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[UK] HAVE YOUR SAY! - Government Electric vehicle charging market study

CMc1

supercharge.info editor
Aug 2, 2019
1,425
1,277
North, UK
The Competition and Markets Authority is carrying out a market study into electric vehicle charging in the UK.

Time to have your say.. until 5 Jan 2021

The CMA has launched a market study into the electric vehicle charging sector in the UK. We are considering 2 broad themes:
  • how to develop a competitive sector while also attracting private investment to help the sector grow
  • how to ensure people using electric vehicle chargepoints have confidence that they can get the best out of the service
We are inviting comments by 5 January 2021 on the issues raised in the invitation to comment, including from interested parties such as chargepoint providers, industry bodies, regulators, local authorities and consumer groups.

Extract from the document:
  1. What challenges or difficulties related to chargepoints might act as a barrier to consumers switching from a conventionally fuelled passenger vehicle to an EV and how might these be overcome?
  2. What are the key challenges for consumers already interacting with the sector and how might these change over time as the sector grows?
  3. How do consumers decide which chargepoint services and providers to use? What information do consumers need to make this decision and at what stage in the decision-making process?
  4. Can consumers easily understand and compare charging tariffs in this sector and what barriers, if any, do they face?
  5. Do particular groups of consumers face additional challenges to interacting with the sector and if so, who and why? How might these be overcome?
  6. Are there any technological developments or tools that could support consumers to navigate the sector, for example by helping to make more informed choices?
  7. Are existing protections offered by consumer law and other measures (such as sector regulations) sufficient?
  8. What, if any, open data measures are needed to support consumer interaction, such as through the growth of comparison sites and apps?
  9. What else is required to help ensure that the EV charging sector develops in a way that is responsive to consumer needs?

Document: https://assets.publishing.service.g...0e0762a7242783/Invitation_to_comment_ECMS.pdf

Site: Electric vehicle charging market study

Contact: [email protected]
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Yes!!!

I wrote to the CMA and DfT earlier in the year re: extortionate prices.

The answer is to create a market where no competition exists.

Please all ask for mandatory ‘Roaming plug & charge for all public high charging points’.

This will force charge point operators of 22kW+ to open up access I.e. create competition and make charging easy. Fewer apps and glove boxes full of RFID cards.
 

m3p_uk

Member
Aug 1, 2019
621
158
UK
Didn't know this was happening so cheers for letting everyone know!

Have just sent the following email:


My biggest bug bear with the EV market at the moment is Rapid chargers – Tesla have one of the best networks for rapid charging on the go where you just stop off and plug in. The car’s charged in about 20 mins or so and automatically communicates with the Supercharger to sort out billing at a reasonable price, but if you don’t have a Tesla or aren’t near a Tesla Supercharger the other options aren’t quite as easy.

There are a lot of different companies which all have their own different apps or fobs and aren’t as well maintained or reliable. Using apps like zapmap or plugshare are good to show where the best chargers are, but you still need to have the other apps installed to communicate with the charger to sort out billing. A new law was passed to help this issue which required all new chargers to accept contactless card payment but it doesn’t apply to existing chargers.

Would therefore like to see:
1) maintenance of existing chargers improved, for example 90% of the rapid 50kw chargers in Poole no longer work and charge your car (now polar bp chargemaster) who operate them aren't interested in fixing or upgrading them unless the council pays them more money to do so! Have contacted the council and polar bp chargemaster but neither are interested.

2) the complexity of using the apps which don't always work first time or when there is hardly any signal needs to be improved. You end up needing to have at least about 10 different apps installed to cover most of the major charging operators which is a process which is far too complicated and will put people off going electric. Having contactless payment helps but hardly any of the chargers currently accept this and doubt any of the current ones will be updated so this works well.


3) cost of rapid charging. Some of the companies charge extortionate amounts as they are the only place you are able to charge and so have a monopoly on the rates they are able to sell the electricity to you for. Some of these options even cost more to fill up than a petrol car so having a cap on these would provide consumer confidence
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Yes!!!

I wrote to the CMA and DfT earlier in the year re: extortionate prices.

The answer is to create a market where no competition exists.

Please all ask for mandatory ‘Roaming plug & charge for all public high charging points’.

This will force charge point operators of 22kW+ to open up access I.e. create competition and make charging easy. Fewer apps and glove boxes full of RFID cards.
Sorry, should have written ‘high power charging points’

and don’t worry, SuC’s aren’t technically public under the current regs.

Not sure if we could do something collectively too as a consumer group to add some weight?

No reason why not, but can all agree on what we want to say? There’s a range of views here. Perhaps a poll or two to tease out views.
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Another vision/intervention might be to segregate charge point operators from billing service providers. Think of the wholesale electricity market- there are electricity generators and electricity suppliers.

If you have charge point operators (the physical units) separated from service providers (Mobility Service Providers/card operators) you could have a single account from any service provider and charge anywhere (with a single back-up RFID card for your account). MSPs then have collective bargaining power to negotiate prices for their customers. Consumers can change MSP to get a better deal.

CPOs need a bit of stick too. If they don’t fix a unit within 6 months, either they get their license to operate removed or forced to auction the lease/unit. Sorry Ecotricity!
 
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Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,357
7,975
UK
DC charging is a growth industry and whereas there are legal standards about how you can be charged for 1kWh of AC there is no such standard for DC? Imagine if trading standards could only check pumps that supply diesel for a correct measure and not petrol, we wouldn't stand for it and so why are we hesitating with DC. The EU have not ruled on this and so that could explain why but we have left the EU and so need to grasp the nettle and set a standard.
The fairest method seems to me to be charged for the total AC used. This is metered and subject to regulation. You are paying for the AC/DC conversion losses but these seem to vary considerably between charger manufacturers. I think that as a consumer companies should be rewarded for efficient conversion but at the moment there is no incentive to make the AC/DC conversion as efficient as possible. This is why you may have been billed for 65kWh but your car says it only received 60kWh. (I realise that having your aircon on etc will also contribute to the discrepancy).
I would like to see a standard set where there is a maximum percentage than can be charged for conversion losses.
Anyway you get my drift and welcome @arg or Jeremy @Glan gluaisne to tidy up the technical aspect!
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,797
1,756
Cambridge, UK
The fairest method seems to me to be charged for the total AC used. This is metered and subject to regulation. You are paying for the AC/DC conversion losses but these seem to vary considerably between charger manufacturers. I think that as a consumer companies should be rewarded for efficient conversion but at the moment there is no incentive to make the AC/DC conversion as efficient as possible.

You seem to be contradicting yourself here (or was that "AC" in the first sentence a typo?).

For DC charging, if you meter at AC then the consumer is paying for the conversion losses and so there is no direct incentive for operators to pick kit with higher efficiency. But it does have the big advantage that meters are available and well standardised.

kWh metering at DC would achieve what you want (making the operator pay for the conversion losses). However, it still wouldn't result in the gauge on the "pump" matching the gauge in the car, as there will be voltage drop along the cable and also the car probably meters at the battery terminals and there's all the other consumption (both directly charging-related auxiliaries, and thinks like watching TV on the console, your xmas lights plugged into the cigar lighter etc). The latter is obviously down to the consumer to pay for.

Probably metering at DC is the way to go, but it will need work on suitable standards (unless someone has already done it, I haven't been watching closely).
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,357
7,975
UK
You seem to be contradicting yourself here (or was that "AC" in the first sentence a typo?).

For DC charging, if you meter at AC then the consumer is paying for the conversion losses and so there is no direct incentive for operators to pick kit with higher efficiency. But it does have the big advantage that meters are available and well standardised.

kWh metering at DC would achieve what you want (making the operator pay for the conversion losses). However, it still wouldn't result in the gauge on the "pump" matching the gauge in the car, as there will be voltage drop along the cable and also the car probably meters at the battery terminals and there's all the other consumption (both directly charging-related auxiliaries, and thinks like watching TV on the console, your xmas lights plugged into the cigar lighter etc). The latter is obviously down to the consumer to pay for.

Probably metering at DC is the way to go, but it will need work on suitable standards (unless someone has already done it, I haven't been watching closely).
Thanks @arg. No typo as far as I can see.
Simply put, I would like a UK wide standardised system whereby a trading standards officer can plug in a device and confirm that the charger is metering and billing correctly. He can then apply his sticker to the charger to certify it. Discuss.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,152
1,003
mid wales
I'd suggest the following/
From say, 2025 all cars have to be supplied with CCS and all cars under 8yrs old have to have some form of conversion offered to allow them to use CCS.
All new DC chargers have to be 100KW+ from that date
All chargers have to be swipe credit card functional at a standard max fee unless able to process a cars unique ID - lose the membership fees. rifid cards etc
Car parks over 20? spaces have to provide minimum 1:10 spaces as chargers
Car parks with over 75? spaces cannot prevent competative chargers from offering facilities
An obligation for leccy boards to supply power to car parks over 75? spaces - legislation sorting out wayleaves etc
Where more thsn one brand of charger available then competative fees to be clearly marked
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
All new DC chargers have to be 100KW+ from that date

I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. Some locations can’t support the supply. You might be left with ‘no charger’ because the cost to upgrade was prohibitive. Prices overall would have to go up. 100kW chargers are also more expensive to use. If your battery isn’t warm or you’re more than 40% SoC you’re wasting your money. A site with two charger speeds gives you the choice.

But that’s a good point: Price to charged should be based on average speed delivered/received (banded/bracketed) not the theoretical speed a charger can provide. This would incentivise making sure machines work optimally and consumers only pay for what they get in term of a service.
 
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NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Thanks @arg. No typo as far as I can see.
Simply put, I would like a UK wide standardised system whereby a trading standards officer can plug in a device and confirm that the charger is metering and billing correctly. He can then apply his sticker to the charger to certify it. Discuss.

Perhaps go further: a charge point without a valid e-certificate issued by trading standards within the last 2 years should apply a 15% discount to allow for the fact that it might not be correct.

I don’t know if weights & measures apply already - does anyone know if charge points are calibrated every year by a UKAS accredited testing organisation?
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Or just require metering devices installed to the same / equivalent standards as normal electricity meters and replaced every 10 years. Might be cheaper for charge point operators (and therefore consumers) than routine checks.
 

m3p_uk

Member
Aug 1, 2019
621
158
UK
Surely we need more chargers (which are also reliable!) first before we look at further regulations which would put off companies installing them in the first place? :confused:
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
Agree, but most of the suggestions here come at very little additional cost if they’re built in from the start and are very hard or take a long time to introduce afterwards.
 

mpandrew

Member
Sep 23, 2019
218
191
Somerset, UK
Surely the biggest barrier to public charge points is the faff factor that us Tesla folk are so fortunate to not have to endure? I cannot see how my parents or other 'boomers' could tolerate the ballache of apps, RFID cards and even to a degree contactless payment methods. Despite having the SuC advantage some sadistic part of me enjoys the battle of trying different charge pumps for the fun of it. Some are good (Instavolt/Pod-Point), some so-so (GeniePoint/Osprey/Ecotricity) and others painful (ChargeMaster/Polar). How Polar makes contactless so tortuorous is a lesson in how not to make a human-machine interface although the promised Nov/Dec machine upgrades may have improved this?

Perhaps some better informed forumites can explain whether the necessary hardware already exists to allow seamless comms between the vehicle and charger to swap identities? Is it simply a lack of regulation that prevents the transaction being conducted through centralised billing in the same way that the SuC network does? Even if we must have several accounts with multiple companies, that's fine if the billing just happens in the background. Plug in, if you must, make me press a button on the machine to agree the fee but nothing more please!

My expectation is that this will all be irrelevant in a few more years, centralised billing with some hefty additional tax taken at the same time with car communication showing what you're paying in car and on your car app. I suspect all the hardware is already there, just needs the carrot/stick to make it work better which optimistically is what this survey should be all about.
 
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pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,152
1,003
mid wales
I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. Some locations can’t support the supply. You might be left with ‘no charger’ because the cost to upgrade was prohibitive. Prices overall would have to go up. 100kW chargers are also more expensive to use. If your battery isn’t warm or you’re more than 40% SoC you’re wasting your money. A site with two charger speeds gives you the choice.

But that’s a good point: Price to charged should be based on average speed delivered/received (banded/bracketed) not the theoretical speed a charger can provide. This would incentivise making sure machines work optimally and consumers only pay for what they get in term of a service.

You need to think in terms of battery progress and be ready for 2030 onwards or we end up with an obsolete netwrok before it's even built
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK
Perhaps go further: a charge point without a valid e-certificate issued by trading standards within the last 2 years should apply a 15% discount to allow for the fact that it might not be correct.

I don’t know if weights & measures apply already - does anyone know if charge points are calibrated every year by a UKAS accredited testing organisation?

AC metering has been proven to be accurate and reliable in the long term now, with no requirement for annual calibration. The spec isn't that tight, though, domestic meters, for example, have an allowable tolerance of +2.5%, -3.5%, something those chasing the last penny of their consumption might want to note (a £1,000 a year bill could be in error by up to £60 just from the meter tolerance that's allowable between 5°C and 30°C - the error might be greater in very cold weather).

The UK regs covering meters are here: The Measuring Instruments (Active Electrical Energy Meters) Regulations 2006 (revoked)
 
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simonh

Member
Sep 21, 2020
57
36
Leeds, UK
Apart from the Tesla superchargers the rest of the local infrastructure is simply not designed for the wife (or non-tech savvy people).

Too many different apps / RFID / chargers flashing colours to indicate errors with the network or other issues.

Many located in the corner of a dark public car park.
 

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