Over the last few weeks I’ve again seen an increase in EV’s on my commute. When I first drove the Leaf, it was certainly not unusual to see another EV at some point. Usually a solitary Leaf, or a Kia Soul. I really can’t count the two Zoe’s the neighbours use.
Yesterday saw three Leafs in a line being passed by a Tesla X, two S’s and a couple of I3s in the queues on the M8. Today on the way home through the city centre, 5 i3’s 5 Zoes, a Dutch Model X, not to mention the countless PHEV’s of various flavours.
SMMT/EST data does point the way.
This will potentially lead to stress on the public charging infrastructure, highlighting the issues of ICEing
and EVholes. Education and enforcement required. Realistically this is something that needs to be delivered by the manufacturers in the handbooks and the dealers at the showrooms. Better signage in all locations wouldn’t go amiss! The behaviours that need to be developed for drivers are not going to be straightforward, as there is such diversity in ownership. A simple nudge by calling Rapids #JourneyChargers and anything at 32A per phase and below #DestinationChargers may help. The names really give away the primary purpose. For some, without off street charging, every journey may well need the #JourneyCharger. As battery capacity increases, how often a charge is required is a more relevant question. If you do 200 miles a week in a 41kWh Zoe, it will probably be kind to the battery if you only charge once or twice.
As I’ve said before, disks like make a difference. Etiquette and manners are what will make this work. To many tales of people demanding that other let them in, or, maybe worse, sitting on a Rapid all the way to 100% when there was a 7kW post next door that would have been faster for that last bit.
Education in the use of charge timers, at least until smart meter controlled charging for home shapes up, is probably an area that electricity companies need to start approaching user forums, associations, dealerships and manufacturers about. There isn’t a one size fits all option, but by developing a better understanding of, and indeed influencing behaviours early, a strategy for managing charging can be properly developed. It is quite likely that there will be a good case for having a car plugged in , not needing a charge, but with capacity to take some. This would provide a load for excess generation (I’m talking about wind here) that could be switched on and off relatively quickly. This would reduce the constraint payments to the windfarms and allow the EV driver to have significantly cheaper power over that period. You simply have to build the mindset that it isn’t free electricity. As the EV owner you would be providing a service to the grid, preventing payments for electricity NOT supplied. In return, cheap electricity. It’s a model we all use at Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, supermarkets in general. To eliminate or reduce waste, you sell the product at a reduced price or loss. That way it isn’t a total loss, doesn’t go to waste, with the associated cost of disposal. Everyone comes out ahead in some way.
Personally, I have the timer set to 01:00 now, which guarantees me a full battery by the time I leave. At the weekend, miles are lower, so I often don’t charge until Sunday night. All of which should be good for the health of the battery. What if I arrive home with the battery low and a further journey required? I used the timer overide. Simple, an hour or two was usually enough. Now I have access to a #JourneyCharger just on the other side of the Forth Road Bridge. A quick 10 minute stop is usually all that’s needed.
Apologies those who have heard this before…..