Where Do You Charge?


(system) #1

Would this be the place to start a thread on charging points?

My local Council has 2 charging points, one in the village where I live - I’ll charge at home thanks - and one at the Council offices in Horsham, where I rarely go. They will send me a tag for £10.

Brighton has a different system and will send me a tag for free.

Other towns have other systems that are, or may become, a pay as you go system after 30Mar13 - but you need to join the scheme.
Now all this is fine, except a little confusing. But Elektromotive then told me that the Twizy has a problem using its charging points. Apparently the Renault 3 pin 13 amp plug has some dimensions that prevent the charge post door from closing and thus the electricity is not turned on.

Has anybody else had any experience of these issues? What charge post solutions are best? Renault tell me that an adapter charge lead will be available soon.


(mender) #2

I’m in Herefordshire, where there are no points, so:

At home
At mates
At anywhere I can scav a charge


(system) #3

This is true, but easily remedied. The plug has a black criss-cross sleeve where the blue flex joins the plug. This sleeve gets in the way of most waterproof socket lids, simply cut it off (without cutting into the insulation of the flex below) and the plug should fit anywhere. The sleeve serves no purpose as far as I can see.


(system) #4

Wherever you charge, can I remind you all to consider using Open Charge Map to keep a track of charging stations? It’s open source, and you can filter by type, so you can only tell it to show 13A sockets if you like. There are also some handy SmartPhone apps, which mean that you’re never stranded without a plug.

More importantly, Open Charge Map lets you report when you come across a problem, be they dead sockets, poor access, or vandalised bays.

As a side, it’s worth noting too that every single ZeroNet site in the UK (each one is listed as part of the Open Charge Map) has a 13A socket as standard. :ugeek:

As for the plug problem? I know that most Charging Stations aren’t compatible with the Twizy Plug. But instead of hacking off the insulation, why not spend £8.98 at the local B&Q on this nice little extension lead?](http://www.diy.com/nav/fix/electrical/cable-reels-extension-leads/rcd_adaptors/Masterplug-Converter-Lead-RCD-Protected-for-Outdoor-Equipment-0-5m-EXS13IPS05-OP-MS-10549099?skuId=11039631) I have one, and it fits nicely in either the larger glove box or in the rear :slight_smile:

Nikki.


(osbrook) #5

Nice Idea Nikki along with your other idea of a cable cover - like this one at Amazon


(system) #6

I am still trying to come to terms with this! I have a Charge Your Car tag and also an Elektrobay tag for Brighton. Do I need a tag for every town that I visit?
Still yet to try the Twizy properly as it has a “Rear Heated Window Fault” according to the diagnostics at the not so local ZE Aftersales Service centre. ?? go figure ??
They do not seem able to fix it and are talking about sending the Twizy to France for a solution!


#7

The Twizy doesn’t have a rear window :confused:


(Jeffinergiraffe) #8

I have been looking at public charging points for my Twizy but confused. Am I correct in saying that there are lots of different providers across the country and different methods of charging? Does that mean you have to join a lot of networks if you are going to travel around the country? Do you need to pay a membership fee for each provider? Also, I have read about rapid charge points but can they be used by a Twizy? I cannot seem to find a definitive guide to this.

If I want to travel to family in Brighton From Essex, I will need to top up along the way. Is there a top up point on the M23 for instance? The various websites I have visited are all really vague. Surely there has to be some joined up thinking on this? Or am I being a bit dim? (Please don’t answer that!!)

Also, the Open Charge map does not show the charging points in Southend which I know exist but they are shown on the Next Green Car website.


(osbrook) #9

There is a new Europe wide standard for the charge point connectors called Type 2. This is NOT compatible with the Twizy. An adaptor is required and these are not currently available, likely to cost around £400 which appears a bit steep for the limited use they would get.

There are still quite a few 3 pin sockets around but a lot will be upgraded! ie. Put out of use to a Twizy.

It is muted that the next generation of Twizy will have a different charge connector, but it is not clear if this is Type 2 or not. This does not help us now.

You are brave wanting to take the Twizy any distance and on a Motorway. Do you really want to sit and wait hours for a charge, part way? I’m happy to take mine full range point to point knowing I can charge there before returning, but sitting and waiting would be a pain. ie. There are 10 charge points at Meadowhall in Sheffield, these are well within reach and allow a comfortable round trip, but at least there is something to do while I wait, actually the car will charge quicker than you can walk round the place. This is avoided in the larger EV’s by having rapid charging. These points supply a lot more current than the 10 amps the Twizy can take to quickly charge the battery. The bigger battery in these cars can take 30mins to put in a good charge, ie. just time for a coffee.

Networks.
The commercial networks require you to join each one and carry lots of cards around. They are slowly merging and sharing the use of the charge points. Whether they are worth joining is a different matter. It will depend on what is around your area.

ZCW and Open Charge Maps list free to use points (point owners do prefer you to use their facility while charging, which can make a charge very expensive), they also label what is there so you can see if it is suitable for a Twizy charge.


(ItMayJustWork) #10

Did anyone solve the problem of using the charging points that don’t have a 3 pin plug ? I am wanting to use whatever is at South Mimms but I suspect it is not 3 - pin and I don’t know whether it comes under Source London / Source East or someone else I am not a member of ? Can’t risk going there until I know.

The whole situation regarding charging seems a bit of a mess with no clear maps which bring everything together and I have no idea how many different types of connection there are. Bit of a disaster if your plug doesn’t fit and your out of juice or its a different company to the one you joined.

Love the Twizy and as I increase the distances I am using it, this is becoming a problem. Sometimes just a quick 30 minute charge would enable me to get that little bit further.