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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My current lease is going to end in June and I am considering going for a EV. Would be getting one through a salary sacrifice scheme (looking at £200 for a BMW i3 all in or a Peugeot 2008 for £250) So would use the EV for commuting to work (round trip of 18 miles four days a week and the odd trip out for about a round trip of around 100 miles once a month) So looking at the ranges of both EV's the BMW is about 160 on a full charge and the Peugeot is about 190, so I am thinking that the ranges should be okay for my needs?

I have some questions around owning and charging a EV.

Looking at the ranges of both the EV's I am looking at, would they cover the distances I am currently driving?

Has anyone got a 2008/I3 what are they like on a daily basis?

I live on a terrace street with no off road parking,so unable to have a charging point installed, but if able to park outside, could I use my home plugs to charge if needed during the day while at home as long as the lead is not in the way?

Been looking at the different apps used to find charging points and not sure if it's possible to use just charging points around my local area to keep the EV topped up, is this something others do? And if you do, is it easy to keep the EV charged?

I have a solar trickle charger, is this something I could use to keep the battery topped up?

In terms of charging, what are the costs? Looked a Polar Plus and they charge around £8 per month, what does this cover?

How do the different charging companies/points work/charge?

What about stopping at say Lidl and using their charging points without going in and buying something? (That goes for all places that offer charging points)

Oh yeah, only have about a week to make my mind up before picking a car and currently EV's are the cheapest option for a lease (Currently paying £280 for a petrol Seat Arona)

TIA
 

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Been looking at the different apps used to find charging points and not sure if it's possible to use just charging points around my local area to keep the EV topped up, is this something others do? And if you do, is it easy to keep the EV charged?

You are inviting a world of pain and frustration. Without a dedicated place to charge at home or work EV ownerships is challenging. It can be done but it is not easy and you may get stranded.



I have a solar trickle charger, is this something I could use to keep the battery topped up?
No.

I live on a terrace street with no off road parking,so unable to have a charging point installed, but if able to park outside, could I use my home plugs to charge if needed during the day while at home as long as the lead is not in the way?
The short answer is no.
We can get into details but in the end this is not safe.
 

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Your regular miles are so low that either car would be fine with no dedicated home charger.

You might want to invest in safety ramped cable covers for the weekly supervised top-up.

I have nice bright yellow ones. All the old and young people that walk over them say what a good idea for electric car charging and the reality that some ( occasional for me) charging will be across pavements
 

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In your situation, a Toyota Yaris Hybrid would get you close to an EV experience without parking/charging issues. It drives exactly like a small EV, albeit noisy if you floor the accelerator when burning off most cars at the lights - 0-30mph in 4 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Had a look at hybrid and the cost is more than I am paying at the moment, so have ruled them out.

So could I just charge once a week at say my dad's house using a three pin plug?
 

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Ideal would be to get a 32Amp Commando socket installed at your Dad's house and get a portable OHME EVSE from Octopus Energy (get one with a Commando aka Blue 32A CEE plug).
 

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So could I just charge once a week at say my dad's house using a three pin plug?
Most 3-pin plugs are not up to task. You need a plug on a dedicated circuit.

Extension leads are unsafe with EVs. The 3-pin EVSE (charge adapter) that comes with most EVs have temperature sensors in the plug. They shutdown if the plug or socket overheats.

Extension leads don't do that.





Much better if you installed a proper 32Amp EV charge point on a dedicated circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, so it's sounding that without a dedicated charging point, getting a EV is pointless?
 

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I've been driving EVs since 2015 with no easy way to charge at home. I've relied on public charging 95%+ of the time despite driving a pretty high mileage and often having to travel to different parts of the country.

It can be done. But you just need to plan more carefully, keeping the batteries topped up for when you need them and then some more just in case you need it or can't charge as soon as you hoped.

Zap Map is a good place to start for seeing what charging options are around you, and to get an idea of the pricing. The pink markers are rapid chargers (30 mins or so to top up), blue are 'fast' AC posts (a few hours to charge) and yellow are your slow posts which would typically be most useful while plugged in all day at work, or overnight.

Stopping at most places like supermarkets and hotels to charge is generally fine even if you're not their customer, but you may have to go inside to register your number plate at certain locations. Always check restriction notes on Zap Map and read parking signage.

I wouldn't give up hope just yet on the idea. But take note of what others have already said above me. It's not going to be as easy, convenient or cheap as those lucky to have the ability to charge at home, but certainly not something I would consider 'pointless' without investigating further.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been driving EVs since 2015 with no easy way to charge at home. I've relied on public charging 95%+ of the time despite driving a pretty high mileage and often having to travel to different parts of the country.

It can be done. But you just need to plan more carefully, keeping the batteries topped up for when you need them and then some more just in case you need it or can't charge as soon as you hoped.

Zap Map is a good place to start for seeing what charging options are around you, and to get an idea of the pricing. The pink markers are rapid chargers (30 mins or so to top up), blue are 'fast' AC posts (a few hours to charge) and yellow are your slow posts which would typically be most useful while plugged in all day at work, or overnight.

Stopping at most places like supermarkets and hotels to charge is generally fine even if you're not their customer, but you may have to go inside to register your number plate at certain locations. Always check restriction notes on Zap Map and read parking signage.

I wouldn't give up hope just yet on the idea. But take note of what others have already said above me. It's not going to be as easy, convenient or cheap as those lucky to have the ability to charge at home, but certainly not something I would consider 'pointless' without investigating further.
Okay thanks for that information. That's given me a bit of hope. What sort of pricing would I be looking at?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just had a look at Zap Map and found that there are a lot of charging points around, most appear blue.

Some of the charging points are located at car dealers and such like, are these open 24hrs? If so can you just pull in and charge? No matter what the time is? Can you just pull in and top up?
 

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Okay thanks for that information. That's given me a bit of hope. What sort of pricing would I be looking at?
That really depends on where you are and what charging networks you use. Some chargers will cost as much as 39p/kWh. Some others are completely free to use, with plenty of others somewhere between. If you have a lot of Polar and/or CYC charging stations in your area, I'd suggest signing up to Polar Plus as you discovered yourself to keep the costs fairly low, and then trying to stick to just them as much as possible.

Just had a look at Zap Map and found that there are a lot of charging points around, most appear blue.

Some of the charging points are located at car dealers and such like, are these open 24hrs? If so can you just pull in and charge? No matter what the time is? Can you just pull in and top up?
The car dealerships are pretty much the one exception to what I said about anyone being welcome at charging stations. You'll generally only be welcome to charge there if it's your manufacturers dealer. Some have fair use policies too. And unfortunately they are almost always placed somewhere behind a gate or barrier that will be locked outside of opening hours.

Almost all the other locations where you may find a charge point should be good for 24/7 access however.
 

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Don’t want to change your mind, but since you cannot charge at home the choice of car has to be in accordance with the infrastructure in your area.

If you have mostly 22kW AC chargers, then both Peugeot and BMW will probably give you a lot of frustration; they charge slow on AC.

if you mostly have DC charging in your area, then go with either of the BMW or Peugeot. BMW has the downside that you cannot open the backdoor without opening the front door and in side-by-side parking...it may be difficult to get anything on or from the back seat.

If infrastructure is mostly AC around you, I recommend considering the Zoe too. I lived 4 years with the previous generation without my own charging station and it wasn’t a pain; you will change your lifestyle to suit your needs. I got the Zoe because of the infrastructure.
 

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The BMW will charge at 11kW which is about 40miles gained every hour plugged in, but you are only doing 18 miles day.

Best bet will be your Dad if he lives close and you can spend about 4 hours there (7kW charging).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The BMW will charge at 11kW which is about 40miles gained every hour plugged in, but you are only doing 18 miles day.

Best bet will be your Dad if he lives close and you can spend about 4 hours there (7kW charging).
How about just putting the EV on charge at my dad's with a three pin plug? Thinking that the electrical points in his garage is on a separate system. He does charge his scooter (mobility) in his garage.
 

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The BMW will take about 20 hours to charge on a 3 pin if empty. Also the 3 pin plugs have an occasional habit of overheating so far from ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The BMW will take about 20 hours to charge on a 3 pin if empty. Also the 3 pin plugs have an occasional habit of overheating so far from ideal.
Okay thanks. Thinking that if I do get one, I would charge it like my phone. Wait until the charge drops to say 50% then top up at a public charging point or just visit my dad who is just up the road and plug in there for a bit.

Would that work?
 

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Yes. That's fine. You can let it drop further if you like and aren't at any sort of risk of not being able to find a charge when you need it. 30% is the time where I start planning to plug in, and 20% is my hard limit where its getting plugged in right now no matter what or where, and I'll typically rapid charge to 90% and start over.

A good practice you'll learn over time is to just 'graze' while out and about. It will prolong your charge and mean you make less trips to have to give it a full charge by just taking whatever you can as and when the opportunity is there. My local supermarket has a 7kW post. I'll plug in there while I shop. I'm not going to get a full charge but I'll get a little more than I used to drive there and back. If I'm grabbing a quick lunch at KFC, rather than going drive-thru I'll plug in to their rapid charger and go inside. With the lunchtime rush I've gotten 10 minutes worth maybe, or a very substantial amount if I have time to eat there too.

There are constantly more and more places to plug in being installed. As long as like you say there is a good amount already in your area I'd say you're good. But if not there are a few other possibilities below to make things easier.

You could also get a cable cover/ramp for charging at home to protect the cable trailing across the sidewalk to stop people tripping on it. Most councils seem to be OK with this these days.

Other options would be to speak to companies like Ubitricity and Electric Blue. They both offer lamp post charging installations. If they can get your council to agree, that's another option for charging at/close to home.

Finally there's the option of getting a 7kW home charge unit at your dad's house. It wouldn't qualify for the grant I don't think, but you could pick one up yourself fairly cheap and have it installed by a trusted electrician to speed up charging there. It would make a huge difference to charge times compared to a 3-pin plug.
 
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