Oct 092012

Ever since I’ve been riding shotgun in a motorized vehicle I’ve been flabbergasted/amazed/irritated by how some (dare I say: the majority of the) people drive on the highway here.

It’s all so simple… theoretically!

  • There are 1 or more lanes.
  • There is a speed limit (sometimes a separate one for trucks/lorries).
  • You pass people on the opposite side of where you’re driving: on the left in countries where one drives on the right, and on the right where one drives on the left.
  • You keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front of you.

Results of a traffic accident in NorwayI myself have the habit of driving exactly the speed limit. Not according to the speedometer in my car, because I am aware that these are never 100% accurate. In the USA federal law states speedometers cannot have an error of more than 5 percent (typically expressed as plus/minus 2.5 percent relative to the actual speed), and other countries have similar laws. I have determined with a GPS that when I have the speedometer on 106 km/hour I am actually doing 99-100 km/hour.

I’m located in Norway. Here the speed limit for cars on the highway is 100 km/hour, for trucks over 3.5 tons it’s 80 km/hour.

If I were to interpret the traffic rules to the letter then no one, with the exception of emergency vehicles with active warning devices such as lights and/or sirens, can legally pass me when I drive the exact legal speed limit. (If they’d do so, they’d be speeding). This is perhaps a bit of an oversimplification, but it is accurate.

The reality?
Most people do whatever pleases them! They switch lanes while totally ignoring markings on the road which forbid them to do so, they pass cars on the wrong side, etc etc.
And they speed! On the 11.3 kms/7 miles stretch of highway between my house and my office I get overtaken by many vehicles, every day. Some of them even trucks…

What about law enforcement, you may ask? I’m sorry to say, but they’re non-existent here, at least on the stretch of highway which is my commuter route. In all the time I’ve travelled up and down this road I have never, ever seen a single vehicle of the National Mobile Police Service ( Utrykningspolitiet ) in action.
And of course I’m probably not the only person who has noticed this lack of supervision. It’s most likely the main reason why so many people violate speed limits and other traffic rules…

My main frustration is that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Even writing this post is probably just a waste of time. Yes, I will mention the post on Facebook, Twitter & App.net. More waste of time.
Nothing will be done, and I will just continue to irritate myself about it every time I drive on that road. And I will continue to pay tax, part of which will go to Utrykningspolitiet so that they can… well, whatever they do. Patrolling the E6 is not it, unfortunately!

Jun 162012

A couple of months ago I was a bit negative about the dedicated parking spots for electric cars at Nordby köpcenter (a huge shopping center in Sweden, just across the border from Norway and very popular by Norwegians).

Two things have changed since then (one perhaps related to the other):

  • * Nordby is no longer parking their own (non-electric) vehicles in this area.
  • * The spots have become popular!

Earlier today, when we were there, no less than 4 Nissan LEAF’s were squeezed into the area meant for 3 cars. (The 4th LEAF obviously wasn’t charging since there are only 3 230V outlets available).

I’m posting this update here in the hope that the people at Nordby (and other shops, public venues, etc) see how popular the electric cars have become in such a short time and that they perhaps even add a few more parking/charging spots. 😎

Apr 122012

Yup, currently my Nissan LEAF is nothing more but a GPS+radio in a airconditioned metal box on wheels. Auxiliary systems like the radio, Sat Nav & AC work just fine, but the engine won’t start.

I’ve done some Googling, and the problem seems a lot like the one reported in a posting in the LEAF wiki.

Nissan is aware of this issue and issued a technical service bulletin addressing it, NTB11038. The fix is to have the Vehicle Control Module (VCM) reprogrammed by a Nissan dealer. A side effect of the reprogramming is an improvement in the accuracy of the Driving Range Display.
The weird thing is that my LEAF has been in for service at Brennes Auto for this exact software update on March 29th! (I haven’t been told whether the software update was needed/has been applied). After that the car hasn’t been used for a week because of holidays. On April 10th it behaved normally, and yesterday the problems started.

Of course I don’t know for sure whether this is a NTB11038-issue but it almost seems like they went healthy->faulty software on March 29th. If that is indeed the case, they f*cked up big, big time!!

I hope to hear from them today. Hopefully that they have fixed the problem, but at the very least with an estimate on how long it will take. And they’re not done with me until they tell me exactly what was wrong. A ‘well, we dunno what was wrong, but now it works’ will not do.

Day 3 (I’m realistic and excluding weekends in the count)
The peeps at Brennes auto have determined there is something wrong with the ‘big’ battery, tossed my LEAF on a flatbed and transported it to Oslo. Apparently there is the only location with the equipment & expertise to check/fix this…

Finally… Today, on April the 26th, I could collect my LEAF again! :-)

Nov 142011

Nissan LEAFYes! Earlier today I went to Brennes Auto here in Sarpsborg and got my spankin’ new Nissan LEAF!
Unfortunately there was major fog outside, so I chose not to take it out for an extended spin, but just to drive home.

Looking forward to tomorrow, when I’ll drive it to my office (located at the INSPIRIA Science Center), and hook it up to one of the charging poles provided for free by Fortum.

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