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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:



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!
"A plan to agree a programme" is not exactly encouraging. That's about two stages back from action. It suggests they are still at the "scheduling a meeting to decide how to proceed" stage.
 

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Looks like some form of commercial negotiation is going on. Hardly surprising Gridserve and Welcome Break are not giving a blow by blow account until they have an agreement in place. It does raise the effectivness of the government breaking the MSA monopoly and allowing multiple providers. It seems like Welcome Break are also installing their own Chargers as well. But they also hold the MSA franchise at certain sites. So Welcome Break will have a conflict of interest . Bit like poacher playing gamekeeper. I would also like to know why Welcome Break sites are the ones that seem to take the longest even for a charger replacement.
 

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As mentioned in post #1760, I now have the go ahead from my MP to post the reply from the Department for Transport. It's complete apart from a sentence at the end thanking me for taking the time to write in with my concerns, and that the Minister hoped I found the reply useful. I would have posted this much earlier except the site went down while I was typing this.

And that was before the reply by @ScotstounPele - I thought it only polite to ask first. Maybe it's different where you come from.

Anyway - here is the full document - click for full size.

Font Screenshot Parallel Number Document
 

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Don't knock them. They're doing more than anyone else at present!
By them I guess you mean Gridserve. In that case really? Gridserve have 240 rapid chargers in the UK whilst Instavolt, with better reliability have 643 so who's doing more? I think you are falling for Gridserve's PR.

The time for giving charge point operators slack for broken promises and under delivery is over.
 

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They are supposed to be building several big hubs a well (which is their original business model).

Don't knock them. They're doing more than anyone else at present!
I think Gridserve are doing a decent job.
But in terms of charging hubs the MFG group have delivered more than Gridserve have this year… I think..

InstaVolt now have over 300 locations in the UK (over 5 years - so 60 a year?) and now over 30 locations with >100kw charging.

both iV and MFG seem to be quietly getting on with it.
 

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Appreciate this is just a snapshot of the conversations that are going on between the various stakeholders in the pipeline, but it doesn't give me much confidence that there is much in the way of substance behind the claims being made by the various stakeholders. That may partly be due to the careful wording of this and other statements, which then leads to frustration all-round.

Osprey CEO Ian Johnston made an interesting point on the FC podcast the other day. It's not capital with the CPO's that is holding this back it's a lack of connectivity to the high voltage grid that is the issue. That would explain sites like Rugby, new site, necessary back bone installed as part of the plan.

This would seem to neccesitate central planning for the grid connections across the country alongside analysis of traffic patterns, population density etc to build up a picture of what is required and where. If we're asking people to deploy significant amounts of capital to meet a government defined goal you want to do that based on thorough analysis. Whereas now it seems deployment strategy is based around what fast food chain will allow us to install a couple of chargers on their sites ! Clearly that is not going to get us to full transition.

It may well be that this analysis is happening but as pointed out earlier the key to getting people to support an initiative is involve and communicate with them, which is not really happening to the degree it needs to. Hence why people are rightfully getting the hump when turning up in their shiny new EV and realising the reality of public charging is not quite what they thought it would be :rolleyes:
 

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...now it seems deployment strategy is based around what fast food chain will allow us to install a couple of chargers on their sites ! Clearly that is not going to get us to full transition.
I think this is partly a good play by the likes of InstaVolt. While waiting for the central powers that be to get their act together an get new HV feeds to strategic hubs, IV are hitting all the places where they know punters will go and spend a bit of time while they wait to charge and (I assume) also have spare HV capacity. Not a bad plan at all, are most punters likely to go visit a Rugby style services or just pop down Maccy D's for a quick charge with the kids? Obviously will only work to a certain point as if they can only support 2x 50kW charger at each McD's then we'll quickly run out when more people are using them. MFG are also doing well in this respect too, it appears they are repurposing the HV feed they used to use for automated car washes in quite a few instances. Does back up the feeling that HV feeds are the main blocker to all of this really.
 

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Imagine how some oversight and planning of where high voltage/power feeds could be installed in advance at key locations.
A strategic view that might - one dare to suggest - be the type of thing that comes from a government……?

🤦‍♂️
It's the problem of philosophy. The Conservatives inherently believe that the market will sort out everything and central control is bad.

Recently they have come to understand that some things are better controlled centrally. Also they have now committed a pile of money to promoting EVs.

So, next, we will see if there's a centralised master plan. Or will they revert to giving lumps of money to their best friends in the private sector and say that they have solved the problem.

Time will tell.
 

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Imagine how some oversight and planning of where high voltage/power feeds could be installed in advance at key locations.
A strategic view that might - one dare to suggest - be the type of thing that comes from a government……?

🤦‍♂️
Like this, you mean?

 

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Not a bad plan at all, are most punters likely to go visit a Rugby style services or just pop down Maccy D's for a quick charge with the kids?
That's not a good example. Since chargers on motorways have a bad reputation for unreliability and queues of users, a charging location with 12 chargers is actually going to attract users who know they have a good chance of finding a charger that works and is available. In fact I've seen posts on this forum from people who went out of their way to use Rugby for that reason. Even the Rugby services have occasionally been full house, so yes - people do use them, heavily.
I mean, obviously if you're going past a MacD + Instavolts in an EV full of hungry kids and need a charge, or it's local to you and you don't have home charging, it's an easy choice.

it appears they are repurposing the HV feed they used to use for automated car washes in quite a few instances. Does back up the feeling that HV feeds are the main blocker to all of this really.
I don't think automatic car washes would need anything like the amount of power that a bank of EV rapid chargers does, but I do suspect that many charger networks are going for the low hanging fruit of locations where lots of power is known to be available locally (like industrial estates), rather than where the chargers are most needed. That is not entirely bad, as to some extent if you build a big charging hub like Rugby as described above, people will come to it anyway. It probably explains why other motorways services are lagging behind despite being obvious locations for a big charging hub: they don't have the power supply yet.
 

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I dunno, those car washes will likely be using multiple high power, high torque motors in the 10’s of kW range I suspect. We’re not talking like a 12 bank of chargers power but I doubt it’s peanuts. Could mean a few more chargers at an MSA. That is an assumption mind you and not based on any evidence.
 

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I dunno, those car washes will likely be using multiple high power, high torque motors in the 10’s of kW range I suspect. We’re not talking like a 12 bank of chargers power but I doubt it’s peanuts. Could mean a few more chargers at an MSA. That is an assumption mind you and not based on any evidence.
If you follow the link Wonko posted there are quite a few MSA upgrades mentioned. I'm no engineer but they sounded like a bit of work. Some of the ones near us (Cumbria) needed multiple KMs of cable laying. No mean feat.
 
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