Buying a Second EV

Because our garage is quite a way from our apartment, I have to take a bus to get to it, or have a 15-20 minute walk. I had been playing with the idea for a while to get a folding e-bike or similar. Most however are at least €1000 and quite heavy and as I have back problems, something heavy I have to lift in and out of the car is really a non starter. I did see one pedelec that folded and was a reasonable price about €600 or so but it had the tinyest wheels imaginable, and felt a bit flimsy. On the other had it weighed only 10Kg and contrary to the other folding e-bikes, it was tiny when folded. The wheel size was my main concern so I started to look at other options.

I also looked into the K1 Hammer, a really good folding e-bike that is authorised for use on German roads in the same class as a moped. Priced at around €1600, it was more than I wanted to pay, but the main issue was when folded, it was too long to fit in the back of the Ioniq.

I had often wondered what a Segway was like to ride, but due to the exorbitant price, almost that of a small car, I had never looked into getting one. There is a company in China called Ninebot. I think they were a startup financed by a company that makes mobile phones, Xiaomi. In short, Ninebot copied Segway, Segway Sued Ninebot, Ninebot took over Segway. As a result Ninebot now sell Segway type personal transportation devices under the name Ninebot by Segway. One device I was interested in and nearly bought was the Ninebot Elite. Priced again at €1600, the main problem is the size and weight. Again too heavy for me to life safely and probably a bit big for the the back of the Ioniq. There is also another model called NineBot Mini Pro, or in Germany called Ninebot Mini Street. This also has authorisation for use on the road in Germany and at circa €700 was an ok price.

So I bought one. Now, the advertising wasn’t exactly accurate on the German road authorisation, because you need 2 items. First is a technical test from Dekra or TÜV, and second, you need an ABE (Permission for General Use). There was no ABE for the NineBot Mini Street. In itself, not a great problem, “just” goto the bureaucrat’s get a stamp on a document and thats it. Well, first problem is I was directed to the wrong office and after a 30 minute wait, my turn came around, and they said not here, go over there to room 131.  There was no waiting time at that office, but they were not happy with my Dekra certificate. This certificate may not be over 18 months old. Listening to them I found out they had had a lot of these Ninebots come in and all checked by the same engineer back in 2016. They were just telling me they couldn’t accept the certificate when one of the two officials realised the certificate was 2 weeks under the 18 month limit. So they gave me a ticket and told me to wait. An hour later, I was called back in and they gave me a bill for €40 to pay, and when paid I got my documents to get insurance.  My insurance plates arrived the following Monday, so now I can use the Ninebot to get to the car and back, and its street legal. Its also good fun to ride as well. Generally it is to be ridden on cylce paths, but can also be used on side roads and pavements (to a limited extent). The range is supposedly unto 25Km or so, but I wouldn’t want to ride it so far. It can also go upto 18Km/h so a bike helmet and pads like an inline skater is also a good idea.

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Regensburg and the Hundertwasser Turm

Time for another day trip. This time a quick trip to Regensburg. We charged for free at the Autobahn station Pentling. Its only 20Kw but free is free. After watching an airport shuttle park in 2 of the 4 available EV charging parking places (there is only 1 charger at present) and just sie there for no reason, we continued into Regensburg itself. I had read in advance that charging in Regensburg is difficult at best, due to the local mayors politics, so it didn’t surprise me to see only 2 charging point, a slow one. But at least it wasn’t blocked. Due to the local policy of not towing away cars blocking chargers, and instead issuing only a parking ticket for 15€, its cheaper to pay the fine than to park all day in a garage. So those chargers there are are often blocked.

Following a walk around the city we decided to start the trip home. We had often seen the sign on the Autobahn for the Hundertwasser Turm at Abensberg but we had never stopped there. The town is a bit off route, but we went anyway. There is one charging point next to the “Altes E-Werk” which has two type 2 connectors and standard power sockets. Again, this charge point is free and delivers up to 22Kw. As we plugged in, another Ioniq pulled up with stickers from Autohaus Sanlg, the dealer where we purchased out car, but the driver said the car had nothing to do with Sangl, he was just giving free advertising for him.

In Abensberg itself we were just in time to be too late for a fete. The town is attractive in the center. Small however. The Hundertwasser Turm is a part of the local brewery. It it possible to tour the inside, but it was a bit too late. The cost of a tour is €18 per adult.

On returning to our car a good 90 mins later, we drove across country back to the Autobahn, and passed filed after field of what looked like brand new cars all in storage. There must have been a few tens of thousands of vehicles  of all makes, mostly SUV. I have no idea why they are there, but as a distribution central in fields? Seams unlikely.

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Lets go for a short drive.

And so another weekend comes around. Saturday I must work, as so often, but Sunday the weather was sunny, if a bit cold, and I was free. So after a slow breakfast we decided we would go for a short drive, maybe to Mindelheim. We had often passed by Mindelheim and once stopped for a pizza, but we had never visited it. We set of in a fully charged and heated car. As we were leaving Munich, I had a change of mind. Mindelheim would be closed, its Sunday, and I didn’t feel like walking too much so I suggested we just when wherever we ended up. Our short drive ended up going down towards Fussen, crossing over into Austria, over Telfs, through Nauders down to Lago di Resia, which is where there is a church tower sticking out of the water. The history of Lago di Resia and the villages that were destroyed is worth reading about.

We continued up the pass in sleet and fog to Sluderno, and followed the road to Merano. Its is a pretty area we have not driven through before as we usually go up the Stelvio pass, which is currently closed due to winter. As time was getting on, and I don’t yet trust charging in Italy, so didn’t want to drive down to Bolzano, I thought it would be best to go back over the Jaufenpass. In retrospect maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The pass was open. What it didn’t say was that it was open until 18:00. We got to the start 17:50 but started started the accent. At first all was good. not much traffic, and a nice drive. After a while though it started to snow. By the time we got to the top we were in about 5cm of snow, and it was steadily increasing. It was not an option to turn around. There was another car behind us which couldn’t wait to overtake but I refused to go faster than what I considered safe. Once we reached to top, then the difficult part started. The decent on the north side off the mountain in fresh snow. I went very slow with regenerative breaking at the maximum step to keep speed down. Basically we just rolled down at about 15Kmh until conditions improved. Once we got to the snow line, things improved rapidly and we got a good regen and a fairly rapid decent. Still, it was not the nicest part of the drive.

Arriving at Vipiteno, it was a quick drive up the Autostrada to the Tesla superchargers at the Plessi Museum where there is also a CCS rapid charger. This charger is also free. I sometimes wonder why they put chargers at the top of a mountain when its possible to regen going down, but still, its an ok location. Charged to 94% we started the decent down the Brenner and I expected to have to recharge at Völs but when we got there I was still at 95% so I carried on over Garmisch towards Munich. In the end we didn’t need another charge before home, as I tucked in behind a coach and actually saw my expected range increase. At Garmisch the cars systems said I would not have enough charge to get home, by the time we got to Munich, it said we would have 25Km left. In the end when I connected tot he charger nt e garage, I had 31Km range left.

So, our short drive turned into 680Km.

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