What Electric Car should I buy in Summer of 2018?

We have 3 EVs in the family and your decision depends on a few factors regarding your lifestyle and not if you can see the cars near you.

Before you go to ANY showroom you should do your research on what you really need and ask yourself the following questions:

What daily commute do I do in miles?What extra miles during the working day do I do if I can’t charge before coming home?

Do I need to do a lot of long range journeys over the weekend?

How many passengers do I have on a regular basis?

What type of chargers do I have nearby or can I charge at home?Have I got Solar PV that I can use to minimise my electric bill?

How much spare cash per month do I have to afford a car?

After answering those questions you can draw up a shortlist of cars and look on the Internet which ones you like the look of and which showroom you want to visit.Also of course do not dismiss YOUTUBE and watch owners reviewing their cars.

You can buy now electric cars for all budgets.

Citroen C-Zero which will give you in Winter only 40 miles but in summer up to 80 miles.cost Peanuts to buy.

RENAULT Zoe cheap to buy but a pain to charge as it has no DC Rapid Charging for long journeys.

Nissan Leaf 2.0 between 120-170miles of range.More expensive and bigger family car.My son has just bought one 8 weeks ago and loves it for his family of four.

Huyandai Ioniq Great car absolutely love it and the wife finds it so easy to use.Got loads of extra like heated seats and heated steering wheel and great timer function for charging and heating up in the morning but no online access to the car to do these functions online via app.

Very efficient for its 28kw battery and does 100-140 miles.Good long range car as it has battery cooling and warming during winter or protects against overheating in summer.

KONA of course the greatest of them all but small for a family car and high in price in comparison to all of them but range should be in the 200 mile range.Excellent for travelling salespeople.

What about the LAND ROVER IPACE?

I would not touch it with a barge pole.It is at the Tesla price point, but you have to charge for at least 1.5 hours at the current Ecotricity and Podpoint Motorway Chargers as they only deliver 32kw/h – where as Tesla Superchargers deliver up to 120kwh and they go most of the time at over 60kwh. At least the Ipace has a 90kw battery but tests have shown it is worse in efficiency than a Tesla Model X at almost 3000kg in weight.

what about the Mercedes EQC?

Mercedes EQC – well nobody has driven it in 2018 and in my opinion at 80kw Battery capacity and 2400kg in weight it is only going to deliver about 200 miles in range. Again Charging is an issue as no public charger delivers 100kw. You will be competing for chargers on the Motorway with KONA,Ioniq, Leaf, Zoe and if they take off you have a problem as there are currently only 2 chargers per Motorway services.

Last but not least Tesla.

We got one for the last 32 months and would not part with it.Cost a lot in Finance but we love it and the fantastic Supercharger network is excellent.The quality of the car and acceleration is just unbelievable.Also the flexibility of the load space is amazing in the Model S and Model X. The concept of the big screen controlling everything is just great. The new over the air security update with a “PIN to drive ” was asked for bu UK owners and was implemented after 6 months by Tesla!

After choosing your car you need to look at Finance options:

Leasing,PCP or HP or Buying outright. I have all three running at the moment

Tesla on HP, Leaf on PCP and Ioniq on 4 year lease.

If you have experience with PCP go for that, but sometimes companies like DRIVEELECTRIC can give you better deals than your local dealer even though the car might still come from your local dealer and is fully warranted by them.

I am only going to pay £19,000 for a £30000 Ioniq over 4 years but never own the car and can’t do ANY modifications to that car.To me that is a good deal.

However we are paying the Tesla in full over 5 years and might drive it for another 3 as the drive train and battery are guaranteed for 8 years.

Hope this helps!

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The very rough guide to the NC 500

After 30 months of owning our Tesla we finally are going on a Road trip.

The NC 500. It took me a couple of days to look on Bookin.com and the Tesla destination charger map to find some hotels as we set ourselves a budget for the B&Bs we wanted to stay at.In the end I book direct and with Booking.com.

A few of the hotels with Tesla destination chargers were very expensive and I excluded them.Why?Well Scotland has a network called the Chargeplace Scotland Network and it is free.All you need us an account with CYC or Charge your Car and also a £20 RFID card.Your Account needs to also have a verified payment method via debit or credit card.

I also paid £35 to become Member of the NC500 explorers club, which gives you a map and two hard copy booklets.One is the “Rough Guide to the NC500” and the other one is the NC 500 passport.

The Route in the passport is Anti clockwise and I prefer actually the clockwise route.

How did we get on?

Well in the Tesla it is a doddle as you have over 200 miles to play with.so we did Home-Abington-Aviemore-Dingwall on the first day.350 Miles.A little long but works out fine as we only had 5 days.

You can find quiet spots on Motorway Service stations .Here Abington Welcome Break in Scotland.

We stayed in the Turloch Castle Hotel in Dingwall and it has 1000 years of history.There is a 55kw Free Charger in Dingwall town centre.Easy to find with PlugShare.Do the Ghost Tour after Supper At around 9 or 9:30 and Graham is a great raconteur of the history of Turloch castle and the Davi(d)son family.

On our 2nd day we went to Rogie Falls(highly recommended) and saw our first live otter swimming in the falls hunting.

After Rogie Falls we went to Attadale Gardens.Great but a little small a just about worth the £8 Entry fee.Beware on a Sunday only open between 14:30-17:00.Diy café only!Yup you make your own tea or coffee and leave money according to the price list.

After Attadale Gardens We headed for Gairloch and the distance was a little long as we forgot to charge in Torrington but managed.Other EVs beware.No other chargers between Torrington and Gairloch.

Book a Seaview room in the Gairloch hotel and you will not be disappointed!Worth the extra few pounds! Shower and toilet in a little cupboard but no matter big enough! Have a walk on the beach and it is also worth it.We had dinner in the glass extension and staff are very good -food is a mix of good hearty restaurant food.

From Gairloch we made our way to Ullapool and charged up.Also a sea voyage was beckoning.Catamaran and sedate or Rin and bone shaking?The choice was taken away from us as the Rib operator was not ready for the season.What?Hottest week since record began.Anyway the Diesel powered catamaran tour was great and really enjoyed the 16knot speed and comfort of the boat.we saw plenty of seals and a white tip sea eagle.We also stopped at a grotto used in the reformation times as a church meeting ooont for worshippers in their small rowing boats!Toor lasted for 2 ½ hours and worth it for £35each.

From Ullapool we made our way Northwards to Scourie and stayed in the Scourie Lodge B&B with a Tesla destination charger AND a normal charger.We made history the Landlord told us as for the first tome ever two Tesla were charging overnight!Yeah.

Before we got to Scourie Lodge wee needed some dinner and where should we go?Well a sign to a hotel and the view of an emerald bay came into view and I decided to take the plunge and check it out! Good decision as the photo shows it was seafood for me all the way! Kylesku Hotel has gorgeous views over Loch Gleann Dubh.

From Scourie to John O’Groates you really have to have your wits about you regarding driving.Roads vary from single lane to two lanes. Don’t play chicken as people are far too nice and it just makes you feel bad.Some motorbikes need a little education that a Tesla is a big car though.

We visited on our way to John O’Groates a cave which was highly recommended on the NC 500 rough guide booklet.It was great and we even had a little tour deep inside with climbing into a little dinghi etc.Well Wirth the £7.

We had a little peek at Castle of Mey before settling down for the night and decided to visit it the next day.

We stayed in John O’Groates in the Seaview hotel and it was a good decision.We were put in the Annex over the road and found a Charger.Yeah again! While unfortunately charging in Gilles Bay we looked for places to eat and came across a very small selection of establishments to eat around such a touristy place.In the end the Castle Arms Hotel.Good Food again served by European waiters which were very attentive and seemed to have gone through the proper waiters school.Would recommend their menu to anybody.

After a hearty breakfast off to the castle of Mey on our penultimate day before driving down Nessieland!

We arrived after 16:00 in Drumnadrochit and charged up and had two hours to kill.So e went to the Loch Ness Monster Investigation Bureau and had a good Media show of the latest evidence for and against the existince if Nessie.If you have are a National Trust Member you get a discount by the way.For tea it was gold old fish and chips on the side of the road.

We stayed in the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel and had a beautiful view over Loch Ness.

From Loch Ness it was pretty much a road trip of 350 miles back home.Due to the fantastic weather we were able to have a lovely Picknick

Lunch again at Abington Supercharger and we’re soon home again.Not before stocking up on great provisions at the Tebay Supercharger and Services on the M6.

Here is a video of our experiences:

New Rapid chargers

It seems that without me paying a lot of attention we suddenly got a lot more rapid chargers in our area.

Bannatyne Health Clubs have added a lot of chargers in their car parks for all to use.Usually you have two to choose from and they have both DC CCS and Chademo available.So Ioniqs and Teslas and Nissan Leaf can charge there.At the time of writing all Instavolt Chargers are on free vending. Just swipe your contactless Debit card or credit card on to the area designated on the Charger and your transaction will be authorised.Swiping for ending the session again.

A great resource if you need to do a lot of driving and need a quick charge in the Darlington or Durham area.There are certainly not a lot of Rapid chargers in Durham and Darlington area as I have reported earlier.Durham Services Rapid Charger has no CCS adapter and the charger at the Holiday Inn on the A1 near junction 59 is permanently off.

Travelling with an EV (Electric Vehicle) and what I have learned

I am now owning my Tesla Model S for 30 months and my Hyandai Ioniq for 12 months.It is time to reflect of what we have learned so far.

Yesterday I was traveling to Leeds and I was mightily impressed. P&R (Park and Ride) facilities are great at Temple Green and Elland Road.

Lots of slow chargers (11 at Temple Green and 6 at Elland Road plus 1 Rapid 55kw). Charger).Even with a Nissan Leaf 2.0 or a Ioniq you can easily travel the 70mes and charge for £1 and get filled up for the way back.£3 for the buses into town is very good value for Money.

Don’t forget your CYC card though.Activation by app was not offered on the slow chargers.

Are electric cars only powered by coal?

Who says electric cars are dirty and powered only by coal! My new Zappi Charger uses surplus solar energy and pumps it into the car! The best bit is that Chancellor Hammond paid for 75% of my Zappi! Thank you all you other nice taxpayers for my new charger.Also it works really well with our 4kw solar panels and input gets monitored all the time by Harvi.Available under OLEV.

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Zappi and Harvi, not my new imaginary friends, honest!

Ŵe have a Solar PV array of 4kw and 2 electric cars.I also recently had a disaster with my Rolec charger outside. It blew up and damaged a charging cable. Luckily it was inside the warranty period and I got my money back for it.So we now have a new charger called a Zappi. Here is the reason why we went for a Zappi charger.

Every kWh to charge my car cost me 12 pence.If I feed any surplus energy, that my house does not use, back into the grid I only get 1 pence back.So I am making a 11p profit if I feed that surplus energy into my car.That is the economics that the Zappi is build on.Even though it is called the “FEED-in Tariff” it is actually the worst named sound bite ever.

There are two parts to the Feed-in Tariff.One is for you generating power with your Solar PV array and another part for “feeding” that back into the grid.

Everything you “generate” you get 59 pence (highest part) irrespective of you using it in your house or “feeding” it back to the grid.The smallest part (only 1 pence) you get for putting it back into the grid.So it actually makes no sense at all to feed anything back to the grid but use it yourself.Of course you need to be at home to be able to do that.

However this is where Tesla Powerwalls and Ikea batteries come in.If you are not at home with your car feed the extra solar (surplus) into a battery or your hot water cylinder and you have hot water in the evening when you come home and have a “free”bath!

The makers (myenergi) of Zappi have a gadget for that called Eddi.

The diagram in the picture shows you how it works.

I have Zappi and Harvi here installed at home.I need Harvi because it is a wireless unit.My Zappi is installed a little bit away from the house ( on a brick pillar)so I could not get a cable for monitoring the house electric supply easily to it.But if it is installed in the garage or outside of the garage you don’t need Harvi.It Just gave me more flexibility.

You need an approved Zappi installer like the Phoenixworks.com to install it all for you though or to help you to find your bespoke solution.Search on YouTube for Zappi and Fully charged and other UK based youtubers have reviewed the Zappi.It is a UK based company who have crowd funded this invention to bring it to market.

What is Hypermiling

Friday 9th March 2018 – On my way from home to Penmanmawer to bring my father-in-law to his beloved Wales to meet friends. On the way I noticed on the Tesla Supercharger map that Warrington Supercharger had a Failure .Had to Hypermile from Chorley/Charnock Richards Supercharger  to Penmanmawer and back again as no other Superchargers available on that trip.Made it with 17 miles to spare.200 mile return journey with a Model S 70D-not bad going!Never went under 60mph but had one or two small traffic jams that helped.

Altogether I travelled 430 miles in 11 hours.However I made an unnecessary stop in Tebay Services on the M6 as I did not want to arrive with an empty Battery.So 10 hours is fair and not sure it was much slower than with an Ice car.

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