Busy Weekend

Saturday saw me up giving a talk at the EST EV Roadshow Aberdeen.

This was an opportunity for anyone to come along and learn about EVs.  There was even opportunity to take test drives in the car park.  Pretty much all the mainstream EV manufacturers were there, Nissan, Tesla, BMW, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Renault and KIA all had cars on display and for testing.

For my part I gave a short talk on my experience of winning and using the Leaf.  Including the drive up from Rosyth.  I was even able to add a bit about why I was a little late as I spent some time at Angus Council offices helping some Co-Wheels newbies who were struggling with a Zoe at the Rapid.

Other speakers were from Electric Vehicle Association Scotland and Plug In Adventures. There was a good range of questions from the floor, with at least one visitor set to choose and EV, several others I suspect are likely to make the change.

Some of the other stands were from various chargepoint manufacturers and installers.  EPT revealed that they will be rolling out satellite comms  to the rural chargers with troubled communications.  For the North Coast 500 this could be a huge improvement.


Also interesting to hear other peoples experiences and future expectations. Some interesting ideas out there for EV hubs.


There was a down side to the day.  Looking for a charge to get home with the number of EVs in the area was always going to be harder. What I was really disheartened to find was someone using a Rapid as a long stay parking spot.  I will be speaking to Aberdeen Council, as this car was parked for over an hour unattended after it finished charging. The PHEV before me may have disconnected the CCS so that they could use the Chademo.   The owners did turn up just as I unplugged.  They were angry that someone had unplugged their car, aggressively unrepentant about blocking the bay for so long.  Back to education.  Slightly disconcerting though as they were staggeringly aggressive.  It is exactly that sort of experience that will create negative stories to put people off the idea.  That said in over 100 public charging sessions that’s the only time I’ve had a negative experience.  In the last year I had two occasions at a petrol station where behaviour of others made for an unpleasant visit. So the EV experience is better, as the positive experiences tend to be much more positive!

Perhaps the operators need a consistent, well signed a publicised approach.


Such as the one here at Ingliston P+R.  30 minutes maximum, no unattended vehicles, with a tow away for offenders.  Just need to find a way to have it applied consistently….

The rest of the journey home was painless, a brief wait for one of the demonstrator Tesla’s at Angus Council, a final splash at Glenrothes, then home with the battery temperature still one bar from the red.  240 miles, nearly all at motorway speeds on the dual carriageway, the battery was heating at both ends of the cycle.  At a more steady, slower cruise the battery would have heated less during the journey.  Total energy consumed for the day:  45kWh, total from Rapids:30kWh.  Who says EVs are for urban driving?





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Engineer, EV driver, dog owner.

5 thoughts on “Busy Weekend”

  1. I appreciate that there are existing rules, but my suggestion is for change in particular for Rapids. Charging will not remain free forever, at least at Rapids. As the EV Base grows this will become a frequent problem for those driving a distance from home. The time to address and influence the problem of consumer behaviour is before it become a problem that has greater impact.

    To those who think a time limit at a rapid is an issue, I’d ask how long they would consider too long at a pump in a petrol station? Rapids are really Journey pit stops not parking. So the long term need to ensure the expensive infrastructure can be appropriately utilised will require revision of parking regulations with respect to this type of facility.

    My concern is truly with the evolution of the EV market, along with the need to pre-empt future difficulties. Council policies regularly change to reflect new factors such as these.


  2. Which rapid was affected in Aberdeen? Gallowgate? Garthdee would be a better choice heading south. Its not free parking at Gallowgate rapid unless you remain at the car being charged. If they had paid for parking then I could understand why they thought they were entitled to stay for the period they had paid for. I liked your definition of ‘journey’ chargers separate to destination chargers. Gallowgate is a ‘destination’ charger for most users. Anyway your talk was most interesting. It was good to hear how other people use their EVs.


    1. It was indeed Gallowgate, chosen as three EVs leaving just before me said they were heading to Garthdee! The ‘tenant’ offender didn’t have a ticket but was displaying a rather odd looking parking exemption notice for ‘Various’ registrations. I can’t say that I even know if ACC even issue such documents with such broad spectrum criteria. I have folled up to the council with some ideas for parking bye-laws relating to chargers. The picture from Ingliston pretty much covers it.


      1. The situation in Aberdeen City regarding parking at charge points has been thoroughly aired in the EVA-Scotland forum. The council officer responsible (for chargers) has helpfully posted the council’s policy as instructed to him and the reasons for it. In short, parking is a paid for right, charging is a free bonus. The much disliked Ecotricity solution addresses this simply: that would probably displease far more EV drivers! For off street car parks the Council has some flexibility but on street car parks (and chargers) have strict legal requirements before enforcement action can be taken.

        I understand that there is an additional rapid planned for the Garthdee area. Personally I don’t often use Aberdeen City charge points now, since home charging is easier and more environmentally friendly but I have only once experienced a delay at Gallowgate (in 8 visits) and once at Sclattie Park (in five visits) and never at Garthdee (one visit). Then again I don’t usually attempt to charge on a Saturday afternoon near the shopping centers. There are also several 22kW chargers in the area.

        I doubt that the exemption sign that was displayed is authorized, but I was once approached by a parking enforcement person who was unaware of the concession at Gallowgate (and only the rapid) for free parking while an attended vehicle is charging. It’s a sad fact of life that people all seem to want to do things in the same place at the same time so chargers are mainly unused and then there is a wait. Its why we get so called “rush hour” on roads that usually have little traffic. I do recall in the old days having sometimes (but not often) to wait for an available pump at filling stations. But just suggest there is a petrol shortage and watch what happens!

        Apologies for the verbose response, but its not as simple as putting up a sign that is at variance with official Council policy and possibly is unenforceable in law without a lengthy and expensive legal process. And I’m not sure a solution for Saturday afternoon works for the rest of the week. It is a contentious issue for many people who regard a time limit at a rapid as a reason to give up on electric vehicles. I’m very sorry you had charging problems in Aberdeen which I regard as well provided with public charge points. Just don’t go north or west!

        And finally . . . There is a dual 7kW charge point in the car park adjacent to the AECC where the Roadshow was held. Its powered up but try to get anything out of it! A Leaf driver failed when I arrived. I tested it Sunday without success and AECC are “looking into it” in response to my email inquiry. An EV Roadshow and the charge point doesn’t work! (Not) only in Aberdeen.


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