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

Mahindra launches e2o electric car in UK

April 19th, 2016 § Comments Off on Mahindra launches e2o electric car in UK § permalink

Mahindra has launched its e2o REVA successor small electric city car in the UK.

Mahindra said that in addition to its competitive purchase price, e2o owners that drive the UK average of 7,900 miles per year, and who charge at home at night on an Economy 7 tariff, will pay under GBP10 per month on fuel.

Speaking about the e2o’s arrival on British roads, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said, “I am very proud to announce that the e2o is now available in the UK and this marks a true milestone for the Mahindra Group. Sustainability is at the heart of Mahindra’s business practices and with the introduction of the e2o to the UK market, we are offering a product that perfectly encapsulates our corporate philosophy.”

The Mahindra UK website http://www.mahindrauk.com is now live and ready to take orders, with first deliveries to UK owners commencing in May this year, Mahindra said.

The car comes with an electric powertrain capable of 79 miles range and a top speed of 63mph.

There are two trim levels and the higher-spec TechX version includes a touchscreen infotainment centre with reversing camera, telematics, revive remote emergency recharging, leather seats, alloy wheels and a rapid charging port.

Mahindra EVThe car is being targeted at commuters and as a second car. Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive of Mahindra’s Automotive operations  said the e2o is “the ideal urban runabout or second car for the two-and-a-half-million UK households that can charge the car at home in a driveway or garage.”

The car comes with the e2o Remote smartphone app which allows users to remotely control key functions of their e2o, including the ability to pre-heat/cool the car, start and stop charging, route plan and search for nearby charging stations.

Mahindra also said the car offers emergency reserve remote charging for customers suffering ‘range anxiety’. The technology is called REVive. It allows the driver to simply telephone or send a text to Mahindra REVA and the company will electronically contact the vehicle and activate a reserve amount of energy (for an extra 9 miles of range).

The e2o went on sale in India in March 2013. The e2o was the first vehicle to enter production at Reva’s Bommasandra plant in suburban Bangalore. Initial build got underway in September 2012 but full production did not commence until early 2013.

In May 2010, 55% of REVA was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra. The firm was immediately renamed ‘Mahindra REVA’.
The name of the vehicle is pronounced ‘ee to oh’. The company says the e stands for the energy of the sun, and the o for oxygen.

The car, which was styled by India’s DC Design, does not have painted body panels; instead these are impregnated with colour with the advantage being they are scratch resistant and will also bounce back after impacts of up to 15km/h. It also means the Bangalore plant which makes the e2o can be seen as more environmentally friendly thanks to its lack of a paint shop.

 

FROM: http://www.just-auto.com/news/mahindra-launches-e2o-electric-car-in-uk_id168610.aspx

Tesla VS Dyson, as the latter Challenges Tesla With $1.4 Billion Battery Tech Investment

April 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on Tesla VS Dyson, as the latter Challenges Tesla With $1.4 Billion Battery Tech Investment § permalink

Dyson, the U.K. producer of innovative vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, will spend 1 billion pounds ($1.44 billion) on battery development over the next five years as it increases its efforts to expand into new sectors.

It follows a 2015 acquisition of Satki3, a U.S. maker of solid-state lithium-ion batteries, for $90 million. Dyson Ltd. had previously invested $15 million in the Michigan firm, which said it has found a way to produce batteries with twice the energy storage potential of standard lithium-ion models, at a half to a third of the cost.

Dyson’s battery efforts also received a lift from the U.K.’s 2016 budget, announced last week. As part of the package, the British government awarded Dyson a 16-million-pound grant to undertake research on longer-lasting batteries. The grant came from a regional development fund.

Batteries are a key component in Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners, a category that grew 66 percent globally in 2015 and in which Dyson currently holds about a 25 percent share of the market, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

While the immediate application for new batteries would probably be in Dyson’s existing cordless products, they have potential uses in everything from electric cars to tablet computers. In moving into the battery field, Dyson is taking on the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, which is also developing advanced cells to power vehicles and home appliances.

From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-21/dyson-challenges-tesla-with-1-4-billion-battery-tech-investment

Kudos: Heathrow Airport increases fleet of electric cars in bid to improve CO2 emissions

November 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Kudos: Heathrow Airport increases fleet of electric cars in bid to improve CO2 emissions § permalink

Danielle Paton, from Langley, is a member of the sustainability transport team at the airport and is featured in a video which was released this week.

In the video Danielle explains Heathrow’s 2020 ambition for every car and small van used within the airport to be ‘electric or plug-in hybrid’.

One change that has already been made is switching its pool car fleet, which is used by workers to get around the airport, from diesel to electric.

“We have lots of environment challenges at Heathrow and I am helping with plans to improve CO2 emissions,” Danielle said.

“Encouraging people to leave their cars at home is a challenge but we are working to show people the savings they can make if they opt for an alternative mode of transport.

“However the main focus of the video is to show what we are working towards and what we have done to lower emissions at Heathrow.”

Heathrow already has one of the largest fleets of electric airside vehicles in Europe with almost all of its 830 baggage tugs being electric.

The airport has also committed £5m to its electric vehicle charging infrastructure and are trialling a specialised rapid charger which would allow vehicles to be charged quickly.

French electric car-sharing service launches in US

September 5th, 2015 § Comments Off on French electric car-sharing service launches in US § permalink

An electric car-sharing service took to the streets of Indianapolis on Wednesday as its French owner hopes to plug into the vast US market.Bollore Group of France said its BlueIndy service is the first of its kind in the United States, and begins with an initial fleet of 50 electric cars that it plans to expand to 500.

“Indianapolis is the perfect home for our first venture into the American market,” said Cedric Bollore, vice president for development of the global holding company.

“Indy has a vibrant downtown, thriving neighborhoods, and a population that demands innovation and cleaner alternatives to car ownership, and transit options.”

Bollore (Other OTC: BOIVF – news) , a industrial conglomerate that owns businesses in logistics, telecommunications and media, already operates car-sharing services in several other cities, including the world’s largest electric vehicle-sharing service, Autolib’ in Paris.

Indianapolis, with a population of about 850,000, is home to the annual Indianapolis 500 car race. The city is located abut 165 miles (265 km) southeast of Chicago.

Bollore launched IndyBlue with 125 parking spaces equipped with charge stations, with an expansion to 1,000 expected.

Customers swipe a membership card at kiosks to rent one of the battery-driven Bluecars, which can run as far as 120 miles (193 kilometers) without charging.

The standard monthly BlueIndy membership costs $9.99 (8.90 euros) and members pay $4 for the first 20 minutes and 20 cents for each subsequent minute.

“Indianapolis will benefit from technology and processes proven in Paris for the last four years. Now Indy will be the model for North America,” said Cedric Bollore. The company’s electric-vehicle sharing service also operates in Bordeaux, Lyon and Arcachon in France.

According to US media, although BlueIndy has the support of the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, it was opposed by certain members of the City-County Council, which delayed its launch initially planned for early 2015.

All things #EV Commuting: 20mph High Performance Electric Scooter for $349 +Shipping http://igg.me/at/vomo/x/9130002

August 10th, 2015 § Comments Off on All things #EV Commuting: 20mph High Performance Electric Scooter for $349 +Shipping http://igg.me/at/vomo/x/9130002 § permalink

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BUY: Came Across this fancy little beast. 11.6A Battery 20mph, and allegedly 20mile range.

This is your perfect commuter, never mind folding and unfolding that bike (even if its electric) This Little beast takes a fraction of train/commuting space. Your last mile home dilemma solved 🙂

VOMO: Light Electric Scooter, Cheap Cheery Commuting assistant. Last Mile dilema solved. Specification Sheet. 20 Mile range estimate

VOMO: Light Electric Scooter, Cheap Cheery Commuting assistant. Last Mile dilema solvedVOMO: Light Electric Scooter, Cheap Cheery Commuting assistant. Last Mile dilema solvedVOMO: Light Electric Scooter, Cheap Cheery Commuting assistant. Last Mile dilema solved

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 «

Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council

July 2nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council § permalink

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

A caretaker from Longbridge has been selected to test out electric cars for the whole of Birmingham City Council.

The authority has installed a charging point in Gary Chalke’s home to see if it can save thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash from its budgets.

Over the next three months, Gary, a district neighbourhood caretaker, will be tasked with using a low carbon Nissan e-NV200 van to measure its cost-efficiency.

If the trial is successful, and money is seen to be saved, more council staff will be asked to drive electric vehicles and offered the British Gas charging points, either at home or their workplace.

What is an electric car?

An earlier trial involving a pool car, a Nissan Leaf, used by care workers found that, as well as having zero carbon emissions, the car cost £1,660 less to maintain and tax over five years compared to regular council vehicles, and saved 6.2p per mile on running costs – cositng 3.3p instead of the 9.5p per mile for diesel.

Council cabinet member for neighbourhood management John Cotton said: “The results from the initial trial are encouraging and show there are clear advantages to making our fleet of vehicles greener.

“But we need to test a number of different scenarios to get the most out of such technology. Doing this the right way will save the council and the taxpayer money, while also helping to address issues relating to air quality and the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

“This latest trial will help shape a green vehicle fleet for the council in future.”

Andy Butler from British Gas added: “Innovative trials like this demonstrate that using electric vehicles as part of a council’s fleet can bring significant benefits – from saving money to improving local air quality.

“Electric vehicles are also really convenient for council staff as they can be charged at home or at work while they’re parked. The charging point we’ve installed is as easy to use as plugging in a mobile phone, so we’re confident that it will support the neighbourhood caretaker in their duties.“

Cheltenham Bikes installs electric car charging points at its Railway Station HQ

May 19th, 2015 § Comments Off on Cheltenham Bikes installs electric car charging points at its Railway Station HQ § permalink

Cheltenham could now become a hub for eco-conscious drivers with the successful installation of electric car charging points.

Cheltenham Bikes has added the car charging points at its Railway Station HQ and will enable those with carbon-conscious cars to stop off for a boost.

The business, which now runs the first RAPIDcar charging point in Cheltenham, and one of only four in the county, will enable drivers to fully re-charge their car in just 40 minutes.

Steve Short, director of Cheltenham Bikes and Compass Holidays said: “We’re really pleased to have the new car charging points, and we think they’ll prove really popular as a rapid charging solution.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Rolec and Charge Your Car launch home and public charging package

April 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Rolec and Charge Your Car launch home and public charging package § permalink

Rolec and Charge Your Car (CYC) have joined forces to offer a home and public charging package for electric vehicle drivers.

The package includes a domestic electric vehicle charging unit, and 12-month access to CYC’s network – possibly the largest in the UK and featuring more than 2,000 public facing fast and rapid charging points.
» Read the rest of this entry «

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