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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning ahead, I can see that we can't have a charger installed at home. So no cheap off-peak charging.

But I can add a charging point at my business unit for daytime charging (which suits my car use anyway). I can see there's a grant available. I have three-phase here, too, so could ad a 22kW charging point.

Now I am also wondering if I can allow public access to it? There is an allocated space for it, available 24x7.

If it's possible, then could I resell the electricity (assuming that I can sign my charging point up to one of the access/payment network). That would offset my own costs, and add another charger in an area that's forward looking but really lacking in chargers (Cambridge).
 

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2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 64kWh
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You can add it to Zap Map and others can contact you or send money using PayPal for example for use.

If you want it to work on one of the networks and have a public tariff attached you'd have to contact them to arrange an installation. Pod Point is probably the easiest to deal with for that.

Other network I'd suggest talking to is Electric Blue. From what I've heard their pricing is good for someone in your position. And I'm a user of their public network and from my end find them good, reliable and easy to deal with.
 

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no, the chargers are for the use of staff only (providing they have dedicated off-street parking for staff or fleet use only.)
Not completely correct. If the business applies for a grant, then one of the OLEV requirements is that the charging point is only for the use of staff :

Applicants must have designated off-street parking facilities with spaces dedicated for staff and/or fleet use and be suitable for chargepoint installations. Applicants must be able to provide evidence on request that the site of installation is linked to the business and that the parking is dedicated wholly to staff and/or fleet use.

However, if the business hasn't applied for the grant, then they're perfectly entitled to offer the charger to the public for a charge, assuming of course they own the parking area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Gary/Dodo - that's useful clarification on NOT applying for the grant if I take this route. It's only £350 anyway, and from reading around, it would be cheaper to source the charger myself and get the electrician to install it.
 

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I recently asked a similar question. Also, not bothering with the grant as too many hoops, installers need to be on X list, application forms wanting to know a lot of details, and restrictions on not being able to offer it to the public/visitors for a payment. As you say, 7kW charging units are cheap enough to buy outright, and 3kW sockets for granny charging are insignificant cost.

If you want to keep it simple, how about accepting coins as payment, whereby the visitor puts in £1 for 1hour for example. It's not directly based on kWh. It may be a bit old school, but if you go with App based systems, the unit has to connect to the internet, either by local ethernet or 3G sim card which requires a monthly line rental. Also, with the App systems I looked at, you are locking into a proprietary operating system which requires agreement to a 3rd party payment agreement, and which may take a slice of the income. Coin based meters are around £200.
 

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As above - charge for the parking and "give" the electricity for free. If you limit the current then you could keep it appropriate for the type of vehicle (e.g. a lower cost for 7kW single phase, higher for 22kW which isn't many cars at present). This would have the benefit of keeping the bay from being blocked by people when they finish charging as you'd still be charging them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting ideas. Some research to do on these options. Not sure I want a coin-op though - could be a magnet for thieves who will do more damage to the unit and just for pennies. Will think on...
 

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When the place I currently work was being built in 2010, a few of us responded to the Council's planning consultation and suggested they mandate charging points in the car park. The Council duly did that and there were 3 charge points from day one. Seeing charge point available at work obviously triggered a thought for people because over the successive years, the number has had to be increased until there are now around 20, which pre-COVID were all in use most days.

If it goes the same way, you might not have the spare capacity for public charging but you might help to quietly promote the electric revolution among your staff and maybe those in neighbouring businesses who see what you've done. Appreciate that doesn't pay the bills though!

The first batch had cards but it was difficult to administer and gradually as the units failed, they were replaced with free access ones. The middle batch were installed by Chargemaster but don't appear on the Polar map because the car park is private. They require cards but can't be set to free-vend with a Polar card so we have a card chained to each unit. The last batch have gone back to standard units installed by an electrical contractor.

In terms of reliability, I see a lot of comments on this forum about Rolec units but I have to say that aside from a very occasional reset by opening the door and flicking the switch, the Rolec units have been great. The Chargemaster units on the other hand are a disaster. They frequently fail, Chargemaster can't reset them and they stay out of use for months. I've even had a cable stuck and unable to be released until the car park maintenance guys reset the unit from the dis-board, which is locked in a cupboard.
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
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Interesting ideas. Some research to do on these options. Not sure I want a coin-op though - could be a magnet for thieves who will do more damage to the unit and just for pennies. Will think on...
This one can be specced with a carwash token mechanism instead of coins:-
 

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Assuming you want to keep it for yourself/ potential other employees during the day?

A public charge point that's not available during working hours is not very appealing. Not sure which networks would be interested. It might also cause some resentment "always the same bloody car parked there, day after day, as if it's his private charger". Which it is, of cours!e, but other EV drivers might not know that
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Assuming you want to keep it for yourself/ potential other employees during the day?

A public charge point that's not available during working hours is not very appealing. Not sure which networks would be interested. It might also cause some resentment "always the same bloody car parked there, day after day, as if it's his private charger". Which it is, of cours!e, but other EV drivers might not know that
True enough. :)

There are two allocated parking spots and either could use the charging point. The company uses only one of the spaces during the day, and none at night. And my car would not need to charge all-day every day. Most likely Mondays and Fridays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Actually, as per my original posting, my aim is not to make ££££s from this, so I'm not chasing customers to keep it occupied and cash flowing in.

It's just to allow me to recoup some of my energy costs (as I can't do off-peak charging at home). So it's more for ad-hoc occasional use when I am not charging my own car. Customers? Well, whoever finds it on zapmap (say) and needs an hour or so. Or perhaps other EV users from the neighbouring units?

My other option is to add solar PV to the business unit, but the up-front costs and payback term make zero sense. The business as a whole only uses £250's worth of electricity per annum at the moment.
 

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I expect the electricity costs can be reduced by having a contract that is much more expensive between 5pm and 7pm.
 

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Just have a kill switch installed within your office and a notice explaining there is a £1 fee to charge and to pay over the counter after which the switch will be flipped, There's a fair few business's have done this originally to recoup costs on installing a single charger then continued to add more chargers as there is a massive need for them especially places where councils have allowed public chargers to go offline.
 

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This one can be specced with a carwash token mechanism instead of coins:-
The RRP is £1600 for the dual output unit with a token/coin reader (in Feb21). However, I was told the token/coin unit is no longer on the product page, and it is not being produced. It can currently still be specially ordered though - consider the long term maintenance if it's being kept for 5+years. The only token controlled units I've seen were out of order. If you do a search on here, someone posted a link to these type of units - I think at a museum carpark. How are you going to get the payment in exchange for tokens. I'd personally stick to coins - at least the new £1 coins inside are going to be genuine.

I think the summary of possible options are:
  1. Rolec coin or token controlled charger.
  2. Buy your favourite flavour of 7kW unit. Offer it as: Free vend, remote kill switch*3, separate £1 coin vend*1, other voucher based system*2
  3. Free charging, but pay for parking using an App to reserve the space. I could anticipate issues managing this.
  4. Buy a proprietary App based system requiring connection to the cloud. Their billing system manages the payments. eg. Rolec, EO, Others. Most will take a % of the income.
  5. Charger is just for your own use
  6. Do nothing. Do not install a charge unit
*1 such as the ET-60 circa £200 for the unit. It's rated at 9kW, but I would still specify an external contactor.
*2 such as the Metro voucher code system circa £60 for the unit. Topup vouchers bought via Paypoint network.
*3 if not in the office, you could get them to send the money via BACS and you activate it over a gsm link, but do you want to be on call 24/7 managing a few quid here and there at random times of the day.

Let us know what you decide to do! It would be great if you do install something, and I'd certainly give it a go when in the area.
 

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30KW Tekna (2017)
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Id deff use such as site as I don't have home charging - TBH Id only be expecting to pay say £2-3 a night for charging, otherwise I may as well use rapids / supermarkets, but Id be able to vacate at say 8am for your staff to park.
 
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Id deff use such as site as I don't have home charging - TBH Id only be expecting to pay say £2-3 a night for charging, otherwise I may as well use rapids / supermarkets, but Id be able to vacate at say 8am for your staff to park.
Thats not worth the time to a company of collecting the money, unless it is charged in advance for a complete year of nighttime use.
 

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I have actually used a coin operated charger.

It was in a car park of a Co-op supermarket near Zurich, Switzerland.

Kind of weird, but it worked. Had to beg around for the coins first of course...
 
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