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How silently, how silently... the story of an EV virgin

  • 2 December 2020
  • 37 replies
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It all started so simply. Making my regular visit to the community, seeing the alert for a new direct message, and there was @Marc asking if I would be interested in trying out an electric car for the weekend? Now there's an offer - what had I done to deserve this exciting early Christmas present? Was it a reward from Santa because I'd been good? Or do I live very close to where Pure Planet's new EV partner Elmo is based? The jury must decide.

So I said yes. The right answer! A weekend became a month!! I must have been very very good…

So yesterday a box arrived. Inside a long lead with a 13amp plug on one end. Then this afternoon I'm at the front door and I hear a gentle sound, a quiet squishing. What could it be? You've guessed! A brand new Renault Zoe designed to fit on the end of the lead.

A nice man told me all sorts of things about it, some of which I remember, then I asked him how he was getting back now he'd handed over the car? 

That's how, surreally, my first-ever drive in an electric vehicle took me to never-before-seen parts of a giant former US airbase where I resisted all temptation to audition for an EV special edition of Top Gear.

So what do I have to do to justify this early Christmas present?

Apparently tell you what it's like having an EV for the first time, and answer any questions you might have. So fire away... and I'll keep anyone who's interested up-to-date with my experience. After all, apparently we'll all have to have one sometime. 

Meanwhile I'll go and find out how I know when it's charged…

More about the Pure Planet and Elmo partnership here, and how you can try out your first EV on a short term lease, with a special discount for PP Members.


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Exciting stuff @stephenrand and happy to hear that the Elmo person got back!

Have you suffered from any range anxiety yet? 

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Exciting stuff @stephenrand and happy to hear that the Elmo person got back!

Have you suffered from any range anxiety yet? 

Not yet! But I noted that the little round trip to return the delivery man reduced the charge from 97% to 81% - which is interesting, because his journey to us had only reduced it to that 97%. And I've set the drive mode to ECO, which must be better…

I'm still trying to get used to the car unlocking itself when I approach it and locking itself when I walk away. Which means it goes flashingly berserk if I walk round it to get to the charger...

Exciting stuff @stephenrand and happy to hear that the Elmo person got back!

Have you suffered from any range anxiety yet? 

Not yet! But I noted that the little round trip to return the delivery man reduced the charge from 97% to 81% - which is interesting, because his journey to us had only reduced it to that 97%. And I've set the drive mode to ECO, which must be better…

 

Was one drive uphill?
 

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Fantastic, Stephen! 🙀👍👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Exciting stuff @stephenrand

 

 

Was one drive uphill?
 

Hi @Gwyndy 

Good thinking!! But no…

Sorry about that

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Wow what a treat Mr Rand - look forward to the analysis in your detailed report.

Just a thought, why don’t you get it pimped up before handing it back.

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Wow what a treat Mr Rand - look forward to the analysis in your detailed report.

Just a thought, why don’t you get it pimped up before handing it back.

I agree!

randy’s pimp-kit

 

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My gorgeous wife has asked: (due to my lack of focus on EV’s)

Do yo know how long will it take to charge on the 3 pin plug and is this substantially longer than installed charging point.

 

 

 

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Wow what a treat Mr Rand - look forward to the analysis in your detailed report.

Just a thought, why don’t you get it pimped up before handing it back.

I agree!

randy’s pimp-kit

 

Brilliant lol...

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@Strutt G According to Renault if you have a 7kW charging point fitted 7h , (one site said 9h 30 mins but it depends on which model it is) but on domestic between 17 (another site said >24 hours) it depends on which battery it has, is it the 52kW version? 

Looking at the maths and assuming the 13A domestic charges at 11Amps, that’s about 2.5kW charge per hour (there are some losses) so if it needed 45kW to top it up that would take 18 hours, where the 7kW charger would take just over 6.5 hours for the same charge.

That’s for a  nearly full charge which you’d be unlikely to do at home.

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Hi @woz 

It's a Renault ZOE ZE50 (GT Line) with a 52kWh usable battery. The official blurb is that it charges from 10-80%

8h30 on 7.4kW wallbox charger

3 hours on 22kW charger

56mins on 50kW charger (rapid charge

option only), so following your calculations, it would be about 24 hours on my domestic socket?

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Hi @woz 

It's a Renault ZOE ZE50 (GT Line) with a 52kWh usable battery. The official blurb is that it charges from 10-80%

8h30 on 7.4kW wallbox charger

3 hours on 22kW charger

56mins on 50kW charger (rapid charge

option only), so following your calculations, it would be about 24 hours on my domestic socket?

ahhh, yes I agree , I got the figures from the Renault website originally I wasn’t sure of the battery size  and ,it depends on whether in practice it’s ever going to be charged from empty to full at home. 

(You can’t choose 10-80 on the infomatic only 15-85% and they assume 10A not 11A domestic)

Further investigation on Renault website reveals:

So If you’re empty at night, don’t have a fast charger  and planning Manchester  to London first thing in the morning you might have a bout of range anxiety, but there’s a pill for that...

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Exciting stuff @stephenrand and happy to hear that the Elmo person got back!

Have you suffered from any range anxiety yet? 

Not yet! But I noted that the little round trip to return the delivery man reduced the charge from 97% to 81% - which is interesting, because his journey to us had only reduced it to that 97%. And I've set the drive mode to ECO, which must be better…

 

Cold battery?
Had the heating/fan on?

 

I have not checked if your Zoe model has the heat pump or not. Our previous one (the older ZE40) did not have a heat pump or battery temperate management, and winter range dropped signficiantly.

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Reminds me of coming home in the winter, wondering why the cab (Prius) driver had not turned on the heating. Nothing like paying for a freezing cold service. I guess cold weather has to be factored on long journeys.

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Exciting stuff @stephenrand and happy to hear that the Elmo person got back!

Have you suffered from any range anxiety yet? 

Not yet! But I noted that the little round trip to return the delivery man reduced the charge from 97% to 81% - which is interesting, because his journey to us had only reduced it to that 97%. And I've set the drive mode to ECO, which must be better…

 

Cold battery?
Had the heating/fan on?

 

I have not checked if your Zoe model has the heat pump or not. Our previous one (the older ZE40) did not have a heat pump or battery temperate management, and winter range dropped signficiantly.

Had the fan on to clear the misted window! The warmth v range winter conundrum...

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Some of the complications of a new EV are the complications of a new car - the info centre?? i.e. satnav, radio etc is completely beyond me at the moment.

But I also took 30 minutes last night, in the dark, cold and rain, trying to detach the charger from the car. I got so desperate I downloaded the manual from the internet!! Who'd have thought? In retrospect, perfectly logical to unlock it using the button you don't have to press to unlock the car...

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@Strutt G 

Trust you've shared the info from Woz with your lovely wife... She did ask…

Stephen

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Funny thing @stephenrand I just showed her all the thread before she shot out.  It goes without saying she’s heard of Woz (who hasn’t), and his enthusiastic and in depth responses and was pleased. She’s a ponderer and will no doubt read this again. Getting another car is high on our agenda, but both of us are not really interested in cars so its always a dilemma. Guess we gonna have to get out there and test drive some once we’ve got a short list. Once chosen; we’ll say why didn’t we do this ages ago - just can’t see it being an EV.

Time time.

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Funny thing @stephenrand I just showed her all the thread before she shot out.  It goes without saying she’s heard of Woz (who hasn’t), and his enthusiastic and in depth responses and was pleased. She’s a ponderer and will no doubt read this again. Getting another car is high on our agenda, but both of us are not really interested in cars so its always a dilemma. Guess we gonna have to get out there and test drive some once we’ve got a short list. Once chosen; we’ll say why didn’t we do this ages ago - just can’t see it being an EV.

Time time.

Hi @Strutt G 

Well worth exploring the short test subscription option with Elmo - I'd looked at it before this Christmas gift came along…

More about the Pure Planet and Elmo partnership here, and how you can try out your first EV on a short term lease, with a special discount for PP Members.

 

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Its a great idea and won’t outright dismiss it, but living in a terrace house (not converting front garden) with charging points a few mins away is not appealing. Ponder ponder...including leasing a hybrid for a couple of years and think about again after we’ve moved and have a drive…

Cheers

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Its a great idea and won’t outright dismiss it, but living in a terrace house (not converting front garden) with charging points a few mins away is not appealing. Ponder ponder...including leasing a hybrid for a couple of years and think about again after we’ve moved and have a drive…

Cheers

@Strutt G 

Hybrids are not flavour of the month <link

I was going to write a  post referring that article but I decided that since it’s nearly a couple of weeks old and the media seems to have largely overlooked  the huge scandal that is hybrids, (the scandal not being that they are better for town centres, that’s a good thing but the manufacturer’s claims vs real emissions) I decided there was little point. 

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Its a great idea and won’t outright dismiss it, but living in a terrace house (not converting front garden) with charging points a few mins away is not appealing. Ponder ponder...including leasing a hybrid for a couple of years and think about again after we’ve moved and have a drive…

Cheers

@Strutt G

Hybrids are not flavour of the month <link

I was going to write a  post referring that article but I decided that since it’s nearly a couple of weeks old and the media seems to have largely overlooked  the huge scandal that is hybrids, (the scandal not being that they are better for town centres, that’s a good thing but the manufacturer’s claims vs real emissions) I decided there was little point. 

Won’t be rushing in, if it is a Hybrid then it won’t be a plugin Hybrid and if its a lease job then guess I’ll stick with petrol. I will do some research and be bold enough to post potential choice. My short list so far leans towards Japanese vehicles based on reliability and once again if its a lease job then it might not be.

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What a lovely treat for you @stephenrand 

I look forward to reading any reports you post 

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First opportunity for a drive in the countryside today - some lovely sunshine in the Chilterns on the way, then back on the motorway in the dark and the rain.

The car performed really well (apart from a couple of instances of light road-holding). It even sailed past a BMW that was tootling along quite slowly - my wife guessed correctly, driver was on a mobile phone call...

The main challenge is nothing to do with it being electric, just being a high-tech new car - the computer/ satnav/entertainment display is a wonderful mystery. Audio Off means it is off, not where you press to switch it off - simples.

It's also an automatic, of course, so that takes some getting used to, though my wife commented that my driving was very smooth!!??

My 12-year-old grandson thought it would make a very good car to learn to drive on... Think he'll have to wait a little longer.

I loved the fact that going down a hill charged the battery, I actually saw the estimated mileage left go up by two miles!

But the range anxiety isn't helped by knowing if you turn the heater on you've got less miles left to drive.

Still, a very pleasant drive, cruise control on the motorway pretty good. You get home tired, all you've got to do before settling down on the sofa is plug in the battery, and wonder if I should check if you're not supposed to charge it if it's too cold...

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