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I've been a little slack in writing about the our day at the final race of the first Formula E championship, so sorry about that. I assume no one is relying on me for race reports, I wouldn't if I were you. Go to fiaformulae.com/en/results for that.

DSC_0057Viewing was quite restricted due the the tree lined nature of the circuit around the park but we managed to get a good spot by the second chicane. Without the roar of engines you can hear the tyre's squeal, suspension soaking up the bumps and the cars bottoming out on the road as they launched over the curbs. Not to mention the gasps of the crowd at every near miss. The lack of noise doesn't detract from the spectacle but instead adds its own unique spin on it.

The race win and the championship all came down to the last lap. Although France's  Stephane Sarrazin crossed the line first ahead of Britain's Sam Bird, Bird took the victory as Sarrazin exceeded his energy allocation for the race and suffered a 49 second time penalty. Dropping him back to 15 place! Full Race results can be found here.

R11 Results

Due to some rain in the qualifying sessions the grid itself was a little mixed up. Seeing some of the championship leaders start further down the field I'm sure they would have liked. From a spectators point of view though this made the race all the more exciting. The very narrow and bumpy Battersea Park circuit making overtaking a tricky affair.  The gap the race leaders had gained at the beginning half of the race disappeared when the safety car had to come out and the field bunch right up again. As has been the case in so many of the later races, those who managed their energy usage the best prospered.

The championship at the last race was really between Lucas di Grassi, Sébastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet Jnr. In the end it came down the last lap, last corner and Nelson Piquet Jnr won the championship from 7th place by a single point. Overall driver standings are available here.

DSC_0041As for the event itself it all seemed fairly well organised, with the exception of the stewards who didn't really seem to know what event they were there for, but once we were in and found our paid for stand (and pointed out the difference in their arse and elbow) it all ran very smoothly and had a kind of festival feel to it. Plenty of places to eat, drink and watch the action on big screens. Stands from Renault, BMW, DHL and many more. Plus rides for the kids including their own ePrix race track with electric go karts.

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It had it's own feel that was different to any other motor sport event I've been to. I'm looking forward to the next season. This year all cars were identical but next year it's been opened up team can enter their own designs. So we should see different motors, battery technology and more manufacturers involved. If this series can be a test bed for manufacturers to developer EV technology we used in our road cars it should accelerate the technological development and acceptance as EVs generally as a real alternative to petrol and diesel transport.

DSC_0036If you want to have your say you can complete their survey here, whether you were there, watched on TV or didn't see a single race.

Eva and Pearl are on board the Mannanan and charging happily.

We didn't need the IKEA charge, which means we would have arrived at Liverpool with about 40% left, even with a charge on the boat that would have got us home anywhere on the island. 

Which means we could have done the whole trip in three stops. Not every journey of that distance could have been done in three. The spacing of the Chargers on your journey is key. In our case we had so many to choose from we could use the ones that fitted in with our food, baby and comfort breaks.

Two years ago when we got Eva I don't think we could have done that journey or our last journey to Yorkshire as the points just didn't exist. Ecotrity have done a brilliant job of getting these rolled out. I know we've come across a few faulty units on this trip which caused us to stay a little longer at one or two places but traveling with one car it wouldn't have made a difference.

I'm not sure about replacing petrol or diesel costs with candles from IKEA but I have a feeling we would have been stopping there anyway.

Another stop, and a bottle. We could carry on to next CP then Liverpool but as Mrs EVIOM wants to go to IKEA we are stopping here for a top up and lunch. That way we can take advantage of CP at IKEA and buy some bowls... Or something.

Temperature is is still high and battery temperature gauge is one bar below the red line. Air temp is about 29C as well. Air Con is well appreciated.

As I write this, and we've bought our picnic Eva is full charged and I'm moving the car for a Leaf driving from Gloucester  to Galway. 

 Also, the last two service station had new Tesla Superchathers being installed. The more the merrier in my opinion.

We missed missed Lemington Spa/Warrick services (ehm), so we've switched from M42 to M6 toll to M42, M5, M6. Lots of options on this route but I've never had luck with traffic this way.

Stopped at Hopwood Park with 15% on Eva and 21% on Pearl with 14 and 20 miles range showing respectively. 

 There is only one Rapid, DC only, here but one type2 slow. So same drill, charge one then re other. Baby EVIOM is due a bottle, he asked longer to fill than the car anyway.

We did encounter one problem as the Rapid keeps failing (card error). I spoke to Ecotricity and they have this one marked as faulty anyway. However, we found that if we waited 5 minutes the CP reset and would start again. Given that it's 30 degrees here I supect hear is the problem.

So, some problems but nothing too bad. It does pay to have a backup plan when there is only one CP at a location.

Eva is now over 90% so plenty to get to the next point.

All packed and ready for home, the kids can't cope with another museum or landmark. They'll have to put up with more Rapid CPs though as its a long way home. Given the traffic problems on the way down we've given our selves plenty of time.

Both cars are charged to 80% thanks to Nissan London West and Ecotricity on the M4. I popped out this evening to top up thanks to the Westfield failure. This means we can get some miles under our belt first thing.

Fingers crossed for a smoother trip for our 19:15 boat home.

Today saw Pearl and Eva split up and look for clues.

IMG_20150629_110412 IMG_20150629_110532Pearl headed for Nissan London West for a Rapid charge. The charger there was a  little slower that the Ecotricity chargers, but free and there's coffee. It's was a beautiful day so a walk was in order. Next, a trip to Westfield Shopping Centre to try the slow chargers and get the tube into the city for a few hours before returning for some dinner and some important baby sitting duties. We'll come back to this experience later (Westfield, not the baby sitting).

Eva headed out for the afternoon on a mission to buy school uniforms from the local Asda. How exciting. We parked alongside an already charging Renault Kangoo ZE and got a good top up from the easy to use Source London CP there. About a 25% boost in all. So, happy with that experience, Eva headed to Westfield Shopping Centre for Dinner and a movie. And, of course to complete our charge.

Westfield has a large number of CPs on level 1 and 2 of the car park, plus a Tesla Supercharger. The CP are a mix of domestic 3-pin and Type 2s. Eight bays on each level I think. Sounds great.

IMG_20150629_123757This is were the trouble began. When Pearl first arrive ALL 8 on level 1 were ICEd. Later in the day a few came free but when we arrived in Eva we noticed that there were a number of EVs parked but not charging. I was annoyed at this but it soon became clear why.

Pearl was told by Source London that an Ecotricity card would work fine, it didn't. It's actually the other way round, almost any RFID card will work on Ecotricity CPs as they only need to check that the same card holder that started the charge can disconnect the car. The only Source London card we had was in Eva's glove-box. When Eva arrived we connected both cars and tried to charge.

Fail. We started to charge but after a minute or so they just stop. Pearl was at 80% so we gave up on that one. Eva was down on charge due to some less than optimal navigation earlier. After trying a few CPs it looked like Eva was charging OK so off we went to the pictures.

IMG_20150629_201934On our return we found the car no longer charging and I knew we hadn't been long enough for 100%. Turns out it had stopped. When starting the car I had an error light on the dash (and I'm sure less charge than we started with).

A pretty awful experience at Westfield, We'll be writing to Source London and asking for a refund on the £5 card. One thing I have found when planning travel to the UK in an EV is that none of these regional systems are set up for visitors.

#SourceLondon @SourceLondon_UK #westfieldlondon @westfieldlondon #NissanLEAF

DSC_0036Sorry for the lack of updates today. I've had no internet access so haven't been able to upload and posts or photos of today's racing.

I'll try to find some time tomorrow and give an update on the race.

We're off for a drive tomorrow afternoon and will be sampling London's public charging infrastructure.

E.dams-Renault has secured the inaugural Formula E teams’ championship following Sebastien Buemi’s victory in the opening Visa London ePrix.

The French squad now has a 64-point lead over Audi Sport ABT and cannot be overhauled in the second London race on Sunday 28 June.

Speaking after the teams’ title was secured, e.dams-Renault co-founder Alain Prost was delighted with his squad’s success but urged them to focus on winning the drivers’ title for Buemi too.

See full story here.

 
Race results

01 9 Sébastien Buemi (P) e.dams-Renault 47:54.784

02 7 Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 47:55.723 

03 27 Jean-Eric Vergne Andretti 47:56.451

04 11 Lucas di Grassi (FL) Audi Sport ABT 47:57.193 

05 99 Nelson Piquet NEXTEV TCR 48:02.154 

06 2 Sam Bird Virgin Racing 48:02.546 

07 8 Nicolas Prost e.dams-Renault 48:03.337

08 6 Loic Duval Dragon Racing 48:04.291

09 88 Oliver Turvey NEXTEV TCR 48:04.816 

10 30 Stephane Sarrazin Venturi 48:06.861

11 28 Simona de Silvestro Andretti 48:10.730

12 5 Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 48:30.379

13 23 Nick Heidfeld Venturi 48:35.818 +41.034s 1:29.611 16

14 3 Fabio Leimer Virgin Racing 48:37.481 +42.697s 1:30.103 12

15 10 Jarno Trulli Trulli 48:38.057 +43.273s 1:30.250 21

16 21 Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 48:43.207

17 77 Salvador Duran * Amlin Aguri 48:56.771 

18 18 Alex Fontana Trulli 25 44:17.490 +4 laps

19 66 Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 15 24:42.414 +14 laps 

20 55 Sakon Yamamoto Amlin Aguri 15 26:43.034 +14 laps

* Car 77 (Duran) Drive-through penalty converted into 49 second time penalty

Download Full Classification here

Download Starting Grid here

  

We've been in London for a day and I haven't seen a single EV, and I'm usually good at spotting them. But eventually I found this at the Science Museum. I don't think it's a current model though. 

 

 
EVs are the future....

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