Electric cars, electric bikes, and racing the train!

Clean electric car

Not bad for 5 years old!

Summer’s back! This means changing back to summer tyres, removing the dieseasel air heater, and enjoying the fact that winter is long gone. Ahhh, longer days, more electric car range, and enjoying the great outdoors. All those things would be possible, if only winter hadn’t returned with a dumping of snow two weeks later…

winter

Winter in the middle of summer. Thanks, climate change.

Fortunately it was short-lived, and summer soon returned. This meant finally getting outdoors, and what better way to get outdoors than with an electric hybrid bicycle?

Electric hybrid bike

This bike is really earning its keep.

To be honest, I don’t use the electric mode often, because that sort-of defeats the point of biking around, but sometimes you come across those hills that just don’t end and the fun starts to drain away. That’s when I press the power button a couple of times, giving me a little power boost. Then a smile races across my face as all the agony vanishes and the joy of biking returns.

Seriously, if you’re thinking of buying a hybrid bike, do it! They’re fantastic. It’s cycling, without the ugly bits!

Now, on to the most interesting thing from this particular chapter in Kiwi EV history…

The road trip to end all road trips

The road trip to end all road trips?

As you’ll hear me say in the entertaining video at the bottom of this page, electric car long distance road trips are so over done. Everyone (including me) has done them to the point of boredom. Enough with the road trips, already.

But what do we put in their place? How do I keep you, the discerning viewer, entertained in the hope that you’ll share my videos? Well, I came up with a brilliant idea: a race across the country.

For the 480 kilometre (300 mile) journey, I’ll be taking my zippy little electric city car while Veronika will be taking an express train! The clincher? The loser has to buy dinner!

electric car vs train race

The great race begins!

With a three hour time advantage, I jumped behind the wheel of my little electric car and took off, racing across the country while Veronika could only sit and wait for the train.

Kiwi EV train race Slovakia

Electric car vs train: who will win?

For the first half of the race, I would be cutting across the centre of the country, while Veronika would be taking an InterCity express train up and around the country. We planned to make it to Košice for dinner, sometime around 6pm.

Vychodna

I got to see a lot of Slovakia on the journey.

The race was mine to win, providing nothing went wrong or no chargers were blocked or out of order. In fact, I’d already made it to Zvolen in central Slovakia before Veronika had even made it onto the first train, which would take her to Bratislava Main Station. From there, she would be catching up as she didn’t need to stop and recharge, but I still had a 200 kilometre (124 mile) lead at this point!

The High Tatra Mountains

The High Tatra Mountains. What a view!

Despite the lead, it would be easy for Veronika to catch up. This is because my electric car is only designed to travel within the city. It has a small 16 kWh battery pack and it’s not very aerodynamic at high speed.

Now I have a bold claim: in the city, my car is king. I would argue it’s better than any Tesla model in that area due to its nimble, narrow size and low power consumption. I can park anywhere in the city and squeeze through gaps in traffic that other cars struggle with. It’s unbeatable in the concrete jungle.

But on the highways a Tesla, or any long-range electric car, eats it for breakfast. It’s simply not designed for long distance driving. This does make such journeys more fun, however! So, as I raced along the top of the country, Veronika began catching up. At this point I still had a massive lead. Although just before my final quick-charge in the eastern city of Prešov, tragedy struck…

I found myself stuck in incredibly thick traffic in Prešov for 40 minutes which meant I couldn’t get to the charger. This, coupled with a failed shortcut to circumnavigate the lines of cars, then missing a crucial off-ramp meant I had no choice but to attempt the journey all the way to Košice without that desperately needed quick charge.

electric car at a gas station

The Kiwi EV grabbing a top-up…. at a gas station.

With just 14 kilometres to go until the restaurant, I was forced to stop and refill for 30 minutes at a gas station. It was either that or run out on the highway. With Veronika’s train right on my tail, I grabbed as much power as I could in the short time available and carried on my way to Košice city…

Košice, Slovakia

Košice, Slovakia

We made it to beautiful Košice in time for dinner… but who won? Did the traffic and slow charging cost me the race, or was Veronika doomed to fail because of her having to wait three hours for her train to leave?

Well, this turned out to be one of the most exciting and turbulent Kiwi EV video adventures yet, so enjoy it by pressing play on the video below.

Just a friendly reminder: I make no money from these videos; they’re purely to inform and entertain. All I ask, is that if you think your friends might enjoy this video, please share it with them. Thank you! :)

9 thoughts on “Electric cars, electric bikes, and racing the train!

  1. Dear Gav,

    God bless you and your wife!
    Good things are coming soon to you !

    You are an inspiration for many!!! Even for the Multi-Millionaire Jack Rickard from evtv.me.
    and for me, too.

    cheers from Tsukuba, Japan

  2. Loved this new video!
    I read your comment on the iMiev forum about how much work went into making it, but you make it look easy.
    Not sure if it will contribute to finally convince my wife to agree to but one – she might want to buy us a train instead 😉

    Cheers from Italy

  3. I found your blog while researching EVs in NZ, as I’m moving there from UK/Spain at the end of the year. Fascinating story.

    I don’t know how you can go to a land-locked country though!

    All the best

  4. Hello Gavin,
    saw your videos at searching for infos for PEUGEOT iOn at Youtube.
    My sister in law plans to entry the e-motioned world by getting an iOn. She is infected by my Renault Zoe that I drive now for 2 month for my own. Started to be “electrified” by this idea in Jan 2017. Now I found this blog and started to read. And the more I read the more I like it. The style you write and to blog is fresh, taken from real life. I´ll keep reading :-)

    Best regards to your wife Veronika

    Michael

  5. Always enjoy your videos. When I think my little 2012 Imiev is the last one to the dance (with it’s minimal range), I watch your videos and it reminds me that this is one great car….in its intended use.
    I haul around my considerably large drumset – no problem for dates in town. 600lbs of landscaping blocks in an econo built hatchback? My Miev eats it for breakfast – the motor didn’t even strain! Parking? None like it. Zippy lane changes – feels like a supercar….
    But alas, my kids live 200 miles from me. That’s when my little Imiev and I spend some ‘quality’ time 😉
    Cheers from Portland Oregon!!

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