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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
Okay, I was asked why chargemap. So here's a drunken assessment.

You have to ask what do others provide that are better, and vice-versa. I spent €20 on the chargemap card. So far it hasn't failed, that's not a bad start. Not saying that others will, only others can attest to that.

Then there's the coverage. For France I am learning that chargemap's coverage is unbeatable. Prove me wrong, please.

Then there is planning. Here chargemap excels, not only does it have route planning but also shows elevation profile. These set it apart, imo

One last thing which may seem small. Chargemap yells you other charging networks accepted at a station.

That's not all. So given this is my first trip abroad having chargemap in my pocket is very reassuring.
 

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Okay, I was asked why chargemap.
Then there's the coverage. For France I am learning that chargemap's coverage is unbeatable. Prove me wrong, please.
Andy, I wouldn't dare trying to prove you wrong :).

I have Shell Recharge. The card is free. No use no pay. Transaction cost when used. Map is OK and easy to use. The pass has the name to be the most versatile on the European market, it is the most popular in Belgium by a huge landslide. But: I know it is missing available chargepoints.

Winter 2021/2022, we are on Madeira: we rent a Zoë and get a pass from the rental outfit. I used my Shell Recharge map and could hardly find any charge points. So I try other apps. Four or five of them. Now there were more chargers indicated, great! I learnt, kept one and threw the others out. The one I decided to keep: Chargemap ! And even Chargemap did not have them all. We bumped into other chargers. Chargemap made our holiday a lot better.

And an EV in the mountains with sinuous roads, steep slopes and descents, short entries to the Via Rapida... absolutely unbeatable !!
 

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Okay, I was asked why chargemap. So here's a drunken assessment.

You have to ask what do others provide that are better, and vice-versa. I spent €20 on the chargemap card. So far it hasn't failed, that's not a bad start. Not saying that others will, only others can attest to that.

Then there's the coverage. For France I am learning that chargemap's coverage is unbeatable. Prove me wrong, please.

Then there is planning. Here chargemap excels, not only does it have route planning but also shows elevation profile. These set it apart, imo

One last thing which may seem small. Chargemap yells you other charging networks accepted at a station.

That's not all. So given this is my first trip abroad having chargemap in my pocket is very reassuring.
Plugsurfing. £9 for the card, seems to operate everything.
 

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Can anyone explain how to use French sockets without getting in a tizz? We use a couple of adapters and they get stuck in some sockets. The last time I pushed one in i needed help to get the g**d**m adapter out again.
My limited understand of this peculiarity is (and this might not be the issue, but is certainly 'an' issue) ...

There are two pin diameters for what are apparently the same Schuko standard.

The CEE 7/5 plug has a 4.8mm pin diameter which is what your adapter probably is.

Rewireable French plugs are CEE 7/16 "Euro plug" and are 4mm diameter.

You'll have likely have left a trail of sockets behind with stretched receptacles when you jammed your 4.8mm pins into sockets only ever used for 4mm pins. But don't worry about that.

In theory, there is only one type of socket, the 4.8mm Shucko, and by design, and CEE specification, it is meant to accept both 4mm and 4.8mm (the text above says there is also a 4.5mm type too, I've never noticed that), so in fact what you might have done is simply been the first ever 4.8mm pin into that socket, thus was a tight fit and as if new. In theory, no damage should have been done, the socket being flexible to accommodate the sizes, but just as we have cheap sockets here that don't do so well when abused, you might have added some extra wear and tear in places.
 

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There are two pin diameters for what are apparently the same Schuko standard.
....
Oh My ! :eek: Could it really be that Andy had a fifties socket he put his adapter in? Good point Donald!

Why did I not think of this? Because they have become illegal. And have been for a long time. But in France, anything is possible.... they like "tradition" over there.

When I was a little kid (I believe animals still spoke then...) there were two types of sockets. Sockets without earth and sockets with earth. Those without earth had the smaller holes in the plastic and would only accept plugs with the smaller diameter pins. These were like the 7/16 but much less safe. And there were those with earth that had thicker pins too. Back in those days, electricity usage was still in its puberty. The idea was that the "standard" non-earthed twin pin design was for things like table lamps, vacuum cleaners or radios. Low power and deemed not dangerous (what a stupid concept!) because they were used when the grid was still running 110 / 130 Volts. Kitchen appliances would typically have the larger, earthed design. Boy these were the times! The socket receptacle would be a fixed solid round hole and the plugs had pins that were split, you had to put a knife in the split and bend the half pins out to make sure to have good contact. Otherwise there was bad contact and ... an occasional fire.

Things evolved. 220 Volt became the standard. More powerful equipment came to market like electric drills, hedge cutters and the like. The result was lots of burnt sockets and plugs. So there was an intermediate period where the sockets had to be of the larger pin design only, the socket contacts were those that needed to bend to make good contact, not the plug pins. So now the plug pins were solid. The rest is (lots of...) history and I can teach a whole class on that, but to cut it short and stay with Andy's experience: it is perfectly possible Andy put the large solid pinned adapter in a small solid - not bending - hole of a post war socket. And may have mostly destroyed the socket in the process.

Today things are much much much more safe. Electricity installations, by law, must be approved every 25 years (at least in Belgium). To make sure they are up to safety standards. The idea being that old installations would no longer be approved and you would need to change your installation to the latest standard. But.... that is not enforced. However, when your home burns down and the electric installation does not have the proper approval, you won't see a single cent from the insurance.
 

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Oh My ! :eek: Could it really be that Andy had a fifties socket he put his adapter in? Good point Donald!

Why did I not think of this? Because they have become illegal. And have been for a long time. But in France, anything is possible.... they like "tradition" over there.
AFAIK they are legal where CEE 7 is a standard, and there are 3 sizes of allowable pin.

The sockets are meant to be the same, for all pin size, and CEE says receptacles are to be designed flexible enough to accommodate them all.

As you should not be using high currents with the 4mm pins, in theory even if receptacles have 'relaxed' due to being used with 4.8mm pins, the 4mm pins should not be demanding high currents through the possibly-reduced contact patch/pressure.
 

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AFAIK they are legal where CEE 7 is a standard, and there are 3 sizes of allowable pin.

The sockets are meant to be the same, for all pin size, and CEE says receptacles are to be designed flexible enough to accommodate them all.

As you should not be using high currents with the 4mm pins, in theory even if receptacles have 'relaxed' due to being used with 4.8mm pins, the 4mm pins should not be demanding high currents through the possibly-reduced contact patch/pressure.
Again, thank you for agreeing with me :).

Indeed the CEE 7 is legal. The flexible receptacles are required. The fixed receptacles, i.e. a 4.x mm hole honed out of a solid piece of copper or brass, no longer are. They are a fifties design. Or even earlier. Andy might have met one. Yes, they have existed. I remember when I was 16 years old (1977) I replaced such a block at my grandparent's place, in the cellar, and replaced it with a flexible receptacle one with earth pin. Because my grandparents had purchased a new vacuum cleaner and the plug wouldn't go in the socket any more. But that is 45 years ago !!
 

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Again, thank you for agreeing with me :).

Indeed the CEE 7 is legal. The flexible receptacles are required. The fixed receptacles, i.e. a 4.x mm hole honed out of a solid piece of copper or brass, no longer are. They are a fifties design. Or even earlier. Andy might have met one. Yes, they have existed. I remember when I was 16 years old (1977) I replaced such a block at my grandparent's place, in the cellar, and replaced it with a flexible receptacle one with earth pin. Because my grandparents had purchased a new vacuum cleaner and the plug wouldn't go in the socket any more. But that is 45 years ago !!
Ah! Now I have got your meaning. Right, so you're saying 4mm sockets are now illegal, and there it is, that's the reason, because a 4.8mm pin will jam in a solid 4mm hole!

(y)

If they are solid blocks then they might have damaged the plug pins.

I figured this out a long time ago, and in fact forgot it for a while. I was in Kuwait for a bit and there they use the UK 3 pin standard ... sort of ... in reality everything is a hodge podge of electrical connectors from around the world, and the 4mm euro-plug adapters are the best for wedging into a 3 pin socket ... :unsure:

Then I re-remembered when I could not use larger pins in German hotel sockets, so made sure I had adapters with the narrower pins for 'more universal' fitment.

I guess the answer is to have a selection of adapters of different pin diameters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #171 ·
My limited understand of this peculiarity is (and this might not be the issue, but is certainly 'an' issue) ...

There are two pin diameters for what are apparently the same Schuko standard.

The CEE 7/5 plug has a 4.8mm pin diameter which is what your adapter probably is.

Rewireable French plugs are CEE 7/16 "Euro plug" and are 4mm diameter.

You'll have likely have left a trail of sockets behind with stretched receptacles when you jammed your 4.8mm pins into sockets only ever used for 4mm pins. But don't worry about that.

In theory, there is only one type of socket, the 4.8mm Shucko, and by design, and CEE specification, it is meant to accept both 4mm and 4.8mm (the text above says there is also a 4.5mm type too, I've never noticed that), so in fact what you might have done is simply been the first ever 4.8mm pin into that socket, thus was a tight fit and as if new. In theory, no damage should have been done, the socket being flexible to accommodate the sizes, but just as we have cheap sockets here that don't do so well when abused, you might have added some extra wear and tear in places.
Thanks.
 

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Okay, I was asked why chargemap. So here's a drunken assessment.

You have to ask what do others provide that are better, and vice-versa. I spent €20 on the chargemap card. So far it hasn't failed, that's not a bad start. Not saying that others will, only others can attest to that.

Then there's the coverage. For France I am learning that chargemap's coverage is unbeatable. Prove me wrong, please.

Then there is planning. Here chargemap excels, not only does it have route planning but also shows elevation profile. These set it apart, imo

One last thing which may seem small. Chargemap yells you other charging networks accepted at a station.

That's not all. So given this is my first trip abroad having chargemap in my pocket is very reassuring.
Good info. Is the card required or could you also pay through the app?

I have the app but am wondering about the card. The Kia Charge pass seems to support a lot of chargers as well. In theory I plan on only using Ionity and on the off chance one is broken or full, I have the Kia pass as a get out of jail card, even though it's expensive. but if you think a Chargemap pass might greatly enhance my chances of getting a charge, then I'll budge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #173 ·
Good info. Is the card required or could you also pay through the app?

I have the app but am wondering about the card. The Kia Charge pass seems to support a lot of chargers as well. In theory I plan on only using Ionity and on the off chance one is broken or full, I have the Kia pass as a get out of jail card, even though it's expensive. but if you think a Chargemap pass might greatly enhance my chances of getting a charge, then I'll budge.
I don't think you can pay by app. I think chargemap is worth the investment because of its route planning alone. The route planning allows you to add stops, doesn't overload you with information. You can search for chargers within a certain range along the route, eg within 10km. You can set preferences for certain providers, or avoid others. You don't even have to limit the search to chargemap compatible stations.

Happy ev travelling means planning. Knowing you're next top up will be at say 35% and take you up to 75% means you can forget range anxiety. Of course having alternative chargers to you're target (one before, one after) is best. Knowing your target was in use recently gives you confidence it's not broken. Having pictures of the charger means you have a better idea what you are looking for.

All these things add to your confidence.
 

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... I think chargemap is worth the investment because of its route planning alone. ...
Agreed!

What is so great about paying with the app? If I forgot my phone I cannot charge using the phone app. My pass is always in the car.

I use three apps. Smoov, ShellRecharge and Chargemap.
  • Smoov is of Dutch Allego. Most street chargers in Flanders are Allego. They are everywhere. You can pay by app. But I use my Shell Recharge pass. Much more convenient.
  • ShellRecharge, also Dutch. Shows a bit more charging stations than Smoov.
  • Chargemap. If I am in an area I am not familiar with, this is the app I use.
In Château d'Étoges where we were last week, you could charge @ "3kW" (16A AC) for free. Only one app shows you can. Guess which...
You could also charge at 7kW (32A AC) there. Not one app I use shows that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
Agreed!

What is so great about paying with the app? If I forgot my phone I cannot charge using the phone app. My pass is always in the car.

I use three apps. Smoov, ShellRecharge and Chargemap.
  • Smoov is of Dutch Allego. Most street chargers in Flanders are Allego. They are everywhere. You can pay by app. But I use my Shell Recharge app. Much more convenient.
  • ShellRecharge, also Dutch. Shows a bit more charging stations than Smoov.
  • Chargemap. If I am in an area I am not familiar with, this is the app I use.
In Château d'Étoges where we were last week, you could charge @ 3kW (16A AC) for free. Only one app shows you can. Guess which...
The chateau looks lovely. EV travellers need to understand the benefits of such a destination. Even if you are paying more for your accommodation, you are offsetting it in two ways. Firstly free EV charging and secondly convenience. When on holiday you want to maximise each day's experience, even if that's chilling by the pool. If you can avoid being close to your destination, sat in some concrete car park with few facilities then that's going to be a happier journey.

In the villa I've been staying there's no chance of getting a charge, even a granny charge. I didn't book it. Next time I go with my friends I'll insist on having my granny.
 

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The chateau looks lovely. EV travellers need to understand the benefits of such a destination. Even if you are paying more for your accommodation, you are offsetting it in two ways. Firstly free EV charging and secondly convenience. When on holiday you want to maximise each day's experience, even if that's chilling by the pool. If you can avoid being close to your destination, sat in some concrete car park with few facilities then that's going to be a happier journey.

In the villa I've been staying there's no chance of getting a charge, even a granny charge. I didn't book it. Next time I go with my friends I'll insist on having my granny.
Did I previously post about my experience of car charging at a UK B&B. In case I did, here is just a brief summary. B&B advertised having an ev car charger. We arrived after a 240 mile run in January, about 10 - 15%+% battery. I was able to connect to wall charger ~5 - 6kw/h for an hour or so. Next day it had broken and would not be fixed until after we had left. They set up a domestic charger (similar to my own) but set to deliver 0.6kwh. I gave it 90 minutes. For the rest of our stay I took the car to Tesco and charged ~2 hours at 6+kw/h every day. Before returning home I found a rapid charger and took it up to 80+%. As we were leaving this B&B the landlady turned up and demanded £20 for her 3 charges. I explained the reality - the actual electricity used - she had been unaware of the failure. We told her about Tesco and the fact that we had used about 60 - 80p of her electricity. She accepted £10 - the most expensive electricity in UK! Never again will I assume an ad means what it says.

Lawrence
 

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Discussion Starter · #178 ·
Did I previously post about my experience of car charging at a UK B&B. In case I did, here is just a brief summary. B&B advertised having an ev car charger. We arrived after a 240 mile run in January, about 10 - 15%+% battery. I was able to connect to wall charger ~5 - 6kw/h for an hour or so. Next day it had broken and would not be fixed until after we had left. They set up a domestic charger (similar to my own) but set to deliver 0.6kwh. I gave it 90 minutes. For the rest of our stay I took the car to Tesco and charged ~2 hours at 6+kw/h every day. Before returning home I found a rapid charger and took it up to 80+%. As we were leaving this B&B the landlady turned up and demanded £20 for her 3 charges. I explained the reality - the actual electricity used - she had been unaware of the failure. We told her about Tesco and the fact that we had used about 60 - 80p of her electricity. She accepted £10 - the most expensive electricity in UK! Never again will I assume an ad means what it says.

Lawrence
An appalling experience. ThIngs break, for sure, but she'd get a poor review from me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
On route to carcassonne we spotted a bastide called Lectoure and whilst walking around took the opportunity to top our battery at the charger in the beautiful hilltop town.
Automotive parking light Car Sky Tire Land vehicle

So adding 50 miles over 2 hours cost €3. Very reliable, just worked. Nice to see someone else charging at the same time.

Lectoure is on the route to Santiago di compostello. Is there anywhere that isn't? Lots of walkers.

Having taken this time out meant we had to push on along the Autoroute past toulouse and into carcassonne. Our accommodation is a really lovely old apartment in the old town. When I say really lovely, i mean in every which way. It is about 30m from the Gambetta underground car park. It has four charging points but one seems out of order. In fact I failed to get a charge on any.

This morning I succeeded with a granny charge which is perfect. We're here for two days more, so speed is not important.

I now have a theory that when in difficulty, if time is not an issue, go granny go - simply because the granny is much easier handshake and so less likely to fail.
 

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Yes, the granny is yours, delivered with the car. Correct? The very few times I publicly charged it almost always worked, actually I have a very hard time remembering it did not. Except of course for when the charger was out of order. That obviously did not work, I even did not try.
 
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