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Our Electric Car Diary – Electric Dreams Introduction

Our Electric Car Diary – Electric Dreams Introduction
2nd August 2011 Run Your Fleet Blog

By Craig Pullen, our ICT and Systems Development Manager and keeper of our electric Smart Car.  This is the first in a series of regular posts.

Did you know that signed up for the Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators (CABLED) scheme? This is an initiative to prove that Ultra Low Carbon vehicles can deal with the tribulations of urban life. The project is administered by Nudge Advisory, who are responsible for the management of electric drive programmes on behalf of Mercedes- Benz UK.

Prior to us taking delivery of the leased smart fortwo coupé, we were supplied with a demonstrator for evaluation purposes. The team at duly evaluated it locally, prior to handing it over to me to use for my commute – a round-trip of 60 miles, with the majority of the journey taking place on the motorways.

The journey home was relatively event-free, with the vehicle performing well, although the near-silence of the vehicle did take some getting used to. By the time I arrived home the charge meter was showing that I had 30% charge left. I reached for the charging lead, and as we hadn’t yet had the charge point installed, attempted to squeeze the plug through my letterbox. This, dear reader, was unsuccessful.

Next, I attempted to trail the lead through the front window, but this too proved to be a stretch too far. Finally, I came up with a solution; I would position the lead in the bottom corner of the double glazed UPVC door, plug in, and start charging. This however, meant that I was unable to lock the door, and leaving a door unlocked overnight on the mean streets of North Birmingham was not something that I considered a good idea. I left the vehicle on charge, checked the amount of charge left, and, as it was now at 50%, disconnected it, and retired for the evening, happy in the knowledge that this was more than sufficient for my journey into the office, with a short diversion to Steve Whitmarsh’s house.

When nearing Steve’s house, I used the Bluetooth hands free to announce my imminent arrival. During the conversation, I informed Steve that there was just over 10% charge remaining. I arrived at Steve’s with 10%, and after a short debate on whether to continue in the smart, or leave it on charge there, and use a vehicle powered by internal combustion, we elected for the former, with me using the words “What’s the worst that could happen?”

to be continued…


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