The UK Ministry of Transport is drawing up a map of plug-in points for electric cars in order to make it easier for the drivers of battery-buggies to charge up their vehicles. The database of charge locations will be developed by POD Point – a UK-based chargepoint manufacturer – and will be whizzed up into a map, the Ministry of …
Good idea in theory but..
You'd need to want an electric car and you'd have to have a vacant charging spot when you get there or you could be waiting a very long time or run out of power looking for another one.
Petrol is still a lot more convenient.
ultra low carbon cars
FFS they are not low carbon now and won't be for decades (if ever).
No use having a map of the places if they're 30 miles apart, and if each station has just 1 or 2 plugs. It's a bit of a chicken-an-egg, people won't buy the cars if they can't charge them, and charge points won't be built unless there are enough cars.
However, it IS a start.
When we have got enough power outlets? Think of a car park with 1000 cars in it and each position with a 32A outlets: total electrical demand 6.8MW. That is going to double the electrical demand of your city centre. Then think about how many car parks there are. We need more pylons and transformers. And then the wind does not blow on the wind farm. How are you going to get home then?
So? How much does it cost?
This sort of database is only useful for those with EV planning on going somewhere they haven't been before. Otherwise one knows full well where to find "watering holes" as one's life is planned hopping from one to another. And in finding entertainment while one's car is feeding.
EV proponents are very careful to keep quiet as to how much is charged for electricity at such charging stations. Because charging takes so long one needs to wire most every spot in a parking lot, the traditional 5 minute splash and go model doesn't work.
The only EV proponents that try to hide public charging costs are the ones trying to provide the service.
Actual EV proponents (the ones who buy the cars) mostly charge at home or at work and I'm sure will be very happy to tell you how much the charging costs.
A public charging db is useful for owners because:
(a) They might not use them much and therefore be likely to forget.
(b) Charging can be time-consuming (as you noted) so any that they do use might be occupied. (This is why Nissan have been working on lowering Level 3 charger prices and are now going to be more aggressive about trying to get Level 3 chargers out there).
(c) Chargers are limited and more variable than petrol stations: you want to know ahead of time whether one has appeared or disappeared.
I can't see a direct pay model working well because of the limited capacity. I see a future of municipal provision (environmental), utility provision (Electric Co trying to persuade you to spend your money on electricity instead of petrol) and businesses (additional service to attract customers).
Given that surveys show *fear* of running out of juice is one of the key worries about having an EV int he first place this should have been up and running *months* ago. That way the DB could grow *slowly* with minimal staffing support as the charging pints increase.
It's a *small* step forward to making EV's a more *practical* form of transport in the UK.
*Provided* it's updated regularly and accessible to those who need it *when* they need it.
"surveys show *fear* of running out of juice is one of the key worries about having an EV int he first place"
That's why Renault will tow a car that has ran out of juice to the nearest charging station, for free. So at least with Renault, that's not an issue.
The main problem with electric cars, aside from fear, is that they are not cost effective. If the price is good most of us will learn to live with some of the other issues, like limited range and long charging time. But that's not the case.
For example Renault will rent you the battery, and the more kilometers you drive per year, the higher the rent will be. The electricity cost is neglijable, you might as well consider it free. But the cost for renting the battery is huge, so in the end the total cost of ownership will be the same, compared to a normal car. For example, if you drive 15000 miles/year, the battery rental cost will be 1000 pounds + VAT per year, if you rent the battery for 5 years.
In my country that renting cost is equivalent with a fossil fuel car with a fuel economy of about 5 liters/100km, if you consider the fuel cost to drive the same distance (15000 miles). Most small diesel cars have no trouble matching that, VW Polo diesel uses only 3.8 liters / 100 km.
And the car prices are similar to the fossil fuel versions only after you substract the government subsidies.
So, unless you really want one, or you bet on the fossil fuel prices doubling over the next few years, going electric is not a good deal in any way.
But at least we're almost there. And for those that say that big oil killed the electric car, they couldn't be more wrong. High prices killed the electric car. And good prices will bring it back to life.
See this for more details about Renault electric vehicles:
IF THERE IS A TAKE UP OF THIS.....
I'm sure the government of the day will tax the charging points, £20 to plug it in then the cost including vat of the electric used and additional charges for time of day.
Then a new offence of charging you car somewhere other than an official charging point.
Battery technology and cost, not to mention the use of rare materials, will be the death of the electric car.
No-one (sane) will buy an electric car unless they have space on a a driveway, because charging a car with a reasonable amount of juice to even get you home from the supermarket takes too long, and can you really see cables snaking across pavements?
Anybody else see that BBC reporter try to drive from London to Edinburgh? Took four days. http://tinyurl.com/2vmkt5z Even with plenty of power points it's still going to take nearly that. Add in the cost of hotel bills, food and coffee's, clean clothes and the amount of business/holiday you've lost in that time and it becomes ridiculous.
So it becomes a short journey only device. How many people are going to have a flat battery on the school run? 'Lots' I imagine.
So the driveway has to have space for an electric car (and a person who remembers to plug it in after getting the 2.4 kids and the shopping into the house in the pouring rain) AND a longer range car. No use saying they could hire one for longer journeys because everybody will want one at the same periods in the week or year.
No, longer term hydrogen powered vehicles are the only way forward (pun intended).
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