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Discussion Starter #1
Many of you will be aware that the Zero Carbon World charity is building an open charging network in the UK - Zero:Net

The purpose of this network is to give a robust and reliable alternative to the subscription based networks. Today we have 113 locations live across the UK in car parks, hotels, B&B's, activity, and tourist locations. Most locations offer free charging in return for a service such as parking, eating, sleeping, playing, etc.

Most locations have two charging stations available with a 13A "UK" socket and a 32A "Commando" socket. All locations will be upgraded this year to include a 32A Type 2 ("mennekes") socket. Many use renewable electricity for car charging, some with solar PV at the location.

We are working with a partner who will add simple PAYG options to transit locations such as road side cafe's and motorway service stations.

We have some wonderful locations which might be worth considering for your next trip :)
 

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Anthony said:
Would be nice if alll the different charge station locations were available on 1 site!
Anthony, I could not agree more but logistically is is quite a daunting and difficult task because there is no obligation on operators to register EV charging stations anywhere and so whatever database exists it is alwways going to have some stations missing and to some extent, by its very nature, some data out of date.

We are probably many decades or more away from universal real time data and data is only 100% accurate when reported in real-time.

However, all is not lost because there is an Open Source project called Open Charge Map. OCM aims to list all publically available data in one place. It is community maintained (that is by everyone who want to contribute) and so it does have most of the publically available stations listed. It is still very much an ongoing project and is evolving and improving as people find ways to improve it. The developers are all voluteers.

I use OCM as my first place to look for charge stations. I also look on as many web sites as I can but I find that OCM already has listed most charge stations that are on the other web sites but if I find a station that is not listed, or if I find the details inaccurate, I can change it on OCM... as anyone can.

OCM is yet another project from Zero Carbon World.

I suspect that there may never be a single site that has everything but OCM has the potential to list most.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Paul Churchley said:
Anthony said:
Would be nice if alll the different charge station locations were available on 1 site!
Anthony, I could not agree more but logistically is is quite a daunting and difficult task because there is no obligation on operators to register EV charging stations anywhere and so whatever database exists it is alwways going to have some stations missing and to some extent, by its very nature, some data out of date.
I fully agree with both your comments :)

We put all the Zero:Net data into the Open Charge Map database so that anyone can use it in apps, maps, SatNav, etc. The map shown above is simply an example of how you can display OCM data in different ways... in this case just the Zero:Net locations. However, lots of other options are possible.... for example, I'm working on a simple app that will allow me to display the Zero:Net locations that use renewable electricity.

Today the Open Charge Map database has 8266 charging locations in 30 countries and IMO crowd sourced open data is the only way of doing this in the long term... indeed, in a call with Google I was told that the task of collating this data is beyond them :shock:
 

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I am just about to embark on a journey where I will not be able to charge the Ampera. The hotel I am staying at does not have the facilities. This is a Premier Inn and it would be good to get them and others (Inkeepers Lodge) on board they would then have it as another selling point (perhaps).
 

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There are some Premier Inns that are installing charging stations and those that don't have official charging can sometimes find a suitable 13A socket in a safe location. Remember to be careful with extensions!

I know Premier Inn as a business are looking at it seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The following posts have been copied from the Engeine forum as suggested by dpeilow;
proddick said:
Let us get real for a minute regarding ZCW...

A couple of plugs on wall of a b&b isn't a charging infrastructure. The owners could easily have gone to screwfix and spent a few quid for a couple of outdoor sockets and got a competent spark to fit and then added themselves to a public database.

The awareness that ZCW has created with regard to EVs and charging is great, but until they have actually deployed a PAYG network I would suggest they are in no position to tell the others how to do it!

Attended locations like a b&b might be fine for an open socket but in many locations I can see this would not be safe, Secure or fair.
Kevin Sharpe said:
proddick said:
Let us get real for a minute regarding ZCW...
Yes, lets get real.... 120 locations live with 212 Charging Stations all easily upgradable to 32A Type 2 which we plan to deploy as soon as enough EV drivers have Type 2 cables;



Target for this year is 1,000 donations plus sites contributed by partners (includes more than 100 in Wales).

We have also released a 32A Type 2 cable for £299 (+VAT & Shipping) using the best connectors in the industry IMO, ITT.

We also started and sustain the Open Charge Map database project.

It's true that anyone could do this but I think you'll find nobody is actually doing it.... how many Charging Stations have you actually installed today?
proddick said:
Kevin,

To date you have given away some sockets and got the site owners to meet all site survey and installation costs, which in most cases is more than the sockets cost you, yet you seem to want to take all the credit.

At this stage you have deployed ZERO type 2 connectors and have no PAYG facilities. When you have an extensive PAYG network we will then be able to compare your network to those from Polar, Ecotricity and others.

Regards

Paul R
 

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proddick said:
To date you have given away some sockets and got the site owners to meet all site survey and installation costs, which in most cases is more than the sockets cost you, yet you seem to want to take all the credit.
In the last 12 months we have donated 230 Charging Stations at 120 locations across the UK. All Charging Stations are modular in design and allow simple low cost upgrades to future connector standards, protocols, and payment systems such as PAYG. We are a UK registered charity and cannot afford to donate both the hardware and the installation. We therefore ask the site to pay for installation which can be undertaken by the site, a local electrician, or using our partner Ploughcroft. If the site chooses Ploughcroft they will be charged a ZCW exclusive rate of £299 to install both Charging Stations. We have never had any kickback from sites being asked to pay for installation in return for free hardware.

Our first generation Charging Station was based on more mainstream hardware (MK sockets, etc) and while that worked perfectly well it was tough to get it installed anywhere. Our second generation hardware (see photo above) had a much more positive response and we see many host sites place the Charging Stations in prominent locations which IMO is great for EV exposure.

proddick said:
At this stage you have deployed ZERO type 2 connectors and have no PAYG facilities.
We made a conscious choice to deploy simple 13A "UK" and 32A "Commando" sockets in the first wave of installs because Type 2 cable costs were prohibitive. Even today with our cables at £199 I estimate that probably less than 1% EV drivers own a Type 2 cable. We also know that the people visiting Zero:Net sites are staying overnight and either using 32A charging (Tesla and old-school EV's) or 13A charging (Leaf and Ampera drivers). We also have a number of sites that are charging multiple EV's simultaneously from a 32A socket.

PAYG is of no interest to the vast majority of Hotels, B&B's, activity, and tourism locations today because they see EV charging as a service which they offer for free (just like WIFI). So I see no value in adding complexity to Charging Stations with no benefit to anyone today. Obviously, the Charging Stations can be upgraded in the future if required by the addition of a PAYG system of your choice (today we have cash, token, and contactless card systems available).

proddick said:
When you have an extensive PAYG network we will then be able to compare your network to those from Polar, Ecotricity and others.
Given that Zero:Net has 120 locations today, most with full redundancy, and 100% working, I really fail to see the comparison with Ecotricity for example who have 14 locations live and probably 50% working :?

I must say that I also don't really understand your hostility towards Hotels, B&B's, and Activity centres across the UK who offer you free and reliable EV charging. Personally I love the fact that this network exists and the freedom of using it without subscription or membership. Obviously, in the future networks like Polar and Engenie will happily charge you a fee for electricity all over the country. The choice is yours ;)
 

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Surely the point is that for anyone with an EV the more charging points that there are the better it will be - wherever they are! How many B&Bs have free petrol? An overnight charge is worth what 1-2gallons of fuel in a non electric car? If I was looking for an overnight stay a charging point would make all the difference for me.

Also, we need charging points in diverse places not just at comfort stops on the motorways. We need all new commercial and retail developments for example to install these as a matter of routine. Then when I go to a meeting somewhere my car gets a 2-4 hour mid journey charge. I am doing my bit as a designer of such developments. I am promoting the inclusion of charging points to clients who haven't even considered them! They are helped into this decision by any freebies or assistance that they receive but in any event immediately see the future need and the added value that these give to some of their customers the number of which will only grow with the and with the increase in fuel costs.

I bought my Ampera because I suspect that more and more people will cotton on the advantages of offering the service to EV owners.

We should encourage any entrepreneur (or charity) who is helping to extend the range of charging point locations because that way the national network of available points will grow expotentially.
 

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Whoa hang on a minute here folks... I'm concerned that my comments are being copied to different topics out of context...

Let me be very clear - I am very much in favour of hotels and B&B installing charging sockets. As an Ampera owner who often works away from home, I am very keen on destination charging.

The point I was making was that ZCW have not installed any charging points - they have given away some simple 13A/16A sockets and the hotel/B&B owners have paid to install them.

As such, I believe it is totally wrong for ZCW to compare their initiative with the those of Polar, Ecotricity and others. As for their constant sniping against these networks - Why? It is up to us (EV users) to complain when a charging point doesn't work - we don't need ZCW to do it for us. It is also absurd (and possibility litigious) for ZCW to make unsubstantiated claims, for example -

Ecotricity for example who have 14 locations live and probably 50% working
As for ZCW claiming 100% reliability - so what? The outside socket on my house works all the time too! As for 100% redundancy - Really? Maybe a few EV drivers might carry a comando adaptor (e.g Paul C) but most Ampera owners would only have the standard cable and only be able to use the 13A socket.

I am happy to give ZCW credit for (a) providing sockets at no cost to hotels/B&Bs (b) selling a quality type 2 cable to help pay for (a)

Finally, I can assure you that I do not have any connection (other than as a user) of any charging provider.
 

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proddick said:
As such, I believe it is totally wrong for ZCW to compare their initiative with the those of Polar, Ecotricity and others.
The most important thing ZCW have done is to make people realise that you don't need an RFID reader and a GSM network if all you want to offer is destination charging and the venue has another way to cover the electricity costs.

Is that a network? Yes. (It's good to know where these places are)
Is it sensible? Yes.
Is it reliable? Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
proddick said:
Whoa hang on a minute here folks... I'm concerned that my comments are being copied to different topics out of context...
Sorry, but I thought we'd copied all the relevant posts across for the other thread... did we miss something?

proddick said:
The point I was making was that ZCW have not installed any charging points - they have given away some simple 13A/16A sockets and the hotel/B&B owners have paid to install them.
We clearly have a different definition of what a Charging Stations is... I like to use the wikipedia definition - "An electric vehicle charging station, also called EV charging station, electric recharging point, charging point and EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), is an element in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric-gasoline vehicles or semi-static and mobile electrical units such as exhibition stands"

With regards to installation we have shared the cost at some locations but as I said earlier this is just unnecessary in the vast majority of cases.

For the record, the phrase "charge point" is a Coulomb Technologies trademark which is why a lot of the industry avoids that term and uses "Charging Station" instead.

proddick said:
As such, I believe it is totally wrong for ZCW to compare their initiative with the those of Polar, Ecotricity and others. As for their constant sniping against these networks - Why? It is up to us (EV users) to complain when a charging point doesn't work - we don't need ZCW to do it for us. It is also absurd (and possibility litigious) for ZCW to make unsubstantiated claims
My comment is based on my own personal experience and those of other EV drivers. Can I suggest that you review the twitter hashtag #ukcharge, the evchargewatch project, and the recent trip report 1000 miles in an Ampera (which documents 1 successful and 3 failed charging attempts). Please tell me precisely which claims are unsubstantiated... having spent many years owning companies in the UK and US I take this extremely seriously (and have never lost a court case yet).

proddick said:
As for ZCW claiming 100% reliability - so what? The outside socket on my house works all the time too! As for 100% redundancy - Really?
To a BEV driver (i,e without a range extender like the Ampera) 100% reliability is critical and when charging lets us down we end up on the back of a flatbed truck. I have one friend who has given up driving her Leaf long distances after the third time this happened using one of the vendors networks that you have mentioned.

proddick said:
Maybe a few EV drivers might carry a comando adaptor (e.g Paul C) but most Ampera owners would only have the standard cable and only be able to use the 13A socket.
Sorry, but I'm confused because you now seem to be arguing for 13A sockets and not Type 2... you do understand that ZCW donate two Charging Stations to every location and one of those is always a 13A socket?

proddick said:
I am happy to give ZCW credit for (a) providing sockets at no cost to hotels/B&Bs (b) selling a quality type 2 cable to help pay for (a)
Trust me the profit from cable sales wouldn't even keep me in biscuits for my tea. Like everything we do we set a price to help the adoption of EV's not to make a profit. I suggest you take a look at our financial records on the Charity Commission website when they are published... I think you'll find that the major donor to ZCW is myself and sales have almost no impact on our bottom line :)

I should probably also point out that some Zero:Net locations include the Tesla 'fast' chargers building on the work that David Peilow, myself, and others undertook a couple of years ago: Tesla End to End: John O'Groats to Lands End

proddick said:
I can assure you that I do not have any connection (other than as a user) of any charging provider.
I'm glad to hear that although I must say that IMO you seem incredibly negative about everything that we are doing both here and in your direct correspondence with ZCW. Have we done something to upset you? Maybe you just hate charity or social enterprise? Please do let me know because for most EV drivers (including myself) their can never be enough places to charge.
 

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It would appear that Kevin Sharpe does not want me to air my opinions regarding ZCW and has now resorted to bullying tactics

I must say that IMO you seem incredibly negative about everything that we are doing both here and in your direct correspondence with ZCW. Have we done something to upset you? Maybe you just hate charity or social enterprise?
My final comments on this subject are -


  • I DO want to charge my car (preferably for free) when staying a hotel and hopefully Holiday Inn, Marriott, Premier Inn, Best Western, etc. will install charging points. (I never stay at B&Bs, caravan sites, camp sites.)

    I DO support ZCW giving away sockets to hotels/B&Bs and raising awareness of EV cars.

    I AGREE that Open 13A/16A sockets are probably OK for private/secure locations like B&Bs.

    ZCW have not INSTALLED sockets, charge points, charging stations or whatever they want to call them at B&Bs/hotels! The world I emphasised was INSTALLED.

    My understanding is that ZCW have provided most venues with one 13A socket and one 16A socket (the venue installs them). For most drivers this is not 100% redundancy as claimed.

    I AGREE reliability is important, but comparing simple 13A/16A sockets with an RFID based charging network is not comparing apples with apples. (The Open vs. RFID vs. Contactless payment is another debate)

    The only direct correspondence I have had with ZCW was asking why their charge cable was black as I would have preferred higher visibility. It would appear that even asking questions is perceived as being negative!

    Not that it is any business of Kevin's but I actively support many worthy charities.
I am sure Kevin will respond to this, but to avoid repeating and defending myself endlessly, this will be my last regarding ZCW. I will no longer instigate or reply to any post regarding ZCW, which I guess was his aim...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
proddick said:
I will no longer instigate or reply to any post regarding ZCW, which I guess was his aim...
My aim was to help you understand ZCW in particular and the charging industry in general... I wish you the best of luck finding reliable charging away from home ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We seem to have some uncertainty about what hardware ZCW donates to Zero:Net locations today.... so lets try and resolve that :)

Here is a photo of the two Charging Stations that are installed at each site, a 13A "UK" socket, and a 32A "commando" socket. We have some technical drawings and a basic install guide at the bottom of this page: FREE Charging Stations For Your Business

Both Charging Stations are completely modular and can be easily upgraded by mixing and matching different hardware option - Type 2 Sockets, Payment Options, Metering, etc., etc. Spare parts will be available from major electrical distributors like Jewson.

We recommend that power supplies to the Charging Stations are rated at 100A in total for future upgrades or increased numbers of Charging Stations.

We are currently debating with EV drivers about the transition to Type 2 sockets and a lot depends on the uptake of Type 2 cables throughout the industry.
 

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