A year with a twizy: London commuting and convenience travel about town

June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on A year with a twizy: London commuting and convenience travel about town § permalink

It has now creeped over a year since I have owner my Renault Twizy.

So quick stats



Since day One; I have opted for 7500miles/year battery rental agreement,- with includes recovery assistance.

My daily commute works out roughly 25miles a day.

I have had (and since sold) twizy Windows by renault(flappy ones) and have bought lexan Windows (sturdy ones which cover all the way to the back of the door-curve.
Better security. Better protection from the elements.

I installed this #TAQSI Bluetooth sound systemic the twizy, so I can now have my favourite weekender playlist on my rides about town.

Best twizy related ado is the marketing wrap and events I have done for some folks which sort of pre-paid my battery rental for a year. So this £53/month battery fee, has not really been felt on my pocket. So “yey” there.

Daily commuting, even shopping, pick-ups and drop-offs – (friends and family members who wanted to endure a tandem ride) was actually quite an interesting development. Didn’t expect to do people collect/drops all that often.


I have however truly enjoyed two things:

Incredibly cheap cost of driving. 6.1kwh battery pack that is, costs about £0.70 with my home electricity tariff. Considering my commute does get work/based charging (top up really, 1.5hours and I’m good) and places about London – not sure if I even should count that expense.

Did I mention the charging? Well, 3 hours 0-100% to charge this beast is ridiculous.

I top up when I get to work (11-12miles later) that takes just over a hour, no thanks to my merry-zealous driving style in the morning. But you get the picture. Cost of driving fuel is near-nil.

So far some snags with the twizy were sorted by warranty, but at large I found the costs of twizy servicing and parts pretty sensible. I think a new tyre is £43, so you get an idea. Couple that with free health checks you get time to time with my dealer and it’s a good deal all round.

My range
Being me, i have been very pedantic with my range counting just like many other EV owners out there. Pushing my twizy best I could with all sort of driving styles.

I think I managed 42miles range. Half range driven with a passenger! So I’m content on that note.

Sure, winter, temperature as well as Driving style makes a difference. So common EV sense approach works and the range is the similar today as last year, although feels like it’s 1-2 miles less on the range estimate.

Had battery electronics checked by Renault, these folks given me 100% healthy report. Much like yourself, I’m finding that 100% figure incredibly dubious and naive, providing that it’s a 4 year old battery, so there is bound to be some form of degradation, – alas it’s not significant enough to warrant any serious exploration on my part. You see, battery rental is there to deal with any of battery related issues – it’s a separate product – warranty – so it’s “not my problem”, so to speak. Good. So far so good.

Convenience
One of serious twizy benefits – size!

I can fit twizy in my drive and then fit a Nissan Leaf right behind it. If it’s a BMW i3 I need to fit on the same drive instead, – all the easier. Parking at most notorious parking black spots, from obscure and awkward to downright impossible by conventional car means, with a twizy, I can hop in, pop to the high street bakery in the morning, and be back home in guaranteed 10 minutes or less.


Very impressive. Parking is not an issue.

There is a snag, whereby your twizy is not a car but not a bike either, so overtaking stationary one-way traffic – common sense – not possible. Maybe for for a short break? Anyway. Drive. Park. Go.

There are also, as discovered, a lot of custom mods available and developed for twizy electric – from external rear storage  to speed (ECU) mods, enabling you to turn up the power spec the twizy. Currently it’s limited to 50MPH, and say you wanted to go 60MPH – you can.subject to insurance cover and warranty alike but if you want it – you can have it.

Weather proofing. You know, like most, I have had Windows on, even at the spec of rain. And it was good. Especially during winter and winter freezing chills. But eventually, I found them too big, to unwieldy and unnecessary for commutes. Sacrificing convenience of free access to my twizy and even a casual QnA chat about my twizy ride with a fellow traffic-stuck driver in the lane next to me… I missed that. With Windows on, it’s not the same.


Besides. So far I am yet to be rained on, soaked so, when it’s raining so bad. With heaviest downpours here and there at odd occurrence a year, hmm…. Debatable. In my Personal humble opinion, winter months, sure, keep Windows fitted, come Feb-March, take them off.
Conclusion to date
if you need a daily commuter and your work has a lack of parking spaces, or you dont like the idea of
riding a bike, for mostly short distances, TWIZY is your thing.

Ps mine is still for sale. Holla me on Twitter or email me on iam[at]evmeerkat.com

Go Aberdeen: Electric vehicle no charge cost to continue in Aberdeen

March 17th, 2016 § Comments Off on Go Aberdeen: Electric vehicle no charge cost to continue in Aberdeen § permalink

People can continue to charge their electric vehicles at no cost apart from the on-street or car park charge for a further 12 months after it was agreed at committee yesterday (Tues 15 March).

Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee approved a report on the service.
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “This is a fantastic scheme and will help to encourage more people to change to electric vehicles.
“We hope many more motorists will go electric and will make use of our facility of not charging for the electricity.”
The report to committee said the supply and installation of the EV Charging Units has, to date, been 100% grant funded by Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government Transport Agency, OLEV, the UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Energy Saving Trust Scotland. Funding has been awarded to Community Planning Partnerships in each local authority area with Community Planning Partners (CPPs) the recipients.
Since the Aberdeen public network was installed in 2013, the cost of providing the electricity for these units has been absorbed by the City Council.
Figures obtained from EDF, the City Council’s energy provider, reveal that, since they were installed, the cost of running the 34 charge points that the Council has figures for is £13,116.
The Aberdeen Air Quality Action Plan (2011) identifies road traffic as the main contributor to poor air quality in Aberdeen. Given that Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) offer zero and reduced tailpipe emissions respectively when compared with 100% Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, facilitating the use of such vehicles could make a difference to Aberdeen air quality.
The report to committee further said evidence suggests that people choose EVs and PHEVs partly for their environmental credentials and partly due to the low running costs. An 80 mile journey in an EV typically costs around £2.50 in electricity, around a quarter of the price of an equivalent fossil fuelled vehicle. Still, only 1% of new car sales in Scotland are EV and PHEV and it is argued that the current low cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps is doing little to help uptake.
The free use of the charging infrastructure could be considered as a significant incentive to stimulate interest. If this is not offered, the uptake could be limited and this could have a detrimental impact upon sustainability and environmental issues.
Aberdeen City Council won a Scottish Transport Award in 2015 for its work “Powering ahead with electric vehicles”, and is regarded by the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland (EVAS) as the best EV Council in Scotland. By continuing to present the city as EV friendly, the Council aims to uphold this reputation both with users and transport professionals alike.

From http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/CouncilNews/ci_cns/pr_electricvehicles_160316.asp

Aftermarket Upgrade Planning: T.A.Q.S.I – Installing Sound System into #Twizy #ev Brainstormfest #taqsi

October 8th, 2015 § Comments Off on Aftermarket Upgrade Planning: T.A.Q.S.I – Installing Sound System into #Twizy #ev Brainstormfest #taqsi § permalink

Unlike other folk’s Premium #electricVehicle #Twizy models, mine did not come with any Bluetooth Parrot integration, nor speakers.

All twizy (for the sake for simplicity and design) have the roof-moulder speaker mounds. They are relatively easily exposed with some Torx screws (x2). But lets get hasty, I need to ensure this poor-and-excited-twizy-owner’s-attempt wont bring tears but deliver a good sound upgrade which is well appreciated, especially by moi – the Driver.

I also do hope this Sound upgrade could be a Twizy, Affordable, Quick, Simple, Sound, Install (T.A.Q.S.I) #TAQSI

My Requirements and Considerations for aftermarket upgrade are as follows:

  • Need for simplicity in music playback/hands-free audio. bluetooth is the way to go
  • Also don’t mean to be picky, but i am after a quality playback. to research good speaker’s(options). Stereo Playback is a must
  • No major #twizy body panel alteration or any soldering, this needs to be relatively easy plug-and-play
  • Power Source will be that “cigarette lighter” affixed in the left glovebox.
  • Does not require much technical knowledge allowing this to become “Quick-Twizy-Audio-Upgrade” standard

Having scouted the ebay and indeed many forums, I found that while everyone had a different approach to this “challenge”, not all was documented enough for me to follow. Some required soldering – which was at odds with my requirement above.

I have also come across numerous “car-kits” which simply wont do in a twizy, whether they are too cumbersome, complicated, or just draw too much power.

What we are after is a Bluetooth’s receiver with Quality Playback(Stereo speakers), which can be charged via the USB, – a plug fixed into that cigarette lighter, which i mentioned earlier.

What i have settled in – and considered – is ordering something alike Bolse BTS-12  since for £33 odd pounds sterling the unit had a great review: Bluetooth, 6W speakers for Left and Right, delivering some impressive quality playback. It is a nice package, but i feel it may be just as good once i dismantle it for #Twizy’s retrofitting. I know this would go against “non complicated setup”, and alternative consideration was floating around whether i am able to fit the whole unit somewhere “up there” by the roof’s speaker mounds or not. Things would be much simpler that way.

That remains to be considered seriously. So we keep this as Plan B.

 

For Plan A, I intend to go high and low and get the best return-on-investment, saving time, money and making this installation most simplest possible, without undermining the quality of the setup.

 

Having hopped a few stores for hands-on research, i have come across the following speakers;

  • Music Angel Friendz Universal Rechargeable Portable Mini Speaker Pink 6w Output
Music Angel Friendz Universal Rechargeable Portable Mini Speaker Pink 6w Output

Music Angel Friendz Universal Rechargeable Portable Mini Speaker Pink 6w Output

The Best Bit:

You can daisy Chain those – for louder, Stereo playback with a simple

3.5mm audio jack. Sorted. Another “Best Bit”, well, they are £7.50 Delivered. Each. peanuts.

Also They are USB chargeable, with small on-board battery offering additional nn-hours playback (double digits – more than i need – enabling me to charge phone if i need to do so While i listen to music)

So, now i thought i had speakers, as nice as they were, i still needed an Bluetooth reciever, – and with good old fashioned ebay to the rescue, – i found some;

  • USB Bluetooth 3.5mm Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter for Speaker iPhone Mp3
USB Bluetooth 3.5mm Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter for Speaker iPhone Mp3

USB Bluetooth 3.5mm Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter for Speaker iPhone Mp3

Simple installation: USB plug-and-play + 3.5mm jack

Quick and Simple to install. Good reviews and with a cost of < £5 delivered. no brainer.

 

Finally, for the last bit, i need power. Twin USB source to power my contraption. Sorted:

  • Universal Dual USB 2-Port In-Car Socket Twin Charger 12v iPhone (£1.49 free delivery)

    Universal Dual USB 2-Port In-Car Socket Twin Charger 12v iPhone

    Universal Dual USB 2-Port In-Car Socket Twin Charger 12v iPhone

The Good bit:  it can draw enough power to charge an ipad. this means the daisy chained speaker set could very likely share the single usb power (which i’d split later too)

 

Oh Yes, i may just may require some extras:

USB splitter/Hub to share power from for Individual Speakers (Bus Powered)

AmazonBasics USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub; Bus-powered

AmazonBasics USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub; Bus-powered

Its Ipad*(more amps)-powered connection which is then split via such a hub to provide individual power to each of the speaker.

 

 

3.5mm 2 Male to Female Y Splitter Audio Cable For iPhone,iPad,Speaker,Computer

3.5mm 2 Male to Female Y Splitter Audio Cable For iPhone,iPad,Speaker,Computer

3.5mm 2 Male to Female Y Splitter Audio Cable For iPhone,iPad,Speaker,Computer

This will enable My single bluetooth adaptor “playback” to each of the speakers individually. Costs about £1-£5 (depending where you order from. Cheaper from Hong Kong)

 

 

3.5mm Jack Male to Male Stereo Audio AUX Cable Cord For iPhone iPod phone #C BG

3.5mm Jack Male to Male Stereo Audio AUX Cable Cord For iPhone iPod phone #C BG

3.5mm Jack Male to Male Stereo Audio AUX Cable Cord For iPhone iPod phone #C BG

This 3.5mm jack extension will connect to bluetooth adaptor, for extra length, which I intend to run behind plastic interior into the Speaker Moulds. This will then be connected to the 3.5mm splitter, which THEN be connected to each individual Speakers.
Costs about a £1, if ordered from Hong Kong. You can vary the prices and indeed qualities with your local supplier as well.

 

Wow. I ordered the lot. Now we gotta sit tight, wait, and see if my plans yield to any fruition.

Ok Wish me luck, leave comments and questions below or tweet @evmeerkat for of the same!

Plan A estimated cost is about £25:

  • Speakers £15 (2x£7.50) +
  • £5 Bluetooth Receiver +
  • Car USB 12V A2 socket £1.50 (ANY STANDARD SOCKET WOULD DO) +
  • USB Hub £5.00 odd +
  • Y-Splitter 3.5mm 2 Male to 1 female jack (found from Hong Kong) £2 +(NOT NEEDED)
  • 3.5MM Jack Male to Male extension £1

If this works. Its better than a Bargain.

Thank me with a Pint Later (Twizy Ride to Hampstead anyone?), or;

If you need a good cause to donate – Donate some some to EVDA-UK – EV Drivers Association could really do with some support.
PS. #TAQSI is the new hashtag for this event – spread the love

UPDATE:

  • Y-splitter is not required at all actually.

My Electric Avenue report stresses collaboration

September 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on My Electric Avenue report stresses collaboration § permalink

 
My Electric Avenue has just released a new report about its program in the UK that is designed to explore what impact electric cars will have on utility companies. My Electric Avenue seeks to discover ways that the increased demand for electricity can be met with the least need for new power lines and other infrastructure upgrades.

Using the Nissan LEAF as its vehicle of choice, My Electric Avenue has been encouraging neighborhood clusters to adopt the use of an electric car to see how concentrating the demand in small areas affects local utility companies. It finds that the key to preventing overloading of existing circuits and minimizing utility company costs is using smart technologies like its Esprit program.

Esprit can manage when and how much an individual electric car gets charged based upon time of day and input cues from drivers about when they expect to begin driving again and how far. The program then spreads out the load on the existing grid to prevent overloading that can cause transformers to fail or power lines to overheat.

The study is timely. The latest UK sales figures show that sales of plug-in cars are growing at an increasing rate. By the end of June 2015, electric car registrations for the period January to June 2015 were 14,586 – more than the total for all of 2014. The figures show that electric vehicle registrations are up 256% year-on-year, which equates to UK consumers buying an electric vehicle every 18 minutes.

“Whilst these levels of EV and PHEV uptake sound high in the short term, ownership of such vehicles is expected to cluster, with certain people / demographics living in similar areas choosing these vehicles ahead of others” says My Electric Avenue Project Director, Dave Roberts. “The UK is committed to encouraging the take-up of more plug-in cars.”

He adds, “My Electric Avenue has shown that some local electricity networks will require investment if multiple electric vehicles are charging at the same time. Thankfully, the project has also shown that there is a technological solution to this problem, but we now need the car industry and the energy industry to work with each other to agree on ways to implement solutions in a timely manner.”

The work by My Electric Avenue has implications for the utility industry in the US as well. Stewart Reid, head of asset management and innovation at Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution explains: “This is an interesting challenge, as consumer behavior and uptake can be notoriously difficult to predict and we need to ensure our networks can cope with the array of new demands placed on them. My Electric Avenue is an important project for us, as it is both helping to understand the problem and looking into a cost-effective solution that can be deployed at speed when the time comes.”

In the US, not every utility company has welcomed the challenge that electric and plug-in cars presents. The most important finding of the My Electric Avenue report is that collaboration among all stakeholders is the key to meeting that challenge.

More from: http://ecomento.com/2015/09/15/my-electric-avenue-report-stresses-collaboration/#respond

UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?…

August 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?… § permalink

Firstly, I’d mention that citroen has been my very first electric car (#ev virgin no more), so it would always have a special place with me.

My Experience to day is mixed, and reason being that back in 2012 era, there were not much of electric car support or even consideration from fellow driver, rather awe and “good luck mate, better you than me” sort of attitude.Purty cZero

You know, the sort of stuff you’d get when  you are at the forefront of pretty much… anything.

Beside naysayers, 21,481 Electric Miles covered in the electric car was fantastic.

How much did i save?

Well, comparing to my original pre-ev car at the time, Automatic, Petrol, 1.4 Polo, which at most averaged 35mpg (i know, i’m an optimist), would result in saving of £3107 (less cos of electricity for same period) in Petrol costs.

Servicing
This is a whole another story.
First Service, first year, was £69
Second Service (major) at year three, was £416.99 (Odd fixes which were self inflicted are not included, as they are not relevant for the overall comparison)

Driving
Shape of the car means that narrow London streets are no enemy. Small form factor means parking was a bliss as well.

Total Lease cost
This lease deal was a 3+35 Lease with 10k/annum allowance costing roughly £180 VAT Inclusive. (Not bad!)
Comparison for the 1-6 Travelcard/tube costs, this car ownership wins hands down. So if you’re in London, have access to parking, its a no brainer, in my opinion. Ironic but true.

END-OF-LEASE Collection

So, essentially you get these letters towards the end of the lease term, advising you to ensure you have all paperwork is in order. get documentation, two sets of keys and get car fully cleaned and DIY remedied where possible. This ensures that car is going back in the same (very similar) condition as when you got it. Its basically a car rental, – as it is, but you get opportunity to fix all your dents and scruffs to avoid the surprise fees (there are no excesses coverage). plain and simple.

Here is my such letter.

service-advise-return-lease-czero-1service-advise-return-lease-czero-2

Inspection day

Basically, since its an electric car, i was told that this would be a two-stage process (no fees advised)

Day 1, inspection. Day 2, collection, as someone else with a flatbed truck needs to collect this.

Fair do.

Result of my inspection day

All is to plan, as i am well aware of the small alloy scruff on the pavement. :/ oh well, and i cannot simply, cannot find the booklet set which came with citroen. it’s been a while. give up. ok, minor costs, accept the debauchery.

But the finer detail yet, – this report lists the return’s transportation fees and inspection fees. Huh?

Surely thats not for me to foot. I personally would like to think its not in my interest (nor benefit) to have any of those, so why is it on there? To be Confirmed… Since i am a pint half-full sort of person, i’d like to think its a honest cock-up so to speak.

10/08/2015 11:00am. I will be updating this post once more information/confirmation/clarification comes to light.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it's for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it’s for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

For now, i’ve left with more mixed feelings that i would like to deal with.
I have paid for all three years of leasing without hitch, had all the relevant services, MOT.
Car is in a good nick, as confirmed in the report.
So why this, last “slap” surprise? Only one day to find out.

Closing thoughts on ownership
I have had a good time and some awkward times when it comes to range.
In fact its a gen1 electric car and having 75miles range estimated is pretty good.
At the end of year three, that is not the case any longer, and now the range is a lot less.
Climate control (AirCon/Heating) on gen1 were notoriously hungry for power with resistance heaters.

Parking and Driving about London Town is a bliss (see above)

Interior is minimal but so is the cost of the lease. Im not complaining.

Intercity driving not advised, but with ecotricity Rapid Chargers on every corner these days, its not impossible to do so.

Boot space is minimal. It Is tad less than of Audi’s A3 E-tron PHEV. And BMW i3. Its usable, but dont expect much from it.

I would say that resale/pre-loved car expected to cost about 6k. I would say it’s worth about 5k.

Having said that, Twizy (45miles tops/no windows/ no heating/ 2 seats) would cost about 4k.

So a 4 seater Imiev/czero/ion still wins.

In fact insurance category is 1A, so new drivers would certainly be benefitting from a low insurance premium. Just a thought. Consider this, the worse they drive the less farther they would go.

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!

Conclusion

I have set out with a full blown letter, as advised by @citroenUK, who are not direct[ly in control] of their financing company counterpart in the UK.

Subject: Surprise costs an end-of-lease agreement

Dear Sir/Madam,

 …[removed irrelevant liners of identity]..

The purpose of this enquiry is me contesting the car collection and inspection fees, which were added into “Damage” report, where such charges have no relevance.

I have indeed contested these charges, but it would appear my dispute was ignored and I was subsequently served with a letter demanding the full payment.

I have made reasonable attempts to contact Citroen UK to determine the status and progress of these affairs, and have only been just advised that this to be taken further, via email.

The Following charges contested, as I believe they are not relevant in my Damage Report;

  • Car Inspection Service, Fee – £31.80
  • Car Transportation(return to base) Service, fee – £275

I would like to believe these have appeared on the car inspection by a mistake, since they are spurious and offer me/customer no benefit.

In the even these charges are imposed as “correct”, I am legally contesting those, to be void.

Both of these Served me(customer) no benefit, and these [specifically levied costs] were not discussed/forewarned prior breaching “Requirement for Transparency” of Consumer Rights Act 2015 S68(1,2), nor found in my original agreement details.

Under Consumer Contract 2013, Section 40, as a consumer I am protected against such spurious charges;

Specifically, under s40 (1) I have offered no express consent for [any] charges arising from the aforementioned [contested] services. 

Furthermore, I/[customer] find these charges Unfair.  

Furthermore, under Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 S8 (1)(a), which constitutes to misrepresentation of services provided [by notion of Car Collection Notice, without any cost/charges advised by phone/contract/citroen website’s section on end-of-term, car return preparation]

This satisfies the reasonableness test under section 11(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, specifically, by effect of:

  • no prior forewarning regarding inspection and car collection fees, and by notion that any such charges for services offer any benefit to me/consumer. 
  • None of the aforementioned, contested charges fall under Car Damage category, for the purpose of such car inspection report, where required.

Any such additional charges[terms and notices] found to be be unfair are NOT BINDING on the consumer, as affirmed by Consumer Rights Act 2015 S62(2)

Under the very same Consumer Rights Act 2015, S56 (1) Leasing Finance[trader] is to reduce the total price[specifically removing aforementioned fees from my DAMAGE REPORT], and this must have any other imposed fees, as a result of doing so (S56)(6). 

I sincerely Hope that this was an accidental mistake and is not to cause any further grievance for either party.

 

Phew. There. Done. Pressed SEND. No going back. Always know your rights.

Not sure? Well, www.legislation.gov.uk is a good place to start digging your curious minds in.

And, ukCScomplaints has finally responded my rightful complaint about these shenanigans.

Thank you for your email regarding the charges you received when our vehicle was returned to us.

Normally, our agents at Manheim will carry out an inspection of the vehicle to produce the condition report, then collect the vehicle at the same time and drive it away to the auction house. However for electric vehicles, the inspection of the vehicle takes place prior to the collection. As it is difficult to guarantee that the vehicle will make it to the auction house and beyond without needing to be recharged, the vehicle must then be collected on a Low Loader. The fees you see on the condition report are for this separate inspection and collection procedure.

In light of your dissatisfaction I will remove these charges totaling £306.80. I can see we were due to collect your charges today by Direct Debit; if you did not cancel the Direct Debit I will ensure this is refunded back to you. If you have cancelled your Direct Debit, please make a manual payment of £90 at your earliest convenience, by cheque or by BACS with the following details:

 …

Which is great. Finally. You’d think Man vs Finance-Org Wins. Good times.

But… it does not feel like winning at all.

Its right down unfair, wrong and day-light robbery if this was allowed to continue.

I would be right to drag this out through mud and courts to get justice with this.

Its £300 of my hard earned money after-all. If I was paying out every bob, steve and suzie every time some[one] company would post me an fictions invoice I’d be broke, and i mean broke [&] stupid, which is even worse(apparently).

Nevetheless, I have accepted the deal, thanked the team for looking into this promptly and [how-could-i-not] given my two-pence on this saga.

Dear R,

I appreciate  your response. And your reconsidered Final Settlement figure of £90 is thus accepted.

I will be making payments shortly later today. Direct Debit mandate is cancelled.

I would like to add however,

  • implore you rather, to make all such “hidden” charges more transparent to all such future electric vehicle leasing programmes. I am certain these are well justified costs, but to addressed by the finance company, not the end-leaseholder, who will bear no benefit for such services, especially without prior agreement in place. Therefore such fees would always be deemed unfair and not applicable.
  • I have wished to address this earlier without further prompts for such emails. I would further urge you to look into the Manhein’s collection process. I have explicitly disagreed with the aforementioned charges on the outset. Despite doing so, you have sent me an invoice for the Full Amount. This speaks poorly for the quality of such car collection processes.

Regards,

EvMeerkat

Moral of the story, Don’t Blame the EV experience, thats One.

Two. If you need to blame someone, then blame the folks who are not specialists in the field and are not willing to adapt with the times. Best way forward, go for a car, which manufacturer actually manufactures… – their own [in-house] car and thus they are more likely to be are able to adjust the processes to suit their customers. Not the other way round.

Warrantywise to offer cover for electric cars

August 23rd, 2015 § Comments Off on Warrantywise to offer cover for electric cars § permalink

The first warranty cover for EVs has been announced by Warrantywise

Warrantywise has announced the first warranty designed for used electric vehicles. The news comes as thousands of electric cars in the UK are reaching the end of their manufacturer’s warranties.

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity in the UK due to their low running costs, quiet rides and drivability, and zero emission powertrains. The Nissan Leaf is the most popular, with over 10,000 being sold since its 2011 release. Other manufacturers are also selling EVs with success including the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S, and BMW i3. » Read the rest of this entry «

The innovators: cheaper batteries could help electric cars hit the mainstream

August 10th, 2015 § Comments Off on The innovators: cheaper batteries could help electric cars hit the mainstream § permalink

Sheffield-based Faradion has developed a sodium-ion battery that looks and performs in the same way as a regular lithium-ion battery but is 30% cheaper.

Chris Wright, the chairman of Faradion, with the sodium-ion electric car battery.

Chris Wright, the chairman of Faradion, with the sodium-ion electric car battery developed by the company. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt

There was a surge in the sale of electric cars last year but the number leaving the forecourts is still dwarfed by traditional gas-guzzlers at a ratio of almost 50 to one. The high cost of the batteries that power the vehicles is a prime reason.

Sheffield-based Faradion believes it has found a solution – new battery technology, the development of which has been spearheaded in the UK.

“For an electric car, the cost of a battery is crudely the same as the cost of the rest. That is quite the wrong proportion for it to take off. So people are desperate to find ways to supply cheaper batteries,” Faradion chairman, Chris Wright, said. » Read the rest of this entry «

UPDATED: Tesla Model S Gets New 90-kWh Battery, ‘Ludicrous’ Performance Mode

July 18th, 2015 § Comments Off on UPDATED: Tesla Model S Gets New 90-kWh Battery, ‘Ludicrous’ Performance Mode § permalink

The Tesla Model S luxury electric sedan will get an upgrade of its highest-capacity battery pack, from 85 to 90 kilowatt-hours, as well as a new optional high-performance mode called “Ludicrous” mode..

The news was announced today by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk during a press conference (and followed one hour later by an update on the rocketry efforts of SpaceX, which he also runs).

Musk called the upgrade “pretty awesome,” as is his wont.

In “Ludicrous” mode in both P85D and new P90D variants–it’s above “Insane” mode, to be clear–the new software will reduce 0-to-60-mph acceleration from the current level of 3.1 seconds to 2.8 seconds, Musk said.

Its quarter-mile time is cut to 10.9 seconds, and maximum acceleration will be 1.1g–or, as Musk noted, “faster than falling.”

Tesla Model S P85D ‘Insane’ mode acceleration [frame capture from DragTimes video]
For the new performance mode, Musk described an “advanced smart fuse” for the battery that the company had developed, with its own electronics and its own very small lithium-ion battery.

The company also upgraded the main battery contacts from steel to a more advanced metal, resulting in a maximum power delivery from 1300 amps to 1500 amps.

Up to about 30 mph, the car is limited by the traction of its tires; above that, the limitation on acceleration becomes how much current can safely be drawn from the pack, with the performance improved by the increase to 1500 amps.

Musk called the new “Ludicrous” mode “an extension of Insane mode” past a speed of 30 mph.

Musk said no chassis or suspension changes were needed, noting that with the right tires, the car will corner at 1g–which, he said, “most people have no idea what that feels like.”

The cell chemistry for the upgraded 90-kWh pack includes a new anode that adds silicon to the graphite, permitting the increase in performance.

Tesla expects roughly a 6 to 7 percent increase in EPA-rated range for the P90D version, roughly equivalent to the increase in energy capacity of the new pack.

The 90-kWh battery, with its increased range, will be a $3,000 upgrade over the cost of an equivalent Model S with the older 85-kWh pack.

The longest-distance model in the Tesla range will become the 90D Model S, which Musk said will get very close to a highway range of 300 miles when operating at a steady 65 miles per hour.

As far as any increase in sales due to the new version, Musk said, “I have no idea” in response to a journalist’s question.

“We thought these would be pretty awesome, so we did it.”

For the next six months, existing P85D owners can buy the new pack for just $5,000 plus labor costs for the installation (which vary from location to location).

Musk said the company is in the process of finishing the safety validation for the new larger battery to be retrofitted into the company’s Roadster sports cars.

The first deliveries of that pack will probably be ready for field deliveries late next month, Musk said.

First delivered in June 2012, the Tesla Model S still offers–more than three year later–the highest range of any plug-in electric production car sold anywhere in the world.

ICED Justice: Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire

July 10th, 2015 § Comments Off on ICED Justice: Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire § permalink

COUNCIL bosses are looking to increase the number of locations to charge electric cars in North Lincolnshire.

It comes after 88 of the vehicles were registered in the area in the first quarter of this year – up from 33 in the whole of 2014.

Electric cars run on electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries, or other energy storage devices, and are said to be more efficient than standard petrol-fuelled vehicles.

North Lincolnshire Council is currently conducting a study into where charging points could be located in town centres. They would add to the two points currently available for charging the cars, both at garages in Scunthorpe.

Council leader Liz Redfern said she wanted to ensure more facilities were available for electric car owners locally, to stop them having to leave the region.

She said: “There seems to be a significant increase in the sales of electric cars locally.

“The technology seems to have advanced and residents are clearly considering them as a real option for travel.

“However, we don’t want our town centres to be disadvantaged if electric car owners are limited to where they can travel to.

“I am told that there were 88 new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of this year.

“For me, that means we need to make sure our 88 vehicle owners use our town centres instead of other towns with these charging points.”

The Zap Map website, which gives the locations of charging points, shows there is currently one at the Marshall Motor Group’s Renault dealership on Normanby Road, Scunthorpe.

The other existing charging point in North Lincolnshire is listed as being at the Hartwell Nissan dealership on Station Road in the town.

Mrs Redfern said exact locations for where the new facilities could be located had not yet been identified.

But she said: “They will be in prominent car parks, but there is a bit of infrastructure work to do before we can put them in.”

Figures show a total of 10,174 plug-in electric vehicles were registered nationally from 2006 to March 2014.

Around three-quarters were being run by businesses and local authorities in fleets, where they can help to meet emissions targets and reduce operating costs.

Electric cars are exempt from vehicle tax and have significantly lower running costs than petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles.

But their relatively low sales so far have been blamed on high purchase costs and anxiety over their mileage range.

Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire

July 7th, 2015 § Comments Off on Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire § permalink

COUNCIL bosses are looking to increase the number of locations to charge electric cars in North Lincolnshire.

It comes after 88 of the vehicles were registered in the area in the first quarter of this year – up from 33 in the whole of 2014.

Electric cars run on electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries, or other energy storage devices, and are said to be more efficient than standard petrol-fuelled vehicles.
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