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Reading services westbound is about 45 miles from London.

Obviously other journeys will be happening but 10 million people live in London and will be travelling outwards on the various spokes. None of them will want a charger as early as 45 miles, surely?

Highest demand for chargers will be at about 80 to 100 miles from London? About two hours drive. Swindon services, say. To maximise customers I'd pick the services at this distance on each spoke and fill them with dozens of chargers.
From East London, Reading Services is about 2 hours drive - considerably more in rush hour. Ignore for now the fact that big expensive modern EVs may not need a charge by then - drivers will need a break by about then, and the shorter-range EVs like the Leaf24,Leaf30, Honda e, Mini electric won't be scrapped for decades to come and may need a charge before they get to the next charging spot, especially since.. Membury really needs fixing.
and Chievely doesn't have nearly enough charging facilities available for a single services on a major intersection.
 

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This would be a really cool addition to the charging infrastructure, hope it happens soon.
The initial planning for 22 was in June of 2020 before Gridserve took over the EH. Hopefully the grid connections, construction contracts, charger orders and everything else are well underway.

Electrical network upgrades take a long time. National Grid ran a new 33kV connection down the street we live on. There was a lot of work - planning, town hall meetings - people came and knocked on doors .. all of that before they started digging. Several different crews came and went - trenching - ducts, cable pullers, specialised cable splicing . repaving ...
 

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This is an update I have just received from my MP after writing to her (my posts on this issue may have been in another thread*). It's rather confusing, because it seems to give the lie to the assumption that Welcome Break have stopped working with Gridserve. (You'll need to expand the quote to read the whole statement.)

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. As promised, I raised your concerns with Welcome Break and I have now received a response which I attach below for your information:

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are absolutely committed to rolling out EV chargers across all our motorway service areas and play a major role in the government’s plans to improve the green infrastructure in this country.

In regard to the issue raised by your constituent, Welcome Break leases the space to GRIDSERVE as a charge point operator and they operate the charging points referred to. At this current time we are aware that some of the charging points have stopped functioning and we have notified GRIDSERVE for steps to be taken to bring the charging points back online as soon as possible.

To be clear, Welcome Break has not switched any charging points off. We are actively working with GRIDSERVE to ensure they continue to deliver on the existing agreement to run these charging points for customers.”


Whilst I appreciate it does not address the delays, I hope it assures you that work is ongoing to ensure these charge points are running. I will let you know if I receive any further updates.
* Edit: Ah, it was this thread. I posted about the first reply I received at post #1713.

I replied to this one with the following:

Thank you for getting back to me. It is good to know that Welcome Break are actively working with Gridserve. It just seemed strange that whereas most motorway service areas operated by other groups have already been upgraded by Gridserve, replacing the old Ecotricity units with more modern, reliable units, those MSAs operated by Welcome Break appeared to have been bypassed.
 

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Well I can only speak for myself but from my parents in north east London/Essex, it's approximately 70-75 miles to the Reading services due to the fact the most reasonable route at most times is round the M25, rather than through London via the A406.

For me, I travel to my parents regularly from Swindon area and it's approximately 226 miles round trip. The Reading services would be a great place to stop off for a short charge of 10-20% to make sure I get home on the return leg.

I would imagine people coming from the east side of London/Essex or people in my position will find the new facilities a most welcome addition.
This is really interesting. I live near Junction 16 of the M4 and often travel to London so the Reading services are of interest to me.

Do you have the planning permission link and could you share it if so? Thanks in advance. This would be a really cool addition to the charging infrastructure, hope it happens soon.
There are 5 CCS and 1 CHAdeMO at IKEA in Reading just off Junct 12 of the M4.
 

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This is really interesting. I live near Junction 16 of the M4 and often travel to London so the Reading services are of interest to me.

Do you have the planning permission link and could you share it if so? Thanks in advance. This would be a really cool addition to the charging infrastructure, hope it happens soon.
Reading services
Slope Rectangle Font Line Parallel
 

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CMA to open up electric vehicle charging competition on motorways


Interesting that only Moto, Roadchef, Extra are named. Does that mean Welcome Break is not a concern to the CMA, because they've already found a way to exit old exclusivity contracts?
 

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They must have done - welcome break are the only MSAs I have seen tesla superchargers at for example, Membury and Oxford South spring to mind. Surely that wouldn't be allowed under an exclusivity contract or do tesla have an exemption?
 

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I thought Tesla had a deal with Ecotricity that subsequently broke down.

From The Guardian

The two companies have a bad-tempered history after a partnership between them turned sour. Ecotricity had teamed up with Tesla to help it build a network of charging points to support its customers’ high-end electric cars. But when the two companies fell out they reached a confidential out-of-court settlement in 2015.

Tesla has been increasing its foothold in the UK, most recently selling its Powerwall energy-storage system through third parties, as well as its luxury electric cars and building a car-charging network.

In 2014, Ecotricity accused Tesla of a “smash and grab”, saying it was trying to take over several sites on Ecotricity’s electric car-charging network at motorway stations across the country. The two companies had entered a partnership under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and Ecotricity alleged Tesla was asking motorway services operator Welcome Break to break off exclusivity contracts with Ecotricity and sign with Tesla instead.

The two companies countersued, ultimately leading to an out-of-court settlement last July. In a mutually agreed statement, they said: “Ecotricity and Tesla have reached an out-of-court settlement, the terms of which are confidential.”
 

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They must have done - welcome break are the only MSAs I have seen tesla superchargers at for example, Membury and Oxford South spring to mind. Surely that wouldn't be allowed under an exclusivity contract or do tesla have an exemption?
There are both Gridserve & Tesla rapids at Moto's Hilton Park N/B, in different areas of the car park.
 

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There are both Gridserve & Tesla rapids at Moto's Hilton Park N/B, in different areas of the car park.
Extra have both Gridserve and Ionity at both Beaconsfield and Cobham.
Welcome Break have been hosting Tesla as well as Ecotricity at many locations for quite some time now.
Moto will soon be hosting Tesla at Reading (Westbound) and Thurrock. They'll also be hosting MFG at Thurrock.
BP Pulse have been meaning to activate the units at Moto Reading (eastbound and westbound) for nearly 18 months now. I'm assuming they're waiting on grid power to appear.

So I think that it's hard to believe that there's a total monopoly on rapid EV charging at motorway services any more, and the only things that are stopping multiple providers having a presence at motorway service areas in the UK is available grid power, a concession agreement with the site host, planning permissions, and available charging hardware.
 

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Extra have both Gridserve and Ionity at both Beaconsfield and Cobham.
Welcome Break have been hosting Tesla as well as Ecotricity at many locations for quite some time now.
Moto will soon be hosting Tesla at Reading (Westbound) and Thurrock. They'll also be hosting MFG at Thurrock.
BP Pulse have been meaning to activate the units at Moto Reading (eastbound and westbound) for nearly 18 months now. I'm assuming they're waiting on grid power to appear.

So I think that it's hard to believe that there's a total monopoly on rapid EV charging at motorway services any more, and the only things that are stopping multiple providers having a presence at motorway service areas in the UK is available grid power, a concession agreement with the site host, planning permissions, and available charging hardware.
Just to clarify, some petrol stations at motorway services are not operated by the same company as the main amenities. For example, off the top of my head, at Thurrock it's MFG that runs the petrol station (thus the MFG chargers), Reading's petrol stations are operated by BP (actually operated, not just branded) and Cherwell Valley has its petrol station operated by Eurogarages. So regardless of whether exclusivity agreements do or do not exist, this is an available way of getting competition in the door.
 

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Great news on the AC posts, couple of my nearby services now have them which will make things a bit easier!

Both their map and Zap Map seem to be out of date in varying ways.

Still going to need Scotch Corner to have AC enabled if we're to see the relatives via EV again. Though it's usually at Christmas and I dread to think what the queues would be like there nowadays. Judging by the comments "pretty bad at the best of times"
(It'd maybe be just about doable via Darlington but even on 100%, over those tops in the middle of winter against the howling winds I think by the time we got to Tebay, Zo would be binging and bonging like a unicorn with a jar of mayonnaise. And you can never rely on the ropey old Geniepoint halfway...)
 

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Still going to need Scotch Corner to have AC enabled if we're to see the relatives via EV again. Though it's usually at Christmas and I dread to think what the queues would be like there nowadays. Judging by the comments "pretty bad at the best of times"
The introduction of Gridserve chargers has attracted way more EVs to charge there now. It's never not busy anymore in my experience. And nobody understands the mystery of the dual charging setup so there's always potential for chaos there as well.

It's nothing compared to the absolute clusterf*ck further south at Wetherby though. They're unreliable and in super high demand. There's often queues and rarely a civilised or fair approach taken towards said queues.

If you're considering using the Electric Highway over Christmas I wish you the very best of luck. You have to be braver than me to want to try that.
 

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I think if we go (Covid rates dependent) we'll probably just use the parents' ancient diesel (as unpleasant as it is now... it leaks like a sieve and stinks) or hire a petrol car... got a feeling I'll be saying this kind of thing a lot in the coming years, or going back to petrol myself...
 

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Further to my post #1,745 in this thread, my MP has forwarded me a response from the Department For Transport following up on my concerns. The Department has been in touch with both Welcome Break and Gridserve. Here is one paragraph from the DFT's response:

We have contacted Welcome Break and Gridserve (who actually install and
operate the chargepoints referred to) regarding the concerns raised. Both
have acknowledged that some of the charging points at certain MSAs have
stopped functioning and require replacement, and both parties have assured
us that there is a plan in place to agree a programme of works that will allow
the renewal and replacement of the existing chargers to start soon.
I have asked for permission to quote the response in full, redacted to remove my name and address. Meanwhile, I hope the above quote will reassure us that something positive is happening!
 
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