Always push it in far enough…

Two things happened today.

  1. it stopped raining for the first time this year (yes, really)
  2. I got to work with about 25 miles of battery left and couldn’t start a charge

Now not much I can do about 1, in fact it was quite nice to see that big orange burny thing in the Sky. Mind you, that is one of our ten sunny days for this year already over.

Regarding 2, I thought that swearing, smoking and swearing again would work. It didn’t. However the Zoe has an ‘ECO’ mode which will eek out any remaining charge for you so I pushed the button and the car changed from a fun, lively and warm little runabout to something from the 50’s with no acceleration and no heating. It did manage to get me home so I guess that is one thing but fuck me, my fingers were like blocks of ice when I got in!

Took a quick ride to the charger at the harbour to get some charge but as usual the local cockwomble Leaf owners were out in force, hogging the charging bays for the usual 6+ hours and using them as their own personal home parking spaces. Nuggets. Only thing worse than Leaf owners are PHEV owners who charge their 10 mile batteries in a charging bay for a whole day to avoid paying for parking.

In light of this, I take it back – Nissan Leaf drivers aren’t cockwombles, the PHEV owners are…

So off to the college for a final try and repeated red flashing lights on the charging port and the dashboard saying ‘Check Connections’. Yes, I already did that. Many fucking times. Now tell me how to bloody fix it! The anger was building whilst the fingers froze and I gave it one more time. Plugging the lead into the charging point, I suddenly realised that it went in a little further this time and with shame racing around my cold frozen cheeks, I realised that all the issues were because I hadn’t pushed it in far enough – not the first time it has happened, and not just with EV’s (fnaar, fnaar). So I managed to get a few % charge and will give it a full charge tomorrow when I’m watching the footie.

The sooner this damn home charger appears the better because this whole public charger thing (and Leaf and PHEV owners) is getting on my tits.

What I learn today:

  1. always push it in hard
  2. always push it in far enough
  3. never pull out too soon
  4. finishing too early is bad
  5. stop watching Carry On films

well maybe not the last one but you get my drift. Tomorrow involves frozen football watching whilst trying to live tweet the key points of the game on the official club account. No pressure then!

The car is great, the rest no so much…

Nearly two weeks in and loving the whole EV thing.

Well, most of it. All of it apart from Chargemaster.

Part of the deal was a charger installed at home which theoretically means each morning you have a full battery to play with. Unfortunately this puts a third party company on the critical path – one which a quick Google shows many issues.

Given they have had my details since September and before Christmas they said my install would be this week (w/c 4th Jan 2016), I actually accepted delivery of my Zoe two weeks early as it wasn’t due until around now. Having just got off the phone to Chargemaster they are now saying the install won’t be until the end of the month which is a proper pain in the arse.

Now I can probably get away charging at the College when I am at the campuses with charging points, but still; surely if you get an order in September you should be able to deliver that order within 3 bloody months? Apparently they have no engineers up in Scotland so I have to wait. What sort of half-arsed excuses is that? If you have no engineers up here and 10% of the bloody population is up here, HIRE SOME.

Fucking idiots.

So, in summary, if you are considering an EV then consider who installs your charge point and if you can, avoid Chargemaster because they are fucking useless.

[UPDATE 1: About an hour after posting this, Chargemaster called back and gave me an install date of 19th January, still two weeks after originally promised. Apparently they DO have an engineer in Scotland who is due to do an install at the end of this week.]

[UPDATE 2: Two hours after posting, Renault Customer Services got in touch and said they would see if there was anything they could do to speed up the install.]

Charging success at last!!!

WooHoo! Took a drive this evening cos we are too old to go out drinking on New Years Eve anymore (and I can’t stand all that Happy New year bollocks, especially when at a party and you have to appear happy to someone you think is a dick), and realised the battery was getting low. I knew there was a fast charger over at Montrose so a quick detour got us up to 85% charge within 30 minutes. Two main points to note:

  1. don’t start charging with a window right down as to wind it back up, you need to stop the charge and start the process again
  2. this time the charger came straight out without any issues whatsoever

It was probably strange for some of the locals to walk past the sports centre and find a parked car without steamed-up windows and a brother and sister continuing the family stick inside; which would explain the strange looks we got from passers by. Anyway, I am classing this as my first charge without incident.

One thing I will mention though is that New Years Eve does seem to turn everyone into a complete arse of a driver! So many cockwombles driving right up my arse desperate to overtake and even more not looking when pulling out. Fuckwits, the lot of them!

oh yeah, Happy New Year and all that bollocks to you as well


EV Charging

So I still don’t have my home charger installed yet, so I am having to rely on local chargers to sort me out. Fortunately, due to the holidays, I am not really driving far but so far both charging experiences have been fraught with lots of ‘for fuck’s sake’s and other profanity.

On Monday I drove down to the College to get a wee top up charge. On returning via the bus (yes, I got on a bus and quite pleasant it was also although the lady who collared me waiting for the bus home after dropping the car off, proceeded to tell me all about her life, her son’s wonderful ex-wife, he son’s wonderful new girlfriend, the fact that her some was an ‘arsehole’ and he beautiful grand-daughter sort of put me off waiting for buses without headphones in ever again). Anyway, I got back to the car and remembering where the hidden ‘stop charging’ option was in the ChargeYourCar app, I pressed the button to release the charging cable.

I should probably add at this moment that when pressing ‘Start Charge’ on the app, it does tell you how to turn it off – serves me right for not RTFM’ing I guess!

Back to the cable. It didn’t release. Again.


I pulled. I reconnected. I restarted. I restopped. (Sorry). Stuck.

In the end I called ChargeYourCar up only to find the office had closed. The recorded message gave me an emergency number (basically a guy with a mobile) but given it is a new car, I had no pen and paper so had to call them three times to try and memorise the number. By this time I was fuming and ready to kick shit out of the damn thing. Anyway, the pleasant chap helped me out, but as I pulled the cable out I got the feeling that it was just me not pulling hard enough that meant it wasn’t released.

So I got a full charge but with more pain and frustration. I did eventually manage to get my services account setup so I can check the current charge from my phone and also pre-heat the car when on charge remotely which will be handy if this crap wet and windy weather gives way to a proper east-coast-Scotland winter in the near future.

Still enjoying the car and how quiet it is. Realised the other day that the stereo defaulted to ‘shite mode’. It wasn’t stated as such in the UI but it probably should have been as pressing a little tick box made it sound infinitely better and turned all the speakers on. I still can’t change the noise that plays under 20mph to stop stupid people who don’t look when crossing the road from walking out in front of me (also the visually impaired I guess), but that is just a small thing.

Final thing is that it was originally white but with the crappy weather it is now a nice shade of mud.

Zoe – First few days

So we picked up the Zoe on Christmas Eve without issue (although the salesman ‘forgot’ that he offered me more than the settlement figure on my Kia trade-in but after a quick reminder, he wrote out a cheque for the difference). Without having a charger at home and with it being Christmas, we haven’t been out in it much.

Yesterday however, I thought I’d head out to test it would charge. There are a few public charging points in Arbroath so I headed to the one in the harbour with a buddy riding shotgun as he was interested in how it all worked. Plugging in and starting a charge worked perfectly but trying to get it to stop! Now bear in mind I am a tight fisted so, so I was going to pay £20 for a ChargeYourCar RFID card to use their chargers – I just use the app – but I may change my mind!

We tried everything to take the charging cable out of the charger but the unit seemed to think it was still charging. Oh, and it was pissing down so I was getting angrier, more frustrated and generally pissed off whilst getting soaking and trying to get the damn cable out. Google didn’t help so much but just as I was about to give it a big ‘Fuck This’ and starting kicking the damn thing, I noticed a ‘recent activity’ tab on the Android App – hidden in there was a big red ‘Stop Charge’ button which released the cable. Why the hell the big red ‘Stop Charge’ button wasn’t in the same place as the big green ‘Start Charge’ button, I’ll never know. Sure that if I had spent the money on the card, a quick swipe would have done the same.

Anyway, it charges fine and I just need to wait for my home charger install and will be up and running. Need to head out somewhere in it so may head to Dundee at some point and take advantage of the free on-street parking for charging EV’s!