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Discussion Starter #1
When I was researching the electric route, I was repeatedly told about the many free public charging opportunities. Of course, you really don't get into the complexities until after you've bought.

Now, my decision would not have been changed, but I'm finding that there seems to be very few free options for the Ampera. Many of the ecotricity posts aren't compatible (rapids). It's not worth paying because at the slow charging rates, it's cheaper to use your petrol. But it would be nice to have some 'icing on the cake' and get some free top up if convenient. If it's the choice of a restaurant, a motorway services, a shopping centre etc WITH a suitable charger than one without then why wouldn't you? I find the array of 'maps' bewildering and I know there's no one 'map to rule them all'. The biggest annoyance is that the My Ampera app returns points that simply aren't compatible.

So, I wonder if we could all list free charging points we know of. I'll then create a Google pin map for future reference. If people think this thread is pointless, then I'll let it dwindle and drop down the rankings.

So to start the ball rolling, here are the ones I know of:

Leicester Forest East Services M1
Woodall Services M1
Little Chef, Bicester
Pentagon Vauxhall, Sheffield
 

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Personally I don't think it is worthwhile because it is yet another map (aaagh!) and it will always be out of date.

I would suggst that a batter way to tackle this is to use Open Charge Map.

I would make sure each of the locations you want to list is actually in OCM and if not then add it yourself (be as accurate as possible). Each location has a field called "Usage Cost"... make sure that that if set to "Free"... if it is genuinely free.

I appreciate what you are trying to do and I think it a good idea that we should be able to find free charging as a bit of a perk if you like... but I cannot see any benefit from creating yet another map that is only going to be out of date when OCM is perfect for this kind of search :)
 

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I think the icing on the sake is the NIL tax band of VED, free charging is really a secondary consideration, especially as you'll never be stranded - unlike those of us who actually need the KWh in order to get anywhere.

Another map would be pointless - although why not use PinDrop to record your own? I would certainly be critical of a Chargepoint being blocked by an EV with an engine, as I have no option to go anywhere else - currently I treat thrm as being ICEd, but with marginally more respect.
 

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I would certainly be critical of a Chargepoint being blocked by an EV with an engine, as I have no option to go anywhere else - currently I treat thrm as being ICEd, but with marginally more respect.
This has been discussed quite a bit elsewhere but IMO all plug in cars have the right to use public charging. Having said that, if I am around and a BEV needs it then I will always vacate it in their favour but I might be shopping so that isn't always possible.

Public charging is not there just for 100% EVs. Sorry. :)
 

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- unlike those of us who actually need the KWh in order to get anywhere.
I would certainly be critical of a Chargepoint being blocked by an EV with an engine, as I have no option to go anywhere else - currently I treat thrm as being ICEd, but with marginally more respect.
Statements like that make me really mad (polite version). You have no more right to any charge point than anyone else, my tax money is just the same as yours.
The point of any Rex type car is to extend range after the battery is depleted, if we want to reduce Co2 etc then everyone should do everything possibe to not use petrol.
Cars like the Ampera can cover the majority of daily trips as a pure EV which means they are a natural stepping stone for the general public. Most people have been poisoned by the likes of Clarkson and his cronies and won't concider cars like the Leaf etc but can see that with the Rex concept it is not a problem. If everyone expresses views like the one you have just made all that will happen is we will start to alienate someone who may be on the brink of making the first tentative steps into EV ownership.

When the Leaf first came out I loved the concept but my wife could not be sold on it (no mater how hard I tried). I had to "trick" her into trying the Volt between test driving an Audi A3 and a Merc A class, it took her all of 2 seconds to fall in love with the EV experience, which she would not have done and still won't with the current crop of short range cars
 

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By all means be mad - but you're hardly in any position to complain. It is not about 'rights' but common sense, which you appear to have abandoned in favour of self-interest.

If you knowingly would prevent a fellow EV user from getting home, due to having no other way of recharging his vehicle other than at the blocked Chargepoint you are occupying then you deserve all sorts of abuse. YOU can get home, no problem. You have an ICE. I don't. My alternative option is to push it - and the fact you see anyone with a traction battery equals to you is frankly amazing.

Tax money ? Is that your best shot? Nothing about helping a fellow road user who may be in dire straights?

As for being a 'natural stepping stone' really? I see this as training wheels or I-like-the-idea-but-I-suffer-from-range anxiety. :) As a pure EV owner, I have to plan my journeys carefully in order to maximise my journey. A Chargepoint top up is my only option, you can still engage your ICE. We each made our choices,

Most people laugh at Clarkson - I've yet to find anyone that believes he's an opinion former. Entertainment yes, but no more. Once your wife found the EV experience would she not have loved any of the other pure EV? Carting spare training wheels under the bonnet (ICE) is so lame, but so too is the original point - if I had any form of hybrid, I would look to helping anyone stranded, no stand there shouting it was my 'right' and to go hang!
 

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This has been discussed quite a bit elsewhere but IMO all plug in cars have the right to use public charging. Having said that, if I am around and a BEV needs it then I will always vacate it in their favour but I might be shopping so that isn't always possible.

Public charging is not there just for 100% EVs. Sorry. :)
Don't apologise - if was your choice, and I can respect that. What I cannot, is the arrogance of belief that there is no pecking order relevant, which is simply perverse and ultimately, self-defeating.
 

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+1 for OCM. I've been editing/moving/updating the chargers as I visit them.
Sadly, in my area the listing are simply laughable. Bring told Private Access when it is a public car park - or the address being a shopping centre's 'Management Suite' when it's actually on level 2 of the car park!

Plugs hard continues to get my vote, and is certainly worthwhile looking at, since those who use it have the ability to correct and update on the fly if need be.
 

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By all means be mad - but you're hardly in any position to complain. It is not about 'rights' but common sense, which you appear to have abandoned in favour of self-interest.

If you knowingly would prevent a fellow EV user from getting home, due to having no other way of recharging his vehicle other than at the blocked Chargepoint you are occupying then you deserve all sorts of abuse. YOU can get home, no problem. You have an ICE. I don't. My alternative option is to push it - and the fact you see anyone with a traction battery equals to you is frankly amazing.

Tax money ? Is that your best shot? Nothing about helping a fellow road user who may be in dire straights?

As for being a 'natural stepping stone' really? I see this as training wheels or I-like-the-idea-but-I-suffer-from-range anxiety. :) As a pure EV owner, I have to plan my journeys carefully in order to maximise my journey. A Chargepoint top up is my only option, you can still engage your ICE. We each made our choices,

Most people laugh at Clarkson - I've yet to find anyone that believes he's an opinion former. Entertainment yes, but no more. Once your wife found the EV experience would she not have loved any of the other pure EV? Carting spare training wheels under the bonnet (ICE) is so lame, but so too is the original point - if I had any form of hybrid, I would look to helping anyone stranded, no stand there shouting it was my 'right' and to go hang!
I never stated that I would not help my fellow man, if anyone needed a charge then I would happily give up my spot. That is my choice and not your right.

You are right in a way a Rex is just like training wheels. We all used them when we started out riding bikes and should therefor be supportive of those that still feel the need to use them, or should we all just push people off their bikes before they have built up confidence and stand there laughing at them.

Again you are right Clarkson is just an entertainer and his opinion should not be taken seriously, the trouble is if you read any news related points of view connected to the EV world you would know that the vast majority take his word as gospel.
 

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We each made our choices,

Once your wife found the EV experience would she not have loved any of the other pure EV? Carting spare training wheels under the bonnet (ICE) is so lame, but so too is the original point - if I had any form of hybrid, I would look to helping anyone stranded, no stand there shouting it was my 'right' and to go hang!
My wife works all over the country sometimes at short notice, an EV as our only car is not an option until the range is >200 miles. She has a regular contract 180 miles away where she starts to teach at 9.30 am leaving home at 5.30am just to get there and set up etc. She could not afford the time to stop twice in a e.g. Leaf, the Volt means we have all the benefits of an EV without any of the drawbacks
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Without reading every post, I can see both sides of the argument. I've only topped up a few times and when I did, I kept in view and if 2 BEVs came along, I would have vacated. I also left a note in my window with my mobile number on.

If I was in a BEV and the bay was ICE'd, I would be mad. It makes me annoyed that people are so lazy that they take disabled and parent/child bays just because they are too lazy to make an extra few steps.
 

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Plugs hard continues to get my vote, and is certainly worthwhile looking at, since those who use it have the ability to correct and update on the fly if need be.
Plugs hard? Is that a typo? o_O
I've just tried to google it and all I get is USB hard drives...
If there's a better map, can you post the URL?

Also, don't forget the OCM is open, it's up to the users to keep it updated. If everyone updated the nearest few chargers to them, or ones they used regularly, the map would be bang up to date inside a week. How much would that help everyone else!? :)
 

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I think it's an autocorrect of Plugshare.
 

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I can sympathise to an extent. Today I arrived at a charging point knowing I didn't have enough range left to get home. The point was occupied by an i3 REX (at least I assume it was the REX version as it had what looked like a petrol flap at the front). I have no idea if they needed a charge or were just using the point because they could. However, that's life. I parked a few spaces along while I did some shopping then drove home with the last mile on petrol.

Admittedly the scale of the problem is rather different: I just had to use petrol whereas a pure BEV owner would have had to sit there waiting for the other car's owner to return (unless of course they used the vacant Chademo), but the basic problem is the same. The (free) charging point supply simply isn't keeping up with the EV demand.
 
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Well, I think that I am in a rather unique position... I own both an Nissan Leaf and an Ampera and this is the way I see it...

Public charging is just that... public. We all have the right to use it and 100% battery vehicles should have no more or less a right than anyone else. But I do think that a little consideration of the 100% EV's situation. If I was in my Ampera and a BEV turned up and I was able to help then I would always offer to give way to them but that is a concession... not a right.

If I am in my Leaf and I am stopped from using a charging post by an Ampera then so be it. However, I would expect the Ampera owner to return to their car and move it once it is full... not just to go off for hours and leave the bay blocked with a full battery.

@Buzby It isn't friendly or constructive to give abuse to anyone let alone a fellow EV driver even if they are stopping you from charging when you want. No one deserves abuse for blocking an EV bay. If we go around abusing people, especially ICE drivers, then it just throws EV drivers into a bad light. Be polite and point out why you feel they shouldn't be parked there. If we go hurling abuse around to anyone then it will never help improve the situation. We want ICE drivers to like and support us... not consider us a bolshy, argumentative bunch ready for a fight! Their opinion of us is often not good to start with - we don't want to make it worse.

I will continue to use public charging as is the right of every EV owner whether I am in the Leaf or Ampera but I would urge everyone to have consideration of the needs of BEVs. It is all very well saying they made their choice but imaging how you would feel if you needed a charge to get home.
 

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If you knowingly would prevent a fellow EV user from getting home, due to having no other way of recharging his vehicle other than at the blocked Chargepoint you are occupying then you deserve all sorts of abuse.
I do admire Leaf drivers' sense of adventure and tenacity in going to great lengths coping with public charging. However, I do not admire in some their sense of entitlement and aggressiveness towards that public resource.

Certainly it is rude for someone to needlessly prevent another from using public charging. Certainly they could be more polite. But if someone is not considerate does that mean that they should be subjected to "all sorts of abuse"? I care to disagree completely. Etiquette and manners are not properly taught through abuse.

The problem isn't with the Ampera using public charging and allegedly taking that resource away from the Leaf. The problem is with there not being enough public charging available for everyone who needs it. If you're going to get upset then get upset at whoever chose to not put one more charging bay at that location.

That said, Leaf drivers know about range limitations. They know that if they go too far that they must rely upon public charging and that the present state of public charging is subject to periods of unavailability. Please don't get angry with other EV drivers who merely don't share your sense of adventure simply because you're at a disadvantage.
 

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Perhaps if I had a Leaf, I might fake your point, but I don't. (By assuming you compound the issue - but I digress). Looking at the stats, very few are purchasing 'range extenders' and pure EV's are in the majority. I may have some disadvantage (in your eyes), but then, I didn't feel any need to pay the extra to cart an ICE around with them under the bonnet. But we're straying from the point somewhat.

Let's have a GREEN badge scheme to assure those true EV users (no ICE) that they have priority at Chargepoints in exactly the same way BLUE badge holders enjoy their parking privileges.
 

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Let's have a GREEN badge scheme to assure those true EV users (no ICE) that they have priority at Chargepoints in exactly the same way BLUE badge holders enjoy their parking privileges.
You;re missing the point. "true EV users" don't have priority at charge points, and no amount of wishful thinking on your part will change this. You can however use some fast chargers that I cannot, and I am happy for you. When I want to use a type 2 charger I will use it, and if you want to use the same charger you may wait your turn patiently.
 

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Perhaps if I had a Leaf, I might fake your point, but I don't. (By assuming you compound the issue - but I digress). Looking at the stats, very few are purchasing 'range extenders' and pure EV's are in the majority. I may have some disadvantage (in your eyes), but then, I didn't feel any need to pay the extra to cart an ICE around with them under the bonnet. But we're straying from the point somewhat.

Let's have a GREEN badge scheme to assure those true EV users (no ICE) that they have priority at Chargepoints in exactly the same way BLUE badge holders enjoy their parking privileges.

Lets not

If EV take up goes the way we all want, then when you turn up at a charge point and there are two cars waiting in front of you what will you do then? The problem is not what car is charging but that there should be enough charging for everyone.
If you take the risk of driving beyond your range then that is exactly what you are doing, taking a risk!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW I am talking about slow/fast and not rapids.
IMO a car should not be "parked" on a Rapid and the car should only be left unattended for toilet and coffee brakes.
 
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