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Public Charging Only

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
I have my heart set on a M3, but the issue is I have no off-road parking at my house and no option to move in the near future. I do however have three 50kwh CCS Rapid Chargers all within a 10 min drive, including one right near to my regular snooker club, which is ideal.

I do approx 200 miles per week, so have worked out I'd only need to charge once a week for 1-2 hours which is easily doable. It would cost around £35 per month which is still much cheaper than petrol in any case so cost isn't the issue.

Does anyone have any comments, things to look out for, or recommendations for this type of life for an M3 car and owner?

Thanks.
 

Durzel

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2019
5,400
4,599
Bath, UK
I have issues with Chargemaster rapids on my i3, and I’ve heard they can cause issues on M3s too.

It’s certainly doable though. I was reliant on public charging for about 5 months before getting my charger installed, and I had to travel further than 10 mins drive.

The only real issue I found is passing the time while your car is charging. In the early days I’d go to the pub and have some food, which sortof negates the fuel saving! Other times I’d have to wait while someone else was using it. Other times it was out of order.

The biggest downer I found is that charging after work, or whatever, means you’re that bit further away from home. With home charging you can plug in and forget about it.
 
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Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,816
3,177
Manchester
M3 is around 4 miles per kw/h and probably around 3 miles in winter. Based on that if the rapid chargers are wanting 30p per kw/h then your 200 miles in winter would be around £20 so average for the month would be £80. Obviously in summer it would be less.

Living on rapid chargers is not the best way to go as it would degrade the battery quicker, have a look around to see if there are any 7kw type 2 chargers nearby that you could leave the car at for a few hours.

try zap-map and after registering look on zap-map home as there may be a residential charger nearby that you could come to an arrangement with the owner.
 
If relying on 50kW CCS then look into subscribing to something like Polar ( Polar Plus - the UK's largest public charging network £8/month ), it’ll be just 15p/kWh then, equivalent to average home electricity cost during the day.
I use PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You phone app and subscribe to a couple of local polar chargers so I get phone alerts when they’re in use / free so no waiting around.

also see if there are some free Type2 AC chargers you can adopt, perhaps see if you’re workplace has/is contemplating installing some.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
M3 is around 4 miles per kw/h and probably around 3 miles in winter. Based on that if the rapid chargers are wanting 30p per kw/h then your 200 miles in winter would be around £20 so average for the month would be £80. Obviously in summer it would be less.

Living on rapid chargers is not the best way to go as it would degrade the battery quicker, have a look around to see if there are any 7kw type 2 chargers nearby that you could leave the car at for a few hours.

try zap-map and after registering look on zap-map home as there may be a residential charger nearby that you could come to an arrangement with the owner.
Polar Plus is 15p per kwh.

There are a few 7kwh chargers around but I don't like the idea of leaving the car alone there for several hours at a time. My local Tesco (less than 5 minute drive away) has just installed one that is free for up to 3 hours for instance. I don't think they'd take too kindly to me leaving it there for the max time twice a week though! It's just meant for customers doing their shopping.
 

Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,816
3,177
Manchester
15p will bring the cost down but please remember that chargers can and will break, usually at the worst time. I'm not trying to put you off i'm just saying that you should always have a backup. Tesco staff won't care less as they leave the car park to a management company. I've used the Tesco ones near me and they've consistently given 6kw which is around 25 miles per hour.

Have a look on Zap Map or plugshare for any others, it is not wise to live on rapid chargers.

edit - if you're leasing though i guess it doesn't really matter
 
Last edited:
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Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
15p will bring the cost down but please remember that chargers can and will break, usually at the worst time. I'm not trying to put you off i'm just saying that you should always have a backup. Tesco staff won't care less as they leave the car park to a management company.

Have a look on Zap Map or plugshare for any others, it is not wise to live on rapid chargers.

edit - if you're leasing though i guess it doesn't really matter
Yes chargers being unavailable or broken is the biggest issue. I do have three to choose from though so hopefully not an issue I'll have other than very occasionally.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
Lol not likely they won't even pay for new lights on the friggin tables!

I've just noticed though that the charger right nearby to the club is part of the D2N2 network (Notts/Derbyshire) and it's only 20p/kwh with a £20 per year fee. That should work out even cheaper than Polar Plus which is £94 per year.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
No I was wrong. Polar Plus still works out cheaper per year by £34.

Another thing I was going to ask, should I be buying the other types of cables just in case like the Chademo or just plain Type 2 (doesn't that fit into the M3 charging point any way?).

The chargers I intend to use all have the CCS cables built in. But I guess if I go on long journeys I might need the others.
 

Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,816
3,177
Manchester
No I was wrong. Polar Plus still works out cheaper per year by £34.

Another thing I was going to ask, should I be buying the other types of cables just in case like the Chademo or just plain Type 2 (doesn't that fit into the M3 charging point any way?).

The chargers I intend to use all have the CCS cables built in. But I guess if I go on long journeys I might need the others.
Model 3 doesn't accept chademo. You will get a type 2 cable with the car and rapid chargers/CCS always have the cable attached. It will also have a UMC with a 3 pin plug that you could use whilst visiting family/friends etc although it's quite slow at 2kw or 9 mph
 
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Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,801
5,419
Scotland
I do approx 200 miles per week, so have worked out I'd only need to charge once a week for 1-2 hours which is easily doable. It would cost around £35 per month which is still much cheaper than petrol in any case so cost isn't the issue.

People often work out their anticipated need for charging like you describe. "Because I don't do too many miles in a week I will only need to charge once." This seems reasonable when you are still thinking in a petrol/diesel frame of mind where you generally fill a tank then run it low before filling it again.

If you don't have home charging then perhaps charging at work can be an option. If you need to rely on public chargers you need reliable ready access to local charging 2 or 3 times a week in my opinion.

I'll outline some of my thoughts...

An EV works best when frequently topped up to give you 90% of its rated range every day. Being plugged in when not in use is what Tesla recommends. For best battery health it's recommended not to routinely charge to higher than 90% nor run the car routinely below 10%. It's easy to keep within those recommendations and live without "range anxiety" if you charge regularly but not if you charge once a week.

Charging once a week could be difficult and at worst take away some of the pleasure of EV ownership. You definitely need the reliable availability of charging 2 or 3 times a week even if you don't always think you need it. Firstly can you really say that your car usage is so reliable and consistent that you will be happy starting the last day of the week only having, say, 10 miles of range? Maybe you think yes because after all your final journey is only 7 miles. Life isn't as tidy as all that. The car doesn't just use power driving along, it loses a little every time you stop and start. It loses a bit overnight ... it loses more when it's cold ... it uses more when you need to drive in strong wind and rain ... the battery may be lower because you needed to give a friend a lift to their work or made another unplanned excursion or simply because it was a beautiful evening and you wanted to drive out to the country. Your car may well easily exceed 200 miles if charged to 100% and run to a low percentage in one long journey but maybe not so easy spread across a week and sticking within that optimum 80% band (10 to 90). One time you have 30 miles left at the end of the week and another you have none. And public chargers can be notoriously unreliable ... yet you REALLY need that charge if running the battery low. (And that's when your sceptical friend suggests meeting up and you have to admit that you can't because your fantastic new Tesla has no "juice" ... oh how they laugh!)

Perhaps I'm being a little pessimistic and others are successfully doing a regular 200 miles a week with a single public charge ... I would be interested to know but the idea doesn't attract me.
 

Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
727
371
Burton-on-Trent
Thanks. I appreciate all those things and it's something I'll have to learn and adjust to along the way.

However I don't plan on letting it get below 20% before charging, though no doubt there'll be instances where it won't fit in with my schedule and I'll have to either let it run lower or make an extra charging stop at other times. And I'll be charging it to 80 or 90% each time too.
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,801
5,419
Scotland
Thanks. I appreciate all those things and it's something I'll have to learn and adjust to along the way.

However I don't plan on letting it get below 20% before charging, though no doubt there'll be instances where it won't fit in with my schedule and I'll have to either let it run lower or make an extra charging stop at other times. And I'll be charging it to 80 or 90% each time too.

I wonder if it's worth asking the local council if they have a strategy to improve the local access to EV charging in your area? Every little bit of pressure helps! There seems to be a great variation around the country with some being ready to support new initiatives such as charging from lampposts. Urban areas with an obligation to reduce pollution from vehicles should be looking positively at such things ... (OK I'll drop back into the real world ... probably not!)
 
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davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,712
1,932
Leicester
I have my heart set on a M3, but the issue is I have no off-road parking at my house and no option to move in the near future. I do however have three 50kwh CCS Rapid Chargers all within a 10 min drive, including one right near to my regular snooker club, which is ideal.

I do approx 200 miles per week, so have worked out I'd only need to charge once a week for 1-2 hours which is easily doable. It would cost around £35 per month which is still much cheaper than petrol in any case so cost isn't the issue.

Does anyone have any comments, things to look out for, or recommendations for this type of life for an M3 car and owner?

Thanks.
I like you have no charging facilities at home as I park on the street. One thing I do have is a charger at work so that is my main place. At weekends I have a few options to top up, I have 2 car parks where the 7kw charging is free and £1 all day on a Sunday to park or if you have a carpark nearby with charging you can leave over night for a similar price and get it topped up.

I do around 400- 500 miles a week and 13k in so far and have found it fairly painless.

You will find the first few weeks a bit daunting but a routine will happen and you start to know your car, what charging facilities are available and how fast it charges on the rapids or 7kw.

If out and about zapmaps is great and as someone mentioned above I find Polar to be one of the great networks. Ecotricity needs to improve!

Cables the type 2 is all you will need. The UMC as a slow backup if staying at family or friends. Rapids have their own cable.

Hope that helps :)
 
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