WEBASTO - Feel the Drive
  • My Electric Car,

    the Charging Station and I.

    Having a charging station at home makes things so much easier. Although when peace at home rests on everything working perfectly first time, things can get a bit tense.

  • I usually get off to sleep pretty quickly. Eyes shut and out like a light. But tonight I find myself tossing and turning. I made a mistake – I know that now. It’s not the fact that my wife and I bought an electric car, it’s that the battery is pretty much dead and I promised my family we’d go on a trip to a lovely lake tomorrow morning. My wife and kids are so excited. It’s all they’ve been talking about lately.

    Admittedly, I’m not a complete idiot. I got Mr Niedeck to install a charging station in the carport for us. He’s my electrician. The only problem is that he only installed it yesterday evening and I have no idea whether or not it’s working. “Yeah,” Mr Niedeck said yesterday, totally chilled. “Should be working, I reckon. Just leave it plugged in overnight and then we’ll see if it works.” FYI, ‘should be working’ when you live in an area where they’re still attempting to build the cursed Berlin Brandenburg Airport isn’t exactly reassuring. “Oh, don’t give me that sceptical look,” added Mr Niedeck. “It works. I’ve installed loads of these stations before and it’s always worked.” He nods with full confidence. But I’m still not 100% convinced.

    Installation of the Webasto charging station in the carport. 
  • How could you?

    Tormented, I roll onto my back and stare into the darkness. How could you be so stupid? Why didn’t you at least allow one day as a buffer? And what in the world possessed you to whizz around in the car, thrilled with your new purchase, until the battery was almost flat?

    The Opel Ampera-e with the Webasto Pure charging station.

    Moron! Just before I nod off, I get an image in my mind of me behind my electric car, desperately trying to push-start it while the kids are sitting in the back and shouting: “Daddy! Are we there yet?”

    Every morning when I get up, I make a beeline for the coffee machine. Not today. I pad out to the carport, still half-asleep. And suddenly I’m wide-awake! A warning light is flashing at me. Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! I knew it! The charging station has a blue light that flashes every half a second. Probably to tell me something is wrong. Oh my goodness! What now? – “Cool! It’s charged,” remarks Alex, my son, as he comes out onto the patio. “Ch- ch- charged?” I stammer. “Yeah, of course,” says Alex.

    “Standby is blue, charging is green and fully charged is the flashing blue light you see now. Super easy. Didn’t you know that, Dad?” Oh, is that how it is?! A weight lifts from my shoulders. A HUGE weight. “Of course I knew that,” I say. “Super easy,” I add, trying to sound as casual as possible. But in my head I’m singing: What a beautiful day, hey hey, what a beautiful day!

  • Friday for Future on Saturday. 

    “Relax,” Niedeck said to me yesterday. “Your car would need 26.5 hours to charge from a normal plug socket. Your charging station can do it in as little as 8.5. Just connect the connector to the tank. That’s it. And don’t worry, I tested and checked everything.” He is right, of course, and I nod. It really doesn’t get easier than this. I disconnect the connector and close the tank lid. Locked and loaded. Awesome! We’re ready to hit the road.

    We set off in our nippy little runabout after breakfast. Oh yeah! Full speed ahead. It’s also almost totally silent and emits zero CO2. It’s fun and feels great. Fridays for Future, but on a sunny Saturday. Never before have I driven past a petrol station with such a big grin on my face. Fuel prices don’t even interest me now. I have green energy in my tank and my own charging station in my carport. Bull's eye!

    I can now drive 520 km (roughly 323 miles). To get to the lake I only need 90 km (56 miles). Soon after, we’re parking the car and strolling to the banks of the lake. Thank God the only thing flopping now is the lilo on the water, not our entire trip! Who’d have thought it could be this smooth and easy?! I certainly didn’t.

    Panic over. The trip is saved. Breakfast tastes even better than usual.
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