We are on the racetrack coming round the final bend and I can see the winning line ahead of me. I was hoping to collect my Nissan Leaf from the dealers today and it doesn’t seem to be happening. The salesman rang me this morning looking for more paperwork. I was able to send him what was required within 30 minutes. Then there was nothing from him from lunchtime until about 5 o’clock. It was obvious at this stage I wasn’t going to get my car today. The redtape in Spain is a complete disaster. They always seem to want everything in triplicate and signed a half a dozen times. The salesman was giving me information about something needing to be done with the local council. This is where the tax for the car is paid. Except there is no tax to be paid on a fully electric Nissan Leaf. It still has to be registered with the council though. I find out later the car has been registered. Iv’e no idea what the problem was that he needed to tell me about that.
A Fat Lady Singing
A little bit later I got my wife to ring and speak to the salesman Catalan to Catalan. She rang me back later to tell me the car hasn’t been registered for the road and the hold-up is with the traffic department. I can only assume this will be sorted out tomorrow. I’ll be able to go and collect my car in the afternoon when I’ve finished work. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed because it isn’t over until the fat lady sings – In triplicate!
I had been hoping I could go and collect the car today. It just seemed like a good thing to do on my day off. I was going to get the train to the dealership and enjoy the drive back home. If it got too late for getting the train I even toyed with the idea of driving my present car to the garage. I would leave it there overnight and go back to collect it tomorrow. That would give me a 200 km drive in my Nissan Leaf tomorrow. That would have been okay as it would give me more experience and fun learning all the ins and outs of my new car. Most of it would have been motorway so not that interesting apart from getting the best out of Pro Pilot Assist. Perhaps I would have improved the journey home by taking a few detours. I’d be able to enjoy the scenic route in the Nissan Leaf. Get the feel of the car.
Still no WallBox Installed
There was a problem I could possibly anticipate. I’d have expected to use half the battery approximately driving back home from the dealership today. I don’t really know how long it would take to charge back to 100% using the ‘granny cable’. This is where you charge your car using a normal household plug socket. It puts the electrons into the battery about half as fast as you do with the 6.6 kW Type II charging. Would I have enough in the battery to get me back to Barcelona again? I think the answer would be probably, even though I wouldn’t be able to charge the car many hours overnight. I leave the house at five thirty in the morning hence there not being many hours during the night time to charge up. There is of course the possibility I could charge at work, although I don’t know how the boss is going to react to that. I will ask when I have the car. I have been told by someone who knows a company is legally required to provide a charging point at a place of work. It wouldn’t just be there for me to use as the only worker with an electric vehicle. It would also be there available for customers of the campsite. I think this would be a good thing for the business. It would be something we could advertise. A destination charger which could be used by people with electric vehicles to come camping at the campsite by the beach in Platja d’Aro.
Time to Chill
On account of the fact I’m not doing anything now or later on this evening I will just relax, sit back and put my feet up. I’ll take a chill pill and hope things go better with getting my car tomorrow. It would be just nice and lovely if I could have a string of lucky happenings take place. I could have been lucky and have Nissan give me my car based upon the date of my first order. One month less waiting for delivery. The salesman could have told me the truth that I would be starting again and waiting longer for the car. Nissan could have been getting cars into Spain just as quick as they were sending them off to Norway and the UK. The car did arrive in the dealer showroom about a week before it was due to, so I suppose that was fairly lucky. That luck could have continued by the salesman pulling his finger out and getting all the paperwork and car registration sorted out sooner rather than later. At least three or four days have been lost to incompetent inactivity. Like I said that’s been mixed in with a bit of desperately slow paperwork shuffling you always seem to find here in Spain.
There will be more organising to do once I’ve got the car. I’ll need to register the car with the company that charges for the use of the motorway. The Peajes with the barriers. I’ll get an electronic tag in the car which will allow me to pass through without paying. That’s lucky I suppose. Then I will need to register with the office that deals with electric car chargers in Barcelona and Girona. I can’t remember what it’s called but it will give me free charging in a lot of places nearby. It will be useful for when I make a trip down to Barcelona airport to collect friends and family. I’ll give myself an extra 20 minutes or so to throw in a few electrons. This will make sure I have plenty of range for getting back home again and it also give me some electric for free. Handy for keeping the overall running costs of the car down.
Making Up Rude Words on the Reg Plate
I’m looking forward to finding out what the registration of the car will be. Wondering if it will be something which could be construed as rude as is the registration plate on my current car. The letters on my Renault were able to be read as “go screw yourself” or something similar and ruder. There were two or three people who brought that to my attention within days of me having the Clio. Quite amusing really!
Looking ahead to driving electric
I’m looking forward to getting out and about in the local area. I want to make trips to find places where I can charge the car in the locality. It will be in the spirit of exploration and discovery. I don’t get much time off during the week. So it’ll be quite nice to take off on a Sunday evening and perhaps do some camping overnight and come back later in the day on Monday. Or I could just do a day trip on the Monday if I think the roads are going to be too busy with people heading back home after the weekend. I will start with some local trips and work my way up to going further away. I would like to head up into the mountains in July and August. The evenings will be cooler there and for one night of the week sleeping will be easier because of the lower temperatures. It will probably be quite good to take trips up towards Perpignan and Carcassonne. I’m sure there are some pleasant places to visit in that region. I already have the RFID card for Chargemap and that will allow me to charge easily and at a reasonable price while in France. The charging points for Chargemap in Spain are not compatible with the Chargemap card. I’m not sure how that works. Maybe just gives me details of where the chargers are and then I have to work out other methods of paying to use the charger.
Driving around the Peninsula
This is something I plan to do when I’ve got a bit more experience of being an EV driver. My loose and basic plan is to drive south from Catalonia along the Mediterranean coast. Pop into Valencia and Tarragona and other interesting places along the route. I plan to hit quite a few towns along the way to see a few things I haven’t experienced yet in Spain. I’ll probably go to Gibraltar just to say I’ve been there. I’m more interested in seeing cities such as Granada, Sevilla and any other fantastic places along the south coast of Spain. Of course the journey after that will bring me up the Atlantic coast going through Portugal. It would be cool if I could meet up with some of the Portuguese members of the 2018 Nissan Leaf Facebook group while travelling through. Continuing around the coast it’s going to be great to visit Pais Vasco, I want to go to Bilbao and Santander. From there it will be a hop skip and jump across the north part of Spain taking in Pamplona and Zaragoza. A journey such as this could easily take me a couple of weeks. I’ll be doing it on my own or maybe with my dog. Unfortunately my wife will be back at work. It’s a shame our working patterns don’t fit together at all.