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What we want is dozens of Commando sockets all over the place so we can use our ZCW DIY portable Evse chargers where ever we go! I've yet to hear of a Commando Socket being "down".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I certainly don't want to see commando sockets everywhere... at least not in public locations.

In private locations they could be useful but it is not wise to have live sockets in public locations especially as they will not have the protections that are built in to an EV charging station particularly in the event of the cable being cut or the plug being removed from the car.

EV charging in public locations must be done using a properly installed charging station with the associated protections. Doing it through simple sockets might seem like a good solution but only for private locations and even then only for occasional use. If a location has a regular requirement to charge EVs then they should install a proper charging solution rather than just commando sockets. I wouldn't advocate installing commando sockets for regular EV charging use anywhere except in a private location.
 

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I guess that is also why they are phasing out standard UK 13A charging sockets for public charging. Just a shame they are introducing so many other standards!
 

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We have been to Tesco today and there were 6 commando sockets in their car park all with empty parking spaces. These are used for their delivery vehicles to plug in at night. This could be the situation at all Tesco and other supermarkets. If an arrangement could be made to use them then here is the answer to having commando sockets nationwide available now.
Geoff
Nb posted at 2.06 pm not as shown on the webpage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Won't happen Geoff. Open sockets are not permitted for public charging and I can't see that changing. I for one don't want to see open sockets in public places. They are not safe and there is no monitoring or way to restrict use to authorised persons only. This argument was had several years ago and it is universally accepted that open sockets are to be banned for public charging infrastructure. Sorry.

I do realise that it would be convenient and easy to install but there are way too many disadvantages and risks. Charging an EV at home/work might be as easy as a plug and socket but when talking about public access it is a whole new ball of wax.
 

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Does this mean that all the blue commando sockets listed on ev plugin maps will be removed and will this affect caravan sites?
Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know what the maps might do Geoff to be honest.

Caravan sites are not public access, they are on private land without public access, so I could imagine they might stay.
 

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And marinas, and hotel basement car parks and ... Just not public car parks and motorway services. That'll be fine. I'm all for H&S but that is supposed to involve risk assessment not not risk averse run away and hide. If a competent risk assessment identifies no special risk then there should be no excuse to ban anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I agree... we should not be banning for the sake of it.

Any location that has controlled access in my opinion could be a candidate for dumb sockets. It is the uncontrolled, public access that makes it potentially unsafe in my view. If a member of the public can rock up to a charging location and just use it without getting explicit permission then it is public access.

I am not keen to see dumb sockets at motorway services except in secure locations where there is no public access (perhaps with access via on site staff). Marinas, car parks , hotels etc... the same. If it is secure, so that access is controlled and permission is needed to gain access, then fine. Caravan sites are generally not public access and people generally need explicit permission to use their hookups... so that is fine.

IIRC the EU has mandated that dumb sockets must not be used for public access charging hasn't it?

There is another aspect to this discussion that I think is worth considering. If a dumb socket is used there is then no way to restrict its use only to those that have the right to use it. e.g. those that have paid. This is not so important at the moment. There are so few EVs and it is costing chargepoint operators so little that it isn't worth levying a fee right now. However, when there are a lot more EVs and when EVs have batteries with much larger capacities, so charge point owners may have to levy fees and then controlled access will become important.

There is also the aspect of charger status reporting. There are many EV drivers almost demanding real-time status updates yet this is totally at odds with the idea of dumb sockets. If we want real-time systems giving us the information we need to determine charger status then we cannot use dumb sockets. Again, this aspect is not so important right now as most of the time chargers are not in use but when there are queues forming people will want that information and so we need to put in place chargers and systems that can do real-time reporting now... while there are no queues.

I think I understand where you are coming from. The phrase "it is just plugs and sockets" comes to mind and so if that is all it is then why do we need all the complication and cost of smart networks? I do get that. But I really hate that phrase. It hides the fact that yes, at its absolute basic it is just plugs and sockets and that is fine where that is appropriate. But if we want a public charging network that give the driver the information we are all demanding then it most certainly can never just be "plugs and sockets". So in public access networks we need smart chargers with well-designed back-office systems linked intelligently to online maps, in-car systems etc.

So I am with you 100% on dumb sockets where there is no public access but I am also a huge supporter of smart systems for what they can offer us in spite of their cost and complexity.
 

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People give rapid chargers a hard time IMHO, at the moment sure there are a few chargers that dont seem to be that reliable however its not always down to the chargers and the back end systems and can be down to how they have been installed and the conditions, a lot of the earth faults in particular are environmental.

Its easy to say well keep it simple and reliable and use commando sockets, sure thats OK but lets not forget this is a maximum of 7KW, there is a vast difference between pumping 7KW and 50KW in to a car the latter requiring much more in terms of complexity.

I am all for having lots of backup destination charging thats totally fine but until the battery tech gets cheaper and the capacity goes up the RC network provides a stop gap solution to pure electric vehicles providing rapid charging, even if I had a new Leaf with a 7KW charger I havent got 3 hours to wait for it to charge when I am on a long journey, the RC network we have is pretty good considering its also free, there is always the option of a REX if you want a safety net now.

I am sure that in the future all forms of charging away from your house will largely not be required as the cars batteries will have sufficient energy density (Graphine battery tech looks exciting) but for now we arent in that position, what we have is a major improvement on burning fossil fuel thats for sure and at the moment its free, thats pretty hard to argue with, I can travel to my brothers house in west wales from Banbury and back for nothing, thats a round trip of 400 miles that would have cost me £80, with the best determination at 7KW I would not make the journey, not forgetting many of the low level charging destinations require either paying or use of the facilities to gain access the charger not to mention that my Leaf can only charge at 3kW at them anyway.
 

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Its easy to say well keep it simple and reliable and use commando sockets, sure thats OK but lets not forget this is a maximum of 7KW
A three phase 32A "commando" or Type 2 socket supports 22kW and the installation costs are very similar to 32A single phase (~7kW) :)
 

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Yes agree with you on that point Kevin, 3 phase charging is useful and usable and should in theory be much more reliable too, out of interest how many of the ZCW posts are 22kW? I havent needed to level 2 charge yet, my usage being quite different to many though, if I could charge at 22kW with a normal cable that would be super nice.



Its still early days for all this stuff whichever way we get our juice its so much more preferable to burning fossil fuel however if you are going to burn it my preference would be in a BMW I3 REX.
 

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out of interest how many of the ZCW posts are 22kW?
None of the first 500 donations are 22kW but I believe that many of the next 500 will be. The reason is simply a growing awareness amongst commercial organisations that they need to match charging with visitor 'dwell time' in order to justify the long term investment.

IMO we will find that companies like ikea stop installing 'rapid' chargers once they start paying for the installation. The reason is simple.... they don't want customers stopping for ~30 minutes.

I havent needed to level 2 charge yet, my usage being quite different to many though
I think your usage pattern is probably similar to many in 'short' range EV's.... the majority of people who travel today (and in the future) use longer range EV's like the Ampera, i3 REX, Tesla Model S, etc.

if I could charge at 22kW with a normal cable that would be super nice.
Today your AC charge rate is limited by your car... however, third party AC charger upgrades are available and I have no doubt we will see many fitted in the future.
 
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