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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all -

Test-drove an i3 today and am very tempted to get my first EV. There are lots of reasons why it would be crazy for us - no real commute, limited mileage, perfectly good existing car we'd need to replace, etc. But I want one anyway :)

The only thing that might make it a bit *too* crazy is the fact that, though we usually park right outside our house, we have no off-street parking. I know there are schemes to enable local authorities to install charging points, but they seem to have very little traction.

So I'm trying to rationalise it to myself like this: except for the occasional longish weekend trip, I normally do only around 100 miles per week, maybe a bit more. So I could get by with a couple of charges per week. I may be able to do one of those at one of my employers' locations.

So if I get a fast charger at home, perhaps I could run the cable across the pavement under a rubber mat for the four hours or so I'd need it, latish in the evening, one or two days a week.

Then I start reading about the benefits of preconditioning etc and I wonder whether someone without a driveway or garage would be foolish even to consider an EV? Anyone making it work doing something like this?

Thanks all,
Quentin
 

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Hello all
Test-drove an i3 today and am very tempted to get my first EV. There are lots of reasons why it would be crazy for us - no real commute, limited mileage, perfectly good existing car we'd need to replace, etc. But I want one anyway :)

The only thing that might make it a bit *too* crazy is the fact that, though we usually park right outside our house, we have no off-street parking. I know there are schemes to enable local authorities to install charging points, but they seem to have very little traction.

So I'm trying to rationalise it to myself like this: except for the occasional longish weekend trip, I normally do only around 100 miles per week, maybe a bit more. So I could get by with a couple of charges per week. I may be able to do one of those at one of my employers' locations.

So if I get a fast charger at home, perhaps I could run the cable across the pavement under a rubber mat for the four hours or so I'd need it, latish in the evening, one or two days a week.

Then I start reading about the benefits of preconditioning etc and I wonder whether someone without a driveway or garage would be foolish even to consider an EV? Anyone making it work doing something like this?

Thanks all,
Quentin
Quentin,
I live in central London (Notting Hill) and have no off street parking. I have been driving a Nissan leaf for nearly three years and have only twice needed to run a cable across the pavement - and even then because in truth I was too lazy to go to the nearby charging point.
If you live somewhere with reasonable public charging then you will NEVER need to charge at home. Alternatively, if you can charge at work, then that will also work perfectly.
Buying my EV is one of the best things I ever did.
Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Simon - that's encouraging, but here in Cambridge the public points are few and far between (at least according to Zap Map).

The only rapid one seems to be at the Nissan dealer on the far side of town; not sure how they'd take to the competition turning up on a regular basis, even if it was convenient!

Will have to try and find out more about the pod-point one at work. It doesn't appear on all the lists because it's in a car park only accessible to university staff, but I could use that once a week.

So I think a cable across the pavement is going to be needed here, alas...
 

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Zoe Devotee
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You'll likely have to fund the post cost yourself as the funding for home chargers requires off street parking.

Plus you'll want some public liability insurance for when someone claims that tripped (even if there is a mat down). :(
 

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Thanks, Simon - that's encouraging, but here in Cambridge the public points are few and far between (at least according to Zap Map).

The only rapid one seems to be at the Nissan dealer on the far side of town; not sure how they'd take to the competition turning up on a regular basis, even if it was convenient!

Will have to try and find out more about the pod-point one at work. It doesn't appear on all the lists because it's in a car park only accessible to university staff, but I could use that once a week.

So I think a cable across the pavement is going to be needed here, alas...
The only real chargepoints of use in Cambridge are at the park and ride sites. I use one every day as I live in Cambridge and have no parking at all (we have 1 space and 2 cars)....
Nissan wouldn't be an option for you as they have a Chademo rapid charger, the i3 uses a CCS connector, so no go.
Do any of your neighbours have off street parking ? Maybe do a deal to 'borrow' their driveway and pay them for the electricity used ?

It can work, just requires a little more planning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Lee - and for the clarification about the Nissan option!

Golly, I've been studying this stuff for days and still the range of networks, connectors and charging rates is confusing. I can't imagine many 'normal' people using this yet! "As well as the Chademo, they have a Type 2, which is also known as Mennekes and is also compatible with CCS so you could plug in an i3 but it doesn't use the extra pins and so you only get 7kW, and if you divide your total kWH by that you know how long it will take to charge assuming that you're happy sitting around for a few hours in the middle of nowhere and they're happy having a sexier BMW parked at their charger for a few hours, and you have the right kind of card, or is it phone app(?), for the network concerned, and...." You have to be a real enthusiast for this, don't you? Fortunately, I am. :)

I'll have a think about possible neighbours, but as you know, vast swathes of Cambridge (like my street) are rows of terraced houses without a driveway in sight. I can only contemplate this at all because I'm at the end of a cul-de-sec and can usually park in the same location... It's pretty challenging, but I'm sure things will get better during the lifetime of the car!
 

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Hi Quentin

I too have no off street parking and am planning to charge at home by running the cable through a small drainage channel to avoid creating a trip hazard. Although there are so many uneven slabs and other hazards around id be surprised if anyone did trip on a relatively thin cable.

On the grants for on street charging, I emailed my local council (Southend) about this to try and get them to put a post in for me - they came back with the following:

We have contacted OLEV about the link you provided and they have responded with the below:

“Currently there are no grants available for the installation of recharging points on the wider public sector estate. Any announcements on support for infrastructure will be made via our website (www.gov.uk/olev<http://www.gov.uk/olev>) and signposted via our twitter feed (OLEV (@OLEVgovuk) | Twitter ).”


From previous OLEV grants Southend Borough Council has installed electric vehicle charging points around the town, the location map can be found on the Source East website. Sorry we cannot help you at the present time with an on-street electric charging post near to your house; however we are looking to expand the electric vehicle charging points around the Borough and shall keep in contact with OLEV on future grants.
 

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Yes, have been chasing the council for a bit and been passed from department to department. I think contacting the councillor is a good idea...

I do, as it happens, currently have a VW diesel :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I too have no off street parking and am planning to charge at home by running the cable through a small drainage channel to avoid creating a trip hazard. Although there are so many uneven slabs and other hazards around id be surprised if anyone did trip on a relatively thin cable.
I wondered about this - is one allowed to cut small drainage channels in the public pavement outside one's house? As it happens, our front gutter downpipe already drains into the street through a pipe which is a bit prone to blockage, so we have a good excuse for digging up the pavement anyway. If I happened to replace it with a pipe plus a channel with a removable cover, that might work...
 

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Speak to the council -- they may have a plan for on-street charging ... and if they don't, speak to your councilor and explain that lack of charging may force you to keep a VW diesel
Nah, the only plan Cambridge Council have is "destroy all cars". Their thought processes don't really extend beyond "everyone should cycle everywhere". Which is amusing as they also fight tooth and nail to avoid building housing, forcing people to commute ...

Sorry, rant over :mad:

With respect to the drainage channel, I'd suggest that running an electrical cable in a drain is perhaps not the best idea in the world. You would probably be better off lifting some slabs one night, excavating some of the sand and running some regular cable conduit in the gap, then dropping the slabs back on top. Easier to ask forgiveness than permission too.

However, I'm still not sure what you would do with the end of the cable - can't really just leave it lying in the gutter.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Leave the cable trailing over the path = get sued by a neighbour who "tripped". Dig up a public path = get sued by the council + likely criminal damage.
 

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Mines a metal lined open channel so I can just place the cable in it. Most of them round my way are uneven where pavements have shifted so adding the cable doesn't present much of an extra trip hazard. So easy to just lay the cable in and pickup when charged.
 

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Or you could buy a Nissan... Which is what I did, also having no off street parking. Rapid charge it couple of times a week and combine it with a short walk to the nearby Aldi (in my case). Their attitude to providing the charging infrastructure should be applauded.
 

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The only thing that might make it a bit *too* crazy is the fact that, though we usually park right outside our house, we have no off-street parking.

Welcome!

If you are planning to depend on public infrastructure as the main way to charge your car dont' buy an EV. While it can be done it just isn't dependable enough.

If you can reliably charge it at work then you might be ok.
 

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Yikes! I am in the unhelpful situation where I have no off street parking, live in an apartment, don't have reliable charging at work and will be covering 2x the 100% SOC charge distance to work every day.

If nothing else hopefully I can be an interesting case study for other potential EV users! Luckily for me though I should only be like that for another 4 months or so after which I'll be back at home with my trusty wallbox and fast charger at work!
 

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Yes, have been chasing the council for a bit and been passed from department to department. I think contacting the councillor is a good idea...

I do, as it happens, currently have a VW diesel :)
Go straight to your MP now. Tell them you've tried to go through the council but get passed around and you're keen to get something resolved and can they point you in the right direction.

Should work a treat.
 

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@MoonCat - my rant was based in truth. Cambridge Council loathe cars, it's unlikely that the MP will have any sway over them. They've stalled Central Government plans for improved roads and housing so a sole MP and a single charge point is unlikely to get anywhere :-(

(if we ever meet in person I'll tell you about a stand up row I had with the councillor in charge of planning ...)
 
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