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I'm bemused about the parking arrangements at IKEA Southampton, which has an Ecotricity Rapid Charger within a barrier-controlled car park. Parking is free if you spend £20 at IKEA, but frankly I already have enough cheap furniture!

The parking attendant told me that EVs have to pay like anyone else, but on two occasions now I've paid up only to find that the barrier lifted as I approached and I sailed through. Everyone else had to stop and insert their parking ticket.

I phoned Ecotricity and they referred me to IKEA. I'm still waiting for a response from my Swedish friends, but does anyone else know the score?
 

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The parking fee would not put me off charging there. Rapid charging tends to be only when I really need it, when doing long distance trips. I applaud what Ikea have done but as Rapid Chargers become widely available the Type 2 chargers in Ikea make more sense to me. For instance last year my return trip from Shropshire really needed the Southampton Ikea charger. But getting to, finding it and using it took time....city centre, one way streets, busy traffic and multi storey car park to find it.

Yesterday the same day trip was much simpler because Rownhams service station on the motorway by Southampton now has a rapid charger. This meant no detour from my route, was easy to find and use conveniences.

Destination charging off trunk roads need only be type 2 for me. As long as the trunk roads have rapids. Which with the Rapid Charge Network coming is increasingly the case.

Type 2 charging posts at a grand a post installed can be an almost trivial cost for larger businesses to install rows of. And provide the dwell time that they want and we as customers need.
 

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I've used the ikea RC before - once the barrier just opened, but it was nearly 9pm (I'd been in store), the other time I definately had to insert a ticket....

Assuming ikea are funding the points substantially then I can't see an issue in them deciding to charge. The parking fee is good value for a rapid charge in any case.

Whilst in theory there's a £20 minimum spend I note that by the self scan checkous there's a car park validating machine which doesn't seem to check how much you've spent. Perhaps the assistants keep an eye out but I imagine buying anything in the store could be enough. Another benefit - it will take you a 30 minute walk to get in around, pickup one item, pay and get out, so think of the added exercise :)
 

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I take the parking ticket and put it through the ticket validating machine in the self scan area, even if I've just had a cup of tea. Simples.
 

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thanks for sharing... yet another nail in the rapid charging coffin if this is implemented widely :(
IKEA is right on the waterfront with cinema, casino and lots of other shopping and dining options, nearby. Everywhere within a mile and more is paid parking/ no parking. I feel confident that the parking charges were an obligation for being able to build on the site. The fact that there is a Rapid Charger is a coincidence, for which we should be extra, extra grateful.
There is no blame for Ecotricity and no blame on IKEA - somethings in life are never free and one of those is inner city parking!
Its certainly not a nail-in-the-coffin for anything and this ill-informed remark should be withdrawn!
A seafood lunch, a glass of Chablis and a free coffee (with family card) - IKEA is a 5* charging point and its churlish to protest about a modest parking fee!
The menu at NCP is very limited, the charging is very slow indeed and the parking much more expensive - Hobson's choice!
 
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I'm a 'regular' at Southampton IKEA. It's great to have an RC is town. It also meant I didnt need to deal with the unsavoury types at West Way to get a charge, but now there is Rownhams on the way home it's less of an issue.

I also don't like that the RC is inside a barrier controlled and shuttered car park and is not available more than an hour outside of opening hours. What is worse is they let it get ICEd. Personally I don't agree with RCs in a location like IKEA (I'd rather a whole line of posts) but its there and can be used. That aside, I cannot understand why they can't keep 2 of the 850 spaces ICE free.

Whats more annoying is moving once you have charged. The site is so popular it usually full within 30-60 mis of opening time at the weekend. So you go there to shop, charge and if you want to do the right thing you can't move your car off the charger as the is no space to move it to.

I did move once and find a space. When I came back down to the shops the space I had made was ICEd. The other space already was.

I've tried speaking to the lads that run the car park but they were far from helpful....
 
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