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Where do you charge your electric vehicle?

  • Public: side road parking spaces

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all on this great Forum,

I am thinking of buying a Full Electric Vehicle: I have shortlisted the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf).
I have three questions I would like to all people owning and driving an EV.

Where do you usually charge your electric vehicle?
Is there a particular reason you use that location to charge?
Do you charge in public location? if yes, how is your user experience?

Very much interested in learning from your experiences here.
Thanks, everyone!
 

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tend to charge at home mostly and public car parks that having charging facilities, use NCP car parks a lot more since having a leaf!
 

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In UK, when we had the B Class we charged mainly at home but we used all three! Home, on journey and at destination (hotel, shopping, friend, etc)

Personally I wouldn't have a BEV unless I could charge at home or maybe a guarantee of charging at work, but there are people on here who seem to cope!

As you are in London, have you looked at Source London? There is a monthly fee and per minute charges - so works out quite expensive. There are other charging schemes in London but often in expensive car parks. Overall, I feel the situation in London has got worse and the mayor really needs to intervene.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
tend to charge at home mostly and public car parks that having charging facilities, use NCP car parks a lot more since having a leaf!
Thanks Stead! What's your experience with public charging? is there anything bothering you about it (if any)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In UK, when we had the B Class we charged mainly at home but we used all three! Home, on journey and at destination (hotel, shopping, friend, etc)

Personally I wouldn't have a BEV unless I could charge at home or maybe a guarantee of charging at work, but there are people on here who seem to cope!

As you are in London, have you looked at Source London? There is a monthly fee and per minute charges - so works out quite expensive. There are other charging schemes in London but often in expensive car parks. Overall, I feel the situation in London has got worse and the mayor really needs to intervene.
Thanks proddick. I feel that most people will want to charge at home (this is what I would do), unless they NEED to charge away from home. I am not familiar with charging network in London yet. I know they are expensive and there are many of them. Which means that I will need to download more apps or get more monthly subscriptions.
Would there be a way to convince you to charge in a public place? (still trying to find mine).
Thanks again.
GI
 

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I charge at home at night mostly, have Economy 7. Which makes me hesitate to charge in the day as day time rates are higher when you have Economy 7. Still affordable though, so would if I needed to for a night out etc.

I drive a lot to and for work. Occasionally need a boost to get home or from other trips after work. The Nissan dealer in Shrewsbury works well for me. Near Lidl and Aldi, the 7kwh post would get me enough charge in 40 minutes for the 15 mile commute home if I was completely empty - which I never am. Cables plugged in already so makes it easy to start a charge there. It is my work base end of town too.

Shrewsbury Ecotricity Rapid handy when am going further afield after work. I am an Ecotricity customer anyway, want to support them. Since the paying to charge started it has meant I can be confident of getting on them when needed. In the past I found myself needing to wait for local people to charge as a free alternative to home charging. One Friday at 5:30 there was a queue of 3.

The Zero Carbon World post at the Shropshire Food Centre have used occasionally. A dream as you just plug in and charge, no RFID, app etc.

Church Stretton is semi regular for me - lovely place to be for walks / cafe etc.

Couple of times a year I do longer trips and use the Ecotricity Rapids.
 

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I charge at home, and wherever possible, at or near my destination when the car is parked for a few hours. When I can't do that, I charge en-route. En-route charging has to be chademo for me, and without paying a monthly or annual subscription, and is mostly Ecotricity or CYC.

Fortunately, I have sufficient off-street space to charge at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I charge at home at night mostly, have Economy 7. Which makes me hesitate to charge in the day as day time rates are higher when you have Economy 7. Still affordable though, so would if I needed to for a night out etc.

I drive a lot to and for work. Occasionally need a boost to get home or from other trips after work. The Nissan dealer in Shrewsbury works well for me. Near Lidl and Aldi, the 7kwh post would get me enough charge in 40 minutes for the 15 mile commute home if I was completely empty - which I never am. Cables plugged in already so makes it easy to start a charge there. It is my work base end of town too.

Shrewsbury Ecotricity Rapid handy when am going further afield after work. I am an Ecotricity customer anyway, want to support them. Since the paying to charge started it has meant I can be confident of getting on them when needed. In the past I found myself needing to wait for local people to charge as a free alternative to home charging. One Friday at 5:30 there was a queue of 3.

The Zero Carbon World post at the Shropshire Food Centre have used occasionally. A dream as you just plug in and charge, no RFID, app etc.

Church Stretton is semi regular for me - lovely place to be for walks / cafe etc.

Couple of times a year I do longer trips and use the Ecotricity Rapids.
Thanks for feedback Steve. I was wondering whether I need an app for every charging network and if that is really streamlined. I mean what would an EV owner want to do? what's the best scenario possible? that's an interesting perspective I would love to get from you and this forum.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I charge at home, and wherever possible, at or near my destination when the car is parked for a few hours. When I can't do that, I charge en-route. En-route charging has to be chademo for me, and without paying a monthly or annual subscription, and is mostly Ecotricity or CYC.

Fortunately, I have sufficient off-street space to charge at home.
Thanks Simon, what do you mean with "chademo"? thanks!
 

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If you need to ask where to charge and what it's like, then you need to buy a REx.

Charging in public is crap and it will only get worse with more BEV users.

You'll either get a BEV and put up with all the problems of public charging, in which case you don't need to ask just get on with it, or... you won't be prepared to put up with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you need to ask where to charge and what it's like, then you need to buy a REx.

Charging in public is crap and it will only get worse with more BEV users.

You'll either get a BEV and put up with all the problems of public charging, in which case you don't need to ask just get on with it, or... you won't be prepared to put up with it.
Thanks, Donald. I think your comment is spot on. Just a quick one. You mentioned, "put up with all the problems of public charging". Can you expand? What are the key three problems? Would love to get the perspective of an EV owner. Cheers.
GI
 

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Thanks, Donald. I think your comment is spot on. Just a quick one. You mentioned, "put up with all the problems of public charging". Can you expand? What are the key three problems? Would love to get the perspective of an EV owner. Cheers.
GI
What are your current driving patterns Giampi? I don't find problems often and drive more than average, EV is my only car. The problems I have had are 1.) Lack of destination chargers in West Wales. Makes day trips from here take longer - as opposed to taking no additional time than petrol if they were at my destination. Some of the apps being flaky, like the CYC in Scotland. Will organise a card if I go again. And Chargemasters / Polar payg charging prices, but I find I don't need to use them.

Remember the Leaf being launched in September with 200 miles plus, the Model 3 likewise. If you have charging at home charging away from it will be little needed. If you don't, self driving cars will in the future charge while you sleep.
 

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For 2016, my charging was 79% at home overnight on E7, 4% at home during the day, and 17% using public charging points. Of the 17% public charging, 42% of this was at Ecotricity Rapids, 28% was at Zero Carbon World destination posts (mainly NT Wales sites and Ludlow Food Centre), 10% was at B&B accommodation, 8% was at Charge Your Car Rapids, and 12% was at other places (mainly Nissan Rapids).
 

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What are the key three problems? Would love to get the perspective of an EV owner. Cheers.
GI
1) Lack of public chargers. There are none at any of the Supermarkets here and just a couple of Council run ones, which are stupidly expensive to use.

2) The chargers that do exist are often ICEd as no one enforces parking restrictions at them - or no restrictions exist.

3) Faulty chargers! - I've been flat bedded twice in one day due to faulty chargers. I don't use the EV outside of it's charge range any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For 2016, my charging was 79% at home overnight on E7, 4% at home during the day, and 17% using public charging points. Of the 17% public charging, 42% of this was at Ecotricity Rapids, 28% was at Zero Carbon World destination posts (mainly NT Wales sites and Ludlow Food Centre), 10% was at B&B accommodation, 8% was at Charge Your Car Rapids, and 12% was at other places (mainly Nissan Rapids).
Amazing Dave. Thanks!
How did you get all your percentages? have you been tracking all your charging?
How is your experience with public charging or more in general as owner of an EV? if there was a thing that you could ask to improve what would it be? (I am trying to find EV shortcomings that I might not see - in addition to the range).
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1) Lack of public chargers. There are none at any of the Supermarkets here and just a couple of Council run ones, which are stupidly expensive to use.

2) The chargers that do exist are often ICEd as no one enforces parking restrictions at them - or no restrictions exist.

3) Faulty chargers! - I've been flat bedded twice in one day due to faulty chargers. I don't use the EV outside of it's charge range any more.
The more I hear your comments guys and the more I believe that public charging is miles away from an optimal state. That's a shame! but I won't allow this to stop me especially because I am planning to charge mainly at home.
One thing I was thinking thought is: "what if I have to go a longer trip, how could I plan it easily from the sofa of my house?"
and then second question: if there was an easy way hassle-free way to charge publicly, would I do it at all?
Maybe you can share your view on this Andy! thanks again.
 

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One thing I was thinking thought is: "what if I have to go a longer trip, how could I plan it easily from the sofa of my house?"
and then second question: if there was an easy way hassle-free way to charge publicly, would I do it at all?
Maybe you can share your view on this Andy! thanks again.
The Ecotricity network should have made it easy to plan a trip - you just can't rely on the chargers, probably more so here in the SW where many services have just one unit, not the 2 or more seen elsewhere.

I've seen a charger blocked by a 4*4, waited an age and gave up and risked driving back up the motorway in the wrong direction to the next charger to find the screen blank when I got there - got flat bedded down to Exeter, dropped off and found the charger would only work on DC, not AC ( I was in my ZOE that day), so another flat bed ride in the wrong direction 3 junctions before I gave up and went home instead of to my destination having wasted over 2 hours up and down the motorway on flat beds unable to charge.

I've also had my Leaf unplugged from the 13A sockets provided at Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol which meant I wasn't able to get home without seeking out alternative charging, which cost me more than it should have done. The LEAF got a nice chip in the paintwork, where whoever did it flung the 13A plug onto the bonnet as they left. No doubt kids, druggies, teens looking for trouble - but these things DO happen.

There simply isn't enough charging infrastructure around in some parts of the country to reliably state that you can get a charge when you are out and about.
 

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Thanks Stead! What's your experience with public charging? is there anything bothering you about it (if any)?
I live in south wales, so basically its terrible, Cardiff has a few NCP's with public charging, Asda's if your lucky to locate one with a type 2 post, but most are 3 pin and blocked by normal cars, Bristol is a safe bet as lots of NCP's that offer polar chargers, but most of the time, I've I'm driving over 80 miles I'll take the diesel, I've had a 50% success rate with the electric highway, until things improve, for me the leaf isn't going to be doing any distance driving, if I was retired or employed i'd be happy to take an entire day to drive a few 100 miles but currently its not viable.

Its a shame as I love the EV experience, if I could afford a tesla i'd of gotten one and never looked back to an ICE
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Ecotricity network should have made it easy to plan a trip - you just can't rely on the chargers, probably more so here in the SW where many services have just one unit, not the 2 or more seen elsewhere.

I've seen a charger blocked by a 4*4, waited an age and gave up and risked driving back up the motorway in the wrong direction to the next charger to find the screen blank when I got there - got flat bedded down to Exeter, dropped off and found the charger would only work on DC, not AC ( I was in my ZOE that day), so another flat bed ride in the wrong direction 3 junctions before I gave up and went home instead of to my destination having wasted over 2 hours up and down the motorway on flat beds unable to charge.

I've also had my Leaf unplugged from the 13A sockets provided at Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol which meant I wasn't able to get home without seeking out alternative charging, which cost me more than it should have done. The LEAF got a nice chip in the paintwork, where whoever did it flung the 13A plug onto the bonnet as they left. No doubt kids, druggies, teens looking for trouble - but these things DO happen.

There simply isn't enough charging infrastructure around in some parts of the country to reliably state that you can get a charge when you are out and about.
Thanks, Andy! Here is my conclusion: most of the time I would charge my EV home. However, when I am around the public charging infrastructure is insufficient and not reliable at all. From your and other EV owners comments, I assume that there is not an easy and straightforward way to charge your car in public charge points and there isn't anything around to help you plan your long trips with your EV.
Now the point is: wouldn't be nice to be able to plan for your trips and be able to access all info (availability/price) of public charge points?
Another thing is bugging me: when I asked the Nissan and BMW dealers if I could get info regarding my charging, even home charging, apparently the only thing I could get would be charging duration, that's all! I have been told that I would also remotely control my charging by remotely stopping or activating it. In a smart world where we live, would there be anything smarter that would be nice to have/do when charging?
I know I am bombarding the audience here with all my doubts....but I want to understand better!
Thanks again!
 

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Planning a long journey isn't hard particularly hard, especially in a Leaf as most motorway services have two chargers for a Leaf but only one for i3.

The issue is that when you get tp the services they may be broken, the app may not work or a car is blocking/using it. The issue is that you need to have lots of time, Plan B and possibly Plan C.

Things might improve - the government are bringing in the Modern Transport Act this year and more consolidation of charging networks is likely. My hope is that Ecotricity give up and sell the EH to Chargemaster and we see more investment.
 
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