Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial - DRIVE an imiev

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nat1971a
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Post by nat1971a »

http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/ ... icle+Trial


As part of the Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial, the Victorian Government is looking for households who would like to trial an electric car for three months.
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Post by htial »

I've filled it out...

Last tax year I drove over 18,000kms for work...   ...and only a little over 2,000kms for myself...   ...I'd love one for a few months...
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Post by Johny »

Households were supposed to be selected by January and EVs delivered by March. Has any one heard anything since the 20th December PR announcement, or has anyone on the forum been selected to take part?
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Post by nat1971a »

I signed up for the trial but haven't heard a thing
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Post by Johny »

I finally heard something - by email.
-------------------------------------
Dear Householder,

Thank you for your application to participate in the Victorian Electric Vehicle (EV) Trial (‘the Trial’), and your patience in waiting for the outcome of the selection process.

The department received 6,237 applications from households interested in using an EV through the Trial in 2011, but only 60 households could be chosen for this year.

Unfortunately you have not been selected to drive an EV in the Trial at this stage.

There will, however, be further opportunities to participate in the Trial during 2012 and 2013. The next application process for households will be run in partnership with the RACV toward the end of this year. You can then resubmit your details for an opportunity to be chosen for 2012.

Through applying you have helped give us an idea of what EVs might mean to Victorians. You have contributed to finding out how to best make the state an EV-friendly place, so that Victorians can reap the benefits of wider use of EVs in the future.

Visit the Trial’s website to keep up to date with what is happening and find out more about EVs www.transport.vic.gov.au/evtrials

Yours sincerely,

Department of Transport
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Post by htial »

I got that email as well...   ...I just wish they put the cars in the showrooms for people to see and test-drive...   ...Trials and studies just take way too long...
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Post by Johny »

I was in the kitchen at work this morning and one of my work collegues began to tell me that he had registered with the Vic. EV Trial. I was ready to cynically say that it sems that only Government agencies and fleet owners appeared to get them when he said that his should arrive next month.
I was gobsmacked. Image
He lives in St Kilda and has no power point anywhere near where he would have to charge the car; so they will be installing something in his driveway.
There's me with my charge point only 2 meters away and he gets one!
He surmised that perhaps they wanted the difficult ones.

Oh well. At least I get to see it in the carpark. Maybe I'll be able to scunge a drive.
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Post by nat1971a »

unbelievable. . I know they were looking for households with green power. So that excluded me. Yet i have a power outlets in the driveway already but they are for the electric gate. But these could also be used for EV charging.
Last edited by nat1971a on Thu, 23 Jun 2011, 05:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Johny »

nat1971a wrote: unbelievable. . I know they were looking for households with green power. So that excluded me. Yet i have a power outlets in the driveway already but they are for the electric gate. But these could also be used for EV charging.
That's what gets me. He has no power outlet, no PV panels - totally unfriendy environment for an EV as it's almost on the road.
They weren't thinking what I thought they were thinking...
...and the casual way he said "I'm getting mine next month" like "weren't we all?". You can see I'm upset Image
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Post by Johny »

Well my colleague took delivery of his iMiev last week and I had a quick test drive on the first day he bought the car in.
First impressions are that it is small - no surprise there.
I drove a Honda Jazz for about a year and this car feels a lot smaller - narrower being the main culprit.

The instrument panel is not quite what it looks like when you see it in pictures on the internet. A lot less impressive - pretty stark really. I was miffed that the Battery/Fuel gauge had a Petrol Pump icon in the middle.

Acceleration is good and the accelerator control is excellent. In the B)rake mode (where you gets lots of regen) the regen comes on slowly (over about 2 seconds) when you lift you foot off the accelerator. Not sure I like that but it could be I'm biased.

The start system is keyless like many modern cars. You turn the ignition on with your foot on the brake and the system is on. If you foot isn't on the brake then only the accessories come on. They left the momentary "Start" position on the switch even though the iMiev doesn't use it.

The motor and power electronics is in the boot but it didn't take long for the engineers here to lift the cover. I was surprised to see 70mm of sound proofing insulation over this section (from power section to cabin). I was less surprised when I drove it and while very quiet you can hear the slight whine under acceleration. I gather it would be loud but for the insulation.

Range. Neil drives to Scoresby from St Kilda. Importantly he does this on Freeways/Tollways at 80 to 100km/h. He is dissapointed that he only gets one day from a charge. His range is down to about 90km (he has about 30 left over - not enough for the next day and he can't charge at work - see later). This wouldn't be so bad except that charging it isn't as easy as it could be. To charge he has to pop the fuel cover, open the boot and get the thick cables from the boot, plug both ends in - then do something (not sure what) to the charge plug thingy for logging purposes or it doen't start charging. It's just not convenient. Charging an EV has to be easy IMO.

In addition it requires a 15 Amp mains outlet and we don't have one at work - there is a 10 Amp on the outside wall but the iMiev really does need a 15 Amp so a dummy lead wouldn't be safe. We have a 20 Amp 3 phase but since the car isn't his he doesn't want to make an adaptor - fair enough.

The iMiev didn't turn up at work yesterday. reason - it didn't charge overnight. His wife plugged it in and he said it all looked correct. Maybe we will find out why today when he gets in.
Last edited by Johny on Thu, 04 Aug 2011, 06:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by whimpurinter »

Hi Johny,

Thanks for the imiev impressions, the more, the better.

I note you live in Melbourne and that the Blade Electron is put together at Castlemaine (not exactly just down the road, I'm sure).

However, maybe your colleague and yourself might go there and roadtest a Blade and give us your comparison impressions.

I know that the Blade can charge off a 10 amp plug and also off 2*10 amp plugs simultaneously. It can also do much faster charging if you have more expensive equipment.

The newer 160 km/hr cars should be available anytime now so it would be great if you can arrange to roadtest one of these and rate the cars against each other for performance and long-term costs, taking into account service requirements.

I'm already buying 2 of the Blade cars and would be very interested to hear what you think, since I know that this information is not going to make it to any magazine or newspaper. Greg
Last edited by whimpurinter on Thu, 04 Aug 2011, 08:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Johny »

Hi bladecar
I've got to be honest and say that I didn't even bother to get my backside into the city (Melbourne) when the green car test drives were on so I'm unlikely to go for a country drive to find one. If the iMiev hadn't turned up in the car park I wouldn't have sought one out.
Nevertheless, I'm glad you are supporting Blade.
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Post by whimpurinter »

Hello Johny,

I understand completely   Image There are a lot of things I don't attend as well.

Anyway, should you ever be in the vicinity Image it would be great. Your report would be a World Exclusive. For all time Image
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Post by htial »

As many people who attended the Melbourne Motor Show, I was lucky to give both the i-MiEV and the Nissan LEAF a drive, and I have to say, the LEAF is by far the better car.

Family and friends in Japan also feel the same way. My future brother in law plans on getting a LEAF in the next six months or so. So here's hopping that next time I head over I'll have a longer drive and a better feel of the range issue.

- - Laith...
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Post by whimpurinter »

Hi Laith,

It would be very good to get your impressions of the qualities of the Leaf. I hope EV's improve radically in the next COUPLE of years. I hope they publish magazines which are full of tech articles, company aims etc in the style of Silicon Chip and electronics magazines.

Not only tech articles and electronics but how they are being developed. Computer magazine-style, in fact.

I'd prefer a future car where you can buy a Nissan Skyline-style data presentation dash which you can just plug in to standard locations (and then be able to lock securely in place, or hot motors which fit in to standard locations etc. You get my drift.
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Post by htial »

Haha...   ...I find it funny that you mention Nissans Skyline...   ...I currently drive an R33 GTS25t Skyline and have been looking into doing an EV conversion of it for about a year now...   ...but skills and funds are the current roadblocks holding back my EV project...

A few quick comparisons between the LEAF and the i-MiEV;
- The LEAF felt solid. The doors go thump. And it felt like it had some weight to it.
- The dash had more info on it. I think this comes down to the Test-Dive cars here in Australia might be the Japanese ones, and the i-MiEVs have been striped down a bit to keep costs down. We'll have to see what happens to the LEAFs to see if Nissan makes them cheeper in Australia by removing things, like SatNav.
- Over all internal space feels bigger. More boot space. But given that these cars will most likely be only driven around cites and we don't have the infrastructure for long distance trips like they do in Japan, it doesn't really matter too much at the moment.
- The LEAF at least looks like a car I could see myself driving.
- When I tried to kick the peddle through the firewall, toque steer wasn't a problem, but was there. And even in Eco mode, there was still a kick off the line. And ReGen in Eco mode reminded you that your seatbelt was on. The i-MiEV just felt like a toy when doing these.

I don't hide the fact that my tent is pitched in the Nissan camp. But I do plan on heading down to Chadstone Mitsubishi to have another test drive of the i-MiEV in the coming weeks. I'll try and video a bit of it and add it to one of my YouTube channels.
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Post by leighf »

I have to agree with you Laith.
I drove both the i-MiEV and the Blade at the Green Vehicle Drive day. I drove the LEAF at the Motor Show.
The LEAF drives much better than the other two cars. It just seems to give more confidence, perhaps because of its size. The i-MiEV and Blade are much smaller and this very noticeable. The LEAF has good pickup and performance for normal suburban driving.
Even my petrol-head 18yo son (who was mortified when I said I was thinking about a Prius) was impressed by the LEAF.

Now if only Nissan would start taking orders (depending of course on the price).
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Post by gmacd33 »

Greg MacDonald
Chief Technical Officer
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Post by Johny »

The iMiev was getting about 210Wh/km (wall to wheel) when Neil was using the freeway to get to/from work. He is now using 60km/h to 80km/h roads in the commute and has measured wall to wheel at 150 Wh/km.
The drive takes about 10 min longer but has proven the point. Projected range is up to 105km.

Edit: Spelling
Last edited by Johny on Mon, 08 Aug 2011, 11:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Johny »

Here is some real-world data collected from Neil's iMiev (trial vehicle).
Range has improved.
Image
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Post by antiscab »

interesting the economy while at 100kmh is so good.

I wonder if there is an elevation change on that route..
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Post by Johny »

I just asked and he says that it's logged (by him) as 100km/h when he is in a 100km/h zone - not necessarily doing 100km/h. Also the trips were symetrical - going home the same way as he came to work with stretches on tollway (both ways) some days.
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Post by Johny »

My work colleague has to hand the iMiev back this week.
The economy has settled down to 147Wh/km wall to road.
His impressions? Having started the trial with an open mind but not really in love with the idea of a car you had to charge every night - he would definitely consider one as the families next 2nd car - preferably the Nissan Leaf.
He found charging inconvenient as they had to get the cable out of the back of the car every time they charged. Just having the cable "hanging" around ready to plug in would be a lot better. That's a bit difficult because he charges in the driveway near the front of his property in inner Melbourne. A consideration anyway.
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Post by leighf »

According to the RACV website, applications for the next round of the trial open on November 26.
The website indicates that even if you were unsuccessful in the first round (like I and >5900 others were) you should still apply as the selection criteria have been altered.
Here's hoping.
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Post by Johny »

Thanks Leigh.
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