Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As you all know, it has been a bit wet recent. I was at the Clacketts lane service station yesterday and noticed that nobody had bothered to replace the plugs on the three Ecotricity chargers and they were all sitting around on wet ground or in puddles.
I had no need to charge but wondered if they are safe in this conditoon.
I am amazed people don’t put them back in the sockets on the sides of the chargers.
 

·
Registered
2016 Nissan LEAF SL
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Give them a quick shake and they should be just fine to use. I have done before.

Going by your display pic you have a LEAF so Chademo connector. I've started carrying alcohol swabs because I was getting an increasing amount of failures. Turned out it was due to the connectors being left on the wet/muddy ground. A quick wipe of the contacts on the connector and the charger worked quite happily afterwards.

With Ecotricity you are lucky to see the connector still in one complete piece, never mind a bit wet. I've had to use them in far worse states than you describe.

Also, while humans are terrible and do tend to leave things in a terrible state, the design of these chargers isn't great either. You will find that if you try to put the connector back on some of these chargers they will just fall back out because the bracket is missing, or the cable hook is gone and the weight of the heavy cable will pull it out instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Maybe the charging networks should, you know, put the chargers under cover, like petrol pumps are ? ;) A few do, but not many, yet.

It's not so much that there's a risk of electric shock (there isn't, as the plug is not live until after it is connected to the car and the charger and car have negotiated with each other) it's the fact that you're expected to stand in pissing rain fiddling around with a smart phone app and buttons on the charger to get the damn thing started as you are drenched...and preferably in the dark where you can't see what you're doing.

Having rapid chargers be under decent shelter from the elements and with lighting is part of the "growing up" process that charge networks need to follow if BEV's are to be taken seriously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,419 Posts
Maybe the charging networks should, you know, put the chargers under cover, like petrol pumps are ? ;) A few do, but not many, yet.
And while they are at it, support the plug on a swinging arm so that it is kept off of the ground. That would reduce the number that are broken either from impact with the ground when dropped or being run over. I suspect that under the Equality Act they have a duty to make what are heavy and awkward plugs and cables usable for all drivers (caveats apply) and are currently failing as they rarely have the equivalent of a call button to summon assistance in the way that petrol pumps do.
In the past they used to use similar swinging arms to allow petrol pumps to serve either side of a vehicle or over a pavement ......


The example above is in Bala.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
And while they are at it, support the plug on a swinging arm so that it is kept off of the ground. That would reduce the number that are broken either from impact with the ground when dropped or being run over. I suspect that under the Equality Act they have a duty to make what are heavy and awkward plugs and cables usable for all drivers (caveats apply) and are currently failing as they rarely have the equivalent of a call button to summon assistance in the way that petrol pumps do.
In the USA I believe it is quite common for public Level 2 chargers (which are all tethered) to have a high mounted arm that the cable hangs from and some mechanism which allows you to pull out the amount of cable you need to reach your car, a bit like a long reach petrol pump.

This means the cable is not dragging across the ground as a trip hazard and is probably easier for those with disability to use. Unfortunately here in the UK this isn't feasible at the moment because public level 2 chargers are all un-tethered, requiring the user to provide their own cable. This is no doubt due to the mix of legacy Type 1 and newer Type 2 cars at the moment.

Eventually when all Type 1 cars are off the road we may see a switch over to tethered Type 2 Level 2 chargers and then the swinging arm idea becomes possible and we no longer need to carry our own cables...

It could certainly be implemented today with rapid chargers as they all use tethered cables and are rather heavy and unwieldy when they lie on the ground...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
AIUI there is a planning limit on the height of chargers (or rather a height above which formal planning permission has to be gained - did someone say 2 metres?), so a high arm would create an obstruction to the installation of the charger.
I'd guess the same thing applies to providing a roof of some sort over them too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
I think Ionity chargers have the cable come from the top for this reason.
It's the right way to do it. Instavolt chargers also have the cable coming from high up so they reach well and don't drag on the ground at all. It also means the cable support is taking half the weight of the cable for you.

The older style rapid chargers where the cables just lie in a tangled mess on the ground and you have to drag them across the ground to reach the car (Chargeplace Scotland I'm looking at you) are a disgrace, before you even start talking about trip hazards. It's not rocket science - bring your cables out the top of the machine and let them hang in a U shape when they're in the holder. Tesla figured this out years ago with their superchargers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
Two metres would be more than high enough for an arm or delivery mechanism for the cable.
No. The regs (if 2m is correct) means the top of the structure. Parts will hang at least a few inches below that which means tall people will be banging their heads on them and someone, somewhere will go into damage claim mode.

There was talk about amending the rules, so hopefully they will make this easier to deal with in future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
No. The regs (if 2m is correct) means the top of the structure. Parts will hang at least a few inches below that which means tall people will be banging their heads on them and someone, somewhere will go into damage claim mode.

There was talk about amending the rules, so hopefully they will make this easier to deal with in future.
Doesn't have to be a swinging arm though, just a vertical pole within the foot print of the charger unit, or the cable exiting the very top of the charger if it is tall enough. Nobody will be banging their heads on that without first kicking their feet into the base of the charger...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,105 Posts
I thought that petrol pumps had solved this question ages ago. I never have a problem filling my ICE from the wrong side. There is also an interlock - the vend doesn't complete until the nozzle is back in its holster.
 

·
Registered
Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
Joined
·
2,013 Posts
No. The regs (if 2m is correct) means the top of the structure. Parts will hang at least a few inches below that which means tall people will be banging their heads on them and someone, somewhere will go into damage claim mode.

There was talk about amending the rules, so hopefully they will make this easier to deal with in future.
Someone with a nice stock of bus/smoking shelters could make a killing supplying charger companies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
Doesn't have to be a swinging arm though, just a vertical pole within the foot print of the charger unit, or the cable exiting the very top of the charger if it is tall enough. Nobody will be banging their heads on that without first kicking their feet into the base of the charger...
That doesn't really solve the problem of plugs being left on the ground - unless the cable is less than 2m long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
I thought that petrol pumps had solved this question ages ago. I never have a problem filling my ICE from the wrong side. There is also an interlock - the vend doesn't complete until the nozzle is back in its holster.
I agree - if you compare a petrol pump with a jet wash, the pump will always be back in the holster while the jet wash will always have the brushes lying in the mud. Humans are awful unless you give them an incentive to do the right thing.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top