It all started in February 2018, with my good friend for almost three decades, Eugen Cocea, accepting to host articles about electric cars in his automotive news online magazine 24auto.ro.
For 10 years Eugen was growing his audience to become a recognized name in the Romanian auto news world. Kind off an EV sceptic, but too nice of a person to say NO, he accepted to host the new “electromobility” chapter and showed me how to use wordpress and post articles about EVs and their ecosystem.
Many hundred articles later, we got enough national recognition, to be invited at the Autoshow in Bucharest as speakers for EVs, being the interface with the press and visitors for four days. The SAB (Bucharest autoshow) experience was enlightening for us, as were the questions received during interviews, live TV shows and especially from hundreds of visitors.
It became clear that just by writing it is impossible to communicate “the joy of electric driving” and decided to step up our project by acquiring our first EV, a Hyundai Ioniq. This was made possible by partnering with Casa Auto Timisoara, Porsib Sibiu, and Inspiroline.
Very soon people exposed to their first EV driving experience, fell in love with the car and it got its nickname “Ionica”, becoming the hero of weekly reporting about our test drives. Individual experiences, electric energy consumption, as well as the cost of energy and maintenance, in comparison with the equivalent diesel or gas, became the main topics of our articles during the second phase of project Electromobility.
This weekly reporting about “Ionica’s adventures” in Timisoara and Sibiu, got lots of attention and interest from more people interested in driving an EV, which we gladly offered for free. However, one tech spec of this excellent commuting car, was a bugging our test drivers: RANGE.
Agree, 200 km does not seem a lot, but it is more than any regular person needs on her/his daily commute. The benefit of having a small , affordable battery, with extremely fast charging at 50 and 100 kW CC, seemed to be eclipsed by the number itself … “200 km too little, I can drive 1000 with my diesel”…
Soon we decided to add a long range EV to our mini test fleet, and wanted to go with the longest range available on the market in 2018, the Tesla Model 3, Long Range, Rear Wheel Drive. We picked up the car on November 1st in Ohio and drove it on Christmas Day to Baltimore, to be shipped to Norway, where it arrived two weeks late from the estimated date.
On February 4th, our European Tesla Model 3 adventure started in Drammen, to end two weeks and 4500 km later in Timisoara. We offered test drives in Norway, Sweden and Germany and first time EV drivers were as amazed by the Model 3, as our friends back in Romania by the Ioniq.
Once we got both cars in the same location at our friends from Porsib in Sibiu, the third phase of project Electromobility started. Being able to offer parallel testing with the affordable short range Ioniq, and comparing to the double priced Tesla, where 500 km are easy achievable, is an eye opener for many people.
At this stage of our project, EVconnect joined us, and provided a wall box needed to fully charge the Tesla overnight. “Powered by EVconenct” signals the commitment of the company to build the charging network in Romania, required by all EV owners on short and long trips.
Being able to invite the press, just one short year after the first electromobility article was published by 24auto.ro, was a memorable moment, as we could offer test drives with three EVs, our own Ioniq and Model 3, as well as the BMW i3 provided by EV connect.
Pretty soon we will be able to offer test drives with a third EV joining our fleet. This is a city car, manufactured by a start up developed by the University in Aachen. The e.GO Life certification process ends in April and deliveries will start in May, according to a letter received from professor Gunther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile company.
We will also track another brand new Tesla Model 3, LR, RWD, located in Las Vegas and driven daily on a 50 mile commute by Roxana (vegasteslagirl on Istagram), to better understand behavior in extreme heat and how full-time AC usage affects energy consumption, similar to what we did during the harsh winter in Sibiu with the Ioniq and in Norway with Model 3.
Plenty to do during the second year of project Electromobility, with the goal to continue EV education and provide to hundreds of newcomers the opportunity to feel “the joy of electric driving”. In addition, we strive to make this page, the main electric life style forum and are looking forward to your contributions, comments and constructive critique.
After first year, our project got its own voice and much more at www.electromobilite.com.
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