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

Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London

June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London § permalink

Car-sharing service Zipcar is partnering with Westminster city council to bring fifty Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars to its members in London.
Westminster will receive 40 cars and 10 additional cars are to be sent elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak.


Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 of Westminster city council’s club parking bays.

The city council has installed electric charging infrastructure in 40 of its car club parking bays.

Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster city council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.

“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles. Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”

Price

The cars are available to drivers for £7 an hour, which is the same rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf.

According to Zipcar Figures suggest that one in 10 UK car club members have used an electric vehicle, which is up on just 4% in 2014.

Mark Walker, Zipcar UK general manager, said: “At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members. The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and fully flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.”

The car club strategy for London announced last May by councils, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London is targeting 50% of car-share fleets to be electric vehicles by 2050.

Source: http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/06/09/zipcar-to-bring-50-electric-vehicles-to-london/

Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London

June 9th, 2016 § Comments Off on Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London § permalink

Car-sharing service Zipcar is partnering with Westminster city council to bring fifty Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars to its members in London.
Westminster will receive 40 cars and 10 additional cars are to be sent elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak.
Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 of Westminster city council’s club parking bays.

Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 parking bays

The city council has installed electric charging infrastructure in 40 of its car club parking bays.
Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster city council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.
“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles. Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”

Price

The cars are available to drivers for £7 an hour, which is the same rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf.
According to Zipcar Figures suggest that one in 10 UK car club members have used an electric vehicle, which is up on just 4% in 2014.
Mark Walker, Zipcar UK general manager, said: “At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members. The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and fully flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.”
The car club strategy for London announced last May by councils, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London is targeting 50% of car-share fleets to be electric vehicles by 2050.

BMW revamps “i” electric car division to focus on self-driving tech

June 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW revamps “i” electric car division to focus on self-driving tech § permalink

MUNICH, June 2 (Reuters) – BMW has transformed its “i” division into a development centre for self-driving cars, a board member told Reuters, a major strategic shift for the unit previously focused on making a family of lightweight electric vehicles.

While Tesla’s Model 3 will hit showrooms in 2017, and as rivals Porsche and Audi are working on all-electric cars for release by 2019, the German carmaker appears to have put such cars on the back burner. Its next fully-electric car is not due until 2021.
The company has changed tack after its only fully battery-powered car, the i3, failed to gain traction with the public, with only 25,000 sales last year. By contrast, Tesla has already received more than 370,000 orders for its Model 3.
Now, rather than seeking to match the likes of Tesla and Porsche with a new zero-emissions sports limousine for release within the next two years, its main focus will be on developing an electric car with the next generation of technology: autonomous driving.
In an interview at the company’s headquarters in Munich, BMW board member Klaus Froehlich, who is in charge of development, said he had relaunched the i division in April as a unit devoted to producing cars that drive themselves.
“It is now in ramp-up stage. We call it Project i Next.”
The revamp also follows at least four high-profile staff defections from the division this year. Dirk Abendroth, manager of BMW’s “i” powertrain group, Henrik Wenders, vice president product management BMW “i”, and Carsten Breitfeld, vice president engineering, head of the i8 vehicle programme, were poached by a Chinese electric vehicle startup.
As part of its autonomous driving push, BMW is hiring experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also integrating the functions of existing computer driven assistance systems like cruise control, emergency braking, lane-keeping support and automatic parking.
RIDE-HAILING
With a fully autonomous vehicle, BMW could launch a ride-hailing business without having to pay drivers, Froehlich said, giving carmakers a competitive edge over new ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft which are eroding car sales by making part-time use as convenient as ownership.
Earlier this month Toyota Motor Corp said it would invest in Uber, and Volkswagen announced a $300 million investment in Gett, a smaller ride-sharing company.
BMW too may partner with a ride-hailing firm, particularly in markets like China, but the Bavarian carmaker’s strategy on potential partnerships with companies in this space is still being worked on, Froehlich said.
Sales of highly autonomous vehicles – ones where permanent active input from the driver is not required – are not expected to gain traction until 2020, but could then rise to around 9 million a year by 2025, according to analysts at Exane BNP Paribas.
China, the world’s largest car market, is likely to be the market where autonomous cars will first emerge on a large scale, Froehlich said.
“China is extremely fast implementing technology. Last year more electric cars were sold in China than in all the other global markets combined,” he added.
BMW is also considering expanding in the area of reserving parking spaces and electric car charging stations over mobile phones, a market which is still fragmented within countries. The carmaker has already invested in ParkNow and Parkmobile, two digital parking and payment services.
“We want to actively participate in a consolidation process,” Froehlich said. (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Irene Preisinger; Editing by Pravin Chark)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3623212/BMW-revamps-electric-car-division-focus-self-driving-tech.html

BMW i3 EV to Offer 50 Percent More Range for 2017

February 20th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW i3 EV to Offer 50 Percent More Range for 2017 § permalink

BMW sells its future-think i3 as both a regular EV and as an EV with an onboard gasoline engine that functions as a range-extender. The current, EV-only version has a stated range of 81 miles, but according to a report in Automotive News, that figure is set to increase by 50 percent—to approximately 120 miles—come the 2017 model year.The article quotes BMW board member Ian Robertson, who says that the 2017 model’s enhanced lithium-ion battery pack “puts it in a much more usable range.” A BMW North America spokesman confirmed the report and added that the more powerful battery would be an option; the current version, with its 22-kWh battery pack and 81-mile range, would still be offered.

A range of 120 miles would put the i3 at the top of the currently available sub-Tesla class of EVs—which is fitting given that the BMW’s price tag of $43,395 (2016 model, before tax incentives) also is at the top of that class. The only issue for BMW is that Chevrolet is claiming a range of at least 200 miles (the final figure isn’t in yet) for its $37,500 Bolt EV, and that car goes on sale late this year.
Still, a more robust driving range will make the i3 EV a more attractive proposition; currently the range-extender version slightly outsells the regular EV. The i3 in total managed 11,024 U.S. sales in 2015, its first full year on the market. That number is less than that of the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt, which has to be somewhat disappointing for a model that, at its launch, was hailed by BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer as “more than the birth of a unique car. It’s a milestone in the automotive history.”

From: http://blog.caranddriver.com/bmw-i3-ev-to-offer-50-percent-more-range-for-2017/

Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV #electricCar Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 – typical cost of electric car “fuel”

February 14th, 2016 § Comments Off on Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV #electricCar Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 – typical cost of electric car “fuel” § permalink

Something I discovered in the update carwings aka Nissan Connect app lately.

It’s been a while since I have used it, due to faulty/buggy previous edition and reliance on third party apps to kick off that remote climate control.

It appears things have really turned about, first day use here, so more to be told on reliability of such update app, Nissan, and I do say “Re-Launched”, – I have however enjoy looking over the travel metrics – something which previous version lacked. 

All these electric miles, kWh consumption and Eco-driving statistics was/is available online, via the web portal, but was not, however in the app form. Now that this has all been combined, it’s handy, helpful and downright encouraging.

Example of our January Nissan Leaf Travels. 500 miles covered, some 150 odd kWh electricity used at cost of some £15 odd pounds. All handy statistics supposed to help budget, plan and improve on Eco driving. Kudos To Nissan.

Estimated Cost of driving our “Linda” in January   
Our driving stats for that month January 2016, our driving economy, and consumption outlined.

 
All in all, I welcome this update. 

Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15

February 14th, 2016 § Comments Off on Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 § permalink

Something I discovered in the update carwings aka Nissan Connect app lately.

It’s been a while since I have used it, due to faulty/buggy previous edition and reliance on third party apps to kick off that remote climate control.

It appears things have really turned about, first day use here, so more to be told on reliability of such update app, Nissan, and I do say “Re-Launched”, – I have however enjoy looking over the travel metrics – something which previous version lacked. 

All these electric miles, kWh consumption and Eco-driving statistics was/is available online, via the web portal, but was not, however in the app form. Now that this has all been combined, it’s handy, helpful and downright encouraging.

Example of our January Nissan Leaf Travels. 500 miles covered, some 150 odd kWh electricity used at cost of some £15 odd pounds. All handy statistics supposed to help budget, plan and improve on Eco driving. Kudos To Nissan.

Estimated Cost of driving our “Linda” in January   
Our driving stats for that month January 2016, our driving economy, and consumption outlined.

 
All in all, I welcome this update. 

Looking back at #twizy #ev ownership and always-on attention on the streets of London :)

February 12th, 2016 § Comments Off on Looking back at #twizy #ev ownership and always-on attention on the streets of London :) § permalink

Some planned, some unplanned, some random, some surprised, but one thing is guaranteed for sure, if you live in a town, …city,… and there are other people who live around you…, – the  you Always get “the looks”… When driving this “is it a car, mate?”…” Err, no, more like a quad-bike thing” QnA starter.

“It gets me from A to B. Yes it’s electric. No, it’s not actually a car”

Here are just a few to keep this post going

  
    
    
    
   
 

How much I’ve saved in petrol/diesel fuel cost while driving an electric Nissan Leaf? 

January 3rd, 2016 § Comments Off on How much I’ve saved in petrol/diesel fuel cost while driving an electric Nissan Leaf?  § permalink

Folks,

Just completed my second service here for my Nissan Leaf,
– major service £149

– New Set of Tyres £ 139

All good, fair play. Good job. Now all this made me stumble across another point, it appears we have covered a lot of miles in 2 years and 3 months of our lease. Never mind the excess pm charge of 4.8p/pm we gonna cough up (over 10k/a x3)

   

Quick calculator check – see menu on left or click here  

 
Indicating Saving of £2,800 in fuel costs over that period…
Result!

That’s nearly £110/month saving. So effective lease figure of £290/month is actually £180/month in real terms.

Not shabby.

More soon!

About Time: Next Nissan Juke may come with range extender technology

December 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on About Time: Next Nissan Juke may come with range extender technology § permalink

Yoshi Shimoida, Nissan’s deputy general manager for electric vehicle engineering, announced earlier this month that his company will introduce a new electric vehicle in 2016 with an onboard range extender gasoline enginedesigned to eliminate the range anxiety those considering an electric car often feel.

» Read the rest of this entry «

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