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authorDaniel Silverstone <dsilvers@digital-scurf.org>2017-10-24 20:44:49 +0100
committerDaniel Silverstone <dsilvers@digital-scurf.org>2017-10-24 20:44:49 +0100
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Car
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+[[!meta title="Introducing 석진 the car"]]
+[[!meta author="Daniel Silverstone"]]
+[[!meta date="2017-10-24 20:30:00 BST"]]
+
+For many years now, I have been driving a diesel based VW Passat Estate. It
+has served me very well and been as reliable as I might have hoped given how
+awful I am with cars. Sadly _Gunther_ was reaching the point where it was
+going to cost more per year to maintain than the car was worth, and also I've
+been being more and more irked by not having a car from the future.
+
+I spent many months doing spreadsheets, trying to convince myself I could
+somehow afford a Tesla of some variety. Sadly I never quite managed it. As
+such I set my sights on the more viable BEVs such as the Nissan Leaf. For a
+while, nothing I saw was something I wanted. I am quite unusual it seems, in
+that I don't want a car which is a _"Look at me, I'm driving an electric car"_
+fashion statement. I felt like I'd never get something which looked like a
+normal car, but happened to be a BEV.
+
+Then along came the Hyundai Ioniq. Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and BEV all looking
+basically the same, and not in-your-face-special. I began to covet.
+Eventually I caved and arranged a test drive of an Ioniq plug-in hybrid because
+the BEV was basically on 9 month lead. I enjoyed the drive and was instantly
+very sad because I didn't want a plug-in hybrid, I wanted a BEV. Despondent,
+I left the dealership and went home.
+
+I went online and found a small number of second-hand Ioniq BEVs but as I
+scrolled through the list, none seemed to be of the right trim level. Then,
+just as I was ready to give up hope, I saw a new listing, no photo, of the
+right thing. One snag, it was 200 miles away. No matter, I rang the place,
+confirmed it was available, and agreed to sleep on the decision.
+
+The following morning, I hadn't decided to not buy, so I called them up, put
+down a deposit to hold the car until I could test drive it, and then began the
+long and awkward process of working out how I would charge the car given I have
+no off-street parking so I can't charge at home. (Yeah yeah, you'd think I'd
+have checked that first, but _no_ I'm just not that sensible). Over the week
+I convinced myself I could do it, I ordered RFID cards for various schemes,
+signed up with a number of services, and then, on Friday last week, I drove
+down to a hotel near the dealership and had a fitful night's sleep.
+
+I rocked up to the dealership exactly as they opened for business, shook the
+hand of the very helpful salesman who had gone through the purchase process
+with me over the phone during the week, and got to see the car. Instant _want_
+coursed through me as I sat in it and decided "Yes, this somehow feels right".
+
+I took the car for about a 45 minute test drive just to see how it felt
+relative to the plug-in hybrid I'd driven the week before and it was like night
+and day. The BEV felt so much better to drive. I was hooked. Back to the
+dealership and we began the paperwork. Emptying _Gunther_ of all of the bits
+and bobs scattered throughout his nooks and crannies took a while and gave me a
+chance to say goodbye to a car which, on reflection, had actually been a
+pleasure to own, even when its expensive things went wrong, more than once.
+But once I'd closed the Passat for the last time, and handed the keys over, it
+was quite a bittersweet moment as the salesman drove off in what still felt
+like my car, despite (by this point) it not being so.
+
+Sitting in the Ioniq though, I headed off for the 200 mile journey back home.
+With about 90% charge left after the test drive, I had two stops planned at
+rapid chargers and I headed toward my first.
+
+Unfortunately disaster struck, the rapid (50KW) charger refused to initialise,
+and I ended up with my car on the slower (7KW) charger to get enough juice into
+it to drive on to the next rapid charger enabled service station. When I got
+the message that my maximum charge period (45m) had elapsed, I headed back to
+the car to discover I couldn't persuade it to unlock from the car. Much hassle
+later, and an AA man came and together we learned that it takes 2 to tango, one
+to pull the emergency release in the boot, the other to then unplug the cable.
+
+Armed with this knowledge, I headed on my way to a rapid charger I'd found on
+the map which wasn't run by the same company. Vainly hoping that this would
+work better, I plugged the car in, set the charger going, and headed into the
+adjacent shop for a rest break. I went back to the car about 20 minutes later
+to see the charger wasn't running. Horror of horrors. I imagined maybe some
+nasty little oik had pressed 'stop' so I started the charger up again, and sat
+in the car to read my book. After about 3 minutes, the charge stopped. Turns
+out that charger was slightly iffy and couldn't cope with the charge current
+and kept emergency-stopping as a result. The lovely lady I spoke to about it
+directed me to a nearby (12 miles or so, easily done with the charge I had)
+charger in the grounds of a gorgeous chateau hotel. That one worked perfectly
+and I filled up. I drove on to my second *planned* stop and that charge went
+perfectly too. In fact, every charge since has gone flawlessly. So perhaps my
+baptism of failed charges has hardened me to the problems with owning a BEV.
+
+I've spent the past few days trying different charge points around Manchester
+enjoying my free charge capability, and trying different names for the car
+before I finally settled on **석진** which is a reasonable Korean boy's name
+(since the car is Korean I even got to set that as the bluetooth ID) and it's
+roughly pronounced _sock/gin_ which are two wonderful things in life.
+
+I'm currently sat in a pub, eating a burger, enjoying myself while 석진 suckles
+on the teat of "free" electricity to make up for the fact that I've developed a
+non-trivial habit of leaving Audi drivers in the dust at traffic lights.
+
+Further updates may happen as I play with Android Auto and other toys in an
+attempt to eventually be able to ask the car to please _"freeze my buttocks"_
+(a feature it has in the form of air-conditioned seats.)