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Discussion Starter #1
As more and more EVs come on to the market offering >200 miles range, I am starting to wonder if the approach of putting charging point is supermarket car parks, random car parks, train station parking is really the right way forward. The current UK approach seems haphazard at present.

With longer range EVs, i would think the vast majority of people's day to day driving can be completed on a single charge either a) at their home charging point or b) through wider roll out of Ubitricty-style on street parking.

For those longer trips, i would have thought that the country ought to focus its efforts on :
  • Ensuring an outstanding and reliable network at Motorway and major A road service stations
  • Focusing on popular tourist destinations and places from hotels to incentives for self catering accommodation owners to have a charging point.
  • Focusing on other transport hubs such as ferry terminals and airport parking
  • More lamp post charging for city residents who lack off street options for a home charger
  • Businesses / offices where staff frequently travel from one location to another for meetings etc

Given that I would think the vast majority of charging will be done at home in the future with comparatively cheap electricity rates, we should be prepared to pay more for a reliable network of Rapids at locations such as the above.

I would suggest that all other locations a deprioritized. Supermarkets and other car parks shouldn't bother unless they are in locations that are shown to attract visitors from far and wide.
 

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Zoe ZE50 GT Line R135
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Supermarket charging doesn’t fit into my usage pattern either, but there are presumably a lot of people with no off street parking for whom a weekly rapid or 22kW charge at a supermarket would be just the ticket.
 

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i think you need a bit of everything, as people need chargers for different reasons...

Someone with a driveway and home charger will only need to charge when doing a longer trip. So for those you want the good motorway facilities, but also ideally good destination charging at hotels or whatever.

Another group need public charging for their day to day use in their local area because they dont have a driveway. Some of this could be met by ubitricity type schemes, but if they can charge up every week while doing their shopping or while at work, that also fulfils their requirements.

park and ride or trainstations can actually meet both of these groups so arent as bad as you might think at first. If your long trip happens to terminate at a park and ride, being able to fill the car back up while your there is clearly extremely convenient. similarly if you cant charge at home, but can fill up once a week at the train station while your at work, then great. Though they are best suited for a large provision of slow chargers.


However, i suspect the point your missing is whos paying for them...

If Tesco decides to fill its car parks with chargers, why is that a bad thing? Its different if its government money putting chargers in Tesco, but thats not whats happening.

What the government should be doing though, is using the planning system to ensure all these types of places are forced to install sufficient charging provision.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yes i agree - by country i mean the planning system to have clear criteria to check against as to whether the locations i mention are priority for EV chargers.
 

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I totally agree, the only time I use chargers in supermarkets etc. are when they're free, I never actually need them. Our focus should be on rapid chargers on major routes, and destination charging in apartment car parks, terraced streets etc.
 

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I've had EVs for 7 years and I agree, there are plenty of places that have chargers without a good reason and a larger number of places where chargers would be useful but don't have them.

For me it's all about where I want to go that is over the "half-range" of the car. Less that half the range and I can get there and back and recharge at home where it's cheap and convenient.

If I go over the half range then I'm looking for a destination charger. I don't need to be able to get a full charge, all I need is the difference between what I have left and what I need to get home. So if my outward journey uses 70% of the batter capacity, I only need to pick up 40% charge to be back up to 70% for the return journey. My current car is a 40kWh Leaf that charges at 7.6kW or roughly 18-20% an hour as long as it's not the top 20%. I wouldn't generally drive 100 miles (~70% of range) each way to somewhere I wasn't going to spend a couple of hours.

I live in Milton Keynes, a town with one of the highest densities of public chargers in the country. People tell me that must make it a great place to be an EV owner but it makes absolutely no difference to me. What I want is high densities of charging at places that are nowhere near here!

The other category is places I'm going to be overnight. Generally they would be further away but if they are in range and have a destination charger then, again that works.

Rapids for everything else.

If I was selfish, I'd say a rapid within a 2 minute walk from home for those times when I have a lot of driving to do but no time to charge. Only happened once in 7 years and I just sat with the car.
 

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As more and more EVs come on to the market offering >200 miles range, I am starting to wonder if the approach of putting charging point is supermarket car parks, random car parks, train station parking is really the right way forward. The current UK approach seems haphazard at present.

With longer range EVs, i would think the vast majority of people's day to day driving can be completed on a single charge either a) at their home charging point or b) through wider roll out of Ubitricty-style on street parking.

For those longer trips, i would have thought that the country ought to focus its efforts on :
  • Ensuring an outstanding and reliable network at Motorway and major A road service stations
  • Focusing on popular tourist destinations and places from hotels to incentives for self catering accommodation owners to have a charging point.
  • Focusing on other transport hubs such as ferry terminals and airport parking
  • More lamp post charging for city residents who lack off street options for a home charger
  • Businesses / offices where staff frequently travel from one location to another for meetings etc
Given that I would think the vast majority of charging will be done at home in the future with comparatively cheap electricity rates, we should be prepared to pay more for a reliable network of Rapids at locations such as the above.

I would suggest that all other locations a deprioritized. Supermarkets and other car parks shouldn't bother unless they are in locations that are shown to attract visitors from far and wide.
Think you're right about the need for a mix of charging options to suit different driving patterns.
If you don't have a driveway, I think you'll find this interesting. This map shows:
  1. how many people in your area need on-street charging because they lack off-street parking,
  2. how well they are currently served by public charge points (i.e. is there one within 5 minutes walk?)
 

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As more and more EVs come on to the market offering >200 miles range, I am starting to wonder if the approach of putting charging point is supermarket car parks, random car parks, train station parking is really the right way forward. The current UK approach seems haphazard at present.

With longer range EVs, i would think the vast majority of people's day to day driving can be completed on a single charge either a) at their home charging point or b) through wider roll out of Ubitricty-style on street parking.

For those longer trips, i would have thought that the country ought to focus its efforts on :
  • Ensuring an outstanding and reliable network at Motorway and major A road service stations
  • Focusing on popular tourist destinations and places from hotels to incentives for self catering accommodation owners to have a charging point.
  • Focusing on other transport hubs such as ferry terminals and airport parking
  • More lamp post charging for city residents who lack off street options for a home charger
  • Businesses / offices where staff frequently travel from one location to another for meetings etc

Given that I would think the vast majority of charging will be done at home in the future with comparatively cheap electricity rates, we should be prepared to pay more for a reliable network of Rapids at locations such as the above.

I would suggest that all other locations a deprioritized. Supermarkets and other car parks shouldn't bother unless they are in locations that are shown to attract visitors from far and wide.
More and more BEVS will be driven by folk without home chargers.
 

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Nothing wrong with the pod point 7kWH supermarket chargers. I went on holiday and used one in the local tesco as there wasn't one in the cottage I was in. I also used one for an overnight full charge in a coop about 100 miles away on the weekend. If supermarkets want to put them in and encourage people to use them in order to (presumably) buy stuff in the shop then that's fine.

Totally agree with the fast charger network on any trunk road though. That is essential if we're ever going to go away from fossil fuels. My experience with them (ecotricity) has been a bit hit and miss.
 

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I quite like the supermarket chargers idea. Everyone needs food. Tesco get my business as I can charge for free and get the shopping in and come back with more charge than I left with.

Places like Booths have fast chargers in some locations that I'm happy to pay for to fill the car on holiday.
 

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I'd plug in at the local supermarket if it had chargers, even though I may only get 20 miles worth it all helps.

I use rapid chargers when I go out beyond my immediate area.

A slow balance charge every week I do at home, the only time I'd reach 100% charge.

With all the above charging I'd be quite specific about the locations I want to see other chargers, such as that annoying gap between Birmingham & Preston where rapid chargers are slow, single, unreliable, etc., come on Instavolt, 8 chargers like at M40 J11, we want them in Staffordshire/Cheshire at an M6 junction, they're depserately needed.
Supermarkets, well, it'd be nice if my local ones had chargers, but I can go further afield or simply charge at home.
On Street chargers, well, my backward council don't have any at all, this is the back of beyond, far from population centres, all of 30 miles from the centre of London, the council debates such things but it's always too much trouble and government grants get spent on having more meetings.

Alas, there's one simple thing missing in almost all of this, everyone will need access to a car charger eventually, we're headed for another major problem of exclusion, this time knowing full well that we're deliberately excluding sections of the population, this won't end well in the courts for councils and EV charge providers, especially where public money has been spent. If a wheelchair user can easily access an Ionity ultra rapid charger at a service station (due to design), why can't they access BP Polar chargers at BP petrol stations? why can't they access Booths chargers? Companies are lining themselves up to have a day in court, some councils are too, complaints are made but no one is thinking it through.
 

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I live in Milton Keynes, a town with one of the highest densities of public chargers in the country. People tell me that must make it a great place to be an EV owner but it makes absolutely no difference to me. What I want is high densities of charging at places that are nowhere near here!
That paragraph did make me smile.

For years I have spoken about being partly encouraged by MK's enthusiasm and expertise in winning grant funds - but at the same time annoyed that they didn't use the funds to the best advantage of their own residents. Once they had achieved sufficient cover in MK itself then they should have made that mental leap to realise that their own residents were still captive inside MK as the infrastructure 50 miles all around them was so poor. A really enlightened MK authority should have carried on to win grant funds but used that cash to install Rapids in other towns all around them so that MK drivers could go beyond half range as you indicate. That way they would be serving their own citizens much better than installing an overkill number on their doorstep.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
barneyd said:
I live in Milton Keynes, a town with one of the highest densities of public chargers in the country. People tell me that must make it a great place to be an EV owner but it makes absolutely no difference to me. What I want is high densities of charging at places that are nowhere near here!
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I am so with you Barneyd. This is just the point. And although i am not an MK resident, and don't take this the wrong way, but for all the delights MK has to offer, i don't imagine you get too many tourists driving to visit the place....
 

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barneyd said:
I live in Milton Keynes, a town with one of the highest densities of public chargers in the country. People tell me that must make it a great place to be an EV owner but it makes absolutely no difference to me. What I want is high densities of charging at places that are nowhere near here!
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I am so with you Barneyd. This is just the point. And although i am not an MK resident, and don't take this the wrong way, but for all the delights MK has to offer, i don't imagine you get too many tourists driving to visit the place....
Depends if you call urban planners “tourists”, although a lot of them come from way beyond EV range!

Still amazes me how far people will drive to go shopping. I’ll go to the shopping centre if I absolutely have to. Some people seem to consider it a day trip destination.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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Thing is, the 7kw chargers at supermarkets etc are very cheap to put in place in the grand scheme of operating a car park / supermarket, even the electricity costs are negligible in terms of the other overheads of the store.
As others have said they will meet the need for people who can't charge at home, eg pick up a 1-2 hours charge once a week.
Rapids on the other hand a very expensive pieces of kit. You could probably install 40-80 (maybe even more) 7kw posts for the cost of one rapid charger.
With those kinds of ratios I'd say it's preferable to have a lot of those 7kw posts, which will take some load off the rapid network, especially for those that can't charge at home, who would have no option but to charge off the rapidchargers, clogging those up.
 

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The thinking re EV charging is skewed by the cost difference between home charging and in other places; free at some locations and 40p per kWh in others. Overall though, I agree with the OP.
If we look at drivers of 100+ range cars with with home charging then rapid chargers are needed on the major trunk routes in pretty much the exact locations that petrol stations are now. These sites must have adequate chargers to allow for breakdowns and the capacity to increase charge units as EV use increases.

Other than that, in the longer term, there needs to be a well thought out and clear strategy to provide facilities for those who cant charge at home. Rapids at supermarkets would have a place, workplace, parking and hotels with 7kW chargers as well.
It will soon become apparent that those with home charging will have an economic advantage perceived as unfair by those without. Ways to level the playing field may need to be introduced.
I would also strongly recommend that government becomes actively involved in planning charging facilities and not leave it up to the vagueries of the market. Too much money could be wasted otherwise.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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The thinking re EV charging is skewed by the cost difference between home charging and in other places; free at some locations and 40p per kWh in others. Overall though, I agree with the OP.
If we look at drivers of 100+ range cars with with home charging then rapid chargers are needed on the major trunk routes in pretty much the exact locations that petrol stations are now. These sites must have adequate chargers to allow for breakdowns and the capacity to increase charge units as EV use increases.

Other than that, in the longer term, there needs to be a well thought out and clear strategy to provide facilities for those who cant charge at home. Rapids at supermarkets would have a place, workplace, parking and hotels with 7kW chargers as well.
It will soon become apparent that those with home charging will have an economic advantage perceived as unfair by those without. Ways to level the playing field may need to be introduced.
I would also strongly recommend that government becomes actively involved in planning charging facilities and not leave it up to the vagueries of the market. Too much money could be wasted otherwise.
People with home charging have other benefits if they have a driveway, such as cheaper insurance / and guaranteed parking. It's like the difference in cost of house with or without parking, not sure that unfairness necessarily comes into it. I'm not sure it's something that would need addressing though.
Non rapid charge points though don't have to be significantly more expensive than your average home tariff. Indeed many are free, and will continue to be
 

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I thought differing fuel costs might be more emotive. If everyone in Wales had to pay 3 times more for petrol than the rest of the UK, we are likely to have problems.
 

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I'm coming from the position of the front garden of my terrace house having just been block paved, and my charger due to go in when my friend can fit me in. Rather a large expense to add to the expense of an EV but I've brushed under the carpet of the household capital and maintenance budget. :)

So far I've managed my first couple of weeks with a few free supermarket charges and the granny charger on a 10 meter lead to the bottom of the garden using solar (apart from the odd fleeting cloud). Usual safety checks. There is a rapid in the village, but I'm not going to use that at £1 a connection and 30p, and the 50kW speed of CCS is not something I need for a local charger. People without my options wouldn't take kindly to any suggestion that "but there's a charger in the village car park" !

So, I'm with EdH here. Elecktrickery, it is different because the unfairness will come from having a government imposed rule without the acknowledgement that it hits certain people unfairly. The problem is that the current government doesn't acknowledge that their policies have more impact on certain groups, they don't care anyway, and they couldn't organise a heavy session in a brewery let alone plan ahead.
 
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