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Old 01-11-2012, 08:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Using an EV for commuting- still not practical in Scotland in 2012!

There have been big fanfares and trumpeting of EV charging provisions in the UK- making using an EV for commuting a reality..

As of today, this is my reality-

Green dot= home, Yellow dot= Work



No public charging stations anywhere near where I'm using the vehicle..

Additionally, reading the Leaf website- I see that there is a charge for getting a home charging point installed?

and lastly- anyone any idea how EV's could be used by people staying in Flats/condos etc? Cant see a way to have home charging?!

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Old 01-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Leaf comes with a charging cord that plugs in to a regular wall socket, sure it's the slowest way to charge, giving you about 4 miles of range per hour that it's plugged in, so plugging in at work would only give you enough of a charge to get home after just over 6 hours of being plugged in, but of course the company you work for might object to giving you a dollar a day raise in the form of electricity for charging an EV, or they might be like my boss and pay to have a charging station wired up next to where I park.
Of course you are right, if you do want a faster charge at home (or at work) you need more then an outlet and that has to be wired in, the charging station that provides that faster charge has a cost as well, they start at around $400 and if you want one that will text message you, Email you and network to your home computer, then it's going to cost more.
Wait, does the UK have 220v outlets as their standard outlet? we have 110v as our standard household outlet, if 220v is a normal household outlet then you cut down your charge time with the cord that comes with the car.

As for people living in flats, it would really depend on where they can park, most light polls can or do have outlets in them and most parking lots have a few light polls, some apartment buildings here have an outlet next to each parking space for people to plug in their engine block heater, so with buildings like that plugging in an EV is not an issue at all.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say it's not practical. Not having *public* charging stations doesn't mean that you can't charge elsewhere. And your commute isn't beyond the round-trip range of all EVs, you just can't make it with a half dozen used golf cart batteries in the trunk.

Where I work the employee-only garage has a handful of EV-only parking/charging spots. They wouldn't be on a list of public spots, but they still serve as remote charging stations. Perhaps your employer would be willing to do the same.

"Not practical" would be something like hydrogen fuel, where there are three albino yeti for every refueling station on the planet.

Last edited by DJBecker; 01-12-2012 at 05:37 AM..
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Charging at work doesn't automatically mean that you get a free ride, you can offer to pay for it.

There should be no reason for them to not let you plug in.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBecker View Post
I wouldn't say it's not practical. Not having *public* charging stations doesn't mean that you can't charge elsewhere. And your commute isn't beyond the round-trip range of all EVs, you just can't make it with a half dozen used golf cart batteries in the trunk.

Where I work the employee-only garage has a handful of EV-only parking/charging spots. They wouldn't be on a list of public spots, but they still serve as remote charging stations. Perhaps your employer would be willing to do the same.

"Not practical" would be something like hydrogen fuel, where there are three albino yeti for every refueling station on the planet.
Fair points raised by you and Ryland- certainly with some investment and consideration, charging points could be placed relatively simply- however...

Public charging stations would be my only option- Current flat has public parking approx 40m from my front door, and I'm up on the 2nd floor. So I cant run a cable to it, or guarentee getting the same spot, even if I had a charge point installed.

On the map, the area between my work and home contains circa 200,000 people- many times more than can be found in the town of Beith (LHS of map)

Its all a bit backwards IMHO

ps, agree re hydrogen

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobnev View Post
Charging at work doesn't automatically mean that you get a free ride, you can offer to pay for it.

There should be no reason for them to not let you plug in.
There is no way I could charge at work- Local Authority (austere in extremis due to budget cuts, no Employee assigned parking, no chargepoints, street parking) ya get the picture

however they do have a fleet (well, 4) of the Peugeot electric cars..but they dont have enough range for my needs..
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In Scotland, the mains are ~220v right? You can charge it much quicker with that.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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320 - you also forgot to mention the climbs in between green and yellow, plus of course being this far north the dark mornings and evenings at this time of year - all of which will kill range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
In Scotland, the mains are ~220v right? You can charge it much quicker with that.
220-240 yeah. Getting a point close enough to the car is the issue though. No infrastructure at all.

The local Nissan stealer has a "Fast Charging Point" installed after the Leaf launch fanfare - not sure if they let you use it for free. Never seen a Leaf on it (only ever seen one ever) and whenever I have been past something else has been parked in front of it. Wonder how much it cost the dealer and whether Nissan insisted they have it. The stealer is nowhere near anywhere either (out of town), so you couldn't leave your leaf on it and go to work.

Some supermarkets have charging points don't they ? Of course it takes 2-3 hours to charge enough to get home, and they stick an "invoice" on your car if you park for more than 90 minutes. Paying that invoice is optional - personally I never pay them - but the hassle is enough to put people off.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not a regular Daily Fail reader however this caught my eye.

Quote:
Sales of electric cars have slumped so badly that there are now more charging points than vehicles on the road.

Just 2,149 electric cars have been sold since 2006, despite a government scheme last year offering customers up to 5,000 towards the cost of a vehicle.

The Department for Transport says that around 2,500 charging points have been installed, although their precise location is not known.

Read more: Flat battery: Government reveals there are more charging points than electric cars in UK as sales slump | Mail Online
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 320touring View Post
There have been big fanfares and trumpeting of EV charging provisions in the UK- making using an EV for commuting a reality..

As of today, this is my reality-

Green dot= home, Yellow dot= Work

No public charging stations anywhere near where I'm using the vehicle..

Additionally, reading the Leaf website- I see that there is a charge for getting a home charging point installed?

and lastly- anyone any idea how EV's could be used by people staying in Flats/condos etc? Cant see a way to have home charging?!
320Touring

We recently formed the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland - if you are keen on EVs please join us and I am sure that we can help you understand what can and can't be done with EVs. We need people like you who want to use an EV but are frustrated by the lack of infra-structure. It is your experience that will help us get the message across to the Scottish government so that they fund the right thing for EV use in Scotland.

Having said that;

We have members who regularly use EVs for commuting greater distances that your home/work distance. Your 25 mile trip is very feasibile in almost all currently available EVs. Even the G-Wiz would make 25 miles if there is somewhere to charge at work. If not the Leaf, i-Miev, C-Zero or iOn will easily make the return trip even in the Scottish winter.

As for charging - all of the above cars will charge very happily overnight from a 13A socket. You don't need any special kit unless you want to charge faster.

For people without a permanent parking place and charge socket however there are still challenges to EV charging - and this is one thing that EVAS are working hard on.

Anyway - take a look at our web site www(dot)EVA-Scotland(dot)org and please feel free to join us even if you don't have an EV just now.

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