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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just been looking at the destination charging options in Norfolk on Zapmap and Plugshare. I was shocked to see that all the council funded points are all charging a whopping 30p/kWh with many also charging a 50p connection fee. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on installing these chargers which will likely never be utilised due to the ridiculous pricing.

I know there are differing opinions on pricing. I believe that destination chargers should be free to use, and certainly not more than domestic electricity. The point being that they need to prioritise getting more EVs on to the road, and encourage a higher proportion of the traffic using the roads to be zero emissions. The additional cost of adding the necessary functionality to enable taking and administrating payment for charging will vastly outweigh the cost of providing free electricity for the usable lifetime of these charging points.

To me it just seems like a compliance/box ticking exercise with absolutely no though for whether they will actually provide a usable resource. With PodPoint and Gridserve setting the bar for reasonably priced rapid charging at 23-24p/kWh, it seems like the pricing for these destination chargers was deliberately set astronomically high to actively discourage people from using them; probably with the aim of 'proving' that demand is lower than reality.

How many EV drivers would be willing to pay 30p/kWh for destination charging? Let me know what you think is reasonable!
 

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Depends how desperate you are to charge, personally I'd rather take the charge and not have to stop on my journey. The most I've been fleeced was at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, £12 parking and a £5 EV contribution for the pleasure of using their 22Kwh AC charger to charge my ZE40 up in an hour! Think that works out 77pKwh!!! Next time I'll park on the road outside like everyone else and take my chances at the nearby Ecotricity charger on the M1 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depends how desperate you are to charge, personally I'd rather take the charge and not have to stop on my journey. The most I've been fleeced was at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, £12 parking and a £5 EV contribution for the pleasure of using their 22Kwh AC charger to charge my ZE40 up in an hour! Think that works out 77pKwh!!! Next time I'll park on the road outside like everyone else and take my chances at the nearby Ecotricity charger on the M1 :)
So, do you think the council should be funding chargers which provide a last-resort, emergency facility at a premium price? Or should they be trying to provide a service which encourages people into EVs and makes a genuinely useful resource to the community?
 

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So, do you think the council should be funding chargers which provide a last-resort, emergency facility at a premium price? Or should they be trying to provide a service which encourages people into EVs and makes a genuinely useful resource to the community?
For me I don't think that local Councils should get involved in funding charge points at all. Councils have too little money to pay for their core services which in general they run badly (although better than central Government would), so they should concentrate on those and more active transport policies than aiding central Government policy which is well advanced along the route to ending production of ICE. Like the design and manufacture of cars and fossil fuel sales facilities charging points should be left to the private sector.
 

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I think I can beat even that:

When I take my Fluence to London, I charge on a Source London charger. This costs 5.9p per minute, but my car can only charge at 3.6kw. That's 98p per unit, (including parking, of course.)
 

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Zoe Devotee
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The easy solution is just don't travel to that area, vote with your feet (wheels) and they can't extort you. I myself ran into similar issues in Scotland. I stopped shopping in Edinburgh because they couldn't be bothered to install posts for visitors to the city (my Zoe couldn't get there and home in winter so needed to stop en-route, no thanks Goodbye Edinburgh). I then shopped in Dundee, when they implemented charging nepotism (only locals got free charging visitors had to pay) I stopped shopping in Dundee. Now I shop in Perth, where they have free Sunday parking and free charging.


In 2020 I did none of these things, kept all my money, only bought what I needed online and I'm personally better off for it. I could realistically say I bring £3000+ each year to the town I choose to shop in on non-essentials (stuff other than essential food shops). If Councils don't want me to spend my hard earned they can introduce over the top fees and it will just encourage me to look elsewhere. Or as is increasingly happening shop online.
 

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For me I don't think that local Councils should get involved in funding charge points at all. Councils have too little money to pay for their core services which in general they run badly (although better than central Government would), so they should concentrate on those and more active transport policies than aiding central Government policy which is well advanced along the route to ending production of ICE. Like the design and manufacture of cars and fossil fuel sales facilities charging points should be left to the private sector.
Can only comment on what I've experienced. My fav rapid located on council premises was booted off-site to the most pointless place to make space for their own chargers/EV fleet.

In the early adopter days fine but now I don't think the council should be making a loss on funding charge points for the few. And as batteries get bigger more cars will only charge at home. Let's face it rapid public charging is worse than a visit to the dentist, lol. Tried to charge in a local capital city and out of the relatively few rapids almost all were broke...

As for pricing, I don't really see why 30/35p rapids should cost that much. A cable and a charger vs the giant heavily taxed petroleum industry. Scratch that, I do... corporate greed, lol. It's cheaper to take the diesel than pay that.
 
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The easy solution is just don't travel to that area, vote with your feet (wheels) and they can't extort you. I myself ran into similar issues in Scotland. I stopped shopping in Edinburgh because they couldn't be bothered to install posts for visitors to the city (my Zoe couldn't get there and home in winter so needed to stop en-route, no thanks Goodbye Edinburgh). I then shopped in Dundee, when they implemented charging nepotism (only locals got free charging visitors had to pay) I stopped shopping in Dundee. Now I shop in Perth, where they have free Sunday parking and free charging.
Yeah. charging in Edinburgh is like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, lol
 

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I believe that destination chargers should be free to use, and certainly not more than domestic electricity. The point being that they need to prioritise getting more EVs on to the road, and encourage a higher proportion of the traffic using the roads to be zero emissions.....
How many EV drivers would be willing to pay 30p/kWh for destination charging? Let me know what you think is reasonable!
That's a nice idea - we've all tried it - but it can't work, because you'll get freeloaders parking on them.

Real examples:
1 A town centre charger near me in Bedford was free to use. A local estate agent, with an office overlooking the charge-point bought a Merc PHEV, plugged in and left it on the charger. Each time he left for a job, he'd come back and park it on the charger - if the charger was occupied then he park round the back of his office and move the car back on the charger as soon as it was free. This effectively prevents anyone using the charger for the majority of the day.
2 A charger outside of the local college and an adjacent one outside the Council building would have an Outlander PHEV parked on one of them every working day. The lady worked at the hospital some 300 yards away.

Chargers must be 'pay-per-use' (not even monthly subscription would work, as it is still effectively 'free-per-use') and the payment must be more than domestic rates - otherwise you get locals charging there at a discount when many can charge perfectly well at home.

The most important feature of a charger is that it is accessible for use, and that is the best way to encourage EV take-up. Driving somewhere and finding you are unable to charge, and unable to get home, is the very best way of discouraging EV usage.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Yeah. charging in Edinburgh is like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, lol
Only sites I've ever charged reliably at are Edinburgh Zoo (not a council site) and Sherrifhall P&R. Everywhere else is either broken, hogged or running so slow you curse that you stopped there.

As a thrifty (tight?) Fifer I used my local rapid all the time, until fees came in. It was always my intention, but to be fair I spend very little cash in my region because we've got no highstreets worth visiting.

What narks me more is towns who had a small fart of investment 5 years ago and nowt since and then want to introduce fees. Aviemore I'm looking at you! Ok they don't have fees yet, but it can't be far off, and only 1 rapid in the town, which either doesn't work or only works for some cars because its "the cars fault" even though 15miles down the road the sister rapid (installed at the same time is totally fine). I believe the Council might be doubling down this year, but frankly I don't care I'd rather see Osprey (quite fitting for the area) or Instavolt who will likely cost a similar amount to charge but will install sufficient posts and ones that work no less.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's a nice idea - we've all tried it - but it can't work, because you'll get freeloaders parking on them.

Real examples:
1 A town centre charger near me in Bedford was free to use. A local estate agent, with an office overlooking the charge-point bought a Merc PHEV, plugged in and left it on the charger. Each time he left for a job, he'd come back and park it on the charger - if the charger was occupied then he park round the back of his office and move the car back on the charger as soon as it was free. This effectively prevents anyone using the charger for the majority of the day.
2 A charger outside of the local college and an adjacent one outside the Council building would have an Outlander PHEV parked on one of them every working day. The lady worked at the hospital some 300 yards away.

Chargers must be 'pay-per-use' (not even monthly subscription would work, as it is still effectively 'free-per-use') and the payment must be more than domestic rates - otherwise you get locals charging there at a discount when many can charge perfectly well at home.

The most important feature of a charger is that it is accessible for use, and that is the best way to encourage EV take-up. Driving somewhere and finding you are unable to charge, and unable to get home, is the very best way of discouraging EV usage.
That's a valid point about opportunist locals, but I entirely disagree about availability being paramount. I think utilisation is more important. There's no point in having something that's never used, it's just a waste of time installing it in the first place. If demand exceeds supply then supply more, don't make it prohibitively expensive.

Destination chargers should be for people to park up all day (or however long they are visiting the area) so it's normal that a single charger might be occupied by a single vehicle for many hours. That's why we need dozens of destination chargers in popular locations.

I simply don't understand the logic of spending so much money on something so pointless. My suggestion is to make it more useful by making the cost attractive enough for people to actually use the chargers.
 

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Yeah, a couple of very handy free rapids I used regularly on longer journeys are now no longer free. Never saw them ICE'd or abused until... The curse of the electric taxi cabs... During daylight hours [in the summer, lol] you stood no chance of getting on them as they don't move off until their mates turn up. Guess what, now the rapids cost as much as diesel no cabs to be seen now, bliss :)
 
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Unless I have no choice I won't use a fast charger that I have to pay for. If I do have to pay? Well I guess I wouldn't balk at £.016/kWh. Rapids are a different matter. I'll pay the Instavolt £0.35/kWh without complaint because I'll need the charge and the charger probably works. The different in infrastructure and maintenance costs of a rapid vs fast are significant too.
 

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That's a valid point about opportunist locals, but I entirely disagree about availability being paramount. I think utilisation is more important. There's no point in having something that's never used, it's just a waste of time installing it in the first place. If demand exceeds supply then supply more, don't make it prohibitively expensive.
Utilisation, now that sounds like the project board at work where everything is pointed to keep you busy and miserable, lol
 

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That's a nice idea - we've all tried it - but it can't work, because you'll get freeloaders parking on them.
This.

Why should the chargers be free? The electricity isn't free, installing the charger isn't free, and maintenance isn't free. If you need to charge, then 30p/kWh isn't that much (it's about normal for public charging - although you could argue it should be a bit cheaper because the 7kW chargers aren't anywhere near as expensive as a rapid). I'd much rather pay to charge as there's a much better chance of the charger working - as somebody is losing money if it isn't, as opposed to it costing them money when it is!
 

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That's a nice idea - we've all tried it - but it can't work, because you'll get freeloaders parking on them.

Real examples:
1 A town centre charger near me in Bedford was free to use. A local estate agent, with an office overlooking the charge-point bought a Merc PHEV, plugged in and left it on the charger. Each time he left for a job, he'd come back and park it on the charger - if the charger was occupied then he park round the back of his office and move the car back on the charger as soon as it was free. This effectively prevents anyone using the charger for the majority of the day.
2 A charger outside of the local college and an adjacent one outside the Council building would have an Outlander PHEV parked on one of them every working day. The lady worked at the hospital some 300 yards away.
Yeah, in the olden days of free chargers... the only charger in North Berwick had an Audi PHEV on it permanently. Reason no. 1001 of why I hate Audi drivers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This.

Why should the chargers be free? The electricity isn't free, installing the charger isn't free, and maintenance isn't free. If you need to charge, then 30p/kWh isn't that much (it's about normal for public charging - although you could argue it should be a bit cheaper because the 7kW chargers aren't anywhere near as expensive as a rapid). I'd much rather pay to charge as there's a much better chance of the charger working - as somebody is losing money if it isn't, as opposed to it costing them money when it is!
If they're spending over £250k of taxpayers money on installing 20 chargers then they need to make sure they are actually going to be of use. I suspect that their total income from charging in the entire useful life of these chargers will be under £10k and it would have saved them more than this if they didn't bother with the additional equipment required to charge the fee in the first place. The net cost of providing free charging would almost certainly be lower than what they've already paid to install them.

They should be free, in my opinion, to encourage people to switch to and then use their EVs. Assuming that the intention is to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions so that at least some of the planet remains inhabitable.
 

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By your argument of the utilisation, are you are happy for the Phevs to use the space as their own private parking spot each day. Also, the 'free' element encourages very unexpected behaviour, such as the Estate Agent mentioned earlier.

I don't like connection charges. What happens if it fails after 5 mins or you only need a few kWh? However 30p/kWh, yes all day long as it actively only encourages those who need to charge, and certainly cuts out all the freeloaders, and especially locals who can charge at home on a 15p or better tariff.

Very much happy to pay a little more for Rapids as usually that means an essential charge. What happened when the Rapids were free at Lidl - they were camped on for hours at a time.
 

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1 A town centre charger near me in Bedford was free to use. A local estate agent, with an office overlooking the charge-point bought a Merc PHEV, plugged in and left it on the charger. Each time he left for a job, he'd come back and park it on the charger - if the charger was occupied then he park round the back of his office and move the car back on the charger as soon as it was free.
I think I read that before. Didn't they stop using it when it converted to paid usage? In that case, likely they had home charging.
 

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But charging a car slowly in order to gain cheap parking will encourage the wrong behaviour. Some element of charging by time is required even if it results in situations like

When I take my Fluence to London, I charge on a Source London charger. This costs 5.9p per minute, but my car can only charge at 3.6kw. That's 98p per unit, (including parking, of course.)
It would be interesting to know what parking costs in the same area, my guess is around £2/hour which brings the cost down to around 25p/kWh for a car with a 7kW on board charger.
 
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