Living with an Electric Vehicle

Here is an update on our experience of living with an Electric Vehicle, our lovely Red Renault Kangoo ZE Van.

We have been working with Scottish Power this week in Cumbernauld, so I have been using the Electric Van to get to and from the venue. This is how much charge I had left when I got back home from full this morning. The range metering is very accurate so little in the way of range anxiety was felt.

Kangoo range

Interesting to note the EV takes about 6 hours to charge, and my energy monitor shows a charge load of about 4kw so to charge it takes approx 24kwh @ 14p per kwh = £3.36p per charge which gives 80 miles so 4.2p per mile in electricity. This equates to 12.3p per mile on the diesel Kangoo which we also run  (£1.35 ppl  = £6.14 ppg at 50 mpg giving  12.3p). So mile for mile in energy it’s a third of the cost to run.

It was however nearly twice the cost of the diesel van and there is the lease of the battery as well to consider so total cost of owner ship will be more over the life time but as previously noted its not an economy driven purchase. Time will change this as the tech becomes cheaper and the diesel becomes more expensive and it will not take much to put them on a par.

Another factor that I noticed this week was the apparent difference in range the temperature had on the battery. Over three journeys all the same distance all starting with the same state of charge (Full) I found there to be a marked decrease in range as the temperature dipped. I am not talking into freezing either. On Monday it was 18c, a nice day and I made my trip with exactly a 1/2 charge remaining and I made it back on the same charge, (see the picture at the start of this post). The following day it was a bit cooler and I arrived a bit under and so I topped up a 1/4 charge to make sure I got back OK. This morning it was about 8c and the same journey and I arrived with about 3/8 of a charge which with out a top up would mean that I would not be able to make it home. I will monitor that over the winter to see if there is a rule of thumb, like 1 degree = 1 mile…

Finally on to Range Anxiety, I have become quite comfortable with the range and the metering showing an accurate range available on the dashboard. Where I do become anxious is when I go beyond the halfway point on the promise of a top up when I get to my destination. My anxiety is not with the car but with the charge point materialising or being available. Many who offer a charge point do not fully appreciate that we can’t just plug in to any charge point offered. The failure occurs when a key card is required to access the charge point. These are usually kept with the keys of the EV for which it was installed, however it therefore means that it is not usually not around when offered to me resulting in no access as a second card is not left with reception to give others access should it be needed.

Charge post

Charge points need a card to access them

To overcome this we now subscribe to 3 different networks.
Electrobay, Pod Point and Ecotricity in the hope that we can access the charger when we get there. Once we get to public charge points there is often a different challenge of access…

Access can be problem...

Access can be problem…

This is known as being ICE’d (Internal Combustion Engine)…

We have now done nearly 5,000 miles and owned the van for 10 months so our estimate of 6000 miles a year looks to have been accurate.

More content will be posted as we encounter it. Hope you find this of interest and we are happy to discuss our experiences. Contact Us


Inventive solutions to your on site problems… Over the last couple of weeks AVD have been supporting the Aberdour Festival. The Festival mainly takes place in a 40m long Marquee and when it rains the water rushes down the roof and causes a sheet of water to cascade over any doorway.  On this occasion we had two marquees butted together and therefore double the water. Mark Kisby our inventive managing director fashioned a gutter and down pipe in true ‘Blue Peter’ tradition using nothing but the objects around him.

Pipe dreams

The ‘gutter’ was a spare truss section wrapped in a bin liner on two sides and the ‘down pipe’ a series of old water bottles cut and gaffed together. This drainage system worked effortlessly directing the flow of water harmlessly away for 3 days until the 2nd marquee was removed.  Mark commented “It was quite remarkable to see the volume of water running through the bottles and it worked better than the guttering on the office!”.

When we posted this picture on our Facebook page it became one of the most viewed posts we have ever created. People obviously like inventive and unusual stories.

“Thank you”


Feed and water your team  for the best results!

Here at AVD we love to do a good job. Our industry is based on trust and confidence to provide the services needed by our clients. Here is a testimonial received today for an event completed last week.

“Thank you for all you did to contribute to the success of last week’s Conference which is widely considered to be the best ever.  The technical side of things was absolutely first class.  You have a very skilled and professional team.”

Lets concentrate on that last line, “You have a very skilled and professional team.” We like to think we have a good team of full time staff but like every other AV company we rely on freelancers to support our full time staff. This they do very well in addition they also represent AVD while on site and our clients see us a single team. We believe that as such they should be treated with the same respect and equality as our full time staff.  Quite right too I hear you say… in this day and age why should this even be mentioned it should be taken as a given. Bear with me on this I am getting to the point…

So why is it that there is an industry trend to not pay freelancers their full invoice? But instead to string out payment for a couple of months if they want 100% of the value and if they insist on being paid at the end of the month they get 5% deducted. This is in our view not a fair and equitable practice, we do not pay our full time staff 2 months in arrears, we do not reduce their wages if they want to be paid at the end of the month.

Freelance staff are individuals, people with monthly bills to pay and families to support. They are not companies, who have resources and agreed credit terms with suppliers, when they do work they expect to be paid.

So we at AVD operate in a different way, we pay our freelancers as soon as we can, irrespective of being paid for the job as yet, usually this is within 14 days. If the funds are there they get paid even quicker. The event commented to above completed on Friday last week (3rd of May) we have paid all the freelance staff today (7th of May). Thanks guys for doing a grand job. 🙂

Treat your staff well and they will promote you, pay them late at your peril.


Philips / Bosch Repairs

With the decision by Bosch to no longer support the older conference microphones, Digital Congress Network (DCN) systems, clients have reported being advised that there are no more parts available to repair the LBB 3546 delegate unit directly from Bosch. We at AVD are happy to advise that we have a large number of these units suitable for being ‘broken’ and recycled for spare parts.

LBB 3546

If you send us your non functioning unit we can repair and return the unit for £100 + Vat and shipping. The repair will consist of the straight swapping of the mother board or any other component requiring a repair.

In times of limited budgets and with many councils and organisations feeling the squeeze it makes sense to try and maintain these systems for another couple of years at least.

The donor units are from a large well maintained system which we recently replaced due to the uncertainty introduced by the Bosch decision. If you have a system which is missing a few units or are considering replacing your system then we can help in maintaining what you currently have as well as advising you on the disposal of your old system and any new replacement you may consider.

AVD are  an independent supplier and have equipment from Bosch, Televic, DIS and Brähler in our own rental stocks.

We have recently sold recycled system components to clients in Poland, Germany, Ireland as well as in the UK.

Please contact us to find out more.

Deletext evolves with iPad display.

We have evolved our conference messaging service ‘Deletext’. We can now display to the conference chair the submitted comments and questions via an iPad or other wirelessly connected device.



The delegates text as usual, using their own phone to a keyword and short code, but we can now display the questions to the chair via an iPad. This has the following advantages:-

  • It untethers the chair from a fixed monitor display on the stage or top table.
  • More than one iPad can access the submitted questions. (They don’t have to be supplied by us either!)
  • The full list of the questions is shown on the iPad and the chair can scroll through all the submitted questions.
  • Additional information can be added to the display in tabs so system instructions, Agenda, etc… can be quickly referenced.
  • Less equipment on site
  • Cleaner and less cluttered on stage.
  • Cheaper!
What’s not to like! 🙂 Contact us for more details.