Availability of charge points for electric cars

  • 16 September 2017
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 1

Bit of an update from my last post.

A couple of pointers. Went to Penny Hill P ark for afternoon tea. Plugged the car in went off came back no charge. User error did switch the socket to on.
Then went to Camberley shopping centre where we normally can charge the car for free, although not a fast charge both bays full.

Moral of this story always read the instructions (take your wife with you) and now be prepared for the cars getting popular. We still love our electric car.

8 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +2
Great to hear you still love your electric car and very useful for you to let other users know this! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Userlevel 1
Here is another good point. You don't need a special charging point. The car is parked on the drive and a lead goes straight into the garage. We are happy with the overnight charge it's enough.

Still love our electric car.
Userlevel 1
@Smeemorgan It's true that you don't 'need' a dedicated charging point, but it is recommended. Domestic three-pin sockets - even if they are fused at 13A - are simply not designed for the type of load an EV takes (usually a continuous 10 amp draw).

I know someone who wasn't convinced about the need for a proper EV charging point, only to have their mind swiftly changed when they felt the amount of heat coming from the plug in the three-pin socket after the car had been charging for some time...

Tom from Chargemaster
Userlevel 1
Thank you I will check the plug situation out.
Userlevel 1
@Smeemorgan Glad to hear it! Apart from safety, another consideration is the speed of charge, particularly for EVs with larger batteries.

For example, an average Tesla Model S may take around 10 hours to charge on a 7.4kW Homecharge unit, but on a basic three-pin domestic socket would take about 30 hours!
I have been charging from the garage with a regular plug for two years with no problems. Normally I try to charge on a sunny day to use the solar panels
Userlevel 2
@Smeemorgan ... Domestic three-pin sockets - even if they are fused at 13A - are simply not designed for the type of load an EV takes (usually a continuous 10 amp draw). ...
Tom from Chargemaster

A BS1363 socket is rated for 13A continuous load (as you would get from a 3 KW Electric heater).

You do need to be careful because the ring is usually rated (and fused) at 30A which it is possible to exceed easily if you use several high-power appliances. It is good practice to only use one of a double socket for high power appliances. It is also very wise to ensure that the plug, socket and cable are well-ventilated (not under a blanket or carpet).

Properly installed and well-maintained, the plug top will get warm, but not cause a fire risk. Dirty contacts will cause more resistance and, hence, more heating. You should get your electrical installation checked by a qualified electrician periodically. IET recommendations are on change of occupancy or every 10 years. If you are using a 13A socket to charge your car it would be sensible to get your wiring checked when you start and rechecked more frequently.

Again, remember that your EVSE will draw slightly less current than a 3 KW electric heater on full-blast and should be treated with the same respect.
Since this forum section is about availability, can I ask if anyone has tried other European countries. It looks as though some (e.g. Germany, Netherlands, France) have many more points than UK , and maybe they are mostly Type 2, but what about paying any costs? I would love to try driving down to Portugal this year...