At first glance, nothing differentiates the Cavarec Garage from the thousands of all-brand car repair shops that exist in France. Except for residing in the vicinity or breaking down on the nearby highway, the lambda motorist has statistically little chance of failing at the bottom of the Impasse de l'Arche, in Romorantin-Lanthenay (Val-de-l'Eve). Loire), where this member establishment of the Bosch Car Service network is located.
However, the places could offer a new attraction to Parisians and suburban nostalgic small gray cars of Bolloré. It is here that the lives of Bluecar reformed in July 2018, when closing Autolib car-sharing service. These electric cars – with the characteristic stainless steel bodywork – were given dead this summer when hundreds of them were spotted in the center of the end-of-life vehicle center Re Source by Indra, in Pruniers-en. -Sologne. Nearly 3,000 Bluecars were stored on the grounds of a former Matra factory, a few kilometers from the place where the Cavarec garage mechanics are working.
A mechanic saves a few dozen Bluecar
Neither the company Indra nor the company Transports Satas (in charge of conveying the approximately 4,000 small cars since a first place of storage, in the Paris Region) had wished to answer the questions of Challenges. For its part, the company BlueSolutions refused to say if the famous battery LMP Bolloré (criticized for its propensity to consume power at a standstill but endowed with an extraordinary longevity) would be levied on vehicles intended for scrapping. After all, this organ is by far the most expensive Bluecar sold 19.000 euros TTC new to individuals until 2016, but invoiced nearly 75,000 euros to the insurer of a customer Autolib who had destroyed in an accident.
Sic transit gloria mundi. All that is needed now is 4,500 euros to get behind the wheel of a second-hand Bluecar, repaired by Garage Cavarec and guaranteed for six months by its insurer Eurola GAF. Even less, if the interested party decides quickly and manages to seize one of the first fifty copies offered at the special rate of 3,700 euros (battery included). Candidates for the takeover are invited to inquire on the website evocative name (adieulessence.com) opened for the occasion by Garage Cavarec.
For 4.500 euros, the Bluecar retains the stigma of a difficult life
In its description of the state of the cars, Cavarec Garage does not hide that the "bumps, scratches, sores on the interiors"(sic) are not erased by his refurbishment program. A photographic snapshot shows a body whose stainless steel panels have recovered some of their brilliance, bumpers almost intact and wheels dressed with new hubcaps. Those who have known the dubious stains that doted the interiors of Autolib cars dare to hope that Garage Cavarec's mechanics will have made excessive use of the steam cleaner on the seats, the steering wheel, the dashboard and the roof.
Remains a question of size: the driver can he buy with confidence one of those little electric cars?
Bluecars offered for sale have all known the pangs of Parisian traffic and a very hard service, in the hands not always respectful of thousands of Autolib subscribers. LMP batteries have mostly experienced several weeks of inactivity, while they claim to be connected continuously to keep their heart at a temperature of at least 60 ° C. Otherwise, the voltage and the current reserve fall rapidly, at a rate well above that which a Renault ZOE or a Peugeot iOn have accustomed us to. That's a habit to take.
On its official documentation, Bluecar warns the motorist: the natural rate of discharge of a battery of Autolib 'or Bluecar disconnected varies between 1 and 2% per hour, depending on the outside temperature. The colder it is, the faster the battery will exhaust the energy it contains to stay at a good temperature. Hence the obligation to charge frequently, if not constantly.
The LMP battery of the Bluecar discharges faster than that of an ZOE
This current consumption made the detractors of the Autolib system scream. The buyer of a used Bluecar will have to decide if he wants to assume the cost of the kilowatt hour that a Bluecar battery charges every three hours to maintain its charge rate at 100%. More embarrassing, the second hand Bluecar offered by Garage Cavarec does not benefit from winter mode granted to the Citroën e-Mehari, the technical cousin of the Bluecar. This winter mode allows you to leave your battery disconnected beyond 60 hours, which is usually enough to empty it. If care is taken to fully charge it before wintering, the LMP battery can last four months without charge; but only about three months for a charge rate of 99% to 75%; two months between 74% and 50%; and about a month between 49% and 25%. Beyond, the car claims the charge and warns its owner by SMS.
None of this on the Bluecar used, even if the proper operation of its battery is guaranteed for three months. Has the Garage Cavarec itself carried out the battery revision, or has this task been subcontracted by the Ney Boulevard workshop in Paris, which maintained and rehabilitated the Bluecars? , Autolib time? The Cavarec Garage executives did not want to take the time to respond to requests from Challenges but the snapshots that illustrate their website allow to deduce that it is well with them that is controlled thestate of health of the battery. The technical database and diagnostic tooling provided by Bosch to its network members is a valuable asset in this case.
The same goes for the parameter setting operations of the electronic system which supervises the charging and the cosmetic restoration. As for the rest of the organs of the Bluecar, they do not claim a special know-how. Reduced to its simplest form, the transmission to a single report will not spoil any mechanic worthy of the name, nor the suspension, steering or braking of the Bluecar. The Garage Cavarec probably has a large supply of body parts and deck hardware taken from the most damaged Bluecar.
Even if it does not touch a word, it can be assumed that Garage Cavarec will be able to maintain the Bluecar it sells. Those who live far away from Loir-et-Cher will do well to make sure of the good will of their mechanic before taking the risk of acquiring an electric car which, if it does not claim frequent care by nature , can still intimidate more than one repairer.