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Renault Zoé ZE50 R135 Intens
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Never would have imagined getting in to an EV at this point (or a car at all), but I'm a member of a certain popular Swiss-French deal-a-day website has their birthday every December. They have previously sold things like Rolexes and Teslas at half-price, done deals with the rail and even SWISS for absurdly cheap "unlimited" travel passes. Of course quantities are limited, and I've never succeeded in either being picked (passes) or rich (Rolexes and Teslas, which I sadly still cannot pull off at half-price).

So this year, they partnered on a 3-year lease on a Renault Zoé ZE50, all included (Insurance, plates, toll sticker, winters with storage and changing) for 150 "chuffs" (Swiss Francs) a month. 0 down. That's about £124 for the british isles, or 150 bucks for the Americans.

I quickly did some math on a notebook at work, and my jaw dropped. I'd never looked for a car in 10 years of living here, after over a million km on the road in North America and around the world. I live blocks from work and have access to one of the best public transit systems in the world, and arguably the best in Europe. But I'm getting old and I've taken up paragliding, so hauling skis+boots+a glider on the train in winter is quickly getting old as well.

It was a #$%^ it moment, and I clicked. 5 minutes later, the "Buy" page appeared - I only had to pay the first month as a deposit. What was there to lose? I grabbed it. I was 1 of ~100 who won, out of well more than 15,000 who tried. Let's do this. At worst I'm out 150 chuffs.

You see, not only do I not have access to a charging point (and won't unless I move), I don't even have a parking spot. Yes, I will be that nutter that parks a Zoé in the street and charges up when he can.

Several parking lots around me have "free" charging, 22kw AC for the most part - perfect for Zoé - but that's "free" with the parking fee. Which is, of course, at Swiss prices. Luckily the on-street parking permit isn't THAT bad (a year for the price of a month in a private lot) and I can rotate her in/out as needed. I've planned out the routes I want to take, and I imagine I'll end up with more than one coffee in my hand waiting with the buzz of the CCS charger humming in the background. The Swiss geographic panorama shouldn't make that too horrible.

I'm almost thinking of making a blog about the "silly bugger who leased a Zoé without a place to charge the bloody thing" ... 25 years of television production experience; maybe it's time to turn the camera around.

I'll be using the car to get to skiing/flying sites in the region, making sure the appropriate BBQ needs are met after a floating trip down the Rhône (a popular Genevan activity), the occasional well-planned long journey for some camping/flying, visiting friends down in the French bedroom communities, and nipping across the border for cheaper canned tomatoes while grabbing a free charge. As I said earlier, for the moment I live 2 blocks from work, so the car is for "everything else."

So I'm the guy who fell into an EV cuz it was almost free. Less than the annual railway pass by more than half. I've always tinkered with my cars in the past (VW/Audi fan, my '06 Jetta 2.0T will always stay in my heart) and hoping to be an active member of the forum. I'll be dealing with some pretty serious mountain roads and temperature variations (for Europe, I'm Canadian who ran off 10 years ago) and hope to do one really "Grand Tour" with the car in the 3 years we'll be together.

Now just to find a place to charge the bloody thing...

-Adam

Edit: Forgot to add, I drove a BMW i3 in Canada for a few weeks a couple years ago, including a long trip up to the cottage and a quick winter adventure on another occasion (friends car) so I've a half-decent idea of what I'm getting into.
 

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VW ID.3 1st Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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Yep, you definitely sound crazy enough to be an EV’er! 👍

Best of fun with it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, and with the Swiss penchant for following the rules, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble charging.

My sister lived in Switzerland for a few years, I once got a telling off for flushing the loo in the apartment after 10pm...
 
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