Some Clarifications

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Nissan Leaf Diary

I have not put up a post in a while now. The reason is as I have said before if I have nothing new to bring then there is no point in posting for the sake of it. Since my last post, I have happily travelled to and from work everyday without any complications to stop me.

In saying that, I need to clarify a few points.

After reading multiple posts lately on sites such as boards.ie, it has become very apparent that my blog is being used by people in their utterly ridiculous arguments on whether EV’s or ICE’s are better, practical, useful etc… These arguments are entirely based on people’s own opinions and likes. So for fuck sake stop using my words to try to justify your own agendas. I don’t care whether you want to buy an EV or not, I don’t care if you think they are the future or not, I don’t care if you think they are more or less fun than a conventional ICE and I especially do not give a fuck whether you think they are ready for the mainstream/ready take over ICEs/are better than ICEs.

If you don’t like EV’s, then stay the fuck away from them and the forums about them. Stop pushing your bullshit arguments and dislikes on the users who are happy with them, the users who it does work for. If you don’t like eating garlic, don’t eat it but also don’t go on to every veg growing website or garlic loving website spouting about the “evils” of it.

After that rant, I’ll get on to the clarifications. I will do this in points:

  1. The reason I started driving the Leaf at 85kph on the motorway was because I drove the Peugeot diesel at this speed (I done this because diesel at the time and even more so now costs a huge amount of money)
  2. I drove it this way for 3 or 4 sets of 7000km. This was so I could show the difference between the 2 cars, at the same speeds, doing the same journey and be able to give accurate fuel cost differences.
  3. I drive to work and back (105km each way) nearly every day, I rarely had an issue at the start when I needed to use the Rapid Charger and I have never had an issue getting to or from work since they put the charge point in Citywest. (Please stop taking the few times in the past when I had issues as arguments to completely degrade EV’s as a useful option for others).
  4. Know that my testing period is over and I have produced the cost savings a number of times, I drive to and from work at approximately 105kph. It takes about 1 hour 15 mins, as I do the last 30km on smaller roads and finally back roads.
  5. I usually have between 20-45km left on the car on my way up to Dublin, and between 13-25km left when I get back home (this is after the 105km drive and depends on multiple fators such as temperature, traffic conditions etc.)
  6. I have done this drive in Winter and Summer, in temperatures between -6 and +24c. I have never ran out of power on these journeys and even with the cold winter this year I have not had to use the RC to help me get home since the charger in Citywest was put in.
  7. I have never gotten less than 120km from a full charge. That’s me. I differ from you. You may get other results. You may prefer to be roasting in the car all the time, you may have a heavier foot and like to speed up to the arse of cars in front only to have go down to 80/90kph until they move over and then race back up to the next car. I don’t know. I  have never gotten less than 120km on a charge in the car.
  8. I have only run out of power 1 time. This was about 2 months after I got the car (in the 2 months you can include 3 weeks when it was off the road). This was my own fault. In my impatience I didn’t allow the car to finish charging. I also chose to go over the mountains as it was shorter. Unfortunately it’s also has very steep hills, and no matter how good the Regen is you won’t get back what you use to get up the hills. In saying that, I ran out of power 100 metres from my destination. If I had have been more experienced in driving the car I would have made it.
  9. I have now driven over 35000km with no issues in the car. Last time I checked my fuel costs was at 30000 km. I had made a saving of over 2000 euro. This is on fuel alone and I have not included the saving on tax from the old car to the new car.
  10. All my calculations are based on my old car to my new car and not on a new petrol/diesel car. The reason for this is that, I could not have afforded to buy a new car and pay the extreme high prices on petrol/diesel as well. So the calculations are specific to replacing an old vehicle with an EV not against the difference between buying a new EV or a new ICE.
  11. Range anxiety does not affect me anymore. It has not affected since about 2 months of driving the vehicle. I do get charging anxiety though. This is the anxiety that I will not be able to charge my car when I arrive after a long journey because an ICE vehicle is parked in front of the charge point. Although the ICE drivers in this situation are being inconsiderate, it is not fully their fault. There is no rules to says they can’t park there, the minister for transport hasn’t done anything to help this as of yet. Also they may say “I parked there because I never see them in use”. It is true that there is not an over abundance of EV’s yet but the real reason you generally don’t see them used is because we have to drive past them as an ICE vehicle is parked in them. If they were free more often you would see them used more often. As the vehicles become prevalent I am sure you will see them more often being used.
  12. Finally, in reference to the idea that EV owners want too many subsidies and such. The point in subsidies is to help increase the uptake of an idea. Stop whingeing about the 5k we get off buying the car. Considerably more cars were bought on the scrappage scheme (which you could not put an EV against) than was on the EV grant. I’d say the number is 100x times more. Try to remember that. Also I don’t want to be allowed to drive my EV in the bus lane. These are for public transport and should stay that way. I (myself) am not even asking for free parking (other EV owners will differ on this), if an ICE that drives from Maynooth to Dublin has to pay so will I. I am asking for the spot to be clear though. There’s no point in having the CPs there if they are blocked out on inconsideration, ignorance of them or just because someone has a gripe big enough with EV’s they choose to park at them. (Believe me I have seen people park in them plenty of times even though there are spaces all around). As to any other benefits, that is the idea; the government gets enough people buying and using an EV then they will hit them with charges. Don’t believe me! The smaller green cars had lower tax than any of the bigger CO2 emitting cars a few years back. Now they are the ones getting the highest motor tax hikes.

This blog was made for people to see what it was like for me to use an EV instead of my old diesel car.

I am extremely happy with it. It does everything I need…. everything I need. That’s because in 17 years of driving I have never ever suddenly needed to drop everything and drive to Cork. I could in the EV if I wanted, it would take a little longer but I could do it. Of course as a fully licensed driver I could rent a car for the day, that way I still wouldn’t have to spend all the extra money on petrol/diesel on my day-to-day drives for that once-in-a-blue-moon time I might need to drive out of the range in an emergency.

Please do not use my experiences to fuel your prejudices (pun intended).

If you want an EV/can afford the upfront price (or on payment like me)/are within a safe range/and don’t need to do Le Mans 24hour at 150mph all the way – Then buy one or at least try one.

If you don’t like them/can’t afford one/aren’t within range/need to drive at stop speeds for long periods of time – Then don’t buy one.

Either way, whether you are for or against the EV. Stop trying to push other people into your way of thinking. Let them do their own thing.

Rant over.

Tomorrow I finish my current job and head back to an old company. This works out well for me as the distance is shorter and there is a charger across the way. Although the new charger in the Hilton hotel is brilliant at the moment. So I am moving backwards to an old job. Of course, it also seems like the infrastructure is starting to move backwards. More and more, new charge points are coming online (like Walkinstown and Glasnevin) but more and more the spots are getting worse. Like the charge points at Crumlin Shopping Centre and Stillorgan Shopping Centre, these locations are useless. You will almost never get the spot, unless you are lucky enough to be passing at 4am in the morning and need it (I passed both Walkinstown and Crumlin everyday this week at 6:15am and they are always full of ICE cars). This is not the only thing that seems to be going backwards, last year as the infrastructure improved so did the response times on getting units fixed. Now it seems to have slid again, I was informed in January that St. Agnes Road charge point would be replaced in 4-6 weeks & 11 weeks later, no change. Making this CP down for more than 15months now (1Year & 3 months). The excuses for this must be running out by now. Also 1 side of the CP at Citywest has been down for quite a long time and has been reported repeatedly, it’s still down. With the added bonus of the other side going down for me yesterday when I tried to use it. The constant repetitiveness of giving the same details over and over again to the eCars Fault Line everytime you wish to log a fault with them, coupled with the fact you are charged approximately 35c per minute to tell them their service is down is truly frustrating. The most annoying thing that seems to be moving backwards though is information. We (Irish EV Owners) used to be kept up to date once a month with new CPs and changes that was coming on stream or being changed. This seems to have nearly dried up as it is few and far between updates (we have suggested twitter updates but no luck so far). It would seem the only freely available regular update is from the eCars Ambassador blogs (a truly unbiased report I’m sure :s). With that said, it’s not all bad news. There is to be a roll-out of a number of FCP/RCs in the near future as a part of the EU funding project. Places like Castlebellingham and the service stations on the M1 will be usable very soon (let’s hope they are marked for us to use only). This roll-out should allow for a much improved cross country infrastructure for driving your EV. Again, more information on them going in and dates for going live would be appreciated. Below is pic of what I had to do to use the CP at Stillorgan the other evening. Please note this is nothing to do with ESB eCars, its all Leo Varadkar and his complete disregard for the EV community by not pushing forward the smarter transport bill.

The only possible way I could get to use this CP at Stillorgan. Park on the path.

The only possible way I could get to use this CP at Stillorgan. Park on the path.

Summit Came Up’

Posted: February 8, 2013 in Nissan Leaf Diary

It’s been a while but as I had promised here’s the results of the Battery Capacity Check. I got it done on the 10/01/2013.

Battery Test Report

As can be seen from the report, all’s good in battery town. Considering I fast charge my car quite often I was pretty happy with the 3/5 stars I got.

Also this month, I was at the Smart Transport Summit & the Nations Electric Vehicles Summit (as a guest speaker). The summit’s were both very good with lots of different parties from all different industries representing. I got to question the Minister for the Environment on why he wasn’t pressing the Minister for Transport on the Smarter Transport bill. As long as this is not in place the Environment Minster’s remit of getting more CPs and EVs on the road is being seriously delayed. He informed us all that he will push the Transport Minister on this (I won’t hold my breathe). My own speech was fairly slapdash, as it wasn’t well prepared and mostly was just statements and stories from my experiences and opinions on having and EV. We had members of the press there too. I asked one why they compare the CO2 levels from the petrol car exhausts to the levels created in making the electricity for EVs; instead of comparing the CO2 levels from the full extraction/production/refining/shipping/transport of the oil all the way to the exhausts, to the amount used in making the electricity. I didn’t get a reply on this (to be honest there was a lot of questions bouncing around at this time). One journalist made the statement that EVs would be good as a second vehicle and based this on the fact they don’t have a high enough range. I queried him on why he consider this secondary when the primary use of vehicle to date is to drive to/from work or shops etc (all things of a very close range) and secondary use was to go on once- or twice-off long journeys and Sunday drives (no reply on this again, but like I said there were lots of questions at this time and they couldn’t answer all).

Some side events to the summit were; I got to try out Carra’s new web-based app for controlling charging in public charge points (keep your eye out for it) but even more exciting for me was to get a quick journey in a fully electric truck. Celtic Linen is the company that have this. It was surprisingly nippy even for a truck weighing 10ton loaded.

Celtic Linen EV Truck

 

Continuing with the good fortune, I was informed that with the help of MCC Controls, the Hilton Hotel in Kilmainham is putting in a charge point in the next few weeks. This is excellent news for me as it will cut my RC charging by quite a bit as I wont need to use it when traveling up or down from work. I also was asked to test out one of the MCC units and it is a real good choice for hotels. The reason I say this is because it comes with a tethering connection (so no messing in the boot to find your cable), but more importantly the cable is 5 metres long (making it easily accessible from side parking spots even if some Muppet has parked in the designated spot) and finally it has a reset trip switch (excellent for if there is a problem with it and you want to reset as a quick fix). So all going good I shall be using this soon.

Finally, I will be attempting to head up to Strabane, Co. Tyrone in a couple of weeks time. This is a 241km journey each way and am planning on doing this with a friend of mine. If all goes well we will make it with no issues and I will report that, if it doesn’t I will report that. It will all depend on a few RCs along the way (Navan, Monaghan & Lifford) to make sure we get there and back. There is a new RC going in at Castlebellingham which if up at the time could be an alternative way instead of Navan. Well wish me luck.

Slower Is Quicker

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Nissan Leaf Diary

It’s nice to see I can still be surprised by the car. Today I was a little tired heading to work so instead of the usual 85kph on the cruise control, I set it to 75kph and headed off. I first noticed something up when the 1st bar on the battery range indicator disappeared at 14.3km into the journey (I’d usually get about 11km). By the time I got to my midway point (Junction 14 on the M7) the car had only 4 bars gone, this is 54km into the journey. I watched the 5th bar disappear at 61.7km. I continued on at this speed all the way to Newlands Cross where I cancelled the CC and continue at the speed limits (as I usually do). I was amazed when I arrived into work. The car’s tripometer had 110km on it but with 3 bars to go it showed a range of 59km still. If I’d kept driving would I have got the fabled “160km” out of a charge :p The temperature this morning was 10°C but even at this, it’s a large increase in range just because I drove that bit slower. Also I drove the entire journey in D mode, not in Eco mode. I usually quick charge on my way up so I have enough to reach the quick charger again on the way home. This is because (as of yet) there is no charge point within an acceptable walking distance from Kilmainham, where I work. I believe there is one going to be placed at Kilmainham Gaol, but I won’t hold my breath. What made going slower quicker was that with the not having to stop and with keeping the steady pace I arrived in work 15-20 mins earlier than normal. So that was a nice surprise to start the new year, I wonder would it get better again if done in Eco mode?

Amount left after arriving at work

Amount left after arriving at work

A Year In The Life

Posted: December 28, 2012 in Nissan Leaf Diary

So it’s been just over a year now since I got my Nissan Leaf Electric Car. I have driven just under  27000km in it so far and over this time I have had lots of different situations arise some bad but mostly good. I can say I absolutely love the car and don’t believe I will ever switch back to an ICE vehicle.

Anyhow, here is my final end of year post, it is a run down of Pros, Cons and suggestions with having an EV as your daily primary vehicle.

The Car (Pros):

  • It’s extremely cheap to run (I have saved €1500+ over using diesel/more if I had previously been on Petrol). It’s also cheap to keep up, as there are no oils/spark plugs etc… to get replaced. I recently had it’s yearly service done and the only filter needed was a pollen filter.
  • It’s easy to drive, quick to accelerate, smooth as fuck and extremely quiet. It’s also a roomy car and very comfortable to be in. Oh, and it corners great because of the low center of gravity from the battery position. There’s also plenty of space to carry goods in both the boot and with the seats down, I’ve had washing machines, rabbit hutches, christmas trees and all sorts of things for recycling fill up the back.
  • Full accompaniment of gadgets, bluetooth, navigation, rear colour camera etc…
  • After 1 year of driving there appears to be no issue or degradation with the batteries. I will need to go back for a full capacity check in the new year and will update on that separately.
  • Tax rate (now A0) has gone down from €156 to €120, the A1 rate previously at €156 has gone up to €170 so the saving it better again.
  • All in all it’s a standard working driveable car.

The Car (Cons):

  • The mp3 music system is horrible (look at my earlier post on this). It seriously needs a firmware update to make it more usable.
  • The navigation buttons (on screen) are too small for when you are trying to press them and choices stay on screen for too long (like when you choose a destination, it takes a bit of time for the destination set text to disappear and start the route.)
  • The interior colour is absolutely woeful if you are anyone but a clean freak with no kids. It will pick up marks and dirt almost as soon as you leave the showroom (I believe the newer models to come out will come in a range on interior colours)
  • Slow for charge points to end up in the navigation system. I believe this is more of an NavTeq issue though. Also no updates so far for the map, my map still hasn’t got the M7/M8 extension from Port Laoise to Cashel on it.
  • During the service on the car I was asked did I want to have the windscreen wipers changed. I said no as it was 47 euro, that’s crazy for wipers. I’ll buy cheap ones.

Most situations you have will be with the infrastructure (there are many different reasons for this and cannot be blamed on any one group or company)

The Infrastructure (Pros):

  • The infrastructure is very good and is always getting bigger and more spread out. With the new 2.1m funding Ireland has received from Europe this should only get better next year, with more FCPs being spread out across the country.
  • The charge points are simple to use and have a good general reliability (getting better all the time as well). With the exception of ChargeMaster posts, although I will state that of late they have been working more and more for me.
  • The hotel charge points are fantastic, the more these spread the better. Stay over night and your car is fully charged and ready when you wake up.

The Infrastructure (Cons):

  • Parking spots. A lot of times you cannot get access to the charging posts because ICE vehicles are blocking it or the location is a bit ridiculous. This is caused by inconsiderate arseholes, who fill the spots with their cars but it is not entirely their fault, the government/local council need to paint these spots and actually fine the drivers. The smart transport bill is suppose to help with this but the Minister for Transport has yet to bring it out (even though he had a loan of an EV early this year).
  • Locations: Most charging is done at home and very few of us will have the benefit of getting a charger put into our work place so the locations of chargers are very important. They need to be more spread out and they need to be thought out better. Libraries, Cinemas, Shopping Centres, Hotels, Swimming Pools/Gyms, Car Parks & Tourist Attractions are all good locations as you stay a while at these places. Also choosing FCP locations is important too. I asked about an FCP in the Topaz station at Kill on the M7 (great location for one), I was told one was being put in at Naas. That’s ludicrous, you want me to pull off the motorway into a busy town to stop and quick charge instead of pulling into a motorway Service Station located on the M7/N7. This goes against the idea of quick charging. Finally, more chargers need to be spread out across the country. Simply look at the charge map on ESB eCars site and there are parts of the country with significant dead zones while others appear to have an abundance. This could be that some local councils are more helpful than others but I don’t know what is the reason.
  • Maintenance: It’s great to have 1000+ charging points but it’s pretty useless if they are down (obviously I am not saying that at any point all of them have been down). Generally the dual head charging points go down together so that’s considered 2 charge points down. Also the old 3 pin chargers aren’t really much use as charge points, I mean if you want to mark them as charge points why not give out the 3 pin granny cables and announce you have more than a million charge points installed because houses all have these. Also if a charge point is down, it is imperative that it is looked at that day because the charging app doesn’t get updated fast enough and having to sit and wait hours for someone to come out and have a look at the post is not a good enough solution. Also having a charge point down for more than a year is a disgrace (I am speaking of the charge point in St Agnes Road, Crumlin – which has been down since early December 2011)
  • Charge points popping up in the charging app or map that are not ready yet (Under engineering design/to be commissioned, i.e. Rathfarnham Main Street). Just leave them off until they are fully ready and tested.
  • Charge Points in dealers hidden away where they are inaccessible or exclusive to the garage (Renault in this case)

You will notice that the lists are all very small, this is because there really is nothing more or less to say about life having an EV. Yes, there can be obstacles that may impede your use but to be honest they never actually really stop your use, they are more an inconvenience than a showstopper.

What can be done to improve the uptake/use of EVs in Ireland:

The media could start giving correct unbiased information. Having to watch shows like Top Gear literally lie about the way a car performed or setup situations in such a way so as to show the car in bad light is ridiculous for this day and age. It’s not just foreign media either, repeatedly I have attempted to have a text message read out on “The Last Word” showing the other side of having an EV only to not have it read or the question not put to one of the so called experts, while I have to listen to crap like “it takes how long to charge” and “the range will be sufficient for a very small portion of the population”, as if charging it for 6-8 hours while your in bed actually affects you, and as if 80% of the population drive more than 50 miles each way to and from work. When the petrol prices were a big topic my text on running an EV was ignored, when I replied about range being sufficient for most people it was ignored & when I tried to show how motor tax on an EV had gone down this year it was ignored. This type of 1 sided information is not very helpful at all and for anyone who uses the standard 3 statements; They are too expensive, the infrastructure isn’t there & the batteries don’t last long enough – think back a  few years, you were saying that about mobile phones. Now they are everywhere, it will happen the same in this situation.

The government say they want to be environmental and to help with the uptake of EVs in Ireland. So why don’t they show a bit of initiative then. Make motor tax on EVs nothing. Make parking free and the spots be painted and only for EV use. Make tolls free for EVs. I personally don’t think that having use of the bus lanes is going to change anything, they are barely monitored as it is. Now, you tell someone living in Blanchardstown, who works in Stillorgan, that they wont have to pay for the toll twice a day, nor will they have to pay for that 8 hours parking and that the parking spot will be clear for them, that there’s no yearly motor tax and that the price of doing the journey will be significantly lower. You’ll see how many people consider an EV next time it comes to buying a car. I mean, when there is a significant uptake of EVs, then they can tax us. At the moment they’re hardly making much on us.

More FCPs are needed in motorway service stations or just off them. Busy towns and built up areas are counterproductive.

Granny cable inclusion, I know all the reasons and excuses for and against these but they are just another thing that helps in giving you the confidence to be able to go where you want. I use mine quite a bit when I’m up in Dublin as the nearest chargers to where I stay are quite a bit away.

The smarter transport bill. This needs to get sorted and councils need to act by painting and signposting that a spot is EV only. About 2 weeks ago I stopped in Stillorgan for something to eat after bringing my friend to the hospital. The CP on Old Dublin Road was covered by ICE cars but just down from it there was free spots. I have seen this in numerous places, Rathmines, Crumlin SC etc.. It’s like drivers are attracted by the lights. Also a week later I drove slowly to Nissan HQ from Crumlin on – – – to charge, this was because I knew I wouldn’t get a spot just down the road at the Crumlin SC and there’s no point in even mentioning St Agnes Road charger.

New CPs need to be spread out a bit more. There are a lack of charge points in North Dublin and also in other parts of the country. I think it would help if you could look at the map and see charge points more even spread out making you trust that you will be able to safely make it to one.

Exclusivity of chargers in Renault garages needs to stop & also in Dundrum Shopping Centre, (this could be a prime location). If they are worried someone will lock the charger and they will not be able to use it, surely they can be made it an override RFID card. Also if Nissan dealerships have to hide an FCP in the back where it is inaccessible for large parts of the day, they should have at least a charger outside like in Deansgrange but Kilkenny’s setup is definitely the best way to go.

Repair engineers need to be spread out more around the country. This is just to speed up fixing of broken charge points. I believe this will be coming in soon.

Finally, more local councils need to make the effort (like Bray) in getting charge points in. Especially in locations that they want people to visit, public libraries etc…

So after all that I re-iterate again, although there are places for improvement and sometimes an obstacle can pop up in your way, I have truly loved having my Nissan Leaf this year. It was well worth the money and I cannot envisage going back to ICE. Everyone who takes a turn in it is always amazed by it.

I look forward to the next year and with the improvements coming all the time expect it to be even more pleasurable than 2012.

Fermoy Own Good

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Nissan Leaf Diary

(See what I did there)…

Firstly some bad 😦

I decided to go for something to eat in Rathmines on Saturday. I checked my eCars app and was off to plug in at Church Road. When I got there, there was a very impressive looking, very green Pod Point charging post. I was delighted, the charge master was gone. When I got out of the car I discovered that there seemed to be no power at all. I called up and explained that it was down, I was told that earlier that day it had been reported as being down. I asked why it still showed on the App as being available. I was just told that he would ask “them” to update the map/app. I only asked this because after my last trip to Fermoy, I was informed the map/app had shown this as down for a few days (I guess my cache was not update).

Now for the Good 🙂

Yesterday I traveled back down to Fermoy from Laois, I dropped into Cashel on the way for a coffee and a quick charge. I got a spot behind the charger as the 2 spots in front of it were full. While I was in the car eating a packet of crisps, the guy who parked directly in front of the charger got into his car and drove away. I had seen him inside, he was talking to the staff in Topaz and appears to be a manager/area manager for them. I mean if we have to put up with staff parking in the spot how can we except standard ICE users to stay out of it. Actually while in the car, another driver pulled into the spot but when he saw me looking over at him he pulled back out and choose one of the numerous none EV spots. Anyhow after my charge I ambled on down to Fermoy with no problems at all. I got to the SuperValu, the space was clear and the charger was working perfectly. I plugged it in and went about my business. I actually plugged it in later to finish off when I came back into the town to have something to eat with a friend. I got to do a bit of geocaching and later on drove back up to Cashel on my way home. Again, I got a spot behind the charger as both front spots were taken. I had a nice chat with a friendly old man who was very inquisitive about the car. Finally after a few minutes I headed home. So I was delighted to be able to have had such a good/fun day and I didn’t have to deal with any issues, with the small annoyance of the EV spot at Topaz still not marked for EVs only.

Cross Country Fun

Posted: November 7, 2012 in Nissan Leaf Diary

So on Monday just gone I headed down to Fermoy Co. Cork. As I was in no immediate rush I decided to bypass most of the motorway and travel across country.

First stop Templemore, this charger was located in a good location away from the train station, ground was coloured green and everything worked perfectly. I only stayed a minute or 2 and had a chat with the train station ticket guy.

Second stop Thurles, again another great location away from the majority of parking spots, ground coloured green and charger worked fine. Stayed even less time here.

Third stop, Cashel. This one I was worried about. I would need this as if Fermoy was down, I wanted to make sure I had enough to get back to Cashel again. I had heard stories of this FCP and that it was nearly always filled with ICE vehicles. Well, when I got there it was filled with ICE vehicles except 1 spot that I had to squeeze into. The charger worked fine and I was delighted but why Topaz cannot paint the ground green is beyond me. As the charger is right at the front of the shop (one of the nearest spots) it is always gonna be filled up with inconsiderate arseholes. I was there for about 25 mins and am under the impression that the car parked in it was an actual worker of the shop (I could be wrong though).

So on to Fermoy, I travelled along steadily but didn’t realise exactly how hilly the road gets from Cashel to Fermoy. When I got there I didnt have enough to get back to Cashel on the rest of the charge. To my dismay the charger didn’t work. It looked fine but when I swiped my card it beeped and stared at me. I called the ESB number and after a short while I got a call back for Carra. They tried to reset the charger and I repeatedly attempted to test it for them (This was annoying as it was cutting into my time in Fermoy). Anyway finally they conceded that an engineer would need to come out and have a look at it. As Carra are based in Dublin and I was in Cork, it took 3 hours for the engineer to get there. Luckily I had better things to be doing than sitting waiting and the time flew by. When I got back to the charger it had been fixed and I tested it with the engineer. So I plugged in and attempted to wait the 1-1hr 30mins I would need to charge to have enough to get back to Cashel (I made sure I had extra with them hills). Thankfully I was rescued from my wait and had a good time instead of a boring vigil staring at Supervalu car park wall. What was worse was that I was told the issue was caused by the fact that the CP had recently been given a firmware upgrade but hadn’t been rebooted afterward. This simple task is what caused me so much hassle. The carra engineer texted me from Cashel when he reached it to let me know it was up, very nice of him.

So what can be learnt from this

Well more FCPs are needed along the motorway (every 30 km or so)

Also we seriously need engineers all over the country to be able service the charging points (not in the future, now, we have charge points around the country now so we need the engineers now)

Finally Topaz, for fuck sake paint the ground green