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Discussion Starter #1
Last weekend I went to see a show in Bristol. The nearest car park to the Hippodrome was the one in Prince Street and it had POLAR EV charging so that was the one I went to.

When I got there there were two POLAR units on the wall but the bays were not marked in any way and no signs so not surprisingly there were two petrol cars in two of the bays but two of the bays were unoccupied. As the bays were not marked I wouldn't complain at this but it is frustrating never the less.

One of the POLAR units had red lights and was not operational and the other unit was where the occupied bays were so the whole idea of charging went out of the window.

I think this is typical of most people's experiences. I have found great places to charge in Bristol... Cabot Circus for instance... but I thought I'd try this one out just to see how it went.
 

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That sounds very similar to my sole visit to a Bristol car park (Lower Castle Street). 4 bays all ICEd when I arrived, one POLAR unit with red lights, the other one working and available by the evening (so I moved my car and charged) but by the time I left both units were displaying red lights. The NCP employee in the car park was very intrigued as he had never seen the charge points in use before.
 

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Having had many successful public charges other than being ICED, had my first problem yesterday with charging away from home.

Went to Milton Keynes. One Polar column Was damaged, one already occupied with a Leaf. Remaining Polar column showing blue lights. Plugged in my 3 pin cable and waited for the 5 green lights on the cable and the blue lights on the column to change to green but they didn't. A message on the column screen said, plug your car in. I normally plug the car in once the 5 green lights show and the column shows green lights, it has always worked but this time it was differant

Went to another column and that was unsuitable for my cable, decided to give up.

Later went to the Marston Moretaine Millenium Forest Centre (ex London Brick factory), both Polar charging bays are usually free as they are reserved for EV's only.The same thing happened.

Next I will try plugging in the car before plugging into the column, if that doesn't work, will have to purchase a type 2 cable if this is a new ongoing problem with the EVSE.

Checked the unit at home, it works fine.
 

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Hi I live in Milton Keynes and I never really charge out side as all the bays are full,
It was funny a young lady was looking at the charge post yesterday, and as I walked passed she asked how to you pay to park with this meter lol,
 

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13A charge posts will eventually disappear so a type 2 cable will become essential to charge away from home. Is it true that come as standafd with a Zoe and an EVSE is optional?
 

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I guess both are still needed really for charging at friends houses etc. I am trying to get all my friends to fit free chargers but not everyone is keen!I have been recommending the Polar Type 2 socket as it can be used with all modern EV with correct cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is interesting... that you are recommending a type 2 socket for your friends.

I have always considered a tethered cable at home as the better option so you don't have to mess around with cables daily but I can see the sense in people that don't have an EV having a more general option and yes, it does make sense that if you don't have an EV yourself then you might have friends with different EVs wanting to charge when they visit so you don't know what you will need. A type 2 socket is perfect and they can then provide their own cable.

Thanks for that :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As I understand it... the Zoe cannot charge at 10A is that right?

If it is then there would be no point in supplying an EVSE for a 13A socket as it couldn't use it.

This is one of the few bad points about the Zoe IMO but the good points of faster AC charging far outways that.
 

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Brian Matthews said:
Went to Milton Keynes. One Polar column Was damaged, one already occupied with a Leaf. Remaining Polar column showing blue lights. Plugged in my 3 pin cable and waited for the 5 green lights on the cable and the blue lights on the column to change to green but they didn't. A message on the column screen said, plug your car in. I normally plug the car in once the 5 green lights show and the column shows green lights, it has always worked but this time it was differant

Went to another column and that was unsuitable for my cable, decided to give up.
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I live in MK and frequently us the charges near the library and shopping centre without a problem so far, but have seen columns out of action. I try to make a note of the number and on the unit and report it.
 

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Paul Churchley said:
As I understand it... the Zoe cannot charge at 10A is that right?

If it is then there would be no point in supplying an EVSE for a 13A socket as it couldn't use it.

This is one of the few bad points about the Zoe IMO but the good points of faster AC charging far outways that.
Yes your right the Zoe can only charge at 16A or 32A And of course fast charge and rapid charges,
But I have a 32A box at home. I was a little upset when I find out that it could not use a 13A as there are lots over the city but when Renault told me how long it would take to charge on a 13A I did not mind anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Eunicholas said:
Yes your right the Zoe can only charge at 16A or 32A And of course fast charge and rapid charges,
But I have a 32A box at home. I was a little upset when I find out that it could not use a 13A as there are lots over the city but when Renault told me how long it would take to charge on a 13A I did not mind anymore.
I agree that 13A is no good for full charging but I see it as an emergency safety net. If I encounter a long diversion for example that I hadn't planned for and I unexpected run out of power (or nearly so) then I can always scrounge a hour or two of charge to get me home instead of having to be recovered on a flatbed and have the associated costs.

No matter what EV I have I will always want the 13A capability and that is why I could not own a Zoe in its current form.
 

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Renault said when they tryed to use a 13A Cable lead set on fire, plus I get free pick up anywhere in the uk, they will take me home or drop me at a charger, But with my range being quite high I don't mind, i can do over 100 miles easy, but with all that said it would still be nice to have the 13A Option, as I'm not sure how much my range will drop in the winter,
 

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And I was talking to Chargermaster and they said in the coming years they will Filter out the 13A charge posts,and upgrade all the post to 32A, in Milton Keynes they just Got a grant for A lot more 32 amp charges some fast chargers and is going to be rapid charges as well,
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Eunicholas said:
How much dose the range of the leaf drop in the winter Is it a lot ?
It drops about 25% in my experience but it depends very much on the temperature.
 

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Eunicholas said:
Ok if you charge the car up a little before you go out so the battery is warm do you think that will help?
It should do, it does for my Volt so I don't see why your Leaf should be different.
The Volt even has a remote pre-start option to warm up the cabin and battery while the car is still on charge. The only problem with that is it can drain more power than the Volt's puny charger can supply so you then have to wait while the battery recharges.
 

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I actually think it is a big (UK only) problem. I often visit friends and use a 13A socket to charge overnight and I am sure a lot of Leaf drivers do too. This is not a problem in most EU countries as they have 16A domestic sockets. I will be very surprised if BMW make the same mistake...
 
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