EV20Q Podcast featuring Paul Shadwell

I took great pleasure in interviewing Paul Shadwell for the EV20Q podcast to talk to him about his electric cars. I’ve interviewed Paul before on a podcast about using Mac and other Apple products. We also met at a Twitter meet up in Liverpool, England. A good guy to talk to about the Renault Zoe and the Tesla Model S.

Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe is a gateway drug to electric vehicles

Paul tells me they visited the Renault dealership to check out available cars. The salesman showed them the Renault Zoe electric vehicle and after a short test drive, Paul and his girlfriend were hooked. Living in Switzerland means it’s necessary to drive up hills and Paul was amazed that the little Zoe exhibited good acceleration in these situations. It wasn’t too long after living the Renault Zoe electric car experience Paul checked out the Tesla model S. With the longer range available with the bigger and more luxurious car it would be perfect for longer journeys. He did do a couple of slightly longer journeys with the Zoe that maybe is better suited to using around the town.

Charging the cars

It seems there are plenty of Tesla Superchargers around Switzerland and in fact there are superchargers dotted all around Europe. They are a maximum of about 200 km apart and many of them much closer. We discussed how easy it is to plan a journey using the software in the Tesla. The in car navigation system will show all of the superchargers on a route. This made it easy for Paul to drive the car to Disneyland in Paris. He’s also done trips to the UK and to the south of France in the Tesla.

It’s not just electric cars

Personally, I’m not fond of the large and unwieldy Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Paul on the other hand is an aficionado of those sorts of motorcycles. We talked briefly about the latest news from Harley Davidson to say they are working on an electric motorbike. I’ve seen a photograph of the electric Harley-Davidson and it does look quite nice. I still think that the diehard followers of that type of bike are not going to like it. I would like to ride one of those Zero Electric bikes as they are supposed to be extremely nippy and fun to ride.

Harly Davidson Electric

The Geneva motor show

The Geneva motor show is coming up soon and Paul will be going there to check out the latest electric vehicles. It’ll certainly be cool to check out the iPace electric Jaguar. I’m sure there will be plenty of other electric cars to drool over at the Geneva motor show. I wouldn’t surprised if the the new concept cars are there from Volkswagen. I have already started to save money for the iBuzz which should be on the roads in 2022.

Electric Vehicle Route Planning

Electric vehicle route planning – When I get my electric car, the 2018 Nissan Leaf, I’ll be working for the summer and my journeys are going to be restricted to a short journey to work and back. I only get one day off per week so there are not going to be many opportunities to do longer excursions. It seems a little bit of a shame because I’m looking forward to the fun of electric vehicle route planning. From what I’ve seen so far in videos and read on blog posts it’s a really good idea to do route planning before you set out. You really don’t want to be in the situation of having range anxiety or high and dry without electrons. It’s not going to be much fun to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no power left in the battery of the car. So you need to make sure before you set out there are going to be sufficient charging point on the way. Better still if you can have a number of charge point options. This is to take into account the possibility of a charge point not working and you needing to find one nearby. Or the chargers are all occupied and waiting in not an option. You want to make sure you’re going to be able to complete your journey.

 Electric vehicle route planning

A proper long journey in an electric vehicle

I’d really like to do a journey all around the Peninsula containing Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar.  Electric vehicle route planning is going to factor high in the list of priorities. My starting point will be in the north-east in Catalonia 100 km away from the French border. The plan will be to go south and visit towns like Tarragona, Valencia and Alicante. To keep costs down I will make it a camping trip. I expect I’ll be able to charge up overnight in camp sites. Also want to check out the public chargers along the way to see how easy it is to use these as a traveller. I’ll drive from east to west at the bottom of the peninsula and arrive in Portugal. Then I’ll travel north until I get back into Spain again in Galicia and the Basque country. From there it’ll be just a hop skip and a jump in the foothills of the Pyrenees going east to Catalonia. A good trip with good  electric vehicle route planning.  The journey is going to be at least 2700 km and I’ve no idea how long it will take. I don’t want to have it as a sprint where I don’t get to experience any of the towns and cities along the way. It will be much more fun to stop and explore, especially as I haven’t yet seen places like Bilbao, Sevilla and Granada.

Electric vehicle route planning a trip to Madrid

Madrid is another city in Spain I haven’t yet visited. This would be good as a medium length journey to test out the capabilities of the 2018 Nissan Leaf. How do we go about planning the route to get us to Madrid? Here are some of the possibilities.

  • Use the route planning system in the car.
  • Make use of the route planner in the Nissan EV Connect application.
  • Use Google maps to pinpoint waypoints and then use the cars ‘Nearby Chargers’ feature while travelling. When the car looks like it needs some juice, check to see what’s nearby and then go and find it.
  • Find charging points along your route using application specific to the various networks. Here in Spain there is one I can use called IBIL which has electric chargers in filling stations around the country. (Not many places yet.)
  • There are a number of applications which show charge points from a collection of suppliers, such as OpenChargeMap, PlugShare, NextCharge, ChargeMap and others. Within these applications you can find the charging points to book, use and to pay as well as sometimes being able to plan your route.

Let’s have a look at a few of these applications and make some comparisons. I’m still waiting for the car to arrive so I’ll start with the third party options.

Hello and Welcome to EV20Q Podcast

Introductions

I am a newbie to driving an EV. Still waiting for the delivery of my Nissan Leaf 2018 at the time of writing. Mind you I’ve always had a deep interest in renewables and used an electric bicycle for the last three or four years. In this podcast I talk about Electric vehicle and introduce myself an in future podcasts I plan to have guests on the show to tell us about their experiences. I think we will all learn a lot.

I will be writing posts just about my experiences with the Nissan Leaf and the audio podcasts will mostly be interviews. There will be video blogging type podcasts added as the podcast grows.