This week I’ve driven to Haifa and back for a lunch meeting, switching twice. Soon there will be another switch station located just on the southern entrance to Haifa that would mean only one switch, but even switching twice is not a hardship.
Once again I drove Jewlicious Michelle up to Jerusalem, carrying her luggage (which the Fluence Z.E. had plenty of room for) and then met up with friends.
The primary switch station on highway 1 just outside Modi’in was having maintenance work done: I could have asked to switch there but I took the opportunity to go a slightly different route and try a new station in Nesharim. The route through Rishon Le’Zion is not one I’d normally take but it’s the same time and distance as the primary route and it’s always good to know about an alternate.
A Good Idea For Making Better Place Better
If I have one complaint about switching it’s 5 mins in the car without air conditioning. This summer has been ferocious in Israel: not one day below 30℃ for two months. The radio works, but the A/C is run from the main battery. As soon as you turn off the ignition this stops. Michelle suggested Better Place should have big water injected cooling fans blowing through the car windows either side of the car: that’s a pretty good idea!
I parked for a while in Mamilla on a re-charge point but also later on a private street in Jerusalem. I left Jerusalem with 65% battery and a prediction of 12% at home. I passed the turn off for the battery switch at Modi’in with 52% (meaning I can leave Jerusalem with as little as 15% and make it to a switch). I got home with 28% remaining. The Oscar navigation team know they have a problem with predicting downhill range and they’ve told me there will be an update in August that they hope will improve this.
It’s basically just become a completely normal experience to drive an electric car. Every couple of weeks Better Place tell us about 1 or 2 more switch stations and gradually the whole country is coming into range or there are multiple stations allowing for more flexible routes on long journeys.
I’m off to London on Saturday and I really will miss driving my car for two weeks. I’ll miss the power, the quiet and the ability to woosh away from traffic lights beating all but the fastest motorbikes!
I’ll write another post later, but on August 16th I’ll be attending a Cleantech Investor event in London and talking purely as a private customer of Better Place following an invitation from the organisers over twitter! If you’re anywhere nearby and have questions, try to come along.