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The other day I turned up at the Ecotricity rapid charger at Exeter services on the M5. I was on my way to Taunton to see a cricket match and so I was time-limited and was on a schedule.

When we arrived there was one Leaf charging and had about 60% on the charger and there was another Leaf in the other bay waiting. He had just 10 miles and needed an 80%.

So, I was looking at a possible 10-15 min wait for the first car to finish (the driver was in the services so I couldn't ask him/her anything), and a further 30 mins for the second Leaf... so a probable 45 min wait before I could start.

We decided that we just had enough to get to Tiverton as Cullompton was down. We arrived at Tiverton with the VLBW already showing but we made it.

This is not a complaint. It shows EV ownership is picking up which must be considered a good thing.

But I wanted to make it known that things are changing. This is the first time I have had more than one car ahead of me and this is going to become much more common... possibly even the norm... in the not too distant future especially if the cars with longer range also start to use the rapids and are on them for longer periods.

What is the answer? In the short term more chargers I suppose but in the medium term things will have to change. I guess that is what Tesla is aiming for with their supercharger stations...
 

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As more pure EVs are sold, this will become the norm. Another reason to put the public off buying pure EVs.

How many petrol/diesel pumps are there at a 'petrol station and when busy each one serves a customer every 5 minutes. Can you imagine the anarchy if you turn up to charge your EV and be told you have a wait of over an hour?

How are EVs ever going to be mainstream if the charging infra structure cannot support only a few thousand cars?
 

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agree an @Ecotricity are addressing this with dual "pumps" but I do wonder what happens then if 3 or 4 cars are there waiting ?

Unlike petrol stations where you have 10 fuelling pumps or more the turn over is not as fast, in the time it takes to fill a leaf a petrol pump can fill 6-10 cars.

Maybe range is the answer, once the cars can go longer distances the queues at chargers will deminish. I cant see service stations with 20-30 charge points happening
 

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Yep there a certainly more EVs on the road. The answer must be two charges at each service location. I wonder when Ecotricity introduce a fee for charging will the usage drop off.

Personally I only charge when I really need to, except a couple of times when I have tested out a rapid to see if its working after a fix.

I have always been in favour of pricing electricity at rapids at the kWh that you have used. After reading your post I wonder if chargemaster are doing the right thing by charging on the duration of the charged session. Say £2 per 10mins?

The quicker you have used the rapid the better right?
 

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To be honest I don't understand why people compare rapids to fuel pumps. A ICE car can't refuel at home.

An EV only ever has to visit a rapid if your mileage that day has/will exceed your normal day to day mileage. If you have to visit a rapid on a daily basis this current generation EVs just aren't made for you.

I leave my home every morning with a range of 80 miles, its only maybe once or twice a month I will exceed this mileage in a day.

Don't get me wrong the more rapids at each location the better. But to get more than 2 rapids per location just isn't going to happen for a while.

With longer range 200 mile BEVs being the norm in four or five years time, the necessity to used rapids should decrease further - especaily when fees to use rapids are introduced.
 

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Tesla will be making a good start if they go for SCs with 8-10 bays, but for full transition we need 30 or so 250kw bays to replace 6 petrol pumps at key sites like the motorway services, along with 200+ mile range vehicles. Planning for any less than that is assuming the rEVolution will fail, in fact it is dooming it to failure.
 

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To be honest I don't understand why people compare rapids to fuel pumps.

An EV only ever has to visit a rapid if your mileage that day has/will exceed your normal day to day mileage. If you have to visit a rapid on a daily basis this current generation EVs just aren't made for you.

I leave my home every morning with a range of 80 miles, its only maybe once or twice a month I will exceed this mileage in a day.

Don't get me wrong tjhe more rapids

I am completely with you on this. The grand plan is that we have a charger at home and we then have very frequent destination charging so that when we arrive charging is an option or stops at destinations are sufficient to give a reasonable top up.

The rapid chargers are there for longer journeys and used to top up when needed and to take what is needed.

Generally I think that the RC installation strategy has been handled reasonably well. They have gone for breadth of coverage to the most popular locations and they are now adding depth to those locations while adding breadth to other places.

It looks as though we will say a sad farewell to the 22kWh chargers which are useful as a backup but the best backup for a failed RC is another RC. I hope that when these go they'll be replaced by something of that sort.
 

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Would add about the importance of destination charging and 32 amp charging as well.

Cheap at a grand installed. A day at the cricket would have got you a full charge. In an hour you would have got the 30 miles extra you needed to make Taunton if you have the 6kw charger. When just sockets, like zero net, they rarely go wrong.

Wider provision of these can take the pressure off rapids. And be more convenient. If the cricket had been a 140 round trip and had level 2 charging no need to stop to charge at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A day at the cricket would have got you a full charge. In an hour you would have got the 30 miles extra you needed to make Taunton if you have the 6kw charger. When just sockets, like zero net, they rarely go wrong.
I am not interested in hanging around for an hour when on a trip. Yes, the 32A is better than 16A but for me I never and will never use anything other than rapids when on a trip. If I need to wait that long for on-route charging I will more than likely start to use my other car more often and not have to wait at all. That is the beauty of EREVs and cars with a range extender such as the i3.

You are all right about the importance of destination charging and home charging of course but that is not the point of my post. It is on-route charging that I am talking about here... not destination charging or charging at home :) and that is going to become less viable as they get more busy.

Ecotricity doubling up on the chargers in the next year will help loads in the short term but I suspect that it won't be long before there is 4 or 5 cars waiting instead of one or two and then even two chargers will not be enough. Adding chargers is not a long-term solution because electrical supply is limited at most locations and adding more chargers will often not be possible.

Being charged a fee for electricity is the way it will go but IMO we must be charged by the KWh and not for time plugged in as CM is doing. It is the only fair way and using the pricing method to limit charger use seems counter-productive to me. I would prefer to see a solution that allows us all to charge when we need to... just as we can all fill our car with petrol when we need to. What that is though I don't know :)
 

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Agreed and was more making the point that more destination charging can help relieve some of the pressure on rapids. And be more convenient for drivers some times. The answer for queues at rapids is systemic - not just about building more rapids. Though that can help. And longer range bevs will too.
 

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Longer range will reduce need for on route rapid charging, no two ways about that. People worry about long range EVs hogging rapids, I think if we had longer range EVs this situation could be much better managed, even avoided.
 

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Oh yes, don't misunderstand my enthusiasm for 32A destination chargers.

For £1000 installed for pretty much any business wanting to attract customers and also to benefit from the PR that they can build I reckon it's a no brainer.

This week my plan is to drive from Cheltenham to Shrewsbury where the car will 32A charge. Tomorrow evening sees me go to Epping and use a ZCW charger. I'll need to RC en route. Tuesday AM sees me to Greenhithe and ChargeMastering at ASDA. Wednesday evening you'll find me topping up a charge in Victoria before dropping the car to the office car park. After 2 days of meetings I'll come home to Cheltenham stopping en route at Chievely or Membury.
 

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Seems simple enough to me: charge a fixed amount per hour to be plugged in, call that a "standing charge", and a smaller amount per kWh used, call that a "unit"... ;)

Seriously, I can see the queues increasing. Long range cars need to charge less frequently, but when they do charge they will charge for longer.
 

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Slightly longer battery range will work for all of us driving short range cars today, but for mass adoption we need loads of rapid chargers. Loads and loads. We need them for the people who can't charge at home, and want to visit a rapid once a week. We need them for the people who drive long (and unpredictable) distances for work. We need them for air port runs, holidays, days when you forgot to plug in, when you're visiting your relatives, taking your kids and all their stuff to university. This is how people use their cars and their vans and we need to replace all of them. That really does mean multi megawatt connections to charging hubs with 30 or more chargers. Even contemplating anything less mean EVs fail to replace ICE.

Any conversations about charger hogging and financial penalties for long usage, or queuing systems or 30 or 90 minute timers are just a distraction. You're getting lost in the minutia when there's so much more that needs to be done! We all need to think on a much larger scale!
 

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Seriously, I can see the queues increasing. Long range cars need to charge less frequently, but when they do charge they will charge for longer.
So far it's only Tesla and it appears they'll end up charging at different locations entirely now. The problem (if there is one) will be the more common LEAFs and such charging en-route.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
While I fully agree that range will help a lot, reducing the need to use public charging at all, it isn't the whole answer. No matter what the range of the car is we will always need public charging if we are to be able to use the car as and when we need/want it. We mustn't get sidetracked thinking that these issues will be resolved in time by range :)

Even a car with 1000 mile range can be caught with an empty battery and a long trip to make.
 

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I make a point of using chargers. There are frequent Daily Mail stories of councils wasting vast sums on chargers that are rarely used and indeed, Canterbury have decommissioned their charge points citing lack of use. Use 'em as much as you can and they might install more !
 
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