RE: Charging Options
I've had an email exchange with the chaps at Ecotricity who have been installing stations at the 'Welcome Break' motorway services, with much this concern - I wanted to understand if you can book a 'slot' for recharging, ahead of getting there.
The answer was simply that the charging stations are so underused at the moment that there is just no motivation for doing such a thing. The busiest sites see one car recharging a day!
As for faults and failures, it could even get worse than you think - in one story, this journo parked up a Fluence in London and took on some street-charging. When he got back, the charging station had 'crashed' and shut down. This locked his charging lead in place and had given him no charge, so he couldn't go anywhere [no charge, and if he left his lead, he'd probably lose it when the station came back on] and so took a taxi home. (He even found a note on the car the next day from another disgruntled EV owner complaining he was blocking the parking space - not realising that it was non-functional.)
The [current model] Fluence makes distance driving Reeeaal simple - with no fast charging, it is simply not an option to go far!!! It might be 'cost effective' to take on a couple of hours of top-up charge while shopping so as to ensure you have 20 miles to get home again, but it would seem high risk to have gone in the hope of recharging when it would have been easier and risk free to get 2 hours of extra charging at home before going shopping.
Charging stations for 'slow' charging seems almost a gimmick, because it is difficult to see when you'd really want to take advantage of one. They might come into play if you are pushing the envelope of your range and a little top-up will ease your range anxiety, but otherwise if you don't have the range to do the whole trip on one charge, are you really going to rely on a slow-charge point?
I'll be testing out one of the Welcome Break sites soon when I do a run at the limit of the cars range, but at a recharge rate of 10 miles for each hour of charge, it is simpler just to drive slower and slower to achieve ultimate distance, than to stop and recharge. ....
.... how slow do you think it is actually 'safe' to drive on the motorway!?!?.....