Now some of you may already know but we recently invested in an electric car and I do mean completely electric. Now said vehicle was situated in a town called Bar Le Duc which is approximately 780km from home in the north of France close to the Belgian border infact. After consultation with the salesman he was not willing to transport the vehicle for free and suggested to Gavin that seeing as he was a farmer he would be able to make a plan. So Gavin decides he will go and fetch the car. How complicated could it be...
The train to get there worked out fine and the overnight hotel was also good, the learn to drive your new electric car lesson was also good.
However the reaon why our car was considerably cheaper than any other electric car in France was that the Bar Le Duc garage did not have a charging point that worked so that meant leaving without a full charge. Aha...light bulb moment...
Renault have a policy that if you run out of power they have a breakdown service that will come out and fetch you and take you to the nearest charging point for free... No Gavin did not end up constantly returning to the same point. He made it as far as Troyes and then learnt that when your electric car has 10km left in the battery that is exactly what it means. So 2km from Troyes he had to phone the breakdown service to tow him in and then had to find somewhere to sleep for the night.
Lesson learnt the following day he was a little more cautious. So after 82 hours,14 charges (not all of them full charges) 8 at Renault, 4 at multi storey car parks, 1 at a Town Hall car park and 1 at a Leclerc supermarket. He returned home. Car park tickets 2.90 euros. Cost of refuelling ZERO.
The charging takes between 6 and 11 hours depending on the speed of the charging station.
Gavin said that the people en route were great the car was fantastic to drive (I can second that now). The scenery along the Loire was beautiful even though the weather north of the river was not up to much. The worst thing about the trip was that french public toilet facilities leave a lot to be desired, so he ended up spending more on food than anticipated just to have access to a clean loo.
A friend of ours Karen,is starting a new business selling store cupboard groceries from the uk she intends to have a stall at Riberac market soon and will be availble to customers on Saturday morning when Gavin is at The Butchery.
See you all soon