Guillaume


GoCar purchases 5 Renault Zoé   Recently updated !

GoCar Ireland is bringing up 5 Renault Zoé to their fleet, after the 10 BMW i3 purchased in October 2016. It seems that this first experience was a success for GoCar which is great news, and probably means that even more EVs are to come into their fleet.

The BMW i3 were assigned to Dublin, and we’re not sure yet if these 5 Zoé will be as well reserved for the capital and/or if there are plans to bring these to other locations.

 

Two of the five Renault Zoé delivered today to GoCar


An Garda Síochána is going Electric with BMW   Recently updated !

It is important that institutions show us the way to consume in a better way. An Garda Síochána’s order of Audi Q7s was not really impressive (do they really need expensive oversized SUVs for high-speed chases?). After An Post testing (unsuccessfully?) a few Kangoo ZE a few years ago, An Garda Síochána is now testing the BMW i3 in an EV pilot.

With a fleet of 2800 vehicles, An Garda Síochána has the ability to set an example and we hope that they will realize how beneficial EVs are for their fleet as, let’s not forget, Public Sector has to reduce by a third its emissions, by 2020.

The BMW i3 costs half of what a Q7 Diesel does (and barely more than a Ford Mondeo or Hyundai i40), with obviously much lower running costs and similar performance, with 0-100 kph in just over 7 seconds. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Hopefully An Garda Síochána will realize this quickly and renew their fleet with a significant share of EVs.

 

Photo credit : BMW

 


2017 Irish EV sales : Better than you might think!   Recently updated !

It’s now time to see if 2017 was a good year for EV sales in Ireland,

New EV sales (excluding PHEVs) went from 392 units in 2016 to 622 units in 2017. That’s a very good increase of 58% year on year (considering the overall market dipped 10% during the same period) but the overall market share is still low, 0.47%, which means that less than one car in 200 sold is an EV 🙁

2018 Tesla Model S

But there is a way to see it more positively.

It is indeed the best year ever for new EV sales but most of all used imports have increased even more. 486 used EV were imported in 2017, which is almost 3 times as much as last year (143)!

Now if you add new sales and used imports, you get a total of 1108 extra EVs on the Irish roads compared to a year earlier, which brings the total of EV registered from 1643 a bit over 2751 cars. Not too bad.

But wait, there is more !

Following the same trend, PHEV sales have gone up as well, from 298 to 319. Not as impressive as for EVs but let’s keep in mind that these cars are generally quite expensive premium models. Again, used imports make the difference, going from 35 units in 2016 to 224 in 2017 ! During the last year the fleet of Irish PHEVs more than doubled, raising from 470 to 1013!

Total cumulative registrations of cars with a plug went from 2113 to 3764 during the past 12 months … if you are an EV driver, you have noticed the increased queues at chargers, and these numbers show why.

And 2018 ?

We can expect further growth in 2018 :

  • The new Leaf -Ireland’s favorite EV- is coming in Spring. 10000 orders have been made in Europe (without test drives), for the launch edition which shows a very strong interest so far. Late spring, it will be launched with the regular trims.
  • Government incentives could accelerate that growth. If free M50 toll is brought, it will generate an important demand (new, used and imports)
  • Cars like the Zoé and Ioniq are very popular in Europe and orders are backed up as the offer can’t meet the demand. If they production bottlenecks are addressed, sales could increase quickly.

 

2018 Nissan Leaf

 

 


Looking into buying a used EV ? Read Wayne’s experience

Wayne Gibbons has recently purchased a Nissan Leaf. What let him to buy this model instead of another one ? Read his comprehensive research below.

*** You have a purchase story to share as well, that lead you to buy an EV ? Contact us at editor@irishevowners.ie ***


 

Are you thinking about getting an electric vehicle as your next car? If so, you will probably have a lot of questions (I did!). In this post, I will share what I found out during my time researching, buying and owning a Nissan LEAF.

For about two months before I bought my LEAF, I did a lot of thinking about whether it was a good idea or not. I had lots of questions, and I found three sources of answers that were invaluable. These were the Irish EV Owners Association Facebook Page, the Electric Vehicles & Hybrids forum on Boards.ie, and the Nissan LEAF24 & LEAF30 forum on SpeakEV.com. On each forum I found knowledge and a willingness to share experiences that was second to none. I wish to thank all those EV drivers who were patient and informative in equal measure on these websites. I have compiled the questions that I asked below, with a summary of the responses. Having now bought an EV, some of the answers below are also based on my own (limited) experience with it so far. I hope the information shared here will be useful for anyone thinking about making the move to an EV.

The information provided below is an non-exhaustive list of points that you might consider. All the information is provided on the basis that as each car is unique, you should make your decision based on your own requirements and research. I am not positioning myself as an expert, and I certainly do not have “all” the answers. But, what I do have is all the answers to the questions I asked! Ultimately,  I recommend that if you decide to buy a used car, you should have it inspected by a main dealer. I did this, at a cost of €80, but it gave me good peace of mind.

An over-simplification, but why choose Nissan LEAF over Renault Zoe, or vice versa?

There are other options, but given my budget, the choice came down to these two cars. Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3, Tesla and VW eGolf are all fine cars, but were valued way over what I had to spend. There are pros and cons to every decision, and the Zoe has better range and faster charge time, but I went with the LEAF as it’s a bigger car and it feels more solidly built. For full disclosure, I didn’t drive a Zoe, but I had a good look around one and I just felt it was a bit too small for my needs.

Which version of LEAF?

At the moment (there is new version coming in spring 2018) there are essentially just two options of LEAF available. These are a 24kWh version and a 30kWh version. Apart from the larger battery, the cars are practically the same in all other regards. The 30kWh version was only introduced in 2016, so anything registered before then will be a 24kWh version. In 2013, the 24kWh version received a better battery and heating system, so pre-2013 cars are to be avoided unless you know for sure you can manage with reduced range. The 24kWh version is still available to buy new, as it is sold alongside the 30kWh one, so you could get a 2016 or 2017 24kWh car: the 30kWh version did not replace the smaller battery version. A 30kWh version will give more range, but because it is a more recent model, it will be more expensive to purchase (either new or used). I believe the 30kWh version will charge slightly faster too, but I have not seen that in action myself. In either case, there are three levels of specification: the base model is called XE (“Visia” in UK), mid level is called SV (“Acenta” in UK), and top level is called SVE (“Tekna” in UK). The base model is very basic, so I would recommend SV at least. The top spec has some nice extras, but the difference between SV and SVE is far smaller than the difference between XE and SV.

So, what kind of savings does an EV offer?

Well, huge environmental savings in the sense that there are no operational emissions. But of course, it’s financial savings that most people are interested in. Based on a very quick “back of a napkin” approach, an average 1.6 petrol car consuming 6.5litres per 100km at a price per litre of €1.37 (about the cost right now in Galway), would set you back €890 per 10,000km. Conservatively, you should get 100km from a full charge on a 24kWh LEAF, costing in the region of €3 (less if you have a night time rate). So that comes to about €300 per 10,000km. That is a conservative figure in two ways: firstly, you may get more than 100km from a full charge, and secondly, the public charging network is currently free in Ireland (and so you can get at the very least some “top ups” that will reduce the amount of energy put in from your home). In fact, theoretically, you could spend zero on electricity by using just the public charging points. But for the sake of taking the worst case scenario, you will save in the region of at least €590 per 10,000km. I’m doing about 20,000km per year, so almost €1200 saving per year on fuel. Bear in mind the motor tax saving too. I am saving a further €400 per year from that. So, in total, around a €1600 saving. In reality, the saving will be higher, because not all charges will be done at home, and more runaround trips at the weekend will be done in the LEAF, thereby saving fuel costs for the other (petrol) car we have in the family. As time goes by, the savings will no doubt increase, too, as the price for petrol inevitably goes up.

What’s the difference between a 3.3kW LEAF and a 6.6kW one?

The standard rate of charging built into the LEAF is 3.3kW. To simplify this, think of it this way: if the car can take on 3.3kW and it has a battery capacity of 24kWh, it would take (24 divided by 3.3) 7.5 hours to charge from empty. In practice, it would take a bit longer, as the charging slows down as it nears capacity. This is offset somewhat by the fact that you would almost never be charging from fully empty anyway, but let’s keep the maths simple! If you get a LEAF with an upgraded 6.6kW charger, the charging time is approximately halved. A standard home charging unit would suit a 3.3kW LEAF, so if you go for the upgraded one, make sure you get a more powerful charge point installed at your home to get the benefit of it. If you charge at a public charge point using the normal cable, a 6.6kW LEAF will charge faster than a 3.3kW version. Just so you know, the “normal” cable is not used for what’s referred to as a “fast charge”. Fast charging uses a different socket built into the front of the LEAF. So, even a 3.3kW LEAF can avail of “fast” charging on the public network, but there are far fewer fast chargers out there compared to the slower ones. Bottom line: go for a 6.6kW if you can find one, it will give you a bit more flexibility and peace of mind.

How can I tell if the LEAF has the upgraded charger?

I believe there is a tag on the motor that says which charger it has, but by far the easiest way to tell is to scroll through the information screens to show the estimated time to full charge. On this screen you will see two times (one for “3kW” and one for “6kW”) if the car has the upgraded charger. You will not see any mention of “6kW” on the screen if the car has the standard charger only.

IMG_0012

Charge time information screen. Details for 6kW will only appear on a LEAF that has the upgraded charger installed.

What is a “granny cable”?

The granny cable is a portable cable that has a charger built into it. One end goes into the car, the other end goes into a normal 3-pin domestic electrical socket. This has the advantage that it can be brought anywhere (even your Granny’s house), but it charges much slower than a proper home charging point. Allow about 12 hours to charge from empty using a granny cable.

What are the options for a home charging point?

It boils down to two charging rates, essentially. There is a 16amp and a 32amp version. The 16amp version costs about €700-800 including installation, and the 32amp about €1000 including installation. If you go for a 6.6kW version of the LEAF, you really need the 32amp version, otherwise you won’t get the benefit of the upgraded charger built into the car. You may find that the charger is included in whatever deal you make with the seller, so the costs indicated above are only relevant if you have to organize a charger yourself.

Why are there two sockets under the charging lid?

The smaller socket (on the right) is used for the granny cable, home charging unit and public slow charge points. It is this socket that can be 3.3kW or 6.6kW. The larger socket, on the left, is a rapid charging socket. This is used when connecting to a fast charging unit on the public network.

Fast charging port on the left, standard charging port on the right.

How fast is “fast” charging?

It’s claimed that you could get from zero to 80% charge in 30-40 minutes. I’ve not run my car down to zero, so I can’t confirm this. The last time I topped up at a fast charger, the battery level went from 52% to 78% in 12 minutes. That 26% boost equates to almost 30km range given my driving habits. The rate goes down when the battery goes above 80%, so there are diminishing returns above that point.

What do I need to charge on the public network?

You need to get an RFID card from ESB. This is a contactless card which you use to initiate and end charges on the public network. It is free to get the card, and the charges themselves are also free for now. You need to register your car with the ESB in order to get the card. This is done by emailing them with a scan of a utility bill and the Vehicle Registration Certificate. Once you supply that information (the best way seems to be via email to ecars@esb.ie), you get a welcome pack and the card in the post within a few days. While you’re waiting for your card, you can still use the public chargers by phoning 01 258 3799 and letting them know which charger you’re at (they each have an ID number on them), and the charger can be turned on for you remotely.

What is the range like?

There is no “one size fits all” answer to this, and although you might get consensus from a number of people that will give you a good guideline, it comes down to how you use the car. Weather conditions (particularly low temperatures and head winds) will decrease range. Rain will also reduce range, as the wipers draw power. But in my experience, the biggest factor is your driving style. It’s the same as in any car: push it hard and your consumption goes up, take it easy and it goes down. I have found that if I drive carefully I could get about 120-130km from a full charge. However, in reality, driving carefully means driving well below the speed limit and that can pose a road danger in itself. Driving it more like a normal car, and being able to enjoy the power of it (while still driving safely of course), I’d be confident of getting 100-110km per full charge. Where you will really get good economy, though, is in heavy and slow moving traffic. You’ll be moving so slowly that you’ll hardly use much energy at all. Having the air conditioning on will reduce range too, but to nowhere near the same extent as driving too fast.

Cold pack or no cold pack?

The “cold pack” is an optional extra on the mid-spec LEAF and standard on the top-spec LEAF. It has three components: heated seats (front and rear), heated steering wheel and heated mirrors. I would categorise these as “nice but not necessary”. With the top spec model, the seats are leather, and in winter time I can appreciate that pre-heating those might be valuable. However, with cloth seats that is less of an issue in winter. People that have cars with the cold pack seem to like it, though. They say that using the cold pack to pre-heat the parts of your body that are in contact with the car (i.e. bum, back and hands) can reduce the need for heating the cabin. The benefit of this is that the when the space-heating is not in use, you get slightly better range. In practice, I use the heating and air conditioning like I would in any car, putting my own comfort ahead of range. From what I’ve seen on the displays in the car, heating and air conditioning only reduce the range by 5-6km from a full charge. Negligible amounts when balanced against comfort, but they could be essential kilometers if you’re badly stuck for a charge.

How does the pre-heat work?

Mid and top-spec LEAFs have a facility to pre-heat (or pre-cool in Summer) the cabin before you get into the car. There are two ways to do this. Firstly, you can set up a schedule using the computer in the car by inputting your expected departure time. The car will then start heating the cabin about 15 minutes before that time. This only works if the car is plugged in, and in doing so it takes its energy from the charging point rather than from the car battery. You can have two different schedules set for the various days of the week, so for example you could set it to heat before you leave home in the morning, and again before you leave work in the evening. The second method uses an app on your phone (it also works from a website accessible on a computer). This method turns the heating on even if the car is not plugged in. The heating stays on for about 15 minutes. This method does use the car battery to heat the cabin, and so will have a small impact on range.

What is Carwings?

Carwings is the system that Nissan uses in LEAFs up to 2015 to control and monitor the energy aspects of the car. In its simplest form, Carwings collects data from the car and makes it available for you to view later on (either on a computer or on your smartphone). The app (for iOS in any case) is free and is called “NissanConnect EV”. This data includes information about how energy efficient your driving style is compared to other users. For this to work, the LEAF has a SIM card built into it which communicates with Nissan servers. The connection speed is relatively slow (think 2G), but the service is free. In newer LEAFs (2016 onwards), the system got a name change and a 3G SIM, but it essentially does the same thing. If you buy a used LEAF, the system may still be registered to the previous owner. To get it switched over to your name you can either get the previous owner to de-register (if you can contact them), or get it done by Nissan. I had to get it done by Nissan, and the process is very simple. When you have the Vehicle Registration Certificate in your own name, you send a scan of that and proof of address via email to gb@nissan-services.eu and it can be set up with your details then. Part of setting it up involves you creating an account and entering details into the computer on the car, but the instructions provided by Nissan for all that are very clear and simple. One big advantage of doing this is that you can then use your smartphone to remotely turn on the preheating in your car.

What are the different driving modes?

As the LEAF is an automatic, essential the “gear shifter” has only got settings for forward, back, neutral and parking. There are two forward “modes”, though. The first is designated as “D” mode. This is a normal driving mode, and the car behaves pretty much exactly like any other automatic car. The second is “B” mode. In this mode, the car is set-up to give far more aggressive “engine” braking when slowing down. This has a number of effects. Firstly, as soon as you lift your right foot off the accelerator, you can really feel the car slowing down, much more so than in a regular car. That is the motor doing the braking, rather than the actual brake discs and pads. You would really only need to apply the mechanical brakes towards the end of the slowing down period, to bring the car to a stop. During this slowing down, the motor is regenerating energy (think dynamo), which goes back into the battery. This has the additional effect of reducing the demand on the mechanical braking systems, and so discs and pads should last much longer than on a regular car. All good, you might say. Well, another effect is that if you are slowing down under “engine” braking, the brakelights will not come on until you press the brake near the end of the maneuver. In traffic, this could potentially cause a problem for any cars driving behind you not realising that you are slowing down. You can easily switch between the modes as you drive along.

Switching between D and B is done by pulling the selector to the right and backwards. When you let the selector go, it will return to its resting location automatically.

What about “ECO” mode then?

Regardless of whether you are driving in D or B mode, you can put the car in ECO mode by pressing a button on the steering wheel. This has the effect of dampening the accelerator response and lowering the power consumption of the heating and air conditioning systems. Driving the car in ECO mode makes the car feel sluggish, but it definitely does improve range. In my experience the improvement is the order of about 5-10%. Just be careful around town: I usually leave ECO mode off when driving out of junctions, as having it off just gives you that little bit more power to get in and out of junctions at an appropriate speed. Also, if you are merging with fast flowing traffic, having ECO turned off will allow you to get up to an appropriate speed to safely join the traffic flow. If you are in a position where it is safe to overtake, turning ECO mode off will give you plenty of power to safely make the move. Turning it on and off can easily be done while driving, as it’s just a button on the steering wheel. On earlier models of LEAF, the ECO mode was engaged by pulling the selector to the right and backwards, in the same way that B mode is engaged on newer models.

ECO mode can be toggled on/off by pressing the ECO button on the steering wheel.

What about warranty?

The LEAF comes with a European-wide 3 year “bumper to bumper” warranty and a 5 year motor and battery warranty. I won’t go into specifics here, as things can change over time, so you should contact a Nissan dealer to get clarification on what is and isn’t covered. With the newer 30kWh version of the LEAF, the motor and battery warranty runs to 8 years. There are also mileage limitations, not just a time-based warranty, so double check with a dealer for up to date information on this. I was concerned about battery degradation when buying used, but the level of degradation can be easily checked. In my case, the battery had 94% of its original health. For a 3 year old car, this means it is losing about 2% per year. That’s hardly noticeable. If the battery degrades below a certain amount (Nissan don’t advertise this, but it’s thought to be 70%) while still under warranty, Nissan will replace the battery, according to anecdotal stories I’ve read online. To keep the warranty in place, you have to get the service booked stamped by completing regular services according to the schedule in the owner’s manual. The service itself ranges about €120-150 in cost, and is essentially a check-up for the car, as no oil/filter change is required.

What else can go wrong that the warranty might cover?

I have read about uneven tire wear on the rear passenger side. This can be caused by a tracking misalignment. It seems very random which LEAFs experience this and which don’t, but it appears to be a rare enough problem. A quick check by your local Nissan dealer will identify uneven wear if your car is affected. To remedy this, it seems that a replacement rear axle is required, which seems extreme. Apparently Nissan are aware of this occurring in some LEAFs, but have not yet publicly acknowledged it as a recall issue. There is no safety or driving issues with a LEAF that is affected, by all accounts, and it will still pass an NCT as long as the tire tread meets the required depth. The only downside is that the tire itself may wear down a bit quicker than you might like.

Do you still have more questions? If you do, feel free to get in touch and I’ll get back to you. Or, if you prefer, why not use the same resources I did when deciding on whether an EV was right for me? You can find lots of information at the following links:

Irish EV Owners Association: http://www.irishevowners.ie/

Boards.ie forum: https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=1634

LEAF section of SpeakEV site: https://speakev.com/forums/nissan-leaf24-leaf30.130/

 


Thanks to Wayne for sharing this with the EV community.

See below Wayne’s blog where this text was originally published.

Electric Vehicle Q&A

 


181 purchases : What offers can you get ?

This is a list of the current offers manufacturers make on the purchase of new EVs.

BMW i3 : €2,000 allowance if you trade in a Euro4 (or below) vehicle. Details here.

Hyundai Ioniq : No current offer.

Nissan Leaf : 3.9% APR (see here) on all models. On the outgoing 30kwh model, €5,000 scrappage deal : see here.

Renault Zoé : 0% Finance on PCP deals. Details here.

Volkswagen E-Golf : €4,000 off the price, if you trade in a Euro1-Euro4 vehicle. Brings the base price to €31,350 (ex-delivery charges). You can also get the technology package for €499 instead of €1186. Details here.

If you want to know more about these models (price and battery specs), please visit the page below:

Ordering a new EV ? what are your 181 options ?


Ordering a new EV ? what are your 181 options ?   Recently updated !

This document is meant to bring useful information for anyone looking into buying a new EV in Ireland. It doesn’t include PHEVs or EVs with range extender. And neither does it include earlier models so if you are looking for a used model, be aware that older versions of these models may have lower battery and charging specifications.

The data in the chart is made of manufacturer official information. Non-official information have the (est) tag.

Range :

  • NEDC is the official European driving cycle. It will be used till September 2019.
  • WLTP is the  newest European driving cycle. It is used since September 2017 and is tougher than NEDC.
  • Real life is what you can actually do with these cars, in normal traffic conditions. Of course this could vary depending on your driving style, pace or weather conditions.

Consumption is indicated in kwh per 100 km. This data, combined with the battery size, gives you the range of the vehicle.

Battery size : What you can read about battery size varies depending on manufacturers. Some indicate the total battery capacity, some the usable capacity. Typically around 10% or the capacity of the battery isn’t used to extend battery life.

On-board AC : That’s how powerful is the AC on-board charger is : if this column contains 2 values, the lowest is the standard equipment, higher one is an option.

Please reach out to me at editor@irishevowners.ie (with your source) if you believe there is incorrect/incomplete information, or if you have useful additional data to complete it. Thanks!

Click on the chart to enlarge:

BMW i3 : The facelifted version of the premium supermini EV. It now comes with a 184hp “s” version (170hp for the standard version). Battery has been upgraded to 27.2kwh (usable) early 2017.

BMW i3s

Hyundai Ioniq : It has proven to be somewhat successful in Ireland and is regarded as the most efficient EV on the market. Be aware that there is a general supply shortage so delivery delays to be expected.

Nissan Leaf : Is still available but on stock only as the New Leaf has now replaced it on the production line. We are not aware of the actual stock so some of the models in the chart might no longer be available.

New Nissan Leaf : In a few weeks, the new Irish range will be revealed, stay tuned ! In the meantime, a special edition with all technological elements standard (e-pedal, pro-pilot, etc.) is available for € 29590 (ex delivery charges and metallic paint)

2018 Nissan Leaf

Renault Zoé : The famous ZE40 is still the longest range EV on the market, if you except Teslas of course, and has the very handy 22kw on-board charger, which means very quick charging, almost anywhere in the country. Be aware that the 43kw fast charging capability is an option (called Q90 version) and that it does reduce the range.

Volkswagen E-Golf : Facelifted version now available with a bigger battery

Tesla Model S and X : Range and options have been simplified, only 75 and 100 versions available now.

See the page below if you want to know more about 181 offers :

181 purchases : What offers can you get ?


The IEVOA met the CER

On Monday 14 th August , A delegation of IEVOA committee members met the CER , including commissioner Garrett Blaney.

The IEVOA delegation , consisted of Frank Barr, Michael Sherlock, Dave McCabe, Cian Delaney and Joe McCarthy.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the forthcoming decision by the CER on the future ownership of the EV charging network.

The IEVOA delegation repeatedly impressed on the CER, that it had grave concerns about simply transferring ownership to the ESB in a unregulated manner.

In addition The IEVOA put forward that kWh ( units ) pricing was the fairest way, with penalties for overstays and hogging, pointing out the issues that time based pricing causes for older EVs etc. In addition, the IEVOA pointed out that originally , the retail electricity suppliers (Energia, Airtricity , etc ) were intended to have a role, selling charge point access, but that this concept seems to have disappeared.

The CER laid out concerns that EU rules effectively prevented them from continuing the present situation, and also made it difficult to place the chargers in the Regulated Asset Base (RAB), ie where funding would be continued to be drawn from the electricity users. EU rules basically state that EV charging should be commercial.

A further discussion was had on the issues around home charging and the introduction of smart meters, with the CER opining that smart meters may aid EV charging at home by soaking up currently unused night time green energy generation.

The CER did not provide any indication of the nature of their forthcoming decision, but their negative view on the RAB issue, strongly suggests that full unregulated transfer to the ESB is possible.

The IEVOA further suggested that a delay on the decision, might be better then taking the wrong decision as the nature of public charging may well change as range grows.

The CER stated that it was not their intention that any decision would damage or curtail the adoption of EVs and the commissioner was of the opinion that government needs policy in the area of EV charging and this was lacking. He pointed out that in many European countries, local authorities were involved in the provision of chargers, whereas this was not a feature in Ireland. The CER also stated that any decision would go to Government for comment. (It was not clear if Government approval was necessary or whether this was a formality )

He also outlined the history of the charger project, which was unusual in the European context as it was funded by the electricity users and was primarily a research/pilot project and was designed to evaluate the effect of EV charging on the distribution network.

The meeting concluded with the CER stating that we had raised points worth considering.

IEOVA representants : Cian Delaney, Frank Barr, Michael Sherlock, Dave McCabe, Joe McCarthy (From left to right)


Interview : meet Adam Nuzum, the youngest Irish EV owner

Guillaume/IEVOA : Hi Adam, you are 18 years old and -allegedly- the youngest EV owner in Ireland. Congratulations ! Is this your first car too ?

Adam : Yes as far as I am aware I am Ireland’s youngest EV (Electric Vehicle) owner! Yes the Renault Zoé is my first car and I am proud to say that I will never have owned an Internal Combustion Engine car!

Adam and his Zoé

Guillaume/IEVOA : When did you first learn about EVs or what was your first experience with EV ? Has anyone influenced you into getting into EVs ?

Adam : I was first introduced to the concept of an EV by my Dad Daniel Nuzum in January 2015 when he purchased his first EV which was also a Renault Zoé. I immediately fell in love with his new car and when I got my driving license a year later Zoé was the first car I drove. Ultimately it was my dad who influenced my decision to buy an EV.

Guillaume/IEVOA : You purchased a 2014 Zoé : Can you tell us why, and what are the costs to you, compared to a petrol/diesel car ? Was the insurance expensive ?

Adam : I purchased my 2014 Renault Zoé Dynamique Zen from Charles Hurst Renault in Newtownards, Co. Down. I was very happy with the customer service I received from Paul Regan at Charles Hurst and would highly recommend them. The team at Kearys, our local Renault dealer, were very helpful with local support in the process. The reason I chose to import from the U.K. is that used EV’s are considerably cheaper over there. Thanks to the free public charging with the ESB charging network my running costs are minimal. If I was to drive a Renault Clio which is of similar size to the Zoé I would be paying at least €80 a week for petrol going by the mileage I am doing (900/1000km a week). On a yearly basis it works out that my Zoé (including battery lease and servicing) costs about €1500 to run whereas the Clio would cost me closer to €5000. The Zoé, like all EVs also benefits from paying the lowest band of road tax of €120 a year.

Daniel and Adam’s Zoés : a happy family!

My insurance was quite expensive but purely because I am only 18 years old and this was my first insurance policy under my own. But in saying that my insurer, Zurich Insurance did take into account that my car was an  EV and reduced my premium slightly.

Guillaume/IEVOA :: Why did you choose a Zoé over say a Leaf, which remains the most popular EV in Ireland ?

Adam : Personally I chose the Renault Zoé over the Nissan Leaf because I think the Zoé is a younger more stylish looking car both inside and out. I love the white interior in particular and the way the dashboard is designed to look like the blade of a wind turbine. Overall I prefer the Zoé!

To summarise Ireland’s charging network it consists of approximately 1200 charge points nationally, approximately 800 of which are 22 KWH chargers.

Of all the EV’s available the Renault if best equipped for the ESB charge network. At a 22KW charger a regular Zoé with a 22KW battery (NOT THE Z.E 40) will charge too 100% from 0 in an hour where a 30KW Nissan Leaf would take 8 hours with its standard 3kw charger or 4 hours with its optional 6KW charger which is an extra option costing €900. Clearly the Zoé stands out as the better car when it comes to charging capabilities.

Adam’s granny owns a Leaf, which make them a 3-generation EV driving family! Isn’t that awesome ?

Overall there has been a 27% increase in European electric car sales recorded in may 2017!

https://evobsession.com/27-increase-european-electric-car-sales/

To date the Renault Zoé has been the most popular followed by the Nissan leaf and the BMW i3. Zoé having 12% market share, Leaf 9% and i3 8%.

Guillaume/IEVOA : In your opinion, how should the EV community convince more people into replacing their diesel/petrol cars for electric ones ?

Adam : Non EV drivers are always saying how difficult it is to drive long distances in an EV but I am well able to prove that this I purely a myth. I have owned my Zoe for just over 2 weeks now and I have already clocked up over 2500 kilometres. From September I will be working in Dublin and studying in Maynooth so I will be commuting to Dublin on a weekly basis easily doing 1000km a week.

Adam is participating to the 2017 IEVOA photographic rallye. More info here : http://www.irishevowners.ie/photographicrally2017/

I would advise anyone who works close to home or in a city to immediately switch to an EV. You will find that your annual motoring costs will decrease greatly. All EV’s are automatic which makes an them extremely easy and comfortable to drive. Due to the positioning of the batteries underneath the seats of the car this adds greatly to the handling of the car helping it to stick to ground nicely. Electric cars also have a lot of power compared to a similar sized Petrol/Diesel car which makes them great fun to drive!

“When electricity is clean it’s cheap and when it’s dirty its expensive” – Robert Llewellyn (host of Fully Charged youtube channel) In other words renewable energy is cheap and fossil fuels are expensive. So the better we are at generating electricity through wind, solar and hydro technology the cheaper it will be to run an EV when the ESB start imposing a charge for charging. This charge is said to be around €16 a month which is still nothing compared to the cost of petrol/diesel.

Guillaume/IEVOA : Any advice you can give to a young driver interested in purchasing an EV ?

Adam : I would advise young people and students to try and pick up a 2nd hand EV as your running costs are so low compared to a petrol/diesel car. I find that  I can budget much more accurately also as I know all my expenses are fixed due to the free charging. Even if you were to charge your car at home it would still only cost less than €10 a week.  www.electricautos.ie is also a great website for buying used EVs.

Guillaume/IEVOA : Thank you Adam for sharing this with us, we wish you lots of happy EV kilometers!

If you want to know more about the Renault Zoé : http://www.irishevowners.ie/the-renault-zoe-ze40-lands-in-ireland-and-yes-battery-is-now-included/

 


The Renault Zoe ZE40 lands in Ireland (and yes, battery is now included)

The new version of the Renault Zoé finally lands in Ireland with a major surprise : goodbye battery rental and welcome 400km (NEDC) range !

 

Zoé Dynamique Nav in Zircon Blue (€640 option)

 

It seems like Renault wants to copy the successful Nissan model. Like all the other EVs in Ireland, the Nissan Leaf is exclusively sold with the battery included whereas some other countries are giving the choice for the customer to rent it. The uncertainty battery’s lifespan is progressively vanishing (especially in our mild country) and owners trust more and more battery technology, making the purchase of a battery less scary.

So no more battery rental with the Zoé. You either buy the whole car, or you consider a leasing/PCP option.

An important thing to know is that the updated Zoé now comes with the R90 engine : R is for rapid and it means that the Zoé will charge at a speed of 22kw. This will suit most Irish owners as hundreeds of standard chargers are present on the island, you know that big green boxy one you find in most towns. The Q90 engine (that was previously the only available choice) now comes as an option (Price TBD) on Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav, and can charge at 43kw on FastAC equipped FCPs. R90 might remain a better option for many as the onboard charger is more efficient than the Q90’s at lower charging speeds (ie at home) with less losses.

22kw public charger

The range is now made of 3 versions with the classic Renault names : base Expression Nav, mid-range Dynamique Nav and the more luxurious Signature Nav

The Zoé Expression Nav is now offered at €23.490, which is a €6.000 increase compared to the battery-leased Zoé you could purchase till now. The increase is exclusively due to the cost of the battery (the difference in UK being GBP 5.000 between a model with leased battery and a model with owned battery.

Equipment remains very comprehensive for the segment : Climate control, cruise control, R-Link navigation system, heat pump. It keeps the original 22kwh battery.

Zoé Expression Nav in Zircon Blue

 

The Dynamique Nav is the popular choice : for an extra €4.000 it adds 16” Alloys, automatic lights and wipers, hands-free card, a darker interior, rear electric windows, parking sensors, and most importantly the 40kwh battery allowing 400km NEDC range ! (meaning closer to 300km in real life conditions)

Zoé Dynamique Nav in Mars Red

 

Zoe Dynamique Nav interior

 

Finally the Signature Nav will appeal to owners wishing a Premium touch to their Zoé : Bose sound system with subwoofer in the boot, leather upholstery with heated front seats,  reverse camera, for € 2500 over the Dynamique Nav, ie € 29.990 before delivery charges.

Zoé Signature Nav in Ytrium Grey, colour only available with this trim

The 40kwh battery allows the Zoé to be the first “non-Tesla EV” able to go from Dublin to Cork without stopping (at moderate speeds!). This is a major breakthrough and the fact that it came from one of the cheapest EVs on the market is quite remarkable. 400km NEDC means 300km in real life conditions, which is twice as much as the popular Leaf.

How long does it take to charge ? Here is a handy table that will answer this question.

Model Maximum charging speed Time to charge on Fast AC fast charger (0 to 80%) Time to charge on a 22kw Standard Charger (0 to 100%) Time to charge on a 3kw home charger (0 to 100%)
R90 with 22kwh battery (Expression Nav) 22 kw 1 hour 1 hour  8 hours
R90 with 40kwh battery (Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav) 22 kw 2 hours  2 hours   14 hours
Q90 with 40kwh battery (option on Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav 43 kw 65 minutes   2 hours    14 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You now have the most important elements helping you to pick the right Zoé, if you have more questions, why not asking on our facebook page where a number of Zoé owners can guide you?

You can now get around the ring of Kerry twice, before running out of juice!

 


We can now buy Teslas! But how much is the “Irish premium” ?

Good news, Tesla cars (Model S and Model X) are now officially available in Ireland

See for yourselves here

 

modelsphase2

Tesla Model S

The models are the same as anywhere else in Europe, range is just as developed which is not always the case with other brands. So we can be happy about it !

One difference though, there is no lease option (for now at least).

Prices are starting at € 81,526 (On the road) for a Model S 60, with 400km range (NEDC) all the way till € 169,762 for a Model X P100D (542km of NEDC range). The Tesla with the longest range is the Model S P100D, with 613km NEDC. It starts at € 167,254 on the road. Plenty of options are available to spice up your final bill to over € 200,000 if you wish !

 

210kmodelx

Select a few options and here is your € 210,000 Model X !

 

There is an urban legend that says that we are paying for an Irish premium but is this true ? Let’s do a quick comparison with France to see if we are really paying more.

Model (Country)  Model S 60 (Ireland)  Model S 60 (France)  Model X P100D (Ireland) Model X P100D (France)
Ex VAT  € 65,317  € 64,700  € 128,244  € 129,033
VAT € 15,023 (23%) € 1,2940 (20%)  € 29,496 (23%)  € 2,5807 (20%)
VRT (incl grant) € 6,186  € 17,022
Grants € 5,000 (SEAI) € 6,300  € 5,000 (SEAI)  € 6,300
OTR price € 81,526  € 71,340  € 169,762  € 148,540

Is Tesla greedy ? Not more than anywhere else ! The grants are actually generous (€ 10,000) : it’s just the VAT and VRT that are excessive to start with.

On the option list, we can actually see that the prices are similar of even slightly lower than in other countries : this means the ex-vat price is lower in Ireland that France, UK or Germany.

Now it is time to start saving, awaiting for the first Irish Tesla store to open in 2017, with 4 or 5 superchargers also anticipated.

 

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

 


Shape the future of EVs in Ireland – CER Consultation

     *** Important message to IEVOA members ***

cer-logo-large
Hello All,
We are asking for your views on the future of the charging infrastructure.  Below is a guide on the Commission for Energy Regulation’s consultation documents. Your ideas and thoughts on these would be most welcome to shape IEVOA’s submission. But do not limit yourself, please also submit your personal opinion through the consultation process. 
 
Click here to see the Briefing note : IEVOA-CER-briefing-note
Please send your input to the IEVOA by 15th Nov. to admin@irishevowners.ie 
The deadline for personal submissions to the CER is 25th November.

[Paris Motor Show] 2017 Renault Zoe 41kwh : what we do know today

One of the major announcements of the Paris Motor show is the presentation of updated Renault Zoé

The main improvement is the increased capacity of the battery. It goes from 22kwh to 41kwh (usable). Consequently the range is improving to 400 km NEDC, or 300km real life. Yes, Cork-Dublin or Galway-Wexford in one charge is now possible, without having to spend over €100.000 in a Tesla ! -that is of course if your bladder can handle it-

zoe-swissed

Zoé Swiss Edition (Or Bose ?)

Based on the information leaked on the Renault’s Dutch media website:

  • The base model R90 Entry (ex Life R240) sees its price increasing by €500, but the motor is beeing detuned (77hp instead of 88hp). Same 22kwh battery pack. We don’t know if the equipment level is different from the one of the Life trim.
  • The Zoé Life and Intens are €3,000 more expensive than the previous model and keeps the 88hp motor but with the new 41kwh battery.
  • The 43kw charging option, aka Q90 (ex Q210), is still available but now 700€ more expensive than the R90 (ex R240). It used to be just €500 extra.
  • There is a new trim, Bose, available with both Q90 and R90, €2,800 more expensive than the Intens. Considering the difference of price, we can expect 17” alloy wheels, leather, heated seats, Bose sound systems. These equipments could be found on The Zoé Swiss Edition (limited production for the Swiss market only) for CHF2,700 more than the Intens.
  • You can now purchase the battery ! The price in the Dutch market is €7,900 which is not really cheap but if Renault Ireland wants to sell the Zoé, I’m sure they will make it cheaper.

 

zoeswissedinterior

Zoé Swiss Edition and its brown leather interior

 

Based on this data, we can expect this updated Zoé to be sold in Ireland from around €18,000 without batteries and from around €25,000 with batteries included. As much as attractive the 41kwh battery is, Renault will have to make an effort on price and promotion of this car as this price is a bit hefty for a supermini. Unless you don’t need that much range ?


2016 Paris Motor Show : Which BEV novelties will make their way to Ireland ?

With the 2016 Paris Motor show’s doors opening in a few days, let’s see what models we can expect to see on sale soon.

 

Hyundai Ioniq. This is official for Ireland and we are now waiting to know how much it will cost ! The 28kwh battery already seems like a good offer for 2016 EV market… but maybe already outdated compared to some 2017 models !

Hyundai-IONIQ

The Hyundai Ioniq range

Nissan Micra (or Juke) Rex. Nissan wants to stay in the race : it seems like the Leaf2 is not ready for at least another year. In the meantime Micra and Juke are due for renewal, and we know Nissan is developing a Ranger extending technology soon to be on the market. One fact we have : the next Micra will be built in Renault’s Flins factory in France … on the same production line as the Zoé’s. It is pretty safe to say that the small Nissan will not only have ICE engines. EV ? EV with Rex ? both ?

Renault Zoé 40kwh. This is rumoured to be launched early next year ; Renault’s Zoé would get a very impressive range of 500km NEDC, thanks to a 40kwh (usable) pack. This would make by far the “best range for your money” EV of the market. We can expect a new top trim (inspired from the Swiss Edition version, see www.renault.ch for details) with leather, bose sound system and much loved heated seats. A performance version could also be in the works.

zoe

Renault Zoé

Tesla S and X, officially imported ? No news yet from Tesla, but they should open soon their operations in Ireland. Tesla will attend the Paris Motor Show.

VW E-Golf 34kwh : A battery upgrade is expected for the E-Golf soon. A very anticipated concept car will be revealed as well.

Not for us ! The very anticipated Opel Opel Ampera-e will be launched only next year but we’ll be able to see it in the Paris motor show. The 60kwh battery pack should allow a class leading range (possibly 500km NEDC). Unfortunately no right-hand drive version is planned so we’ll only see these during our trips to mainland! Same for the Smart Fortwo and Forfour ED, both equipped with a 17.6kwh battery pack (160km NEDC range) and a Zoé motor : There will be a RHD version … bur since the Smart brand isn’t distributed in Ireland, you’ll have to import one from the UK. A Ford Focus Electric has started to be sold in Europe this year, in very small number. It might get a 34kwh battery pack soon and be sold in more countries.

smartedrange

Smart Fortwo ED, Forfour ED and Fortwo Cabrio ED

On Thursday 28th, the press-only days of the Paris motor show will allow us to confirm these models, if more is coming, and the numerous PHEV versions that will complete this list.


Irish PHEV Sales – July 2016 : BMW dominates   Recently updated !

68 PHEVs (58 petrol and 10 diesel) were sold in July in Ireland, which is a 200+% progress over the 21 units sold in July last year.

This Month BMW has registered no less than 44 PHEVs : i3 Rex, X5, 225Xe and most importantly 33 units of the new 330e. This 330e is helped by its very attractive price (from just over 40.000 euro) and if the BMW network wants to sell this over petrol/diesels, we can see a very bright future for this version.

Find below the complete list of PHEV sales for July (petrol in bold, diesel in italic).

 

330e

BMW 330e

 

 

Rank Model Sales (July 2016)
1. BMW 330e 33
2. BMW i3 (Range Extender) 8
  Volvo V60 D6 AWD 8
4. Volvo XC90 T8 AWD 5
5. VW Golf GTE 3
6. VW Passat GTE 2
  BMW 225xe Active Tourer 2
  Audi Q7 e-Tron 2
  Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2
10. BMW X5 xDrive 40e 1
  Audi A3 e-Tron 1
  Porsche Panamera 1
  Total July 2016  68

 

 

 

 

Source : Simi


Irish EV Sales – July 2016 : -35% : what is going on ?

In a blooming car market that is getting at pre-recession levels, EV sales are now falling (-35%) compared to July last year.

Our market is obviously very exposed to the Nissan Leaf, the main seller of the segment. The Leaf is now 6 years old and like any 6 years old cars it is now less attractive despite the 30kwh option that appeared at the beginning of the year. It is possible that some potential buyers are waiting either for the Hyndai Ioniq or for the next-generation Leaf.

Leaf_SVE

55 pure EVs were sold in July, made of 54 Nissan Leaf and 1 BMW i3.

Here are the sales for the January to July period :

Rank Model  2016 sales (January-July) 2015 sales (January-July)  Evolution 2016/2015
1. Nissan Leaf 312 350  -10.8%
2. Renault Zoé 13 26  -50%
3. BMW i3 (EV) 8 12  -33.3%
4. Tesla Model S 6 2  +200%
5. VW E-Golf 0 4  -100%
 Other 2 4
 Total 341 398  -14.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Simi


Hyundai Ioniq : A new EV for Ireland in October

The Hyundai Ioniq is the new “green car” of the popular Korean brand.

It will be launched in Ireland in these 3 distinctive forms:

  • As a classic Hybrid, to compete with cars like the Toyota Prius and Auris
  • As a 100% Electric model, with a 28kwh battery pack that we can’t wait to compare with the Leaf
  • And finally as a Plug-in Hybrid variant which would land on a new “popular PHEV” segment (the VW Golf GTE, Audi A3 E-tron and BMW i3 being positioned on a more premium segment)
Hyundai-IONIQ

From left to right: Ioniq Hybrid, Electric and Plug In

 

The 2 first variants are due in mid-October, and the latter early 2017

Pricing will be announced later during the year, but we can expect the hybrid version to be positioned below the Prius, and hopefully at the level of the Auris Hybrid. As for the 100% Electric variant, it will depend if Hyundai wants to become a A player in the segment and compete with the well priced Leaf or not. Stay tuned !

 


2016 Leaf : which one should you get ?

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most obvious options for the Irish buyer when it comes to getting a brand new EV. During the first 6 months of 2016, the Leaf represented nearly 90% of total EV sales in Ireland. There are 3 trims (XE, SV, SVE), 2 battery choices (24 and 30kwh) and several colours and options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look.

SVE

Leaf SVE

XE, SV or SVE ?

XE: This is the base Leaf, that has the benefit of being €2,500 cheaper than the next variant. No alloys, Satellite Navigation or Connected system, but you still get 4 electric windows, air conditioning, CD player with jack, USB and Bluetooth. Nothing major is missing except the heat pump. This improves your winter range a lot as it is a much more efficient heating system. Still, at €21,490, that’s a lot of car for the money compared to a similar petrol/diesel model.

SV: From €23.990. This model will give you 16″ alloys, climate control, satellite navigation with Nissan Connect EV, cruise control with speed limiter, automatic lights and wipers and reverse camera. If you don’t like a black interior, this is the only trim you can get with light grey seats and dashboard. The interior feels much more bright than on the XE and SVE. SV can be purchased with a black interior as well.

beige

SV with a grey interior

SVE: This trim is €2,400 more expensive than the SV and has all the fancy bits you’ve dreamt of. It adds a very nice leather upholstery, heated steering wheel and seats (front AND rear!). There are very pretty 17″ wheels that gives a sporty look to the car. You will love the 4 cameras that give you a a top view of the car on your monitor. Very handy when parking! There is also a Bose sound system, but the difference with the regular stereo isn’t huge and it adds a subwoofer in the boot that will limit its capacity. Finally the LED headlights (low-beams only) are in my opinion the most useful equipment of this version, as it provides a really good view of the road by night, almost as good as high-beams! Really recommended if you drive a lot by night.

Leaf Bose subwoofer

SVE’s Bose subwoofer

24 or 30kwh ?

The 24kwh version range is 199km (NEDC) and the 30kwh is 250km (NEDC)(optional on SV and SVE trims only). In real life, the 24 will give you between 100 and 150km, and the 30 between 130 and 180km, depending on the weather, your driving style, etc. The €3,000 difference isn’t nothing, so you might want to think twice before making a decision. If the car is going to be a commuter, the 24 may be enough, but if this is your main car and will do long distances as well, do not hesitate and go for the 30. It will give you that extra peace of mind that can transform your journey from challenging to very pleasant! Check PCP options as well as the difference might be little between both versions. Also a 30kwh will give you an edge when in a few years you will sell your Leaf in a world where 48 or 60kwh batteries will become the standard!

 

3.3 or 6.6kw onboard charger ?

The 6.6kw charger option is available across the range for €900. Again it all depends on your use as it’s not a cheap option. If you have a 32amp home installation, combined with the 6.6kw charger option you can charge your Leaf in 4 to 5 hours. Double this time if you have a 3.3kw charger or a 16amp home installation. Note that most ESB street charging points are 22kw so you can make the most of your 6.6kw onboard charger as well.

 

IMAG0877

22kw ESB street charger

All Leafs have a fast charging port (Chademo) as standard, allowing you to charge from empty to 80% in around 30 minutes.

 

Any other option ?

The cold pack (€300 on SV) that includes 4 heated seats, steering wheel and door mirrors is very useful in winter, and the price is reasonable, so something that is definitively worth considering. Whereas the solar panel (€300) is a bit of a gadget as it is tiny and only helps charge the 12v battery. There is also Nissan Connect EV available for €750 on the XE (standard on SV/SVE) and metallic paint at €550.

 

Conclusion

Just be aware of the limited XE range in winter as it is affected by the lack of heat pump (and no 30kwh option for this variant). All versions are interesting and there is no real weak version in the Leaf catalogue.

 

 

Photo credit : Nissan