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EV charging for beginners made simple?

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 Nic 26 Sep 2022

Soon to take delivery of my first EV, home charging sorted but I'm keen to get ahead of the curve before I have to "refill" at a service station at 2am in the freezing cold. There seem to be 101 charger networks and apps (to add to the dozen parking apps...grrr!) so any pointers would be much appreciated.

BTW it's not a Tesla, though I'm sure I read somewhere that you could "borrow" the Tesla network?

 jonny taylor 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic
The good news is that many take contactless cards these days.

But not GeniePoint, which is a complete shitshow to use.

In reply to Nic:

Ok, can't hold off with this question any longer. Sorry for the hijack but I have to ask....

What happens when you buy one that makes you stop saying electric car and start saying "EV"? I've known a lot of otherwise reasonable and normal people now who have talked about buying an electric car, test driven an electric car, done the maths on the benefits of an electric car, then come back from the dealers seemingly with a new brain slug that makes them refer to it as their "EV". Do they come with an obligatory reeducation and brainwashing??!!??!

19
OP Nic 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

You'll have to ask someone else as I didn't test drive it, didn't do any maths - other than the fairly simple calculation of "pay £kkk in tax for my ICE car (did you see what I did there...) or pay zero for the [xx] (term redacted to avoid offence)" - but feel free to avoid the thread if it really causes distress.

In reply to Nic:

Doesn't bother me or cause any distress, it's just so consistent and reproducible that I can't help but wonder what the deal is.

13
 Hooo 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It's the same with any new "thing" you start reading about. You pick up the slang and start using it unconsciously.

I'm sure any non-climbers who overhear your climbing conversations think a similar thing.

 Hooo 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

You definitely want to get up to speed on public charging before you have to use one for real. It is improving, but can still be a PITA. Most rapid chargers now take contactless, but there are still quite a few that don't, or it doesn't work. Slow chargers are mostly app based.

Get the Zap Map app. Search in the area for suitable chargers (you filter by connector type). Then check the info for each one and see if you need an app. Download and register beforehand so you're not faffing about at the charger. I have about 5 registered apps, but some I have only used once.

 Hooo 26 Sep 2022
In reply to jonny taylor:

GeniePoint is still better than BP Pulse... It's crap to use, but at least I've never failed to get a charge.

 ExiledScot 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

+1 for Hoo's comment.  When driving to new places, ideally have a co driver search up the charging points, register (personal and card details etc), so when you reach a charger you aren't sat there trying to sort it all out. Some are more user friendly than others. Expect to have several apps on your phone, so develop a system for password log ins. 

Post edited at 21:03
 Hooo 26 Sep 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

A passenger makes the process a lot easier. ZapMap will tell you whether the charge point is in use (some of the time at least, it's not that reliable). So I like to have a few potential ones lined up, get them to check when we get near, and stop at the first free one. I hate queueing.

 Geras 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Hooo:

I would second avoiding BP, untill they have replaced all their legacy chargers at least. All my failed charges at public points were at BP charge points. Some other advice I would have liked as a new EV driver, would have been to avoid motorway service station charge points. They are improving, but most still have just 1 or 2 chargepoints for none Tesla drivers.  IE they will be inuse or broken. Many McDonald's have expensive but reliable charge points.

 wintertree 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I like to call them BEVs to make the point they’re not some hydrogen fuel cell nonsense.

In reply to OP:

“Zap Map” is a good way of seeing which of the 101 networks are predominant in your area or your destination(s) of choice.  Some take contactless payment from your credit/debit cards.   I then have accounts with the two most prominent local networks that don’t take those, and I have their own-brand contactless cards to start/stop charging sessions because it’s simpler and more reliable than the apps.

4
 Hooo 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

Here's a transcript of me talking my wife through her first rapid charge. I originally posted this on SpeakEV (Maybe that's why I say EV?) for amusement value.

WIFE: I'm at the charger and it's BP Pulse, is that OK?
ME: Uh Oh...
WIFE: The charger has contactless, shall I just use that?
ME: You can try, but it won't work.
wait...
WIFE: It doesn't work.
ME: That's normal. You'll have to use the app. I've installed it on your phone and logged it in as me.
wait...
WIFE: I've opened the app but nothing's happening.
ME: That's normal, you have to wait a while.
After talking her through finding the chargepoint ID and getting it to start...
WIFE: Which connector do I use, there are 3 of them?
ME: ChaDeMo
WIFE: Cha what?
ME: Open the black flap next to the orange one that you normally use. Find the one that fits. If it fits in, it's the right one.
wait.
WIFE: It's charging!!!
ME: Phew.
15 minutes later she calls back.
WIFE: How do I stop it charging?
ME: You can try the app, but it probably won't work.
wait...
WIFE: It doesn't have any option to stop the charge?
ME: That's normal. Just press the big red Emergency Stop button on the charger.
WIFE: Are you sure?
ME: I do it all the time. It's the only way, unless you want to try phoning them?
wait...
WIFE: OK I pressed it. I can go now.

1
 girlymonkey 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

For all Chargeplace Scotland has its issues, when I read about the shambles of the English system I feel very smug about being up here! Our local ones are even still free! (With price rises, we have stopped home charging for now. Haven't paid for fuel in months! 😀)

I'm sure whatever awkwardness there is in the system, you will soon find what works for your most frequent journeys and it will become simple.

5
 aln 26 Sep 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

> For all Chargeplace Scotland has its issues, when I read about the shambles of the English system I feel very smug about being up here! Our local ones are even still free! 

Really?!

I use Chargeplace Scotland here in Fife but I pay for it.

 hokkyokusei 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

> BTW it's not a Tesla, though I'm sure I read somewhere that you could "borrow" the Tesla network?

You can register with Tesla to use _some_ Tesla superchargers, but not all.

Get the zap map app to find chargers on the go.

Get the ABRP (a better route planner) app to plan longer journeys.

If any of your journeys take you to Scotland, register with Charge Scotland.

In my experience, other than Tesla superchargers, Instavolt are the most reliable.

 girlymonkey 27 Sep 2022
In reply to aln:

Yep, still free in a few council areas. I live in Stirling, which is free. I also sometimes work in East Ayrshire which is also free, so I get free commuting both ways! It won't be free forever, but making the most of it while it is!

In reply to hokkyokusei:

Yes, InstaVolt are absolutely great. Never had a problem with them. God bless the Keswick Booths car park!

The motorway services used to be really ropey - the original Ecotricity chargers were really showing their age. Much better now they've been replaced by Gridserve. But very heavily used. Up until about two years ago I'd hardly ever needed to wait, but now it's quite common to find them full.  They claim they are about to enable charging two cars at once - the hardware is there, and once the National Grid agree they'll switch it on. That and Tesla starting to open up their network should help.

In reply to aln:

Perth and Kinross is still free at their network chargers last time I passed (some you have to pay for the parking whilst charging though in P&K). Kinross is very accessible to passing motorway traffic and I’ve seen it can be busy and that is also where a couple of Kinross Council cars are often charged. (They do re park them when charge complete to free space).

There is a ongoing shift to charging; I read it cost Falkirk council £80K/yr before they stopped the funding of charging. Only time before P&K stop funding I guess.

Post edited at 09:02
OP Nic 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

Thanks all, some helpful tips, especially re the getting the charge cards for certain networks. My only regular stop is Fleet services on the M3, which looks like it has Gridserve, which seems to work with debit cards.

Now I'm hoping that the M1/M6 is a charger desert so I have an excuse not to drive to the mother-in-law in Lancashire...

1
OP Nic 27 Sep 2022
In reply to hokkyokusei:

> You can register with Tesla to use _some_ Tesla superchargers, but not all.

I take it from this that the Tesla charger itself is compatible with any EV (i.e. it's not like one is a UK 3 pin plug and the other is a Euro 2 pin)?

 Babika 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Hooo:

Thank you for that ,I haven't laughed so much in ages.

I had a motorway station where 3 random strangers were trying to get the thing out of the charger. I couldn't fit my charger in any of the points in Booths Keswick and I sat in a Tescos for ages once and managed to fill a grand total of 14p. 

The car is great (it's a PHEV not an EV)  but I now don't  bother outside and do all  charging at home.

In reply to Nic:

My Dad is a zealot for EVs, although clearly admirable attitude he takes it way too far and frequently uses it (he's moved from Leaf to Zoe recently) for journeys that are impractical and almost revels in the inconvenience and how it took all day to get somewhere because some charging point didn't actually exist yet or was broken or someone else parked there etc etc. It still seems an excellent vehicle choice for daily commutes but difficult for longer journeys. 

What I've learned from many of these tales is that you need to be a member of multiple schemes not just the "best" one and that it's not simple: nowhere near as simply it should be. Also vehicle choice in charging point availability is a factor and why he now recommends against Leaf. Plan journeys ahead and join multiple schemes.

Post edited at 09:15
 Chris Reid 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

"Holds" or "grips". Obligatory reeducation or brain washing? 

 NobleStone 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

Congrats on the EV.

If you have a home charger then that's 90% of your charging sorted. You should only need to use public charging when you venture far from home. Obviously think about getting a time of day electricity tariff like Octopus Go.

As other's have pointed out, zap-map and ABRP are both essentials for planning trips. And planning is still essential.

You should prioritise service stations with multiple high powered chargers, even if it's more expensive. Unfortunately service station infrastructure isn't keeping pace with EV adoption. Most service stations have 1 or 2 charge points (and they're usually only 50kw) which means they will be occupied when you get there. Some service stations have 10+ chargers with more powerful chargers.  Example trip: if I'm going down the M1 from Sheffield to London, I'll take the slight detour to Rugby Services where it's a bit more expensive but you never have to wait. My car is normally ready to go once I've had a wee and a sandwich.

Also note (if you're not already aware): Don't bother charging to 100% on rapid chargers. On most cars the speed of charging falls off a cliff somewhere between 80% and 100%. You could spend 30 minutes getting to 80% and another 30 minutes getting from 80 to 100. Charging to full is a waste of time and will prematurely wear the battery. 

In reply to Nic:

There are two competing standards - ChaDeMo and CCS - but the latter is winning.  All Tesla cars and chargers are on the CCS standard, and pretty much (I believe) all new EVs are on CCS now.

In reply to NobleStone:

> Charging to full is a waste of time and will prematurely wear the battery.

As well as infuriating everyone who's stuck waiting behind you!

 elliot.baker 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

I have an "EV" (Kia E-Niro) - how practical do the experienced chargers here think it would be to drive to Fort William from Derbyshire with it? It's something like 360 miles and the car has something like 200-250 miles range, but note there would be three strapping lads in the car with all their luggage, if I were to go on this adventure.

I looked on ZapMap and I can see some rapid chargers around Penrith which I think is about as close to half way as I would dare go, much further and I'd be edging above 200 miles before I got to a charger which would make me quite anxious about them not working!!!

Also - in your experiences do you think I'd be better to travel late and night  and then the chargers might be less busy, or is it just luck of the draw?

PS - note that I call it an electric car, I've never called it an EV in 18 months!

 girlymonkey 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> > Charging to full is a waste of time and will prematurely wear the battery.

> As well as infuriating everyone who's stuck waiting behind you!

Sometimes you get no choice. Our van is one of the earliest and has a teeny weeny battery so sometimes 100% is absolutely necessary to get you somewhere. The Drumochter pass is a classic for me needing a full charge. Yep, it's frustrating having to wait both for me and those behind, but sometimes it's the only option.

 NobleStone 27 Sep 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

Absolutely, if you need it you need it. What's infuriating is when you see someone in an electric behemoth with a huge range sitting on a rapid way longer than needed. I've seen a few examples of people leaving their cars on a rapid charger for hours after they've finished, as if it's a parking space! 

 Pedro50 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

Sadly I think all the ifs and buts, the competing systems the range anxiety etc will deter me for a few years. I couldn't easily charge my car outside the house either. 

Plus I have a modern petrol car and couldn't justify replacing it for maybe 10 years.

1
 NobleStone 27 Sep 2022
In reply to elliot.baker:

I think you'd be fine. Have you ran the trip through A Better Route Planner? It's surprisingly accurate. I haven't done the trip myself but your car has a decent amount of range. 

Personally if I were doing the trip my bladder would insist on stopping, and therefore charging, before Penrith, so in your car I'd probably charge at least twice on the way up.

On driving at night, yes or whenever it won't be busy. I'd prefer this even in a normal car. 

I think the key thing is what do you do when you get to Fort William, the chargers around there are a bit sparse? Apply for a Charge Place Scotland rfid card a few weeks in advance. Otherwise you'll have to try and start a charge with your phone where there's no signal...

 hokkyokusei 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

> I take it from this that the Tesla charger itself is compatible with any EV (i.e. it's not like one is a UK 3 pin plug and the other is a Euro 2 pin)?

Tesla support CCS2, they don't support Chademo.

 hokkyokusei 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> There are two competing standards - ChaDeMo and CCS - but the latter is winning.  All Tesla cars and chargers are on the CCS standard, and pretty much (I believe) all new EVs are on CCS now.

Think Nissan and Lexus are still Chademo.

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

TBH I wouldn't recommend an EV to anyone who couldn't charge at home for everything apart from the odd long journey. Not only is public charging a bit of a faff, it's a lot more expensive.

Unless you're one of the very few like girlymonkey who has free chargers they can use. I can't believe they are still doing this! 

1
 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I think it's pretty much settled that CCS has won, and CHAdeMO is the Betamax of charging.

I was eyeing up the gen 2 Leaf as they seem reasonably priced now, but I don't want another CHAdeMO car.

OP Nic 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Hooo:

I had no idea...just checked and luckily it's CCS

 jonny taylor 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Hooo:

> I think it's pretty much settled that CCS has won, and CHAdeMO is the Betamax of charging.

> I was eyeing up the gen 2 Leaf as they seem reasonably priced now, but I don't want another CHAdeMO car.

Agreed; I don't know how different the standards are, but I wonder if retrofitting a Leaf with CCS will be a thing soonish.

I love my Leaf 2 as a car, but the rapidgate issues are also pretty off-putting for long-distance journeys with rapid charges. Don't know if I would get one again, now that I've got the hang of the EV thing and am starting to do long journeys with it.

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to jonny taylor:

I think it's possible and someone has done it. I'm not sure it was economic though. He did it as a proof of concept, but the work involved would make it cheaper to just buy another car.

 Sealwife 27 Sep 2022
In reply to jonny taylor:

> > I think it's pretty much settled that CCS has won, and CHAdeMO is the Betamax of charging.

> Agreed; I don't know how different the standards are, but I wonder if retrofitting a Leaf with CCS will be a thing 

I believe it’s possible to buy an adapter.  

1
In reply to girlymonkey:

If it's someone with a tiny battery who needs that range, then yes, that's obviously fine (and doesn't take that long anyway).  It's the person who's left their Tesla trickling from 95% to 99% at about 5kW that's really annoying!

In reply to elliot.baker:

You'll be fine.  The e-Niro really does have a range of about 240 miles on the motorway.  You can get quite a bit further by driving a little slower.  EV range is extremely sensitive to speed so if you are at all nervous, then just slow down a bit.  An extra 100 miles of range on a 45kW charger (which is about as fast as the e-Niro takes) will be a bit more than 30 minutes.  I'd probably do a 15 minute stop at somewhere like Abington and then again at Penrith.

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Sealwife:

I don't think so. A CCS to CHAdeMO adapter would be very complex and expensive. I've never heard of one. Ironically, a  CHAdeMO to CCS would be a lot easier, but a bit pointless.

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to jonny taylor:

Here you go: https://www.muxsan.com/English/products.html#ccs-upgrade

Add CCS to a Leaf, and you get to keep the CHAdeMo too. 3k€, which is less than I thought. Might be worth it for a gen 2.

In reply to Nic:

How do all you folks afford the upfront cost of an electric car?

Do you lease them? Or buy secondhand?

Then there's the cost of a home charger and the anxiety related to an inadequate shitty UK charging network.

I understand cheaper running costs and lower emissions and all that, but the price of a new EV and range are going to have to improve much further to get me to change my 60mpg petrol ICE.

3
 henwardian 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> What happens when you buy one that makes you stop saying electric car and start saying "EV"? 

Lazyness/Efficiency:

EV - 2 syllables

electric - 4 syllables.

1
 Pedro50 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Hooo:

> Add CCS to a Leaf, and you get to keep the CHAdeMo too. 3k€, which is less than I thought. Might be worth it for a gen 2.

This is exactky the sort of techy talk that helps put me off (no offence). It's hardly compares with the welcome sight of the green glow of a BP filling station looming on the horizon.

6
 NobleStone 27 Sep 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

At the risk of derailing the thread...

My partner and I bought a 4 year electric car, a Hyundai Ioniq 28kwh. I would never buy a new car, I don't see the point.

The car was part funded by the sale of my old diesel and part funded by a personal loan at 2.8% interest. I estimated the total cost of ownership over 4 years (after which I'll sell the car and get another one) to be cheaper with the Ioniq over keeping my old car. The costs are heavily front loaded, after that there's no tax and little maintenance. If you can charge at home it costs pittance. 

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

I bought a Nissan Leaf for £9.5k. I worked out that it saved me a grand on diesel in the first year, must be even more now. 

 Hooo 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

This is extreme geek EV tech talk though. You get the same sort of thing with petrol heads. No normal driver needs to care about it.

In reply to AllanMac:

> Then there's the cost of a home charger and the anxiety related to an inadequate shitty UK charging network.

You have all night to charge at home. For many people a standard 13amp socket is good enough, that'll put ~35kWh into the car on a 12 hour charge which is about 120 miles' worth in a Nissan leaf. Thus many people won't need to install a home charger.  On a related point, I think I've worked out why Americans are often so vehemently anti-EV - their mains voltage is 120v, thus normal domestic sockets & wiring are unlikely to handle the current required to give a decent charge - the 15amp maximum current only gives 1.8kW. That and their penchant for driving excessively large vehicles requiring large amounts of power to move them around....

> I understand cheaper running costs and lower emissions and all that, but the price of a new EV and range are going to have to improve much further to get me to change my 60mpg petrol ICE.

How often do you do more than 120miles a day?

Post edited at 17:48
In reply to Hooo:

Useless facts

- the electric black taxi (Levc TX) can be specified with both CCS and CHAdeMo sockets.

- Tesla has a CHAdeMo to CCS adaptor as an accessory item.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> What happens when you buy one that makes you stop saying electric car and start saying "EV"?

I suspect it depends on whether or not you write about them a lot - it's much quicker to write/type EV than electric car/vehicle. Thus someone writing/typing about them a lot will gravitate towards using the acronym.

 girlymonkey 27 Sep 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

> How do all you folks afford the upfront cost of an electric car?

Bought second hand with the help of a loan from my mum. Some get loans from the energy saving trust (this might just be in Scotland? Not sure).

> Then there's the cost of a home charger and the anxiety related to an inadequate shitty UK charging network.

There are government grants for chargers and also grants from Energy saving trust. I think we paid less than £300 after the various grants.

> I understand cheaper running costs and lower emissions and all that, but the price of a new EV and range are going to have to improve much further to get me to change my 60mpg petrol ICE.

My Zoe has a greater range than my bladder or attention span!

 aln 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

Great info but not relevant to the Kingdom. 

 aln 27 Sep 2022
In reply to hokkyokusei:

> Instavolt are the most reliable. 

How about cost compared to Chargeplace? There's 2 Instavolt chargers 30 seconds from my Chargeplace point.

 hokkyokusei 28 Sep 2022
In reply to aln:

> How about cost compared to Chargeplace? There's 2 Instavolt chargers 30 seconds from my Chargeplace point.

Instavolt isn't cheap, has risen to about 60p/kWh, I think chargeplace varies, but not used one recently.

Edit:

Instavolt is 66p/kWh https://instavolt.co.uk/rates/

As above, Chargeplace varies https://chargeplacescotland.org/charge-point-tariffs/

Post edited at 08:23
In reply to girlymonkey:

Thanks for the heads up on grants. Will look into that.

I'd probably end up getting a 2nd hand Zoe too, or Nissan Leaf for motoring around locally, which would charge up sufficiently from a 13amp socket overnight. 

But for the regular Scotland/W Midlands trips I'd be well into Tesla territory, recharging at Tebay or thereabouts on the way up/down. From what I gather, there aren't many affordable EVs with that kind of range and charging infrastructure as numerous and capable as Tesla's.

 jimtitt 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> You have all night to charge at home. For many people a standard 13amp socket is good enough, that'll put ~35kWh into the car on a 12 hour charge which is about 120 miles' worth in a Nissan leaf. Thus many people won't need to install a home charger.  On a related point, I think I've worked out why Americans are often so vehemently anti-EV - their mains voltage is 120v, thus normal domestic sockets & wiring are unlikely to handle the current required to give a decent charge - the 15amp maximum current only gives 1.8kW. That and their penchant for driving excessively large vehicles requiring large amounts of power to move them around....

> How often do you do more than 120miles a day?

In actual fact US houses are supplied with split-phase 240V so each side of the split is 120V and used for low power application but larger appliances like boilers, aircon, dryers etc are on the combined phase and so 240V as would be a charger. The reason is if you touch a live wire you only get a 120V shock, to get a 240V shock you need to touch two live wires so it is relatively safer.

In reply to jimtitt:

> In actual fact US houses are supplied with split-phase 240V so each side of the split is 120V and used for low power application but larger appliances like boilers, aircon, dryers etc are on the combined phase and so 240V as would be a charger. The reason is if you touch a live wire you only get a 120V shock, to get a 240V shock you need to touch two live wires so it is relatively safer.

Ah, interesting, thanks for the info.

 jimtitt 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Toerag:

The world is full of interesting power supply systems all of which basically give more or less the same results, the older Mexican one is apparently a bit of a wonder. The USA even has a 208V standard so a washing machine or whatever will say 240/208V on the label, this is what happens when in say appartment block there are all three split phases supplied to balance the load but an appliance is connected to two different split phases, due to the phase angle you end up with 208V. Cool stuff out there!

My house is on 380V three phase with no earth return, drive up the road to my workshop and it's earth return (neutral).

 Hooo 28 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

When I was touring stage shows we'd regularly run 240V kit in the USA by connecting it across two phases to get 208V. It was fine as long as the kit didn't mind 60Hz. There's no easy way round that one.

The geeks are properly derailing this thread now 😂

In reply to thread:

I read this thread with something approaching horror. It seems that the charging network situation is chaotic to say the least, and that if you regularly drive long distance, you're going to have some epic experiences.

The ICE equivalent would be something like, oh that's a Shell garage, can't use that, drive on, is there a BP garage anywhere near, found one, oh damn they only allow cars with fuel flaps on the RHS.

How the f*** has it been allowed to get to this?

I'm not thinking of changing car soon, but when I do, I hope things will have improved enough so that I could at least seriously consider an EV. However I still think some kind of hybrid will be more suitable for my needs.

1
 Aigen 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

I have an EV now with 1 year. A Skoda Enyaq. This is what I have learned regarding charging in Public and not at home.

1, There are 50 million companies that have charging stations dotted around the country. Each requires their own app on your phone to charge.

2, Its expensive to charge outside of your home, especially at a DC fast charger. Costs me about £130 to charge fully at a DC Fast Charger. My car is 67KW. That takes me about 200 miles.

3, If the charging station is in a Town/City you often also have to pay for parking when charging. Or sit in your car.

4. The state of Public chargers is a mess. Often they dont work when you get there or they are occupied and you must wait until the other person comes back and drives off. 

5, In winter take about 25%-30% off the range of your car in summer due to the cold weather. 

Post edited at 08:28
4
 NobleStone 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

It's got measurably better than it was a few years ago, especially motorway services. Gridserve (the sort of motorway monopoly) took over from Ecotricity who were a real shit-show. Gridserve managed to replace all of the crappy old machines within a year will be expanding the number of charge points at each service station. The main problem is they aren't keeping up with demand. If and when they do we'll be able to do long trips without having to plan...

In reply to Michael Hood:

It's really not that bad in reality. There has been a standard plug for all of Europe for years CCS, it's only Nissan (and some mitsubishi phevs) who use the Chadamo standard on their legacy Leaf. All new models will have to use the new standard. Most chargers in the UK  allow both to charge and some only have the CCS standard, this is only a problem if you have a Leaf. Guess it's like onwning an LPG car.

Some networks have not invested properly in recent years, so are less reliable, guess it's like some of the older independent petrol stations that often have pumps out of action. You can filter out the useless networks on zapmap, or only show locations with multiple units.

It can feel a little wild west, but most networks it is now feeling like a joined up network of nationally important infrastructure, rather than a gimik or PR campaign.

I loved my Leaf, which we used on many road trips but recently swapped to an MG5 as we needed a bigger car and the reliable CCS for trips. Would have kept the leaf if we could afford a second car for local trips, but actually sold it for a profit after adding 30,000 miles.

 wintertree 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> How the f*** has it been allowed to get to this?

Lack of joined up planning from the top down.

One thing critically missing was a standard where-by the car itself could be the payment credentials for charge sessions, using a data interface in the charge cable.  I rathe this is what Tesla do - you sort out your payment details for the car at home, rock up to a Tesla charger, plug in and It Just Works, with the car and charger talking to each other.   I think there's an EU mandate for all new cars to support this from some data, but don't recall the details.  But that date is in the future...

The situation is manageable, and there seem to be mergers going on between different networks simplifying things, and more chargers are taking contactless bank cards, simplifying things, but in an alternate reality it could have been a lot simpler.  One big take home for me is that BEVs are selling as fast as they can be made/imported despite all the hassles... and the public charging situation is getting better.  There is also the compensatory lack of hassle getting petrol or diesel as most of the time a BEV will charge overnight not publicly.

 Andy Hardy 29 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Public charging needs to be as simple as filling with dinosaur juice. Turn up, plug in, authorise credit/debit card, charging starts. The apps my missus has are crap. Confusing, flaky, specific to a single supplier etc. And why should I need a phone to fill my car?

 elliot.baker 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think the decision to get an EV really depends on your lifestyle, we've had our Niro for 18 months nearly and we've charged it at public chargers about 3 times. Seperate to that I've charged it at three separate UK holiday lets (i.e. with a 3-pin plug hanging out of the window) and paid the owner a bit of extra cash for the electricity. Actually my first "rapid" charge was this last weekend after a 160 mile (one-way) trip down to South Wales. I had used ZapMap to find a rapid charger outside of Tesco and planned to feed the kids in the cafe, got there and there must have been about 7 "fast" chargers (7 hours to charge the car fully!!) and 1 single rapid charger (45 minutes approx for 20-80%). The rapid charger was in use and my heart dropped, but thankfully the man using it let me swap places with him after 10 minutes because his was in the top 20% "slower" charging. If he had been away in Tesco I would've just been stuck. Hardly worth using the "fast" charger for 45 minutes. The rapid charger got us from 40% to 97% in well under an hour, and I paid with my contactless credit card, it was perfect, just needed there to be many more of them!!

I would say that more than 99% of our "journeys" have not required public charging.

For the person who asked how we all afford them - I expect a lot are salary sacrifice (mine is). The benefit in kind tax is negligible (I think it's 1% or 2% at the moment). If that increases to levels comparable to ICE cars I wouldn't be able to afford it and would have to get a normal second hand ICE. The actual net monthly cost of the car to me now makes it a steal, you could never get it for that price outside of salary sacrifice.

In reply to Aigen:

Think you're being a little pessimistic. I've been climbing all over the country in my e-Niro for the last two years. It's just not that difficult.

Most chargers work. Most are just tap-your-credit-card - I've not had to use an app for a year or more. Queuing is annoying, admittedly, but can largely be avoided with decent planning.

The situation isn't perfect but it's perfectly manageable and getting better.

Edit - where on earth are you paying £2/kWh?

Post edited at 10:02
1
In reply to Nic:

I quite agree, your experience at Tesco is not unusual, however now I would not plan a journey based on any 'single appliance' locations unless there was no other option as there are now so many more EV's.

Mid Wales might be just about the only place where this is an issue but now the Tesla supercharger at Abber is open to all and the Swansea hub and the Instavolt hub (8 units) at Rhug Estate on A5 came online there should not be more problems. Newtown could do with a good hub though to complete the network.

It's like planning a road trip and relying on a single petrol pump at an ancient garage to be open and working, nice to use if passing but not to be betting the day on. 

Post edited at 10:08
 yorkshireman 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Public charging needs to be as simple as filling with dinosaur juice. Turn up, plug in, authorise credit/debit card, charging starts. The apps my missus has are crap. Confusing, flaky, specific to a single supplier etc. And why should I need a phone to fill my car?

Actually it needs to be easier. As mentioned above the Tesla situation is a case of rock up, plug in and walk away. There are plans to rollout the Plug&Charge protocol which should do just that but no idea how long it will take.

I live in France and own a Tesla so don't feel like I'm qualified to talk about the 'problems' of EV charging because I've only experienced good things. 0,11€/kwh at home, and rapid, reliable super charging on the road. Tesla take a lot of stick but they've shown everyone else how charging should work and have surely advanced the rate of EV adoption. And now they're even letting other manufacturers benefit from their investment by opening up their chargers to third parties.

The other advantage Tesla have is the communication between the car and the Superchargers - routing you to ones that are less busy, preconditioning the battery before you get there to ensure minimum charge time and ensuring you only spend as long there as you need to, to get you to your next stop.

I'll be doing a 1,200km drive to the UK at the weekend and have zero anxiety about it. The last time we did it, we had owned the car for 48h and literally just drove off and followed the sat nav. The car took the guesswork out of charging. 

To reiterate, I'm of course not saying everyone should get a Tesla. I'm saying that there is a demonstrably right way to set up public charging infrastructure and it is continuously getting better.

In reply to Aigen: 

Same thought as Jamie - I think your maths are wrong. I groaned when I saw Tesla kwh charges had just pushed up to about 0,7€ but it still works out cheaper than petrol per km. In the UK I've never paid more than about 55p per kwh (although I accept this will have gone up but I think the recent Osprey increase to £1 was exceptional).

 RedFive 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Aigen:

> 2, Its expensive to charge outside of your home, especially at a DC fast charger. Costs me about £130 to charge fully at a DC Fast Charger. My car is 67KW. That takes me about 200 miles.

Absolute rubbish.

Osprey are the most expensive right now having just gone to £1 per Kw, but even that would be maximum £67 from zero to 100% (which you would never do on a rapid charger - get to 80% and leave). Many are around the £0.60p mark now, so £40 for your 200 miles, which is about the equivalent of petrol / diesel at 40 mpg.

Still lots at £0.35p though so now only £23.45 for your 200 miles and if you can charge at home (I appreciate not all can) then you will pay even less if once we hit the new price guarantee in October.

The network is not there yet but if you can charge at home you can start the day with a 'full tank' every single day so will rarely need it. It's a different mindset to waiting for the yellow light and looking for a fuel station to fill up. Long trips need to be planned for sure but it's not as bad as some make out in my experience.

Post edited at 12:19
 LastBoyScout 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

Replying to bookmark this thread, as my wife has just ordered a Kia Niro electric as her next company car...

OP Nic 29 Sep 2022
In reply to elliot.baker:

Likewise salary sacrifice - changing to an EV is going to save me north of £10k in tax so the "disadvantages" found it hard to compete!

 wintertree 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

I believe maintenance and insurance costs can come under the salary sacrifice too.  The main problem now is the lead time for vehicles…

OP Nic 29 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Yes I've got an "all inclusive" deal...I've been waiting since December 2021!

 LastBoyScout 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

> Likewise salary sacrifice - changing to an EV is going to save me north of £10k in tax so the "disadvantages" found it hard to compete!

That's mainly why we're changing - I love the (petrol) car we've got at the moment, but the savings of opting back into the company car scheme and going all-electric are hard to ignore, even if we will end up with a smaller, slightly less practical car.

Such a shame VW don't do an electric version of the one we've currently got and came up with the horrific ID3/4 instead. It irritates me that car makers seem to think that we want twee futuristic-looking (and, in some cases, downright ugly) electric vehicles, rather than just swapping over their current best-sellers.

 Hugo First 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Ok here we go, I give you:

worldwideweb.UKClimbing.com

or

www.UKClimbing.com

or

UKC

i don’t think it’s brainwashing, just less letters to type TBH  

 nathan79 30 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

My work has just opened salary sacrifice for electric vehicles and I was impressed it's an all-in deal, very appealing. I just bought a 3 year-old petrol car last year and have just bought a house so now isn't the time for getting on the e-bandwagon.

The other-half's parents and brother have the MG estate, a friend has an e-Niro. These are all playing the role of Guinea pigs for me (and my partner who doesn't drive yet but likely when she does she'll learn in an electric vehicle).

 Siward 30 Sep 2022
In reply to NobleStone:

> Absolutely, if you need it you need it. What's infuriating is when you see someone in an electric behemoth with a huge range sitting on a rapid way longer than needed. I've seen a few examples of people leaving their cars on a rapid charger for hours after they've finished, as if it's a parking space! 

This just demonstrates how far behind the curve public charging is. It needs to be fine to poll up at a services and park, plug in and forget. Imagine if - as may well become the case- all of the vehicles in the car park were electric. 

 Siward 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> How often do you do more than 120miles a day?

Couple of times a week? 

 girlymonkey 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Siward:

That's what the destination chargers are for, not the rapids. 

I had a good grumble tonight about the Tesla who just parked in the EV bay and didn't even plug in! The other chargers were taken by people charging, so fair enough. But blocking a charger just because parking spaces are all busy is rude. 

 aln 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Nic:

If I plug my car in at a Chargeplace Scotland site, and leave it all night, do the financial charges stop when my car's fully charged? Or does it keep going till I unplug it?

 jonny taylor 01 Oct 2022
In reply to aln:

Billed on what you actually use (ie bill stops rising when you are full), but some have overstay charges after a specified number of hours (which is odd when it effectively rules out the unit being in overnight use by anyone)

Post edited at 08:05
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I had a good grumble tonight about the Tesla who just parked in the EV bay and didn't even plug in! The other chargers were taken by people charging, so fair enough. But blocking a charger just because parking spaces are all busy is rude. 

You should have just parked behind the Tesla blocking them in.

 aln 03 Oct 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

> How do all you folks afford the upfront cost of an electric car?

> Do you lease them? 

Mine is a Cazoo subscription. Tax, insurance etc all included in one monthly payment. Seems like pretty good value.


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