My Electric Car Charging

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Excuses to drive my electric car

During the summer time I drive my electric car every day of the week driving to and from work. Now that I’m off work for some months I don’t have anywhere I need to get to daily. I can quite easily spend three or four days at home in the house doing my stuff. If I don’t get out I go kind of stir crazy and so this is one of the reasons why I do my road trips. My excuse for the road trip is to go and locate electric vehicle rapid chargers and test them to see if they work. The reason to do this is when I’m out on a trip going someplace and I could have some sort of time-limit I want to have easy access and no hassle finding electrons.

my electric car
My Electric Car

When I first got my car, fairly shortly afterwards I needed to collect family from the airport. At that time I didn’t have all of the applications or RFID cards necessary. I wanted to put some charge into the battery to help me feel confident of getting back home again. I had already wasted some kilometres by taking wrong turns looking for chargers. I thought I was late for picking up my daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren. As it happened, I wasn’t late but I was still kind of stressed. I hadn’t been able to add charge to the battery on the way there due to getting a little bit lost. I tried to connect to a charge point which I found after picking up my passengers. I wasn’t successful and I had to mollycoddle the car back home again. I got back with 3% left in the battery and I breathed a sigh of relief. During the drive in my electric car I did feel fairly confident I would do it, going by the number of kilometres I needed to travel compared to the numbers in the guess-o-meter. Despite this I do feel the need to be more sure of where I can find suitable charging points on my travels. It’s for this reason I’ve been making trips to Barcelona to see which charge points work and which ones don’t. It’s also good to know which of these charging points are free of cost to use. We’re in a good situation at the moment with rapid chargers in Barcelona in that most of them are free to use. There are some in Repsol gasolineras/ petrol stations and I have used one of them when I had dire need for my electric car.

In order to keep the costs down what I like to do is to find the charging point which is closest to home and get a good fill of free electrons. I can then arrive back home after a days driving around the city and it will only cost me one euro and at most two Euro, to get the car back to 100% battery level. The nearest free rapid charger on this side of Barcelona is about 68 km away. Typically I can arrive back home with between 50% and 60% of battery left in my electric car. If I only have to fill up 40% of the battery the cost to me for that is approximately one euro.

Charging my electric car at a supermarket equiped with destination chargers

On some occasions when coming back from Barcelona I could be getting kind of tired by that stage. Unless I need to stop for other reasons I will keep driving. I always don’t feel like it’s worth the hassle of taking any sort of detour to get to a rapid charger for the sake of one euro.

My latest trip to Barcelona

What I do is to have a look at PlugShare and choose a rapid charger I want to go and visit with my electric car. This time I chose one 94 km away which is about an hour of driving. The first one was in Carreterra de Fra Juniper Serra and not too far away from La Maquinista shopping centre. The idea was to go and check this one out and also go to the shopping centre so I could have a look at the new iPads and Mac Book Air computers.

I arrived at the rapid charger and it was fairly easy to find. It is in a slightly industrial area of Barcelona, but at the same time it didn’t seem like it was a dodgy place. There was a post office vehicle parked in the EV charging bay. I only had to wait less than a minute and the driver moved his vehicle. The other charging bay was occupied with an infernal combustion engine vehicle. It was okay because he was using his hazard warning lights. It was extra okay because I’d since found the rapid charger was out of operation. I looked at the screen and the lights were on but nobody was at home. I pressed buttons and waved my RFID card at it with no success.

I rang up the Ajuntament and gave them the information that the rapid charger was broken. The guy I spoke to, was aware of the problem with the charger and he tried to be helpful. He wanted to suggest to me rapid chargers nearby and hoped I had enough kilometres left in the battery to get there. I was grateful to find a sympathetic voice even though I still had plenty of battery left in my 2018 Nissan Leaf. Thanked him and told him I would consult with the PlugShare application to find the next location. In any case, I had planned to drive my electric car to the La Maquinista shopping centre.

As I drove into the car park for the shopping centre I noticed something was wrong straightaway. I needed to get to the minus one level and the entrance was blocked and we were guided down into level minus 2. I did find a way to sneak back up one level so I could go and park at the EV charging points. It seems they were doing some work in that minus one level which is why it was blocked off.

I got onto the intercom which is necessary to get someone to come down with an RFID card to start the charger. I don’t particularly like the way they have got this set up. There are other shopping centres I been to and all you need to do is to plug-in. There was one where I had to plug in and then go to the information desk to register and they were able to turn on the charging from there. It just seems a little ridiculous and extra work for their security people having to use a system of calling up with an intercom. There aren’t even any signs in the electric vehicle charging area telling you of the need to make the call. The guy at the other end of the intercom just told me that the chargers were still out of order. I was not impressed as they’ve been out of order for at least a month. At least they do have some chargers there and they have plans to make them work. There are other shopping centres who haven’t yet made the effort at all to install chargers.

Tea and carrot cake

I left my electric car parked in the electric vehicle parking bay even though I wasn’t plugged in. Why not, it’s not as if I was going to annoy somebody else by blocking a functioning charge bay. The new iPads were on display in the Apple Store and they had me licking my lips and wanting to buy one. I won’t be making a purchase because the iPad Pro I have still is giving me good service. I’ve decided to wait until next year. I also checked out the MacBook Air which is also tempting. Most of the writing I do is using dictation and I need a Mac to do that. I can use my iMac at home, but that does tie me to sitting at the desk in the office. DragonDictate would be more useful on a portable machine. It’s a shame I can’t get it to go on the iPad. The Siri dictation available on iOS works fairly well but is nowhere near as good as the professional dictation you get with DragonDictate.

At least I was able to visit the Starbucks in the shopping centre and grab a decent cup of tea and a fairly okay slice of carrot cake. I can’t stand coffee and it’s not that easy to find places selling tea here in Spain. I’m thinking of buying a 12 V kettle to use in my Nissan Leaf. That would be pure bliss. There should be tea making facilities in all electric cars not just my electric car.

Time to move on – two charging places down and still no charging done. I looked at the map in PlugShare for a charger nearby. I saw there was one not too far away at Sant Andreu. I set the GPS and Waze to help me drive there. I did get caught out going down a couple of small rat run type of roads. The charging point is situated behind a bus station and is also next to a metro entrance. It’s right next to a main road. I was hoping to find some public toilets, but I was out of luck. In these situations the only choice you have is to go and find a café or bar.

In terms of charging my electric car I was lucky because the two charging bays were both free and no one was using the charger. The charger was functioning and available to use. The parking and charging limit in these EV spots is 30 minutes although you might get away with just a little bit longer. I was able to add over 11 kWh to the battery in the time I stayed there. I was probably charging for around about 20 minutes. At this stage I’d got plenty of juice in the battery for as much driving around Barcelona as I was going to do and also enough to easily get me back home again.

Still some more checking and testing to be done.

There is a road I often take going through the city when I’m heading to the airport called Ronda de Dalt. I spotted there was a rapid charger on this road and not too far away from where I was already charging. It was definitely worth going and have a look. This was at the Mercat de Canyelles. It was an easy drive to get to this place and I was expecting to plug in just to test it. I was disappointed to find it was another charging point out of action. While I was there I did get chatting to a little old man who was interested in my electric car. He was asking me all sorts of questions about the car and how to charge the battery.

So I logged the inability to charge the car into the crowd sourced PlugShare application. However, I was undeterred in my search for active chargers around Barcelona. I saw there was another one not too far away on the same road and it was near to the consulate for the Republic of China. How useful is that??

Charging my car in Barcelona

Stopping at Vallacarca I els Penitents rapid charger was easy enough. I nearly missed it because I was in the left-hand lane and I needed to be into the right-hand lane. Fortunately there was a lull in the traffic and I was able to pull over into one of the two available charge bays. The charger was working and not being used by anybody else. I was at about 83% charge in the car and I didn’t really need any more. On the other hand, I did need to find some facilities. So I plugged in and took a walk and I found a couple of café’s and bars nearby. In the café I chose, I ordered some food and had to wait ages for it. It was for this reason I stayed at the charging point for longer than I wanted. The charge would have been going in very slowly due to the high level of charge already in the battery. I couldn’t leave though as I had to wait for the food to arrive and then scoff it. When I got back to Rosie the battery level was back up to about 95%.

Somebody had pulled in to the other charging bay who was driving a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The driver and hadn’t tried using the AC cable. Or maybe he had? I don’t really know which connection the Mitsubishi uses. With only having a small battery am guessing it would be AC. Sometimes with these triple headed rapid chargers the AC charging is still available even if somebody is using one of the DC adapters. Maybe he was just taking advantage of a free parking space. Parking can be quite difficult in Barcelona.

Moving on and finding another rapid charger

The Catalan TV station TV3 is in Barcelona and there are a couple of charging points next to the entrance. I drove to this rapid charger and had a look, but I didn’t bother plugging in. No point apart from just testing to see if it was in order. There was also a plug-in point next to it for motorcycles which could be used by a car driver, but would be very slow to use. I kept driving after spotting the charger.

Not far away Otto Diesel – Nissan dealership

So far I’ve not had too much luck with getting charged at Nissan dealers. There is the Nissan dealership next to the la Maquinista shopping centre which I have used once. The Otto Diesel (what an unfortunate name) dealership is on the far side of Barcelona from me which is not too far away from Barcelona airport. I decided it would be worth checking out the rapid charger. I still had plenty of juice in the battery so I just got out of the car to have a quick look. I saw that the rapid charger was inside the compound so it’s only available during opening times. I also saw that it was not broken and in working order. I’m sure I could have charged up there if I’d have tried.

At the Otto Diesel Nissan Dealership in Barcelona.

I think it’s about time Nissan put their money where their mouth is. They really need to make sure all of the rapid chargers are in working order at the dealers. I would also like to see them add charging bays available 24/7 at all dealerships. These should be Type 2 sockets available to all Nissan electric vehicle drivers. If they want to keep it to just Nissan owners they could do it with a QR code and an app. Or there could be a system where you just have them available because the charger knows when you are plugging in a Nissan Leaf or a Nissan eNV200. Just the same way as someone with a Tesla can easily plug in and use a Tesla supercharger. In these early days of electric vehicles in Spain and everywhere else, this could make a huge difference. We want more people driving electric cars. Save our lungs and out health generally.

There were other rapid charges nearby I would like to have checked out. But, I was getting a bit tired so I decided I would head home. The plan was to catch one more charge at the rapids closer to home. Just to make use of the free electric. I pulled into a charger I’d used before at Cabrera de Mar. As I drove into the car park I saw there was a Renault Zoe already plugged in and charging. No problem, the Zoe uses the AC connection and I was able to check in with the CHAdeMO. A little bit of a walk around the town to stretch my legs, before jumping back into my car and driving the last bit back home.

As per my plan I did arrive back home with more than 50% still in the battery. All of my charging during the day was free. I drove 250 km approximately and to top back up to the 100% cost me less than two Euro. This is easily one of the best benefits of driving an electric vehicle.


EV20Q 14 Duncan – Hyundai Ioniq Electric driver

When Duncan was living in London he didn’t need to have a car at all. He tells me he went for about 15 years with not having a car and using public transport. With moving to the north of England and needing to change his method of transport he got a Nissan Leaf. Duncan was happy enough with the Nissan Leaf, but when the lease finished he had to move on to something else. He had the good fortune to find a second hand Hyundai Ioniq electric and it’s working out well for him so far. He had to go back to his native South Wales to buy the car so his first journey was a longer trip. 300 mile round trip to get the car. Having been used to driving the 24 kWh Nissan Leaf and having experience of the Ecotricity charge points you find on the motorways in the UK it wasn’t any problem.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Charging the car at work

Another good reason for changing from the Nissan Leaf to the Hyundai Ioniq was due to the need to charge up at work. The way back home was nearly all uphill and requiring more electron juice than the journey to work. That combined with the fact more people at work were arriving in electric cars and jostling for position at the charge points that work helped him decide to get a longer range electric vehicle. The Ioniq with the better range meant he had more options due to being able to get back home without plugging in at work.

Fully Electric Ioniq

One of the things Duncan particularly likes about the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is its ability to roll along so freely when switched to the coasting mode. This mode is zero on the settings changed by using the paddles on the steering wheel. The settings control how much regeneration power is put back into the battery. He finds it amazing how far you can go using such a small amount of power. This is another of the tricks up the sleeve of the Hyundai Ioniq which makes it so efficient.

Tesla model three on reserve

Duncan has paid the money to reserve a Model 3 Tesla. Like the rest of us he’s no idea when the car is going to be available. It’s probably going to take longer to arrive in the countries where the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the road. There will be Tesla Model 3 cars on the roads in Europe sooner, with the left hand drive being the same as in America. It could easily be another 18 months to 2 years before the Tesla model three arrives in the UK. Buying a second-hand Ioniq is just the job while waiting for Tesla to come up with the goods. He did have an order in for a Renault Zoe but wasn’t too happy with some of the technology available in that car.

Waterstink guides to using the Hyundai Ioniq Electric

You can find Duncan on YouTube under the name of Waterstink in which he educates the world on how to get the best from a Hyundai Ioniq Electric. I found his videos to be informative and interesting and some of them would have you yearning to buy a Hyundai Ioniq. He’s gone into great detail showing how much regeneration you get from the various settings in the car. He’s producing good quality videos on YouTube well worth checking out.


EV20Q Euan McTurk Part Two

Euan McTurk Part Two

In the second part of this interview with Euan McTurk we talk to you on about the cars he drives more than talking about batteries. The 19 year old Peugeot 106 is in the Dundee Museum of Transport because it’s so rare. He is thinking about upgrading the battery on the car. The Honda hybrid gets taken out every now and again so that the brakes don’t seize up. Ewan prefers to drive everywhere in his Nissan leaf 24 kWh model. It does the job for everywhere he needs to go to and in any case the Honda is a good option for a longer trip. Euan is highly impressed with the Hyundai Ioniq and is tempted by such an outstanding machine. Trouble is, the Leaf is still fitting his needs and why spend the money?

Part One of the Euan McTurk Interview

Electric Peugeot 106

Dundee is the place to be for EVs

Euan tells me that Dundee is the undisputed EV capital of Scotland. It seems you can’t go around the town without tripping over electric cars and taxis. The local council is putting in electric charging hubs all around the town. I wish there were more electric vehicle infrastructure in Spain. He reckons the private companies will get in there and make money out of the opportunity. Driving Electric cars is so much cheaper than using ICE cars. Shes_Electric is in Dundee.

Photo from SRennie

Electric charging in Dundee

Why so many RFID cards?

We want to know why it is necessary to have so many RFID cards to get filled up at a public charger. It is s worry to know if you will get your car charged when you want to travel cross border. What happens when I go to France and it is all set up for the fast Type 2 chargers which only work at the fastest the port will take in the Leaf or the Ioniq which is slower. Some governments are working on sorting this problem out. It needs to be set up so there is just one card to control them all.

Electric Charging in the workplace

I mention that here in Spain there is a law saying that businesses are required to provide charging points at the workplace. In the UK you can install charge point for free. There are funds to provide charge points in the street of up to 75% of the full cost. Some councils can’t take advantage of the money if they can’t afford to pay the extra money required. Transport Scotland will top up the other money but it is not going to be the case in towns south of the border.

Other advantages of having an electric car

  • Grants to help buying the car.
  • Free parking in certain places around the town.
  • Free charging on the council provided charge points.
  • Free passage through the toll booths on the motorway.
  • Parking in car parks in Scotland are free for pure electric

Destination chargers and Petrol stations adding chargers

We reckon the petrol stations will be putting in charge points so they can have you captive to spend money in their shops. They will be selling food and drinks, as well as other bits and pieces they sell in the grocery end of things. Will it be expensive to fill up because you end up going shopping each time you stop. Destination chargers are found in restaurants, bars and shopping centres too. Good for business. Aldi and Lidl are putting chargers in their carparks. The large shopping centres put the chargers, often available for free charging. Often Type 2 or just the normal plug for slow charging. At least you get some free miles or kilometres while you are doing whatever else you are doing.

I thought the interview was finished at about 22 minutes of this part and then we continue talking for a while longer. So keep listening. I tell the story of me paying a deposit of €300 for a Leaf and 3 days later they say they don’t want to sell it yet. Unlucky or what?

I’m still undecided

Hyundai Ioniq

I still don’t know what to do about the choice between the Leaf and the Ioniq. I can save time charging the Ioniq although I won’t be able to go so far on a charge. Might not make a difference one car compared to the other. The Ioniq also has all the lane keeping like the Pro Pilot assist. It would do me well until the Tesla Model 3 is available in Spain. Or should I wait with the ICE car until the Tesla is ready? Hard to make a decision. The Ioniq is so efficient and definitely worth a serious look.

EV20Q Euan McTurk Battery Engineer

battery engineer
 In this episode of EV20Questions Euan McTurk talks about electric vehicles and batteries. Electric vehicle battery engineer and Electro chemist has a home town of Dundee in Scotland. Related to @Shes_Electric who we have already heard from in EV20Q-10. His daily driver is a 24kWh Leaf and is happy with the service it gives him.

Euan has a Peugeot 106 Electric which is a rare vehicle he managed to buy from a lecturer at the university where he studied. It is a car made in small numbers and was only available for lease. One or two of these slipped through the net and Euan got his hands on one. He also has a Honda hybrid which is totally futuristic looking and incredibly efficient. Only recently has been surpassed for the best available drag co efficient of a car.

Honda Insight Hybrid

Battery Engineer

Euan McTurk is an expert on batteries (battery engineer) he has great advice on how to keep your battery in good condition. Ewan knows all about the internal workings of batteries and how to do tests on them to understand whats happening to the chemistry and heat within the battery. He did that type of work in Warwick in the midlands of England. He’s working on battery management systems with another company doing exciting development on new batteries. During the podcast we chat about the upcoming solid state batteries. Solid state will be more efficient and last longer than the current battery chemistries. In theory they will charge faster and not be killed by the dendrites. Solid state electrolytes will give better energy density which is far better for electric vehicles. Could be still five or ten years away and other battery chemistry could prove to be better and take pole position.

John Goodenough started the Lithium Ion revolution and is still working away at the at age of 94 as a battery engineer. There is a huge momentum for the development of battery technology now. Tesla working on this as is Toyota and other multi-nationals. All going toward moving away from burning fossil fuels and towards using electrons.

Euan reminds us that there were electric vehicles before the oil industry took over. It’s a huge shame that the electric cars were put to one side. If the research had gone into batteries instead of internal combustion engines where would we be now? Was it the invention of the starter motor making it easier to get the ICE car running which killed off the electric car development?

EV20Q Podcast 7 Have a BEV Mate

George is a private hire / taxi driver in the south of England – Have a BEV Mate. So I thought it was going to be very interesting talking to a professional driver who drives at least a hundred miles everyday each week. It has to be good business sense to buy a car which will need very little servicing. No need to change oil and filters or replace any of the many moving parts found in an ICE car which could wear out and go wrong. I did ask George what was his favourite feature of the Nissan Leaf and I was surprised when he told me it was the steering. Have a listen to the podcast and find out why. I thought he was going to say the E-pedal was the best thing because in one of his videos on YouTube he got quite excited about using that new technology in the Leaf.

What a cool chat with George of ‘Have a BEV Mate’ fame on You Tube


Rapidgate will have no impact on George

George takes great pride in being a really smooth driver. He’s not one to thrash the car or use excessive acceleration. Either of these things can lead to battery overheating. If you drive so the battery gets hot then you may find on the second or third rapid charge it might get throttled. So instead of 44 to 50 kW being piped into the battery from the charger it could go down as low as 22 kW. Instead of needing only 40 minutes to charge the car for the next stage of the journey you might need to stay for twice or three times as long. George like many people charges the car overnight and has enough juice in the car for the whole day’s work.

Have a BEV Mate

Have a BEV Mate

Rapidgate will not have an effect upon me either. When I’m on a long journey and I’ve driven for 300 to 400 kms I’ve had enough driving for the day. I’ll either be ready for a long two or three hours of rest and relaxation or for a good nights sleep. I am wondering if the high ambient temperatures here in Spain will have an effect upon how far it’s able to go before there is any throttling of the charging by the battery management system. The next version of the Nissan Leaf is supposed to come with active battery management to go with the larger battery. This could make a huge difference and for some drivers it would be better to wait. The only downside with getting this 40 kWh 2018 Nissan Leaf is if it was going to be necessary to sell the vehicle after two or three years. It could be the case that the resale value of this model could be lower due to the problem with the battery. Despite the phenomenal rate of improvement and change in the battery electric vehicles I’m probably keeping the Nissan Leaf for 6 to 8 years. At the end of that time I’ll have no adverse effect if I do decide to sell.

Bessie the dog

George and BessieSeeing as George’s wife lives in Spain for a few weeks at a time Georges kept company by Bessie the dog. While we were recording the audio we had a few moments on video so George could introduce his four-legged friend. In a couple of parts of the interview you may hear a sound of tapping which is the claws of the dog skittering along the wooden floor in the house.

There’s much to love of the 2018 Nissan Leaf

In the podcast George tells me which are his favourite features of the car. You can also see this in his videos on YouTube. He goes into great detail with what he likes and why he likes the various features of the car. For someone who’s driven so many thousands of miles over the years it’s good to see him getting excited about the new technology. Even though we have driver assistance and to a certain extent automation of driving coming, there are still features of the Nissan Leaf which make him smile a couple of times during the day. Basically, it’s a lovely car to drive.

EV20Q Podcast 006 – Halldor Sigurdsson

Halldor Sigurdsson has owned four Nissan Leaf cars at this stage. He’s managed to get his hands on the latest version of the car. He is keen to find out how you use the E-pedal for getting some fun driving round the bends. He tells me he has two sets of wheels for the car. He runs with the 16 inch wheels and winter tyres for part of the year and switches over to 17 inch tyres when the weather gets better. I think it’s true that you’ll get more miles per kilowatt/hour by using 16 inch wheels so you have to wonder why Nissan puts the 17 inch wheels on the better models of the car.

Lucky Nissan Leaf 2018 Driver

He was lucky in being able to get the latest car because he went into the dealership to test the car and bumped into somebody who’d ordered more than one, but had changed his mind on one of them. So instead of having to wait for months like the rest of us he was able to take over the car ordered by this other person.

Halldor has few stories about his test drive with the car. He tells us how the emergency braking system on the new Nissan Leaf was able to prevent a bit of a bump happening.

He is driving a Nordic edition of the car which comes standard with the heated seats and heated steering wheel in the launch model. These are extras you have to pay for in other countries.

Keeping the battery in good condition

In this podcast he talks about his regime for keeping the battery in good condition. Every now and then he will run the car battery down to the turtle mode. Fully slow charge the battery after that and then take it for a long drive. He tells me that the mechanics of the garage have said he must be doing something right because his battery is in tiptop condition. We get a little bit technical talking about batteries and why it’s a good idea to give it a rapid charge now and again if you are normally only charging it on the slower charger at home.

Long journeys in an Electric vehicle

It’ll be interesting to see how he gets on taking his car on a 600 km journey from Norway to Lithuania. He’s been able to do this before using his Nissan Leaf with 30Kw/hr battery. Halldor reckons it’s going to be much easier to do this with the 40 kWh Leaf. He found that there are more charges for the car popping up for journeys like that. Electric vehicle route planning

Leaf Spy Information

How door makes full use of the application Leaf Spy. When he gets to carry plugs in the Bluetooth dongle and leave it plugged in. Using the pro version of the android application he is able to make adjustments to the software basics of the car. You can change how long the lights stay on for the follow you home feature.

Buttons and Gadgets on the 2018 Nissan Leaf

He reckons if you love technology you’re going to love this car. Halldor is extremely fond of the buttons and gadgets available, such as the automatic headlights. The pro-pilot assist is amazing even during the winter when the camera can’t always see the lines on the road. Even though it’s an fantastically usable feature you do still need to keep your eyes on what’s going on as you drive. When you get stuck in traffic it’s handy to have this feature to keep you moving in stop and start traffic. No need to touch the pedals. Driving bliss!

Charging the Nissan Leaf

During our chat in the podcast we talk about the home charging possibilities for the Nissan Leaf. How long it takes to charge up the car depending on the power rating of the charger.

Enjoy the podcast

Have a listen to the podcast and get the whole story, there’s good information there. A discussion with a Norway-based EV driver who originally comes from Iceland. Hear what what happens when you completely run out use and you’re only 500 m away from the charger.

Spread the word

Do check out the Facebook group for the 2018 Nissan Leaf. You’re welcome to join the group if you’re going to get a new model of the leaf this year. Also have a look on the Facebook page EV20Q podcast. If you enjoy the podcast please tell one or two of your friends and go to the iTunes page and leave a review or a rating. This will help to get the podcast out there in front of other people interested in driving electric vehicles.

Listen to an EV20Q Podcast with a Tesla and Renault Zoe Driver

Delays at Nissan due to popularity of 2018 Leaf

2018 Leaf – Not a Happy Bunny!

Yesterday I made contact with the salesman at the Nissan garage again about my 2018 Leaf. I wanted to find out what date is the last day of the 120 days allowed for the government incentive money. He said he was with customers and would ring us back soon. This salesman is a bit of a disaster when it comes to making contact because he didn’t ring us back. It’s not the first time I’ve tried to contact him by email, text message or even phone call and have been a bit disappointed.

2018 Leaf

Whatever with the colour

I’m thinking I need to know this final date for the government incentive money so I can mark two weeks and one week before that date. I don’t want to get to the final day and have no date of delivery available for the 2018 Leaf. I can’t lose the government incentive money. At two weeks to go I’d like to give an extra push to the salesman in Nissan to sort the problem out. Either renegotiate the dates for the cash or work out some way to make sure I get my car within the time period. I would consider taking the same model but in a different colour. I would hope that if the colour was one of the colours that requires extra money to be paid I wouldn’t have to pay the extra. I’d consider having the white car with the black roof if it was the only one available. I still think it’s a shame that the blue available in the United States and Canada is not available here. I don’t want to have a lower specified car. When spending this sort of money and being prepared to get the top of the range you might as well have exactly what you want. So there is only a little bit of leeway with regards what colour I’d be prepared to have.

2018 Leaf inside

2018 Leaf – Who’s a lucky boy?

Now that it’s three months since I originally put in the order for the Nissan 2018 Leaf I’m starting to get irritated by the delay. I guessed I’d to have to wait until the end of March for the car although I was hoping it might arrive earlier. Now we are at the stage where I still don’t have a delivery date. The car could arrive at the beginning of April or right at the very end of April. Knowing my luck, they could come up with May as a delivery date. That could be a complete pain in the arse if it means I don’t get the benefit of the cash help from the government. Why on earth there needs to be a 120 day limit on how long the cash is available for is a complete mystery. Typical red-tape rubbish you find here in Spain. Will I ever get my 2018 Leaf.

Using the Social Networks

I have tried to make contact with Nissan via the social networks about the 2018 Leaf. I sent a tweet and also a Facebook message to Nissan Europe. I’ve also sent something to Nissan España. I don’t really expect to get anything coherent back in reply. I don’t suppose for one minute they’ll give me a definite answer. I will be left having to get back to the salesman Dani at the dealership in Barcelona and keep on his back to come up with the goods. 2018 Nissan Leaf Group on Facebook

EV20Q Podcast 4 – Aaron Russell EV Driver

I became aware of Aaron Russell EV Driver through the YouTube channel in which he describes his experiences of his new Nissan Leaf. He’s put up a number of videos about his 2018 Nissan Leaf Journey starting with the basics of how to make an order for the vehicle. He has worked his way through the booking the installation for the level 2 charger. He then moves on to the episode five in which he describes the actual collection of the vehicle from the dealership. I was impressed with the amount of detail Aaron goes into with his videos delving into the various aspects of owning and driving a 2018 Nissan Leaf. This is the sort of information beginners or interested parties who know nothing about electric vehicles need to know. Interesting for more seasoned EV drivers too.

Aaron Russel EV Driver

Covering the questions people have about electric vehicles

In the podcast Aaron talks about the process he went through with his first rapid charge. We all know how to use a petrol pump. Getting into using new technological devices such as a rapid charger at the side of a road is going to be a little bit strange at first. It’s interesting to work out how to get the necessary RFID cards and phone applications in order to access the energy pump of electrons. The reason Aaron has been able to do such a good job of explaining the details of running an electric car is because it is his first car and not just its first electric car. Many of us over the years have grown up using petrol and diesel vehicles and now there’s a new generation of drivers coming through. No messing about with filling up cars with dirty, smelly, dangerous fossil fuels, new drivers going straight to EV car ownership. Aaron also finds out how you have to stop the charge using the app if you started it that way. Can’t just hit the button on the charger.

EV Driver Using a Fast Charger

EV Driver – Get out on the highway, get your motor running

It’s one thing to use your new electric vehicle to do daily journeys to work and back. Aaron is able to use his car for two or three days without needing to plug it in. So it gets more interesting when you decide you want to do some longer journeys. Listen to the podcast to find out about his experience of the range of the vehicle during trips on the motorway. When you’re new to electric vehicles it’s important to know you’re going to reach your destination. We don’t want to have difficulties reaching the next charging station. It’s obvious if you’re going faster in a motorway/highway situation, you’re going to be using more energy. That’s the same whether you’re using carbon-based fossil fuels or if you’re using electricity. It’s not just speed you have to take into consideration. There is also the temperature of your battery, and how that works out with the ambient temperature. Cold batteries give fewer miles. We also can get more miles or kilometres as an EV Driver if we don’t have to use vehicle heating systems.

Getting the best from the Nissan Leaf technology

During the podcast Aaron and I were able to talk about the technology available within the Nissan Leaf. Aaron is obviously a tech-head as we discover in his YouTube video about how to set up his Amazon Echo device to control his car. He is able to do things like check on the state of charge and start or stop the climate control for the car. Having the cabin of the car nice and toasty ready for the EV Driver when you leave home or work is much more comfortable for the driving experience. This also affects the range of the car if you can heat the car up while plugged in and therefore not using the battery for this purpose. One of the good things I’m looking forward to with my Nissan leaf is being able to use the seat heaters and the heated steering wheel. In cold climates it’s more necessary to have good car heating as we don’t always want to just add an extra jumper when the weather gets a bit chilly. We should have good comfort levels in a car we are paying so much for.

Other evidence of Aaron’s love of technology was shown in the fact that we could communicate over email using encryption. This is something I recommend to all email users at the Good And Geeky website.

A Happy Nissan Leaf Owner and EV Driver

I’m totally jealous of Aaron and his experience with his new 2018 Nissan Leaf. As I write this I’ve still got three or four weeks to wait before I get mine. In the meantime, Aaron is loving the car whether it’s using it for normal day-to-day use or longer road trips. Enjoy your listen of this podcast there is useful information in it for new EV users. I think we can all learn something from Aaron’s experience.

EV20Q Podcast Now on Stitcher

Downloadable to listen in more places

To get the podcast out into the wide world in these to be in as many places as possible where people get their media content. With my previous podcasts I just put it on to iTunes and had the player on the blog post for the episode. It now seems like a good plan to make sure the podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts from. I have submitted it to Tune In and also to Stitcher. If there’s anywhere else you’d like to see added to this list then send me a message in the comments below. I want to put it into Google Play but at the moment I’m just getting a message saying it’s not available in my country. I’ll try creating an account somewhere else to see if I can get it added to the Google play podcast list.

EV20Q Podcast – Mike Ward in Jersey

Talking to Mike Ward about EV’s and the Nissan Leaf

Mike is in the fortunate position of having three electric cars in the family. Indeed, extra fortunate that it is three Nissan Leaf vehicles parked on his front drive. He runs the Facebook group ‘I Spotted a Nissan Leaf’ which is where you can send a photo or just make a post to say you have seen a Nissan leaf in the wild. It’s a bit like ‘EV Bingo’ for just one make and model of car. It’s all a bit of fun really!

Nissan Leaf

A New Nissan Leaf Is Ordered

We talk about how Mike has taken the Nissan Leaf 2018 model for a drive and has put in an order for the car. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets his car before I get mine! He decided the features upgrade available on the new model are sufficient to make it well worth swapping one of the older models for a new Nissan Leaf.

The Channel Islands and Bergerac

Mike lives on the island of Jersey which is off the French coast, but is a part of the UK. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit because it always looked so picturesque in that TV series with a detective who drove around in a nice red old car. The series was called Bergerac featuring the actor John nettles and the car he drove was a 1947 Triumph. John nettles later wanted to live on the island but found it impossible to do so.

Jersey and Electric Vehicles

He tells me he’s seen three or four Jersey registered Tesla’s on the island. The small islands are perfect for the smaller vehicles and especially if their electric. They tend to have narrower roads and you can’t really clock up much mileage going from one end of the island to the other. Mike says there are quite a few electric cars registered and there are electric car chargers in many of the car parks. The car parking and the electric car charging is not terribly expensive. It would be mostly useful for tourists to the island because it would be difficult with a car like the 2018 Nissan Leaf to run out of range. When he tested the car he had it for a day and was unable to use all of a full battery. Mike had to give the car back with 39% still left available.

Old Smokers on Jersey

I was surprised when Mike told me that there is no MOT test in the Channel Islands. In the UK when a car is over three years old it needs to be tested every year. This isn’t the case in Jersey or Guernsey and because of this it’s likely to find old smokers pumping out more CO2 and particulates than would otherwise be the case. If a vehicle is still running the owner is less likely to change it. It can be costly to put a car through an MOT, sometimes to the point when it’s better to just upgrade to a new car. It could take some time and maybe a change in the regulations for the changeover from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles in the Channel Islands.

Listen to the Podcast

In the podcast we talk about plenty of other things as Mike is knowledgeable on the subject of electric vehicles. With three Nissan Leafs on his drive it’s unlikely if he’ll ever go back to driving an ICE car. He has said he will use a plug-in hybrid car for a long journey he is planning to make due to his experiences last time when going through France.