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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Wanted to start a thread about my upcoming experiences in taking part in the Go Ultra Low trials in Oxford. I have discussed this briefly before in a 'Oxford Chargers' thread but wanted to start a dedicated one here. Some of you will have seen me over in the VW forum already.

As background, Oxford City Council have received a £750k grant to trial various technologies to address the issue of the many people in this city who do not have a private drive to park on but would like an EV. For example I have ordered a Golf GTE rather than a BEV as I can't guarantee charging at the moment. I'm hoping it is just a bridge to an eventual Tesla 3 though and that this trial will give the confidence to go for a BEV

There are three core types of charging being trialled, outlined in the copied newsletter below. I will be trialling the Evolt cable channel option and will give further background in the next post.

As a final point of background / confusion (!), Oxford City Council are responsible for this trial but all our parking and highways are run by Oxfordshire County Council - something which has caused me some issues in this process as outlined below.

Copy of newsletter summarising the trial below:

Welcome to the April/May Go Ultra Low Oxford newsletter
Go Ultra Low Oxford is a major trial run by Oxford City Council and partners to identify the best way to provide ‘at home’ charging for residents who have to park their car on the street



EV charging bays approved by Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council have approved most of our proposed charging bays - meaning that we can move on with planning our charger installations.




We still need your support!
We still have consultations open on EV charging and car club bays to support the project.

Co-wheels will be swapping some of their cars to electric, and we are creating new electric car club bays on Alexandra Road, Leckford Road and Juxon Street.

The more positive responses that are received the stronger our case - friends and neighbours who might support the scheme can also respond.

Follow our links to tell Oxfordshire County Council why you support our proposals

Click here to support Electric Car Club Bays

Click here to support Charging Bays





Our new electric chargers
With help from our panel of trial volunteers, we decided on which charging technologies we will be including in our trial.

We will trial;



2 different lamp column chargers from Evolt and Ubitricity



A home charger and cable channel from Evolt



3 different charging pillars from Evolt, Franklin Energy and Ensto and Zeta


What are we doing next?
Our next important steps for the project are:
* Announcing who will be managing the charging network for us in Oxford
* Councillor decision on our new electric charging and car club bays on 18th May
* Confirming installation dates for trial volunteers
 

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Discussion Starter #2
As mentioned above, I will be trialling the cable channel option - more below. But first a bit more background as to how I got here first - apologies this is a bit long, future posts will be much more pithy!

When the Go Ultra Low trials were first announced I wasn't in a position to get a new car so expressed interest but said I wasn't ready to take part. This meant that I missed out on the reserved charging bay options where they simply install a charging column on the street side of the pavement and reserve the space for EVs. As it is, I would probably not have been able to get this anyway as they are only going in pretty high traffic areas to drive the turnover the operator requires to make them worthwhile.

The council then contacted me some time later saying they had money for a few more trials and I had now ordered my GTE so we started looking into options. I live on a Victorian street in Oxford, with serious parking problems (just outside a controlled parking zone (CPZ) and lots of students, so we get a lot of the overspill), so we first looked at the lamp column solution which is fantastic (see here
) - but requires lamp columns on the street side of the pavement which we don't have. There is a street 200m away that does but inside a neighbouring CPZ. As they install in 3 lampposts it would have given me 6 parking bay options but alas the County Council objected to me getting a parking permit when living outside the CPZ....

So, we are back at the cable channel option in front of my house. The big issue is that they can't reserve the space for me (county council says it is tantamount to creating a private space on a public highway) so is reliant on the space in front of my house being free when I return. I'm hopeful it will work OK as I work from home and can quickly move my car when I notice it becoming free during the day and we are also hopeful of our own CPZ here soon which would make a huge difference. I'm also putting a sign on my front wall saying EV Charging Point and highlighting it is part of trial in the hope that some neighbours will avoid parking there....! Final bonus for me is that my energy supplier is Good Energy, so when I do get to charge I know it will be 100% fossil free EV driving.

They did the survey this morning and it will hopefully be installed in August. They will put the Evolt charge point on the wall of my house and then dig a cable channel in the pavement through which I will thread an extra long charging cable - they are ordering me an 11m long one so that I can also run it along the pavement (on the street) to either side of my house to get a few more options for charging.

Will let you know how it all goes and my experiences with it. Would be great to hear from others who are already trialling this solution or any other on-street solutions!
 

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Will the test involve painting an EV-Only box for a parking space next to the Post/Lamppost ?

More debatable, is the idea it's for the person whose house it is outside, or for any passing EV driver to use ?

More debatable still, if it's on the public highway, are you expected to move after x hours ?

# I just see your second post, which includes :
(county council says it is tantamount to creating a private space on a public highway) so is reliant on the space in front of my house being free when I return. I'm hopeful it will work OK as I work from home and can quickly move my car when I notice it becoming free during the day .

But - all good ideas need a trial (and error) process --- we only progress by not progressing always in the way we want. Success requires failure etc.

Let's see how you get on! and thank you for telling about it.
 

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It's good to see Oxford City Council working on this (although they also need to put some effort into destination charging as that's woefully inadequate for a city that sees 7 million annual visitors). Oxfordshire County Council's inflexibility is ridiculous. They should be bending over to help make this work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Will the test involve painting an EV-Only box for a parking space next to the Post/Lamppost ?

More debatable, is the idea it's for the person whose house it is outside, or for any passing EV driver to use ?

More debatable still, if it's on the public highway, are you expected to move after x hours ?

# I just see your second post, which includes :
(county council says it is tantamount to creating a private space on a public highway) so is reliant on the space in front of my house being free when I return. I'm hopeful it will work OK as I work from home and can quickly move my car when I notice it becoming free during the day .

But - all good ideas need a trial (and error) process --- we only progress by not progressing always in the way we want. Success requires failure etc.

Let's see how you get on! and thank you for telling about it.
Indeed.

The way it will work for those with a charging column and reserved EV space is that they will have exclusive access between 6.30pm and 8am but during the day any EV can park for up to 3 hours. There are a couple quite close to me so this will also be an option during the day for me.

In terms of the lamp post solution you don't get a reserved EV bay. The theory is that the 3:1 lamppost to EV ratio should give you good options especially as you can park either side of the lamppost usually, giving you 6 bites at the cherry.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Has there been any indication of what the cost of charging would be from the public lampposts and charging columns?
Not that I'm aware. Last I heard was that they were finalising the deal with the supplier for the charging column. But will I'm sure be one of the big boys.

For the lampposts it is done through Ubitricity and you need to be part of the Go Ultra Low scheme - this is because they need to install 3 lampposts for every EV taking part. They provide you with a 'smart charging cable' so all the recording of use goes on in the cable and is sent directly to Ubitricity to bill you.
 

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How will that work with the lampposts. I contacted OCC about a street light on all day and the reply included "All our electricity supply are un-metered therefore whether it is operational or not we will paying the same amount. "
?
 

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How will that work with the lampposts. I contacted OCC about a street light on all day and the reply included "All our electricity supply are un-metered therefore whether it is operational or not we will paying the same amount. "
?
They don't seem to understand the problem, it's funny when you raise things with the council they sometimes just default to defensive mode, I understand what they are saying as street lamps are not metered they just declare what the wattage is and the hours of use so if it is burning 24;7 it doesn't cost any more money, they seem to think you are complaining about the waste of money:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How will that work with the lampposts. I contacted OCC about a street light on all day and the reply included "All our electricity supply are un-metered therefore whether it is operational or not we will paying the same amount. "
?
It's worth watching the fully charged video about Ubitricity above. The way I understand it, the smart cable is the meter so will tell them how much you use and then I guess Ubitricity will need to pay the council back
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Latest Go Ultra Low Oxford newsletter copied below. I'm still waiting to hear when they will install my wall box and cable channel.



Welcome to the July Go Ultra Low Oxford newsletter

Go Ultra Low Oxford is a major trial run by Oxford City Council and partners to identify the best way to provide ‘at home’ charging for residents who have to park their car on the street




Installation dates confirmed
We have now moved forward in our planning for charger installations and are able to confirm installations will start from the 2nd week in August and be completed by the end of the month.
Each volunteer will receive a personal email informing them of the installation dates for their charger





New Motion Appointed to manage Go Ultra Low Oxford Chargers
Oxford City Council have appointed the New Motion as our charge point network operator - responsible for managing billing, maintenance and repairs for 20 of our new chargers.
New Motion started in the Netherlands, and bring a wealth of experience from the Dutch EV charging market to our project.
New Motion will be using a renewable energy supplier for our chargers - helping us to make Oxford's EVs even greener.







The Go Ultra Low Oxford website is live!
Our very own project website, featuring case studies from four of our volunteerscan be found here www.goultralowoxford.org







Go Ultra Low Oxford project film
Students from Oxford Brookes University have made this fantastic short film about the Go Ultra Low Oxford project, with help from some of the volunteers taking part in the trial. Click here to view the film on youtube and find out more about what we're doing!







We still need your support!
We still have consultations open on car club bays to support the project.

Co-wheels will be swapping some of their cars to electric, and we are creating a new electric car club bay on Leckford Road

The more positive responses that are received the stronger our case - friends and neighbours who might support the scheme can also respond.

Follow our links to tell Oxfordshire County Council why you support our proposals


Click here to support Electric Car Club Bays










What are we doing next?
Our next important steps for the project are:
* Confirming installation dates for individual trial volunteers
* Starting our first interviews with Dr Brendan Doody
* Starting installations in August
 

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It's great that some sort of initiative is being undertaken to promote EV ownership, but I was just wondering whether low output charging located in this manner is the answer.

As early as the end of this year, there should be quite a choice of pure EVs on the market that will have a comparable range to existing fossil-fuelled cars. So, for the majority, that would mean that one rapid charge a week would probably be more than enough. Obviously, those able to park off-road will charge at home, so the issue is already addressed.

Would someone who doesn't have access to an off-road home charger prefer to charge little and often (as the initiative would appear to suggest), or would they prefer to spend 30 minutes at a rapid charger once a week or even less often?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Would someone who doesn't have access to an off-road home charger prefer to charge little and often (as the initiative would appear to suggest), or would they prefer to spend 30 minutes at a rapid charger once a week or even less often?
Definitely. I'm self-employed and my office is at home so a lot of the time I don't need every evening charging. However, often enough to be a problem I will have to do two or three days in a row of 150-500 mile round trips to different clients when I leave early in the morning and come back late in the evening - so need the guarantee of charging at night. Even 30 min rapid charging is an inconvenience compared with 5mins refuelling when you are leaving before 6am and coming back after 10pm...

This is the key really - night time charging and there are enough of us without a drive that this sort of initiative is key. I would not consider a BEV until it has diesel like range without the ability to charge at home over night.
 

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...The way it will work for those with a charging column and reserved EV space is that they will have exclusive access between 6.30pm and 8am but during the day any EV can park for up to 3 hours. There are a couple quite close to me so this will also be an option during the day for me...
Does that mean you will have a space reserved for your use only overnight?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Does that mean you will have a space reserved for your use only overnight?
I won't have it reserved with the cable channel solution as they say they can't create a private space on a public highway (it comes from my house electricity supply so no one else could use it). Which is why I have gone for a GTE rather than a BEV. My hope is that in the next year or so we will get a controlled parking zone however, and it should have the same effect as streets around us where you pretty much get to park in front of your house 95% of the time.

But yes, those who applied to the scheme early and are having a charging column installed (generally busier areas I think) are getting a private space at night - so any BEV can use between 8am and 6.30pm but evening and night is only for the named EV.

This is why I preferred the lamppost solution I mentioned above as the 6 possibilities from three lampposts is tantamount to a reserved space. My hope is that in the three years of my GTE lease I will find that I get to charge at night often enough to feel confident buying a BEV (especially if we get the promised CPZ) - although disappointed to see the Tesla 3 (more my price range than the S!) is only coming with about 200 mile range.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to explain it.

I'm not convinced that it is the right way forward. The ultimate aim is to convert every ICE driver to an EV driver, and if that were to happen, it would mean a problem with allocated parking spaces for everyone (under one of the schemes). Any other scheme would mean a bit of hit and miss as to whether you will find a charge point available.

We're already hearing that 350kWh charging is becoming available and EVs with 300 mile range will be commonplace in the not too distance future. With that in mind, a similar model to current petrol filling stations would be more practicable (given the speed of charging would be a few minutes for a good top-up). Many drivers will be able to charge at home, so there would be a lot less drivers relying on public charging, than currently rely on petrol filling stations.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to explain it.

I'm not convinced that it is the right way forward. The ultimate aim is to convert every ICE driver to an EV driver, and if that were to happen, it would mean a problem with allocated parking spaces for everyone (under one of the schemes). Any other scheme would mean a bit of hit and miss as to whether you will find a charge point available.

We're already hearing that 350kWh charging is becoming available and EVs with 300 mile range will be commonplace in the not too distance future. With that in mind, a similar model to current petrol filling stations would be more practicable (given the speed of charging would be a few minutes for a good top-up). Many drivers will be able to charge at home, so there would be a lot less drivers relying on public charging, than currently rely on petrol filling stations.
I totally understand this point of view. It's why the Ubitricity lamppost solution is definitely my favourite. Gives those in cities like me a very good chance of charging at night without actually reserving a space but is reliant on lampposts on the street side of the pavement... I guess ultimately it is a trade-off of living in a city. I have a diesel at moment (hopefully only another week!) but one of the nice things about this is not having to worry about finding a petrol station for weeks on end. Even with 300 mile range cars I would need to charge a lot more often than I get diesel and so many like me would still like the convenience of overnight charging like those with private parking enjoy.

350kWh charging is definitely a game changer though! Just not sure I have faith in the UK government to invest in infrastructure fast enough. I was in Copenhagen at the weekend where ICE's come with 150% sales tax and there are charging points absolutely everywhere as a result. - You see about 60-70 Model S a day and countless more Zoes, i3s and Leafs - but their government has really invested in public charging points everywhere
 
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