Around 7.30 I woke up in the car. When I sleep in there I put the seat horizontal and lift the sitting part a bit up so it’s almost straight with the back part. It’s not completely straight and that’s why I always wake up a few times during the night because there is something itching in my side.
Thomas and Annette where surprised that I slept in the car, they had no idea that I’ve been ringing the door bell, climbed on their house and yelled their names in the garden.
After a shower and breakfast Thomas and I drove to Vejle for a meeting of the FDEL. On the way to Vejle we drove over the highest mountain in Denmark which was a staggering 172 meters!
The FDEL is an association originally founded to handle the problems when Better Place went bankrupt, now they are actively promoting electric cars. Thomas is a member of this club and on their Facebook group some other members had already posted about Plug Me In and offered me energy. Yesterday Thomas called one of the board members and because he was enthusiastic about the project he asked me if I could give a short presentation about my plans.
The meeting was a bit hard to follow as it was completely in Danish and I took the opportunity to do some work. It was interesting to meet the members of this club and surprisingly there where three people where i’m going to stay later this week. I gave a short presentation about how I came up with the idea, what my plans are and how I experienced the first two months. I received lots of questions from the audience mainly about how I experienced electric driving and the problems I encountered.
At the end of the meeting there was a presentation from a Danish couple who drove around the world in an electric car, way before it was popular. They also drove through countries where I’m planning to go to so it was very interesting to see how they experienced that and afterwards I could ask them some questions about which problems they encountered.
On the way back to Thomas’ place in Åbyhøj we stopped at a former Better Place station. See yesterdays blog for a short explanation about this company. I was surprised that the station was still there and also about the size of this unit. It was about the same size as a carwash and it looks and works a bit the same too. You would drive the car on two rails, the under-neat of the car would be cleaned (which was not necessary in Denmark), the battery would be taken out, replaced by a new one and then the car would roll out on the other side of the building.
From Åbyhøj I drove 133km to Valdum in the northern part of the country close to Aalborg. I should meet Jeppe & Gitte there. Their street address didn’t show up in my navigation so when I arrived in town I texted Jeppe how I could get to his place. He answered: “just keep driving, im almost there, you can’t miss me”. A few minutes later I saw this funny and odd looking car driving towards me, I suspected that this was the guy I was looking for and while he was heavily waving at me I was right. I followed him to his house and of course I wanted to know everything about this “thing” he was driving in. It appeared to be fully electric too. He didn’t call it a car but an electric vehicle, which covers it. It was 25 years old and he replaced the lead acid batteries with lithium ones. It has 40km range and a topspeed of 75km/h.
I could testdrive it too and it’s really fun to ride! Because you’re low to the ground and the material is light it feels like you drive a really fast car. The noises it makes from the wind also add to that.
Jeppe and Gitte are two active persons in their late 30’s. Gitte manages seven library’s in Aalborg and Jeppe is a biology, science and mathematics teacher at a high school. He is very interested in everything that is electric. In his basement / mancave he made a 3D printer which he hardly ever used once it was finished, he enjoys to the process of the making more. I also spotted an old Commodore computer in his house.
The roof of Jeppe and Gitte’s house is filled with solar panels and during the summer they produce more energy then needed. Jeppe told me that the Danish government aren’t really promoting PV’s or green energy. A few years ago you could get back the same amount of energy as you would put in to the grid, for free. It encouraged many people to buy solar panels and now they changed the rule. When you put energy into the grid you can get back energy only in the same hour as you’ve put it in. If you want more energy you pay the high price for that.