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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -

I'm wondering how common is it in the UK for site owners to provide just a common wall plug (not a hardwired dedicated EV connection, such as with J1772 or comparable) for folks to plug in at a public site?

Background - Here in the US when I look at plugshare, there is an option of including information about standard wall plugs (either about 120 Volts or about 240 volts) that a site is making available for use. It may not have the Networking or the fancy J1772 hookup, but if it is working and available, the kW may be about the same as J1772. These days, it is not uncommon for vehicles to come with the equipment needed (or to be able to buy the equipment needed) to plug in one's vehicle at the 240 Volt plugs. It has me wondering:
*if anyone has published a calculation on the percentage of residential and non-residential charging that is by a conventional wall plug than by a dedicated EV connection.
*how the answers might differ from region to region.
 

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Pretty rare these days.

Even where three pin plugs are offered, they generally don’t work.

For one, many cars would require over 24 hours to charge there.

By the time you’ve gone to the trouble of installing a charge point you may as well make it a proper Type 2.
 

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Where I live in the UK we were amongst the first to install EV Charging infrastructure. Most of it is now getting replaced but all of the remaining early hardware is equipped with a regular 3-Pin 240V 13A plug socket.

As has been said above me, there isn't a huge difference in price or work between setting up a charging post with a regular socket vs. a proper Type 2 (the standard here in Europe rather than J1772) connection. So it makes sense to go Type 2 for the sake of safety, speed, and the fact that more cars come with a Type 2 cable as standard than a 3-Pin charge cable.

It's almost unheard of in the UK for a recently installed charge point to have a domestic 3-Pin socket. Even those who share their home charge points online with Plugshare or Zap Map will generally have a proper Type 2 unit nowadays.
 

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I'm wondering how common is it in the UK for site owners to provide just a common wall plug (not a hardwired dedicated EV connection, such as with J1772 or comparable) for folks to plug in at a public site?
Almost never I'd think. UK electrical regs are stringent about the safety requirements for outlets intended for EV charging, so no common outlet will pass muster for public use.
13A outlets at domestic premises are ... a grey area, but as in post #2 above not really practical for a public point.
In practice they will always be a 'proper' type 2 connection for AC.
 

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A few people use a 16A or 32A 'comando' socket at and a portable EVSE.

That type of socket is common at caravan (RV) parks. So it is possible but not common for people to charge at caravan parks or other business that have one of the higher power sockets.
 

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As has been said above me, there isn't a huge difference in price or work between setting up a charging post with a regular socket vs. a proper Type 2 (the standard here in Europe rather than J1772) connection. So it makes sense to go Type 2 for the sake of safety, speed, and the fact that more cars come with a Type 2 cable as standard than a 3-Pin charge cable.
The standard for most 'destination' public charge points in the UK is a Type 2 socket, and for EV drivers to carry a Type 2 to (Type 1 [J1772] or Type 2, depending on their car's inlet connector) connecting lead.

A few people use a 16A or 32A 'comando' socket at and a portable EVSE.

That type of socket is common at caravan (RV) parks. So it is possible but not common for people to charge at caravan parks or other business that have one of the higher power sockets.
I carry a short 16A commando plug to 13A socket lead, which when used with my 13A to Type 1 EVSE lead, has enabled me to get an emergency top-up charge at a caravan (RV) park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok thanks for the many prompt helpful responses.

I tried playing with plugshare.com on both the web and the phone app for a little bit more to match up some of the answer points with the info there. Their web filter doesn't help me see some of the connector types mentioned above, but the phone app does, so I could start to get a sense of it. If someone can mention if there are one or two go-to aggregator phone apps or web applications that UK drivers use to map stations and share crowd-sourced comments, that would be good to. In the US, plugshare is not the only one, but it's pretty good.

Background to question:
- we in the US are at the point where some of the non-Tesla automakers are starting to offer what I think of as "the good stuff" for sale, but there are plenty of areas where there are almost no BEVs on the road, and no charge infrastructure to speak of for many dozens of miles. In my county, for example, there are two or three brick-and-mortar auto dealerships, and as far as I know, they do not offer any decent BEVs for sale. There are no DCFC stations here, public or private (even though we do have a very busy and large Walmart). There is one proper public Level 2 charge station here, with a J1772 connector, and that's because 8 years ago I teamed with a helpful local store proprietor to make that happen. While we are waiting for the next chapters in the EV revolution to happen that will render moot a lot of these considerations, the less-expensive-to-implement common plugs can be a decent compromise argument to make to the powers that be. So, some of the EV Association members from a nearby county did succeed some years ago in getting some of the main town officials here to agree to make a designated 240 Volt plug available behind a town hall, and that's great. I don't think they would have gone for the expense to put in a proper station. (Yes, the officials should have just bought a BEV or PHEV and they would have seen the light on charging for the vehicle, but making the arguments in some areas, over the last 10 years, just hasn't worked. As I said, this will all be moot soon enough).

- Level 2 Charging at RV parks - yes, this has played its role here. In certain areas where neither the vehicles nor the public charging have caught on just yet. I remember talking with a Roadster driver circa 2011 at the conference the Business of Plugging In, in Detroit. I think he had driven partway across the country to get there, and helped me understand how some of the plugs available at RV parks (NEMA 14-50 I think), and his Roadster's ability to make use of that plug, had helped the trip in at least one case. Scroll ahead to today, and at some point I did acquire the equipment needed to plug in at a NEMA 14-50, but I have not really had a need to do this (I may have tested it once or twice). Still, the local association folks who tend to be adventurous and drive around the state still seem to do this (I'm also going by their comments they leave about those RV plugs, on plugshare).
 

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If someone can mention if there are one or two go-to aggregator phone apps or web applications that UK drivers use to map stations and share crowd-sourced comments, that would be good to. In the US, plugshare is not the only one, but it's pretty good.
I did briefly mention Zap Map in my earlier comment. That's the one that most people use in the UK. Not only is it more active than Plugshare here, but it tends to be a little more accurate too.

If you're going to be having a play around with it, setting filters for various connectors and the like I'd recommend downloading the app over using the website. It seems to be a little more responsive.
 

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RV parks (NEMA 14-50 I think)
The UK does not have a domestic equivelent to NEMA 14-30 or 14-50. Electric clothes dryers use a standard 13A socket (!) which limits them to about 2.3kW. Domestic electric ovens are hard wired, with a dedicated cut off switch in the kitchen.



Commando / Industrial plugs and sockets are used in commercial and industrial locations. They are color coded for voltage with blue being 220-240VAC.
Red ones are 3-phase AC and the yellow ones are 120VAC.


Circuit breakers and industrial sockets with mating plugs:
142998
 

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There are mode 2 EVSEs with blue or red* commando plugs on one end. They are useful if your home or buisness already has a matching socket installed. This is uncommon in the UK but a few people do charge their car this way.

For example:

Shop Cables



*Many European EVs and UK/EU spec Teslas have on board 11kW 3-phase chargers.
 

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Here in the UK, in the early days perhaps nearly 10 years ago, there were a number of publicly available domestic socket charging posts installed, some put in by local councils. Virtually all of them have either been replaced or simply left once they stopped working. Not so sure the USA should bother doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did briefly mention Zap Map in my earlier comment. That's the one that most people use in the UK. Not only is it more active than Plugshare here, but it tends to be a little more accurate too.

If you're going to be having a play around with it, setting filters for various connectors and the like I'd recommend downloading the app over using the website. It seems to be a little more responsive.
Excellent, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here in the UK, in the early days perhaps nearly 10 years ago, there were a number of publicly available domestic socket charging posts installed, some put in by local councils. Virtually all of them have either been replaced or simply left once they stopped working. Not so sure the USA should bother doing that.
As to whether the USA will do that:

We do have now some exciting discussion of more coherent federal level policies, but part of these early days of transition away from gasoline vehicles is that BEVS offer charging at home, and in some cases charging in public, with no muss, no fuss, no installation. Just plug it in. For a few reasons, in many cases, the "just plug it in to existing circuits" solution is not ideal, but I've tried telling that to people who refuse to consider swapping one of their local government fleet vehicles for a comparably priced and segmented PHEV, in part because they genuinely do not understand, after much explanation, that the PHEV can take them as far. So, because we're still at that level of lack of basic understanding of things, and for other reasons including the very real advantages of spending so much less up-front for a plug than for a proper Level 2 public station installation, I think we'll still see some of the less formal solution for awhile. Indeed, to an extent, it could be with us for decades or longer. I mean, for some purposes, just plugging in to a plain old socket is fine.

I sometimes see some of this working-out-of-things as similar to the early days of wifi in cafes and airports. It took awhile for folks to determine which parties would spend what money to provide what levels of service (if any) and what (if anything) they would try to bill the customers for this.
 
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