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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Longtime EV advocate, more recently in a position to actually do something to accelerate EV uptake, so as such I declare my commercial interest in that I lead EV strategy for EDF Energy in the UK and have done since January 2013. We have a diverse range of activities in the marketplace so it's likely that some posters here either have or will come into contact with our e-mobility services, either knowingly or not. Feedback always welcome, but views expressed on here are of course my own.

There is lots of fantastic advocacy and buckets of passion within the EV pioneer community (that I can't hope to match, frankly - I'm not a pioneer, more early adopter) but there are perhaps relatively few people who have "get a million EVs on the road, then 10 million" in their job description, so I'll tend to look down the kaleidoscope from the other end and comment on the long term challenges: Network Reinforcement, V2G, V2H, Demand/Frequency Response, insight and behaviour, standards, certification, HSEQ, supply chain capability etc.

I've driven almost everything with a plug on that's on sale here, and some more besides that are on sale elsewhere, and plenty that never will be anywhere. I have been tooling around in an Active E for a lot of the past year, but am currently between rides. Hopefully I can get into an i3 REx this year if the waiting list isn't too long.

With fond regards to all who have taken the plug-in plunge or who are thinking about it,

Mark
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much, Paul. Shall make those changes forthwith. As it goes I am unlikely to be making commercial postings per se, but some of what I talk about will have come about from the operation of our services, trials, research and other activities.

Mark
 
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Mark,
Welcome to the group. It's really good to have someone onboard who has a more visionary and strategic view of the EV evolution. It will be interesting to see what you feel able to share, in such a sensitive area?
I would like to make you aware of the EV Driver's Association (EVDA-UK). I understand that organisation is anxious to be able to establish structured relationships with EV stakeholders. I think it's www.evda-uk.org
In terms of the stage at which owners's involvement can be classified - my observations is that there a significant number of 'early majority' owners already owners. Indeed they may be a silent majority. Possibly its their inherant character traits - more passive, more rational - just wanting to adapt their lifestyle from the motivation of the economic benefits. They are certainly much less likely to be on chat rooms, of course - so we will have to wait and watch!
I'm even more uncertain of the 'maven' count?
Regards,
Brian
Member, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Evening, Kevin. Was expecting you to take inside 24hrs to raise that, so that's a box ticked. Still selling DIY charge points to anyone without checking or highlighting Part P certification?

EDIT: It appears not - well done. Genuinely. I know you'll think every word is laced with an ulterior motive, but one risk I've got half an eye on a possible profusion of electrical incidents once the OLEV funding stops. If the EU Alternative Fuels proposal is adopted and the UK does get a million (or approaching) new charge points up to 2020, we're going to need a GSR equivalent. We've got the makings of the rules in the IET CoP and good quality training at Gateshead College, just not the framework.
 

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Still selling DIY charge points to anyone without checking or highlighting Part P certification?
We always emphasis health and safety whether professionally or DIY installed, and will continue to sell DIY and other charging solutions so that end users have choice.

I know that large companies would like nothing better than turn EV charging into a restricted market and have watched EDF presentations telling us that 13A charging is unsafe.

I will continue to ensure everyone understands this is just plugs and sockets.
 

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Electrical installation is not have area for which I've had any training; however, I will tackle any task like adding extra sockets - even installing underfloor heating. However, I know-what-I-don't-know - installations in bathrooms and kitchens + any device with heavy demand, are No, Nos!
When I needed a charge point for the EV, I knew intuitively that it was too risky, for my skills/ knowledge.
So, based on the above comment, I looked up the Part P (for England) and I transcribed it, fairly roughly:
. What work is notiable
From April 2011, Installations in a dwelling, or it's associated surroundings, is notifiable to a local building control authority, if:
- Installation of a new circuit...or
- replacement of a consumer box, fuse box...or
- any alteration, or installion modification of an existing circuit in a special area..
The onus puts the onus on the householder and not the supplier of the electrical equipment! When I look at my installation it s a new circuit, has a new fuse box and has an outlet outdoors, which to me is a 'special area'.
DIY installation is definitely illegal!

As for the comment about the safety of 13A charging connections - IT IS UNSAFE! It has to be used with discretion - especially where the quality of the installion is unknown? Plugging an EV into a 13A circuit and drawing current continuously, for up to 12 hours, will be a huge strain on older circuitry!

13amp charging is strictly last resort (IMO)
 

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IMO it's important to remind everyone what happens when you take a contrary view to EDF and imagine what might happen if they controlled your EV charging network
New arrivals in the group should always be welcomed - and MJC is certainly the type is person with whom we shoukd be developing mutual respect?
None of us should be held accountable to policies elsewhere in the organisation - even more so, in a multi-national company!
If we want to influence the Head of EV Strategy (at any organisation) we want a dialogue about what can we do for him and what we would like him to do for us!
 

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If 13amp charging is unsafe, why do car providers provide it, and do people ever do 12 hour charges?
It was a barrier to acceptance of EVs - but the car manufactures were happy for owners to take the risk!
The reason that UK Govt has given free installations, without means test, is simply that burning homes is no way for the low carbon agenda, to kick-off. I have a charger at my daughter's and my mother-in-law's, which we use regularly. I don't mind taking a few Kws, but bunring out their circuits (or there homes) was a risk I didn't wanted to tak!e
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Zoinks - that went a bit runny a bit quick. If I can take some heat out of the thing, FWIW I'm on record as respecting Kevin's position on the matter he raised, and is probably best progressed over some kind of Anglo-Saxon meat/beer extravaganza rather than a discussion forum. I couldn't comment anyway, as I'm not an official spokesman.

In the interests of magnanimity, my point around electrical safety was somewhat tongue in cheek, but with a vein I'll elaborate on in a minute. I know how much Kevin has contributed within the space thus far, and while we could debate whether "Zero Carbon" is the right message (all renewables have some kind of carbon footprint) we actually have the same goals. I'm a big boy (especially these days) and having been our ECO/Green Deal programme manager before taking up this role, I'm no stranger to differing viewpoints robustly presented.

Brian (thanks for the welcome, sir) made an acute observation in that there are already some non-pioneer/non early-adopters out there, just not on this forum. It is indeed those people who occupy most of my thoughts - it's for them that I am doing what I do. Most people here are already way ahead of me in personal experience and adjustment. We all know how good EVs are to drive, own, and live with, and we've either made adjustments to how we travel or we've not had to. For my part, I regularly clocked up 7-800 miles a week in the Active E, and I've never used a rapid charger, and only used a public charger twice in my life. And both of those times were just to see how the experience was. My office is 65 miles away, and I have 32A charging at both ends - not one iota of planning or compromise required. So that puts in me closer to the aforementioned than those brave souls who risk a flatbed.

Also - I have know idea what a 'maven' count is. I spent 20 mins on Google and been through my materials on Rogers and Gartner and I'm still none the wiser. School's in!

And so (deep breath). Electrical safety.

I do indeed want to restrict installations in this space, to people who know what they're doing. The UK definition of "knows what they're doing" is indeed Part P to start, and then some appraisal against the specific EVSE frameworks. I liken it to "Type Approval" in the airline business. Even a 30-year captain on every type of Boeing can't just jump in an A380 and fly paying passengers.

This position is not to do with revenue for incumbent players. I used the Gas Safe Register as the example as it could be seen to be an analagous area where big business does not hold sway. There are over 100,000 GSR registered engineers in the UK, and 16,000 boiler installers. The biggest installer is BG, and they have 9000 Homer Services operatives and take around 10% of the total market (which is around 1.5 million boilers a year) Then there are a few smaller national and regional players. The remainder are your friendly neighbourhood combined gas/heating engineers who install way more than 75% of the volume between them.

If the same industry grows up around EVSE, that'll be just fine - as long as consumers get the right solutions. It means there is a sustainable market that is open to all. Hopefully such skills can be made cost and time effective to acquire - a vital factor in the growth of any retrofit programme. It may come as a surprise, but trying to get one or maybe, at a stretch, two Nuclear power stations built, dealing with ever-shifting policy on domestic Energy Efficiency, and planning a not-quite universally welcomed Smart metering rollout is quite enough to be going on with for mid-term activity, without trying to boss an emerging market for which we have no volume workforce to point at, as well.

The installs we do are targeted at specific parts of the market - we installed the infrastructure at BMW i sales location in the run up to Nov 16th. We work with the EST on the Plugged-In Fleets initiative. We're proud to be the Infrastructure provider within the Alpha Electric proposition from Alphabet. Volume is not what drives us. Safety and the growth of the market in the right way, regardless of which parts of the value chain we decide to play in, is.

I am not an electrical engineer, nor am I Part P certified. My background is in Astrophysics and so I speaka da lingo and leave the spanner work to those in my team who have way more expertise than me, and to whom I often address dumb questions. But in order:

Earthing. Number one issue in EVSE installations bar none. Paul above alluded to what conditions can exist when it's not paid attention to. The return path is never going to be via the vehicle and so it's not an area that one should gloss over holding a live (due to CP defect) 32A cable in your driveway with metal fittings such as gas pipes or exterior lights nearby. My 1930s semi in London had a brand new consumer unit and earthing spike required just to fit a boggo 16A for just this reason.

Load management. Another area of risk due to the antiquity of UK housing stock. 80A supply has been the standard for decades. That still puts a large proportion of the UK (figures not to hand) on 60A or a mere 13.8kW. For any house with electric heating then even adding 16A is tight. 32A will simply blow the main fuse if the kettle and oven are on as well.

Thermal management. Not so much an issue where installs that cover points 1 & 2, but 10A Mode 2 cables need a socket with a really small household-spec run not to risk overheating. BS1363 was simply not devised to take close to max loads for extended periods. We've already seen melted plugs and degraded insulation. It was mentioned above that manufacturers were happy to offer mode 2 cables as a default solution. That's not something we can condone. There are too many considerations simply give a consumer a cable, and expect them to follow rules like "no extension leads" to the letter. There is simply no way for a non-electrically competent person to predict whether the way such a cable is used will lead to problems or not - a problem that grows in line with adoption.

Really hoping all that doesn't come across as a rant - openness is the only way forward in my profession...
 
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Interesting. Previously drove 96000 miles in a Citroen Berlingo Electrique mostly charged from the garage at home. And while most of that was without incident. I did have a blackened timer plug on one occasion. And on another occasion the socket itself. I now have a professionally fitted 32 a charger for my Leaf which is, hopefully , better
 

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I'm at 52,000 miles and charged exclusively on 13A for the first couple years. I've also undertaken 32A charging with a 10m extension lead many times. I've never had any problems charging safely and have no doubt that a correctly installed and certified 13A installation is safe when charging at 10A (and if it wasn't the OEMs wouldn't supply 'brick' EVSE).

Just to put this into context, during last years WAVE we had ~25 EVs charging on temporary extension leads with some cars taking 43kW AC and even a portable CHAdeMO charger plugged in... it's just plugs and sockets!

IMG_2821_small.JPG
 

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Hi all,First time posting... I head up ecodrive Ltd, a consultancy supporting the industry from the vehicle OEMs and dealer networks (product support and training) through to fleet vehicle and charging infrastructure specification. Member of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' EV Group. Personally, around 100,000 miles since 1999 across all manner of EVs. Currently daily driver is a Peugeot iOn - and sometimes the trusty old Berlingo!

During the era of the first Plugged in Places we published a paper on the issues with '13A' charging. I'll work out if I can upload it here, but in the meantime feel free to get it at www.eco-drive.co.uk/downloads Whilst the thermal overload effects from using DIY socket extensions is the most obvious issue (the UK was very unregulated as regards DIY wiring until fairly recently) it is not the only concern. The IET Code of Practice later highlighted what I indicated as another significant issue with properties earthed by Protective Multiple Earth (PME) or TN-C-S to give it the technical name. This is normally fine for home applicances but can cause issues when a load (the vehicle) is outside. The CoP now distinguishes between charging inside and outside a garage for a very good reason. I'm trying to think of another "Class I" (earthed) 'appliance' we use outdoors, since all new garden electricals (lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, etc) are now double-insulated, Class II to avoid this very problem.

The vehicle OEMs often do not understand the peculiarities of certain countries. Many countries do not permit PME and do not use ring mains where overload is more problematic. We intercepted a particular OEM from going to market with a 13A EVSE in the UK, quickly recalled and de-rated to 10A before vehicles were sold. Better EVSE conduct a supply earth check and break the earth contact if required since, otherwise, the moment an EV is plugged in the vehicle body is connected to the supply, which could be faulty. Buyers generally sign to acknowledge (as part of the Plug In Car/Van Grant) that they have been advised about 'safe recharging' and that EVSE cables are not intended as a regular solution. Fleet demos will require a disclaimer that you only plug into a supply which meets all current regulations. Of course, you sign it even though you don't know when the installation was last checked.

I have used 13A charging. I DO use 13A charging occasionally still, at 10A load. But I am electrically trained, I apply over cautious manual load management, can identify PME supplies and can spot an undersized T&E cable from a distance. I carry an earth tester and can manage the risk. Lay users cannot identify these risks so readily. An EV is a heavier demand than virtually any other 'mobile' appliance and is Class I. The funding of home charging points, on dedicated circuits, protected by Type A RCDs, improves safety enormously and we encourage drivers to put them at every family and friend's house that they can!

We actively discourage OEMs from supplying EVSE cables routinely with vehicles since it encourages the complacency of treating the EV as 'just another appliance.' The use of BS4343 'commando' sockets is not permitted in homes because they are not shuttered - even the mighty Tesla have not distinguished the UK in their online marketing, suggesting the fitting of a 32A outlet for the Model S on their website. OLEV only fund the limited use of BS4343 in public sector fleet operations where they will be closely regulated by other Health & Safety / Safety at Work regs.

As vehicle numbers grow, we NEED to move away from viewing the vehicles as appliances, lest we (our fledgling market) suffer an unfortunate and damaging negative incident.

Matthew Trevaskis
Director, ecodrive Ltd
 
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Discussion Starter #16
My point wasn't that 10A charging couldn't be done safely - more that once we get to the mass market, consumers are not going be as clued up - or even conscious that there are issues in play. Those leads in the pic (and a nice pic it is) aren't exactly from your local hardware store. Someone sticks a Mode two cable into a 50m extension lead, doesn't uncoil it, then sticks that plug into a gang socket that also has a couple of other appliances plugged into it, drops the extension lead coil on the garage floor (the garage circuit having been lashed up by the previous owner of the property) then chucks a tarp over it as they look for something else...and we have ourselves a ball game.

What drives my position is that I have to deal as if I am performing the hundred thousands or millions of transactions. My close colleagues replace (and therefore inspect) hundreds of thousands of metering installations every year. Energy suppliers are still the only organisations undertaking such checks in the domestic space by law. We come across a small (by percentage) but significant (by volume) of nasties even now. When the Smart Metering programme kicks off in earnest, the national rate of replacement will accelerate and the volume of issues Suppliers discover will grow.

I cannot be confident that because the few thousand domestic charging people haven't experienced problems, there aren't issues waiting to arise once that number becomes 1 or 10 million. We're also subject to almost 2000 pieces of legislation and regulation that govern our activities in domestic supply alone. I am simply not in a position to decide some of them are not important based on the fact that few issues manifest at low volume.
 

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Someone sticks a Mode two cable into a 50m extension lead, doesn't uncoil it, then sticks that plug into a gang socket that also has a couple of other appliances plugged into it, drops the extension lead coil on the garage floor (the garage circuit having been lashed up by the previous owner of the property) then chucks a tarp over it as they look for something else...and we have ourselves a ball game.
It's a non issue at 10A... both the car and EVSE can be designed to detect the majority of these issues and stop the charge... Tesla do this today and so do we in our EVSE protocol controllers... I have no doubt that we can make this the safest appliance that a consumer uses without restricting choice.

I fully support the migration to Type 2 because I think it offers the consumer distinct advantages over domestic sockets... what I really dislike is the safety rubbish spewed out by *experts* with a vested interest.

One final point... anyone can walk into Tescos' and buy a 3kW Oil Filled Radiator and plug it in at home. The Radiator will take 13A from a 13A socket, 30% more than an EV on charge using a 10A 'brick' EVSE.

http://www.tesco.com/direct/rapido-3kw-oil-filled-radiator-white/206-0776.prd

Tesco.jpeg
 

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The use of BS4343 'commando' sockets is not permitted in homes because they are not shuttered - even the mighty Tesla have not distinguished the UK in their online marketing, suggesting the fitting of a 32A outlet for the Model S on their website.
While it's true to say BS4343 'commando' sockets are not permitted in homes, that restriction does not apply in many garages, and not at all in outside installations on a wall, etc.

It's simply incorrect to imply that BS4343 sockets cannot be installed safely for EV charging while meeting all the required UK regulations.

OLEV only fund the limited use of BS4343 in public sector fleet operations where they will be closely regulated by other Health & Safety / Safety at Work regs.
Given a BS4343 'commando' socket typically costs £8 it's not surprising that OLEV didn't bother with a grant for domestic installations. This was discussed a couple of years ago at OLEV and the consensus was that a grant would cost more to administer than it was worth.
 

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I reckon this discussion has gone it course? Mark and Ian, as new members, should not be placed in a position where they have to explain building regulations and company policy, of the company they work for. They are in Speak EV (I believe) as private individuals and browse and explore the many threads. I would hope that their knowledge, experience and interests are much wider and we look forward to a wider contribution!
 

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If you're bored with this thread Brian, unwatch it. I'm finding it really interesting.
I'm not bored with the thread - I could contribute more. It was only an attempt to allow new arrivals some breathing space!
 
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