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Charger Infrastructure - More chargers at less locations or Less chargers at more locations.

Apologies if this has been discussed before. Our town with population of approx 15,000 currently has one 50kw public charger (that doesn't work on DC with Tesla but that's another story), another charger has been built for over a year but still has to be commissioned and has not progressed at all for around 9 months, and I believe there are plans in place for another but this has not started yet. These are all situated at different locations within the town. My personal opinion is that it would be better to have all the public chargers at one location, where if they are all busy you can queue rather than driving round in circles to see if one is free, OK I know you can check the app, but it doesn't tell you if that driver has just started a charge or is almost finished or if there are 1 or 2 cars already waiting. You would think one location would be less maintenance as well, pick one site, put up decent lighting and have it near public services, or build a small facility with toilet and vend machines that can only be accessed with your RFID card. Or do people prefer to have the chargers dotted around town as it means they could be closer to one.
 

GeorgeSymonds

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Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
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1,910
UK
I'd go for say up to 4 in one location then more locations. For instance 4 superchargers at every motorway service centre would be better than the 16 at one and then nothing for several. I find I have had to drive the wrong way at times to get to a supercharger which isn't ideal.
 
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Destination charging is where it's at. You dont need a ton of 50+kw chargers outside of the main arterial routes. but what you do need are multiples of 7Kw ones in shopping centre car parks, tourist spots and the like. I would also suggest even more 3Kw ones in railway stations where a car is left all day so charging speed is less relevant
 
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I agree with @GeorgeSymonds, up to 4 rapids in 1 location would be about right for our type of town, pretty much like a small petrol station is now, you would never find a petrol station with only 1 pump. Agree with the point regarding location being down etc, but still think the advantages probably outweigh the negatives if the location is right. Agree we don't need tons of rapids in our small town but with the ever increasing amount of EV's we definitely need more than the one we have currently, destination charging is good, but we have none of them either but I'm sure it will all improve in the future.
 
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Irata

Active Member
Oct 16, 2020
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615
UK
I think economics will come into this. While a car is charging, there is a captive audience to sell things to. Arguably far more so than petrol stations, where many are in and out with only a coffee and a chocolate bar. This could be services (e.g. financial, salons) as well as products for sale.

The more charge points, the more customers at any one time, the charge points may not even be the real income earner. Plus people do tend to copy others, more customers attract more customers.

I also agree that destination charge points are really important. A hotel or tourist destination without charge points may become less attractive.

Whatever happens, I think simplicity is key.
 
I agree, you're there for longer charging an EV even on a 50kw charger and have nothing to do, perfect opportunity to eat or shop for the essentials you need to get anyway. Virtually all petrol stations have shops now. I can see it being an attractive selling point for the supermarkets, cheap electricity on 7kw units while you shop or use the cafe.
 
Charging capacity is fast becoming an issue where I live (near Weymouth, Dorset). No Tesla SC site for 50 miles in any direction (after the planned Dorchester site was inexplicably ditched without even planning being applied for).


In Weymouth there are a total of four 50+KW chargers - 2 BP pulse ones which have spent more time offline than working in the time they've been installed (currently down for a 5th day in a row now), one at Morrisons and one at Lidl. There is also one in a council car park that hasn't worked for 8 months. With lock down easing, and the number of chargers down, there has been constant queues at all the remaining units. Infrastructure for EVs in touristy areas are light years away from being able to support more EV cars and with no obvious investment on the horizon (eg Tesla pulling a much needed location), the problem is going to get much worse before it improves IMHO.
 

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