nickthorley
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:32 am

Uk ecotricity charging

Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:25 pm

I have seen the ecotricity chargers on motorway services for some time now and always assumed they were identical. I had a good look at them today and found one side of the machine has an AC charger and then on the other side, one had a connector labeled Nissan and the other station one to fit an i3. I presume only the Bmw one can be used? This leaves one power connector at each services which as the number of i3's increase is surely going to be a bottleneck?

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:56 pm

Most cars can use the same level 2 EVSE, but there are at least three different DC fast charging standards out there: CCS (the i3 uses this - at least that's what it's called in the USA), CHADeMo (Leaf uses this) and Tesla (they have adapters for some other choices). You can only use the system designed specifically for your car. The i3 can use up to 50Kw/hr CCS units (well, if you find one bigger, it will still work but be limited to 50Kw). As far as I've found, there is no converter for the i3 when it comes to CCS units. It can also use up to 7400W on a level 2 units (unless you have one designed for 3-phase power available in your country), which at nominal Euro voltages is in the 30-32A range. Again, if it's smaller or larger, no problem (except smaller will charge slower - bigger won't above the 32A), but your time to fully charged may vary. Same is true with DC fast charging.

To fully recharge the i3 on CCS will take longer than 30-minutes, but any time above that becomes quite slow, so it might not be useful to continue, especially if you're paying only for time, not power used.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

psquare
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:57 am
Location: i3 REx, 225xe Hybrid UK
Contact: Website

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:54 am

Ecotricity provides different units. The "Nissan" labelled ones you've spotted do not provide CCS charging. As Jim pointed out, the AC Rapid/Chademo units do not provide a rapid charge for your i3 and actually tell you (if you have CCS option on your i3 and registered your car with the Electric Highway app) that your car is "incompatible" with the unit.

Therefore, now that Ecotricity has introduced a charging-for-charging scheme, the Electric Highway app doesn't allow i3 drivers anymore to use the AC Rapid units. However if you check the charging locator in the app, you find over 100 CCS units in the UK now, which can be used by your i3 through the Electric Highway app.

Hope this helps.

nickthorley
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:32 am

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:58 am

Yes it does help but doesnt solve the issue that one CCS carver for a services that was nearly full isn't much ( assuming the ev use grows) appreciate ecotricity is only there to make money and I know the charging points are expensive but if people have to wait 1 hour to even get into a charger then the take up of ev's will reduce which is sad. I guess only solution is for the government to step in and add more or even the shops in the services contribute to the cost. I don't know the technical issues but isn't it possible to have these boxes able to rapid charge a number of different types of ev - maybe with a standard termination and you buy an ecotricity converter for your type of cars. If all points could be used for all cars then maybe they would install more instead of having to guess which brand will sell best

psquare
Posts: 501
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Location: i3 REx, 225xe Hybrid UK
Contact: Website

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:13 am

nickthorley wrote:Yes it does help but doesnt solve the issue that one CCS carver for a services that was nearly full isn't much ( assuming the ev use grows) appreciate ecotricity is only there to make money and I know the charging points are expensive but if people have to wait 1 hour to even get into a charger then the take up of ev's will reduce which is sad. I guess only solution is for the government to step in and add more or even the shops in the services contribute to the cost. I don't know the technical issues but isn't it possible to have these boxes able to rapid charge a number of different types of ev - maybe with a standard termination and you buy an ecotricity converter for your type of cars. If all points could be used for all cars then maybe they would install more instead of having to guess which brand will sell best
The charging units (CCS, Chademo, etc) will need to scale as time moves on. How often do you see Ecotricity CCS chargers with queues in front of them? Maybe at peak times on the M25 Cobham or Gateway, yes.

Re Ecotricity "to make money", please keep in mind that they a) provided free electricity and rapid chargers for 5 years b) had NO funding for the rapid units from the government and c) still offer free charging to Ecotricity customers, thereby allowing EV drivers to fund renewable energy. The last point is something all EV owners should look into anyway (Ecotricity or not). Other providers like CYC have far more rip-off CCS unit pricing, but never got the bad press Ecotricity wrongly receives.

Since the charges were introduced, I've noticed that a lot of motorway chargers are now available, whereas before these were hogged by unnecessary EV charging, like Outlanders. The app also seems to confirm this. As an Ecotricity customer -who always anticipated this move anyway- I've welcomed the introduction of charges, but I think it's a tad too expensive. Prices will come down over time, I am sure.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:23 pm

Not only are the plugs different between the various DC fast charging systems (not to be confused with 'fast' AC charging, which is a different thing entirely), the protocols are quite different too...as a result, while maybe technically possible, I doubt you'll see inexpensive, readily available converter cable/plug devices show up anywhere - it's not simply a new plug and rearranging the pins.

FWIW, on the CHADEMO system, they use dedicated pins for the charger/vehicle communications...the CCS standard utilizes the ACV input lines (which are not powered) as the signal lines when doing a DC fast charge, and the communications protocol is also different as is the signaling method between the two. So, if one were to try to make a conversion, it would need to be a smart computer to translate the two signals into something compatible. A DC fast charging system is comprised of two major parts: a monster DC power supply, and a computer to adjust it and talk to the vehicle...most of the recent DC fast chargers only need a new cable and a change/addition of an interface card to add the second charging capability. Often, though, they cannot power both at the same time, since they're using the same power supply. Think of it this way...this is a high current (often in the 50Kw/hr range), variable and high voltage power supply that might see fairly constant use...when lots of power is involved, there's a fair amount of heat and the whole thing must typically be weatherproof while operating at both hot/cold, and snow, rain, icing conditions...to get this, they are not cheap. Then, the power input is closer to what might be needed to power a good portion of a residential block of houses. This is one reason why it would be unlikely to see one in a residential situation, ignoring the cost of the device itself.

The i3 was designed as a city car...shorter ranges, tighter conditions. If you want to or need to use it for longer ranges, there are compromises. Certainly, some do, but it's sort of like using a pair of pliers when a proper wrench is called for...it can work, but maybe not as well! To this, BMW is moving towards hybrids, and their next I-car will likely address longer ranges. Probably part of the reason why it has not happened yet is for the infrastructure to try to catch up. The second part is, battery tech is constantly evolving, and economical, sizeable battery packs are still not readily available. That is changing.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

busaman
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:00 am

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:24 pm

psquare wrote:
nickthorley wrote:Yes it does help but doesnt solve the issue that one CCS carver for a services that was nearly full isn't much ( assuming the ev use grows) appreciate ecotricity is only there to make money and I know the charging points are expensive but if people have to wait 1 hour to even get into a charger then the take up of ev's will reduce which is sad. I guess only solution is for the government to step in and add more or even the shops in the services contribute to the cost. I don't know the technical issues but isn't it possible to have these boxes able to rapid charge a number of different types of ev - maybe with a standard termination and you buy an ecotricity converter for your type of cars. If all points could be used for all cars then maybe they would install more instead of having to guess which brand will sell best
The charging units (CCS, Chademo, etc) will need to scale as time moves on. How often do you see Ecotricity CCS chargers with queues in front of them? Maybe at peak times on the M25 Cobham or Gateway, yes.

Re Ecotricity "to make money", please keep in mind that they a) provided free electricity and rapid chargers for 5 years b) had NO funding for the rapid units from the government and c) still offer free charging to Ecotricity customers, thereby allowing EV drivers to fund renewable energy. The last point is something all EV owners should look into anyway (Ecotricity or not). Other providers like CYC have far more rip-off CCS unit pricing, but never got the bad press Ecotricity wrongly receives.

Since the charges were introduced, I've noticed that a lot of motorway chargers are now available, whereas before these were hogged by unnecessary EV charging, like Outlanders. The app also seems to confirm this. As an Ecotricity customer -who always anticipated this move anyway- I've welcomed the introduction of charges, but I think it's a tad too expensive. Prices will come down over time, I am sure.

i hope so at the current pricing its almost the same price as using my rex and 10x slower per fill, and if you work it out you wouldnt like paying 40p per unit at home (which is what it costs) after all Ecotricity are a generator of electricty ...

it seems a bit of a rip of when the garage that pumps the gasoline within feet away is paying 10p per unit to run and we have to pay 40p per unit for what is effectivly coming from the same tap..
7.31s@203.3mph on one wheel

psquare
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:57 am
Location: i3 REx, 225xe Hybrid UK
Contact: Website

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:51 am

busaman wrote: i hope so at the current pricing its almost the same price as using my rex and 10x slower per fill, and if you work it out you wouldnt like paying 40p per unit at home (which is what it costs) after all Ecotricity are a generator of electricty ...
I am not sure how you arrive at a price of "40p per unit at home". Below is what I pay with Ecotricity on Economy 7:

Peak tariff (8:30am - 1:30am): 16.5p per kWh
Off-Peak tariff (1:30am - 8:30am): 6.9p per kWh
Standing charge: 27.39p per day

Since I've owned the i3 and had the Economy 7 meter installed, I am paying £2.23 / day in electricity combined for house and car. My average consumption is 17.18 kWh/day combined for house and car. Therefore, I am paying 12.98p per day on average, obviously averaged over on and off-peak and including the standing charge. Therefore, your claim for 40p per unit at home would be wrong. But maybe you're comparing it to "as if you were paying this at home"? I am not sure...

Ecotricity also give me a £40 discount per year since I own an electric car. In addition, they now let me use their CCS pumps for free. These figures are not included in the above costs and would lower them even further. I also own solar panels (generation effect is not included in the consumption figures above), which contribute to my annual electricity bill and lower it by about £400. The offsetting of the PV solar brings down my electricity bill by another 50%. However, at this point you have to keep in mind that I obviously had to pay upfront for the installation of the panel array.

Before anybody asks, I do not work for them or neither am I affiliated with Ecotricity. I am simply someone who compared suppliers and decided that a renewable energy provider makes more sense. You can find lower prices, for sure. But for me it was important to support a supplier of renewable energy.

busaman
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:00 am

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:07 am

psquare wrote:
busaman wrote: i hope so at the current pricing its almost the same price as using my rex and 10x slower per fill, and if you work it out you wouldnt like paying 40p per unit at home (which is what it costs) after all Ecotricity are a generator of electricty ...
I am not sure how you arrive at a price of "40p per unit at home". Below is what I pay with Ecotricity on Economy 7:

Peak tariff (8:30am - 1:30am): 16.5p per kWh
Off-Peak tariff (1:30am - 8:30am): 6.9p per kWh
Standing charge: 27.39p per day

Since I've owned the i3 and had the Economy 7 meter installed, I am paying £2.23 / day in electricity combined for house and car. My average consumption is 17.18 kWh/day combined for house and car. Therefore, I am paying 12.98p per day on average, obviously averaged over on and off-peak and including the standing charge. Therefore, your claim for 40p per unit at home would be wrong. But maybe you're comparing it to "as if you were paying this at home"? I am not sure...

Ecotricity also give me a £40 discount per year since I own an electric car. In addition, they now let me use their CCS pumps for free. These figures are not included in the above costs and would lower them even further. I also own solar panels (generation effect is not included in the consumption figures above), which contribute to my annual electricity bill and lower it by about £400. The offsetting of the PV solar brings down my electricity bill by another 50%. However, at this point you have to keep in mind that I obviously had to pay upfront for the installation of the panel array.

Before anybody asks, I do not work for them or neither am I affiliated with Ecotricity. I am simply someone who compared suppliers and decided that a renewable energy provider makes more sense. You can find lower prices, for sure. But for me it was important to support a supplier of renewable energy.
no what i was saying is the cost at the chgarging stations works out at 40p per unit/kwhr and you would not want to pay that at home..
7.31s@203.3mph on one wheel

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Uk ecotricity charging

Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:46 am

The cost of a CCS unit, plus the land, and installation, could easily exceed 20K pounds...then, the things do require some maintenance, even if it's just to change the air filters they use for cooling. Many of the units are networked, and that requires a connection and fee. Those costs must be recovered as well as the cost of the actual power that is dispensed. If you factor in the (retail) cost of the EVSE plus installation at your home, your cost/unit will go up as well. The thing is a monster power supply, so the watts going in is more than the watts they deliver to the vehicle (conversion inefficiencies, cooling fans, logic board, etc.). SOmebody has to pay for that as well.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

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