The electric car tested the new life test

The electric car tested the new life test


A few years ago, I took on the role of a press release to assess the intention of using an electric car to pass early in the morning and to deliver their daily newspaper to subscribers. Today begins another life-size experiment by changing the place of residence.

A municipality with a population of 4,000

Children who have grown up and left home, the need to leave my old home after death, the need to get closer to reporting areas, the desire to try life by controlling my impact on the environment, and here I am on a charm. a hundred-year-old house that includes an area identified by French buildings.

Housing conditions are excellent. Ready with a weekly market that starts at 200 m. Banks, post office, insurance, 3 loaves, butchers, press deposits, and many other stores within an area of ​​400 m. And, above all, the building is located between 2 supermarkets less than a mile away. In short, the whole daily life can be managed on foot.

Before settling in the center of this city of over 4,000, I lived in the countryside. So it was necessary to take a car to get bread for example, even if I took enough for 7 to 10 days.

House without land

In the old farm where I lived before, I could park twenty beautiful cars. Doing the replenishment at home and without risk was not a problem at all. The layout is completely opposite to my new situation. My house is divided into 3 sides. Yes, yes, it exists! There is no land or garage. The front is one of the main roads.

However, I found a box 700 meters away in a recent residence. It is part of a lot including an apartment and 2 closed parking spaces. One is rented with this accommodation for a couple. This allowed me to get box 2, but with no hope of being able to charge my EV there.

However, I made the choice to become completely self-sufficient in these situations. I have been driving an electric car since 2007, 15 years now. Will it find its place in this new life, or will I have to go back in style to make my business trips, especially for reporting purposes, and regular personal trips?

Suspended on a bollard on the road

In my resolutions that led to my implementation, there was the presence of a garage attached to a house with at least one part of the household. I have recharged my electric vehicles this way, without a wall box or a special enhanced connector. But the reality of being able to manage everything on foot was even stronger. Similarly, I was thinking of rejecting a house with a heating boiler. However, it is an example of gas that heats a house.

Aerothermal was not possible with the proximity of neighbors. The boiler is fortunately new and of the latest generation. But there, it is turned off, by choice. We will see how long the 56-year-old will tolerate a cold shower in the morning. And for some, the kettle on the gas stove is okay. In 2 or 3 minutes I have 1.5 liters of boiling water per plate.

How about charging a Kia Soul EV? There is a terminal on the road, built in one of the main car parks. Of course it is not available on market mornings and during special events.

The best charging network?

Renewing the question, the Ille-et-Vilaine energy union, in Brittany, is doing things well. Its network is linked to a contract with Enercoop. I had also chosen this partnership as a power distributor when I started, when I changed power consumption. At the time, I did not want to associate my 1996 Renault Clio with a nickel-cadmium battery with nuclear power.

Today, despite the difficulties of the energy market affected by recurring conflicts (Covid-19, war in Ukraine, suspension of Nord Stream 2, etc.), Enercoop, of which I am still a member, had to resolve using ARENH (access to electricity) historical nuclear) for 3 years from next year. But this is another story.

Prices indicated by West Charge network on which Béa SDE35 stations rely are compatible with frequent use by consumers of domestic electric vehicles: 0.22 euros per kilowatt hour in AC, 0.33 euros for 50 kW DC chargers, and 0.55 euros for high energy.

Weak option?

The main disadvantage of AC 22 kW terminals in this area is that power is divided by 2 if 2 electric vehicles are charged at the same time. Consider the Renault Zoé and the Kia e-Soul for example. Only the first could use the power of the terminal to the maximum. The second would cover the charger on the board, which is to say about 7 kW. But if 2 are connected at the same time, these figures drop best to 11 and 3.5 kW respectively.

It is difficult in this case to predict the re-charging time which can be from 7 to more than 14 hours and the pack has already been poured into Korean. So far, I have not encountered this situation very often. In addition, with a 64 kWh battery, it is easy to maintain a sufficient amount of energy to make return trips of 100-150 km.

A few other stations in the city: 1 hour free in supermarket parking, and a wall box at the DIY store. On the other hand, other Béa centers are available in the surrounding municipalities, for problem solving. And there are 3 fast chargers within 20 miles. Priority, and at a time when there will be no more electricity operators in my case locally, access to charging should be easy.

And after?

If this roadblock is not found in the long run, things can get out of hand quickly. The first thing to encourage, has been having Type 2 connectors for a few weeks. The Type 3 connector has been replaced, according to an operation announced and that is still ongoing in the department this July.

I will publish in 12 months a small report year after year in the shoes of an electric driver who has no personal means of restoring his electric car. By the end, if there was an EV car sharing service in this municipality with well-designed structures (at least 45-50 kWh battery), I would no longer need to have my own car. .

This experience should be compared to the words of the mayor of Trilport, in Seine-et-Marne, who announced in a TF1 news report a few days ago that he had set up a center in the center of his city to boost local trade. What about electricians who do not have a socket at home? Will the facility be banned from them on the pretext that their car would be gathering the site for hours at the expense of a hairdresser and a nearby baker?

Should a charging station be set up by the community to promote electronic mobility or to promote local business? If it were both, then several models would be needed, including a minimum of 50 kW. To meditate!