Our first year of owning a BMW i3 Range Extender

i3 in Wales – great view

Thanks to 2016 being a leap year, today is the 366th day of us owning a BMW i3 Range Extender (REx) and worth a brief update. I couldn’t think of a better way than to post about it here.

I think it is fair to say that owning an electric car has changed the way we experience driving and mobility. Our i3 has de-facto taken over the duties of a run-around family car and commuter vehicle, all of which amount to a total daily average journey of about 35 miles. On March 1st 2015, the i3 replaced my lovely 2012 Golf Cabrio (its soft-toppability is still missed occasionally, but not its petrol engine) and runs alongside a long range 5-seather family Diesel (Nissan Qashqai). The i3 has completed over 15,000 miles in its first year with us and most of these miles have been electric (92.3% to be precise). As a result, we have seen an annual fuel saving of about £800 pounds (saved Petrol/Diesel costs less home-charging electricity costs). In addition, the car only requires two services within the first 5 years, which is covered by the service plan I purchased from Rybrook BMW Warwick.

rapid charging in style – FastNed network in NL

The i3 has been reliable (putting aside some little quirks, which were mainly down to a different kind of handling) and been a pleasure to drive on both short and long distances. In its first year, we’ve taken the i3 twice to Leeds (250mi return), once to Wales (480mi return), twice to Netherlands/Belgium/Germany (1800mi combined). These were business and family holiday trips, using both rapid highway chargers and the extremely handy Range Extender petrol-powered generator engine. Coming to a decision on the Range Extender option when purchasing the i3 was a difficult choice to make. In retrospect, my wife and I are more than glad we decided to go for this nifty addition. Everyone is different, but for us it really does take the headaches out of family journeys and allows for more stress-free travelling. I mainly use it on long-distance journeys, where rapid chargers are not always available or functional. Once you have pulled up at a motorway charger and found the unit either occupied or out-of-order, you come to love the range insurance policy this little petrol engine can provide. As you can tell from our high electric mileage though (92.3%), just like all REx owners we don’t suffer from range anxiety, but from “using petrol anxiety”. As an i3 driver, you have a strong urge to go electric as often as you can. In fact, this car still holds true to one of my earliest observations I made about it: it is all about “eeking it out” and making each electron work as hard as possible. You could of course say this about many electric cars, but the difference with the i3 is that BMW even designed the car around principles of low energy footprint and recycling. Whilst I am not a fan boy, I do admire BMW for realising (and completing!) a project like the i3. It still feels like a privilege to drive one.

A free and functional rapid charge! Happy Days!

During our first 12 months, the car had to go back to dealerships three times: we had to have a windscreen (stone damage) replaced, get a squeaky window sorted and a software update applied (this can’t be done remotely or over-the-air). BMW servicing was friendly and helpful – on all occasions an i3 loan vehicle was given to us, which was a nice touch. However repairs are closely monitored by BMW i and it can sometimes take up to a day longer to get the fix done. This is a small price you pay for being an early adopter and driving such an advanced car.

Driving an electric car can also give you a different outlook on topics like energy consumption and generation. As I’ve mentioned on here before, I don’t think of electric vehicles as a panacea that will save the environment per se. EVs are complex when seen in the context of energy generation, but it is still important to note that there are zero tailpipe emissions when you drive fully electric. I switched to Ecotricity as energy provider, as I wanted to at least make sure we support a green electricity and gas provider. On my request, Ecotricity also installed a Economy-7 meter, which is something I would almost certainly recommend to any owner of an EV, because it allows you to charge at a cheaper rate during nighttime hours. Since December 2015, we also generate our own electricity using a Photovoltaic Solar Panel installation. Our location, installation size (4kW peak) and sunshine patterns rarely allow for direct i3 charging, but the panels provide enough electricity per year to more than offset the consumption of our house. Early estimates show that we might require about 60% of our overall electricity from the grid (including house and car), while 40% annually are “homegrown” electrons.

The BMW i3 is a great and visionary car – we are happy to own one and can’t wait to see any further future updates to its spec and lineup.



Our first year of owning a BMW i3 Range Extender

An updated i3 battery with bigger range – and what it might mean

The i3 battery pack
The i3 battery pack

It was Jens Christian Hoj (@creddy82), who first made me aware of the news that BMW’s boss Harald Krueger talked about a larger EV model for the BMW i range. Almost just in passing, the mentioned article in the german weekly Die Zeit also mentioned Krueger’s announcement of an updated i3 battery in 2016.


An excerpt of the crucial part of the interview is here (my own translation):

Krüger: The battery cell technology is evolving. An increase in range of the i3 will come in the 2016. A bigger technological leap is likely to happen in the next three or four years. You can then travel almost twice the distance without a further increase in battery weight.

ZEIT: Can I then replace the battery of my i3 against the better battery?

Krueger: We are currently dealing with this question.

Whilst Krueger is not going into any further details about actual range increase and retrofitting (ie swapping your old battery against the new one) options for existing i3 drivers, the topic is now being hotly discussed by the communities.

My POV: The following scenarios are likely here:

Range increase: I think we will be talking about an improvement in the region of 10-20%, not more. It will provide more than enough to keep pace with the next LEAF and Bolt (for which we so far only have manufacturer’s range promises), but nothing beyond that.

Retrofitting a new battery and replacing the old one (if these will be offered – a BIG IF), the next big question is: How much BMW will give you as a trade-in? In general, dealerships will be keen to once again get customers on the phone and through the door, to re-engage with them. BMW on the other side may decide to simply offer the extended battery as a new model or an extra. My guess is that the latter is more likely.

Target market for potential battery replacements: Unless the potential range increase is significantly higher than 10-20%, most REx drivers will pass on a potential battery upgrade, as they parted with more money and already get decent mileage if needed, albeit burning fossil fuel. In my mind, the main target market for a battery retrofit are the BEVs, which may be able to get a boost to a 120 mi real-world range.

“One more thing?” : If however this new i3 2016 evolution includes more fixes and updates than merely the battery, then an interesting upgrade cycle might emerge, as many lease deals will end by late 2016.

The rub: One problem that Krueger might have created for himself now is that i3 sales may be hampered or damaged for 9-12 months, as people will either wait for the next model and go elsewhere. An announcement in January or Feb 2016 may have proved wiser. Dealers (particularly in the US, where stocks appear to be high) will have to adjust prices. This could end up as a i3-deal bonanza, who knows?

Looks like 2016 is going to be an exciting year for the i3 (but we knew that anyway) !

An updated i3 battery with bigger range – and what it might mean

The electric way round – Aachen to Midlands (Part 3)

I am aware that I am posting this after a rather long delay – my return trip is now almost 6 weeks ago. Here it goes…

I set off at 10:15 am on Monday morning to make my journey from Aachen back to the Eurotunnel Terminal in Calais. The crossing was at 4:20pm, so I had almost 6 hours for a journey that in the past has taken me between 3.5 and 4.5 hours. For the return journey I intended to make full use of my Range Extender, meaning to only stop once for a recharge and refuel in Aalst, Belgium. A quick traffic check on the i3’s RTTI (Real Time Traffic Info) suggested no extensive congestion on the feared Brussels Ring – phew!

12:40 pm – Hotel Ibis Aalst, PluginCompany CCS charger

CCS at IBIS, Aalst
CCS at IBIS, Aalst

This part of the journey couldn’t have been easier and more normal. I cruised along at 65 mph for about 105 miles, enabled the REx when the remaining SOC was 25% and used it for  50 miles. This free CCS charger is right next to the motorway and once the vehicle was charging, I sat inside and sipped a nice Latte (and took a photo). Altogether I stopped for 35 minutes. Before rejoining the E40 motorway, I also filled up my 9 litre REx tank, which I needed later back in the UK to continue my journey from Folkestone to Maidstone Services.

14:05 pm – Texaco Drongen, PLuginCompany CCS charger

This was another unplanned, yet affordable stop, as I had bags of time left before my Eurotunnel departure. This was just a quick stop for 15 minutes to recharge batteries and minimise the REx use later in my journey to Maidstone, my next rapid charge.

15:43 Folkestone Channel Tunnel Terminal

IMG_2834I made the tunnel crossing without any hitches and was soon on my merry way to Blighty. I enabled the REx when SOC was down to 25% and I had about 30 more miles to go to Calais. This would enable me to keep a reasonable charge remaining and ensuring I get to Maidstone for another rapid charge.



5:21pm, Maidstone Services, M20 – Ecotricity Rapid charge

I arrived here with 22 miles left on the REx and 25% SOC remaining. Had a McDonalds Big Mac meal while I waited for my (free) CCS charge to complete. After 40 minutes, I also filled up the REx and contemplated whether to REx it all the way back home or stop again on the M25 Cobham and M40 Oxford Services to minimise REx fuel consumption. As things were going so swimmingly, I decided to go electric for the rest of my journey.

6:26 pm, Cobham Services, M25 – Ecotricity Rapid Charge

Yet another uneventful and pleasant CCS charge. Another i3 REx pulled up when I was almost done charging, but I had no time to speak to the driver. From here I could have now definitely REx-ed it all the way back home, but I decided to stop at Oxford Services and charge up one last time.

7:56pm, Oxford Services, M40 – Ecotricity Rapid Charge

After an 800 mile journey, I experienced for the first time an occupied charge point! I pulled into the Welcome Break Oxford, only to find a Nissan Leaf using the rapid charger before me. Luckily, he was almost done and after a 10 minute wait I plugged in and recharged my i3 for 20 minutes with enough electrons to make it back home without any immediate emissions.

9:30pm – Home

I arrived back home at 9:30pm after a total journey of over 860 miles, of which about 150 miles (17%) were driven using the i3’s Range Extender. However, it would have been possible to do this journey fully electric by using slower Type 2 chargers, for example. However, as I pointed out before, the beauty of the REx in situations like this is that it gives you the flexibility to simply carry on to the next rapid charger. In terms of cost, I spent €8 for a CCS rapid charge at FastNED and €15 on REx petrol. €23 for an 860 mile journey is not too  shabby, eh? Granted, the majority was based on free rapid charges, which might be different in the future. But the extend of costs for this remains to be seen.





The electric way round – Aachen to Midlands (Part 3)

The electric way round – Midlands to Aachen (Part 2)

The actual journey started at 4:16 am in the morning, which should really prove my dedication to this nerd adventure, as I am usually not a morning person. I planned for 3 instead of 2 stops in the UK, because of a CCS charger problem that Ecotricity is in the process of fixing with BMW. What appears to happen is that CCS chargers cancel charging sessions if the vehicle is below or close to 20% SOC (state-of-charge) remaining. It sounds as if the charging-station based upgrade is rolled out from next week onwards, pending BMW’s approval, but sadly that’s too late for me and this journey.

1. M40 Welcome Break Oxford Services, 5:15am
IMG_0001CCS working fine and no other queuing vehicle (would have surprised me anyway!). Originally I planned to go further to Beaconsfield, but when I heard of CCS problems there (and the 20% issue), I decided to stop earlier along my way and left after 34 mins charge, which got me back to 95% SOC.


2. M25 Cobham Services, 6:50am
IMG_0003I arrived with over 30% SOC left and the CCS charger waited for me in full working order, without any other EVs using it. All good. Left after 20 mins – just a quick top-up to shorten the big charge at Maidstone later and as a buffer in case I get stuck on the M25.


3. M20, Maidstone Services, 8:00am
IMG_0004The M25 was clear this morning and I breezed through. Adding a third stop meant I managed to avoid the charger issues by ensuring there was always more than 20% SOC left. Once again, no other charging cars – I was able to get up to 95% in 35 mins, which should give me plenty of miles left on the other side of the channel.


Apart from the little added complication of a 3rd stop, the charging stations all worked swimmingly well and thanks to an early start I breezed through. When planning this journey, my biggest fears were queues at the chargers, aside from the usual traffic. But this turned out to be no problem at all. Everywhere I turned up this morning, I was the only EV driver.


The crucial test was obviously about to hit me, as I was now heading for Folkestone, where I took ‘Le Shuttle’ to Calais to continue my journey on the european mainland. CCS on the french side is not as developed as I hoped, so I tried and to make it across the border to Belgium and head for another CCS charger on the E40 in Drongen, near Gent.


For those of you who have been checking distances on the map: yes, this charger is over 80 miles away from Calais, which leaves me with a Dilemma. I could stop right after entering Belgium and opt for a (slower) Level 2 charger in De Panne, a coastal town. However I would probably have to spend 45-60 mins charging the car to 60% there to make it to the next rapid CCS charger. This was be the first occasion where my Range Extender will be used to speed me up a little. This journey is quite long and I’ve had an early start this morning, so I think I’ll save myself the Level 2 charger and burn about 6 litres of petrol instead. All I’m trying to say here is that it would have been possible to continue fully-electric at this juncture. Nice to have the option of the REx though.


4. M20, Channel Tunnel Terminal, 9:20am
IMG_0005I arrived here quite a bit earlier than needed, but better safe than sorry, I thought. Check-in for “Le Shuttle” was slow due to a vast number of motorbikes queuing in front of me. I was booked onto the 10:50 train, taking me into Calais for 12:25 local time.
Update (25/9/15): The Channel Tunnel Terminal in Folkestone now also has a Rapid CCS charging unit, which is operated by ChargeYourCar (CYC) and currently is free of charge.
5. Calais, Euro Tunnel Terminal, 12:25pm
I started my journey back with 52 electric miles left on the dash. Just as I expected, I had enough to reach a Type 2 charger behind the Belgian border to top-up to make it to the CCS rapid charger in Drongen, but at this point I had already decided to use the REx generator for 40-50 miles and speed up my journey. A 30 Amps fast charge would have taken me between one and one-and-a-half hours, which I did’t fancy.


6. E40, Texaco Drongen (heading east), 2:40pm


37.5 deg C – over 100 miles on EcoPro+

I arrived at Texaco Drongen and found the CCS charger by ThePluginCompany (TPC) immediately, thanks to the clear signs by the slip road. The REx tank was about 2/3 empty and I had about 25% charge left (REx tank wasn’t full when I set off). After some small complications when trying to fire up the charge point via their web app, I gave Jonathan at TPC a call (who is very friendly, by the way!) and he enabled it remotely for me. I actually managed to figure out how to start charging via SMS later on, but at this point that wasn’t necessary anymore. Once the car was set up for charging I fled into the shade – the i3 thermometer showed a dizzying 37.5 deg C, which was also reflected in the incredibly high max mileage in EcoPro+ mode when I set off again with 95% SOC. This Texaco station is nice and clean, with a small supermarket and cafe. There was free Wifi but I couldn’t get it working.


7. N2, Kortenberg, Leuvensesteenweg, next to a VW dealership, 5:15pm
Traffic around Brussels was horrific and it took me over two-and-a-half hours to make it to the other side of the Belgian capital, a journey that was supposed to take half of the time. But it was Friday afternoon and it wasn’t the first time I have been held up in traffic on the Brussels ring road. Exhausted but happy, I arrived in Kortenberg to start the charge point, when a friendly receptionist from the VW dealership came out, waving with a TPC RFID card. I was invited to come in for a coffee and use the internet, which was nice. She also suggested I should have a look at the eGolf and GTE models, but I am happy with my i3, I assured her. After a 95% recharge, I sat back in the car, starting to feel exhausted. I had another 81 miles to go to my Dad’s house, but was keen to try out the FastNED rapid chargers just behind the dutch/belgian border in Eijsden. The temptation to simply skip this last charge, use the REx again and arrive earlier was immense. But I stuck to my original plan.


8. E25, Eijsden, FastNED, 6:50pm
IMG_0009 (1)
FastNED – charging in style!

Well, and was this little detour worthwhile or what? If anybody wonders what the future of EV charging should look like, this is it (or at least very close). I arrived at the FastNED charging station in Eijsden without any other cars currently using it. But then it was a Friday early evening after all. I had already signed up for FastNED whilst at home, so using the app and enabling the charge point was a breeze. All they want is some credit card details, which are entered via the app. Each charge station also offers free Wifi, by the way. Once your account has payment info, you’re ready to go. I charged the i3 enough so I could afford some “fun and brisk driving” to my Dad’s. A 25 mins session cost me €8.85 – my first chargeable battery charge of the day, would you believe it. This might sound much, but can be reduced by joining a monthly subscription scheme. As this was a one-off charging session, I paid the standard tariff.

9. Arrival in Aachen at 8:05pm
IMG_0010Exhausted, but happy, I arrived at my Dad’s house near Aachen after a total journey time of almost 14 hours, having driven 432 miles. As mentioned before, I have done this drive many times and my best time is somewhere around 8 hours for an overnight drive, basically avoiding any traffic congestion. 14 hours is probably 1-2 hours above average, but given that I usually take the ferry instead of the tunnel, I’d say charging added about 2 hours to my average travel time.
Surprisingly, the main problems on this journey were not the charge points, but the heat and the traffic on a Friday afternoon. I am glad I used the REx for about 12% of this journey, as it probably shortened my travel time by 60 to 90 minutes.

The electric way round – Midlands to Aachen (Part 2)

The electric way round – Midlands to Aachen (Part 1)

Journey ahead: 454 miles (726 km) according to Google Maps – 8h sounds a little optimistic!

Ever since ordering my electric vehicle, I have had the desire to not only plan, but actually take my car on a trip from my home in the Midlands, UK, to my home town of Aachen in Germany. Some of my planning and considerations are described here. The actual journey will be reported on later in all its glory.

This is a journey of about 450 miles (720 km). Now, I have read blog posts from plenty of EV drivers, who took their pure electric vehicles on trips of similar distances within the UK. The difference of this trip is obvious: I am leaving the UK, crossing at least France and Belgium, potentially also the Netherlands. I am saying “potentially” because I might have to make a little detour to top up before reaching my destination.

What you have to keep in mind is that despite the recent growth of car charging infrastructure, which happens at an impressive level, EV charging is still very insular and country-dependent when you cross borders. Think mobile phone networks in the 1990s on steroids. I am referring of course not to Tesla’s Supercharger network here, which is free to all current Tesla owners and available anywhere in any country. Since I drive a BMW i3 Range Extender, two aspects are different: 1. my car is not compatible with Tesla chargers. But, 2. I have a little petrol generator (that’s the “Range Extender” bit), which can take me out of sticky situations should I run out of electrons. It basically holds the state of battery charge for an additional 60 miles, on top of the roughly 75 electric miles the i3 with Range Extender can do. However, I want to try and restrict myself to electric-only use for as much as I can and only utilise the Range Extender (or “REx”, as it is usually referred to) in emergencies.

Now, I hear you say: “What’s the point in taking an i3 petrol REx model on such a trip and not using it? It has a 120kg heavy petrol generator with a 9 litre tank, which makes your trip inefficient!” – and you’re probably right. But this is a little electric challenge I’ve set myself. Also, were I to go on this trip with 2 additional passengers, I would easily carry the same 120kg with me. Would you go around and accuse people of creating unnecessary inefficiencies if they take their loved ones from A to B? Precisely! 🙂

For those who will tell me that a Tesla Model S could do the entire trip with 1 recharge: you too are absolutely right. But I chose an i3 as for our daily use an EV with a lower range fitted the bill. Longer distances can be covered by our Diesel family car. In essence, this trip is a little bit of fun and nerdy excitement. (and not buying a Tesla also meant that I spent ca £30k less of our kids’ inheritance).


The planned journey

As the map image further above shows, my planned electric trip is along the british M40/M25 and M20 motorways, then crossing the English Channel via Eurotunnel in Folkestone. From Calais, I’ll make my way along the E40, around Brussels and then towards Aachen. This is a trip I have done numerous times in the past – I could almost do it blindfolded. Difference this time is obviously the fact I’ll be doing the trip in an electric car, aiming to use as many Rapid Chargers as possible. CCS (Combined Charging System) rapids can charge an i3 to 80% in 25 mins, with a full 100% charge taking approximately 45 mins (nb. the i3 onboard charging electronics actively slow down any charging above 80% in order to protect battery life). CCS Rapid chargers are therefore my preference, as I don’t fancy waiting for slower fast chargers, which might take up to 4h for a full recharge from 0%.


The charging networks

As you might imagine, the route is covered with fast chargers in most places, but it’s the rapid chargers that are more thinly spread out – and across multiple charging networks. I’ve therefore spent the last months/weeks contacting and signing up to the following EV charging providers:

Ecotricity (GB) – provides a growing network of CCS Rapid chargers (currently free – see image on the right)

ChargeYourCar (GB) – CYC have links with TheNewMotion in Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, which allow access to foreign chargers (expensive kWh rates, but worthwhile having)

ChargeNow (GB) – BMW’s charging network, provided by Chargemaster. Provided in multiple countries, but my subscription only gives me access to the british network.

ThePluginCompany (B) – TPC operates a network of free (subsidised?) chargers in Belgium, including some CCS in places, which will come in handy. Charge points are enabled by SMS, RFID card or a QR code, through portal login. I have an active signon for TPC, which should be sufficient. A friendly TPC admin also gave me his mobile number, which I can use in an emergency!

TheNewMotion (B) – My TNM subscription will give me access to the same chargers as the ChargeYourCar network card from GB, but I thought it’s better to have one of these just in case.

FastNED (NL) – FN is the cool kid on the rapid charging block, calling a vast array of mushrooming, solar-panelled charging stations throughout the Netherlands their own. Sign-up process is the shnaz: simple and fully mobile enabled, no RFID card needed. You can basically turn up and charge, if you like. Alas, charging rates are currently relatively high (€0.83 / kWh for non-Subscribers, €0.39 / kWh and €12 per month for subscribers on a 30 day rolling subscription).

With so many networks/cards/chargers/etc in the mix, what could possibly go wrong??? 😉

Click here to read “The Electric Way round – Midlands to Aachen (Part 2)”.

The electric way round – Midlands to Aachen (Part 1)

Electric Cars: What they mean to me

Let me use this first proper post to give you some background on my reasons behind an EV purchase, because I think it might help other “EV potentials” to make sense of an increasingly complex world.

I started researching the purchase of an electric car back in October 2014. Lured in by a generous grant of £5000 for ultra-low emission vehicles -courtesy of the UK government- , company car tax incentives and Halle Berry driving an EV in the Sci-Fi series “Extant” (more or less in this order), I soon found myself test driving an i3 at my local BMW dealership.

Fast charging in the sunshine
Fast charging in the sunshine

I spent the next 6 weeks comparing mainly 3 cars, which fitted into my budget: the Nissan Leaf, the eGolf and the i3. All 3 of these are brilliant electric vehicles. All have their plusses and minusses and whether you decide for any of these is entirely up to you. My main personal reason which clinched the i3 deal was the fact that it gave me a real feeling of resembling the future. Whilst the Leaf is tried and tested and the eGolf exudes reliability, both appeared to be ordinary cars. However stepping into the i3 -even after almost 3 months of ownership- still fills me with the feeling that I am part of something radically new, an entirely new design. You might call this superficial, but that’s how it is. Driving and motoring consists of at least 50% emotion – this is what floats my boat.

look who we bumped into!
Look who we bumped into!

At the very beginning of my EV research, I was also driven by the idea that these types of cars will save the planet. To a large degree I still believe this, but electric transport is complex. Manufacturing processes, types of electricity generation and recycling are important factors to be kept in mind. Plus, there are other questions like: “What will happen to the grid if, say, one day half the registered vehicle base is electric?” (Answer: we need to do some rethinking about what “the grid” means in the future!) or “What will happen to all those Lithium-Ion batteries when they’ve come to the end of their lifespan?” (Answer: There needs to be thinking and plans in place to reuse and recycle these, paving the way for new industries). Electric cars are not the ultimate answer and in most cases they throw up more and new challenges. But I truly believe that this technology is heading into the right direction.

An electric car works amazingly wonderful for someone like us, a family of 4. The i3 is our second car and we live in a rural spot. A daily school run of 6 miles (10 km) and work commute of 30 miles (48 km) is easily done, usually with 55% of charge left. The EV has essentially become our every day car for 80-90% of our journeys and the kids love it. Our other car is a long-range Diesel, which can take us further afield, should we need to go 150 miles or more. Having said that, we still aim to use the EV and make use of various rapid chargers along the way. A recent 124 mile (200 km) trip to Leeds proved to be no problem at all, thanks to Ecotricity’s rapid charging network along the M1, which is currently offered free of charge. Even without a working or available charging network, we could have easily made the distance thanks to the in-built Range Extender (REx), a petrol generator which holds the battery’s state of charge and hence extends the range of the i3 to a total of around 150 miles.

The main elating feeling is the pleasure of arriving somewhere by the means of pure electric power. Compared to a conventional car, the ride is quieter, yet very powerful. Conversations whilst driving are transformed and the overall experience is a lot more relaxed. The i3’s cabin feels wide and spacious, which adds to this.

I have never been a petrolhead, so driving an electric car fits right into the frame here. Some people I’ve spoken to since our vehicle purchase miss the “vroom, vroom” and criticise that something may be missing. If this describes you then don’t fret: just like there will always be vinyl records, there will always be cars with combustion engines. Let’s face it, traditional cars and hybrids will continue to be around for some time. Whether EVs will become a lasting success, only time will tell. Other fuel technologies (hydrogen fuel cells) might make it in the end. However some people forget that even these types of cars would be electric!

A free and functional rapid charge! Happy Days!
A free and functional rapid charge! Happy Days!

In a usual, tribal way, EV drivers are active on social media and tend to support each other, which can be extremely helpful when discussing driving styles, charge points, off-peak rates and photo-voltaic (PV) systems to make your own “fuel” at home. It can be a great way to explore an entirely new world, but keep in mind that even in 2015 you have to consider yourself an early adopter.

Electric Cars: What they mean to me

Welcome to Pixelbase Electric

IMG_6563This is a blog I have been thinking about for quite some time. I want to use it to talk about all things generally relevant and connected to electric mobility. Although it will mainly be about my experiences with my own electric car, worry not, I’ll always try and keep the bigger picture in mind. I already have a Twitter feed about EV news, why not follow it?

In case you are wondering where “Pixelbase” comes from: it basically a continuation from my website and business name. I work as an IT freelancer and would describe myself as a general geek. In this day and age, everything grows and converges. I more or less see Pixelbase Electric as an extension of what I do for a living.

Welcome to Pixelbase Electric