Home Forums Chat Forum The Electric Car Thread

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  • The Electric Car Thread
  • molgrips
    Free Member

    We were discussing this on our trip. Ideally what you’d want is more chargers than the supply can handle, like how home broadband is organised. You can’t expect people to be conscientious enough to move their cars when they finish charging, so with time you’d get to know the utilisation ratio at a given location i.e. at any time roughly 50% of chargers are idle because the cars have finished charging. Therefore if you have a 2MW supply you can install 16 250kW chargers. Or even more; if you plug in and the supply is maxed out your car enters a queue and charging starts when someone else leaves and you don’t have to go and move your car.

    perchypanther
    Free Member

    Some Osprey chargers already kinda do this. I watched a video about load balancing on their chargers that manages the total available supply over a number of chargers whose total capacity exceeds the available supply.

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    Edukator
    Free Member

    The best way to deal with fully charged cars left on chargers is punitive charges if the car is not unplugged (and moved if there’s video) within 5 minutes.

    davy90
    Free Member

    I believe Tesla superchargers have idle fees to discourage space hogging.

    Back from a 800+ mile break in the north in our Model Y RWD, got just under 4miles/kWh based on rough maths, 4 up and loaded, with cruise set at 72mph on the motorway. Have managed to get used to the adaptive cruise and self steering, actually now quite like it in heavy traffic.

    Oxford services superchargers were busy but we got a spot easily and for the 30 odd kWh I put in and the moved to an adjacent space, I got to the food court just in time to pick up the family order so a pretty seamless experience.

    Our Airbnb had a 22kW charger which was great.

    Planning our August family jolly to the French Alps – getting there seems no issue at all but keeping topped up when at the end of a valley system poses some time challenges with only granny charger use. I guess dropping down from height offers some regen opportunities :)

    Any suggestions for the best European apps. Have got ZapMap, found Charge Finder and Abetterrouteplanner this morning. Also is it worth joining any subscription services (Ionity?) any RFID cards helpful or is just a case of busk it and pay via cards at any non-Tesla chargers?

    garage-dweller
    Full Member

    Unless you are doing 200 miles+, you wouldn’t even need to think about going near a charger with either a Kona or a Niro.

    Problem is we would need to be running it with a bike rack or roof box on nearly every family trip due to small boot and large dog in which case you need to knock a big lump off the range (30-50% seems to be about the going rate) so that brings it to 160 or so and maybe less if you’re at Motorway pace.  That means an element of public charger reliance on a fairly regular basis.

    The absolute killer though for not having another  vehicle is neither of them can tow anything useful. The Ioniq5 could but it’s still got range issues for us while towing/roofbox using and is 2x the price. The boot also suffers from being very heavily sloped so it’s not very dog friendly.  It just feels a bit too compromised.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    The best way to deal with fully charged cars left on chargers is punitive charges

    Maybe now, but I’d prefer a future where you could park at leisure and everyone would still be able to charge.

    @garagedweller I will one day get an EV and tow with it. Range would be short, but with quick charging I could put up with it to get the benefits the rest of the year. Much as I love my diesel car the thought of putting 60l of hydrocarbons in it just to burn it and spread the fumes around the place starts to feel a bit horrific.

    Also is it worth joining any subscription services

    I haven’t looked into it as an Electroverse customer but probably not when rapids are 35p in France.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    I agree that the short / medium term option of punitive charges for leaving the car when full*, combined with some form of future “just plug it and wait for your turn in the queue” would be good – I.e. the “more plugs than actual chargers” approach.

    * maybe something to discourage charging all the way to full as well. Tesla don’t allow (or certainly discourage) charging past 80% when the charge station is full. I’m. It sure how to do this fairly. Making the total charge to be X £/kW + Y £/minute could work.

    Probably this is there the long term “more plugs than chargers” approach wins out, as this doesn’t matter any more – you’re no longer “hogging a charger” but just drawing less charge, as as your charge speed drops it allows another person to connect and start charging.

    garage-dweller
    Full Member

    @garagedweller I will one day get an EV and tow with it. Range would be short, but with quick charging I could put up with it to get the benefits the rest of the year. Much as I love my diesel car the thought of putting 60l of hydrocarbons in it just to burn it and spread the fumes around the place starts to feel a bit horrific.

    Quite agree on the dirty diesel and that’s where I hope to be in the next few years.  I could live with the regular electric top ups by frequency/ distance if provision for pull through charging and higher speed charging once off the motorway network was less patchy. It’s the combination of that combined with the  range impact of external loads that’s stopping me.

    The place we’ve been staying in Devon this week had whole sections of the park with lodges that had a dedicated charging point for each plus chargers in a couple of other places around the park.   More of this sort of thing at campsites etc would be good.

    perchypanther
    Free Member

    The long term answer is widespread destination charging. If there were loads of cheap to install and cheap to use 7kw chargers at workplaces, retail outlets , cinemas, train stations, anywhere where lots of people park for more than an hour at a time then the super expensive rapid charging network would only be required for the main road network to accommodate the long journey

    I charge almost exclusively at work where we have 6  11kw chargers which is plenty for the 30-odd EVs in our office. I have a charger at home that Ive never used because Ive never needed to.

    iainc
    Full Member

    Workplace charging seems to be very variable in control, costing and regulation. I don’t think many employers want the administration burden of selling electricity to their staff, and I expect that a 3rd party model will emerge, where employers pay a kit rental for the hardware and software to pass the electricity cost, plus profit, onto staff.

    I think free electricity is probably a taxable benefit, which again, will be a burden on payroll administration.

    perchypanther
    Free Member

    I think free electricity is probably a taxable benefit

    It isn’t….currently.

    My employer pays for it but I pay back my private mileage on a n HMRC pence per mile basis in exactly the same way that I did when I had an ICE car

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    +1 for destination charging being the main way forwards. Rapids are only for journeys too long for one charge. Currently for me that includes rounds trips that are too long, but if there were destination chargers in every car park, house, lamp post etc I don’t think I would ever need to fast charge.

    Destination chargers are also relatively really cheap to install as they’re just a feed directly off the existing 240V network. The just need to be commoditised as the existing ones (BP Pulse, Connected Kerb, Pod Point etc) are a bit too expensive, but changing the installed volume from thousand to many tens or even hundreds of thousands should fix that one.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Destination chargers aren’t enough when your destination is further away than your car’s range.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    “ Destination chargers aren’t enough when your destination is further away than your car’s range.”

    Correct. Which is where the rapids come in.
    Even then, having the destination charger means you’re using the rapids for a top up to get there and a top up to get back, rather than having to do a large charge.

    garage-dweller
    Full Member

    Extra capacity in destination and rapid charging is a great idea but while private enterprise owns the charger network there will always be the imperative for profit.  Plentiful supply of chargers Vs number of vehicles on the roads risks pushing revenues per charger down and hence return on investment down. That’s potentially going to put the brakes on some investment and see less profitable routes and areas get short changed.

    That needs some real political influence and potentially grants/tax breaks to make sure those areas don’t get left behind.

    DrP
    Full Member

    One of the annoyances in my trip to the Netherlands earlier this year (Eftelling) was that although there were LOADS of slow chargers in the accommodation car park, which would have been PERFECT as once parked you leave the car there for days, I couldn’t get them working with an app or bank card… Seemed they needed an RFID card.

    This mildly scuppered plans as then needed to find a motorway rapid charger before leaving.

    I think it’s just an ‘early issue’ with EVs…

    Soon they’ll all have a way of just paying via a centralized app, or a tap of a bank card.

    Tbh I didn’t mind that it would have been 50c /kWh… But hey ho…

    DrP

    simonbea
    Free Member

    We were in Holland in Easter and solely used electroverse app or electroverse RFID card and that was predominantly at slow chargers in small towns where we could leave overnight and then a couple of fast chargers which are way more frequent than here. Looking at our routes in France for summer hols and seems fast chargers lot further apart

    garage-dweller
    Full Member

    Ignore

    tenfoot
    Full Member

    @davy90 The Tesla auto wipers are camera based rather than sensor based.

    Have you had the Spring update yet? When you press the wiper button at the end of the stalk, you now scroll up and down the  left wheel/button for  the wiper settings , same as you set up recently.

    Because this is now a standard feature, I have set up the long press on the left wheel to save dash cam video on demand.

    The Spring update has several other new functions including speed camera notification, a function that indicates your average speed in average speed motorway sections, plus increased detail on the autopilot display, which I find is a gimmick anyway.

    davy90
    Free Member

    @tenfoot, believe we’re up to speed on updates but will check, the stalk button pops the wiper menu up at the bottom right of the screen, which is slightly less faff to adjust. Having spent a bit of time in the car, I do feel that some of the ‘minimal design elegance’ is plain old cost efficiency, which is good design when it works.. the wiper system is just a bit poo.. Otherwise very impressed with the thing..

    Amusingly, having badgered EDF into finally switching our tariff over to their GoElectric tariff, the unit rates showed correctly in the App for a day or so, currently it indicates I’m paying -infinityp per kWh on peak and plain infinityp per kWh off peak!

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    andylc
    Free Member

    Tesla wipers are definitely not their best feature! They do appear to have improved though, and the latest update where the button brings up the scroll wheel to change setting is an improvement.
    I believe there have been rumours for a while that the AI behind it is about to get a major upgrade, which means it will probably take over the car and start off judgement day.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    currently it indicates I’m paying -infinityp per kWh on peak and plain infinityp per kWh off peak!

    Just make sure you leave the oven on for a few hours during peak time and don’t plug the car in that night, you’ll become the richest person in history with a net worth of £infinity

    EDIT wait no, you’d need to turn off the main switch just before peak time and not use any power that night, otherwise it’ll cancel out and you’ll get zero.

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    mert
    Free Member

    That the engineers at Mercedes Benz prioritised charging speed over cup holders.

    I said this about 50 pages ago and was told i was talking rubbish by at least half a dozen people.

    Faster charging will benefit more people than larger batteries/longer range will.

    I said it 50 pages ago, and it’s based on what people actually use their cars for, rather than what they think they do, and i still stand by it.

    perchypanther
    Free Member

    Faster charging will benefit more people than larger batteries/longer range will.

    Absolutely. Which is why I chose my car based on the charging curve first and the actual car second.
    I’ve followed the principle that the car, which is a stationary object for the vast majority of it’s existence, should charge whilst parked when charging speed is pretty much irrelevant….unless you need to charge mid-journey in which case it should charge as quickly as possible.

    simon_g
    Full Member

    Noticed the Merthyr Premier Inn (default choice for BPW trips) has a Geniepoint rapid now according to zapmap.

    I’d still love to see the carpark flooded with slow overnight chargers but I do see the logic of what Whitbread are doing given the all-day restaurant/pubs on site too. Geniepoint charge overstay fees so hopefully anyone who needs it can get on during their stay.

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    iainc
    Full Member

    home yesterday from a 4 day break in Aviemore area.  Left home on Sunday (central belt) with a full battery, drove up, then lots of daily running around, and went for a top up Tue before driving back yesterday.

    There are quite a few chargers in Aviemore itself, and the Tesla ones which are hidden away behind the MacDonald hotels were empty, and are open to all (with the Tesla App).  A 25 min charge took it from 25% to 80% and cost £20, which got us home with 12% remaining.  A full charge at home on IO costs £7, so in all, fuel cost for the trip were about £27, which is approx 1/3 of what it would have been in previous diesel car :)

    averaged 3.6m/KW over the 450 or so miles, which was ok considering i had a bike on the back on a towbar rack for 330 of those miles, up and down the A9 etc with cruise at speed limit and ac on all the time.  (BMW i4 40)

    molgrips
    Free Member

    We drove about 1200 miles give or take ten on our trip, we spent £173 on leccy. That works out roughly 15p a mile.

    We could have tried a bit harder to save money by seeking out Tesla chargers or Electroverse affiliated, but in the end I couldn’t be bothered. The only supercharger we tried in Ft William wouldn’t work for me.

    B.A.Nana
    Free Member

    Just out of interest, when you rock up at the superchargers in a none Tesla, how do you know how much they’re charging you p/kwh?, they don’t seem to advertise it anywhere that I can find and where they do, it says things like, “typically” and “prices vary” etc

    kelvin
    Full Member

    On the app?

    DrP
    Full Member

    Yup..the app.

    I think the price can vary depending on the time of day.

    DrP

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    iainc
    Full Member

    yeah, if you register for the Tesla App as a non Tesla driver (it asks you what you drive) it seeks out available chargers and gives you a rate for the specific charger for various time slots – cheaper in am than pm often and always cheaper outside rush hour periods I think.  The Aviemore ones seem a bit slow compared to others I have used, but mid morning price was around 40p/kwh so decent enough.

    B.A.Nana
    Free Member

    yeah, if you register for the Tesla App as a non Tesla driver

    Ah ok cheers, maybe I didn’t get far enough within the app, I downloaded it and registered and put in card payment details, but never actually found any third party charging options ie a map, route planner or whatever.

    artichokes
    Free Member

    Thanks for all of the replies, very helpful. Can anyone recommend me an electric car. Budget 12k max. Recently retired and pootle about the SW -Dorset, Wilts, Somerset but would like to explore more of the UK car camping with a bike in the car. In the past 3 months my longest journey has been a 150 mile roundtrip.

    Why is the Zoe or Leaf not recommended? Is the range too low? Older tech? Other issues?

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Corsa e for the cheap ev if you don’t need a roof rack or a tow bar. Charges quick on dc. reasonable summer range. Winter like all evs not so good but it should do 130+miles. Splash out on the top spec model and get matrix headlights, heated seats and a warm steering wheel on the colder days.

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    bensales
    Free Member

    Ah ok cheers, maybe I didn’t get far enough within the app, I downloaded it and registered and put in card payment details, but never actually found any third party charging options

    It’s the first thing you see when you open the app?  “Find a charger”. Are you sure you got the right app?

    Tesla App

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Why is the Zoe or Leaf not recommended? Is the range too low? Older tech? Other issues?

    They are both first gen vehicles and very old hat now. Zoes are small city cars, Leafs are not but they don’t have any battery heating or cooling so the range is quite variable between summer and winter.  That makes the range meter unreliable, which is a much bigger issue than I thought it would be.  We had one, and for me it’s just not that good of a car.  The ride is unpleasant. We had previously had an Ioniq, we sold the Leaf for another one (the first time I’ve ever got rid of a car because I didn’t like it) and it’s so much better.  For us the range on our Ioniq only drops to 170 or so at worst in the winter, from 190 in summer.  And the Premium SE spec has cooled front seats, which is fantastic.

    I don’t know about the Corsa, but they have always been small cars, whereas the Ioniq can fit four adults in comfort.  However, it does charge slowly and it’s not a fast car although quite fast enough.  That said, the spectacular efficiency of the Ioniq offsets the slow charging speed, we go from 20-80% in about 40-45 mins which gets us up to 150 miles of range. We just went to Scotland and back in it from South Wales and we stopped four times on the way back for 30-40 mins each time.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Corsa e has a decent sized boot for a small car. Bigger than a Kia picanto which is what I sold to get the Corsa e. Should get 4 medium people in it with ease. Seats folded down has a decent boot space. For a daily driver, quick city car with fast charging when further from home it’s pretty good. Local miles efficiency is around 4.5m/kWh so I’m not grumbling.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    I’m going to get rid my Skoda roomster which is having age related issues and get another electric car. Corsa e that I bought last year is used daily by my other half so I can’t use that apart from weekend trips out.

    I had sort of convinced myself to buy a large battery, big range, roof rack and v2l capable car but I’m now considering the Hyundai ionic 38kwh. It doesn’t meet most of the requirements above but they are pretty cheap. Cheap being relative to spending significantly more on a car with the above features, mg5 being another option.

    So my questions to @molgrips are:

    Rear seats flat how long is it from the boot lip to the passenger dash/behind front seats? For the occasional time I put lengths of wood in I would like to think I could fit 2.7m 🤔. Current roomster is 1.6m with the rear seats removed, 1.4m folded up.

    Have you encountered any of the 12v battery drain problems that seem to occur and feature on the ioniq forum(s)? Might only affect some cars?

    DC Charging speed shouldn’t be an issue. I think I will be able to plan my few longer trips around chargers.

    Have you stuffed any bikes in the back? I’d like to think it could hold 2 MTBs with both wheels off? Seats down capacity seems to be pretty big volume wise, similar to an mg5?.

    Thanks in advance for any answers.

    matthewlhome
    Free Member

    I have an ioniq 38kwh. It’s a nice car. As you mention, it doesn’t meet the requirements you set out, but I do like it.
    I discovered it is not rated or approved for a roof rack for some reason.  They are available for the hybrid version, and probably fit but legally it’s not approved.

    12v issues – I had the car from nearly new, and had a period where the 12v battery would randomly go flat when the car was on charge. After a few months of back and forth to the dealers, with a replacement 12v battery, I eventually got to the bottom of it and has not happened in the last 40k plus miles.

    the issue for me was related to the Bluelink app the car uses.  The charger I had (rolec- I don’t recommend) used its own app that connected to Bluelink via its API.  This app would continually access the cars state of charge to determine whether to charge, and did this via pinging the car which ‘woke’ it up and then drained the 12v system, bricking the car at the most critical moments.  Once I stopped using this, it’s been fine.

    one thing to look for is that the car has had the coolant replacement recall / service carried out at 40k / 80k.  There was an issue on a number of Hyundai evs with the battery coolant, where the coolant would turn to jelly and not circulate correctly.  A special service was needed to force flush this out and replace with a different coolant.  I had some errors with this but the recall perfectly matched my service and again been fine since.  This improved the cars range and charging speed, likely due to being able to properly heat and cool the battery.

    servicing costs are reasonable (around £100) even at main dealer although they seem to only look at it and wash it, and it’s every 10k miles.  But this keeps warranty and that has been very important as above. The 40k / 80k coolant replacement service though is quite expensive.

    We got it October 2021 with 5k on and currently has 65k. Other than the above issues it’s been good.

    It drives nicely, is much more efficient than all of them newer EVs my colleagues have but the range can be frustrating for long journeys and the charge rate is slow.  However we bought knowing that 95% of journeys are shorter trips in range and from home charging so accept those issues.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Thanks Matthew for the in-depth review with some good questions to ask about maintenance and service history to raise with the seller.

    My search for a car will begin in a few weeks…

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