Happy New Year one and all. The bad news is that Westminster/Masterpark are closing my car park along with it’s two charging bays. There’s been plenty of talk about Westminster & Camden councils installing many additional charging bays. Whether it’s really going to happen remains to be seen. Click on the image to view video (6.6meg QT).
George Monbiot has written an article in the Guardian today entilted "Save the planet in 10 steps" – here’s point 7:
"Oblige all chains of filling stations to supply leasable electric car batteries. This provides electric cars with unlimited mileage: as the battery runs down, you pull into a forecourt. A crane lifts it out and drops in a fresh one. The batteries are charged overnight with surplus electricity from offshore wind farms. Timescale: fully operational by 2011." Garage forecourts are completely alien right now. I drive in and try and get hold of some water for the batteries every now and again and usually fail. People are buying electric cars as quickly as they can get hold of them and the infrastructure isnt there by any means. Click on the image to view video. 3.7 Meg QT.
We’ve had the car for almost a year now so it’s time for a review. The files come out pretty big (6.9meg) so I’ll sum up here for those of you without a broadband connection.
Apart from the obvious environmental considerations it compares well as a general small purpose vehicle that is very suitable for urban living.
It is more robust than I thought it would be.
It’s nippier than I thought it would be.
Parking it is a gift because it’s both small and free.
It can fit my whole family in it, though I’m not sure for how much longer…
It really is cheap to run compared to a normal car.
Range in winter is lessened. (25 miles)
Charging for 16 hours every month can be problematic to equalise the batteries if you don’t have a garage.
Safety, compared to a normal petrol engined car is questionable. Though I think it’s a better bet than a motorbike or a bicycle in London. I cycled for 17 years here and stopped after one accident too many.
All in all, I’m a big fan (as you probably guessed) who would recommend it to anyone who lives in a city such as this. Once range increases to get us outside the M25 the world will be our oyster! Click on the image to view video.
Taking the car on a fast road can be a pretty hairy experience. It is classed as a quadracycle – perfect for urban streets, but how does it fair on a three lane carriageway? I’ve had emails from people asking about use on a motorway. Don’t think I’ll be vlogging that one…Click on the image to view video (3.8meg QT)
Happy New Year to one and all. Now that winter is truly with us, (reduced range and all) my thoughts have turned to summer. Back in June we went on a green rally. This was a chance for all the electric cars in London to show some muscle (a load of Revas and an electric scooter). Camden council hosted it in Regents Park and there was music, entertainment and general fun to be had. Thumbs up to Camden for hosting this but I reckon they could take a leaf out of Westminsters book if they really wanted to encourage use of the EV in London. Keep an eye out for the boy laughing. I think he’s amazed at our embracing of a green future (he is, isn’t he..?). Click on the image to view video. (3.3 meg QT.)
Had my six month service this week. They turn up in a mobile van crammed with gadgets, plug a pda into the battery unit and run some diagnostic checks, and that’s just about it! No oil change, nothing. Sometimes brake fluid levels will need topping up, but right now I dont think it could have much less environmental impact when it’s compared to a service on a regular car. Click on the image to view video. (2.4 meg QT).
Some Westminster car parks offer free electricity for electric vehicles. This is ace, quite frankly, as it does away with the worries one would normally have with range. On this particular trip I parked next to a Ford Think. I looked into buying one of these a couple of years ago but they seemed very difficult to get hold of at the time. Click on the image to view video (2.8 meg QT).
I’m in the congestion zone now, and the traffic is moving quite freely (no surprise at Â£8 per day). The car is fairly nippy so long as it’s in F (fast) mode. Need to keep an eye on that charge level though. Mind you, it’s been handy this week, what with an impending fuel crisis here in the UK. Click on the image to view video (2.3 meg)
I’m struggling to come to terms with the idea that you can park for free in central London with this car. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve ever had an altercation with a traffic warden here. Due to the terrorist attacks, there were 50,000 extra cyclists on the roads last Thursday, some of whom looked decidedly wobbly. I ‘ve also heard that the second hand value on these cars is appreciating…perhaps there is an ev future after all. Click on the image to view video.
Before I can drive the car I need to give it some juice. I’ve forgotten to put the parking permit into the car and I’ll have a parking ticket before you know it. There is a strict order of events for charging the car. I just need to unlock it, unplug it, put the parking permit in, lock it, plug it in… and don’t set the blowers off. Click on the image to view video
5 months waiting and the car is finally here. They come off the ship, are taken to a base where the car is registered and the road tax is applied for (no charge for road tax on electric vehicles). Then it’s delivered. Apologies for the wobbly cam – think I was a bit overexcited! Click on the image to view video.
Is this the end of tube travel..