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Discussion Starter #1
Twitter folk will know this already, but for those who didn't see the tweets.

I went out a double mission this evening, one was to see the new rapids in place (and spot any others) and the other was to try a "standard charge" starting at less then 50% charged to test the theory it might stop at 80% (as you can't manually go above 80% on the new rapids, unlike IKEA Ecotricy, where you can).

Anyway, this is how it all panned out...

First, M1 Junction 14 Coachway...



Out of order (DC).

Second, rapid between Xscape and Theatre District, central Milton Keynes...


ICEd beyond use.

Third choice, no EV parking signage yet, but miracle of miracles it had a space right next to it!



Another DC line fault?!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So on to the fourth and final option by the Travel Lodge hotel again in Central Milton Keynes...



It worked!

So, from 14%...

After 20 minutes (which MK Council seemed to think would give a full charge in their document), I was at 70% (56% on top of what I had)...


After 30 mins I hit 80% (66% on top of what I had)


37 minutes, bored and a bit annoyed the others were unavailable, I called it a day with the charge at 85% (71% on top of what I had)...


Based on Chargemaster's fees that's a VERY expensive way to charge, not to mention unreliable (the lack of signs is because they would never be so smart or organised to do that before they installed them, give them time)...
 

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If they are the same as other DBT chargers you were not st 85%... probably near 75%. They over read by about 10% at the top end... less st the bottom end.so proved nothing I am afraid :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If they are the same as other DBT chargers you were not st 85%... probably near 75%. They over read by about 10% at the top end... less st the bottom end.so proved nothing I am afraid :)
Car said the same as the charger at both top and bottom end. But if what you say is accurate then the figures are pointless to the average user.

All I know is I've charged from low to over 80% at other rapids in one shot (circa 40+ minutes), and this went from what it said was 14 to 85... no need to double plug or anything.

Whatever I did get though it took closer to 40 minutes, so would have been two charges, that's about £15 according to the folk on twitter (I can't remember the fees). That's SUCH poor value, and terrible reliability for new posts!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Anyway, after sleeping on it, I've gone to at least three conclusions.
  • The new charges from ChargeMaster on paper are high. In reality, ridiculously high.
  • The chargers (even when proper signage arrives) are mostly in the wrong place, why did they not listen to EV drivers on this?
  • Reliability could be a serious issue, best case here was two out of four were working, that's not good enough. (I don't know if the one ICEd was working, no point in getting that far!).
I feel so aggravated by the waste of public funds on this, both as a way to give ChargeMaster an undeserved commercial leg-up and as a poorly planned social experiment with a hideous scatter-gun approach. The OLEV should be ashamed of the way this works.
 

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I feel so aggravated by the waste of public funds on this, both as a way to give ChargeMaster an undeserved commercial leg-up and as a poorly planned social experiment with a hideous scatter-gun approach. The OLEV should be ashamed of the way this works.
Would it not be a good idea to get your local MP's involved?? Questions should be raised in Parliament about the waste of public money!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Would it not be a good idea to get your local MP's involved?? Questions should be raised in Parliament about the waste of public money!!
They just seem to like having mug-shots taken next to electric buses and basking in the glory of Milton Keynes "leading the way" in low emissions transport.

It's not local money that's being wasted either (for the most part), it's central money being wasted locally, so not even really in their remit I guess.

I'll just seek alternatives, at home charging and Ecotricity for the most part, as I have no intention to proactively help the government help companies profit from EV drivers, my time's stretched thin as it is!
 

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Would it not be a good idea to get your local MP's involved?? Questions should be raised in Parliament about the waste of public money!!
We have tried that and my MP, Duncan Hames, did ask some basic questions in the house and get the party line response from the transport minister.

Unfortunately, our political system is pretty broken with government departments like OLEV seeking policy 'advice' from charging providers :(

I think we will end up with several 'standards' of charging in the UK. The premium standard will be provided by Tesla who's customer can afford to invest in charging upfront. The second level will be provided by businesses like Best Western who provide charging as part of their service offering. The third level will be 'public' charging provided by adhoc vendors who IMO will struggle to survive and therefore provide a very poor service.

We can all impact the second level providers by supporting ZeroNet and/or ZCW... it's something tangible we can do as EV drivers :)
 

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Anyway, after sleeping on it, I've gone to at least three conclusions.
  • The new charges from ChargeMaster on paper are high. In reality, ridiculously high.
  • The chargers (even when proper signage arrives) are mostly in the wrong place, why did they not listen to EV drivers on this?
  • Reliability could be a serious issue, best case here was two out of four were working, that's not good enough. (I don't know if the one ICEd was working, no point in getting that far!).
I feel so aggravated by the waste of public funds on this, both as a way to give ChargeMaster an undeserved commercial leg-up and as a poorly planned social experiment with a hideous scatter-gun approach. The OLEV should be ashamed of the way this works.
I feel your pain mate, and I don't even live in mk.

The worst aspect of this debacle is the hideously wasted opportunity. With a little more thought and consultation MKC could have delivered something that would have transformed EV usage in the area.

But it looks like they've been swayed by a business that has profits at the top of its agenda, first and foremost.

Hopefully it will blow up in their faces spectacularly. Unfortunately the money has been spent, and CM are quids in regardless. Public money has effectively bought them their shop front & tills.
 

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Ok conspiracy theory warning

If I were basing my charging costs on time, I would want you to charge for longer, therefore I would limit the power to a rapid charger to keep you connected for longer
Love it :D

My conspiracy theory is that the CCS connector will charge at 50kW because as a chargemaster investor BMW want the i3 to charge fastest ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Think I work out I averaged 28.2 kWh for the duration of the charge from 14% to 85%.

Again about positioning, the charger that was working and free is literally in the worst place I could imagine for a rapid. There is nothing close by, no local shops, nowhere right there to eat, buy a paper or drink. It's surrounded by offices and is next to a hotel, this is the WORST place for a rapid charger I could imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I feel your pain mate, and I don't even live in mk.

The worst aspect of this debacle is the hideously wasted opportunity. With a little more thought and consultation MKC could have delivered something that would have transformed EV usage in the area.

But it looks like they've been swayed by a business that has profits at the top of its agenda, first and foremost.

Hopefully it will blow up in their faces spectacularly. Unfortunately the money has been spent, and CM are quids in regardless. Public money has effectively bought them their shop front & tills.
It's two-fold, they had to get the rapids in quick or miss out on the government money. That's madness. Then there's the financial/commercial interests you mention, again, madness.

In my working life I've always tried to champion the entire concept of "user centred design" and putting the "user" at the heart of your decisions (factor in a fair dose of "just because" in that too). This situation is a great example of why you should do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Had to pop to central Milton Keynes early this morning, with an appointment 30 mins later I thought I'd "top off" at one of the rapids (was at over 50% charged).

By the time the rapid was reading 82% charged (car agreed) the "rapid" was showing 296v 395v, 16a, that was after about 18 minutes in total, 16 minutes for that particular charge (I moved the car after a short while as I was not in an "EV" space, and there was a warden lurking).

That seems quite a dramatic drop off, or is that quite normal?

Photos are from start of first charge, end of second charge...

2014-03-10 08.59.32.jpg

2014-03-10 09.24.01.jpg

2014-03-10 09.26.34.jpg
 

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It wouldn't have been 296V... it would have been 393V in all liklihood. It you voltage drops to 296 then you r car will be DEAD! :)

Anyway, that does seems too low. At 80% on the charger (nearer 70% in reality because they overread) I would have expected nearer 70A.

Here is a snap from @Grant Thomas video on youtube where he tested going beyond 80% (90% on the charger)...



This is showing 394V at 40A and that is at a 80% real SOC.

Full video:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Anyway, that does seems too low. At 80% on the charger (nearer 70% in reality because they overread) I would have expected nearer 70A.
Why when the car and charger both say 82% etc do you think it's actually higher? At what point (if any) does the car five an accurate read, as it tallies with the charger display? Confused by this as if it's not accurate, it's pointless.
 

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Get a LeafDD or LeafSpy and see if it tallies then. ;)

I used my LeafSpy yesterday on several Mk1 and Mk2 Leafs at the SoCEV and they all showed the charger overreading by about 10%.

If your car is different then I apologise but I would check it first with a LeafSpy/LeafDD first and they do seem very accurate and they tally between them confirming their likelihood they are in fact pretty accurate.
 
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