This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  inkpen 1 year, 11 months ago.

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  • #27566

    Ecotricity is set to roll-out a payment scheme, charging users of its Electric Highway EV charging network. The current free service, with use of an R
    [See the full post at: Ecotricity launch payment scheme]

  • #27597

    Pececha
    Participant

    … I expected that, sooner or later. However – charge is outrageous, £5 for 20 minutes!!! Most of my usage, I only need 5 to 10 min of quick charge. I am willing to pay, for example 50p for 10 min of charge. But £5 ??? Outside of any logic. Like my wife says, that kills sales of electric cars in UK. And will make longer journeys cost not efficient… For example – Leaf full quick charge: about 50 minutes= £15. Range – about 100 miles. Petrol car – medium engine – 12 litres of petrol for £15 av., range on that tank – 140 – 150 miles… I was thinking of going for holidays to Wales using only electric car (from greater London area). Now – that idea was abandoned, we are taking petrol car… Very sad but true… Peter

  • #27599

    A.Dinnes
    Participant

    Why don’t you just switch Ecotricity for your home electricity and then you can continue to charge for free. I switched to them when I got my electric car, they are competitively priced anyway and you get a further discount for having an electric car too (at least you did when I joined). I would highly recommend them notwithstanding the free charging.

  • #27600

    JackPreacher
    Participant

    I agree with Dinnes, Ecotricity have really shouldered the burden of Rapid Charging and have done a commendable job in getting EV’s on the road. Supporting the company by switching to them is almost morally compulsory!!
    We did switch and our bill is a little bit more expensive but not compared to the ‘free’ miles from the Rapids.

  • #27613

    hotpiggy
    Participant

    I think this was a difficult call for Ecotricity. They’ve done more for the nationwide mobility of EVs than another organsiation in the UK. I agree with A. Dinnes and JackPreacher that it’s almost a moral obligation to switch – which I did some time ago – partly because I use Ecotricity’s charging network quite a lot and didn’t see why I should use it for free. In isolation, the charge is difficult to defend considering the network is pretty much at capacity and the pricing represents a large markup. However, if Ecotricity is your energy provider it’s a great deal and if it goes some way towards reducing the number of PHEVs charging (which let’s face it, it really makes very little sense most of the time) or much worse, the BYD guys (funny how Thriev almost spells thieves) all the better. What’s made Ecotricity’s efforts even more appreciated is that despite the well-publicised claims of success and even more grandiose mission statements, the UK government’s efforts have only amounted to subsidies, a few overpriced rapids (run by dozens of different companies) and an almost total lack of 7kw connectors in towns. The latter seems to be justified by the statistics that most people EV owners charge at home, without realising it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and under-representation of people who DON’T buy EVs because they CAN’T charge at home. Over 30% of UK charging locations are 3kw, next to useless for public charging. Brighton’s a perfect example – proportional to the population of Oslo for example we would have about 600 7kw connectors, instead we have 12, only 2 of which are not in expensive car parks and none are residents’ parking based. It’s depressing to think that the UK had the chance to do something great from scratch but ended up with something akin to our train network – like most of our problems, home-grown and nothing to do with sovereignty, immigration or the EU.

  • #27615

    Micky
    Participant

    I am not sure what Pececha expects. Ecotricity is not a charity and has been giving him free electricity. Does he expect to get it for ever?

    He is also missing the point, and that is that Ecotricity want customers to sign up to their (sadly) expensive home energy tariffs.(electricity at 15p per unit when most are under 10p )

    They also want to force the huge and growing numbers of phevs away from their pumps, and your low per unit pricing will not do so.

    I have an i3 and have to work out whether 50% on my home bill is cheaper than payg.

    At least the pumps should not be blocked by Mitsubishis.

    It makes CYC charges look better but even at these rates a diesel golf is cheaper to run.

    Micky

  • #27616

    inkpen
    Participant

    I believe that Nissan, Renault , BMW and OLEV have also been shouldering part of the burden, but full credit to Ecotricity for the initiative. It is, however sad that it has to end before EVs have really taken off and are still at a premium price. I hope that it does not kill the EV industry in the UK.

    I just did my last “free” pointless jaunt in my old Leaf. 65 miles to Chobham Services on the M25, 20 minute rapid charge from 20% to 76%. Heading for home (65 miles) After 29 miles, approaching Pease Pottage Services I have 35% left & 42 miles on the guessometer. Can’t risk it. Need a splash & dash. 10 minutes on the rapid charger to 66% (would I wait for the other 10 minutes – no, I needed to get home) 35 miles home & 25% left. £10 for 65 miles? Really?

    My wife’s petrol car does over 45 mpg on a run, was much cheaper to buy new than an equivalent EV & doesn’t need to stop for half an hour every 60 miles. I can buy petrol for it without an “app” or a mobile data contract. It is soon due a change and we were seriously looking at & liking the new Zoe as the 2nd EV in the family. Not now. The old leaf will be relegated to local duties and we will buy a new fossil car. When the Leaf gets older still, we will see what’s what in the EV world, but it will have to good enough to visit most of our relatives without paying the Highwayman.That is how this affects me, plus I can no longer recommend EVs to anyone else, for the money.

    Oh yes, when I am out of contract with my energy supplier, I could elect to give Ecotricity £450 a year more than I currently pay to get “free” occasional rapid charging, but that, like EVs now, will only make sense to wealthy tree huggers, not me.

    While I still have an EV, I would appreciate a way of emergency charging at the Highwayman motorway monopoly rapid chargers, that didn’t involve changing my mobile phone & getting a new mobile data contract. What is wrong with simply accepting credit cards? London Tube trains even take tap tap ordinary RFID credit & debit cards now instead of tickets.

    Needless to say, I am feeling wounded. £5 is a rip off, 20 minutes is irrelevant. Still sulking.

    Ex-EV enthusiast.

  • #27619

    mcr
    Participant

    I’m actually happy about this change – while charging has been free I’ve seen so many charge points regularly blocked by (for example) Thriev taxis, Mitsubishi plug-in hybrids, etc. With a cost involved perhaps the points will be more available for the drivers of fully electric vehicles that actually need the facility.

  • #27620

    inkpen
    Participant

    @mcr Yippe yah for you. Most of us have never found the chargers blocked by taxis, PHEVs are much lower emission than their petrol guzzling cousins so surely should be encouraged. Most of us aren’t wealthy and bought our expensive EVs on the basis of cheap local & long distance travel. £10 for 60 miles isn’t it and whoever heard of using an “app” (that doesn’t work on Windows Phone or Blackberry) to buy petrol. What is wrong with the machines taking credit/debit cards? This risks setting the development of EVs in the UK back 10 years. We only got to 0.2% EVs out of 31m cars in the UK and we killed it. Hallelujah.

  • #27622

    jon
    Participant

    I have no problem in paying for the use of the system.
    However, I don’t think they’ve got the pricing or delivery method right. I’ve written to Ecotricity asking them to explain the move away from RFID cards, without reply.
    I have both a Windows Phone and Blackberry mobile, so I can’t use the app. Asides from that, RFID was so much more simple and comfortable than having to use an app to access the network. Other charging networks can charge via their RFID – why not Ecotricity?

  • #27628

    mbird
    Participant

    Agree with a lot of the comments above. The price point just doesn’t seem helpful in getting to the tipping point we need where EVs become the norm. I don’t necessarily think it should be free but this does feel like a way of persuading more people to switch their utilities to Ecotricity.
    The Ecotricity move is just one of a number of price rises recently. With higher vehicle purchase costs I also fear EVs becoming exclusively a wealthy option.

    It is part of my job to encourage sustainable transport alternatives and the inconsistent and random roll out of EV charging infrastructure is doing nothing to encourage the move away from fossil fuels.
    It should start from the premise that clear and consistent charging is obtainable on the road network and not that most people charge at home.

    I’d like to see a greater emphasis on mixed charging with Fast and even Slow chargers alongside Rapid ones. I’ve been grateful for the free slow charger in Burgess Hill when travelling to meetings. The extra15 miles I get from a slow charge makes a difference. On the other hand the £3.50 for 10 minutes on the Fast charger in Lewes completely puts me (and seemingly many others) off using it. As someone said the main emphasis of Government support seems to have been subsidy rather than clear lead. EV charging infrastructure should be part of planning design: e.g. chargers in all new car parks, developments etc.

    More vision please!

  • #27632

    PKH
    Participant

    I have no problem with payment, and while the Ecotricity tariff doesn’t compare well with other charging networks, this is similar to other services provided on motorways – we expect to pay for convenience at premium site.
    But Ecotricity have handled customer relations appallingly in this changeover, announcing it with 4 days notice, for implementation at the time of year when many people make longer than usual journeys eg for holidays, weddings, so are beyond their normal charging range.
    The breezy assumption that all EV drivers (not just EV owning households) have an Android or iphone shows either ignorance of the market, or contempt for anyone behind the fashion. It will leave one of our household having to choose between an unwanted phone upgrade, not travelling long distances alone, or (as we have a range extender), excessive petrol use.
    They have clearly taken notice of user reaction with the change of tariff period, but are not replying on these other points, nor acknowledging individual complaints.
    I have not yet downloaded the app as user comments on Play Store suggest it also has technical problems – will wait until just before we next have to do a motorway trip and hope it has stabilised then.
    Our conversation with friends considering EVs will unfortunately change from citing Ecotricity’s motorway network as a big plus to warning that they are liable to expect their customers to acquire new technology mid holiday or risk being stranded.
    Any business studies teacher looking for a “how not to do it” case study will find fruitful material here.

  • #27645

    inkpen
    Participant

    @mbird I did an FOI request to Lewes District Council as to the frequency of use of their CYC rapid chargers at Lewes & Newhaven, both £3.50 for 10 mins, then 25p a minute. (part of my campaign against their “ridiculous charges” – before EH disarmed me). They sent me a CYC spreadsheet of every use since last September which was very revealing. There are Tesla users who after paying £100k for a car & £600 for a CHAdeMO adapter don’t mind paying £19 or more for 46+kWh of juice; a few good charges of Leafs, Zoes & BMWs or 16 to 18 kWh for £7.50 or so (maybe people on holiday?); a few people who obviously made a mistake & left their car on for £15 or more for very little charge; and most people paying the £3.50 for an emergency splash & dash. The Lewes rapid charger was used roughly twice as much as the Newhaven one, probably as it is near the junction of two busy roads, A27/A26, but averaged less than one person every 2 days. The council only installed these as they got a grant and it ticked an “eco” box. At this rate, I would expect the council to remove them some time in the next 2 years as uneconomical. I expect that the use of these will increase slightly as they now aren’t now much dearer than EH, cheaper for a splash & dash. Unfortunately, the EH motorway monopoly will never be subject to a FOI, so we are unlikely to see how their usage changes. I certainly see them rushing to install more anytime soon.

  • #27646

    Pip
    Participant

    Totally peed off with this VERY short notice.
    June 2015 on holiday in Florence and notice their use of electric vehicles in the centre of the city.

    June to Oct 15 buy two Zoe’s and a Twizy for personal and staff use.

    We install a charger at home (Aug) and one at relatives 20 miles away too (Oct). Only bought the two Zoe’s we have as we thought them sensible as most of our journeys are local (hence we also bought a Twizy as even better for local runs for staff)

    Before we have hoem charegrs installed, ONLY local charger near us owned by council is regulalry out of use for over a week….

    Kept a VW Caddy 7 seater for shorter journeys due to above problems until home chargers installed and then longer journeys as was not convinced we could rely on the charger network nationally yet and no use despite chargers on French Peage for long distance as increases travel time by significant amount.

    30th June take VW Caddy off road using SORN with a view to seeing how we do without diesel.

    1st July soft launch of local Community Interest Company (at MY cost) to operate a car club running Electric only vehicles called Fun2Electric

    7th July email saying Electric Highway to be chargeable at a rate which makes electric travel MORE expensive than petrol and diesel.

    Saturday go to charge car in local multi storey and BOTH spaces are blocked by a petrol ONLY vehicle and traffic enforcement officer hadn’t even ticketed it. Have to risk running out of charge and go home.

    Monday night go to the only other local charger offered by Thanet District Council in Margate at 7.30pm only to find they lock the car park at 7pm! Limp home with just enough charge.

    Today (Wednesday) AM update email from Ecotricity, saying chargers have been replaced in Bristol and aim for role out of new mobile pay only is to be complete by 5th August. AM staff member who has already left for trip to see client near Crawley via M20 charges near Leeds castle, he stops again at Clackett Lane only to find the charger was replaced the day before. He doesn’t have enough charge to get back to Leeds Castle, nor to get to where he was supposed to be going so he drives to Charge your car site near London (we have a card we pay for that TOO) charges and phone me and asks what to do. My answer, drive home via Leeds Castle and we are then going to take the cars back to Renault as they are now worthless and we will not be buying the next ones we had intended. And NEVER support new initiative again.

  • #27647

    Pip
    Participant

    Oh forgot to say Margate apparently has 3 council chargers and several of the council vehicles are electric. Two are for public use and one is supposed to be for their fleet, but the leader of the council (who doesn’t have an electric car) has apparently decided he likes the dedicated charger for their vehicle, so the council regularly use the public chargers and/or sometimes find they can;t use their own vehicles because the leader of the council is blocking their space and the public are using what they have paid taxes for.
    I am absolutely LIVID…. they got a grant for this and it is being misused. The chargers were put in the WRONG places, i.e. the most vandalized car parks in the locality which have since been shut off from the public to PARK CARS at night so the ROADS which people are supposed to DRIVE on remain clogged with parked cars so there is only ONE WAY traffic around our towns.
    A bunch of MUPPETS.

  • #27648

    Pip
    Participant

    This is all going to be quite ironic bearing in mind the BMA were quoted in February 2016 on Radio 4’s Today program as possibly looking to lobby for a no fossil fuel drive zone around schools at drop off and pick up time to reduce air pollution!

  • #27651

    inkpen
    Participant

    @pip Agree. It makes a nonsense of short range electric vehicles, which turned out to be a mistake, at this time in history. I hope that Renault will take them back, though I imagine that they will have enough trouble selling the ones they have. I guess that we have to wait for cheaper 250 mile range EVs in 5 or 10 years time and a bit more infrastructure, before it makes sense again. I imagine that EH chargers are going to be very quiet now. Back to diesel now. Very sad.

  • #27664

    mbird
    Participant

    @inkpen. Very interesting. It was Energise who got the grant a few years ago, about £1.7 million if I remember correctly and the roll out of chargers was done along the lines of ‘least resistance’ and without too much future planning as far I can tell. I was at Lewes DC at the time. One of the options (Option 3) they offer for site owners is to instruct Electromotive to decommission the Rapid Charger after 3 years if they wish. Where is the sustainability in that?

    As of June 2016 there had been 2,271 charging sessions carried out at 16 locations accessed by 490 drivers. The trouble is that if fossil fuel drivers perceive these chargers are not being used then they will start parking in them more and obstruct EVs needing to be charged and persuade site owners that they are not needed who will then go for Option 3! There must be some political lead on this otherwise it’s going to become an uncontrollable mess.

  • #27665

    inkpen
    Participant

    @mbird The Newhaven & Lewes rapid chargers are extremely useful in emergencies and may come into play more for me now that EH have set their charges where they are, as a £3.50 splash & dash may help me get home better than the 10 minute free rapid charge I used to take at Pease Pottage EH to give me peace of mind for range. I won’t now pay the £6 unless I really need it from EH and I will try to get home to Seaford (another 35 miles) but I can now gauge if the car is going to limp home from Lewes and then again from Newhaven or pay the £3.50 to get me home if I judge it wise.

    Where Lewes DC (& many other councils) are missing a trick is in the provision of 7kW posts in shoppers car parks which are generally more appropriate for local people intending to spend an hour or two shopping & maybe dining locally. That applies equally to Seaford, Lewes & Newhaven (which is so run down that it needs all the shoppers it can get). The rapids are really not for locals, but a valid part of what Energise Networks intends for the SE – but they are somewhat irrelevant for the local council.

    I don’t know who is advising who, but Storrington (Library) shoppers’ car park just removed two Polar 7kW posts after they installed a CYC/Energise rapid charger. As Storrington is a little off the beaten track, road-wise, this is a bit bizarre. I strongly get the impression that most of these council planners (& Energise advisors) wouldn’t know what an EV was if it ran them over.

    Hastings Borough Council have left their seafront CYC/Energise rapid charger in St. Leonards “free”. They also have 2 free CYC 7kW posts about a mile away in a more popular seafront car park. They have painted all the charging bays bright green with yellow stripes around the edges so there really is no ICEing excuse. Car parking at the rapid is free for 30mins maximum stay. I guess someone in Hastings BC has an intimate knowledge of EVs. They are also encouraging EVs to come on holiday to Hastings as they won’t get stuck or ripped off. Great for tourism. More councils should take note. (Particularly Brighton which, as the largest city in the South East and a Green Party haven, has virtually no EV charging infrastructure.)

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