Monday, April 16, 2018

The old warrior who still got a fight in him.. Never say die!

This was brought to Sri Lanka exactly 3 years ago. At the time it said it has done only 7000 km. Fifty-Five thousand more kilometers later, it is now a veteran near 63000 km, with no less than 6 battery bars already gone!

How come 6 battery bars go down in such a low mileage? That's because this may be one of most tormented Nissan Leaf cars in the country.

It has been used to experiment, test, configure and troubleshooting, repair of most of Fast Chargers in the country. When Setec engineers came to meet and install our very first charger back in December 2015, this guy was extensively used to experiment and test it.

When it was charged 100% but the testing is not completed yet, we ran some distance to discharge the battery a bit so the charger can use it again. Whenever a new fast charger is installed or an existing one upgraded, repair, this old friend was obediently there to test it again and again, until the job is completed. We knew that's not the best usage scenario for the car battery but had no other option.
Most of its own battery life was sacrificed in the service of fast charging network in the country. I don't think it will mind it too much. Service definitely was not in vain! As a country, we now have one of best FC coverage in the world (certainly in the region!), not many countries can boast of this many fast chargers per car. (Those whol like to read about my previous experiments with green cars and what happened to them, reviews, You can read from the articles in this blog. Personal experiences on Prius and Shifeng.)

Anyway.. back to the story, I haven't used the car recently for long-term trips since I did not think it is capable of making them as it used to do in the past. After all, the battery is less than half it was used to be. This new year season forced us to use it once again for long-term trips and with great suspense, we started the journey from Galle, on new years day!

I was planning to charge few times along the way since the car was carrying 300kg of people and luggage as well. Yet, it exceeded 100km easily, even with a 6 bar down battery, carrying 300kg!

This guy needs a battery overhaul, I did not have the time to look into it for past few months even though we desperately needed that. Now, will look seriously into it.

That reminds me the first time I was looking for a fast charge for my car. At that time, I was told Rs 25 000 membership fee and then a Rs 70 per unit rate is required. We just decided to bring in 2 fast chargers of our own, break the monopoly, sell the fast chargers back and go on with our lives. At least that was the idea and the rest, as they say, was history. Those two fast chargers still providing service in the network which is now nearing 30 fast chargers. Both memberships and high rates are now a thing of past.

So, what will happen this time, when we try to replace batteries for the first time?

One thing is sure, if the existing solutions are not good/affordable enough, then we will create a new solution for all! Maybe the now battery depleted old warrior still has a part to play in that too. :-)
Only time will tell.....

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