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Discussion Starter #1
This will be familiar to many of you I'm sure and I am probably just posting this to vent some frustration..

This evening I was running really low on juice and made a small diversion to the @POD Point rapid at Lidl in Gipton. I needed about 15-20 mins or so to get enough power to drive to a small town south of the city, pick up my daughter from a club and then make it home to charge overnight. When I arrived, there was a BMW PHEV on the 43kW plug, which had been connected for over 2 hrs! (Reg NL67 OBG) He/She had managed to take a whole 4 kWh in that time.. I looked around, no one anywhere to be seen, no note in the car etc. I went into the store (no-one can spend over 2hrs shopping in Lidl right?) to check it wasn't a staff member's car.. I strongly suspect that a local resident is using the rapid to get a (very small) amount of free electricity.

I recon that an extended stay on a rapid is really no different to ICEing. Maybe even worse, as the cable was locked to the BMW and there was no chance of charging. I wonder if @POD Point might consider introducing an overstay penalty charge, like @ChargePoint GENIE do, as this would certainly reduce this kind of abuse.

I also rang the very pleasant chap at PodPoint support, but he told me there is no way they have of contacting the owner to say the charger is needed by another user. I had hoped that there is some kind of identifiable data as their app allows for charging for charging. Maybe a suggestion for a future update?

Anyway, long and short of it was I had to limp home (I just made it), and take the ICE to finish the journey tonight.

I've just checked the app, some two hours later, and the AC is still unavailable..

I still haven't managed to get media uploads to work, so have a couple of dropbox links below..

Dropbox - 2017-11-07 19.43.47.jpg

Dropbox - 2017-11-07 19.44.13.jpg
 

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I'm sure @Pod-Point can detect when a car is plugged in and not charging. Fair enough for a short while after the charge has completed but there is surely a limit! Surely too that BMW didn't even need a charge at all if it only took 4 kWh, what was the driver thinking? There is an hour and a half parking limit at Lidl so maybe they'll catch up with him instead.
 
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A similar thing happens in Bedford, there's a BMW phev & a Merc phev that keep pluging into the 7kw side of a post that has a slow charge port too, really annoying as other EV's including me could make full use of the 7kw if it was available, there cars only have slow charge capabilities o_O I'm presuming they have no idea what there cars capabilities are, if they do know then that's even more annoying..
 

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Here is Crieff there was a Leaf parked in front of the rapid, blocking one space, but their cable stretched over the adjacent space to a type 2 socket. between it and the next space along The rapid is working apart from the CCS which has 'Unknown' against it.
 

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ICEing and PHEVing are classic examples of what happens in economics when you have scarce resources that are valuable but are free.

To prevent ICEing you have to charge an ICE more for an EV parking space than an ICE parking space - and this should be a lot more. In other words penalty charge notices, ideally enforced on an automatic basis using technology like ANPR. I used the EH rapids at Fleet last week and there were enormous signs up saying that anyone parked in the space around the chargers would get a £100 fine if they were not charging. And the signs also said that there was automatic ANPR enforcement.

PHEVing is more nuanced. I personally think that 3kW and 7kW destination chargers are equally useful for PHEVs and BEVs and the solution is to have lots of them wherever people leave their cars for at least a couple of hours. In order to get lots of chargers you need a fee structure where people pay for the electricity plus some profit margin for the operator. Again you need the ANPR enforcement to make sure that only vehicles capable of charging use the space.

PHEVs should not be blocking rapids. I’d advocate the ANPR penalty notice route to prevent this based on a time limit for using the charger at a minimum but I would also be in favour of a rule that only pure BEVs could use rapids, again enforced by ANPR.

There will never be more chargers than there are cars that could occupy the space in front of them so you need to incentivise correct use through making people pay for use and pay a lot more for misuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure @Pod-Point can detect when a car is plugged in and not charging. Fair enough for a short while after the charge has completed but there is surely a limit! Surely too that BMW didn't even need a charge at all if it only took 4 kWh, what was the driver thinking? There is an hour and a half parking limit at Lidl so maybe they'll catch up with him instead.
By the time I left the BMW was still charging. So not connected & finished charging, but still drawing a tiny amount. In the half hour or so I was on site trying to see if I could find the owner, it took around 0.5kWh. I think a £10 penalty for staying over 65mins like CPSgenie employ would be beneficial for rapids.


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The best way around this are the chargers which allow the AC and DC side to be used at the same time. If this was one of the new Shell chargers at least most rapid users can still get a charge with a hybrid already connected.

I realise this doesn’t help in the case of the Zoe though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@Hitstirrer I didn't leave a note as I was late for my daughter by the time I left, but know I should have done. I suspect it'll be there again soon, so I will.

@Mtcm this charger does allow dual use, but I needed the AC. It would help to have a 7kW post next to the rapid and perhaps a notice on it stating AC use is not for PHEV..


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I would have ended that users charge without hesitation. I also usually leave any AC or CSS rapid hogging cars plugged in and restart their charge when finished if no one else comes along (assuming it is a free vend rapid). I don't waste any additional time phoning operators etc in these situations.

Slow charging PHEV's with small batteries such as some BMW's and Outlanders, should not be allowed to have Rapid enabled charging port fittings included with the car. There should be legislation or guidelines for car manufacturers who wish to sell in the UK that outline this. If that is too complicated, then there needs to be a solution found that exclude these vehicles from Rapid chargers.
 

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Having AC & DC charging at the same time is fine but if the leads don't reach then it's an imaginary benefit...
 

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IMHO... leaving a PHEV/BEV on a destination charger (7kW or less) for hours is perfectly normal. That is what these kinds of chargers are for... charging while at work, shopping, playing golf, having a meal etc. It is inevitable then that cars will get to be fully charged before the owner returns. I don't see this as charger hogging and although it might mean that although the charger is occupied by a car that is not charging it should be understood and accepted by all of us and not criticised.

However, sitting at a rapid charger (such as the OP described) while not charging defeats the whole purpose of rapid charging. Rapid chargers should only be occupied whilst charging. Yes, go off and shop or have a coffee or whatever but make sure you return to the car and move it when it is full so others can use it. IMO no rapid charger should ever be occupied for more than an hour and normally for 45 mins or less. Charging networks should have an "overstay" fee and, as has been mentioned above, some already do.

Having said all that... if the government proposals are implemented then there will eventually be a lot of choice as to where to charge and then this will not matter quite so much... right now tho it is a pain in the butt.
 

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I suspect is just a case of not caring.
Or lack of understanding. The car is only a month old, and the owner may simply not understand that other cars can charge faster than that.

Slow charging PHEV's with small batteries such as some BMW's and Outlanders, should not be allowed to have Rapid enabled charging port fittings included with the car.
AFAIK they don't. The problem is that the same AC connector is used for destination charging and for AC rapid charging on eg Zoes.

I think a £10 penalty for staying over 65mins like CPSgenie employ would be beneficial for rapids.
I've always thought that a very sensible rule that should be applied to all rapids.

I would also be in favour of a rule that only pure BEVs could use rapids
It should relate to charging speed, not to "pure BEV". Anything that can get sufficient charge in 30-45 mins, basically.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I accept the point about the car being relatively new. However, before we got our Zoe, I made sure I understood the charging limitations it had. It is, surely, incumbent on the dealer to ensure the new owner is reasonably briefed. I think as soon as @POD Point introduce payment for use of this Rapid, there will be no more hogging of it by slow charging PHEVs.
 

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There needs to be education on different types of EV charging: rapid charger vs "faster" charger. The PHEV driver clearly saw a compatible plug and thought "free electricity!" Most Type 2's are 7kW fast chargers. So I define fast chargers as destination chargers: leaving the car for hours on end. The PHEV driver was clearly not well informed.


(jumping on this rapid charger hogging theme)

For real rapid chargers, especially Ecotricity EH ones. People tend to use it close to the maximum 45 minutes to get their £3 worth. Personally, I think it should be something like 50p for every 5min slots, and then also charge by kWh.

45min slots just encourages people to wait the whole 45min, taking up the rapid charger when their car battery can no longer accept rapid charging speeds. This change will also encourage splash and dash, getting that full 50kW speed at 10% battery and leaving after 10min gaining the critical 30 miles to get home.

End of the day, rapid chargers are meant to be rapid, you drop in, charge while you go to toilet and have a coffee, then move you car. It is a limited resource, so hogging this 50kW charger for your last few % is not cool!
 

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For real rapid chargers, especially Ecotricity EH ones. People tend to use it close to the maximum 45 minutes to get their £3 worth. Personally, I think it should be something like 50p for every 5min slots, and then also charge by kWh.
I think Ecotricity have the balance about right.
The price per kWh is a bit more than I pay at home so I only charge what I need and a bit more to be sure. I cannot see why anyone would charge more if it was cheaper at home or the same price further on the journey, but slower charging due to the battery being near full.
 

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I have just had a long weekend in Cornwall and at the Bridgewater services there was a X5 plugged into the only Ecotricity Rapid. I was fuming having had to drive there after the Sedgemoor South Rapid didn't like my Zoe, so I parked up expecting a wait. However it wasn't charging just plugged in, so they were using it as a parking space in a very busy services. I then decide to see if lead had locked in but it hadn't so I started my charge just as the family returned. At this point it hadn't occurred to me that it wasn't charging but thought it had just finished. It was later that it dawned on me that the screen was the normal welcome screen which only appears after a finished charge has been confirmed.
On our return trip I had just started a charge when a Volvo XC90 PHEV turned up scanning my connected lead.I am sure that had I been 5 minutes later I would have seen it plugged in.
If they are an Ecotricity customer they would only pay 34p for their pathetic charge if not a very expensive £3.34 for their 2kW. Or like the X5 plugin to look like he is charging and stop any Zoe getting a charge.
Now I want these PHEV'S to be running on electric power as much as possible but not from expensive to install and limited numbers Rapids. Services need to install a row of destination chargers.
 
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