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Winter driving

Welcome back, so how does my electric car perform in winter, well I didn’t look last year but am doing due diligence this winter:

No cheating, car screen shot taken the day after the grand slam!

Winter driving

Quick analysis here, at an average speed of 47km/hour I’m getting 19.3 kWh/100km

So for a full “tank” this is equivalent to 300kms, somewhat less than the lying WLTP test of 425kms.

A 125kms shortfall

Will we get there

I Am a One in Ten

So, as July moves on I begin to think of UB40, I’ve had my ID3 for about a year and it’s been in the VW garage for a little over a month, so yes that is 10% of my ownership, a one in ten! So I sympathise with the song

I am a one in ten

A number on a list

I am the one in ten

Even though I don’t exist

Nobody knows me but I’m always there

A statistic a reminder

But wait, we’re predicting a second month in the garage, yes that would then be 20%

After 5 weeks with a Dacia Spring electric replacement, « for a/c open the windows », but let’s not complain, it does work, VW are at last proposing the loan of another ID3 whilst waiting…

You may say well good.

But from a purely commercial basis they are proposing the exact same 58kWh battery version. What? Not satisfied?

I mean, to create envy, make me want to shell out more the next time etc. I would have lent me the 77kWh version, but then I’m only an engineer


Warp Speed

Now the car is in the garage, everything should move quickly and smoothly: Operation Warp Speed!

  • —Hello, Mr Dunleavy?
  • —Yes
  • —Everything here is under control.
  • Now I am beginning to worry
  • —We need a special tool to analyse the car and we’ve found one…in Bordeaux.
  • Okay

So two weeks later the tool turns up, so from here everything speeds up?

  • —Hello, Mr Dunleavy?
  • —Yes
  • —We’ve analysed the car and here I’m going to get a bit technical…
  • Wow! well this sounds complicated.
  • —In the high voltage battery there is an electronic controller
  • —Yes?
  • —Well it’s not working.

Luckily for me my training as an engineer prepared me for this sort of analysis.

  • —We will need to open the battery
  • —Okay
  • —But there is only one garage in France that is licensed to do this and it’s in……Auxerre, so we will be transferring it shortly.

So two weeks later my VW Car app tells me that the car still hasn’t moved.

  • Then the garage calls me to tell me that the car is on the trailer ready to leave.
  • —The holidays are coming soon, any idea how long this might take?
  • —You need to count on a month at least.

Take me to the garage

So suddenly on the way back from a trip my ID3 seemed to be drinking kWs and then the car told me to take it to my garage. Well of course the first thing I did was to return home and call my insurance (VW ASSISTANCE) who kindly gave me a reference number and told me to obey my car.

This is going to be easy right?

So, when I got to the garage, Friday at 16h, they told me to call VW ASSISTANCE for a replacement car, so I did, and I did and I did, I was still hanging on the telephone when the garage (25 Kms from home) was shutting at 18h, yes…2 hours « an operator will answer you shortly!«

Luckily, and kindly the garage lent me a car until VW ASSISTANCE pulled their finger out!

The very next day, Saturday, VW ASSISTANCE got me out of bed at 8h30 with a taxi to get a replacement car, oh goody! We managed 800 metres before they called the taxi to take me back home, the car had gone.

So then at 11h they sent a taxi to take me to get another replacement car, we get to the agency at 1 minute to 12, just before closing time says the taxi driver….except that the agency shuts on a Saturday at 11h. But not to worry it re-opens at 16h!!!

I call VW ASSISTANCE to plan the next instalment, and they tell me this is getting expensive and I should pay for my own taxi home…..We « talked it through » and they agreed to pay.

So then I went back at 16h in my second car and obtained the replacement car, only 24 hours after the request (luckily I was not at the road side).

So far VW ASSISTANCE seems on a par with ELLI by Volkswagen. I will not be recommending them.


After 1 Year, Is My ID3 fuel cost worth it?

Real Life data for the cost of the energy mix

First off, how far do I travel for 1 kWh?

No cheating here, screen shot from the car

Measured over 6500 kms : that is 16.8 kWh/100km.

How much do I pay to charge my car at home?

Here is an extract from my electricity bill

That is 15cents per kWh at night, or 65*16.8 kWh for my 6500 kms or 163€ for my 6500kms!

Let’s compare that to a Golf at 6 l per 100kms, that’s 390 l, at 2 €/l that is 780€

A difference of 617€: in my first year I managed 25000 kms, that is 3800 € difference!

These are real world numbers here in France, the photos come from the car display and my electricity contract.

And where does the energy come from? Well this is provided with the bill


Gas, including Russian gas = 50 €

Oil, = 2,5 €

Coal = 1,9 €

Renewables = 75 €

Nuclear = 489 €

I could equally well have driven a Golf :

Oil = 100%

So yes there is also a feel good factor: I should say here that my car is having its high voltage controller changed, 3 weeks and counting, so yes, it also requires faith.

And lastly of course I have no control over the energy mix!


The continuing story of ELLI and Zeborne

Things just keep getting stranger

So in the last episode Zeborne had told me to Ask ELLI BY VW for my money back because as ELLI’s installation partner, Zeborne, told me the charging station had “technical” problems and they would not be able to deliver it. And I did.

But then Saturday, DHL delivered it!

So, what is my next step?

You are right, call Zeborne (at least they answer the phone)

Zeborne then tell me that when DHL asked me where to deliver the charging station….I should not have answered.

End of day 2 situation

Zeborne can’t install the charging station that I now have at home because it has unspecified “technical” problems. Silly me I thought it was just a souped up plug socket.

Zeborne will get in touch with me with another proposition, they will also pick up and send back the ELLI charging station.

I’m still a little nervous about the money I have already paid

I’ll keep you informed.



Having decided to buy a second VW electric car, I wondered why the salesman was so cagey about the VW charging station, the all singing all dancing technological wonder from ELLI, aVW COMPANY.

Nevertheless I went ahead and ordered on line and paid the down payment (I kid you not, 100% of the charging station and its installation costs)

Anyway, 15 days later the installer phones to tell me that due to technical problems with the charging station…..(looks like a fancy plug to me with a bit of electronics). And that I should ask for a refund, so I said to him “give me a refund” but no…. I should ask ELLI.

So I think, call ELLI, I check the bottom of my contract, The after-sales is free 24/7. Well that’s good.

Of course none of the French numbers work

But it gives me a German number I can call, you can see it coming can’t you?

Of course the man answers in German so I ask if I could speak to someone speaking English, He answers me in perfect English to tell me …..No, that this is the German help line. But gives me another bogus French contact number

So I sent an E-mail

Should we bet on whether my payment or their refund is the quicker?

I’ll keep you posted.

Incidentally I’m waiting for the refund to order another solution, Luckily I planned 6 weeks before the delivery of the car, 3 weeks remaining, the counter is turning.


Open letter to VW

After 3 months of driving my ID3, (incidentally great technology) I feel I must corner VW for two subjects

Transparency: Did I mention WLTP, well I should have: After Dieselgate I would have hoped for strong ethics from VW. So why are they using this totally misleading mileage information to sell electric cars

MY ID3 has a 58KWh battery pack and VW will tell you that the WLTP test gives it a 425 km mileadge. You cannot subcontract responsibility for misrepresentation!

The screenshot from my car after 6507 km of useage shows 58/16.8 * 100 = 345 km, this is continually 85 kms less than this ethically doubtfull misrepresenatation of 425 kms.

Nobody and I mean nobody from VW told me of this mileage shortfall.

Am I alone in this? I openly dare anyone (not paid by VW) to post a screenshot after 6000 km showing 13.6 kWh/100km (425 km range)

Hey I thought, I’ll drive from Paris down to Bordeaux on the motorway. Easy peasy? NO! thanks to VW this proved difficult thanks to their Useless Man – machine interface

Let me tell you a Comedy of Errors

The French motorway system has a network of 350kW charging stations but the VW in car computer doesn’t know and keeps trying to send you into the outback to find an 11kW charging station.

The VW WeConnect app knows about these stations…. but when your phone is connected to your ID3 with apple carplay, the VW in car computer can’t access WeConnect, and nor now can your phone!

Did you plan ahead? of course you did, back to transparency: on the motorway at 130 km/h your ID3 is now using 21.5 kWh/100 kms, yes your range is now 269 kms (somewhat less than 425 kms). It wouldn’t be difficult to provide this information when you buy the car!!!

So if you follow the recommendations:

  1. Don’t fill the car over 80% charge
  2. Listen to the lady that tells you to drive into the outback when you approach 20% charge

Then your actual real motorway range is 60% of 269 kms = 161 kms.

For the 528 km trip there that equates to 3 stops for charging each way (at 35 minutes each).

Oh yes and one more thing even with a 350 kW charging system the ID3 does not charge at the car’s limit of 100kWh throughout. Although it did begin at this charging speed, as shown on the right it slowed to 49 kW before the end!

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

After whinging for seven weeks now as my ID3 is in the garage with no end to its stay in sight, VW France have finally temporarily replaced my ID3 58kWh First with an ID3 58kWh Pro.

This of course is my glass half full

There is also a Silver lining:- In a rant, I challenged anyone who could, to post proof of attaining the WLTP declared range…because I could get nowhere near it.

Open letter to VW

But my replacement car is actually getting close, with the a/c on.

So it may just have been by high voltage battery controller all along. Stay tuned!

Repeat Customers

Repeat Customers

I guess I must be like the hells angels in the Lincoln Lawyer, In spite of the difficulties I described at the beginning with my ID3, or maybe more like understanding the street wise approach of VW, I am in the process of becoming a repeat customer.

To replace my C1 I’m going for the VW E UP 2.0, at 25k this would of course be out of the question without the MACRON 6000€ subvention, but this time the resulting cost/ and improved battery size has pushed me towards a direct purchase. I should add this is not me in the photo

As for colour, thanks to the electronics shortage, after an extensive search I’ve found one still in the show room, so for the colour it’s very Ford. It’s black or black!