Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

In this car park, should I park in the EV space, even if I have enough juice to get home anyway?

  • Yes

  • No

1 - 20 of 152 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK folks here's one for you...

Semi-rural railway station 15 miles away from home that I use a lot for work trips all over England. Car parking for about 30 cars and free to all. Two bays have a 7kW type 2 post, one with a dedicated EV only space, the other next to it in an ordinary space.

Recently the car park has become very popular. Anyone arriving after the first couple of trains in the day (7:30 am) will be lucky to get a space. If you visit after 9, there are no spaces and people (considerately) double-parked all over the place. No, really, I'll take some pictures for you...:rolleyes:

But the one place that's never taken is the dedicated EV space. :)

So the dilemma. When I arrive in my Zoe, where do I park? I often arrive (for whatever reason) with a battery that's nowhere near fully charged, but I might not NEED a charge to be able to get home again. Do I take one of the other spaces and deprive someone else of the space for their ICE? And, perhaps worse still, add to their temptation to block the only EV space? Or, do I take the EV space and enjoy the charge?

I've done both and recently and, when I've blocked an ordinary space and seen where others were forced to leave their cars, I've started feeling guilty that I've EV'd an ICE space when I had my 'own' dedicated space.

Recently (1 Oct) I saw another ev (leaf) charging there so worried that I also risked depriving someone from a charge if the car park was full. So I tweeted @CYC to see if two EVs had been there before. They checked and replied that this was the first time. I've not seen the leaf (or any other EV) there since.

So, there are 2 EV chargers, car park is always busy, where should I park?:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,249 Posts
You didn't give a third option so I couldn't vote... sorry.

This is a difficult one isn't it.

Do you park in the EV bay even though you don't actually need the charge and potentially deprive another EV owners of charging or park in a non-EV bay and deprive an ICE owner of parking?

There is no right answer to this one and that is why I didn't vote.

The way I see it... and I freely admit that you may have a different opinion to me... is that the charging bays are for those that need to charge... the parking bays are for those that need to park without charging... regardless of whether they are an EV or not - you don't need to charge so I would park in the normal bays and leave the charging bays for someone that needs to charge.

This is a superb example of why IMO charging is not really suitable at station car parks. Unless there is charging at every parking bay it will always mean that EVs may be deprived of getting the charge they need because the available charging is occupied, either by a legitimate EV or ICEd. Either way, you will never be able to drive your EV to a station and guarantee to get a charge. That might not matter if you have the range to get back home, but if you need the charge to get home then you will always run the risk of not getting that charge and not being able to get home in the evening.

I can see that on the surface having fast charging (7kW) at stations, park and rides etc seems to make sense. It is a place where cars are parked all day. Why not charge at the same time? But to me it makes no sense at all and when we see more and more people finding that their charging bays at the station are constantly busy then people may come round to seeing what I am getting at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,249 Posts
No one would know. True. But if you follow the charging etiquette then one of the guidelines is that you don't charge if you don't need to. Plugging in when you don't need to is potentially depriving another EV of charging when they desperately need to.

If the car park is full then I am sure that in most cases there are other options even if they are less convenient. If both charging bays are occupied and you need to charge then it is likely you have no other options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I often park in Newcastle if I am away for the day. I definitely need to charge but not for the whole day but I end up charging anyway. I know this blocks a space once my charge stops but I'm not able to get back to my car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,865 Posts
I voted yes.

1) if the general public see EVs actually being charged, they might start to realise that it is a used resource, and not ICE the spots. At the moment the perception is of constantly empty bays, never being used, so they will get ICEd

2) They will be taking usage stats, and even if you don't need a complete charge, top-up, and you will be recording use of the spot. Ultimately this could swing the installation of a larger number of bays. You might have enough remaining charge to get to your destination, but by doing the "right thing" and leaving the spot available, there's a good chance it won't be used for the rest of the day anyway, and therefore not show up as a used resource, which is worse for the whole community.


@Colin_Skene is spot on, even if you need a full charge, chances are at a spot like a train station, the car will be sat not charging for a chunk of the day anyway. So I'd plan it on a case of first come first served basis, and not rely on it.

Personally I have zero problem with this, if I got to an EV parking bay, and there was a fully charged Leaf in it I'd be happy. If there was a Range Rover in it much less so.

@Paul_Churchley is right, unless you have a leaf, or an i3 most people wouldn't know the car is an EV. (I would say 90% of people think my Tesla has a petrol engine! )
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,598 Posts
For now, yes. The "promotion" of EVs and the demonstrated use of infrastructure is more important at the moment than the small risk of inconveniencing another EVer, who after all knows that a single 7kw post in a train station car park is probably not going to be available.

If you can't be bothered to get the cable out the boot and faff with the RFID card then no, park in a regular space. And once you start to regularly see other EVs or PHEVs there (or they start arriving in the morning before you!) you know it's time to let them in.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,913 Posts
Unless you are turning up with a full battery then you have every right to park.
IMO if a charger is in a car park it is designed to be parked at, the majority of cars in at the station will be parked from early morning until late evening. Why should you be any different? If we work on the basis that you can't leave your car there after it has finished charging the post will barely get used and therefor removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,865 Posts
Would you pay to charge, or just doing so because it is free?

If you wouldn't pay, leave it for someone who actually needs it. Fake demand helps no one.
This is more applicable to PHEV'ers as they can always pay ;)

But back on point I think it does help. Ultimately if we as users are reluctant to charge for fear of inconveniencing someone else, the points will sit idle.

Make no mistake, there is a land grab going on for points (just look at the daft number of RFID cards, and Tesla / Ecotricity problems). They aren't doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, they are doing it to see where to put points for maximum return in the future... All points will be paid for soon enough, at which point the same dilemma will hold true.

Tesla is a case in point. They know they will make more money by being like Shell or BP than Ford or GM. They've also seen how Apple's tactic of selling a high class product on minimal margins to build up an "ecosystem" of constant incoming revenues is a better business model. (Arguably this is why Tesla's share price is so high, just look at how little money they have actually made vs. their market cap.)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,598 Posts
Would you pay to charge, or just doing so because it is free?

If you wouldn't pay, leave it for someone who actually needs it. Fake demand helps no one and just results in more chargers in the wrong locations.
Not always true. I live less than a mile from work, but between March and September I was charging there every day. This resulted in a change in parking policy to keep EV spaces free, two additional chargers becoming active, in excess of 50 conversations about the car, many test drives, and there are now 10 other plugin drivers on site. Now there's so much demand, I don't often charge at work (unless I've been offsite and return to the office to find space etc).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
961 Posts
This is more applicable to PHEV'ers as they can always pay ;)

Not sure I follow that.

This idea that 'seeing them used is a good thing' is utter nonsense. It just reinforces the public perception that EVs need to be plugged in the whole time and the daft idea of the chicken & egg where nobody can buy an EV because there aren't charging points everywhere.

Anyone who commutes every day wants to add as little hassle as possible to their routine. The thought of having to fight for a charging space and mess about with cables in the freezing dark would make me run a mile. Show them that they don't need to do this, not that they do.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
961 Posts
Not always true. I live less than a mile from work, but between March and September I was charging there every day. This resulted in a change in parking policy to keep EV spaces free, two additional chargers becoming active,.
So you faked some demand and it resulted in more money wasted?

How many of these new people actually need that charge, or is it just a nice new company benefit? (Nothing wrong with that, but there are better ways to advertise it than chance encounters.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,865 Posts
Not always true. I live less than a mile from work, but between March and September I was charging there every day. This resulted in a change in parking policy to keep EV spaces free, two additional chargers becoming active, in excess of 50 conversations about the car, many test drives, and there are now 10 other plugin drivers on site. Now there's so much demand, I don't often charge at work (unless I've been offsite and return to the office to find space etc).
Great success story! I guess not being able to park any more is a small price to pay, and goes to prove without demand there is no supply!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,913 Posts
So you faked some demand and it resulted in more money wasted?
So at a train station where 90% of people leave there car all day in a CAR PARK a space with a charger should be left empty all day every day because it looks bad that an electric car needs charging:eek:.
Read Edd's post as I have had similar experiences. The more people see us charging and understand the cost savings the more people will want to change. A daily commute to a train station is perfect for an EV, most people will walk past every EV and not notice that it is powered any differently, its the plugging and un plugging that make people stop and ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,865 Posts
Not sure I follow that.
Because in a PHEV you can sacrifice "free charging" for decreased effective MPG, effectively paying more.

Anyone who commutes every day wants to add as little hassle as possible to their routine. The thought of having to fight for a charging space and mess about with cables in the freezing dark would make me run a mile. Show them that they don't need to do this, not that they do.
TBH I have some sympathy with this position, and actually prefer using tethered points such as Ecotricity's for this exact reason. Still doesn't fix the number of bays issue though, and that will only happen if people use them and take charge.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,913 Posts
And the 99% of others think 'crikey, that looks like a painful thing to do every time you park' as they rush to get a Latte.
You should try talking nicely to people rather than the Paddington Bear stair:p, I have only had possative conversations at charge point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,865 Posts
most people will walk past every EV and not notice that it is powered any differently, its the plugging and un plugging that make people stop and ask.
100% agree.. I run a Software House, so perfect demographic for Tesla's social media based advertising.

I had the car a couple of months before I first charged it up outside the office. Only then did a number of staff twig my car wasn't a diesel, and start asking questions about it. :confused:

Maybe an i3 would be a different kettle of fish though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
961 Posts
You should try talking nicely to people rather than the Paddington Bear stair:p, I have only had possative conversations at charge point.
And what do you say when they ask why you are plugging in?

If you tell them that you don't need to, and that you are only doing it for their benefit, that's great. They go away with the right perception. If you tell them 'because it's free', that's great, but they also need to know that has some future caveats. If you tell them 'because I need to, it's an EV', then they will nod politely ask some questions and then mentally tick off EVs from their shopping list.
 
1 - 20 of 152 Posts
Top