ICEd already.

Today we had a bit more driving to do. Klaukkala->Pitäjänmäki->Klaukkala->Helsinki-Vantaa airport->Tikkurila->Klaukkala summed up somewhere a bit more than a 100km. After the airport we started thinking we’ll need a bit more juice to get home with confidence. We were headed to Tikkurila, so we decided the slow chargers at the Prisma supermarket were a natural choice.

I had read somewhere that the chargers are on something called P2. My intuition told me that a P2 should be somewhat further from everything than, say a P1. When we went round in the garage for two floors and I saw the P2 sign, I got a sinking feeling we ain’t gonna charge this time. And surprise, surprise:

Got ICEd.
Got ICEd.

A Z4 bimmer and a Ford Fiesta. Last time I checked, neither of them was available as ev and I doubt either of them was a conversion. Tytti went inside and asked around at the info for a battle plan, a security guy came and checked the license plates and they announced for the owners of the two cars. The owner of the Ford happened to arrive a moment later and he kindly moved the car away even though he was going back inside (Thanks!), but someone in some small French car or something was already eyeing the spot. Tytti went and told her that we kind of needed to ‘refuel’.

The owners of the BMW also entered their car and I tried to be witty and tell the guy I didn’t know they make Z4 ev’s. Finland is a nice country where even people who drive something Bavarian can have a civilized conversation with a poor sod like me and he was quite correct noting that parking an ICE car wasn’t exactly forbidden in any way. He also told me he can relate to the problem when I told him it’s a bit problematic when you really need some charge, but someone who doesn’t exactly need the spot is hogging it.

And that’s exactly the problem and not only in that particular place. The charging spots in Prisma Tikkurila are just slightly further than three steps away from the doors to the supermarket and there really isn’t any kind of restrictions on parking an ICE on the spots. In the Jumbo shopping mall, also in Vantaa, the charging spots are almost as close to the entrances, but at least they made an effort and installed signs that ask other than ev or hybrid drivers not park on the spots.

I think they both should do a field trip to the Kaari shopping mall in Helsinki, where the charging spots are a bit further away from the entrances, are in a 90 degree angle to the other parking spots and are at the end of an hallway. Kind of awkward in every possible way as well as highly visible. I think their parking garage has to be really stuffed before someone strays with their old-fashioned ICE car on any of those spots.

When we left back for home and I stared disconnecting the charger (3.02kWh used according to the outlet meter) I made a laconic remark how Skoda seems to have started building Octavia EV’s…

First week done.

I wrote the Finnish version on my mobile phone from a tent in our back yard. Shame the English translation won’t get that privilege. =P

A week is not a long time owning a car but it has managed to strengthen the feeling the car is super awesome. Especially now I got the summer tyres installed.

I got the tyres several days ago already, but it took some time to get them installed. It wasn’t because I didn’t have time to do that, I had plenty, but because the nuts wouldn’t fit. Why can’t the rim makers decide on one nut/bolt design per hole configuration, or better yet use same kind of bolts in all rims and cars. Darn.

Now we have four kinds of bolts and nuts. Two different sizes 17mm and 19mm bolts for the 407 and 19mm and 21mm nuts for the Leaf. Maybe I should get rid of the 21mm nuts and attach the winter tyres with the 19mm nuts as well as the cone shape on both is the same. At least then I could get rid of one impact tool size I have to carry around…

No that I got the winter tyres where they belong; in the basement waiting for the winter, the car is even quieter and the traction is way better. Now the car feels as peppy as the one we rented back in June. When the required range is not an issue I like to play around with the acceleration. At least a little. ^^

Also it seems the range is not an issue at least now, during the summer. On Friday we first took a trip to Tikkurila in Vantaa (27km*2) and after that I visited the local auto parts store some five km away and then took another trip to a larger auto parts store (Motonet) some 20 km away. After I got back home I still had 20km indicated range left, so I could have driven to Klaukkala and back two, maybe three times. Not bad.

Electric car, now!

Hmm. I joined the very exclusive club (here in Finland at least) of electric car owners. I bought an used Nissan Leaf. That was quite quick as not a week has passed since I first test drove an electric when I rented the Leaf. It’s a case of a car being too good.

The experience in itself was a bit involved but the car seemed to be without fault. I test drove it overnight so I could check it as good as possible and even quick charged it as a very first thing after it was handed over for test drive. I think they should start a coffee shop, a library or something at the Aviapolis Europcar. Or maybe they should erect the quick chargers somewhere there already is such services… But we did leaf some books where there were pictures of Finnish nature and chatted with the rental clerks.

It’s a bit funny how thoroughly I checked the car, and probably hadn’t done if it wasn’t such new technology. When we bought our 407 we test drove it for some half an hour, didn’t bother even asking the previous owner about the car and just absentmindedly checked the known problems with the model. With the Leaf I called the previous owner and asked about the car’s history, asked around for pointers and even took the car to the nearest Nissan dealer for battery analysis.

The guys at the Nissan dealer were super nice and the guy who drove the car inside the hall for analysis was laughing out loud as he had a blast creeping up on someone else in the hall with the car. =D

The car is awesome and seems to be near mint even though it’s done almost three years and 56000km as a taxi in Helsinki. The only thing that has a bit more used feel is the steering wheel. May be I have to do something about it. Maybe some leather care or smthng. During my evening ride I even found the eco-mode. Maybe I should test next how much range I can squeeze out of a full charge.

Some day pictures, maybe?