Fluence in Essex - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-17-2013, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
rob
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Fluence in Essex

Just taken delivery of a used Fluence bought from Renault Manchester and delivered by transporter to Essex. It's a light blue one. One of 4 cars they had all priced at 8k. First impressions are good. Range indicated only 52 miles fully charged but did the round trip to work today for the first time 44 miles using just under half charge. Very encouraging as this indicates a range of maybe 90 miles that makes trips into London feasible with about a 4 hour charge to get home.

A few problems to sort out - struggling with Bluetooth phone set up and haven't got the ZE Services activation code yet. Car came with the extra 3-pin cable that is essential as my British Gas charging point installation isn't due for a couple of weeks. Cable too short though so having to use extension cable out of a window that isn't ideal!

Thanks to Forum members for your posts that gave me the confidence to take a gamble on an electric car - especially Paul. Here's to 3 years trouble free commuting! (fingers crossed).
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 02:13 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

.. and then there were 4!!...

We seem to be all getting very similar mileages. It's good for 90 miles typical and +100 with only a little effort towards efficient driving. 120 is possible with saintly driving.

What kills is the heater, though. It will happily chew off an extra 'octal' (as I call them) on the SOC meter as quickly as every half-hour or so. Renault's stated winter driving range of 58 miles is very honest and is probably right for a heavy-footed driver who likes to stay toasty warm. Pre-heating works well to save a few kWh of the battery, thus increase range, as it heats the heating coolant through.

It might sound perverse to say for electric cars, but I think it is an oversight not to have diesel/fuel heaters in EVs. Could be a catalytic heater, rather than a combustion type, using petrol too.

We've all yet to experience a hard winter, though.

My range over the last 1,600 miles has been ~4.6 miles/kWh on the dash, and ~4.2 miles/kWh on the metered juice that I'm actually paying for. Renault's own CO2 calcs are based on their 'wall-to-wheel' figure of 4.4 miles/kWh so I seem to be getting 95% of their stated energy economy.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 02:32 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

Be careful using an extension lead. Ideally you shouldn't - ever, but just make sure it's a more expensive, higher ampage one and not a cheap and nasty 4.99 one from Argos. The latter is ok for computers or lamps but you don't want over 2kwh going through it for any length of time. The 15 amp ones are about 30 to give a comparison.

If you insist on using an extension lead, make sure it's fully unwound and make sure it's not getting hot on the lead or the plug. If your house or garage electrics are modern you should have the protection of a trip system. If you haven't, be careful. I'm sure some electricians on here will confirm in more detail.

Glad you got one of the 8k ones. Can I ask how you purchased it? I was after one but the PCP deal they offered in July is no longer available and a number of HP companies wouldn't offer a quote on the Fluence due to the battery lease. Be good to hear how you get on with the car too.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 03:47 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

And now there are four! Welcome, Rob, to our select community and glad to see you have been keeping abreast of our experiences and concerns so you go into your purchase with eyes wide open.

On your Bluetooth point, a bit hit and miss. I run two mobiles, a Motorola and an LG. The Motorola paired with my first car after a little head-scratching but no way would the car even attempt to pair a second phone. My second car has the optional Parrot bluetooth installed (Why, you might ask if there's one built in anyway?). I've not yet studied this add-on but attempting to use the car's built-in system failed as it didn't even try so maybe Parrot piggybacks on that system and takes it over.

We've already commented pretty widely on ZE Services and also on charging points en route. Living closer to London you may find you are spoilt for choice unlike us out in the sticks, let us know your experiences. And good luck with your new toy.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2013, 01:12 PM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

I just dropped a post discussing using mains extension cables.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
rob
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RE: Fluence in Essex

Thanks for the welcome! and advice on extension leads - mine was ok as it was a heavy duty garden one but I've installed a proper outside lockable socket outlet over the weekend and plugged it through a Belkin Wemo timer so that I can recharge using cheap rate economy 7 power currently 5.5p/kwh fixed to March next year. Appears to be working well and allows the preheat feature to work before.

I'm due to get the Chargemaster charger unit installed on Friday but not sure I'll end up using it much due to the timer control issue that I've seen has been discussed.

I paid cash for the car and didn't explore any Fluence PCP options. I did test drive a Zoe though and got a PCP quote that didn't seam very attractive given the interest rate applied and quite high option to purchase price.

Phone Bluetooth fixed itself without any intervention from me. Still not got the ZE Services activation code yet - still chasing.

Biggest gripe so far is the length of the Fluence, it's a very tight fit on my drive and I've concerns that come summer time late night revellers will bebtempted to rip out the charge plug. It looks pretty vulnerable.

Overall one week on from delivery very happy.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 09:23 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob
Just taken delivery of a used Fluence bought from Renault Manchester and delivered by transporter to Essex. It's a light blue one. One of 4 cars they had all priced at 8k. First impressions are good. Range indicated only 52 miles fully charged but did the round trip to work today for the first time 44 miles using just under half charge. Very encouraging as this indicates a range of maybe 90 miles that makes trips into London feasible with about a 4 hour charge to get home.

A few problems to sort out - struggling with Bluetooth phone set up and haven't got the ZE Services activation code yet. Car came with the extra 3-pin cable that is essential as my British Gas charging point installation isn't due for a couple of weeks. Cable too short though so having to use extension cable out of a window that isn't ideal!

Thanks to Forum members for your posts that gave me the confidence to take a gamble on an electric car - especially Paul. Here's to 3 years trouble free commuting! (fingers crossed).
Rob.

Did you get the car transported for free as part of the deal. I was quoted 800 to transport mine!! Any luck with your activation code yet, I'm getting nowhere fast
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
rob
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RE: Fluence in Essex

I paid 320 inc Vat to get the car transported that I thought was pretty good value. Still no joy getting the activation code - apparently the ZE specialist at Remault Manchester can help but he's never available when I call. I'll let you know if I have any luck.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 03:49 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

Rob, it took me weeks to get the activation code. Don't be ignored. The code is an essential part of the car and should be available immediately. I can see no valid reason why there should be a delay, it's only a blasted number that is put into a computer somewhere to allow you access to parts of your car that there's no reason on earth why they should need the protection of a code anyway! Phone Customer Services, emphatically point out that this silly situation has arisen with all of our secondhand cars and the situation is intolerable AND YOU WON'T PUT UP WITH IT. Threaten to reject the car as unfit for purpose if they don't get it sorted in 48 hours! And you can tell them that I've given you this advice after being the first (but certainly not the last) to suffer from this stupidity.

Incidentally, three months on I am still waiting for RCI Finance to recognise that I am the owner of this car and not the one I threw back at Renault. It beggars belief that an organisation the size of Renault can be so inefficient.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-02-2013, 04:04 AM
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RE: Fluence in Essex

Rob, on your point regarding vandals pulling out the charging cable, there's good news. Once you have put the cable into your unlocked car, locking the car locks the cable in place. A vandal would have to be **** bent on wreckikng the car to get it out. What is not protected is the flap covering the charge points, shame do-one thought of putting a lock on these to prevent little fingers investigating what's underneath.
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