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Discussion Starter #1
Just been trying to get London Borough of Newham to sign up to the OLEV sheme to install on street charging points in response to specific requests from residents. They can get 75% of the cost funded and strikes me as being a much more viusal incentive for EV take up, particularly if it results in dedicated bays in areas where parking demand is very high.
Anyone else not got off-street parking who fancies putting pressure on their local authority ? I am happy to help - funding runs out March 2015.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-funding-for-residential-on-street-charging-for-plug-in-vehicles-a-guide-for-members-of-the-public
 

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Hi,

Interested to hear if you have had any luck? I've always dismissed EVs on the basis that I don't have a driveway/garage. The Outlander PHEV has got me interested in the technology again as it seems to overcome the issues while providing a family car (although I'd rather not have a 4x4 I need five seats - so volt and i3 are out). I'd prefer all electric, but without home charging this seems a no-starter, at least a PHEV gives me scope to top-up when I can. I stumbled across this OLEV scheme while researching this.

I'm in Kent and haven't managed to get through to anyone who can help at KCC or OLEV for that matter (Letters in the post after failed attempts on phone). I've even resorted to a FOI request to DfT to see if that scheme is actually real, as beyond their own website (and your post) I've found little evidence of its implementation.

I'd be really interested to hear of any success stories. I'm assuming that typical cost of these installations will be £5k to £10k, so the LA will be looking at £2.5k captial outlay max. Still expecting a negative response.


John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi John, welcome to the Forum and well done on considering the EV move, if you are relying on it as your sole vehicle and don't have home charging then you might be best with some sort of hybrid - though personally I feel that some of the most economical ICE cars are actually more environmentally friendly than dragging around an engine and a battey pack.
You will also want to make sure that it is capable of fast charging if you are going to be using public points.

I have had no luck with Newham yet but I understand that Hackney have installed a few points. I think you will need to contact your local District Authority and not KCC - if you are Canterbury then you can try [email protected] who is installing some public points or may be able to put you on to his counterpart in your own District. Good Luck.
 

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I have never heard of anyone being successful requesting and then actually getting on-street charging installed so if it has happened it isn't very common.

Sorry :(
 

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Hi Zoe?

Thanks for such a swift response.

I note your reservations; this is one of the main reasons for considering a PHEV. This car would be used for a lot of local 'nipping' about, but loaded up with three kids, so it needs to be a decent size. The benefit of a PHEV would be that for most trips, the car would only ever use battery power, as a 20 to 30 mile range would probably do for a couple of days. However, if no viable charge option is found, then all we would ever be doing to charging from the engine, which defeats the purpose of the plug, as you said. Ideally really prefer pure electric, but my location makes this seem a fantasy.

Options I've considered to allow an EV or PHEV:

* Running a cable over the footway to the car parked immediately outside house - with all the inherent problems, even if trying to mitigate risk with cable covers etc etc. Not sure how long we'd get away with this;

* Coming to an arrangement with one of my nice neighbours to park outside their garage and maybe get a metered circuit installed to sort out payment (a possible option because of my lovely neighbours, but maybe not long term practical - they might move for instance);

* Relying of fast charging or stop-overs at friends. Possible, but limited because of the complete lack of fast chargers near me in Sevenoaks. The nearest is Clacket Lane Services, using up most of the range to get there and back. Also I'd feel better being able to fully slow charge at least once a fortnight to not kill the battery;

* Persuade the good people at the Local Authority to stump up for a on-street charger (or 25% of one) - hence my question to you;

* Final option was to try to persuade the town council to install a point in the car park of the community centre which is a short walk from my house and empty at night. No idea where to start on this option - a brief introduction to basics of electric vehicles would be needed;

I have sent a letter to Sevenoaks District Council as well as KCC, although given that the installation would be on the public highway I assumed KCC would be deliver authority. This may be different from London, where the Boroughs are Unitary Authorities and control the roads as well as other services. However, you contact at Canterbury is a good place to start as I'm drawing blanks at the moment.

I fear this might be becoming an obsession with me. Maybe I should stick to gold ol' petrol or diesel ;) Will I be thrown off the forum for saying this?

John
 

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* Running a cable over the footway to the car parked immediately outside house - with all the inherent problems, even if trying to mitigate risk with cable covers etc etc. Not sure how long we'd get away with this
Whatever you choose to do please don't do this. You clearly are aware of the issues (from what you said) but it is the worst choice there IMO. I realise it is easy for me to say but I am so scared of the implications of this. Not just safety but the image it projects about EV drivers and owning an EV.

There is another aspect to this... you assume you can always park in the same spot. In most roads that is not normally possible.

I wish you the best of luck with your quest in this. It is certainly one of the biggest challenges for the government to make EV ownership easier for those without off-street parking/charging.
 

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Thanks for your reply Paul.

This is precisely what I feared would be the case. The OLEV document sounds very positive; but a few hours of Googling and the relative lack of discussion did have me wondering. Rather reluctantly I made a FOI request to the OLEV for details on just which authorities have 'signed-up' (to use the OLEV's own terminology) and just how many and how much of the grant has been spent.

From what I can ascertain, there should be no technical reason to prevent installation in at least one location on my street. It is wide road, with wide footways, street lighting and limited parking restrictions. It is actually very suited to the situation, as it is mix of terraced housing (limited parking), employment and community leisure uses. I can foresee a dual use scenario with employees charging during the day and residents at night.

I realise there is some reluctance to this type of installation - I've noted your own comments on other threads about this ;) - but there is clearly not going to be one solution for all in the near future on this matter of encouraging sustainable car travel.

If I can get one installed, I think it will be the first public charge point in the entire district and maybe, if what you say is correct, the only one OLEV have ever done............maybe I should take the hint!
 

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Good luck. I really want people to be successful in these requests.

Also, do remember, that even if you were successful, it wouldn't be restricted to your use only. It would still be a public charge point and so there is nothing stopping someone else in your road buying an EV and parking and charging there or anyone else parking and charging. You could be left with no where to charge.

It sounds like I am trying to be negative... I really am not... just trying to highlight some of the issues so people can be properly informed and decide for themselves.
 

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Im sure they cant be bothered funny though as we drive zero emission vehicles
 

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It is a fair point, and something I had considered. It reinforced my thoughts about not going 100% electric - and rather sticking to a PHEV.

This would make charging up something of a preference for cost (possibly depending on rates) and a conscientious decision to be more sustainable, rather than an absolute necessity. Clearly if I had a pure EV, did a 40 mile commute everyday and needed to guarantee an overnight charge, this would be a problem. But in the plug-in hybrid scenario, where a charge is 'possible' overnight, it is less of an issue, maybe just a disappointment or frustration at worst.

Even if other residents do join the EV party, it is unlikely that any one would dominate all of the time, not unless they never moved their car. As with any on-street parking situation, there is always a circulation of cars around the spaces, with people sometimes getting their 'preferred space' outside their house, other times not....that is life when you don't own the ground you park on.

If this did encourage multiple residents to buy plug-in cars, I think it would be hailed a success and there would be moves to add more points. With vehicles hooked up seemingly 24/7 and the scope for metering and revenue, this would start to be viable for a commercial operator. I struggle to see how over-demand for an initial single charging point in one location can be considered a problem - that is unless public charging points are fundamentally commercially not viable even with constant demand.......maybe don't answer that one in case I burst a bubble ;)

Whatever happen, it means we have one (or more if my neighbours join the party) extra car potentially buzzing around on electric a lot of the time. This is more cars for the statistics, which means more investment from the Government and private industry in the infrastructure to support plug-in cars and a healthier environment for everyone.

Point noted on the 'cable-on-footway' thing. It is all about risk - and I do see the risk for broader EV community, in a PR sense.
 

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OK, so you work for a Council? Do you know anyone at Sevenoaks or KCC who might be interested in talking to me about this?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You have come up with 2 possible good options in maybe getting one of your kind neighbours to apply for a homecharge unit under the grant scheme and then let you park on their drive for 3 hours or so while you charge, (although I understand that you have to prove access to an EV to get the grant now.) Maybe talk one into buying an EV themselves.
I would email (or call, or visit at surgery) all your local District councillors and hope they are green and forward thinking enough to install a charger at your local community centre. There are certainly grants available for this from KCC and ZCW.

(I think you may be right about KCC maintaining all highways in Kent - sorry !)
The sort of mileage you talk about is well within the range of a fully electric car. Go for it.
 

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I wonder what the issues would be to installing a gantry-like device attached to the front of your house which, when swung out from the house front (like steam locos used to use for filling up with water - OK, showing my age there!), suspending a charging cable and plug ready to be inserted into ones car (assuming you could park outside)? It would avoid the issue of cables on pavements and would be easily high enough to avoid problems with pedestrians and vehicles. Not the most attractive of devices tho but short of the local authority putting charging posts/inductive charging pads in for either anyone who wants one - or just every parking space - I can't see how all the terraced residents the length and breath of the country ever stand a chance of joining the EV revolution the Government *appears* to be dreaming of.
 
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I wonder what the issues would be to installing a gantry-like device attached to the front of your house which, when swung out from the house front (like steam locos used to use for filling up with water - OK, showing my age there!), suspending a charging cable and plug ready to be inserted into ones car (assuming you could park outside)? It would avoid the issue of cables on pavements and would be easily high enough to avoid problems with pedestrians and vehicles. Not the most attractive of devices tho but short of the local authority putting charging posts/inductive charging pads in for either anyone who wants one - or just every parking space - I can't see how all the terraced residents the length and breath of the country ever stand a chance of joining the EV revolution the Government *appears* to be dreaming of.
But would still share the same earthing issues as running a cable across the pavement for many homes - unless your gantry electrics were not earthed through the house but rather via an independent spike.
 

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But would still share the same earthing issues as running a cable across the pavement for many homes - unless your gantry electrics were not earthed through the house but rather via an independent spike.
The earthing is in the cable so I don't quite see what you mean...? MW
 
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