Life without a home charger?

slmorgan42

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Edit: this post was under ZS EV and I asked for it to be moved to General Electric car as wanted to get wider audience point of view :)

Hey all

I live in a London flat which makes it impossible to get a home charger. I have ordered my first electric car MG ZS EV Trophy Connect LR. Which I hope will magically appear one day.

I did loads of research and investigation into, one owning an electric car and two owning one without a home charger. I have friends with various EV so picked their brains as well as reading this forum.

My borough is rolling out loads of lamp post chargers and there is quite a few fast chargers as well. The fast chargers have time limits which means people do not park there for hours and the lamp post ones do not. I have half a dozen lamp post chargers near me which currently are not used much.

I am lucky and do not need to drive daily. Based on a 20-80% charging range my plan is to use the slow lamp post ones every 2-3 week and the fast charger if I need a speedier top up. I will also use the free chargers when I go to the supermarket and shops.

My question:
I am sure I am not the only one who cannot have a home charger so I would love to hear from people with real world experience of no home charger and also hear from newbies going down the same path.

Thanks in advance.

Just for reference:
-Cost wise I know I will not be able to get the cheap rates of home charging but still overall way cheaper than my petrol car. Not to mention cheaper parking permits and road tax.
-I know some private managed flats will allow home chargers but mine is a council block so no matter how much I beg and grovel they are never going to allow or supply a charger. The borough policy is to push public charging.
 
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Tobemeister

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I'm in a similar position, I live on an old high St, and without trailing a cable over the pavement I can't charge from home. I have an MG5 on order, I hope to do most of my charging at work, where they have a 7kw charger free for staff use.... Really hoping it all works out as I live in a rural village with no charging facilities close to home!
 

slmorgan42

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I'm in a similar position, I live on an old high St, and without trailing a cable over the pavement I can't charge from home. I have an MG5 on order, I hope to do most of my charging at work, where they have a 7kw charger free for staff use.... Really hoping it all works out as I live in a rural village with no charging facilities close to home!
I am sure you will make it work. Your situation does sound more challenging than mine. It might be worth contacting your council and asking about lamp post charging. It seems these do not cost that much for them to get installed.

The one thing I think is important is to change the way we think. Rather than a reactive approach of waiting until petrol tank is empty and fill, switch to a grazing approach. Meaning charge a little a lot. e.g. charging at supermarkets when shopping or at work like you are doing.
 

Tobemeister

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Yeah, that's the plan. I'm in work 5 days a week, and currently they aren't used much, so hopefully I'll just be able to charge there. I will get onto the council though, there are a couple of Tesla's in the village and I have a lamp post right outside my house, maybe we could make the case for one to be installed.
 

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Perhaps do a weekly shopping at a Tesco or similar where you can charge the car (for free), and have a cup of coffee :).
You might need to get a type 2 charging cable (check with car dealer if they are supplying one)
 

slmorgan42

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Perhaps do a weekly shopping at a Tesco or similar where you can charge the car (for free), and have a cup of coffee :).
You might need to get a type 2 charging cable (check with car dealer if they are supplying one)
Exactly my plan and Tesco is my local lol
 

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Hey all

I live in a London flat which makes it impossible to get a home charger. I have ordered my first electric car MG ZS EV Trophy Connect LR. Which I hope will magically appear one day.

I did loads of research and investigation into, one owning an electric car and two owning one without a home charger. I have friends with various EV so picked their brains as well as reading this forum.

My borough is rolling out loads of lamp post chargers and there is quite a few fast chargers as well. The fast chargers have time limits which means people do not park there for hours and the lamp post ones do not. I have half a dozen lamp post chargers near me which currently are not used much.

I am lucky and do not need to drive daily. Based on a 20-80% charging range my plan is to use the slow lamp post ones every 2-3 week and the fast charger if I need a speedier top up. I will also use the free chargers when I go to the supermarket and shops.

My question:
I am sure I am not the only one who cannot have a home charger so I would love to hear from people with real world experience of no home charger and also hear from newbies going down the same path.

Thanks in advance.

Just for reference:
-Cost wise I know I will not be able to get the cheap rates of home charging but still overall way cheaper than my petrol car. Not to mention cheaper parking permits and road tax.
-I know some private managed flats will allow home chargers but mine is a council block so no matter how much I beg and grovel they are never going to allow or supply a charger. The borough policy is to push public charging.

I also live in London, without off street charging. I charge at a Ubitricity lamppost charger.

I charge about once or twice a week depending on need. I tend to charge when the lamppost is available rather than hunting around for a charger so it's no hassle.

I charge at the shops when they're available but mostly because of the free electricity, rather than being desperate for charge.

I find rapid charges are only for long journeys.
 

Nutnut

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We're in a similar boat! I'll fall into the 'newbie' category and it's not possible to have a home charger where I live - I'm simply not going to move out of a home I love just to have that facility. I'm happy to rely on the public charging network, so I did the following 'homework':

➖ With the aid of ZapMap, pinpointed how many chargers there were on my street and surrounding area. Followed that up with actually going out on foot so I could see whether the map was accurate, judge how easy it'd be for me to actually get on one, whether they're well lit & not in dodgy spots. Checked out who they're supplied by, what the rate is, whether any were regularly out of service ect.

➖ Looked into charging at work, and got the ball rolling there. We had dedicated EV charging spaces already, but the posts themselves weren't being maintained before.

➖ I also took a good look at all the other locations/areas I commonly journey to, so I'm aware of what's available. It's given me time to build a little goto list of points where I can charge for free, like Costco & Tesco.

➖ Found out what the process is for requesting additional chargers in our area. I'd like to get to a point where there's one on every post. Great example would be somewhere like Thirsk Road in Clapham, which I came across by accident...the number of 5kW chargers in that area is comical.

➖ Did the maths.... Created a summary for myself so I could calc my savings on EV vs my current car. Then did a version of it where none of the EV incentives apply (they'll no doubt come to an end eventually), so I know what astronomical rate per kWh public charging would have to get to before the running cost is remotely close to what I'm paying now on fuel.

➖ Enquired about any local incentives. Turns out owning an EV will mean at least 50% off our residential permit, which'll offset some of the public charging cost.

Sorry for the wall of text, but that's been my process. At this point I'm ready - all I need now is the ZS to actually be delivered 😩
 

hmadsen

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Perhaps do a weekly shopping at a Tesco or similar where you can charge the car (for free), and have a cup of coffee :).
You might need to get a type 2 charging cable (check with car dealer if they are supplying one)
Are these tesco chargers not simple one phase 7,2 KWh chargers ?

Maybe it's just me, but supermarket = Make a list, go there, get everything into the shopping cart as fast as possible, pay and get away from there :)

I do the shopping in our family, but i am rarely inside the supermarket for more than 20 minutes MAX, and this is shopping for the next week. :)

I positively hate spending more time that needed in the supermarket :)
 

Timdevnewbie

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We don't have an allocated space to park so apart from a few hours at the weekend when the sun is out using our granny charger over our back fence with excess from our solar PV, most of our everyday use charging is via free 7kw Podpoint chargers at our local Tesco and our shopping centre (The Beacon in Eastbourne) and also BP Pulse at our local Asda.

Although the BP pulse ones are a bit older and more fussy to use (have to have min £5 credit on the app even if using free ones) the Asda car park has a 3 hour limit compared with 90 minutes at Tesco.
I very rarely do more than a quick pop to the shop where the charger is, often walk from there or go for a meal at the retail park where asda is and then it doesn't feel like wasted time.

When we do go away on longer journeys I use the Bonnet (see separate thread for codes for free charges) app for cheaper rapid CCS charging. On a recent trip to Canterbury I found a council park and ride that had BP 3.6kw charger, slow but we were there all day and only £4 for parking and 5 passengers bus ride (and free electricity)

I hope this is helpful.
 

Susanna

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I don’t do a lot of mileage, and I shall probably not install a home charger. I have a large Tesco near me with 4 x 7kw (free) pod point chargers, and 3 hours parking. I use this supermarket anyway, but I plan to take advantage of the free charging as much as possible. There is no reason why I cannot ‘plug in’ and occupy myself for a couple of hours shopping in store, lunch in the café, reading in the car, picnicking in the park - 2 mins walk, or just walk home - 10 mins walk. It’s a no brainer! And there’s always the granny charger.

Edited to say that I had a Wallbox charger installed in my garage, in order that I could swap to a cheaper, overnight EV rate, which is fixed for 12 months. I use this rate now for my washer, dishwasher and, occasionally my tumble dryer, on delay start cycles.
Hopefully, my MG will arrive before the fixed rate ends……🤞🏻
 
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slmorgan42

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I also live in London, without off street charging. I charge at a Ubitricity lamppost charger.

I charge about once or twice a week depending on need. I tend to charge when the lamppost is available rather than hunting around for a charger so it's no hassle.

I charge at the shops when they're available but mostly because of the free electricity, rather than being desperate for charge.

I find rapid charges are only for long journeys.
Glad to hear the approach works. Curious how long do you tend to leave it charging on the lamp post.
 

slmorgan42

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We're in a similar boat! I'll fall into the 'newbie' category and it's not possible to have a home charger where I live - I'm simply not going to move out of a home I love just to have that facility. I'm happy to rely on the public charging network, so I did the following 'homework':

➖ With the aid of ZapMap, pinpointed how many chargers there were on my street and surrounding area. Followed that up with actually going out on foot so I could see whether the map was accurate, judge how easy it'd be for me to actually get on one, whether they're well lit & not in dodgy spots. Checked out who they're supplied by, what the rate is, whether any were regularly out of service ect.

➖ Looked into charging at work, and got the ball rolling there. We had dedicated EV charging spaces already, but the posts themselves weren't being maintained before.

➖ I also took a good look at all the other locations/areas I commonly journey to, so I'm aware of what's available. It's given me time to build a little goto list of points where I can charge for free, like Costco & Tesco.

➖ Found out what the process is for requesting additional chargers in our area. I'd like to get to a point where there's one on every post. Great example would be somewhere like Thirsk Road in Clapham, which I came across by accident...the number of 5kW chargers in that area is comical.

➖ Did the maths.... Created a summary for myself so I could calc my savings on EV vs my current car. Then did a version of it where none of the EV incentives apply (they'll no doubt come to an end eventually), so I know what astronomical rate per kWh public charging would have to get to before the running cost is remotely close to what I'm paying now on fuel.

➖ Enquired about any local incentives. Turns out owning an EV will mean at least 50% off our residential permit, which'll offset some of the public charging cost.

Sorry for the wall of text, but that's been my process. At this point I'm ready - all I need now is the ZS to actually be delivered 😩
Sounds like we took a similar journey. And yes let’s just hope the cars turns up and makes it worth wild lol
 

slmorgan42

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We don't have an allocated space to park so apart from a few hours at the weekend when the sun is out using our granny charger over our back fence with excess from our solar PV, most of our everyday use charging is via free 7kw Podpoint chargers at our local Tesco and our shopping centre (The Beacon in Eastbourne) and also BP Pulse at our local Asda.

Although the BP pulse ones are a bit older and more fussy to use (have to have min £5 credit on the app even if using free ones) the Asda car park has a 3 hour limit compared with 90 minutes at Tesco.
I very rarely do more than a quick pop to the shop where the charger is, often walk from there or go for a meal at the retail park where asda is and then it doesn't feel like wasted time.

When we do go away on longer journeys I use the Bonnet (see separate thread for codes for free charges) app for cheaper rapid CCS charging. On a recent trip to Canterbury I found a council park and ride that had BP 3.6kw charger, slow but we were there all day and only £4 for parking and 5 passengers bus ride (and free electricity)

I hope this is helpful.
That’s brill thanks. Good to hear quite a few people are in the same boat :)
 

EWD

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Glad to hear the approach works. Curious how long do you tend to leave it charging on the lamp post.
It depends, you get about 5kw so it's usually 3-4 hours but if I need to do a balance charge it can take as long as 12.
 

JohnInFrance

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... The one thing I think is important is to change the way we think. Rather than a reactive approach of waiting until petrol tank is empty and fill, switch to a grazing approach. Meaning charge a little a lot. e.g. charging at supermarkets when shopping or at work like you are doing.
This is exactly the reason and mindset that brought us to purchase the ZS.

We are in the fortunate position that we have plenty of drive space and have a wallbox installed that allows us to charge as and when we need.

However, we didn't know if an electric car was for us so this is a two-year experiment to decide whether it is, and if we can adapt our lifestyle to live with it. Things that we have changed so far are that we have swapped supermarkets - no price difference really, but one offers free charging whilst shopping and one is paid charging; we've changed where we walk the dog a few times a week (5 mins in the car takes us to a wonderful big park that also has free 11kW pubic chargers installed by the town - an hour or so attached here whilst walking the hound gives us around a 12-14% charge. Finally, we think more about the journeys we make rather than just going and, especially now summer is on the way, cycle more often.

It's a 'journey' in more ways than one, the EV is certainly not the car for every trip (for instance, we had business in Belgium at Spa-Francorhamps last week and to drive there in the ZS would have taken us 2 days each way so we took the ICE car) but so far things are working out well and we both love the driving dynamics of the ZS. Add to that we're starting to see more range from each charge now as the warmer weather has arrived and things overall are looking positive. To date, we've driven around 2000 kms in the ZS and, because we've been augmenting our home charging (18.4 cents/kWh - we don't get those lovely cheap overnight tariffs the UK gets), with free public charging our cost per kilometer is currently 2 cents with no detriment to our lifestyle whatsoever. That's circa 50% saving on if we were using our own wallbox alone and 147% cheaper than the ICE.
 

Kithmo

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Are these tesco chargers not simple one phase 7,2 KWh chargers ?

Maybe it's just me, but supermarket = Make a list, go there, get everything into the shopping cart as fast as possible, pay and get away from there :)

I do the shopping in our family, but i am rarely inside the supermarket for more than 20 minutes MAX, and this is shopping for the next week. :)

I positively hate spending more time that needed in the supermarket :)
I am the same, I hate shopping, but my method is to go mid week early morning at 7:45am before Tesco's starts getting busy, plug in and stroll across town to get some breakfast, that takes an hour or so. Then on my way back I pick up any items at other shops that Tesco's don't sell, put those in the car then go round Tesco's for my shopping. That passes about an hour and a half to two hours in total, adding 33-44 miles to my range for free. When I've finished there's usually one or two of the four charging spots still vacant so I don't think I'm depriving anyone else of a charge. I only use about 45 miles a week of my range so doing this only once or twice a week means just about all my leccy has been free. Once a month I'll top up to full and balance at home.
The problem now is that the chargers at my local Tesco's have been off for the last two weeks so I may have to charge at home or use the other free chargers in the multi-storey car park near Tesco's and pay £1.50 for parking up to two hours. Even with the cost of parking, that still works out only a third of the price of charging at home.
 

Robf

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This is exactly the reason and mindset that brought us to purchase the ZS.

We are in the fortunate position that we have plenty of drive space and have a wallbox installed that allows us to charge as and when we need.

However, we didn't know if an electric car was for us so this is a two-year experiment to decide whether it is, and if we can adapt our lifestyle to live with it. Things that we have changed so far are that we have swapped supermarkets - no price difference really, but one offers free charging whilst shopping and one is paid charging; we've changed where we walk the dog a few times a week (5 mins in the car takes us to a wonderful big park that also has free 11kW pubic chargers installed by the town - an hour or so attached here whilst walking the hound gives us around a 12-14% charge. Finally, we think more about the journeys we make rather than just going and, especially now summer is on the way, cycle more often.

It's a 'journey' in more ways than one, the EV is certainly not the car for every trip (for instance, we had business in Belgium at Spa-Francorhamps last week and to drive there in the ZS would have taken us 2 days each way so we took the ICE car) but so far things are working out well and we both love the driving dynamics of the ZS. Add to that we're starting to see more range from each charge now as the warmer weather has arrived and things overall are looking positive. To date, we've driven around 2000 kms in the ZS and, because we've been augmenting our home charging (18.4 cents/kWh - we don't get those lovely cheap overnight tariffs the UK gets), with free public charging our cost per kilometer is currently 2 cents with no detriment to our lifestyle whatsoever. That's circa 50% saving on if we were using our own wallbox alone and 147% cheaper than the ICE.
In addition to the above, it is worth a look at route planning, in many cases i find motorway alternatives that really dont add mutch to the time, but use much less battery (slower speeds = less power used). Its also more relaxing.
 

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Source London is almost always available, as expensive as Ionity. Ubitricity is half that but hit and miss in terms of availability. You will have to fight cabbies and Uber drivers for free Tesco juice.

So costwise it’s cheaper to run than dino juicers but you will have so many more headaches compared to people with allocated home charging. The trick is to have a local rapid like InstaVolt or ShellRecharge that you can use when in a jam.
 

Nutnut

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A lot depends on the infrastructure local to where you live. Lamppost charger availability isn't a problem in our area, even with increased EVs...and there is still scope for more chargers to be added.

People can help by getting on the backs of their local councils.
 
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