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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
We are now in Epernay, Champagne, France. The main parking garage has 1 charger out of the 10 I found that is working.
We had hoped to do a loop around France but that plan just didn't work this time. Epernay would have been on our likely places in just under two weeks time. As it is our last night will be staying in a cave.
 

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We have been in the Champagne for three days now. A lot less EVs and even less chargers than in Flanders (Belgium).

Range anxiety no doubt, distances here through nothing but fields are much longer than in Flanders that is essentially one big city of six million inhabitants consisting of some pockets like Ghent and Antwerp, the rest suburbs. The inhabitants of Antwerp have a saying: Antwerp is the Metropolis, the rest of Flanders is its parking lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
So we're on our second and final night in la Rochelle. The granny charge last night gav3 us plenty for a drive out to the Il de Re - a complete holiday playground. So many pushbikes! Incredible. Even gave way to about 20 crossing the road. Temperature hitting 40c, so on with the seat cooling...
Sky Window Building Road surface Cloud

A couple of swims, lots of green tea and a promise to get back here one day, hopefully with grandchildren.

Because we're granny charging I'm mindful of charging level tomorrow - even if it is over two nights! I expect we'll be 80% charged.

We're hoping to get a clean getaway, straight into la Rochelle old town. An hour or so later off to Les Arenes at Saintes, an hour south. Having a spot of lunch in a roman amphitheatre sounds pretty good. Not least because we're hoping for a top up charge at the leclerc carpark nearby.

And then for a leisurely drive to our week-long destination in the lit et garonne.

Out biggest challenge here will be avoiding smirking too much. Some friends have flown, and who cares about the climate! Others have driven fossilised cars and refuse to read the writing on the wall.

I drink very little alcohol, so happy to take some out to wine tasting. Etc. Bit it will be in the Kona.
 

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So we're on our second and final night in la Rochelle. The granny charge last night gav3 us plenty for a drive out to the Il de Re - a complete holiday playground. So many pushbikes! Incredible. Even gave way to about 20 crossing the road. Temperature hitting 40c, so on with the seat cooling... View attachment 163170
A couple of swims, lots of green tea and a promise to get back here one day, hopefully with grandchildren.

Because we're granny charging I'm mindful of charging level tomorrow - even if it is over two nights! I expect we'll be 80% charged.

We're hoping to get a clean getaway, straight into la Rochelle old town. An hour or so later off to Les Arenes at Saintes, an hour south. Having a spot of lunch in a roman amphitheatre sounds pretty good. Not least because we're hoping for a top up charge at the leclerc carpark nearby.

And then for a leisurely drive to our week-long destination in the lit et garonne.

Out biggest challenge here will be avoiding smirking too much. Some friends have flown, and who cares about the climate! Others have driven fossilised cars and refuse to read the writing on the wall.

I drink very little alcohol, so happy to take some out to wine tasting. Etc. Bit it will be in the Kona.
I'm glad you are having a good time... We are on Ile d'Oleron with a broken Kona.
 

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Beautiful picture, Andy! Here in Champagne it is thirty something degrees still. Better for EV batteries.
Andy, I admire your resolve. Planning longer stays for granny charging and all. Though I can read what is on the wall, I don't have the heart yet to dare France decarbonized. I am fossilising around for the journey. It is a hybrid and an economic diesel... it makes me feel a little better... we are three days gone, the tank is over half full still...

I asked our hotel reception how I could charge my EV here. They have two Legrand reinforced Shuko good for 16 Amps continuous. Charging is free. I noticed a fat e-tron and a Tesla model 3 LR on the parking lot. None are charging. One of the charging spots is taken by a Lamborghini Aventador... talk about cynicism...

So I realize now that this trip would be OK with an EV like yours. How much amps does your granny charger pull? My Peugeot's only does 8. To use the 16 here, I would have to bring my OpenEVSE.

France has a long way to go still, the good news is electricity probably comes from nuclear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
I'm glad you are having a good time... We are on Ile d'Oleron with a broken Kona.
Yes, I've been trying to think of ideas to help. And sorry you are going through it. I know it doesn't help but despite the stupid o'clock time I am going to have a shower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
Shower done. Please feel free to post a link to your thread here.

The suggestion around using torque pro to reset via an OBD2 connector has to be worth a shot.

I'm sure some torque guru (not me) would spend a few mins on a WhatsApp call with you to go through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Having been able to quasi-help Mike, including a surprise drive past rochefort transporter bridge, we dropped the idea of saintes even though we now needed to take the fastest route to our destination - which happened to go by saintes. But just not enough time. And anyway the heat busting through to 42deg meant sightseeing wasn't so attractive.

What had been very attractive was the old port at la Rochelle. With views to die for on every corner, and probably many did over the years with this very well defended town since the 1300s.

We did a top up charge at an aire with ionity chargers. Very expensive and you expect reliable points. This complete group seemed to have difficulty for ourselves and three other cars that came along.
 

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Thanks for your posts. Perhaps whilst Mike is still in the do-do (I've been reading..) you could comment on the Portsmouth - Caen ferry route? How slick was it with immigration etc.? I live just outside Portsmouth so could get there and still have a very high percentage, but the cost of the route is pretty high and I've also been looking at the cheaper Newhaven - Dieppe. It's so nice though to arrive back at Portsmouth and once through immigration be home in 15 minutes!

With my range I wouldn't be bothering with 130K in a vehicle as inefficient as the MG, and as others have pointed out on this thread there are some large areas of France with few alternative/back up options other than 7kW, which isn't too helpful getting to Italy in two days. I need to do some more controlled experiments on eking out range, as most of what I do is well within range even with a load and a heavy foot. Perhaps some of my longer 40/50 mile trips with one leg on cruise control and drafting to do some comparisons.

I'm a complete omnivore (never eaten in a McDo though..) but how about artichokes for your list of vegan dishes: Carciofi a la romana? I've a plant on my allotment which yields me a few meals every year.
 

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Whilst Mike is struggling I'm not going to post as usual. This travelogue isn't about me doing well when others struggle.
Andy,

Please don't stop your travel blog, I think it is a great example of what touring with an EV is usually like. I just have a vehicle with a warranty fault and it could have happened to any kind of car, this has nothing to do with it being an EV.

My car does work as you witnessed, it is just that some software has decided that it is unhappy about something and refuses to let me use it. All modern cars no matter the power train are software controlled!

So, please, resume your posts, it is a nice ray of sunshine for me and everyone else!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #134 · (Edited)
Thanks for your posts. Perhaps whilst Mike is still in the do-do (I've been reading..) you could comment on the Portsmouth - Caen ferry route? How slick was it with immigration etc.? I live just outside Portsmouth so could get there and still have a very high percentage, but the cost of the route is pretty high and I've also been looking at the cheaper Newhaven - Dieppe. It's so nice though to arrive back at Portsmouth and once through immigration be home in 15 minutes!

With my range I wouldn't be bothering with 130K in a vehicle as inefficient as the MG, and as others have pointed out on this thread there are some large areas of France with few alternative/back up options other than 7kW, which isn't too helpful getting to Italy in two days. I need to do some more controlled experiments on eking out range, as most of what I do is well within range even with a load and a heavy foot. Perhaps some of my longer 40/50 mile trips with one leg on cruise control and drafting to do some comparisons.

I'm a complete omnivore (never eaten in a McDo though..) but how about artichokes for your list of vegan dishes: Carciofi a la romana? I've a plant on my allotment which yields me a few meals every year.
Portsmouth bilbao was excellent, new ship and all, but caen was pretty good too. The slowest bits seem to be getting through uk customs on return. Caen was overnight so we had a cabin. Small but enough. The frightening thing was lowering the top bunk bed from the ceiling. Bilbao included evening meal and buffet breakfast. The st malo crossing would be more expensive than Caen but gets you down further mont St Michel and has a more sociable wake up time.

Artichoke is part of the nightshade family so I avoid. We carried fresh foods but we were never inspected, just waved through. So no idea what they might say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
One of the challenges of charging any electric car at a public charger is knowing the right or best order to do things. We need memorable acronyms for each type of charger. It's an idea I'll think about some more.
 

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One of the challenges of charging any electric car at a public charger is knowing the right or best order to do things. We need memorable acronyms for each type of charger. It's an idea I'll think about some more.
I guess you’re saying 7AC, 22AC, 50DC aren’t good enough?

In my (very) limited experience they all seem to work the same. Except for the free ones such as those at LIDL. The procedure is different since you do not use a wireless pass.

I rarely go on a trip that requires recharging. 99% is using my OpenEVSE at home using excess PV power. So my experience is near zero.
 

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I think he means rapid chargers. Some say swipe card first then plug in. Some plug in first then swipe. Some swipe, plug in, press "start charge".

Imagine at a fossil filling station . . . Select fuel type, lift nozzle, squeeze trigger . . . now mop up spilt fuel because you should have put the nozzle in the pipe you numpty. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 · (Edited)
I think he means rapid chargers. Some say swipe card first then plug in. Some plug in first then swipe. Some swipe, plug in, press "start charge".

Imagine at a fossil filling station . . . Select fuel type, lift nozzle, squeeze trigger . . . now mop up spilt fuel because you should have put the nozzle in the pipe you numpty. :)
Exactly Ish.

Yesterday's charger had a black screen explaining what to do next. When I say black, most computer screens struggle in bright sunshine. So there I was, with my better half, struggling to read the display. My high-tech glasses don't help since in sunshine they too become shady. Hmm.

Covering with hands to protect the display from the sun we see a language selection button bottom left - English!

It turns out for this charger you need to be patient with the chargemap car held flat on the screen to gain authorisation as the next step. Only once that is done do you dare to plug in.

And as you plugin the chargebox comes alive with fans whirring ever faster culminating in that final satisfying CLUNK as the charge begins. Whatever devil magic you have forswarn, whatever financial agreement you have made, that clunk is the most satisfying moment for any EV driver. One that says - sorted.

And after the charge? This is one if those that like to see the chargemap card again to both stop the charge process and release the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 · (Edited)
Today was a 40 minute each way trip to the magnificent roman villa remains at Seviac. These remains stem from last years of the roman empire and as such reflect a different character. Gone are the mosaics full of gods and related characters replaced now with geometric patterns. Still magnificent but clearly a different bourgeois mindset of its owners altogether.

It is however the return journey that stimulates this post. The bastide town of fources. Such beauty crammed into such a small place. An egg-shaped heart of covered homes and shops separated by trees providing yet more shade. Quintessential France. To leave is an insult.
Rectangle Brickwork Window Brick Wood


But my inspiration comes not from the village but from its municipal campsite. A sign declaring 10€ per night flat fee. And, wait for it, one that also includes electrical hookup. And a realisation.

If this fee reflects much of municipal campsites across France then one could travel across France almost perpetually in your electric car, and never pay a cent for charging the car.

Yes, you are paying for camping. But with no further costs for the hookup you would arrive, stay two nights (the time to fully replenish a kona on a granny charge), and then move on to another campsite.
Plant Wood Font Handwriting Signage
 

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Good thinking Andy! They may notice a KONA is not a camping car and if all EV drivers would do this I am pretty sure you would have to deal with angry camping car users 😁. Unless you have a ID BUZZ converted into a camping car…

I hope you do not mind my hijacking your forum: today we had a Dutch BMW iX3 granny charging (for free) at the hotel… the Lambo had to move out to free up the charging spot…
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Electrical wiring Gas Wood Electricity Cable
 

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