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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I received my first PHEV company car last week, VW's Arteon Shooting Brake, and am loving it already; having been driving various diesels for the past 15 years this is so quiet and refined.

I've been lurking around the forum for a couple weeks, and I'm sure will ave many questions about making the most of the car, but my first 'want' is to make the most of charging on the go, so any advice on which are the best networks to use is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Nick
 

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As this charges at 3.6kW I would not bother, that's around 10 miles per hour.
Charge at home, at the office if possible, supermarket destination chargers not Rapids. There can often be 7kW posts ar park and ride and railway stations.
Use zap map to check for payment methods, its not usually worth it with a slow charging phev , I have one, the ampera and it's not worth plugging in for 1/2 hour at the supermarket IMO.
 

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@Spiny has the answer for you.

I made an attempt at charging [trying to charge] the Ampera in the wild a few times and it was just pointless. The total effort+risks versus result was just no-where near any benefit.

Obviously, if you happen to come to a stop right in front of a free charge point that you'll stay for an hour or two where you can charge, do as you please, but no provider that charges any money for the charge will ever be cheaper than just burning your biofuel ( ;) ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Spiny and @donald, many thanks, I think I've just experienced that...

After my first post, I checked Zap Map and found three locations near to my hotel just outside London this morning...ended up wasting 30+ minutes finding that two had time limits (probably resulting in a total of 7-10 range), PAYG required minimum topups, apps to download, credit cards to register, and one without a time limit I was unable to get the car into courtesy of a badly parked BMW X6...

I ended up filling up with petrol no problem and had to pay another £5.00 to get back into the hotel car park, so it's just cost more than I was ever likely to save, both from an environmental & financial point of view.

With regards to charging at home, I'm using the granny cable at the moment, but will get a proper charger fitted.

Charging at work isn't an option as my office is in The Netherlands 😂

Which networks provide free charging? Are there any catches? Nothing comes for free in this world!

I obviously chose the car due to the BIK benefits, but was hoping to reduce the environmental impact and reduce fuel costs whilst out on the road.

Which networks provide free charging? Are there any catches? Nothing comes for free in this world!

I'm not giving up that easily!

Thanks,

Nick
 

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As above, I would not bother charging in public. Just leave charging to at home.

With the amount of new pure EVs hitting the roads each month, and the number of new chargers not keeping pace, chargers are already often a scarce resource.

Wanting to reduce the environmental impact whilst out on the road is a noble cause, but the best way for PHEV drivers to do that is probably to charge at home religiously, and then to leave public chargers available to pure EVs.

Clogging up public chargers with hybrid cars that a) charge slowly and b) have an alternative energy source will often just deprive the use of a charger by pure EV, and in doing so contribute to the holding back of EV adoption.
 

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You can use any destination charger, Rapids - leave for the BEV's.
In the early days there were various Source (East, London etc.) networks, these had an RFID card and were free to use and often had free parking at the posts. There were other council networks around as well.
Many of these ended up with ChargeMaster now BP Pulse. Its a subscription and an RFID card, The PAYG App version is expensive, the sub OK only IF you can use a lot as in several times a week for hours at a time.
My local Waitrose has these as free to use posts but the Sub means its not worth it as I rarely stay more than 20 mins (and usually walk there!).

PodPoint has many units at Supermarkets and Carparks, these use an APP and are often free to use. Claim the charge during the first 15 mins with the app. I've used the ones at heathrow in the past.

The Motorway service areas used to have free 22kW (3 phase AC) units, 1 or 2 per area. Operated with an RFID card from Ecotricity, this "Electric Highway" has now gone having being bought by Gridserve. Hopefully the new Rapids will prove vastly better then the broken down Ecotricity ones and the 22kW posts will be retained for ZOE's

However Hotels are the interesting one. Many have Tesla Destination Chargers and are free to use, the Silver ones are for any car, these are Type 2 tethered. You can find other units at hotels , some will provide a 13A socket if asked though do offer to pay for electricity.
During the day it depends how you value your time waiting around for the car to top up!

The above are some observations make of it what you will and enjoy the car.
 
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Just to clarify for you about the Rapids and also your VAG brand PHEV
When I first got my Golf GTE this info was helpful to me

Your car will only take AC charging via the type2 port-socket.
ie a Rapids' CCS or CHAD tethered cable won't fit.
If a Rapid has 3 cables on it, then it has a AC 22kw max giving type2 plug, which physically will fit your car but in my experience never actually connects properly at the logical giving electrons level - ie it won't actually work. Plus as noted above, the VAG PHEVs normally only drink at 3.6kw max, thus people don't like seeing a slow drinking car attached.

I did get quite into grabbing a charge wherever I could for free, supermarkets, some public carparks or business parks, but I didn't bust a gut - if there was one fine, else never mind.

Otherwise - if the charge point is not free £ - the price per unit of electricity mostly worked out really no cheaper than an Asdas' pay at pump. I got 55-58mpg on hybrid mode only driving in my PHEV. (with the gom above 5 ) You may know the worst time to drive a PHEV ( esp a VAG one ) is when the HV battery has just hit zero - the mpg is horrendous for the next 20-40mins.

If you're on a motorway and the HV drains, put the trip computer to instant mpg - when the ICE kicks in it'll say mid-upper 20's -- even if you're behind a load of Eddie stobarts

If your journey ends at a charging place & is under the HV battery range, do it all on electrons
(ie home work home, or home shopping centre )
ZapMap and Plugshare are very useful for seeing what's around.

If the journey is above it, then
- first few miles EV mode
- when you get to somewhere where the ICE will run for a good few mins (ie no traffic lights, jams, queues for a roundabout ), then put in to hybrid mode and so for the most of the rest of the trip
- when you get to within EV range switch to that planning (hoping) to arrive just before the HV is totally empty.

Many VAG PHEV owners will know of the sheer embarrassment of pulling up somewhere with the ICE having just kicked in a few moments ago --- the engine is still in a warm up cycle and won't cut out and you feel a right idiot at having to burn the dinojuice pointlessly.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the drive and soon be thinking of moving up to a full BEV.
 

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VW website is a bit misleading tho - this suggests it has 7.2 drinking ability --- however the charge time is then the same as the 3.6 .....

148330
 

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VW website is a bit misleading tho - this suggests it has 7.2 drinking ability --- however the charge time is then the same as the 3.6 .....

View attachment 148330
Buyer beware.

It is still "wild-west" territory when it comes to 'data'.

I recall a few years ago (I don't recall precisely if it was Outlander or some Audi), for a PHEV it read in the specifications part of the brochure "CO2; 49g/km, MPG; 150mpg, Size of fuel tank; 10 gallons, Range; 1,500 miles" .... well, 'obviously' ... MPG times tank capacity, right?! :unsure:

I think we're past that sort of thing now, but 'EV specifications data' is still a minefield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for the helpful responses all.

@Bill N , I knew there was some level of etiquette regarding the use of public chargers, but playing devil's advocate, and most definitely not wanting to cause any upset, I wouldn't want to become a pariah just because I wanted to use one of these.

My trip this week has involved parking overnight in Westfield Shopping Centre on Tuesday and my experience yesterday morning; all the spots I visited this morning were empty, and there is a bank of either 8 or 12 charging points in Westfield, none of which were in use (and there were quite a few PHEVs & BEVs parked in normal bays).

The infrastructure has to be made available to everyone - I don't want to deny a BEV driver the ability to charge, but if I have the option to do a worthwhile charge (not 30 minutes giving me a couple of miles of range), I want to do that without being damned for it 😊 Overnight stays at hotels I most definitely want to charge it!

That being said, I won't need to worry that much due to the limits of the car's charging time; @donald it's limited to 3.6kw, and has the same 218ps drivetrain as per the Passat GTE, rather than the 245ps as found on the new Golf GTE/Octavia vRS/Cupra Leon. I plugged it in on the granny cable last night, and the app indicated 5:20 hours to fully charge, which the app duly notified me when it was full as expected!

I do often have meetings that last a few hours, so could charge it fully on public charger, or at a customer's - I should have asked the customer I was with all day on Wednesday if I could plug the car into their mains, as they were showing me the initiatives they're taking to go carbon neutral, and I'm sure would have been more than happy to give me some battery power!

@Spiny , thanks for the names of the charging providers. Knowing that there are Tesla chargers available is good; going back to Westfield, there were a lot of Tesla Superchargers being used, and I did have look on the empty unit to see if it had any pay option for a non-Tesla to use, which it didn't.

@gladini , thanks for the hints on driving the VAG car specifically. I've been using the inbuilt nav when driving, as the manual says the car shuffles between the EV and electric modes automatically. On Monday I did a 300-mile round trip to Devon, and the car acted as expected, starting the journey in EV, switching between EV and ICE on the motorway and switching back to EV on the final part of my urban journey, leaving the battery almost empty when I arrived.

Regarding your comment about the car's economy when the battery hits zero. I did notice a few times on the journey back home yesterday that the car was getting a little bit of battery regeneration and switching to EV everyone and then. Surely this can't be good for the engine, as it was switching on and off with gentle throttle...does the engine get preheated at all? I'm thinking about a situation whereby you've driven entirely on EV and you're on the motorway at 70mph when the ICE kicks in and it's cold; from a mechanical point of view, that feels to me like it's putting a cold engine under a lot of stress and wear!

Unfortunately, I've been using Google maps via CarPlay for the past couple of years in my previous car, so the inbuilt nav in the Arteon is somewhat backwards by comparison! Apple Maps integrates with the car and displays route directions on the dashboard, so I'm going to experiment with that and see if the drivetrain changes as expected. If not, it's no hardship to change it manually.

Thankfully the majority of personal journeys are within the car's EV range, so I intend to charge it religiously when at home.

Thanks so much again for all your comments, it's been a great help so far.

Nick
 

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I do often have meetings that last a few hours, so could charge it fully on public charger, or at a customer's - I should have asked the customer I was with all day on Wednesday if I could plug the car into their mains, as they were showing me the initiatives they're taking to go carbon neutral, and I'm sure would have been more than happy to give me some battery power!
This is about the only situation that would justify charging away from home .. when the outlet is privately owned and the owner is happy for you to do that.

It really isn't worth charging up on a 3 pin while you are out, I mean the effort versus the time it takes is a bit mad. But if a customer has a Type 2 outlet and you're parked in front of it, of course you should ask.

Don't try to overthink it. Just enjoy the car and let it do its thing, and charge at home unless a blatantly easy opportunity accidentally presents itself. You'll end up getting stressed otherwise if you get on to thinking about this sort of thing all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good morning @donald ,

Valid points, and I know you're right, I just have to get my head around to understanding I don't have to charge it all the time!

Having completed just over 600 miles in it so far, I am most definitely enjoying it, it really is comfortable, relaxed and long-legged...I had a 3-year old diesel Octavia vRS prior to this, which was one of the best cars I've owned, but the Arteon is on another level!

Thanks,

Nick
 

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The other way to think about owning a PHEV is the battery is for short local trips, which can pretty much be 100% electric.

Then you have the ICE for long range trips.

As mentioned above, trying to arrange charging en-route is going to drive you mad and cost you money.

So just use it like any other car, but plug in at home when you can.
 

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all the spots I visited this morning were empty, and there is a bank of either 8 or 12 charging points in Westfield, none of which were in use
Yep, fair enough on the odd occasion when there is a bank of many AC charge points available for use, with several unoccupied. This sort of level of provision is still not a very common occurrence though unfortunately. Most often it’s a case of just a couple of charge points in a car park in a town or in a hotel car park, and if I turned up to find I couldn’t charge a pure EV because one or more of the few provided points was occupied by a PHEV, then I would be fairly miffed I’m afraid.

Ultimately it’s about a minor environmental benefit and cost saving achieved by a PHEV driver, vs being able to simply get from A to B for an EV driver. Surely people can see which needs to take priority in places and/or at times where and/or when there is limited availability of charging.
 

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Oh, lets start this into a PHEV bashing thread.

But wait 5 while I get the popcorn ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, fair enough on the odd occasion when there is a bank of many AC charge points available for use, with several unoccupied. This sort of level of provision is still not a very common occurrence though unfortunately. Most often it’s a case of just a couple of charge points in a car park in a town or in a hotel car park, and if I turned up to find I couldn’t charge a pure EV because one or more of the few provided points was occupied by a PHEV, then I would be fairly miffed I’m afraid.
I can totally understand you being miffed if you found PHEV parked where you needed to charge...to be honest, if I was in a BEV then I would feel just the same.

I think I'm just going have to be realistic when I'm out and about, @cah197 , thanks for also re-iterating when and how best to use it's EV capabilities.

If there's a bank of chargers unused when I know the car's going to be left for a few hours, I'll take the opportunity to charge, otherwise just let it get on with driving it as an ICE car - yesterday's journey of just over 100 miles from North London, around a very packed M25 and the rest of the journey westward along the M4 returned a 50.4 mpg average (indicated by the car), impressive for a car that's over 1.8 tons and had two big blokes with luggage in it! My Octavia would have given around 54 mpg (indicated) on a similar journey.

Thanks,

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, lets start this into a PHEV bashing thread.

But wait 5 while I get the popcorn ready.
I wasn't taking it that way 😉

I've just come for some help and advice, and don't want to cause any arguments, we all know how forum threads can get...

You've all been really helpful so far, thanks 🙂

Nick
 

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Yep, fair enough on the odd occasion when there is a bank of many AC charge points available for use, with several unoccupied. This sort of level of provision is still not a very common occurrence though unfortunately. Most often it’s a case of just a couple of charge points in a car park in a town or in a hotel car park, and if I turned up to find I couldn’t charge a pure EV because one or more of the few provided points was occupied by a PHEV, then I would be fairly miffed I’m afraid.

Ultimately it’s about a minor environmental benefit and cost saving achieved by a PHEV driver, vs being able to simply get from A to B for an EV driver. Surely people can see which needs to take priority in places and/or at times where and/or when there is limited availability of charging.
Sorry, public destination chargers are first come, first served. BEV driver (myself included) should not rely on them, they need to plan long journeys on the basis of fast/rapids. If a workplace, supermarket or hotel etc has a destination charger that is available, by all means fill your boots.

Equaly a PHEV driver should not expect to find a destination charger available away from home and should expect to usually use the ICE on journey exceeding their electric range, but if they find an available destination charger away from home, they have as much right to use it as anyone else.

There may be the odd emergency occasion when a BEV driver may have to politely ask a PHEV driver to do them a favour and let them charge, and should express their gratitude if the PHEV driver is willing to oblige. The real (fantasy) answer of course is an improved charging infrastructure.
 

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public destination chargers are first come, first served
they have as much right to use it as anyone else
There may be the odd emergency occasion when a BEV driver may have to politely ask a PHEV driver to do them a favour
Obviously there is (currently at least) no rule against a PHEV being plugged into a public charger - but this is about what’s the most pragmatic, sensible, efficient and ultimately polite use of a scarce resource.

Lots of things in the world work better when people do what makes the most sense for the system as a whole, rather than what would be most beneficial for them personally, even if there aren’t specific rules requiring such behaviour.

Instances of an EV driver looking to use a charger, not being able to because a PHEV is plugged in, but finding the PHEV owner hanging around so that an EV driver can politely ask them if they can please use it are going to be extremely rare. Almost always the PHEV driver will have gone off somewhere for a few hours.
 

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BEV driver (myself included) should not rely on them, they need to plan long journeys on the basis of fast/rapids.
Also, I do not agree with this at all.

a) Appropriate use of destination charging by BEVs is a benefit to the system - it enable more efficient use of the network by reducing pressure on rapid chargers.

b) It’s not only on long journeys where people need to charge away from home. More and more BEVs are being bought by people without private home charging. They rely on public charging.
 
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