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EVIOM came into being to provide answers to the many questions regarding EV ownership. Its purpose was to give new and prospective EV owners the benefit of knowledge gained by early adopters. So here we are, some 4 to 5 years later, and now every week a new EV arrives on the Island. The Nissan Leaf is by far the most popular due to the many great second-hand deals on offer but what can these new-to-EV drivers expect from their purchase? Below are a few things that may be of interest to new EV drivers. They are taken purely from our own experience and, as everyone’s driving style and journeys are different, are not meant to be typical for every EV.

Charging

Over the last 4 years we have driven our Leaf Acenta and covered 30,000 miles, mainly on-island. That’s a typical average of 20 miles a day. We are based in Douglas and have regular trips over the mountain to Ramsey and back as well as to all corners of the island. Our Leaf has a 24kWh battery and a 3.3 kW on-board charger. We charge overnight at home to the 80% battery capacity or what is termed the “Long Life” battery mode[i]. Occasionally we will set it to 100% if we know we have several trips to make the next day. Our home charger is a Rolec 32 Amp, which is capable of charging up to 7Kw. We bought this charger so we could ‘future proof’ the home charging capabilities should our next car have that greater charging capability. Although, in theory, we could have connected the charger to the garage wiring, we decided to add an extra, dedicated ‘circuit’ in our electrical distribution board. Unfortunately this meant the fitting of a new consumer unit but luckily this coincided with some other electrical work being undertaken at the same time. We bought the Charge Point directly from Rolec as there were few options for purchase at the time. Nowadays there are CPs from other manufacturers being offered for installation by registered local electricians.

It should be noted that only once have we had to charge the car from empty. Typically we have 20-30% left after our daily journeys and charging to 80% would take approximately 3.5 to 4 hours, which is ideal for overnight charging. We never rely on the Guess-O-Meter (GOM) which indicates approximate range, but instead, after a few weeks of driving, we soon got a feel for how much battery capacity we used on typical journeys and judge our range by the % reading. We also usually have the cabin pre-heat set to warm the car by 07:00 hrs, especially in the colder months.

We have a dual electricity meter provided by the MUA and this gives us cheaper, off-peak, electricity between midnight and 07:00 hrs. We set the car charging timer to start at 01:00 and charge until 80% full. We chose a 1 a.m. start time to compensate for the change to British Summer Time as the current electricity meter only has a clock based on GMT. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the bill payer to ensure that the time clock on the meter is correct and in our experience it can "drift".

Here is a typical graph showing our overnight charging. The large peak is the battery charging and the smaller peak is when the climate control kicks in for the pre-heat. All this is pre-set and controlled from the Leaf’s on-board computer.

It May Be Winter Outside…

This is another reason we love our Leaf. Getting into a warm car with a frost-free windscreen on a cold winter morning is just one of the factors that makes driving an EV a pleasure. Smooth acceleration and regenerative braking also make for safer driving in winter. If it does get slippery then switching to ECO Mode and even turning off the traction control gives the car a better chance of grip in very bad road conditions.

In fact, all the year round, we will use ‘B’ mode regularly, particularly when going back and forth over the mountain. ECO mode in the towns is also recommended.

Like any car, the way you drive and the terrain affect the amount of fuel that you use. We are careful drivers but will quite happily “open her up” on the mountain road if conditions allow. We also like to set ourselves challenges as to how little battery percentage we use on typical journeys from Douglas to Ramsey. We have found that higher use of the battery mainly occurs when the traffic is such that we cannot take full advantage of regenerative braking. Obvious really!

There has been much talk recently about how badly the battery of an EV is affected by the cold weather and it is true there is an effect. But just how bad is it? Back in 2010 the AA[ii] ran a campaign that showed that both petrol and diesel cars exhibited an increase in fuel consumption due to cold weather. They showed that fuel consumption is higher when the engine is cold and stated “it could equate to an additional cost of 3p per litre”. Added to this is the extra use of heaters, lights, and heated screens/seats etc., which use more fuel no matter what type of car you drive.

Driving Data

When you first switch on the Leaf you will see an option, on the central console screen, to send telematics[iii] data to Nissan detailing your mileage and battery storage capacity. If you accept this you will be able to view your driving records on-line at “YOU+NISSAN” and also on the Nissan EV app on your smartphone.

This data is available on-line with about 2 years of historical data and will show you distance travelled, electricity consumption, travel time, CO2 savings and average energy economy. This term Average Energy Economy is very useful, as it will tell you how many miles you have travelled, on average, for one unit, or Kilowatt hour, of electricity (Miles/kWh). So if, for example, you average 4 miles per kWh and a unit is 8.75 pence then the electricity cost averages at just over 2 pence per mile.

Here is our chart showing the data collected from 1st. March 2016 to 28th February 2018. The top graph shows our Average Energy Economy in Miles/kWh, the highest reading in June 2016 at 4.5 Miles/kWh and the lowest being 3.5 Miles/kWh on several winter months. The lower graph shows the Average Mean Temperature measured at Ronaldsway.

The energy economy graph follows the temperature graph, which is to be expected, and it appears that we had a warmer summer in 2016 than 2017 but the recent 2018 February average mean temperature of 4° C didn’t have such a corresponding low in the economy reading. In short, I believe the lower economy figures in winter are similar to what you will find in ICE cars but obviously more noticeable when you have a smaller "tank" of fuel.

Turning Over A New Leaf

So that's a short summary of how we operate our Leaf and this post was written with the intention of giving some insight into EV ownership. When we look back, did the Leaf live up to our expectations? Well, yes, and much more. Our main reason for switching to pure EV was simply to remove the tail-pipe emissions. We were never under the illusion that it was a cheaper motoring option to ICE transport. No motorised transport is free. Saying that, we used to spend £185 on petrol each month and now our car fuel bill is about £15 a month which is a good saving to put towards purchasing a new car. We have never, in the last 4 years, had free road 'tax' although Electric Vehicles are now taxed at zero rate.

We are now ready to take ownership of the latest Leaf the 'Leaf 2.Zero', which by all reports, is a great improvement on the previous models. We will be very sorry to part with our current Leaf as the car shows no signs of wear and tear or battery degradation and is the easiest car we have ever driven.


[i] The 80% “Long Life” battery option was an option on the 24kWh leaf. Nissan have removed that option on the 30kWh Leaf.

[ii]http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/news/aa-fuel-for-thought-increased-cost-of-winter-motoring.html

[iii] At first there was no access to the Nissan Telematics system on the Isle of Man but campaigning by EVIOM who negotiated with Telenor, the company supplying the telematics infrastructure to Nissan, meant that the system has been available to IoM users since March 2014.

Manx Utilities have installed a new public charge point in the car park, off the Promenade, near the Commissioner's offices. The new charge point is a Rolec post with two Type 2 connectors.

Don't forget that a map of Isle of Man public charge points is available at eviom.im/map and please let us know about your #IOMCharge wins and woes.

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Manx Utilities are looking feedback on possible signage for EV recharging spaces in the island. Send your feed back to @manx_utilities or to EVIOM.

We like the clear image and the wording "only while charging".

 

 

Manx Utilities have installed a new public charge point in Market Square in Peel. This replaces much missed double commando unit at the Isle of Man Food Park. The new charge point is a Rolec post with two Type 2 connectors and the parking spaces are in a Disc Zone with a 2 hour limit.

Don't forget that a map of Isle of Man public charge points is available at eviom.im/map and please let us know about your #IOMCharge wins and woes.

The two brothers from Belgium and TT Zero regulars Saroléa have been testing their SP7 machine at Aragon ahead of the weekend's MotoGP races.

Dorna, who run the MotoGP series, intend to run an all electric support class from 2019. Saroléa are one of the few teams that have been shortlisted to supply machinery in a similar way to the current Moto2 class where all bikes are use the same power plant.

Ex-MotoGP racer and current Dorna Safety Adviser Loris Caparossi has been testing potential bikes and machinery and is said to have been impressed by the SP7 TT Zero bike.

Although it might be said Saroléa have had disappointing results on the Isle of Man they continue to work hard to develop their SP7 motorcycle into a serious race bike and with the road going Manx7 due to be available to buyers next year the timing could be great for them if they can create a relationship with Dorna.

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There have been no new public charge points installed or upgraded since our last update but we do have news on repairs and faults.

North

Market Square, Ramsey

Photo: Robert Lener, via Facebook

This charge point has now been repaired and is back to full working order. Remember that the parking disc restrictions apply in this car park. The square is also often used for events which means the charging bays may be inaccessible on occasion. It also appears that the repaired charge post no longer has the dumb blue commando sockets so you will need your Type 2 cable.

 

Isle of Man Motor Museum

These are still available to museum visitors. The four bays with the red signs are for Tesla cars only. The other two with white signs are for any EV (ask inside for them to be activated).

Please be aware that these have Type 2 tethered cables so will only work on vehicles with Type 2 charging ports. EVIOM had purchased a Type 1 to Type 2 converter to allow other vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf to be able to charge but the cable proved to be incompatible. Hopefully we can find a converted cables that is proven to work with Tesla destination chargers.

East

Chester Street Multistory

The two commando sockets here have been problematic of late. Manx Utilities have advised a damaged socket has been repaired but the last update states they are still having problems.


Information is available about the status and location of each charge point on The Island at eviom/map.

If anyone has any updates on public charging around the island or if you own charge point you would like to make available to the public or to your customers let us know. If you would like to know how you can go about getting a charge point installed we can offer advice and put you in touch with the right people. Use the contact form or mail@eviom.im.

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It's been reported via Twitter that one of the sockets at the Chester St "charge point" is damaged. It looks like one of the sockets has melted or snapped so is unsafe to use. Please take care if around this unit.

Apple Maps have a fairly complete list of publicly available charge points around the world and now give the locations of public charge points on the Isle of Man. The content is provided by Moovility, a smart phone enabled, mobile web app.

EVIOM has worked with Moovility to provide the public charge point data and arrange for those charge points to appear on Apple Maps which is available on iOS and MacOS devices.

Simply search for EV Chargers in the app to display a list of nearby EV charge points, tap one of the map pins to see more information and set a route. Hopefully this will help both local and visiting drivers find an appropriate charge point. Isle of Man charge points details are also available via other EV map apps such as Plugshare, Zap-Map and of course here on the EVIOM map page.

On Sunday 9th July between 10:00 and 14:00 the Isle of Man Motor Museum are holding their Revved Up! event. The Museum recently installed 6 EV charging bays for museum visitors. 4 Tesla and 2 general EV chargers.

We're bringing ten Museum exhibits to life on Sunday 9th July!

From the single cylinder Peel P50, through the four cylinder Hunt Special up to the mighty V16 Cadillac will be outside on our display area and we'll be starting them up so you can get to hear, see, and even smell them!

Bring your pride and joy up to the Museum so others can get to hear them running too!

EVIOM will be attending but we won't be able to contribute to the aural delights. Instead we'll be bringing something to make the museum's tethered Type 2 Tesla Destination Charger available to EV drivers with Type 1 equipped cars such at the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi Outlander.

The cable has been purchased by EVIOM and will be loaned to the Isle of Man Motor Museum for use by visitors wishing to use the two general EV charging bays. The chargers are free to use for museum visitors, just ask the lovely staff inside.

We'd love to see you up there in your EV or anything else you might want to show off. After all a where better to see and hear ICE vehicles than in a museum...

Those that have traveled to the UK in their EV have probably used an Ecotricity rapid charger at a motorway service station. Almost a year ago Ecotricity introduced 'charging for charging’ on their Electric Highway, after being free to use for five years.

When charging was introduced in the summer of 2016 they chose to go a £6 fee for 30 minutes. A 'one size fits all' approach. This was welcomed by some as it would reduce the likelihood of drivers hogging the charge points or using them if they didn't really need to. Due to the increase in EV numbers in the UK these rapid chargers can often be very busy. Others were angry  as the pricing didn't charge by the Kwh but by time. On a slower charging vehicle, or depending on other factors that affect charge rates, the cost could be calculated at more that running an ICE vehicle. To say the introduction of the charging model divided opinion is an understatement, but it had been free for 5 years while the network grew and it is a commercial charging network that needs to pay for itself.

The £6 for 30 minutes was always a temporary solution and Ecotricity did say they would monitor usage and update their systems so a more sophisticated and flexible charging system could be introduced. The main issue they have to deal with is fixed time period charging and the different amounts of energy that various vehicles can use in that time. The pricing model also needs to reflect the cost of installing and running the infrastructure, not just the cost of energy. They have tried to separate the cost of energy from the cost of providing the service.

From the 26th June 2017 there will be a £3 connection fee for all sessions and energy will be charged at 17p per Kwh (unit), similar to what many people pay on-peak at home and similar to the cost here on the Isle of Man. Ecotricity customers won't pay the connection fee but that obviously doesn't apply to Isle of Man residents.

Ecotricity state that the new model will typically be lower for all makes and models of EV and will reflect the amount of energy used better. They have also increased the maximum charge time to 45 minutes.

Remember that to use the chargers you will need to download the Electric Highway smart phone app (available for Android and iPhone). For more information see EVIOM's Useful Links page. To contact Ecotricity email fortheroad@ecotricity.co.uk or call 01453 761455.

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