Resisting the new car itch

IanLorenc
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby IanLorenc » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:23 pm

Sounds great Ian. Is there a catch or is it as good as it sounds l?
There are many catches.

1. An inability to do an unexpected, time-sensitive journey of a distance greater than the car's range.
2. An inability to just charge your car at a public charger in the same way that you would buy petrol. There are lots of companies (Ecotricity, Polar, Charge Your Car, POD-Point, Source London, Source West, Source East, Chargepoint Genie, ZeroNet Network etc.) and they all require their own RFID card to access the pumps. Some operate on a PAYG basis, some require a subscription. Some cheeky ones do both! (Polar, I'm looking at you!) Imagine if every petrol station chain worked that way. Yeah, now you see.
3. ICE-ing. When the owner of a regular, Internal Combustion Engine car parks it in an electric car charging bay.
4. Some Zoe owners (mostly the early cars but some later ones) have experienced the dreaded BCI message. Battery Charging Impossible. Sometimes it's a temporary glitch caused by a particular charger or damaged cable (basically a poor earth) and can be resolved by plugging into a regular 7kw home charger or replacing the cable. Sometimes it's a failure of the charger controller.
5. Prats asking the same, tired questions:
"What happens if you run out of electricity?"
"The same thing that happens if you run out of petrol, you grind to an embarrassing halt. Of course, that would mean that you possibly started a long journey without fully charging the car first, and then ignored the car repeatedly telling you that you didn't have sufficient charge to reach your destination and you needed to locate a charger en-route, but you failed to do so...and that would just make you a colossal imbecile! Like ignoring your fuel gauge and low fuel alarms"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG1kXfflWnk

Range anxiety? Well, it's 2015. As of 13th December there are 9469 public charging points at 3698 locations. Electric car owners don't really have range anxiety anymore...they have charger anxiety instead. A fear that the charger they are planning on stopping at, will be:
- ICEd
- Out of order
- Already in use by another EV
- Belonging to a network they don't have an RFID for, or their card isn't accepted

In terms of charging networks, I will only be joining the Ecotricity 'Electric Highway' network, because:
- It's free to all (for the time being, at least)**
- The infrastructure is where it needs to be - motorways and trunk roads...also IKEA branches, for some reason (this means a Heathrow trip to pick up the GF would be no problem, as their rapid chargers appear at the M1 Watford Gap, Northampton, Newport Pagnell, Toddington, and London Gateway services, as well as the M4 Heston services, just outside H'row, and IKEA Wembley between London Gateway and Heston)
- All of their electricity is sourced from renewables
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmMl4c_Ydb4

(**Their next logical step must surely be to start charging non-Ecotricity customers and I plan on switching the home gas/electric to Ecotricity, for the renewables aspect)
Cheers.
Ian.

Guzzlin' them green volts.
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frv
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby frv » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:57 am

Cheers Ian - great summary. I hadn't thought of some of those issues!
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tighterse
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby tighterse » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:17 pm

Not that I am thinking of going all electric but I noticed the other day two charging points in a public car park behind the local library although I haven't really looked at them closely.

Assuming there is a charge to use them how does that cost compare with petrol or diesel? As a guide my Sportage costs about 9p per mile for fuel.

Do all electrics use a common plug or do you need to carry adaptors?

Since the ones I've seen are in a public car park what happens when someone with a normally fuelled car decides to use the space? Can they be forced to move (if you can find the driver)?

Is there a risk of vandalism or cable theft?

If the weather is cold and frosty how much does the potential range fall if you need to use defrosters and heaters?

I'm far from convinced although all electric could be a good choice for me since 90% of my trips involve under 70 miles return and I could conceivably hire a petrol/diesel at holiday times or when towing a caravan.
Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi isg Retired undefeated on 25,720 miles and 62.91 mpg overall

Now driving my second Sportage.

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IanLorenc
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby IanLorenc » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:53 am

Not that I am thinking of going all electric but I noticed the other day two charging points in a public car park behind the local library although I haven't really looked at them closely.

Assuming there is a charge to use them how does that cost compare with petrol or diesel? As a guide my Sportage costs about 9p per mile for fuel.
If they were Ecotricity (which I doubt, being hidden round the back of a library), they'd be free. You're in Scotland, right? I'd guess at them being on the Charge Your Car network, which I believe is £20 annual fee and then the points are free to use. IIRC.
Or ChargePlace Scotland...but they piggyback on the CYC network anyway.
If you check out Zap Map.com, you can find out where all the chargers are situated and who operates them:
https://www.zap-map.com/live/
Simply locate these library chargers on the map, click on the pushpin and then click the orange 'i' to be enlightened.
Do all electrics use a common plug or do you need to carry adaptors?
Type 2 'Mennekes' has been adopted as a chargepoint standard. However, the connectors on the cars themselves still vary.
The Audi A3 e-Tron, BMW i8, Mercedes B-Class E-Cell, Mercedes S500 PHEV, Mercedes SLS EV, Mercedes Vito E-Cell, Porsche Panamera PHEV, Renault Fluence, Renault Zoe, Smart ED, Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Volkswagen Passat PHEV, and the Volvo V60 PHEV, use an AC 'Mennekes'.
The Citroen C-Zero, Ford Focus EV, Kia Soul EV, Mitusibishi I-Miev, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Nissan e-NV200, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iON, Renault Kangoo ZE, Toyota Prius PHEV, and Vauxhall Ampera, use a DC 'CHAdeMO' connector.
The BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Volkswagen e-Up!, can take either an AC 'Mennekes' or a DC 'CCS'.
Most public chargers will have a variety of cables tethered to them, or if they only have a socket it will be either 'Mennekes' (and you use your car's own cable) or a regular 3-pin socket for slow charging and/or plug-in hybrids.
That's why I opted to get a 'Mennekes' home socket instead of a tethered cable, so I'd be free to get a different make of EV and not have to potentially get the charger cable replaced for a different type of connector. I just use the car's own cable which will always have a 'Mennekes' on the opposite end.
Since the ones I've seen are in a public car park what happens when someone with a normally fuelled car decides to use the space? Can they be forced to move (if you can find the driver)?
I hear from the EV community that it is the responsibility of the car park operator, not the charger operator, and nine times out of ten they just can't be arsed.
Is there a risk of vandalism or cable theft?
Possibly, it could potentially be stolen from either the car boot or the hallway, where I plan on leaving it.
When charging though, it's locked into place and needs a button on the keyfob to release it.
Vandalism? Well, personally I wouldn't want to try and f--k with a cable that's carrying 30amps worth of juice...but I guess you should never underestimate stupidity.
If the weather is cold and frosty how much does the potential range fall if you need to use defrosters and heaters?
Considerably.
Though it isn't just use of those that affects range, the cold temperature itself impacts on battery performance.
First off, the claimed range of 149 miles is as I described - pie-in-the-sky. Perhaps if you entirely urban commuted, no more than about 40mph under ideal temperatures. Perhaps.
One Zoe owner on the forum apparently achieved over 120.
Renault say that an owner should typically be able to achieve about 106 miles in summer and 75 miles in winter.
That works for me - 75 miles isn't far off a full week's mileage for me.
I'm far from convinced although all electric could be a good choice for me since 90% of my trips involve under 70 miles return and I could conceivably hire a petrol/diesel at holiday times or when towing a caravan.
The 2016 Nissan Leaf is supposed to be getting a more conventional look, not too dissimilar to the new Pulsar, and an increased range of 186 miles, allowing for a winter range of about 120 miles.
No good for towing though.
Cheers.
Ian.

Guzzlin' them green volts.
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tighterse
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby tighterse » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:08 pm

I investigated the charging bollards in oor wee toon this morning and was shocked when I found the prices. £4.50 for the first hour and then £5.00 per hour thereafter. Considering the range of most electrics this is dearer than petrol or diesel. Further investigation turned up similar ones in other local toons with the same pricing structure. There is a free one at a local Asda but only one hour is allowed and others inside some nearby businesses, presumably for their own use.

Onywye, and just out of interest, I called in at a nearby Kia dealer, who know me well and profitably. After much debate and umming and ahhing they're letting me try a Soul EV for four hours on Friday. I'll report back.
Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi isg Retired undefeated on 25,720 miles and 62.91 mpg overall

Now driving my second Sportage.

Warning. May contain a nut.

IanLorenc
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby IanLorenc » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:58 pm

I investigated the charging bollards in oor wee toon this morning and was shocked when I found the prices. £4.50 for the first hour and then £5.00 per hour thereafter. Considering the range of most electrics this is dearer than petrol or diesel. Further investigation turned up similar ones in other local toons with the same pricing structure. There is a free one at a local Asda but only one hour is allowed and others inside some nearby businesses, presumably for their own use.
That is very expensive.
There's an Aberdonian guy on YouTube with a Renault Zoe, who video-blogs. He doesn't have a home-charger (no driveway) and so he public charges all the time. He managed to cover just over 10,000 miles and spend just £3.80 on charging, total.
5:41 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDfAzvhd1zU
6:39 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tz_ZSwJ4Ho
Onywye, and just out of interest, I called in at a nearby Kia dealer, who know me well and profitably. After much debate and umming and ahhing they're letting me try a Soul EV for four hours on Friday. I'll report back.
Definitely do report back.
I've no made secret of the fact that whilst I'm buying a Renault Zoe, that is only because of the amazingly affordable offers on it. The electric car that I *actually* wanted, was the Kia Soul EV. I'm a fan of the regular Soul, I really like the looks, I think it'll probably be more reliable than the Renault, and I think overall it's a more substantial car.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ-sJvBhfhA
Maybe in a few years when the Zoe goes back.
Cheers.
Ian.

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frv
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby frv » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:37 am

I agree, that's prohibitively expensive - are they trying to put people off getting electric cars? With a home charger I would also be able to cover 99% of all my journeys - only 2 journeys out of the last 195 in this car have been over 40 miles :ugeek:. It would only be trips to the seaside (160 miles return) or North Yorkshire for holidays (100 mile uphill one way - pushing the envelope :lol:) we wouldn't be able to do on one charge but once we got there all trips could be covered by charging at the cottage where we stay.
The Zoe itself probably wouldn't be big enough for me, is the Kia Soul a bit bigger?
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
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(Retired) '06 Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi - Best/longest tank: 67.92mpg (+51.6%) / 815.5 miles.

IanLorenc
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby IanLorenc » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:38 pm

I agree, that's prohibitively expensive - are they trying to put people off getting electric cars?
I think it may be a case of trying to make hay while the sun shines.
If you had an EV and you were in desperate need of a charge, it's unlikely - unlike petrol stations - that there'd be another charger just around the corner, and they have a captive audience, so to speak.
Anyway, the charging infrastructure is going down in all the wrong places. There doesn't need to be a whole swathe of chargers across a town, there needs to be more along the major roadways.
In the big shopping centre in Leicester, they have 80 [eighty] electric car charging bays.
Eighty.
It could be considered a bit of forward planning, except they were put in quite some time ago so they're all 3kW, 3-pin, slow chargers. Of course, it could be seen as conveniently fitting their business strategy of keeping you in the centre longer.

The Zoe itself probably wouldn't be big enough for me, is the Kia Soul a bit bigger?
Not really, maybe a tiny, tiny bit. It's more just sort of a blocky, upright supermini.
However, the Ford Focus EV, Nissan Leaf, Renault Fluence, and Volkswagen e-Golf are all around A3 size.
Cheers.
Ian.

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frv
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby frv » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:00 am

Cheers Ian :D
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
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(Retired) '06 Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi - Best/longest tank: 67.92mpg (+51.6%) / 815.5 miles.

IanLorenc
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Re: Resisting the new car itch

Postby IanLorenc » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:38 am

Wow, wasn't expecting that.
The £5000 Plug-In Car Grant was coming to an end in February 2016, but it has now been confirmed that it will now be extended until March 2018.
There are a few caveats however.
1. The PiCG amount has been reduced from £5000 to either £4500 or £2500, depending on...
2. The grant will be categorised thus;
(i) £4500 - CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 miles
(ii) £2500 - CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 and 69 miles
(iii) £2500 - CO2 emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 miles
3. The additional £700 contribution toward fitment of a home charger will be reduced to £500.

https://www.zap-map.com/plug-in-car-gra ... more-23678
Cheers.
Ian.

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