Saturday, March 31, 2012

I am producing more electricity than using :-)

This is what I read on my Wattson energy meter when my battery bank is providing more energy than the appartement is using : A NEGATIVE FIGURE :-)
The downside is that this surplus is "wasted" because given out for free to the grid


Friday, March 30, 2012

Electric Taxi in Marseille, France - Love this video

This guy is an Electric Cab Driver (for a day only, too bad) in Marseille, the second largest city in France, located in the south & by the sea, close to French Riviera

The funny thing is that he's only charging the cost of electricity to his customers, so he's asking like 6 cents, 10 cents, ... and they all look astonished when they hear the price to pay at the end of their journey :-)

This will come true one day I'm sure, electric taxis, with the help of few Quick Chargers of course

A really cool video !

Building Roof where the Uni-Solar flexible solar panels will be mounted

Some pictures of my building roof, where the Uni-Solar flexible solar panels will eventually be mounted
I am now in the process of finding a contractor to help me put them up there


Nissan is launching a big event in Europe called  " The Big Turn On " to promote Electric Mobility with the LEAF and Quick Chargers

They will give out :
- a LEAF
- iPads (one/week)
- Nissan CHADEMO Quick Chargers to the city you live in

all this based on the number of votes and tweets, links, likes...

You can also borrow a LEAF for 24 hours to test drive it at your own pace, and see if it is suits your needs :-) Isn't this great ?

Please follow the link below to access my profile and click the start button " Je vote pour Christophe "
Thanks a lot in advance !

or Click here :

Autolib Saint Ouen L'OREAL : 2 more ...

It's getting packed here :-)

2012 Opel Ampera Test Drive in Germany

Most everyone has that adventurous friend of family member who decides to just pick up and move to Europe. For the Chevy Volt, it was its identical twin, the Opel Ampera. To the untrained eye, these extended-range EVs look pretty much the same. But a closer examination of exterior styling and differing drive modes reveals some key differences for the European market.

EVTV Friday Show - March 23, 2012

Oups, forgot to tell you on monday, but this new episode is available and quite interesting:

- WSIU PBS EVCCON coverage (septembre EV conversion convention hosted by Jack & Brian)
   (towards the end of the show for half an hour)
- Escalade motor mounts
- A123 Fletenem series (flat configuration with the A123 high power pouch cells)
- A123 6p 4s configuration on the test bench (the one Jack build / molded last time)

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Nissan LEAF

Ryuichi Sakamoto talks about the future of EVs, his soon to arrive LEAF, life in New York and its turn into a greener city

Here it looks like he got his :-)

Bibo no Aozora ( Endless Flight ) - Live in Tokyo - 2005

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Autolib - First two electric rental cars arrived in Saint Ouen

These two cars arrived today at this Saint Ouen Autolib rental station :

Brand new & shiny sidewalk:

The car is always plugged in when parked, and the user/customer has to plug it back in otherwise the rental period continues (a good idea); This away the cars are always topped off and ready to go:

A closer look at the J1772 connector used on many cars around the world:

First time I see this sign on the hood: It says " Pininfarina "(the famous Italian designer), " bluecar " (the name of this car model from Bollore (the maker) ), " La Ville Respire " means " The City is Breathing "

Nice little car in the end:

Solar Project: Different sizes of Uni-Solar Flexible Solar Panels PVL-31 PVL-68 PVL-124

My solar project is coming soon (I hope) ... Here are the different Uni-Solar flexible solar panels next to each other
On the first picture, from left to right, you can see:

- 2 PVL-124 (5 meters long, 124W)
- 1 PVL-68 (3 meters, 68W)
- 1 PVL-31 (1,5 meters, 31W)

Already my 100th Post here - BMW i ad on my Blog

This is already my 100th post here, and I wanted to share with you the surprise that the BMW i ad has been seen (on & off) on my Blog for a week now :-)
I never thought it would and I am happy about it because I think BMW could one day build these "sexy" EVs, and in a fully electric version I hope

BMW i in Miami

BMW i Concepts Video

Parked for free at La Defense @ an old EV charge station

Yesterday, I had to go to La Defense for some shoppign on my way back from work
Every time I have to go there, instead of looking for a spot or using one of these huge undergound pay parkings, I just go to this old charge station at the street level 

This must be an old charge station from the mid nineties (same period as the green ones I use in Paris), and is not used /useable anymore; On the screen a message says "Borne indisponible" and its plug is an old connector called Marechal, used in the nineties too (see pictures below)

In case I get a ticket I can contest showing that I am an electric vehicle parked on an EV only spot 

The Marechal connector used on a Citroen Electric Saxo:

Nissan is showing its LEAF, NISMO RC & E-NV200 @ EVER EV Show in Monaco

Check this out ... Prince Albert II of Monaco is actually driving the Nismo RC in the streets of Monte Carlo :-)

Soon here some pictures & videos of Twizy @ Renault EV Showroom in Boulogne

Soon I will post some pics and videos taken during my visit @ the Renault Showroom in Boulogne 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2011 Nissan Leaf: One-Year Drive Report

I thought you might like this feedback from a British family driving a LEAF for one year now, with 15,000 Miles :

2011 Nissan Leaf: One-Year Drive Report :

On March 28, 2011, I took delivery of a European-specification 2011 Nissan Leaf. 
Yesterday, a few days short of our 1-year anniversary with the car, its odometer passed the 15,000 mile mark.
But what have we learned about Nissan’s first electric car after living with it daily for a year? 

As with most new cars today, our 2011 Nissan leaf has been extremely reliable over the past 15,000 miles. 
In fact, to date, we’ve not run out of charge or broken down.
2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report
What we have experienced however, are some minor faults which we’ve had to refer to the dealer. 
During early June, the cover on the USB port for the audio system snapped, requiring a replacement part. 
Shortly after delivery, we noticed one front caliper had begun to rust as it was incorrectly sprayed at the factory. This was replaced under warranty at the 13,000-mile mark. 
During winter months, all four windows were slow to operate. At its peak, the drivers’ side window refused to rise properly. This was remedied by a team of engineers from Nissan Japan, and shown to be a defect in manufacturing. 
All work was carried out under warranty.

Range, Predicted Range
Although our Leaf is used daily for a 40-mile round commute, we’ve regularly seen 70 miles from a full charge, even with a heavily-laden car. 
With careful driving, we’ve managed 80 several times and even traveled 120 miles with a few hours of top-up charging.  With heating on full, a sub-zero outside temperature and heavy, aggressive freeway driving, we’ve gotten less than 50 miles out of a full charge. 
During the past year, we’ve learned to not rely on the Nissan Leaf’s on-board range calculator.  Notoriously inaccurate, it must have told us at least 80 times in the past year that we wouldn’t reach our destination, when in every case we did. 

Carwings, Charging
In the past year, our main gripes have been with Nissan’s online and smartphone telematics service, Carwings. 
Designed to let you interact with your car remotely to check state of charge, plan routes and precondition the car as necessary, we’ve found Carwings to be severely bug-ridden, with continued connectivity issues throughout the majority of the year. 
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
In some cases too, we’ve found the Carwings database of charging stations to be patchy at best, and inaccurate at other times.
In fact, during the past year, we’ve been directed to charging stations in the U.K. by Carwings that were either non-existent, or reserved for private use by the company who owned them. 
A lack of awareness about current charging station infrastructure from Carwings, combined with poor field support form third-party charging station suppliers, has meant that at times, charging has caused a major problem. 
For reference, although it isn’t the fault of Nissan, we’ve arrived at eight charging stations during the year which were non-operational. In three of those cases, we had to call for a tow due to remaining range of less than 10 miles.
Most importantly, however, the Nissan Leaf charging cable has never let us down, charging the car every night from our 240-volt standard U.K. domestic outlet. 

With two grade-school children and a dog, the inside of our 2011 Leaf has been given a tough time.
So far, everything from weekly grocery soccer practice runs to family vacations have been handled well, with no torn seats, carpets or trim. 
However, even with Scotch-Guarded seats, our Leaf has begun to show signs of a year’s worth of abuse from the family. This is especially noticeable in the rear, where the unusually thin carpet has started to show signs of scuff marks and regular vacuuming. 
Regular seat-cleaning with detailing wipes has helped keep the seats themselves fairly unscathed, although dark patches are now appearing around door pulls, the front arm-rest and seat squibs. 
We’ve also noticed exterior paint, while generally of good quality, seems also thin. In fact, our car has just picked up a thin scratch from the local automated carwash’s rotating brushes. Despite being shallow, it looks to have caused some minor paint damage. 

Performance, Handling
As the months have progressed, our 2011 Nissan Leaf has loosened up significantly, leaving us with excellent road manners, handling and performance. 
Acceleration is, if anything, a little better than when the car was new, which we assume is down to a healthy, bedded-in battery pack. 
The same is true from the car’s suspension and steering system, although we would note that the car’s stock energy-saving tires are fairly easily damaged under aggressive driving and require regular 6,000 mile rotation to give optimum performance. 
Like other Leaf owners, we have yet to notice any deterioration in range or battery capacity after one year, despite regular rapid charging. 

Our Verdict
After one year, our 2011 Nissan Leaf is still operating well within our own -- and Nissan’s -- expectations. 
So far our dealer experience has been good, with our local dealer loaning us a courtesy Leaf whenever warranty or recall work has been carried out. 
Moreover, based on European gas prices over the past year, we’ve saved an estimated $5,454 in gasoline over the fuel cost of our previous car, a 1992 Volvo 240 Wagon. 
2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report
Still, it should be noted that we’ve also had to pay nearly $1000 $10,000 in combined loan payments, insurance and electricity costs, while our maintenance bill so far stands at just $160.
Stay tuned over the coming few weeks as we tell you more about our first year owning the 2011 Nissan Leaf, including the five things we hate about it, five things we love, and five things that we’d like Nissan to change.


Monday, March 26, 2012

LiFePO4 Battery Bank / Solar Energy Storage System

In these 3 videos, I will present you the LiFePO4 Battery Bank / Solar Energy Storage System I am currently working on

Video 1/3:

Video 2/3:

Video 3/3:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

That's how easy it is to plug in :-) A 5 yo can do it

Kids love to plug in when they're back home in the LEAF
They actually have to take turns: one opens up the lid, the other one plugs in

Nissan LEAF In-Depth | Upgrades & Environmental Impact

Nissan North America's Director of Product Planning, Mark Perry, answers questions from members of the Nissan LEAF Facebook Page. Join the conversation on the Nissan LEAF Facebook 

Vectrix & LEAF plugged in (original Nissan EVSE mounted on the wall)

Just some pictures taken this morning in my parking:

The LEAF & Vectrix both plugged in, and using the same parking spot:

More details here

See my original Nissan EVSE mounted on the wall using simply 4 screws and the main charging cord is just rolled around a big hook also screwed into the wall at hand reach:

Charge is over (happened as usual during the night) and the meters tell me how much energy has been used (I can then check that everything went fine):

Velib & Autolib: Paris Bike And EV-Sharing Programs

A good video about Velib & Autolib

Before Autolib, there was Velib, Paris' Bike Rental Service

Here we are, again close to where I work, in Saint-Ouen, to take a close look at Paris & surrounding cities Bike Rental Service called Velib. 

First the name Velib stands for Velo (Bicycle) + Liberte (Liberty) and is a contraction of these two words meaning "The Liberty Bike" which is kind of nice I think

The city of Paris started it all in 2007 and JC Decaux a major advertising company is providing all the bikes & maintenance service, against some free advertising spots in the city; Others cities around Paris also joined the mouvement and it is now a big network of stations that prooved to be very usefull.

In the following pictures you can see a typical station of Velib, where bikes are locked waiting on the sidewalk, ready to go onto the street, using an RFid transport card (also used for Metro & Bus) to be swipped on top of each anchor point. If you don't have this card, you just go to the main unit and using a credit card rent a bike with a temporary ticket for half an hour (free) , one hour (1 EUR) , an hour and a half (3 EUR) or more (each half hour after the first hour adds 4 EUR) 

The idea here is to use a bike to go somewhere (and not using a car or taxi) and leave it a a station close to where you arrive, not to keep it all day long, otherwise it would cost you a lot !

 The main reservation unit, a bit similar to the one for Autolib:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New French Law : " The right to the outlet "

Many people living in big cities would like to start using electric cars but just can't even charge when they are home because they don't have the infrastructure or are not allowed to install it.

As of februray 24th, there is a law in France, that allows people willing to install an outlet on their parking spot to charge their car.

Owners or tenants can do it, providing that they pay for all the expensises and, thanks to this new law, other owners will not be able to prevent them from doing so.

This a big step forward for the development of electric cars !

Volkswagen's Electric Golf tested in Paris

After Germany, Volkswagen continues to test its Electric Golf, also called Blue-e-motion Golf, in France with 15 cars.

These tests will take place during 8 months, and the car will be lended to big companies like Allianz, JC Decaux or Sanofi. Test drivers will constantly be in contact with Volkswagen's R&D department, collecting data from the cars for analysis.

It features the same powertrain as the original prototype, a 115hp and 270Nm electric motor powered by a 26.5kWh lithium ion battery pack that offers 150km of range while the maximum speed stands at 135kph (0 to 100 kph in 11.80 sec)

Every test driver will also receive an iPhone to run the Blue-e-Motion App that allows to remotly control & monitor battery pack charge, temperature, among other things

Just saw Carlos Ghosn and his daughter in Paris

It happened just before Geneva Motor Show and I thought I would share this because it is not common:

Like every saturday for lunch, we were on our way to a good Japanese restaurant (udon) close le Louvre in Paris.

As we were a bit stuck in rue Saint Honoré, a busy street with a lot of luxurious fashion stores, my son goes: "Who is this guy ? I know he's famous and I've seen him before", so we look to the sidewalk, there was Carlos Ghosn, along with one of this daughters, discretly showing her our car (the LEAF); I waved at them from inside the car, and he had a light smile on his face, so did her daughter and she waved back at us with a big smile :-) which was kind of nice from her
It is not much, but I thought and told my wife and kids, that this CEO of Nissan & Renault had a lot to do with us being able to have this great electric car !

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Please Share this Post if you Liked it ! Thanks !
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