Which charger? - Page 3 - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #21 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
Eep
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RE: Which charger?

The schemes are different for Scotland and for England and Wales, that's about the long and the short of it.

The England and Wales grant is arguably the more generous in that while it is for "only" 16 amps the offer is open to any home owner in an effort to get more people onboard; an admirable stance I hope you will agree. The Scottish scheme while for a 32 amp unit requires that you own or lease an EV - and given there aren't many more than 7,000 EVs registered in the UK as a whole, I'd argue their sights are set rather lower. In addition I don't even have to find the money to pay for installation, whereas oop narth you pay and are subsequently reimbursed.
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post #22 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 07:57 PM
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RE: Which charger?

I would say 16A is not necessarily a bad option at this stage, because if, in 3 years time, you end up having bought the latest BEV with 50kWh then (a) it will probably not make any difference on your recharge time over night (because just having 50kWh doesn't mean you have to use it!, (b) even if you did use most of it, charging from 5PM to 8AM would still be 50kWh worth, and (c) the CM charger has not yet gained a reputation for reliability that suggests it will even last that long!!

I rather suspect that you'll be able to buy whole new 7kW chargers for your 95 in 3 years time, so just replace the charger. So long as you do not have a cable run of over 5m (because they'll fit 4mm^2 cable, which is only good for 7kW on short cable runs).

I got a socketed 7kW charge station, as you have probably read, for +75. Seemed a good idea at the time to 'future proof' it. Would I get the same again at +95? Maybe. 50/50. Nothing in it really, IMHO.
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post #23 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Which charger?

OK, ta for that. I'll just leave it as free then. My thought is that with the Fluence I'm kind of hands-tied until the end of the combined car/battery lease contract, by which point other technology may have come to the fore. Wallchargers are a bit of an agricultural solution and inductive charging is clearly the longer term answer.
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post #24 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:49 AM
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RE: Which charger?

We only get tethered options - the reasoning is for 'user safety' issues, on the plus side the lead has to be 5m and not the standard 3m option as is 32a. On the minus, there's no flexibility on choice of kit - it's Rolec or nothing, and SSE as installer.

Some have managed to get exception but it is very hard won with additional jumps to complete.

Whilst charging methods and technology may well change the reality is your investment will not. Does anyone really expect Renault to design/develop upgrades for the Fluence ZE to take advantage of them? The most obvious one, due do the final collapse of the battery swap business plan, would be to retrofit a 32a fast-charge capability. I'd live to be proved wrong as it would be a major boost to usability but I seriously doubt that's going to happen... Ever.
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post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 05:10 AM
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RE: Which charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzby
The most obvious one, due do the final collapse of the battery swap business plan, would be to retrofit a 32a fast-charge capability. I'd live to be proved wrong as it would be a major boost to usability but I seriously doubt that's going to happen... Ever.
I think it would be a help to some, but I seriously doubt fast charging will ever really impact the vast majority of EV users. I just don't see public charging as any real solution, it simply doesn't add up and I am stunned that I seem to be one of only a few voices in these forums saying that public charging won't work.

I wouldn't bother with an upgrade. Don't need fast charging.

Plug-in charging is a fill-in solution until there are better ways to get range; bigger batteries, on-the-move inductive charging, flowing electrolyte batteries, and battery swap is a solution that was simply too far too fast but will return.

Plug-in posts are adverts to encourage people to think they could get an EV too. The whole idea is misjudged and ill conceived.[hr]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eep
Wallchargers are a bit of an agricultural solution and inductive charging is clearly the longer term answer.
100%. Exactly my thinking too. I'd be happy to invest in an inductive charger in the future. Plug-in cars will pass into history as a quaint solution for a couple of years while the EV market struggled to take off.

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post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 06:18 AM
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RE: Which charger?

Public charging in towns and supermarkets is a nonsense. Maybe at places like Park & Rides where the car will be all day, but offering trickle charging at a supermarket is just crazy - assuming an ICE isn't parked there!

I think Ecotricity and Tesla have the right idea - a motorway based system of chargers and Tesla have the right idea of a longer range. Now how that will work if everyone had an EV is another matter, but in these early days a motorway/A road system of fast chargers helps for the odd journey.
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post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Which charger?

People have been wirelessly charging their phones via induction for some time now, and modern EV buses are refuelled using the same method.

Inductive charging is invisible and vandal proof. There is no need for smartcards, keys, flyleads or any moving parts. You can bury any length of non-contact magnetic charging strip along carriageways so that cars are topped up on the move. Time will come when we chuckle at the thought we had to sit in a queue at our local petrol station, or poke a satnav for the nearest public plug-in charger that we subsequently discovered either didn't work or was inaccessible courtesy of some fat bloke with no neck in an Audi Q7.

There are downsides (it's inefficient, for a start) and a widespread solution that overcomes the problems is at least a decade away, but if you believe EVs are the future then inductive charging is demonstrably the future too. Public charging is a fool's errand and will never get even close to the point that 35 million car owners can rely on it the same way they can rely on their local Esso, and in that sense it has already failed.

To summarise though like donald I'm happy with the 'slow' method using leads and sockets because I don't use my car overnight. Who does? I thus have no interest in whether the charge takes 1, 4 or 8 hours to complete. If anything the slow overnight charge promotes a more sensible attitude to EV ownership in that relying on a fast charger for all your refuelling stops is a recipe for being late or, worse, getting stranded the whole time.
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post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 08:31 AM
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RE: Which charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eep
People have been wirelessly charging their phones via induction for some time now, and modern EV buses are refuelled using the same method.

You can bury any length of non-contact magnetic charging strip along carriageways so that cars are topped up on the move.
There are some experimental/trial set-ups, and in a couple of Italian towns there are recharging EV buses that have been operating for a few years now. But it's not quite as simple as you are suggesting. The technology is still progressing. No 'show-stoppers' quite yet, but there might be... not yet a 'clear' solution to this that could be implemented.

There is now an inductive charging system for sale for Leaf, with a receiver coil you bolt on to the Leaf and a pad you put on your drive with an alignment facility you drive up to, for a few thousand $. 15% lossy (on top of your other recharging losses).

Just facing reality, the highways agency cannot yet maintain motorways to a standard that avoids potholes forming, and when they do form and you tell them they still don't repair them. And when they do repair them they throw instant tarmac in them rather than a proper patch repair like they are supposed to. Loooong way to go yet....

Once I can do my commute without having to dodge potholes in the motorway, only then can I believe en-route inductive charging might be possible on public roads.

Maybe the future is more toll roads that are built from scratch with inductive charging capability. You pull onto it for 30 miles worth of a long distance journey and charge as you drive, then rejoin the public motorway network.


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post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 08:39 AM
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RE: Which charger?

I think inductive charging is ideal for utility vehicles, buses and of course taxis (at ranks, junctions etc). But for Joe Public? Hmmm. How do you charge for the use? Is it worth it, what if you DON'T want a top up or be charged? Which system is compatible? We have 3 worldwide fast charge standards developing for ev plugs, potentially with the addition of Tesla too. How many with inductive charging? What if you have the Betamax version in one town and VHS in the next city? Are they 100% safe? What if someone with a pacemaker walks over the pad?

It has some merit, but it's years, even decades away other than the odd option for someone to retro fit to their EV. I think we need to ensure the roll out and acceptance of the first generation of EVs first. No point having inductive charging infrastructure if nobody is buying the cars!
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post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 08:57 AM
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RE: Which charger?

I can see where this discussion is heading. Why not this?, Why not that?, Hassle, Hassle, Hassle - maybe Top Gear was right in their conclusion to their EV roadtest. Anyone remember the conclusion?

Or maybe we should just remember the motto: "Keep it simple, stupid" and hope the powers that be are listening (if t's not too late)

Oh dear, I must have had something to upset me for lunch. Sorry.
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