Fluence ZE: 1000 Mile Report
Well, after a scary four months (see "A sombre Introduction" ) Florence has passed the 1000 mile mark. There's still issues to resolve, some due to lack of information, but let's concentrate on the positive. What's the car been like to drive?
To be fair, really rather nice. The car's roomy, comfortable, with a well designed interior. It's easy to place on the road and handling is pleasing. You are aware of the weight behind (battery) especially on bumpy roads but the steering, whilst typically "electric dead" is not over-light and very positive. Unlike the Leaf, moving off from rest is not dramatic unless the accelerator is floored and on the move pickup during overtaking is good. Of course there's the quiet - disturbed only by coarse road surfaces and the car does clatter firmly over the occasional (You must be joking!" pothole. Seats are fine, controls easy to hand. Being built on the saloon Megane floorpan with its longer wheelbase rear room is good and, to be honest, the boot has more room in it than expected after reading reports.
I cannot vouch for top speed but I guess it will do the 84mph to which it is limited. Not being one to annoy the boys in blue, legal apeeds are easy and undramatic. The 13.something 0-62 has not been an issue.
Everyone asks about range. Having kept a log since day one I can report that the worst fill was 65 miles, all others have been mid-seventies or more but I have not been thrashing the car. Lately, with a few warm or even hot days the mileage has risen to 90 plus with the last fill achieving a gentle driving 98 miles per fill ! Having just charged Florence overnight the android app reports 100% charge and an estimated range of 104 miles. It would be good if I can achieve that!
Talking about charge, I am annoyed that the BG wall charger has no built in timer, nor apparently does the car, so "taking advantage" of off-peak charging requires me getting out of bed at 12.30am to plug the car in. Until I get this resolved I am back to using a 10A cable (£415 extra) which I plug into a digital timer. I am surprised that the last charge, from 3/4 empty to full, only took just over 6.5 hours, neatly fitting into my 7 hour offpeak allowance. I might just carry on using this cable.....
I have yet to resolve bluetooth connection; the absence of any radio user manual doesn't help and the Renault site showing compatible phones for various radio fitments has corrupted files. I have not ventured out of range yet as I have had major problems with ZE services on the satnav, which appear to be "not available in this country". I wonder if I have a corrupted memory card? whatever, I cannot see charging points on the map and programming in a route to the East Coast from Oxford showed charging points: Nil. I need to talk to someone in the know, Renault Customer Service has no answers.
I will report again at the next milestone.