon on low too so guess that might have used up some extra charge. The feeling when the car just glides off after releasing the footbrake is great – I imagine that’s what it must be like to fly a spaceship!

My Electric Car Blog

Day one 

I’ve been waiting with anticipation for the delivery of 4 Nissan Leaf electric cars to AW Repair Group. I fall perfectly into the category of driving under 60 miles and day and having off street parking and I do like to ‘do my bit’ for the environment.

Having said that I normally drive a bright yellow Audi S1 Sport Quattro so like most people I have been feeling a bit daunted by the thought of driving an electric car. But I manage to keep my iPhone from dying every day, even with Pokemon hunters using it, so keeping a car charged can’t be that difficult!

I received the car with 73 miles of charge and need to drive from Sleaford to Lincoln. It was great fun trying to keep the energy monitor on the equilibrium…too many white dots illuminated meant I was using up the energy faster while the green dots meant the energy the car was producing from braking and ‘free wheeling’ down hills was re-harvesting itself back into the charge. By 10 miles down the road the charge availability had only dropped to 68. Brilliant! I do love a challenge.

While I had enough charge to get home safely while in Lincoln I decided to check out one of the public charge points in Lucy Tower Street car park, near to the Odeon cinema on Brayford Wharf. The Leaf is considerably bigger than my S1, in fact its a lot of car. Its very spacious, particularly in the back and boot, but parking in a multi storey needed a little more confidence. Eventually after passing up a few parking spaces buried between concrete columns I found myself on the top and 10th floor of the car park. But that was a coup as there I spotted the two charge points. They had a couple of cones around them and I’m not sure if that meant out of order or just to stop other non EV users parking there. I parked a little further up and went to investigate. The charger was operated by Chargemaster and needed some kind of card to operate it so I snapped the info on my cameraphone to investigate later.

Back in Sleaford my colleague was charging up the Leaf she had been trying for the weekend. She moved on and I put mine on charge, asking her to park it back round the compound just before closing time, ready for my next trip from Sleaford to Bourne tomorrow.