And It Begins….

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Nissan Leaf Diary

So an update of Thursday (01/12/2011)… Later on in the afternoon Dave from Windsor Motors (Belgard) sent me an e-mail letting me know that the grant had come through. A little later, I was provided with my new registration/license plate number, fantastic.

Friday (02/12/2011)…. Excitement galour today, car is ready and I can to pick it up. So I head down to Laois in my old Peugeot in the hope that the ESBI eCars have sent me my swipe card for charging… No they didn’t. Oh well, maybe I an get the tax sorted… No I didn’t. The line was crazy long in Laois Motor Tax office and I had to head and pick up my son. Oh well, on the way back I got to check the time in the Peugeot on the 0-60MPH test (all legal and safe), I done it on the motorway, stopped on the hard shoulder (only for a second as I needed to get something out of the boot and decided to try as I was taking back off). Anyhow, I gave it 1 try and 0-60MPH in 16.0 seconds was the result Speedview gave me. There was one person in the car with me and the same person will be there when I test the Leaf. So back in Dublin, I decided to get the tax done and collect the Leaf. On the way there I ran out of diesel (who has ever heard of someone running out of fuel on the way to get an electric vehicle). Even with more diesel in, I couldn’t get it started. I called Road Assistance, while waiting I rang to get my insurance changed over, it turns out Chartis/25 plus won’t insure an EV, so I ended up taking out a policy with Zurich. €551 it cost, this is with being 32 and having a full license and 6 years no claims bonus (I guess they don’t have enough data on EVs to give a lower price (it was €380 on the 2.0 Peugeot). After an hour the mechanic arrives and after 30mins of trying he still couldn’t get it going (reckoned it was finished). So I got it towed and I got a lift to the dealers. Finally at the dealers, papers signed, everything explained (turns out the dealers give you the details to tax it online, every handy), quick run down of the car and away I go, 15 mins. The car has been charged and shows 156km on the charge. First thing I noticed is that the mileage jumps around a lot. With the heater or windscreen demister on, it jumps to 125km, with it off it jumps back. That will take getting used to. There’s 26km on the odometer when I get it. After messing about, showing the friends and family it (they are all amazed and full of …ooh it’s so comfortable and so silent, and so fast to take off/My father especially used up some power with testing the acceleration), there’s 80km on the mileage left. So I had to take it easy as I have no charger. I get it home and leave it up for the night.

Unlucky Start

Saturday (03/12/2011)… Pulling out of the driveway today (on the way to check if the other car is completely gone…. It wasn’t, it started up straight away), a kindly driver beeped me and let me know I had a puncture. What a start, I pumped up the tired and got it repaired, quick job, 5 minutes, tyre wasn’t even taken off. I then drove around for the day, doing bits and pieces, the car shows 50km on the mileage. As I have no charger I was not sure what to do. Luckily I have a friend who has a charger that will work so I decided to go get that. Now the car has 50km on the mileage and his house is 22km away, so I had to make a decision. Take the Leaf or the Peugeot, in the end I took the Peugeot. Without the car charged and with so small a level of overhang (8km), it was the best choice. I had said from the start, I would calculate my journeys, and this was one of those decisions. On the way there I filled up 6.81L of diesel (10 euro) and I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, that would fill the Leaf 7 or so times. Anyway charger retrieved and back home. I decided I will wire it up tomorrow, as I still have 50km in the car, plenty left for things I need to do in Dublin. Once the charger is going I should be laughing, but c’mon ESB, can you get the finger out and setup up my charger at home!!!

Lastily, I setup Carwings (the telematics system). I registered online (google Nissan + You Ireland), filled in all the details asked. I am now just awaiting it to activate. After that, I will be able to monitor the charging, battery, mileage, and send route information from the website (you can also get an iPhone app, but they don’t seem to have an Android one for Europe/Ireland yet, 😦 Get your fingers out). All together it was a good day, so far I’m loving driving the Leaf.

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