CarPlay is here…

This morning I got an email from Ora.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are here. Get directions, listen to your music, send and receive messages and chat to your new voice assistant (just don’t tell Hello ORA).

After waiting for a fair while, Apple CarPlay is now available for my Ora Funky Cat. I have booked my car in for the update with my local dealer.

CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and enjoy your favourite music. All on your car’s built‑in display. And CarPlay now features more app categories and custom wallpapers for your CarPlay Dashboard.

I have been wanting CarPlay for the Funky Cat for a while now, so that I can use Waze and also access Music (and Podcasts) on my phone through the car.

New app on its way

Recently saw on the app (and in an email) that there is to be a new Ora app for the Funky Cat.

Screenshot

Important Update: New My GWM App

Coming Soon!

Dear valued customer,

We are committed to delivering the best customer experience at GWM, and to further enhance your journey with us, we’re excited to announce an upcoming update.

In the near future, we’ll be launching a new app. As part of the transition, the current “GWM ORA” app will be discontinued. You’ll soon receive a prompt to download the brand new ‘My GWM’ App.

The new app not only improves existing functionalities but also introduces exciting new features, all wrapped in a refreshed design.

Stay tuned for more updates!

I generally use the app to check my car’s progress in charging. The map function has never worked for me, when I am at home, my car appears to be in Croydon.

There is no indication about the functionality of the new app and whether it is a direct replacement, or something new and better (or possibly not as good).

No timeframe has been given.

Saw one in the wild…

Saw another red Funky Cat in the wild, parked in Castlemead in Bristol.

This is only the third wild Funky Cat I have seen. Though I am not sure if the first sighting was a Funky Cat now, as I haven’t seen it again. The second was a red Funky Cat at Junction 19 of the M5 coming from Portishead.

It must be getting warmer…

Having charged the car to 100%, I was pleased to see that the predicted range was 182 miles. This is the biggest range I have had in a while (and is close to the advertised 193 WLTP electric range). I think part of the reason is that my AEC (Average Energy Consumption) figure which over most of the winter had been in the 32+ range, has been much lower recently, around 25 kWh/100 mile.

I used the Revive chargers at the Diamond Batch car park at Worle Station. When I first connected, it initially said it was going to take nearly six hours to charge from 23% to 100%. In the end it did the charge in just over three hours.

Still find it a little strange (and need to remember) that when the battery is at 100% there isn’t any regenerative braking, so I have to use the brake pedal more.

 

Working now

I mentioned previously the last time I tried to use the Revive chargers at the Diamond Batch car park at Worle Station they didn’t work. I was unable to charge my Funky Cat and had to move to a “normal” space.

This time, when parking at the car park, I connected the Funky Cat to the charger, went to the app, and all worked fine.

The only downside is that North Somerset have raised the cost of parking at the car park by 20p and now charge 10p if you use the app. Still, as I was going to park there anyhow as I was catching the train to Bristol, it’s nice to be able to charge the car up as well at the same time.

These ones worked

After my poor experience with the Tesla chargers at Merry Hill I was a little hesitant when I arrived at the Frankley southbound services on the M5. I did know that if these Tesla chargers didn’t work, there was a bank of Gridserve chargers I could use.

However, unlike Merry Hill, this was a seamless experience, I parked, plugged the Funky Cat into the chargers and set it charging on the Tesla app.

I had time for a quick lunch, and, it wasn’t long before I had sufficient chaarge to continue my journey.

When I went to York last year, these chargers weren’t installed. I have also seen at the southbound Gloucester services on the M5 they are installing a bank of Tesla chargers.

I have also seen that there are now Tesla chargers that can be used by non-Tesla vehicles in Eastville in Bristol. It’s getting much easier to find and use Tesla chargers with my Funky Cat. 

It just didn’t work…

I was travelling from Weston to Loughborough via Wolverhampton and had planned to stop at Merry Hill in Dudley and use the Tesla chargers at the shopping centre.

I arrived, plugged in the charger. The Funky Cat recognised that it was plugged in. However on the Tesla app, it failed to recognise the Funky Cat. I couldn’t get the charger going. It also wouldn’t unlock me from the cable. I had to use the manual release to unlock the cable. I remember the first time I did this, I struggled to find the cable under the bonnet. I think it was because I was looking for a substantial cable and handle, and not something that looked like a bicycle brake cable.

I did try a different charger, but this also didn’t work.

In the end I use the Ora navigation to find a charger nearby, and up on the hill there was a choice of three, MFG, Instavolt, and BP Pulse all very close together. I chose the MFG as I had a card I could use with them. 

Alas my plan to walk around the Merry Hill shopping centre was scuppered and I had to make do with Greggs.

Having got a 77% charge, I unplugged and drove off.

Nice and easy

Now I have an electric vehicle I check at places I am going to, to see if they have charging facilities.

When I travelled to the University of Warwick in September 2023 for a conference, I checked the university website there was charging available in the car park I was going to use. These weren’t specific car charging ports though, just standard three pin plus sockets. It took over sixteen hours to charge the Funky Cat. At least I could charge, but it was a good thing I wasn’t in a hurry.

When I was at a conference at Loughborough University last month I was actually staying off campus at the Link Hotel, but when I checked I saw that electric vehicle charging was available on campus. Rather than drive over and check, I actually walked over. They did have quite a few charging spaces, using EVC chargers. I checked the parking costs, which was quite cheap at £1.20 for the evening, and created an EVC account.

I then walked back to my car at the hotel, and then drove over to the car park, and plugged in the car.

It was relatively quick to charge to 100% and was quite cheap at 39p per kWh.

After I got to 100% I collected the car and drove back to the hotel.

I think the app was faulty

Decided to catch the train to Bristol, but left earlier to plug the Funky Cat into the Revive chargers at Worle Railway Station. When I arrived I saw there was another electric vehicle already plugged in. However after plugging in the Funky Cat, the app said there was a fault with the charger.

Looking at the other chargers (on the app) they were all at fault. However I think there was a fault with the app, as the other electric vehicle looked like it was charging.

I moved the car to a normal space, paid for my parking, and walked to catch my train.

Checking later the app was still saying Faulted.

Working just fine

I noticed that I’ve not posted a post about the Funky Cat for a while. There is a simple reason, the car has been working just fine. I have been predominantly using the Revive chargers at Worle Station. 

Driving has been fine, even the much maligned emergency steering function (lane assist) has been okay. I’ve been leaving it on, and as a result I am getting a better understanding of why it works as it does. Where the road markings are poor, then I do turn it off.

I am still waiting for CarPlay which has yet to arrive. I have been waiting a while…