EV charging networks

Soldato
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Anyone got any opinions on which is the best other than Tesla?

Considering getting an EV but we do a few long trips in a year. Just wondering what peoples experiences are with chargers along the motorway and which network they typically belong to.

Also got those who charge off the mains - max power is like 3kW what’s the charging like? Cos if we are away using the EV then the likelihood of use renting an AirBNB with DC charging is pretty slim. It is most likely to be off the mains. What’s the likely charge over night to be?
 
Soldato
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So far I've only used Tesla (so simple, just plug in and go), Chargeplace Scotland and Podpoint - all much of a muchness so far. Most of the main motorway services are all Gridserve now and its supposed to be straightforward contactless card pay as you go but I've managed to not need to try one yet (if given the choice between Gridserve and Tesla Supercharger in close proximity and pretty much same cost I'm going to the Supercharger).

I've done one big charge off the 3pin mains plug so far and that was 20 hours plus to get the car to 90%, its not something I'd recommend unless you are completely stuck and can't make it to something faster.
 
Soldato
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@G-Man assume you got a Tesla to enjoy the super charger network. What’s the battery capacity? 20hrs to 90% doesn’t sound too bad to me. Typically we would do 30-50miles/day while away based on the current 4-5miles/kWh I think that might be doable as over night charge

We tend to go to wales and end up in paces like Brecon or snowdonia and don’t stay at the build up places so probably doesn't help with regards to charging points.
 
Soldato
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Its a 69 plate Model 3 Long Range so battery is something like 70+ KWh. As a top up/way to precondition the car without using charge the 3pin plug charger is fine. If you need to actually get from 20% to 80% its a bit on the slow side.

Have a look on https://www.zap-map.com/live/ and see what the chargers are like in the areas you are likely to visit, can be surprising just how many there actually are.
 
Soldato
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Gridserve probably has the most comprehensive network out there at the moment covering major trunk roads. It's locations that they have yet to build into hubs are served by 2-3 50kw chargers in a single location, they can get busy. There are also normally alternatives just off the motorway too.

There are lots of big 'tesla style' charging hubs popping up all over the place from all the networks. While there not that many of them at the moment, they tend to be spread out all over the UK.

Being realistic, you probably will not be stopping at a location because you want to charge from that network, you'll be stopping there because its the right charger in the right location. I'm not at all fussed who provides it as long as its available, works and is in the right place (hopefully its fast too).

Most people consider the big networks to be:
Tesla
Gridserve
Instavolt
Shell Recharge
Ospray
BP Pulse
MFG
Pod Point (these are mostly slower AC posts but often very useful)

Other smaller networks of note which are building hubs around the UK:
Fastned (mostly in the EU around the Netherlands but have some hubs in the UK)
Ionity (plenty of fast UK sites but historically very expensive if you don't subscribe)
Apple Green (Welcome Break, new to the game but are adding their own branded chargers to their service stations)

Generally speaking all (except BP Pulse) are considered to be fine and any charge points put in within the last few years are pretty reliable. All of the old **** Ecotricity points on the motorway network(now taken over by Gridserve) have been swapped out for modern kit. Most of the above (Tesla, Pod Point and BP Pulse being the main exceptions) take card payment directly on the terminal.

As above, have a look at Zap Map and 'A Better Route Planner' check out your where to travel to and plan some routes. Charging at your destination, even if its off a 3-pin will make staying away from far more convenient. You can add a good amount of charge off a 3 pin overnight to get charged back up.

For home I'd certainly get a 'proper' 7kw plug put in so you can take advantage of time of use tariffs. Covering an average number of miles in an EV will double an average electric bill. If you can get that energy at 35p in the day and 7.5p for 4 hours overnight rather than 29p all the time, you'll save a big chunk of money (based on current prices). It generally doesn't work without a 'proper' 7kw plug because the car cant charge fast enough to take sufficient advantage of the 4 hour period at 7.5p.
 
Soldato
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There’s so many options these days. Instavolt is the best from a user experience perspective, they tend to be just off busy roads. Without leaving the motorway there’s a lot of ultra rapid hubs opening up on motorways with Gridserve. On a lot of sites they still only have 2 x 50kW chargers but at Moto service stations they are upgrading to 350kW chargers and there tends to be 6-12 of them. Tesla are also opening up to non-Teslas and they can be well located and all the networks have good locations just off motorways.

If you don’t do it day in day out then I would just go with whatever is convenient rather than having any brand loyalty. All DC rapids take contactless these days so there’s no need to be too fussy. The cost difference is not going to amount to much if it’s only a few times a year.
 
Soldato
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Is there much point in signing up to zap-maps paid services?
IMO no, unless you are going to be using it a lot and doing road trips on unfamiliar routes all the time.

If it's a few times a year then using the free zap map and ABRP will get you everything you need in terms of having a good idea of the charge options on your route.
 
Soldato
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IMO no, unless you are going to be using it a lot and doing road trips on unfamiliar routes all the time.

If it's a few times a year then using the free zap map and ABRP will get you everything you need in terms of having a good idea of the charge options on your route.

100% agree. Eventually charging points will be much more like filling stations, they’ll be more obvious and you learn where they all are. It’s just that they are new at the moment and some are in pretty odd locations.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the comments people. That’s certainly made me feel a bit easy.

Now if you are in my boots what would you choose. 77kwh £40k or 50kwh £30k. I am inclined to go for the longer range. However it is £10k extra. And it is not a Tesla as I need a bit more space to fit a family of 4.
 
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Soldato
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Thanks for the comments people. That’s certainly made me feel a bit east.

Now if you are in my boots what would you choose. 77kwh £40k or 50kwh £30k. I am inclined to go for the longer range. However it is £10k extra. And it is not a Tesla as I need a bit more space to fit a family of 4.
What car is this?

I would go for 77kWh - you should get your money back in residual value too so the 'true cost' shouldn't be 10k.
 
Soldato
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is there an impact on company car scheme for whats best for EV?
No but a lot of firms offer EVs on a salary sacrifice basis, which means a £560/mo car (with no deposit, insurance/tax/tyres included, @7k miles a year) becomes £385/mo for a lower rate tax payer, £340/mo for a 40% rate payer and £315/mo for a 45% rate payer.

Just had a look and a base model KIA EV6 77kWh is £732/mo gross or ~440/mo for a 40% rate payer.
 
Soldato
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Defo get the 77kwh in an EV6. The real world range is around 250 miles. The 50kwh is considerably less.
 
Soldato
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Agreed, get the long range version. A bonus of waiting however long is that more speedy chargers will appear over that time and the situation for charging will be even better than it is now.
 
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