Building a Lithium battery for my electric scooter

Disclaimer

I am not a battery expert nor am I claiming to be one! I got all my information from the internet and I think designed and build my battery correctly.

Always use common sense and do not blindly trust the information I (or anybody else) am/is putting on the internet.

Novox C20

In 2010 I bought a Novox C20 25km/h electric scooter. Novox was (they are gone) Dutch manufacturer of electric scooters. It seems that they (partially) bought the scooters in China and rebranded them to their brand Novox. It seems that many parts of it were actually from the Chinese manufacturer Tysong.

I previously wrote a dutch post and a english post about this scooter.

The model I have is the 25km/h version equipped with a 2.5kW electric motor with 4 12V 40Ah batteries.

Realistically this scooter had a range of about 35 ~ 40km before running out of juice.

25km/h

In the Netherlands we have two types of scooters. We call them snorfiets (25km/h, blue license plate) or bromfiets (45km/h, yellow plate). My scooter is a snorfiets which means I do not have to wear a helmet.

The primary purpose for the scooter is going to the beach in summer, use it when it’s nice weather and when I want to go somewhere which is a bit to far to go by bicycle.

4x 12V 40Ah

Originally the scooter had 4 12V 40Ah batteries which (in theory) is roughly 1.9kWh of capacity. These were lead acid batteries and each weight 12kg, so the total weight of the batteries was nearly 50kg.

Over the years the range and performance declined until the batteries died completely. After reading about DIY batteries using 18650 Lithium batteries I decided to build my own!

Designing the battery

After I decided to design and build my own battery I went out to gather information. I watched endless hours of videos on YouTube and I also bought a book:

With the information from YouTube, that book and other sources I designed a 14S15P battery.

14S15P

A 14S15P configuration means 14 Cells in Series and 15 Cells Parallel. The total amount of cells would be: 210 (14*15).

The nominal voltage of the battery would be 50.4V (3.6*14) and the maximum voltage 58.8V (4.2*14).

The existing controller in the scooter would not be able to handle that voltage so I would have to swap the controller. That’s something I’ll explain in a upcoming post.

On AliExpress I searched for 18650 battery cell holders for a 14S5P pack and ordered three sets. Combining them would give me a 14S15P battery pack which would physically fit in my scooter.

Samsung INR18650-35E

During my search for the correct cell I selected the Samsung INR18650-35E cell. This cell has a capacity of 3.500mAh and 210 of them would sum up to a total capacity of 2646Wh (3.6 * 3500 * 210 / 1000) or 2.6kWh for my scooter.

Each cell can deliver 10A of current so 15 of them in parallel would be able to provide 150A of current. With a nominal voltage of 50V that would be 7500W or 7.5kW.

As the motor in my scooter is rated for 2.5kW I would only need 50A of current. 50A or 2.5kW was my design target. Anything above it would be a bonus.

After searching I found the Dutch shop Nkon which has a good reputation and was able to deliver the INR18650-35E for a good price. So I ordered 220 cells (10 spare).

Next to the cells I ordered 15m of 0.15mm Nickel strip to use when spotwelding all the cells together.

Battery Management System

The next important thing was a Battery Management System (BMS). A BMS makes sure the cells stay in a healthy state by doing various things:

  • Protecting them against under -or overvoltage
  • Protecting against a high charge or discharge current
  • Making sure the cells are balanced

There are good and bad BMS out there. At first I thought I’d buy one on AliExpress but after reading on the dutch forum of Tweakers in the topic about electric scooters I purchased a TinyBMS s516 from Energus Power Solutions. It’s not the cheapest, but it does do its job: Protecting my 210 cells!

In addition to the BMS I ordered:

  • USB programming cable
  • Temperature sensors
  • Bluetooth module
  • Balancing Wires

Spotwelding

To connect all the cells together you need to use spotwelding as soldering would damage the cells badly due to the heat.

At first I bought a Sunko 709A spotwelder on AliExpress. Short story: A waste of money!

After searching a bit more I found a Arduino based spotwelder made by Malectrics in Germany.

This spotwelder works great with a Bosch 12V 44A 440A car battery. I made a short video and put it on YouTube.

In addition a picture of the spotwelder connected to the battery.

I never used a spotwelder before nor did I build a battery. I started with building a small 3S5P 12V battery to test my welding skills.

Safety First! Remember to wear gloves and eye protection when working with a spotwelder and/or batteries. Also make sure there are no loose tools or wires on your workplace and again, use common sense!

I am now using this battery as a DIY powerbank with a 12V and USB output.

Building it

After I got some practice on building the small battery I just started working on the big battery. Cutting nickel to length and I started to build the blocks.

This took a lot of time, probably over 40 hours as I slowly build my first big battery and still needed to learn.

I ended up stacking two strips of 0.15mm nickel on top of each other to handle my 50A target current.

You can also see the balancing wires of the BMS go to the positive terminal of each series. The manual of the BMS has clear instructions on how to wire them.

From the Nickel I went to 8AWG wire which I connected to a SB50 connector. Using that connector I would connect the battery Plus and Minus to the BMS and the BMS to the controller. The SB50 connector is rated for 50A and thus meets my requirements. I got the connectors from a local supplier.

Using a tape, lexan and some screw the end result (without BMS) looked like this:

And with my TinyBMS connected to it:

The tiny red wires are the balancing wires used by the BMS to monitor the cells in series and balance charge them when needed.

BMS settings

Using a Windows tool you can monitor and configure the BMS using a USB cable (which you have to buy).

There are various settings you can change, but the main values I set were:

  • Low voltage cut-off: 3.25V
  • High voltage cut-off: 4.15V
  • Maximum discharge currect: 75A

Although the cells can range from 3.2V to 4.2V I decided to take a 0.05V safety margin to increase the lifetime of the cells. I might lower the maximum voltage per cell to 4.1V in the future, but that’s something I still have to decide.

Using the BMS tool you can see the voltage of each individual series of cells and see them change while charging the battery.

Charging and Charger

To charge this battery I also needed a new charger as the old charger was not suited for Lithium and the voltage was too low.

I bought a 58.8V/5A charger on AliExpress which I’m using for now. It does seem to do the job just fine for now. The BMS isn’t complaining (yet).

Using XT90 connectors I connect my charger to the BMS although the scooter has a XLR input. But internally I’m connecting all those wires using XT90 connectors.

I got my XT90 connectors at Hobbyking as they also have a local warehouse in the Netherlands and have a good reputation.

Weight

The four old batteries had a combined weight of nearly 50kg where the new battery weighs slightly less than 12kg with everything connected.

That’s a weight reduction of 38kg! That will benefit acceleration, handling and range positively.

End result

The end result is a 2,6kWh battery consisting out of 210 cells connected in a 14S15P configuration with a nominal/maximum voltag of 50.4V/58.8V.

My initial calculations and tests tell me that when driving ~30km/h (Yes, I did some tuning!) the motor draws about 20A. That’s about 1000W at 50V.

Since the battery is 2600Wh I should be able to drive for roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes at 30km/h before the battery is empty.

30km for 2.5 hours would mean a range of 75km which is more then enough for my driving habits with this scooter.

With the original batteries I had a range of roughly 40km, but I never tried if it actually got that far. I think I improved the range with nearly 75% with this new battery.

In this picture you see the battery installed in the scooter and hooked up to the controller. A post about the controller and connecting it all will follow later.

Costs

The total costs for the cells, BMS, wire and connectors is about EUR 940,00 which can be broken down into:

  • Cells: EUR 650,00
  • BMS: EUR 200,00
  • Wires: EUR 40,00
  • Connectors: EUR 50,00
  • Time: 50 hours!

For me it was a cool project and something I could learn a lot from.

BIG Thanks

There are a few people and sources I have to thank big-time for their information on the internet.

  • jehugarcia on YouTube
  • User flippy.nl on Tweakers.net
  • All the other people sharing information!

I wouldn’t have been able to do this without those people. Thanks!

Performance

The battery is currently installed in the scooter and I’m still in the process of fine-tuning the controller.

My initial test drives tell me that the performance improved a lot! Acceleration to 30km/h is a lot quicker and I feel the motor has a lot more torque than it had before. This is mainly due to the battery being able to provide the current required to power the motor. The weight reduction can also be felt clearly and also contributes to the improved acceleration.

One of the cool things is that the scooter now has regenerative breaking thanks to the new controller.

A post regarding the controller and connecting it all will follow. Stay tuned!

4 years of Tesla Model S ownership

4 years

Last year I wrote a blogpost about 3 years of Model S ownership. Well, it’s a year later, so it’s time to write a post about 4 years of ownership 🙂

Do I still like my Model S? Best car I’ve ever owned!

The numbers

Some numbers about last year:

  • Last year my Model S had driven 141.466km, and another year later the counter is at 187.058km. A total of 45.592km in one year.
  • My average energy consumption still hovers somewhere around 200Wh/km.
  • A full charge (100%) yields 380km and a 90% charge 341km.

Roadtrips

The Model S is still my only car and I still take roadtrips with it. This year I took a few roadtrips:

  • 1.400km roadtrip to the UK and back (SuperChargers at the channel tunnel, yay!)
  • 3.500km to Milan/Rome for a summer vacation.
  • 2.000km roadtrip to Munich for Oktoberfest.

Pictures

A few pictures how my Model S still looks like after 4 years. Personally I can’t find any real signs of wear on the exterior nor interior.

Using a Destination Charger in Tuscany, Italy

Tesla charging stations (22kW) at our new office

Break-in in Rome

While parked in Rome people broke in to the car and stole clothing. And punctured the rear wheels…

Accident in Milan

On the way back from Rome a small truck changed lane and hit us. Nobody got hurt, just some damage to the car.

Conclusion

After 4 years my Model S is still doing just fine! No wear and tear, no severe battery degradation or major failures. The car just works!

I’ll probably keep this Model S until it turns 5 next year and buy a new one. Will I buy a Tesla again? Yes, no doubt!

3 years of Model S ownership

September 26th 2013

On 26-09-2013 the day had finally arrived: Delivery of my Tesla Model S!

In the morning my Delivery Specialist send me this picture asking me if I was ready (with a smiley behind it 😉 ).

Tesla Model S 2013

It was 3 years since I ordered my Model S, so I couldn’t wait to pick it up! (In the back you see the Blue Model S of my colleague)

Specifications

These are the options I chose for my Model S:

  • 85kWh non-performance (RWD)
  • Pearl White
  • All Glass Panoramic Roof
  • Base 19″ wheels
  • Black Nappa Leather Interior
  • Piano Black Décor
  • Tech Package
  • Sound Studio Package
  • Active Air Suspension
  • Lighting Package
  • Parking Sensors
  • Twin Chargers (22kW)

Price: EUR 97.890,00 (Including all taxes)

Afterwards I swapped the 19″ base wheels for the 19″ Cyclone Grey. These wheels are no longer available.

SuperCharger Germany

September 2016

Fast forward 3 years and 141.466km: I’m still super happy with my Model S. Best car ever, hands down.

The 100.000km mark was hit at November 14th 2015 as I was almost home. Literally, I was just 200m away from my house. So I could stop I take a good picture.

100.000km on Model S

Now, 3 years later it is well over 141.000km and will probably hit 150.000km somewhere in October.

Tesla Model S 141k km

Tesla Model S driveway

The roadtrips I did in these 3 years were all over Europe:

  • 3x: Octoberfest in München (DE): 2.000km
  • 3x: To Prague (CZ): 2.2000km
  • 3x: To Berlin (DE): 2.000km
  • 2x: Northern Norway above the Arctic circle: 6.000km
  • 2x: Summer roadtrip to Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland: 3.500km
  • 1x: To Swansea in Wales (UK): 1.500km

Each of these trips were with either friends or my girlfriend. Awesome trips, each of them. All powered by the ever expanding SuperCharger network.

Over the Air software updates

Due to the over the Air software updates the car only got better and better in these 3 years. A few things (but not all of them) which were added:

  • Trip Planner using SuperChargers
  • Spotify integration (awesome!)
  • New UI
  • Calender sync
  • Slightly improved efficieny

All for free and while my car was parked at home. My other cars never got better over time, they always got worse.

Problems

In three years I’ve driven my car to a lot of places in Europe (see below). From the cold in Norway to the heat of Italy.

Did I have some issues? Yes, but to be clear: I was never stranded! It did not malfunction in such a way that it was disabled.

So what did I experience?

  • Humming drivetrain. It was replaced 3 times under warranty
  • Main contactor failure in battery. Reboot of car worked and contactor was replaced.
  • Fogging rear lights
  • Slave charger failure. Causing reduced charging speed with AC charging
  • Window washer pump failure.

Again, none of these issues left me stranded along the road. They were also all fixed under warranty except for the window washer pump. That was EUR 100 in total.

Maintenance

In total my S went for service 3 times. I figured once every year would be enough. I paid two invoices of EUR 700,00 each. The other ones were discounted from the referral credit I have at Tesla.

Including the washer fluid pump my total expenses on service and maintenance were EUR 800,00. Not bad I would say!

Energy Consumption

About 70% of my charging is done at home, the rest at SuperChargers and other (public) chargers.

There is a kWh meter in front of my charging station at home and I’ve used about 20.000kWh. Judging from my 70% ‘charge at home’ assumption my total energy usage in 3 years was roughly 28.000kWh.

28.000kWh / 141.000km = 198Wh/km, which is about what I see in my general consumption in the car.

Roadtrips

As I wrote above I undertook multiple Roadtrips in the three years, but the best trips I did were the trips to Wales, Norway and to Slovenia. I wrote blogs about two of them:

I didn’t write a blogpost about my roadtrip through Europe in June 2015, but you can see the route below (Prague, Austria, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands).

I tried to draw the routes I’ve driven on a Google Maps overview.

Routes Tesla Model S

Highlights

In the threee years I still think my trips to the Arctic are the highlights for me. However, there were more highlights, so I gathered a bunch of pictures I took and added them below in a random order.

Route 74 between Norway and Sweden:

Route 74 in Norway

Stuck on the arctic circle in Norway:

Model S stuck Arctic Circle

On the Lofoten Islands in Norway:

Car under snow from back

Model S next to house Lofoten

Octoberfest in München: (I’m the green blouse)

Octoberfest in München.

Charging at Fastned using 50kW CHAdeMO.

Charging at Fastned

In the Belgian Ardennes:

In the Belgian Ardennes

On a train in Austria going towards Bad Gastein:

On train in Austria

At the Slovenian <> Italian border:

Slovenian Border

Conclusion

After owning a Audi A3 2.0TDI (2007), Toyota Auris Hybrid (2011) and BMW M5 E39 (1999) I can saw that Model S is the best car I’ve ever owned. I love driving it and still enjoy every KM. (Except when stuck in traffic….). Even without Autopilot it is still an amazing car!

People still come up to me to ask things about the car and are really interested.

As I said. Best car ever. Period. I will never by a car which burns fossil fuel again.

My deposit for Model 3 was made at the day they opened. Waiting!

Back home from Norway

Ferry from Lofoten

As I wrote in my previous post we took the ferry from Moskenes to Bodø at 07:00 on Friday.

We left the cabin at 04:30 to make sure we got there on time. It was just 89km, but Google Maps told me it would take me 1 hour and 30 minutes. Due to the snow, wind and darkness it took us 1:48 to get there. In time for the ferry!

After 3 hours and 15 minutes we arrived in Bodø to head towards the SuperCharger in Grong. A 512km drive.

Model S on Ferry to Bodø

To Grong

The trip to Grong was long. Nothing really special to mention. Ice and snow on the roads, that is mainly it. A exhausting and long drive mainly.

Fiskevägen all over again!

We took the Fiskevägen route. This time from Grong to Krokom where I took it the other way around last year.

The 240km trip took us 4 hours and 30 minutes. We took it slowly since the view is just awesome!

Halfway we stopped in Rötviken to take a break and charge. Just as last year it was just a 3,6kW charger. It added only 4km of range while we took a break. We did it mainly for the show.

Free 50kW CHAdeMO charger

Getting from the Krokom (Sweden) SuperCharger to the one in Mora (Sweden) is over 300km and I don’t like such long stretches. At home I already found a free CHAdeMO charger in Sveg which is a small town along the E45 from Krokom to Mora.

I should be just a matter of plug in and hit the start button. It was!

Green Highway charger in Sveg

This charger is also part of the Green Highway. Much better than the 3,6kW charger in Rötviken!

We stayed in a Hotel in Sveg. So during our dinner in Sveg the car could fully charge.

‘Almost’ Home

From Sveg we followed the E45 towards Göteborg and down to Malmö and into Denmark. Slept in Bremen and drove the last 600km home.

This part of the trip was not that special. We just drove for 2 days 🙂

Energy Consumption

When I left home I hit the reset button for both trip counters. The end result is 5.571,3km with a total energy consumption of 1,179kWh. That averages to 212Wh/km.

Energy Consumption

Last day before we head back

Aurora Borealis

One of the things we can for was the Aurora Borealis, also called the ‘Northern Lights’.

For two nights we had clear skies and saw a beautiful display. You can find enough pictures on the internet, so I won’t post all of them!

aurora-borealias-1

aurora-borealias-2

aurora-borealias-3

Route home

The route home from the Lofoten Islands is going to be 3.000km. Our guess is that it will take us 4 to 5 days. Not due to the charging, but because you simply can not drive very fast through Norway and Sweden.

Ferry from the Lofoten

We will be taking the ferry from Moskenes to Bodø. The Hurtigruten from Stamsun to Bodø was not an option this time as it leaves late at night.

Route Norway Back 2016

This part of the trip probably won’t be very special. I hope that Fiskevägen will be as nice as it was last year. Besides from that we are not expecting any highlights anymore.

Snow performance of a RWD Model S

Waking up with snow

When we went to best last night the forecast said there would be 1 to 2cm of snowfall. Well, this morning it showed differently. It was 20 to 30cm!

At first it all looked good, the sun was shining and we wanted to go out for a hike through the mountains in the fresh snow.

Driveway to Cabin

More snow

The weather turned however and more and more snow came down on us. No hiking yet, so we started to play some cards.

After a few hours the father of the house owner showed up with his tractor to clear the driveway. We could go out!

Tractor with snow plow

Eventually we had about 30cm of snow over a period of 14 hours.

Model S under snow

Car under snow from back

RWD in the snow

Most people (including Tesla) talk about the snow performance of the Dual Motor Model S. Mine however is a RWD 85kWh from September 2013.

With the Hankook i-cept Evo 2 (W320) tyres it however performs just fine. Sure, it sometimes slips and traction control has to kick in quite often, but overall it works just fine.

Eventually we went out hiking and to get there we had to drive through fresh snow. Not a problem at all.

Obviously the Dual-Motor is a no-brainer when you live in these conditions, but a RWD Model S probably outperforms most other RWD vehicles, if not all.

Frozen charge port

After we went hiking we drove back to the cabin. At the cabin I wanted to plug in again, but the charge port would not open. It was frozen.

It are just a few drops of water which can cause the port to freeze. The solution is simple. Take any credit card format plastic card and use it to force the port open. Simple as that!

Trondheim to the Lofoten Islands

Hurtigruten

We love driving the Model S, but after driving for over 72 hours it is also nice to be ‘driven’.

That’s why we took the Hurtigruten ferry from Trondheim to Stamsund. Stamsund is a port on the Lofoten Islands just 21km from the house we rented on the Lofoten through Airbnb.

On Tuesday we boarded the MS Nordlys at 11:00 and arrived in Stamsund the next day around 19:00.

Hurtigruten ferry dock

Selfie at Hurtigruten

Getting of the ship was tight. With only centimeters to spare and guiduance of the crew we were able to manouvre the Model S off the ship. Yes, it is a wide car!

‘Our’ house

After leaving the ship it took us roughly 45 minutes to drive to the house in Valberg. A beautiful house at the coast looking over the fjords. What an amazing place!

We are going to stay here for a few days to see the Aurora Borealis before we continue more North on the Lofoten.

Model S at house Lofoten

Non-studded tyres

Just as last year I’m driving non studded tyres. Why? We have to pass through Germany and Denmark and studded tyres are not allowed there.Last year I used Nokian Hakka R2 tyres which were great! This year I’m driving Hankook i-cept Evo 2 (W320) tyres and they work very good as well. The last 500m to the house is pure ice and you notice that the tyres have a hard time keeping traction. The traction control in the Model S works exceptionally good however and it works just fine.

Keep in mind: I drive a RWD Model S from September 2013. It is not a new Dual-Motor AWD Model S!

230V network

Most of the part of Norway have a 230V instead of the 400V we have in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. This means that my UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) does not work here. This is a safety measure of the UMC.

In Norway you can recognize this by the Blue 230V label on electrical installations.

Norwegian 230V label

The UMC performs a check if there is 0V between Ground and Neutral, but here that’s not the case. There is 120V between GND and N which makes my UMC show a red light. It thinks there is a ground leak, which is a bad thing.

UMC red light

There is a special Norwegian version of the UMC, but I built my own using Smart EVSE. It does NOT perform a Ground check, but it allows me to charge.

SmartEVSE homebrew UMC

My Model S is happily charging at 13A right now.

Model S next to house Lofoten

This means I have a new charging POI on my Model S’s screen!

Charging POI on Lofoten

Time to relax!

After being on the road for 5 days it is time to relax. Watch the Aurora, go out hiking and do nothing.

From Middelburg to Trondheim

To Hirtshals

Last Saturday we left at 08:00 from Middelburg for the 1.100km drive to Hirtshals, Denmark. From there we would take the ferry to Larvik, Norway on Sunday morning.

It took us 14 hours to reach Hirtshals. Traffic was bad, very bad starting at Hamburg towards the border. Roadworks and border controls made it stop and go over almost 100km!

A short night followed since our ferry left at 08:00.

Lier South SuperCharger

After arriving in Larvik our first SuperCharger in Norway was Lier South, 100km from Larvik.

It was busy! After we parked all 8 stalls are occupied. Other Model S had to wait in the queue.

Lier South SuperCharger

A queue is bad, but it also shows that the infrastructure is used! It’s not a charger which is rarely used. From what I understood it was also a vacation period, so that might have caused the spike in traffic.

Lillehammer

After charging in Lier we headed to Lillehammer. We would stay the night there and charge again.

Fortum CHAdeMO

While heading to Lillehammer I stopped at a CHAdeMO from Fortum to see if I could charge there. The people from Fortum told me that I could use my Dutch phone and send a SMS to active it.

Well, that didn’t work. I borrowed a RFID tag from somebody else as a backup. On the Lofoten Islands I will need to use a Fortum charger, so I wanted to know if it worked. Lesson learned. It doesn’t.

Fortum CHAdeMO charger

Busy times at Lillehammer

On the E6 to Lillehammer we already spotted a lot of Model S coming from Lillehammer, so I expected the SuperCharger to be crowded.

It was! 9 of the 10 stalls we busy, so we parked at the last stall available.

As we were charging we saw more Model S arrive. We still had 100km left in the battery and we would leave the next morning. We vacated the stall and to decided to charge the next morning for the 155km drive to Dombas and Trondheim.

We checked in at the hotel and went for a dinner in Lillehammer.

SuperCharging with a cold battery

The next morning the car had been in -8C for the night. When I switched to ‘Drive’ a warning indicated that regenerative braking had been disabled. This was due to the battery being cold.

SuperCharging didn’t go very fast. When I just started it would charge with 17kW and slowly climbed to roughly 30kW before we had enough to leave for Dombas.

This was a similar experience as last year at the Krokom SuperCharger in -22C.

The picture below shows that we were charging with 24kW where under normal conditions it should have been about 80kW.

Slow Lillehammer SuperCharger

To Trondheim

From Lillehammer we drove to the Dombas SuperCharger. After a charge and lunch there we headed down to Klett (near Trondheim).

Nothing really special on this part of the trip. The temperature was about -5C and the (road) conditions were good.

To the Lofoten

Our destination is a house we rented through Airbnb on the Lofoten Islands.

From Trondheim we are taking the Hurtigruten ferry to Stamsund on the Lofoten. This will take 2 days.

From Stamsund to the house it is just 21km. Time to relax!

Energy Consumption

The tripmeter shows 1861km and a total usage of 391kWh. That’s 210Wh/km. Not bad at all!

Fully electric to Norway, again!

Last Year

In the beginning of 2015 I drove a 5.500km trip with my father to the most Northern Tesla Motors SuperCharger. For a few reasons:

  • To see the Aurora Borealis
  • To prove it can be done with an electric car
  • Because I like roadtrips and travelling

This winter I’m going it again!

My Model S

I have a ‘classic’ Model S from September 2013. No Auto-Pilot features or All-Wheel drive. It’s a 85kWh RWD model.

The ODO currently displays 110.000km and when we get back it won’t be long before I hit the 120.000km.

Still enjoying this car every time I drive it.

Lofoten

My girlfriend also wants to go to Norway to see the Aurora Borealis. She heard me telling her all the stories for over a year about how great it was and how much I like Norway.

So I said: “Why don’t we go there?”

This year the destination will be the Lofoten Islands. From what I’ve seen and heard it is about the best place to watch the Aurora Borealis!

Route to Lofoten

Our route will take us from Middelburg (Netherlands) to Hirtshals (Denmark) where we take the ferry towards Larvik (Norway). Following the Tesla SuperChargers we will drive to Bodø from where we take the ferry to the Lofoten Islands.

Route Norway 2016

On the Lofoten there are no Tesla SuperChargers, so I’ll be using the CHAdeMO chargers using the CHAdeMO adapter to charge my Model S there.

Tesla CHAdeMO adapter

I found these CHAdeMO chargers on elbil.no’s Hurtigladekartet and on uppladdning.nu.

Route back home

We’ll drive back through Sweden where I want to take Fiskevägen again. What a beautiful route!

Route Norway Back 2016

The total route should be about 6.000km

Preparations

Since I did almost all the preparing last year already I still have about everything I need.

Making sure we have enough water, food, heat and proper winter gear with us. We should be fine!

Open brief: Rotonde bij aansluiting N254/N62 richting Westerscheldetunnel

This post is in Dutch. It’s targeted towards my local politicians

De N254/N62 richting de Westerscheldetunnel is vanaf Middelburg naar Zeeuws Vlaanderen is een belangrijke verkeersader hier in de regio.

De doorstroming op deze weg is al jaren een doorn in het oog bij veel gebruikers. Zeker als je verder moet dan Zeeuws Vlaanderen, zoals richting Gent of verder.

De provincie Zeeland is dan ook druk bezig met de verdubbeling van deze wegen om aan beide kanten van de Westerscheldetunnel de doorstroming te verbeteren.

Door een dreigende overschrijding van budget is de provincie voornemens om een geplande ongelijkvloerse kruising te vervangen door een rotonde. Naar mijn idee een slecht idee omdat het juist de doorstroming niet verbeterd.

Om die reden heb ik de onderstaande open brief gestuurd naar de Commissaris van de Koning Drs. J.M.M. Polman, Han en het Gedeputeerde Staten lid C. van Beveren.

Ik hoop dat de provincie zich bedenkt en de plannen alsnog uitvoerd zoals voorgenomen.

Geachte meneer Polman, meneer van Beveren,

Ik stuur u beide deze e-mail naar aanleiding van de berichten die ik deze week heb vernomen uit de media over de vernieuwde Sloeweg/N62.

Uit deze berichten blijkt dat de Provincie voornemens is om de geplande ongelijkvloerse kruising te vervangen door een rotonde op de plek waar de N254 en N62 bij elkaar komen.

Ik rijd met regelmaat over de N62 naar Zeeuws Vlaanderen en de doorstroming is altijd al iets wat beter kan. In Zeeuws Vlaanderen wordt met de komst van de Sluiskilltunnel de doorstroming significant verbeterd. Hierdoor zou mijn reistijd vanaf Middelburg (Mortiere) naar Zeeuws Vlaanderen en verder veel afnemen.

De geplande ongelijkvloerse kruising kon ik ook alleen maar om juichen. Zeker in de zomer, bij drukte, sta je nu soms lang te wachten voor de huidige verkeerslichten.

Ik vrees er voor dat dit bij een rotonde precies het zelfde geval zal gaan zijn. De doorstroming vanaf de N254 zal niet verbeteren en dat lijkt me juist het tegenovergestelde van wat deze vernieuwing moet bereiken.

Ook de veiligheid neemt er niet door toe. Vooral in de spits zie je het op rotondes op de N57 ook veel gebeuren: Mensen drukken hun auto er nog snel voor wat vaak tot ‘bijna’ ongelukken leid. Frustraties bij automobilisten, zeker die er elke dag rijden, maken de veiligheid er niet beter op.

Naast veiligheid en doorstroming speelt ook het milieu een rol. Wanneer een auto moet afremmen en weer moet optrekken zal deze zijn remschijven extra slijten, maar ook meer brandstof (dus meer uitstoot) verbruiken.

Fijnstof van remschijven en van uitlaatgassen is juist iets wat we willen verminderen en een rotonde draagt óók daar niet aan bij.

Nu begrijp ik heel goed dat het project over budget aan het gaan is. Infrastructuur leggen we echter niet aan voor een paar jaar. Dat leggen we aan voor de komende 20, 30 of wel 40 jaar. Is 15 miljoen euro op zo’n termijn dan niet een investering?

Wanneer de doorstroming zo soepel mogelijk is, is dit ook juist goed voor de economie. Forensen kunnen elke dag beter gebruik maken van de weg waardoor zij voor hun werkgever productiever kunnen zijn.

Goede infrastructuur ligt aan de basis van productieve en groeiende bedrijven. Dat is iets wat we in Zeeland juist hard nodig hebben.

Ik wil u dan ook vriendelijk verzoeken nog eens goed naar deze voorgenomen rotonde te kijken en daarbij de bovenstaande punten mee te nemen in uw besluit.

Met vriendelijke groet,

Wido den Hollander