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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Mentioned to Quentin Clark about Waitrose in Milton Keynes moving AWAY from chargers and not installing their own last year... not his department?

If they are going to do the PR thing, they should really do the action thing too.

That's taking nothing away from what @IanT says in his recent video though I'm with you all the way on that, and also on surprising friends and colleagues when they ride with me in the LEAF!
 

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I have a concern that people may '*iss in the wine'. No big business should be expected to be philanthropic. As far as MK is concerned - if the town has lots of chargers and expects 50 further Rapid chargers, there may be a view that putting in a charger may not win much additional business?
The focus on Bracknell is understandable as it is much praised Eco-store - I tried to embed the link, but it failed - Google Waitrose Bracknell low carbon!
Let's praise Waitrose for the Welcome Break/ Waitrose for leading the way on motorway charging! Maybe the shoukd have more chargers at their supermarkets - but the argument may be 'customer convenience' - not a compelling argument for a business case?
Ian's link with Waitrose was a win-win - it promoted EV adoption and endorsed Waitrose' low carbon' credentials!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Let's not make this into a knock Waitrose topic. I have nothing to do with them and I do think at least they are doing something better than Tesco, Sainsburys!!

Knocking companies that are trying to do something wouldn't help newbies move across to the EV world.
But what are Waitrose doing, as a company I mean, they don't appear to have mandated or connected EV or EV charging policy? It's unclear to me why they're helping with your video, before having a policy to install new chargers at new stores, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a concern that people may '*iss in the wine'. No big business should be expected to be philanthropic. As far as MK is concerned - if the town has lots of chargers and expects 50 further Rapid chargers, there may be a view that putting in a charger may not win much additional business?
If that's their logic they're foolish. Waitrose for me was always a complete no brainer for grocery shopping, it's my favourite of the supermarkets BY FAR and they had chargers around their store, in a convenient central location.

Now they're a satellite store with no EV parking/charging.

As a result I regularly shop elsewhere based on location and EV charging, Waitrose only gets my custom at all because I like them, I have to choose to drive further and not charge just to go there now though... Backwards.

This in a town where I see EVs buzzing around every day... Only ever seen one other at Waitrose in all my visits though.

I think I'm most aggrieved because I somehow expected better from Waitrose, thought they might be leaders on this front.

The video is great and Ian's EVs experiences seem typically positive. But if Waitrose want to be really pro EV, then shooting videos isn't the way to do it.
 

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The reality is that public charging points are being little used, see;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523718/Drivers-arent-switching-Publicly-funded-electric-car-charging-points-barely-used.html
The EV community can take much of the blame for the lack of business embracing charge point installation! So many are working only in their com for zone - home/work/home!
On my trip from Yorks I visited at least a dozen chargers to update my iMiev Garmin GPS (doesn't have an overlay and postcodes can be wrong) - I didn't see a single EV, yet it was a sky blue day!
I used to worry about charger congestion - well its not happening - and that a bad sign!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The EV community can take much of the blame for the lack of business embracing charge point installation! So many are working only in their com for zone - home/work/home!
Let me show some of my very typical tweets from a trip to Central Milton Keynes last week for lunch...





Eventually I parked in some POD Point bays that are never ICEd, but also never work. They're a bit more of a walk from the centre you see, so nobody parks there.

I say nobody, a PRIUS was there the other day (not plug-in).

The point being here that I know stats in MK about charger usage are not impressive, I believe that is largely down to this typical scenario of spaces either being ICEd or faulty.

We can only highlight these shortcomings and hope they improve, as we can't stop these people parking there, or the bad signage and lack of enforcement that allows them to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Updated the first post a smidge as I've given this side-topic its own home now.

Also to add that I'm sure (or at least, I get the impression via social media) that Quentin Clark himself is genuinely pro-EV. However, he's only one man in an organisation and I hope that his efforts will not only convince outsiders that Waitrose and EVs are lovely (his apparent plan) but also convince the powers that be that this is something they should mandate from the top. across the board.

I like Waitrose for many reasons, and I guess this is why (along with that video) I'm singling them out. I'd be amazed and impressed if Tesco, Asda-Walmart, Morrison's etc suddenly had a pro-EV policy with free charging on site... but I wouldn't be amazed if Waitrose did, I'd be impressed and delighted and as a relatively loyal customer I'd be singing their praises from the rooftop (or something) I almost expect them to be first here...

Come on Waitrose... be the leader before someone else takes the opportunity!
 

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ASDA have been the leaders in Scotland for some time! They were key to my activity, north of the Border. Edinburgh (via ASDA Perth and Forfar) to Aberdeen. Also the ASDA at Inverness and Tain enable access to super places, like Loch Ness. ASDA Doncaster was until recently key to getting to York and I remains No1 fallback!
As far as I can see ASDA has stalled on this EV programme and my complaints (about being ICE'D) have gone unanswered!
However, they have a nice store locator - with filter for EV, see http://storelocator.asda.com/#!/search/index?qs=Milton Keynes&dym=0&asda_service_electric_car_charging=1
Who would like to lobby them
 
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Hello everybody. I can see that there is a need to clarify a few points and I will need to go back a few stages to explain why the interest in EVs.

Firstly, to be completely clear, this video and the video I shot with Suzy Wadsworth on our " 500 miles in a Day" adventure ( plus other stuff on Youtube) springs from my belief that by showing what EVs can do we can help break a big chicken and egg debate. More EVs on the road makes it more sense to provide chargers vs More chargers available makes EV adoption easier. Who breaks this cycle? Hats off to Ecotricity who are absolutely doing that with 100% renewable power too.

So.. why bother at all? I don't think I could have put it better myself that the way Ian has explained this but I would add a few points. Air quality is a factor that is high on the list of benefits as is noise reduction.

But why are we so engaged? Waitrose has a CSR policy which is wrapped up in what is called "The Waitrose Way" and which I am responsible for. It is based on four things - Treating people Fairly, Championing British, Living Well and......Treading Lightly. If you want to know more about the other bits do log on to Waitrose.com but I am going to talk about Treading Lightly here which is about the environment. It is about what our suppliers do, it is about what we do as a business ( 100% green electricity, eco-building program etc etc) AND about helping customers lead a more sustainable life too.

Controlling food waste is a big issue as is recycling and packaging reduction but in this connection, practically, that has meant we have run promotions based on environmental product ranges, we have used our publications to encourage conversion to green electricity as a customer through Ecotricity. Converting to green electricity at home is the single biggest step you can take to lead a greener life ( especially if you want to be consistant as an EV driver).

We have promoted the installation of home charge points with Chargemaster and we are trying to show customers (and partners though EV awareness days) about living greener through their motoring.

It may be hard to believe but this is not driven by some huge plan to harvest millions of customers but is absolutely part of my company being environmentally responsible across a wide front as part of that approach and being some sort of info hub for customers interested in this agenda.

I have a hunch that the type of person that finds our offer attractive is likely to be an early adopter and share some values that will predispose them to EV ownership. I must add that like driving an EV it is also tremendous fun to be working in this area. It is quite extraordinary how entrenched some views are against EVs as well as for them.

As you may appreciate these videos are just me and a handy cam trying to do my bit to move this all along. The resources I have to do this are Waitrose based hence you will see that coming through I suppose but there is more corporate content too e.g. http://www.waitrose.com/ecotricity.

So coming on to charge points this is the situation at the moment. It's about 30 or so percent of our main stores.
  • York
  • Wimborne
  • Chichester
  • Parkstone
  • Winton
  • Eastbourne
  • Bracknell
  • Hampton
  • Abingdon
  • Saltash
  • Fulham
  • Esher
  • Northwood
  • Surbiton
  • South Harrow
  • South Woodford
  • North Finchley
  • Mill Hill
  • Whetstone
  • West Ealing
  • Beckenham
  • Harrow Weald
  • Ipswich
  • North Walsham
  • Bury St Edmunds
  • Lichfield
  • Saxmundham
  • Hitchin
  • Welwyn Garden City
There may be a few ( I will come back on later with a definititive list) I have missed but we have upgraded the on-line branch info to show if a branch has a charger.

The factors involved in charger installation are various. We may not own the carpark for example. Notwithstanding all that the question is one of useage. Some of our chargers are used extensively, some almost never but I hope we are approaching a tipping point and I am trying to move that tipping point nearer through all of this.

It is about customer convenience and it is absolutely true that the higher the rate of useage in the existing estate the easier it is to justify installing new chargepoints which can compete in smaller carparks for spaces.

There are other questions too. Fast or rapid chargers obviously make more sense than standard rate. Avoiding ICEing. Where do the plug in hybrids fit in to this? My view is that they will be more charge hungry than their fully battery powered brothers because they have lower electric range.

How will the second hand market affect this? I hope that we will start to see more people coming in through that route. Is the wisdom that home charging will basically be all that is needed for typically second car urban runaround use true?

I think insight from real owners helps to cut through all this speculation. It is actually understanding what people do that really helps and the trends in the useage figures will tell the whole story.

That will be the next step for us to look at the trends and to anticipate ( if we can !) the future. It is work in progress and I cannot emphasise enough how valuable constructive insight into this is. I appreciate all of your views and comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi @Quentin Clark and thanks for joining us here! I've edited your post just to add in line breaks etc, hopefully make it easier to scan. ;) I've also moved it here to this "spin-off" from your video post as I don't want to distract too much from that simple, positive message.

Having read what you said, I'd really like to understand the logic in building a new store in Milton Keynes with no apparent EV or "green" thinking at all.

Milton Keynes is home to more chargers than most anywhere else in the town centre (where Waitrose moved away from), home to electric busses, home to an early electric car club, home to historic and new award winning eco developments, and Waitrose has been here for a long time. It seems strange that the big new superstore hasn't (apparently) done anything. There's a big shop and a huge car park where there was once a field. And no EV charging, no solar panels evident, no green roof, nothing?

Maybe something this specific is better as a private conversation via email or private messages, but I can only say our recent experience of Waitrose expansion doesn't tally with the usual "greener" messages of Waitrose as a "brand" and certainly not your personal pro-EV stance.
 

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I would just add that even when we get chargers installed at Waitrose they must work and be ICE free... if you want an example of where you'll find the opposite then visit the Chichester Store... I've given up trying and shop elsewhere now :(

IMG_2235_small.JPG
 

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Our Waitrose in Saltash is the same... no markings on the road... very soft signing that is not obvious to anyone... ICEing not policed.

I am a HUGE supporter of Waitrose in general (not just regarding EVs) and it is the only supermarket we shop at generally. I really hate to moan or criticise (as you all know ;) ;) ) but in this case I must say that installing EV charging and not ensuring that they are actually usable by EVs when they are needed amounts to not much more than lip service.

As I say... I am a massive fan of Waitrose and I so want to give them in general, and @Quentin Clark in particular, my full support but until there is an active policy company wide to:

- properly mark up charging bays both on the ground and through very ovious signing
- actively police the bays and ensure they are not ICEd
- build EV charging into the plans and design of all new stores from the very start

then I have to consider that they are not living up to the objectives that Quentin wants and that we, as EV drivers, desperately need.

Sorry Quentin. I know you are personally committed to the cause and I hate to say what I have said, but it is not through your personal actions that we judge Waitrose by... it is what happens at the stores and I think that in spite of everyone having the best of intentions it isn't working anything like as well as you or EV drivers would like :)
 

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I think it most unfortunate if individual drivers start button-holing people is stakeholder companies. Yes, its democracy in action - but as was said in a previous discussion about approaching local authorities - there is a risk of delivering the wrong message, or even so many message that the clarity of the right message is lost.
EVDA have an 'action' on drawing up guidelines for siting of EV Charging and I feel the scope covers what is discussed here. If those who have opinion here would help EVDA form a working group - then there would be a consensus message, which has been well thought through. A message that could be referenced to other 'best practice' and to precedents in other countries (laws, bye-laws etc). Moreover. that 'refined message' could be delivered to other stakeholders - so that we move towards a consistent approach - nationwide.
 

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Ho do you actually go about policing and preventing petrol drivers from parking in EV spaces? Surely this is the same issue with 'disabled' / 'parent and child' spaces.

As a father to a 2 year old I see single people ALL THE TIME parking in parent and child spaces, I challenge them and then usually get a load of abuse back.. I'm not aware of a system that can fully police disabled / parent and child, thus this is the same with EV spaces.

HANDS UP - I have in the past parked in a disabled / parent & child space as I didn't think it was really going to cause a problem. Now that I'm a father and a driver of an EV i now understand why that was bad and I shouldn't have done it.

Because we are the minority just like disabled / parent and child it is always going to be difficult. Lets call it what it is 'discrimination' Whats the solution? Clamping? Waitrose paying someone to purely monitor these types of spaces during the opening hours of the store?

Lets note point the finger of blame at Waitrose at least they are doing something, I don't see Tesco ramping up their EV charging facilities, why not start a post having a go the mighty Tesco? At least Waitrose are having a go and for that I say 'Thank You'.

What we need is a BETTER way to police / manage people from parking in 'EV' / 'Disabled' / 'Parent & Child' spaces.

From this day on I will politely challenge anyone who parks in an EV / Disabled / Parent & Child space when they actually have you right / reason. It's a start and just may be they won't do it again!
 

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I live near Abingdon and use the charging point there regularly. The tarmac for those spaces isn't marked; it would be better if it was, but the staff mostly do a pretty good job keeping the spaces clear with a traffic cone (it used to be two but these days they just put out one).

I try to only use the space next to the Chargemaster post as that leaves the Nissan charger clear for those as can use it, but a couple of times recently there hasn't been a cone at all meaning my preferred space has been ICEd. When I asked in store they said they'd had to put the cone away because of the wind, so fair enough. I also noticed the second time this happened the ICE car had bits of paper printed with 'Electric Car Charging space' on front and rear windows; I have no idea if that was the staff being creative or a passing EV driver.

So, as far as my local Waitrose is concerned, I think they're doing a decent job. Painting the tarmac would help though.
 

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There are other questions too. Fast or rapid chargers obviously make more sense than standard rate. Avoiding ICEing. Where do the plug in hybrids fit in to this? My view is that they will be more charge hungry than their fully battery powered brothers because they have lower electric range.
Quentin……..

I don't understand your view on plug in hybrids.
Yes they have a smaller range but this means that they charge quicker. Places like supermarkets etc in my experiance tend to have short stay car parks so no matter what EV parks up, people are probably only going to stay for the hour or so that it takes to shop and maybe have a coffee.

We have just had a brand new store built in Bedford and the same as people have said above I was very disapointed that no charging was installed so I rarely use the store. If a point had been installed I would travel the extra distance and it would now be my store of choice…..

Waitrose school report should read………..Very bright and full of great ideas but would really excel of only they tried just a little bit harder, a high B+

I think Waitrose goals have to be admired, they are the best store in so many areas and I would rather shop there than any of the other big players.
This post is not meant as a dig at you or the store its just if you are trying to be the best then that is how you have to be judged
 

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Hello everybody. I can see that there is a need to clarify a few points and I will need to go back a few stages to explain why the interest in EVs.
Well Quentin - can I first say welcome to the group and welcome to the 'hot seat'. As you already realise this the home of EV-blunt speaking!

I would most certainly like to praise Waitrose for the huge range of initiatives that turn into practice many of the theories on environmental sustainability. While many organisation pay lip service to all the ecology debate - Waitrose (almost unique in the retail food actor) are pro-active and has invested heavily.

I certainly accept that the whole concept of low carbon use by customers will contribute very little indeed to your calculation of greenhouse gas emission abatment? It is therefore laudable that you have tried and continue to try every initiative possible to support adoption of low carbon private vehicles.

The Waitrose element of the Ecotricity/Nissan/Renault/Welcome Break is most certainly an achievement without parallel in the whole UK low-carbon vehicle initiative. I sincerely hope that the consortium will get the accolades it deserves.

As for the flak about lack of marking and signage on charging bays - well its hardly your biggest issue? No doubt Waitose' staff could invest time and money policing these bays - but the causal factors are all in our society. Waitrose are not really accountable for the disrespectful attitude of our modern UK society!

If you were to employ parking attendants to respond to these woes - it would only be a partial solution. The cretins who nip into parking bays are cheeky arrogant bas***** and will use every opportunity to take advantage!

The problem is being put at Waitrose' door - but you don't really have a valid solution to offer?
If people want the 'divine right' of EV drivers to have prime slots readily available - there will be costs! So 2 security men 12 hours a day / 7 days a week / 52 weeks per year and 4 weeks holiday pay - then divide that cost across the number of EV charges in the same period! I know Ian uses Bracknell and so do I - I've never seen him, he's never seen me - I certainly have seen no other EVs using Bracknell. Please don't ask me to take a share of those costs - it would be huge!

Thanks for dropping-in - enjoy the challenge!

Brian Orr
EV Matters Ltd
Member, UK Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP)
 

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Congratulations to Waitrose for stepping up and investing in electric vehicle chargers, and for testing their usefulness at 30% of its stores. (Tesco replied to a recent Tweet stating that they have Pod Point chargers at 3 stores!). Hopefully the stats will show that the chargers get used and that rolling them out nationally will be a positive investment. The stats however are useless, if the chargers are not usable because they are blocked. We seem to be very fortunate here in the Greater Manchester area that all of the GMEV bays (that I have used) are signed with a suitable warning that they are for electric vehicles only. The Intu Trafford Centre, have also been excellent and coned their bays, within days of it being pointed out that they were constantly ICED. The cones serve a dual purpose, as they can be used to prevent the charging cable becoming a trip hazard. So they keep ICE away and lawyers. Most people block EV bays, Disabled bays and Parent & Child bays because they are too lazy to walk that bit further. Getting out to move a cone is far too much effort. All EV bays should have an inexpensive cone placed in them, with a polite, educational warning that they should only be moved when using the space to charge.
 

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Quentin……..

I don't understand your view on plug in hybrids.
Yes they have a smaller range but this means that they charge quicker. Places like supermarkets etc in my experiance tend to have short stay car parks so no matter what EV parks up, people are probably only going to stay for the hour or so that it takes to shop and maybe have a coffee.

We have just had a brand new store built in Bedford and the same as people have said above I was very disapointed that no charging was installed so I rarely use the store. If a point had been installed I would travel the extra distance and it would now be my store of choice…..

Waitrose school report should read………..Very bright and full of great ideas but would really excel of only they tried just a little bit harder, a high B+

I think Waitrose goals have to be admired, they are the best store in so many areas and I would rather shop there than any of the other big players.
This post is not meant as a dig at you or the store its just if you are trying to be the best then that is how you have to be judged
Just to clarify my point about plugin hybrids...and I would be very interested to understand from others if this rings true .. it is about the realisation that you have bought a very expensive vehicle and because you have been concerned about range, you have bought a plugin hybrid. I drove an Ampera for a while ( I got 50 miles max out of the battery by really trying). I soon realised that I preferred driving on the battery and that it was cheaper ( justifying the initial cost) but that without real care I was looking at about 30 miles realistic range. That is easy to use in a day or even a trip so the paradox was that I was much more hungry for a charge than when driving a Leaf which generally apart from the application of ABC, Always Be Charged, could quite happily be charged at home on my home point for the most part. Therefore - I wonder if the use of public charge points will be more interesting to PIH drivers. The location of charge points in carparks tends to be close to the building to cut down cable runs. This makes them prime spaces. When I was in Bracknell on Saturday filming with Ian all 4 bays were completely empty. I suspect that Ian may have been one of a very small handful that used the points. One ICE did a "drop off" type stop in the bays whilst I was watching but soon moved out. The rest of the car park was filling up. This is why I want to get ownership penetration up and certainly usage of the points up.They must be used and be seen to be used by ICE drivers. I do agree with all the points raised about signage and thanks for all of that.
Probably the solution also includes location so moving the point to the back of the carpark, taking it off the perimeter to double the access opportunity and improving signage . ICE drivers do not understand that you may actually be desperate for a charge ( hope not BTW!) and they are standing in front of your " petrolpump". I have had many a chat at the charge point with interested people so I hope they will once they come to understand more and again that is about getting more EVs on the road. I think Ian's points about the media are also very important in this connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have NEVER seen the rapid at our IKEA down the road ICEd, or the rapids at Welcome Break. Now, either motorway commuters and IKEA customers are the most considerate people in the world, or clear signage and warnings of fines works wonders.

I know which my money is on.
 
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