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Hi Folks

Had my Ampera for just a week now and must say I am absolutely loving the experience, have a lot to learn but the Ampera has definitely put the Fun back into driving for me.

The company car benefits really make sense and significantly reduce the cost of ownership and we are now considering offering the Ampera to all of our managers when their cars come up for replacement.

Will be good to meet some fellow EV enthusiasts and share information and ideas.

I got my free 16Amp charge point installed by British Gas and am currently time the charge from completely flat to compare it with the standard 3 pin supplied charge cable, so sad I know, but I love it :)
 

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Welcome and I'm also pleased you love the car. I've had mine 15 months and still enjoy every mile.

In my experience the BG (or any 16 amp charger) will cut about 2 hours off the full charge time. A real step change!

Big Paul
 

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Well I plugged in at 20:35 and the green light was flashing at 12:30 not sure how long it had been flashing too be honest I got distracted and did not keep up my initial 10 minute vigilance. I need an Iphone app that shows me charge progress with an audible tone when completed :)

Anyway 3hrs 55 mins at the outside is pretty impressive especially as the batts where completely depleted as I did a round trip to Leeds.

Was surprised that Leeds had no public charge points (we have 4 in Grimsby & Cleethorpes) but managed to charge at Evans Halshaw Renault/Nissan much to the annoyance of the dealer principal who was one of the rudest and unprofessional people I have met in a long time, but that's another story.
 

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There are very few charging points in Leeds aren't there. I too am surprised at that. I did find this one though on Zap-Map...


Zap-Map Leeds by Paul Churchley, on Flickr

Probably not convenient, or even genuinely open to public use (public on these databases often doesn't mean you can romp up and plug in - although it should IMO) :)
 

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Paul

You can't work your "magic" for me now can you?

We're going across to Guernsey next month for a few days holiday and having asked both the Guernsey Tourist office and the Condor ferry Company there is nowhere I'll be able to recharge over there or on the way. It currently looks like I'll be running all but the initial charge on petrol which will bring my lifetime MPG down from 134!!

And if anyone else knows where charging points might be hidden on the island I'd appreciate the word.

Big Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paul Churchley said:
There are very few charging points in Leeds aren't there. I too am surprised at that. I did find this one though on Zap-Map...


Zap-Map Leeds by Paul Churchley, on Flickr

Probably not convenient, or even genuinely open to public use (public on these databases often doesn't mean you can romp up and plug in - although it should IMO) :)
Hi Paul

I chose the option on the left Evans Halshaw Renault and this was my rather interesting and colouful experience.

After searching for charge points in Leeds on Zap Map I went for you for the POD charge station based at the Evans Halshaw Renault/Nissan dealer in Roseville Road, Leeds which was only a mile from my meeting, I called them on Monday and spoke to a very nice lady who seemed a little bemused at my request to book a slot for charging the following day but she eventually after asking a couple of colleagues confirmed it was fine to use, when I asked her the charge she said it was free, so I told her to expect us at around 12:30 and we would be leaving the car until 5 pm as we had a meeting in the city centre, all was agreed and fine.

We arrived at 12:35 and found the charge point was in use so when I went into the showroom to ask if there were any more they directed me to other side of the building which was the Nissan half of the franchise where there was a dual outlet POD Station, they seemed a little suspicious and asked me what car I had as they peered through the showroom window looking at the Ampera. I drove around to the other side of the building to see a petrol Renault Clio in one of the EV charge bays and a customer charging his Nissan Leaf in the other. As soon as I got out of my car I was confronted by a man with a sharp tone who said I could not charge as their was a customer in the bay. When I pointed out that the petrol Clio would not need charging and could he kindly move it he got rather angry, at which point the customer with the leaf packed up his charge cable and said he had enough to get home and that I could pull into his bay. This seemed to anger the Nissan salesman who then asked what time I would be back and when I stated that I had called an arranged everything the day before and agreed to return just after 5 pm he angrily said you better had or those barriers are coming down at 6 and you will not be able to get your car out until the morning. I duly plugged in and asked another person in the showroom to swipe their card for me and the green light was on.

We returned at 5:20 to find the angry man waiting for us and when I asked him to get the card to allow me to release my charge cable from the Pod he exploded into a rant saying that he could not believe my cheek and that I had the gaul to use their facility and not even pay. At this point I started to lose my cool a little and told him that I would gladly pay the £1 or so that it cost and that he needed to check his company policy as I had checked and arranged everything in advance, to which he replied I don't care I run this business my way and you are not welcome and stormed away.

I could not resist and after packing away the charge cable went into the showroom and spoke to another fellow who witnessed the whole thing and asked if the angry man did actually own the business to which he replied no, he is just the dealer manager. I gave him a pound coin and asked him to pass it on to Mr Angry. I thought it was odd that a business owner would adopt that attitude towards a stranger as in everybody there is an opportunity and of course he had no idea that I may have been interested in buying a couple of Nissan Leafs for our local client visits.

So my first experience in public charging was rather interesting. I did call POD and their card for a years membership with unlimited charges across their network is £12.50. If there were more of them I might consider it but more likely to use the train for any long distance travel as I can work on the train.
 

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I am so sorry and disappointed to hear of your first charging experience but I am also sorry to have to say that it is no surprise.

From the beginning then... the first thing to realise here is that you chose to charge at a charge point that is not at all public. In fact, I don't know if you noticed but the Zap-Map entry specifically says it is free for "eligible users"... that is drivers of Nissan or Renault cars in this instance. So it is no surprise then that you encountered some degree of reluctance to help you. Having said that, there is no excuse for their rudeness or aggression. I would put this one down to experience and realise that charging is not always open to everyone everywhere. Some locations require you to buy a service such as stay at a hotel or eat in the restaurant. This is fine if you know about it in advance and plan accordingly. So just be aware for the future.

On a more general note about dealerships... some can be hugely friendly and helpful, even to cars that are not of their own make. Others can be hugely unhelpful and sometimes aggressive even to cars of their own make. It is a very mixed bag at the moment and I always approach dealers I don't know with a degree of caution. The thing to keep in your mind also is that there are very few salespeople that know anything at all about EVs. You are very likely to get blank looks when asking about charging and on the telephone the telephonists almost never know if the charging station is working or not. This will change but right now it is going to be down to us to make the running and to educate them rather than as you would expect the other way round!

Finally, no one that I know of has any kind of booking system... anywhere nationwide... in dealers or public charging. My advise would be to call in advance as you did but before you leave your house just to confirm that the charge point is working. You won't be able to book it and so I suggest you don't ask as it may confuse them completely! I always check that the dealer's charger is working before I leave but you cannot reliably check public charging. We just have to hope it is working and available when we get there. You will find a lot of charge stations blocked by petrol/diesel cars and a lot of aggression if you ask them to move. I will not ask any more. Again, I am sure this will change but not until EVs are more common.

Public charging is a bit of an adventure at the moment that is true but it is important to remember that the vast majority of charging will always be done at home, over night, so for most people this is not a big issue right now. At least with the Ampera if we encounter charging issues we can just carry on with petrol... not so with my Nissan Leaf and so long trips in a 100% EV can be even more of an adventure at the moment. I am planning a trip in my Leaf from my home in Saltash, Cornwall to Preston in a couple of weeks. I expect that will be fun!

Don't be put off by this bad experience. They aren't all like that :)
 

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Big Paul,

I know Kevin Sharpe went over to the Channel Islands to promote EVs but can't see any lasting effect from that.

Zap-map shows the Renault dealers as coming soon, but maybe they can help.

Failing that, what about your hotel/B&B?



FoweyUK, I'm sure you've seen that Evans Halshaw have a Vauxhall dealership just up the road. You'd think they would help each other out. Maybe a complaint to head office.


Anyway, West Yorkshire just got a big chunk of cash from OLEV for charging so this lack will change.
 

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dpeilow

Thanks for the info

I did ask the hotel when I booked and got what I suspect everyone gets; ie a bewildered "I'll have to check...."

I'll just try again when I get there

It won't spoil the vacation I'm sure, but it does get wearing doesn't it?


Big paul
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dpeilow said:
Big Paul,

I know Kevin Sharpe went over to the Channel Islands to promote EVs but can't see any lasting effect from that.

Zap-map shows the Renault dealers as coming soon, but maybe they can help.

Failing that, what about your hotel/B&B?



FoweyUK, I'm sure you've seen that Evans Halshaw have a Vauxhall dealership just up the road. You'd think they would help each other out. Maybe a complaint to head office.


Anyway, West Yorkshire just got a big chunk of cash from OLEV for charging so this lack will change.
Hi Paul

I did contemplate writing a letter then realized I have better things to do with my life than waste time on that arrogant fellow, things usually work things out for themselves and one day he may reflect on his own poor attitude and see greater potential in embracing and helping fellow humans

Good news on the charge front investment, Leeds is going to be a regular business destination for me over coming months so that will encourage me to take the Vampera as my son calls it, rather than the train.
 

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David,

It's not that far really, so maybe I'll just throw an extension lead across....

Did Jersey a couple of years ago, Pre EV, so no real reason to go again ---- until now!

Big Paul
 

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Paul

You can't work your "magic" for me now can you?

We're going across to Guernsey next month for a few days holiday and having asked both the Guernsey Tourist office and the Condor ferry Company there is nowhere I'll be able to recharge over there or on the way. It currently looks like I'll be running all but the initial charge on petrol which will bring my lifetime MPG down from 134!!

And if anyone else knows where charging points might be hidden on the island I'd appreciate the word.

Big Paul
Over here now there appears to be one site on the island but they do have this company doing conversions. Shame though with 35 mph speed limit otherwise ideal for EVs.
 
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