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3rd party chargers 2020

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by LukeUK, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    I'm sure this has been a frequent topic over the years, but I've looked through the first few pages of this board and I can't see a similar topic that is up to date for 2020.

    Like a few people, I'm expecting delivery after the next boat arrives, so I'm now revisiting my previous research on non-Tesla charging options, primarily using Zap Map, for when Superchargers aren't an option.

    The majority of my mileage will be covered with home charging, for which I will have an EO charger installed next week.

    There aren't any Superchargers between home and my Parents, so at the moment that's the main requirement for looking at other chargers. Typically, we'll visit for a weekend, so it's 200 miles there on a Friday evening, various trips over the weekend and then 200 miles home on a Sunday evening. I'll be able to charge with the UMC and a 16A adapter whilst at my parents.

    I also spend time working away from home, so from now on, the choice of hotel will also need to consider the charging options.

    The main options appear to be;

    Ecotricity
    30 p/kWh
    No setup/monthly costs
    They appear to have the monopoly on motorway/dual carriageway charging locations, as well as a reputation for these chargers not working/being faulty/potentially allowing charging for free/not at all.

    Polar Plus
    0 - 12 p/kWh
    £7.85 per month
    Don't appear to be useful for long distance travelling, possibly more suited for destination charging? Subscription is a waste of money if it's not being used.

    Instavolt
    35 p/kWh
    No setup/monthly costs
    Expensive, but in my case, does help fill in a black hole when travelling to/from South Wales for work (Leominster).

    What are other peoples experiences? advice?

    Thanks,

    Luke
     
  2. NorfolkMustard

    NorfolkMustard Active Member

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    For Polar, are you mainly just referring to their AC chargers? They have DC @ 50kW (15p) and more recently 150kW (20p) too and have begun rolling out the latter to their BP service stations.

    There's also Ionity (69p), who have a partnership with the Extra branded motorway services.
     
  3. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    Thanks, I hadn't spotted the 15p for 50kW DC, and I din't realise they did 150 kW. I'll re-filter on Zap Map.

    The website has prices as follows;

    Polar Instant
    50 kW - 25 p/kWh
    150 kW - 35 p/kWh

    Zap Map currently states the following, for 150 kW CCS;

    Polar Plus - 20.4 p/kWh
    Instant - £1.20 connection then free to use?!

    The Ionity chargers are quick, but that sort of rate exceeds the cost per mile for diesel.
     
  4. NorfolkMustard

    NorfolkMustard Active Member

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    This is a good summary of their prices. The cheaper Polar Plus costs are after paying £7.85/month membership.

    The £1.20 you refer to above is a minimum charge, rather than an additional connection charge.

    from Polar Network Pricing

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like x 2
  5. NewbieT

    NewbieT Member

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    After 9 months of the M3 and a bit of playing my best advice:

    1. Stick to Superchargers if you can. Quicker, cheaper, reliable and easy billing.
    2. Forget Ecotricity. They’re broken and slow. Trust me. Honesty just don’t bother wasting your time. They’re a decoy in convenient places and deny proper operators a charging space. Rant over.
    3. Tesla Superchargers do have not-spots. If you use zap-map, add the filter for CCS 100kW, 150kW, 350kW. Use if convenient but expect to pay £££. Worth a peak. Don’t expect the same charging performance as with the Superchargers. See if you can fool the car into pre-heating the battery by a bluffed ‘navigate to’ a Supercharger. You may be disappointed with some to only get 50kW.
    4. Don’t write off CCS 50kW. These are more abundant and can be conveniently located.
    5. Go for Polar Instant app not Polar Plus. It’s cheaper than contactless but has no monthly subscription.
    Have a play to find your own way.

    Happy charging.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    Based on @NorfolkMustard 's table, I've put together the following figures;

    upload_2020-6-11_9-24-39.png

    upload_2020-6-11_9-24-57.png

    If I'm mostly in the office for a month, Instant makes more sense. However, I'd only need to be on site for a few days a month for Plus to make more sense, using 50 kW and 150 kW chargers to commute.

    @NewbieT , your comments on Ecotricity echo many that I've read, both on here and on Zap Map.
     
  7. hingus2000

    hingus2000 Member

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    London
    I did a few calculations last week for Source London.

    If you join as a full member (£4pm) and charge between 8pm and 7am at 7.4wh making use of the 4 hour night time cap on charges (usually charged at 3.6p/minute), it brings the cost of electricity down to 10.61p/kWh on the basis of 11 hours charging capped at £8.64.

    If you only charge once in a month and wrap the £4 subscription fee into that and call it £12.64, it becomes 15.52p/kWh.

    Best not to do the calculations when the fees are not capped! Fortunately I’m lucky to have a relatively under-utilised Source charging point 100m from my flat so hopefully I’ll be able to stick it on overnight as often as is needed.
     
  8. bhav

    bhav Member

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    I'm somewhat fortunate in that my flat's underground car park has some electric chargers on the Polar Network - I need to pay £7.85 for membership as above (first 3 months free), but then the charging itself is free. Bit slow at 7kW/8kW but fine given it'll just be overnight/during the day when at home anyway.

    So although I'm only 5 mins from Park Royal SC, which as the v3 superchargers, I can't see myself using that very often!
     
  9. Adopado

    Adopado Active Member

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    Looks like a great setup so long as it's reliable ... but also having a nearby option is reassuring! (However, if I had to choose where my Superchargers were located I would rather have them 100 miles down the road rather than just round the corner. Much handier.)
     
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  10. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    £7.85 for all overnight charging should work out to be pretty cost effective.

    Even at a modest 10 kWh a day, you're looking at approx. 2.6 p/kWh - which is good. Of course, it will get cheaper as you use more!

    7 kW isn't slow for home charging. That's the maximum anyone with a single phase supply will achieve.
     
  11. DaveW

    DaveW Member

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    With Ionity there are ways to get the price cheaper, using either the ChargePoint or Maingau apps (pre-populating with your card details)
     
  12. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    What does that bring the rate down to?
     
  13. bhav

    bhav Member

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    Yeah agreed not that useful just round the corner...though sadly a lot of ICE owners park in the electric bays in my car park so useful in emergency!

    (I've printed out some passive aggressive notices to stick on their windscreens if it really becomes a problem... ;))

    Would recommend the Polar app btw - it does seem to have good coverage.

    Perhaps not the thread for it but one thing I do want to find is a shorter and lighter type 2 cable. The one that comes with the car is great but cumbersome to take out from the boot and unwind when the charger is <1.5 metres from the car (chargers are untethered). Any thoughts from anyone appreciated!
     
  14. DaveW

    DaveW Member

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    With the ChargePoint RFID it's £7.60 at the moment flat rate
    Maingau seems to be €0.35 per kWh
     
  15. Adopado

    Adopado Active Member

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    i've never had to use mine due to chargers being tethered but the posts from several people have advocated even longer cables! This is apparently because there are some chargers where you can't get close enough. In any case it makes cable management much easier if you get a circular zip bag as it keeps the cable very neatly and easier to to work around when managing the contents of the boot. I got one of these that was recommended by someone else and is great value: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MTODSXW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  16. bhav

    bhav Member

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    Thanks, inexpensive so I will probably get that!

    And yeah I know people usually want longer so I'm in an unusual category!
     
  17. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    @LukeUK whilst not commonplace, there are some 50kW Polar chargers that are free to use with Polar Plus. That changed the equation on break even for me. The cost information on ZapMap is sometimes incorrect, so it is worth checking the Polar Plus app itself.

    My Model 3 is the first electric car I’ve had. I often go to rural locations and am forced to use the public charger network. My experience in the nine months so far hasn’t been great.

    For me, Polar has been the only network that is even vaguely reliable, but you can’t depend on it like you can on Superchargers. There is often just one charging unit at a location and no guarantee that it will be available or even work when you get there. There is no way I would plan to arrive at one without plenty left in the battery to go elsewhere, and I consider backup locations carefully when planning a journey. ABRP is helpful for this.

    Maybe I’ve been unlucky, but after Polar, every other network I’ve tried has been awful. Either the charger wouldn’t work at all or it took ages on the phone to support people to make it work. I thank my lucky stars I chose a Tesla, I never realised how important the Supercharger network is to make the car viable before I bought it. Whilst I was in Cornwall a few months back, I met a guy at yet another broken charger who had recently bought an e-Nero. He rued the day he bought it due to the unreliability of charging networks.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  18. Jason71

    Jason71 Active Member

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    Have you tried Instavolt?. I see more and more of them popping up and they have a good reputation ,mainly 50KW at the moment?
     
    • Like x 1
  19. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    Twice. One worked, one didn’t. Good that you just need a credit card to use it rather than being forced to create an account of some kind. Was quite pricey compared to Polar and Superchargers IIRC, but still buttons compared to fossil fuel.
     
  20. LukeUK

    LukeUK Member

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    Thanks @Jeeves , a lot of what you've said rings bells. I didn't realise there were some 'included' 50 kW chargers out there.
     

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