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Discussion Starter #1
I was charging my Leaf today at Exeter Services. there is a single Ecotricity rapid charger and the CHAdeMO side worked fine for me.

Just as I was finishing my charge a dutch Tesla Model S arrived to charge. They are on a holiday to Cornwall and after a photo and me having a good look at the car (not having seen one before), we swapped bays so he could charge. The AC side of the charger was not working... circuit breaker tripped.

Called the helpline but it needs a engineer visit.

This was a Model S P85 but he had assumed he'd be able to charge and so he arrived with just 19 miles remaining!

After a bit of checking online I suggested ZeroNet and I found him a hotel with ZeroNet charging 7 miles away. He was thrilled and texted me to say hotel was great and car on charge.

This incident has raised a few questions and points of interest for me...

- I don't know what his plans were but if he had intended to charge at Exeter to full that would have been at least 4hrs if he had 22kW charger or 8hrs if he had the standard 11kW charger. That would put the CHAdeMO out for that period too and meant that the charger was out of commission.

- He didn't know about ZeroNet and it was only by chance that I was there to help. He made the point that we need database/app with ALL chargers.

- As there was only one charger and no backup, if I or someone else wasn't there to help they would be stuck.

- The Ecotricity map does not show that one side is faulty (AC or DC). They had checked the map and it showed the charger as working (green) but Ecotricity knew the AC side was not working. This means the Ecotricity map isn't reliable for checking status.

In the end... he now knows about ZeroNet and will probably look to stay at ZeroNet hotels for the rest of their week holiday in the UK :) I think this shows the importance of destination charging and how well ZeroNet locations can work particularly for tourists.

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I know a lot of the ecotricity chargers have an 80% limit to stop them being hogged. Maybe a time limit also of 30 minutes would stop them being hogged by cars using the AC with a standard charger. Really though, I think Renault should have thought about this when they brought out their 'standard'
 

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Ecotricity are already doubling up on the rapids. I charged my car up an hour earlier than planned and was coming off the rapid just as Paul came. If the AC side had been working and I came to charge as planned, I would have had to wait for hours while the tesla trickled charged.
 

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The problem with a second type two cable is that the none rapid capable cars can still use the wrong socket. If there is a timer on the session, it won't effect others so much.
 

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I would have had to wait for hours while the tesla trickled charged.
We all paid for the rapid chargers and everyone is entitled to use them even if it takes hours and you have to wait. Why is your charging more important than mine?

If the network vendors installed 22kW Type 2 Charging Stations alongside the rapids then not only would we all have redundancy but we could also provide incentives for people to charge on AC.

Remember that a 22kW Type 2 would probably add £1000 to a rapid installation.
 

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Use them yes, but to prevent anyone else from getting a ten minute charge for hours on end is a little selfish.

Sorry if I sound a little harsh on this but only luck saved me from a few hours wait before setting off.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rapid chargers should be just that - rapid... or not at all IMO.

The whole rationale behind Ecotricity rapid chargers... their very purpose... is to provide rapid charging on route so people can travel on long trips. That is why they are focussed on motorway service areas. It seems to completely defeat the entire purpose if any car plugs in for hours at a time at one of these chargers. It effectively blocks anyone else from using it for the purpose for which it was installed.

How would anyone feel if they have planned a trip only to find that one of the chargers is not available... not because it is broken (which it bad enough) but because another car has plugged in and decided to use it for destination charging!

As for us all having paid for them... I am pretty sure that the Ecotricity chargers did not receive grant money and if they didn't then we are not all entitled to use them. However, entitlement to use is not the point here... it is the blocking that is the issue.

I would like to see a 30 min limit implemented on all rapid chargers. They should not be used as destination chargers and it is grossly unfair and selfish to block a rapid in that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We cannot rely on selflessness if we want this to go mass market because most people just don't give a damn. Just like the Dutch people in the OP you'll be glad someone provided redundancy one day!
I agree with that and that is why we need a 30 minute limit. Then it is not up to the driver to be sensible.
 

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You do not know if they intended to use it for hours or not. They may have topped up, or indeed may have been planning to stay with the car and let others use it for 30 mins then plug back in. S
We shouldn't pre-judge other EV owners or assume the worst.
 

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I would like to see a 30 min limit implemented on all rapid chargers. They should not be used as destination chargers and it is grossly unfair and selfish to block a rapid in that way.
Why do you have the right to limit a Gen 1 Leaf driver to ~50 miles range? This is a resource for everyone not a select few who feel entitled.
 

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I wouldn't have taken my last two family day trips if there was a 30 minute charge time limit, wouldn't have made it.

Well, I would , I'd have just had to have unplugged and plugged in again to bypass shu a rule.

Anyway, this is generally a "good news story" so let's not get stuck on the old charger discipline debate again, please... :D
 

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I agree that there should be redundancy chargers at the rapids for when they are not available or when they are in use and you have to wait. I am not sure if a 30 minute timer is the answer, if we should arrive in our Leaf, cold weather, and we need a full charge to get to the next charger are we to be restricted to 30 minutes, having to move away for another user, then to move back to get our last bit of charge (what will take another 30 minutes). If there was a type 2 charger as well, we can rapid charge the first part and take the last 20% on the other charger to let someone else use the rapid.
At the moment this doesn't happen much, there are not enough users yet to get there at the same time, but this is going to become more frequent. And 2 rapids are great, but not if they are both on the blink.

As Paul says, this is a good news story. Is there anything we can do to make others aware of nearby chargers in case of others arriving at a charger to find they can not use it? Small note with websites where to find chargers? Nearest chargers going North/South/East/West with mileage and type?
 

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Hopefully the Tesla superchargers will solve this issue. Meanwhile at least they won't need to be using them so often with a 200+ mile range thankfully. I think the moral issue is why can Tesla use Nissan funded rapids if they object to Leafs or any other EV type ever using the supercharger network?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You do not know if they intended to use it for hours or not. They may have topped up, or indeed may have been planning to stay with the car and let others use it for 30 mins then plug back in. S
We shouldn't pre-judge other EV owners or assume the worst.
I did say that I didn't know their intentions. However, my comment was a comment on what might have happened if they wanted to.

Why do you have the right to limit a Gen 1 Leaf driver to ~50 miles range? This is a resource for everyone not a select few who feel entitled.
I think you have misunderstood my post.

No one has any more right to use a rapid charger than anyone else IMO. If a Tesla, BMW i3, Ampera, Zoe, Leaf gen1/2 or anyone else wants to use it then we all have the same priority.

However, I say again, rapid chargers are there for one specific reason... to RAPID charge. Rapid in terms of tiime... not only in terms of charge rate. The very reason we have rapid chargers on motorways is that charging can happen in 30 mins or so and so long trips can be undertaken without additional overnight stops. At least that is how I see it.

If a car hogs the charger for any reason, be it because they have finished charging but not returned to their car or that they are charging for hours on end, to such an extent then they are denying others the use for the purpose for which it is intended. Not only that, they might be forcing an unplanned overnight stop or even a flatbed recovery on someone else. I don't call that friendly. In fact, I call that very selfish indeed.
 

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Fast chargers as redundancy seems such a sensible back up, in fact the charge rate seems to slow so much with rapids at the high end you'd maybe be better off, certainly no worse off, after about 25-30 minutes moving over to a type 2 charger for any extra required anyway.
 
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