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

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,797
1,756
Cambridge, UK
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!

Standards now exist for how to do this properly (securely) - they didn't when Tesla started. It is standardised in ISO 15118, and has the marketing name of "Plug-and-charge".

All cars with CCS have the necessary hardware for the comms link, as do all DC CCS chargepoints; both lack the necessary software (and in the case of cars, security certificates). There is a possibility for an insecure implementation that works on all existing CCS cars - using the car's MAC address as a customer identifier - and Fastned have implemented this. It's a bit of a distraction though - it can't be a long term solution as it's trivially forgeable, though it works in the short term because the market is small enough that it isn't worth the effort for criminals.

AC chargepoints do not have the necessary hardware - although the standards permit the same comms link as for DC, hardware implementing this in AC points is very rare. Hardware extra cost is modest but not entirely trivial; probably more significant is the R&D effort, certification etc..

Plug-and-charge is likely to appear in DC public charging without much further argument - the car makers are keen on it - but a bit more lobbying wouldn't hurt. There doesn't seem to be much progress towards getting it in public AC charging, where it would be equally useful. There seems to be a perception that because AC charging is a lower value product that all these crappy payment systems can be tolerated and convenient systems (contactless bank cards in the short term, Plug-and-charge long term) aren't affordable for AC. That was probably true for random AC points installed on a shoestring budget to alleviate charging deserts; it shouldn't be true for large-scale deployments of pavement charging in towns.

Although Plug-and-charge provides the technical solution here, there's still the commercial side of things to (potentially) screw up. By default you will have to register your car with every network you want to use before the plug-and-charge will work (plug-and-charge just identifies the car: you need to have a payment method associated with that identity to allow charging to go ahead). Roaming is technically straightforward but history suggests operators often have to be dragged screaming into sensible roaming arrangements.
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,363
7,998
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?
No they are not - that is my point. You don't actually know whether you are being billed correctly.
The argument against what I am asking, and that nobody has raised yet, is that by having accurate measurement it is ripe for taxation to be applied. Until then, the Treasury has not a hope in hell of taxing EV DC charging.
 
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arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,797
1,756
Cambridge, UK
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).

Although the major challenge with AC metering is to provide the same accuracy over a wide range of currents, which is less of a concern for chargepoint metering where nearly all the energy will be drawn at substantial currents.

However, the first issue is to define exactly what you are measuring at a DC chargepoint - as @Mr Miserable pointed out, there's at least 10% of variation depending where you put the meter. Given standards for what is to be measured and what accuracy is required, just type testing and initial calibration is probably sufficient.

I'm not convinced by the argument that accurate metering encourages taxation. As soon as you have an identifiable revenue stream it can easily be taxed (just based on the amount payable - doesn't really matter how accurately, if at all, it relates to actual kWh dispensed), and for public charging that's already possible. The one place where metering and taxation could be connected is home charging which can't currently be taxed as there's no metering at all (and hence inhibits taxing of public charging as it would be unfair to tax only that).
 
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HenryT

Member
Jan 29, 2020
487
383
Manchester
I think the Government would do well to take a look at what Norway have done. By all accounts (Bjorn mostly,) their charge network seems pretty extensive and reliable.

I read a piece yesterday about how the oil co's are looking to make big inroads into capturing a large slice of the public EV charging network, making the service stations more of a retail destination than they already are, to better exploit the captive audience while people hang around charging. No reason then not to require them to display their charging costs in the same way petrol and diesel prices are required to visible from the road.

Here it is -
The new black gold? Big Oil bets on retail networks in an electric era

My fear is that we are on the threshold of another dog's breakfast in the same way public WiFi networks have evolved. Universal coverage was promised, common charging protocols and simplicity of moving between signal points. Instead we get endless subscription requirements, poor service at extortionate costs. (Hotel's charging £10 - £20 for 24 hours WiFi)
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,316
4,816
Surrey, UK
Having heard directly from government advisors on subject of vehicle taxation, albeit several years ago, their focus is most definitely on road time and use taxation. The only thing that seemed a little uncertain was how (they identified several methods, at the time preferred seemed to be satellite) and when.

I'm not really sure what taxation of public charging will offer that road time and use taxation will not cover and much more besides.
 
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HenryT

Member
Jan 29, 2020
487
383
Manchester
Having heard directly from government advisors on subject of vehicle taxation, their focus is most definitely on road time and use taxation. The only thing that seemed a little uncertain was how (they identified several methods, at the time preferred seemed to be satellite) and when.

I'm not really sure what taxation of public charging will offer that road time and use taxation will not cover and much more besides.

I wonder how that will go down with the 'Government tracking/spy in the cab/invasion of freedom' lobby?
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,154
1,007
mid wales
Road pricing could be so easy - vin printed under the odometer and send a pic to DVLA every year. Cars predating the VIN get it recorded with MOT...
But then you don't spend millions on another failed computer system
 
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Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
1,576
1,192
Norfolk
I’ve not done much DC charging but my experience was as others have said, apps that don’t work in the location.
Also vandalised chargers. The former needs a unilateral card payment system, the latter, god knows... You only have to look at phone boxes.

one thing that stands out is queuing. Easy on a forecourt but having ‘waiting’ spaces in a car park, almost impossible!
 

dziny

Member
Jan 14, 2018
17
20
Edinburgh, UK
Road pricing could be so easy - vin printed under the odometer and send a pic to DVLA every year. Cars predating the VIN get it recorded with MOT...
But then you don't spend millions on another failed computer system
Bad idea. Odometer fraught would be rife and unpreventable - some makes and models would be prefered due to their ability to change the odometer readings easily. Also a second point - what you do about cars that were driven outside UK say France, etc? Clearly they would be taxed twice - for road use in France (highway tolls) and also UK for the mileage driven not in UK.
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,797
1,756
Cambridge, UK
Odometer fraught would be rife and unpreventable

ANPR seems the preferred technique, with this gradually sneaking in all over the place already (London congestion charge/ULEZ, Dartford tunnel, Durham congestion charge, etc) not to mention the huge amount of ANPR that exists for non-tolling purposes but could easily be co-opted given political will.
 
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m3p_uk

Member
Aug 1, 2019
621
159
UK
Just had an email to confirm that they're going to use my comments I submitted so hopefully we can start to see some improvements or at least recognise what needs improving! :)
 
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Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,363
7,998
UK

Light bedtime reading for you. some interesting responses. I nearly spilt my tea when I read Ecotricity “ For consumers already engaged with the market sector, maintaining their confidence becomes the key priority. “
I was a little suprised at the seemingly poor response from individuals with only 48 responses logged.
I'm very pixxxd off having spent a good 4 hours or so composing my considered input to find that somehow it wasn't recorded.
The poor response would suggest I may not be alone - anyone else from here?
 

CMc1

supercharge.info editor
Aug 2, 2019
1,425
1,277
North, UK
Thought Tesla would have an input too. Lack of responses from local authorities also.

Think the consultation process needs a revamp
 

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