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Little Chef and Chargemaster installing UK national charging network

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Well-Known Member
May 23, 2008
Winchester, UK
A big win for Mennekes in the UK with Little Chef...

UK Public EV Chargers Within 30 Miles by 2012

Little Chef announces massive charge scheme - Autoblog UK



Little Chef is a chain of roadside diners for those that don't know.

These are going to be 7kW but I hope they can be persuaded to install some 22kW or higher in strategic locations.

The station above is now open at Popham (popham little chef - Google Maps) which is 10 miles from here.

(The BBC South local news still managed a negative spin on this story)
So there are already two standard AC solutions racing head by head in UK, Mennekes and J1772. ZCW provides commando sockets. More enthusiasm establishes a HPC network. CHAdeMo makes significant progress. And Tesla states, their DC charging is going to be the solution. Sigh. Seems we have to repeat the lessons from Thirty Year's War?
So there are already two standard AC solutions racing head by head in UK, Mennekes and J1772.
I don't really see those standards as competing. Since the model is to carry your own cable, J1772 can plug directly into Mennekes with an adapter cable. Though limited to single phase, it doesn't really matter since most those J1772 cars have puny 3.3kW chargers.

Neither do I want to wait like that, but this is also about combating perceptions of range anxiety as well as making extending range practical. Its nice to know if you fall short that there are easily accessible options.... admittedly options with fairly revolting coffee, but options nonetheless.
Neither do I want to wait like that, but this is also about combating perceptions of range anxiety as well as making extending range practical.
waiting for hours in a Little Chef does not combat range anxiety but reinforces it IMO (I would be really anxious that I'd have to spend 8 hours there!). We NEED these sites to understand that the absolute minimum charging rate for a 'motorway/trunk services' location is 63A AC and CHAdeMO DC because Tesla and Leaf drivers can then make a more appropriate length stop.

In reality you will find that these 32A sites simply go unused as people choose to go to more appealing locations up the road.
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Little Chef to host lunch to discuss EV Charging - 1st November

here is the text extracted from a number of Little Chef tweets following our criticism of their 7kW deployments;

"Hello everyone, thanks for your comments on our electric car chargers.

Little Chef are currently working with Nissan, looking into the feasibility of installing DC chargers. We wanted to put an offer in place, so we have, and we are now working towards faster solutions for the middle of next year.

William de Laszlo would like to invite anyone that would like input into our car charger offer to a lunch at 35 Davis St (W1K 4LS) on November 1st.

If you are interested please email [email protected]"

We are proposing to attend this lunch on masse and ensure that Little Chef are left in no doubt that we NEED 50kW DC (and 43kW AC) Fast Charging NOW.

We will be posting on the following Leaf Talk forum;

Do we know that this William de Laszlo is actually with Little Chef?
Little Chef said today "William is a Director at RCapital, the investment company that are behind Little Chef" they also confirmed that he will be at the meeting on the 1st November.

I would encourage everyone in the UK to attend this meeting and help Little Chef understand why we need 50kW DC (CHAdeMO) and 44kW AC ("mennekes") and how that would make them THE on-route charging location.
Incidentally I visited the little chef (eastbound) near ringwood (Restaurant Details : Little Chef) earlier today. The chargemaster point was on the wall of the restaurant (not immediately visible you have to go wandering to find it), and it appeared operational (unlike me, still without a mennekes adaptor :crying:). I've not seen a chargemaster point before. I found it odd that both the charge port flaps had been left ajar. I lifted each to see there was one 13A and one mennekes connector as expected, and closed them, after which I couldn't open them again.

On my way out, I asked a member of staff about it. I learned that:

- They keep rfid cards inside the restaurant you can borrow (with deposit) if you don't have one
- She claimed it was accessible 24 hours a day (and I could see nothing that would stop you getting to it after the restaurant had closed)
- In what she estimated was 6 weeks since it was installed, it has been used only once to her knowledge