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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been really pleased to see ultra rapid chargers appearing around the country. Especially as my Audi e-tron supports 150kW charging.

But I have noticed a disturbing pattern. Apart from IONITY and Shell Recharge stations, I find that:
  • major problems trying to start a charge
  • never get anything like the advertised rate or the max supported by my car

For example, this week we have been dependant on a BP pulse charger that clearly displays CCS icon with 175kW next to it. But, we could never get one of the two on site chargers to start a charge and the other maxed out at circa. 80kW.

With young children waiting... every minute matters. 15 minutes on the phone trying to get a charger to work. Then estimated 40min at 77+ kW charging session instead of 22 minutes at 140+ kW is not that great.

But I find this almost everywhere. Why can't they advertise 80kW if that is the max that the charger can provide?

 

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You might find that the unit itself is capable of 150kw etc but that the supply to the site is only 80kw.

Sent using Tapatalk (I'm on my phone so sorry for any auto correct screwups)
 

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Yeah it's a bit cheeky isn't it. Given the amount of load sharing going on its no surprise those who have the big numbers on their cars rated charging speed rarely get it. However it is the right thing to do - a site with 400kw supply should not allow two i3s to charge at 49kw each leaving 300kw unused and a queue of frustrated drivers, much better to run four or more outlets and load share to maximize use of the supply.
How to market this, however, is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You might find that the unit itself is capable of 150kw etc but that the supply to the site is only 80kw.

Sent using Tapatalk (I'm on my phone so sorry for any auto correct screwups)
This BP site in Weymouth has two massive, really massive, green boxes which I assume are batteries to help load shift, for financial gain on a time of use tariff and/or a limited site connection.

If so, the supply connection shouldn't limit the chargers' max rate too much as the max sustained output of the batteries can supliment the supply. E.g. 80kw grid supply + 70kw batteries = 150kW available. Accepting that the on site batteries run out and at peak times of the day the grid supply may not be used.

I noticed that another EV started a 50kW charge after my EV was already charging at 80kW. His car was only capable of a max 50kW charging session. I was half expecting my charge rate to drop, but it didn't. So my hypothesis is that the chargers are artificially limited to 80kW.
 

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I have been really pleased to see ultra rapid chargers appearing around the country. Especially as my Audi e-tron supports 150kW charging.

But I have noticed a disturbing pattern. Apart from IONITY and Shell Recharge stations, I find that:
  • major problems trying to start a charge
  • never get anything like the advertised rate or the max supported by my car

For example, this week we have been dependant on a BP pulse charger that clearly displays CCS icon with 175kW next to it. But, we could never get one of the two on site chargers to start a charge and the other maxed out at circa. 80kW.

With young children waiting... every minute matters. 15 minutes on the phone trying to get a charger to work. Then estimated 40min at 77+ kW charging session instead of 22 minutes at 140+ kW is not that great.

But I find this almost everywhere. Why can't they advertise 80kW if that is the max that the charger can provide?

What happened to the young children? Did the extra few minutes charging really impact their lives?. Was it a case of parental stress because the parent thought the children might become restless. Did they have toys with them. Anyone thought about starting a verbal game, or a song or a story. These are all strategies we used when facing long ferry queues. Not sure in the end whether kids care whether electrons are flowing at 50, 80 149 kW etc.
 

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But I have noticed a disturbing pattern. Apart from IONITY and Shell Recharge stations, I find that:
  • major problems trying to start a charge
  • never get anything like the advertised rate or the max supported by my car
Welcome to reality ... rather than what was advertised.

EVs in the UK are somewhat like ICE cars in parts of the USA at present ... Refueling is a bit interesting.
The difference is it will be a few (optimistically) years before public EV charging in the UK is really fit for purpose, but Americans will have plentiful petrol in days or a week or two.

We'll get there, but patiences will need to be somewhat elastic in the meantime :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What happened to the young children? Did the extra few minutes charging really impact their lives?.
My daughter missed her trampoline session this week whilst we struggled to start a charge (on the line with the charge point operator). We didn't have enough charge to get there and back to it or another charger. We cut the charge short, but missed our booked trampolining slot anyway.

End of the world? No. But the charging experience certainly needs improving before the masses part with their ICEs.

Like most, we don't normally rely on public chargers. Reliably charge at home. But when we are away from home charging the EV always seems to be a hassle.
 

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I have been really pleased to see ultra rapid chargers appearing around the country. Especially as my Audi e-tron supports 150kW charging.

But I have noticed a disturbing pattern. Apart from IONITY and Shell Recharge stations, I find that:
  • major problems trying to start a charge
  • never get anything like the advertised rate or the max supported by my car

For example, this week we have been dependant on a BP pulse charger that clearly displays CCS icon with 175kW next to it. But, we could never get one of the two on site chargers to start a charge and the other maxed out at circa. 80kW.

With young children waiting... every minute matters. 15 minutes on the phone trying to get a charger to work. Then estimated 40min at 77+ kW charging session instead of 22 minutes at 140+ kW is not that great.

But I find this almost everywhere. Why can't they advertise 80kW if that is the max that the charger can provide?

Was it busy at the charger?
Fast chargers have their own issues. When they do serial charging, they tend to heat up and rapidgate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Was it busy at the charger?
Fast chargers have their own issues. When they do serial charging, they tend to heat up and rapidgate.
It seems well used. But we have been back to this BP pulse charger four times this week and it always maxes out at 80kW.

Also not generalising or picking on BP pulse. I commonly find that charge rates are much lower than advertised. Only IONITY and the few Shell Recharge chargers I have used reliably hit 140kW or higher.

Many 50kW chargers typically only provide 38..44kW. As noted, typically because of an A/C supply limit. But then why not advertise them as such. E.g. CCS 38kW Max.

Perhaps something like a 15% rule or an "at least" rule should apply. E.g. The charge rate acheiveable should be within 15% of the advertised max rate.
 

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You can also complain to Trading Standards about the power output of EVs, while you are at it. Only in a few very rare cases are the motor power outputs continuous outputs. Most are 20 seconds or 60 second burst period.

Some of the faster EVs 'might' have a top speed of 120mph. But not for long.
 

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The charger will be capable of supplying 150kW and your car will be capable of charging at 150kW (Audi eTron 55) or 125kW (eTron 50).

And then you have to allow for the air temperature/temperature of the battery, how good the connection is between your car and the CCS plug, who else is charging at the same time and critically, state of charge on the battery. If you look at the charging curves on Fastned you’ll see that over 60% battery and the charging rate drops off quite a bit.

It’s also interesting that Fastned specifically mention the fact that poor connections at the Audi’s charge port is commonly to blame for the car failing to start charging on fast chargers.

 

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The Audi website shows an e-tron zooming along an empty road. Their Youtube video shows the car in an enormous empty car park, and then the car driving in various locations, again with no other traffic. So even though Audi don't provide the chargers, it shouldn't be too surprising if they don't live up to reality either.
 

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Many 50kW chargers typically only provide 38..44kW. As noted, typically because of an A/C supply limit. But then why not advertise them as such. E.g. CCS 38kW Max.
50kW chargers normally are 50kW. The lower than expected charging rate on these is because the car's battery voltage won't be high enough - you'll find that the rate gradually creeps up during the charge as the voltage increases (but then the car throttles the rate toward the end of the charge to prevent damage to the battery)

Power (w) = Voltage (V) * Current (A)

A 50kW charger will normally supply a maximum 125A of current. If your battery is running at 400V then you'll be getting the full 50kW (125*400). If you battery is lower than 400V (which is likely at a low state of charge) then it will be lower. As an example, if your battery is at 350V, you'll only get 43kW (125*350).

Ecotricity chargers are the exception to this - they genuinely are rated at less than 50kW and you are right, they should be advertised as such. They supply a maximum of 100-110A.
 

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My daughter missed her trampoline session this week whilst we struggled to start a charge (on the line with the charge point operator). We didn't have enough charge to get there and back to it or another charger. We cut the charge short, but missed our booked trampolining slot anyway.
How long did you have to drive to reach the charger? It could just be that unless you've been driving a couple of hours the battery hasn't warmed up enough to take a high rate of charge.

Or perhaps BP Plus are just being economical with the truth.
 

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It seems well used. But we have been back to this BP pulse charger four times this week and it always maxes out at 80kW.

Also not generalising or picking on BP pulse. I commonly find that charge rates are much lower than advertised. Only IONITY and the few Shell Recharge chargers I have used reliably hit 140kW or higher.

Many 50kW chargers typically only provide 38..44kW. As noted, typically because of an A/C supply limit. But then why not advertise them as such. E.g. CCS 38kW Max.

Perhaps something like a 15% rule or an "at least" rule should apply. E.g. The charge rate acheiveable should be within 15% of the advertised max rate.
The charger may have a rating label somewhere hidden on the back.
Some chargers have a meter on the back so that the owner of the charger can check how much electricity was supplied since new. Around that area you may find a label with the real rated output.

Some early 50kW fast chargers did not accept a fast charge within x minutes or x hours of a completed fast charge as they needed to cool down. It would say "charger not available".
I experienced this at a Nissan head office fast charger.
This would be consistent with the "not starting a charge right away" behavior.

I'm not sure that this is the case here, I would call BP Pulse's customer service and ask them directly if you want a definitive answer.
 

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I feel sorry for Audi drivers who have to suffer these 50kWh chargers and then only get 2m/kWh. My battery is only small but at least I can manage 5m/kWh at this time of year. Especially bad when I arrive and the 50kWh drops to a shared 34kWh each at Sandbach.

The reality is that 50kWh rapids are outdated and 100kWh should be the norm.
 

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I'm not sure that this is the case here, I would call BP Pulse's customer service and ask them directly if you want a definitive answer.
What, BP give a direct answer?
BP, how long have you known about the risk of climate change with oil?
BP, when will you stop exploring for more oil when known resources are beyond 1.5c?
Etc.
 
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