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.

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.