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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

New (to me) LEAF 30 owner here (with the 6.6kW upgrade) and I'm loving it! Always intended to get a home charger but now I'm not so sure having had the LEAF for a week. There is a free CHAdeMO charger 5 mins drive from my house where I walk my dogs every day so I can easily top up with free electricity every day / every other day as necessary. Compare this with £350 or so for a home box and 15p or so per kW/h. The car is used mainly for local deliveries and I've yet to see the battery get above 6 bars even immediately after a 45 minute charge.

My question is this, is using CHAdeMO almost exclusively a false economy through battery degradation? From what I've read people advise against it due to battery temperatures but I'm in Scotland and the ambient temperature is never too onerous and as I've said the battery doesn't seem to get that hot. Free electricity is just too tempting!

PS It's a 17 reg car with 33k miles on the clock and still showing the full 12 bars. I'm getting 130 miles regularly at the moment from a full charge.
 

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I don't know the answer to your question, although I would be keeping most charges within the 20-80% zone and trying not to venture into the extremes too often. Like you say, free & fast is very tempting.

Not all battery degradation is charging related anyway. Some is just passage of time.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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No problem using chademo, provided you do not often charge to 100%, and never let the SOC stay below about 10% for a long period. Just keep the SOC between about 20 and 80% unless you have a long journey planned.

I have used a BP Ultra rapid to charge my Leaf 2 at 71kwh a few times and my SOH has actually increased. My battery temperature has never exceed 44C - i.e. only 6-7C bove human body temperature. (different battery technology on the E+ Leafs)

Only on a long journey where you have to do multiple rapid charges can the battery temperature start to impact charging speed. (so called rapidgate)
Personally, I would do more short rapid charges rather than fewer longer ones if possible. (so the battery can cool down whilst you are driving to the next charge point)
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Did the car come with a granny charger - has a 13amp plug on it?
If so and you have a good quality socket you could top it up overnight to 100% prior to a long journey. This will avoid you hogging a rapid charger for the extra hour it could take to reach 100% (from 80 ) and upsetting others who want to use it.
 

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My car was rapid charged a lot by its first owner, like you they didnt have a home charger and relied on local rapids, and the pack does show some signs of thermally induced degradation. Not massive, but you can see in the cell voltage graph that the cells in the middle of the stack are weaker than the outer ones.

The main issue is the uncooled pack means cells in the middle of the stack are hotter than the ones nearer the outside, and the temp sensor location isnt great to identify the hottest cells. So the middle ones get roasted.

Ofcourse, i cant really say if one rapid charge every other day is enough to cause this, or if it takes many journeys with back to back rapid charging getting the battery really hot. What we can say is rapid charging CAN cause the battery to degrade more than normal charging. Wether it will in your particular use case is unknown.

Personally, the £1 of free electricity is less important than the convenience of a home charger. Having to take time out your day to charge the car is inconvenient. It might well work out nicely that it can charge while you walk the dogs, but what happens when you turn up and its in use? If its free, i'm surprised theres not a queue of taxis waiting at it, and if there isnt now, there will be soon! It'll also likely stop being free at some point. Or what about when it breaks down and the council dont fix it for a fortnight/month/year? Personally, i wouldnt own an EV without a home charging point.

Using the free charger when you can, sure. But i wouldnt rely on it.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Or what about when it breaks down and the council dont fix it for a fortnight/month/year? Personally, i wouldnt own an EV without a home charging point.
If the OP is in Scotland, I have it in black and white from Transport Scotland that Local Authority owners MUST repair faulty chargers within 48hours. Some seemed to have been unaware of this requirement and one in particular still hasn't apparently done so, although I am not convinced that the CPS live map is fully up to date.

I'd expect English LAs to have the same terms applied to any public funding they received.
 

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Don't know about the Leafs but I got Soul - I've used the 50Kw+ ChadeMo chargers on several long trips I've made quite happily. The Soul (my point) terminates the charge at 94%, preventing a headlong crash into the 100% which is supposed to not be very good for them. Also, I believe the Soul is quoted as a 30Kwh battery but is actually 32 or something like that - so the 100% it shows on the screen is (probably) only 100% of 30Kwh, not 32Kwh, thus providing more protection.
3 years old and SOH = 100% (of something) so happy enough, but majority of charge is now done on 7Kw home charger which I see as well worth the investment for both convenience and cheap rate (5p/Kwh)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies, all very interesting. I'll try and respond to a few of the points below :

  • Re hogging chargers for the final hour from 80% to full on CHAdeMO chargers - I've not noticed this... I have up until now left the car charging till full or nearly full (between 93% and 98%) and this has taken half an hour or so from about 30 to 40% full. I will however in future try and keep to about 80% but this might mean a rethink as to when I charge as I like my dog walks to be a bit longer.
  • Taxis do know about the free chargers and regularly use the Type 2s overnight but there are plenty of charging points near me and so I'm not really concerned about being stuck without a charging option.
  • I do have a granny charger... Is topping up from 80 to 100% using this method less risky to the battery health than a rapid charge then?
  • Yes, I'm in Dundee, lots of free charging options around and my LA seem on top of maintaining the chargers.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Thanks everyone for the replies, all very interesting. I'll try and respond to a few of the points below :

  • Re hogging chargers for the final hour from 80% to full on CHAdeMO chargers - I've not noticed this... I have up until now left the car charging till full or nearly full (between 93% and 98%) and this has taken half an hour or so from about 30 to 40% full. I will however in future try and keep to about 80% but this might mean a rethink as to when I charge as I like my dog walks to be a bit longer.
  • Taxis do know about the free chargers and regularly use the Type 2s overnight but there are plenty of charging points near me and so I'm not really concerned about being stuck without a charging option.
  • I do have a granny charger... Is topping up from 80 to 100% using this method less risky to the battery health than a rapid charge then?
  • Yes, I'm in Dundee, lots of free charging options around and my LA seem on top of maintaining the chargers.
If it's only taking 30mins to get to 90% I woudn't worry about any charger hogging accusations.

There is no evidence to back up claims that a granny charger is kinder and above 90% the charging current on a rapid will have dropped to a few amps - same as the granny charger.

There was one owner who found a used Leaf 1 with few rapid charges but over 1000 slow charges and it's SOH was excellent so I did speculate that the slow charges may have helped maintain a good SOH. (seems he charged it every night on his granny chaarger)
 

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Interesting reading for another 1 month newbie with a 30kWh Tekna 2017.
Our car is used for 4 or 6, 3 mile journeys most days.
Once a week we free charge it at either Aldi or Nissan for a couple of hours which normally takes it from around 60% to 80% SOC.
I then granny charge it once a week from 40/50% to 100%.
The car is always driven the next day not left at 100%.

A lot has been said on here about only charging to 80%, but when I bought mine from Cleevely they said the final couple of hours on a granny is really only just balancing the cells, probably confirmed by people noticing a reduction in plug temperature at the end of the charging cycle.

Question then is, as long as it not a regular CHAdeMO full charge am l not better granny charging to 100% rather than 80% following Cleevely's advice?

My electric bike and golf battery all recommend charging to 100% as long as they continue to be used not sitting idle. Is it not better to exercise the battery from 30% to 100% as long as temperature isn't an issue?

Sorry to the OP if I have hijacked his thread a bit.
 

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If the OP is in Scotland, I have it in black and white from Transport Scotland that Local Authority owners MUST repair faulty chargers within 48hours. Some seemed to have been unaware of this requirement and one in particular still hasn't apparently done so, although I am not convinced that the CPS live map is fully up to date.

I'd expect English LAs to have the same terms applied to any public funding they received.
That requirement is a very long way indeed from being enforced, sadly...rely on it at your peril.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That requirement is a very long way indeed from being enforced, sadly...rely on it at your peril.
Dundee very much consider themselves an EV friendly city with many brand spanking new covered multi vehicle charger hubs around the city and think that, even if they might not meet the 48 hour timescale, they would be on top of maintaining chargers. Fingers crossed anyway!
 

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The LEAF30 does seem to charge very quickly right up into the high 90's. I too have done as you have, plugged in at low 30's gone for a macdonalds, returned 30mins later to find its up at 94%.

You say Dundee, which is a city with fantastic charging infrastructure, but didnt the council start charging money last year? I've certainly had to pay at Greenmarket and also at the multi-charger hub on Princes St. Looking on plugshare the Camperdown/Ice Arena one charges money too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The LEAF30 does seem to charge very quickly right up into the high 90's. I too have done as you have, plugged in at low 30's gone for a macdonalds, returned 30mins later to find its up at 94%.

You say Dundee, which is a city with fantastic charging infrastructure, but didnt the council start charging money last year? I've certainly had to pay at Greenmarket and also at the multi-charger hub on Princes St. Looking on plugshare the Camperdown/Ice Arena one charges money too.
All ChargePlace Scotland chargers are free for the time being, even if they advertise a fee. I generally charge in Monifieth (free anyway) or Broughty Ferry, to the east of the city.
 

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Well thats very much a temporary thing then, probably due to the switch over to Swarco?

Dundee have already implemented charging, so you can be sure they'll be back charging money as soon as they can, which means the premise of your entire question is invalid...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well thats very much a temporary thing then, probably due to the switch over to Swarco?
Very probably.

Dundee have already implemented charging, so you can be sure they'll be back charging money as soon as they can, which means the premise of your entire question is invalid...
If you ignore the fact that my main charger is the free one where I walk my dogs, then yes...
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Dundee very much consider themselves an EV friendly city with many brand spanking new covered multi vehicle charger hubs around the city and think that, even if they might not meet the 48 hour timescale, they would be on top of maintaining chargers. Fingers crossed anyway!
Swarco probably are contracted to maintain the chargers and they are undoubtedly struggling to fix them as their engineers will have been tasked to audit all of them, so the 48hour window will have had to be enlarged.
No mention of sanctions against LAs who don't maintain their chargers.
 

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If you ignore the fact that my main charger is the free one where I walk my dogs, then yes...
Sure. But even so, whats the likelyhood that it will remain free? The general move scotland wide is to implement charging for charging, and the free chargers are disappearing all over. If i were to guess, the monifeith and broughty ferry units come under Angus rather than Dundee City councils, and thats why they are still free, the hub at Forfar is also free for instance.

I mean, its clearly up to you. You can indeed operate an EV without a home charger, and in Dundee there are plenty of options. It is however naïve to think that your free charger will continue indefinitely. Elsewhere in the country we've seen what happens when theres one or two free chargers in a sea of chargeable units, they end up permanently queued, usually by taxis, and TBH i'm amazed that unit isnt already queued up if its the only free unit around dundee.

Thus the question is wether you install the charger now, and maybe dont use it for a while as your using the free unit, or install it later, when perhaps the grant terms are less favourable, or any special deals with the vehicle seller may have expired. I guess you may also factor in any likely house moves and the like. For me convenience wins out. I plug my car in when i get home, and it charges overnight ready for the next day. I would never want to rely solely on a public charge point.
 

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Sure. But even so, whats the likelyhood that it will remain free? The general move scotland wide is to implement charging for charging, and the free chargers are disappearing all over. If i were to guess, the monifeith and broughty ferry units come under Angus rather than Dundee City councils, and thats why they are still free, the hub at Forfar is also free for instance.

I mean, its clearly up to you. You can indeed operate an EV without a home charger, and in Dundee there are plenty of options. It is however naïve to think that your free charger will continue indefinitely. Elsewhere in the country we've seen what happens when theres one or two free chargers in a sea of chargeable units, they end up permanently queued, usually by taxis, and TBH i'm amazed that unit isnt already queued up if its the only free unit around dundee.

Thus the question is wether you install the charger now, and maybe dont use it for a while as your using the free unit, or install it later, when perhaps the grant terms are less favourable, or any special deals with the vehicle seller may have expired. I guess you may also factor in any likely house moves and the like. For me convenience wins out. I plug my car in when i get home, and it charges overnight ready for the next day. I would never want to rely solely on a public charge point.
Agree, free charging is just a temporary blip (SWARCO problems) or is being phased out very shortly. Angus council have passed the necessary motions to implement charging, its now just down to implementation.

CPS actually have a massive interest in making sure all ChargePoint owners do implement charging. Thats because they (SWARCO ??? ) will collect a 5p/kWh transaction fee (TBC).

regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sure. But even so, whats the likelyhood that it will remain free? The general move scotland wide is to implement charging for charging, and the free chargers are disappearing all over. If i were to guess, the monifeith and broughty ferry units come under Angus rather than Dundee City councils, and thats why they are still free, the hub at Forfar is also free for instance.

I mean, its clearly up to you. You can indeed operate an EV without a home charger, and in Dundee there are plenty of options. It is however naïve to think that your free charger will continue indefinitely. Elsewhere in the country we've seen what happens when theres one or two free chargers in a sea of chargeable units, they end up permanently queued, usually by taxis, and TBH i'm amazed that unit isnt already queued up if its the only free unit around dundee.

Thus the question is wether you install the charger now, and maybe dont use it for a while as your using the free unit, or install it later, when perhaps the grant terms are less favourable, or any special deals with the vehicle seller may have expired. I guess you may also factor in any likely house moves and the like. For me convenience wins out. I plug my car in when i get home, and it charges overnight ready for the next day. I would never want to rely solely on a public charge point.
You raise a good point re the permanence (or otherwise) of government grants being available for home chargers. If I got one now I'd probably just use it and miss out on the free electricity available locally though... 😂

And to answer your question, if everywhere starts charging then I'll look at the economics of a home charger v the cost of public ones. Convenience is an issue for you, not for me, which is why my query was based solely on what damage, if any, CHAdeMO charging did to the battery.
 
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