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Sustainable Transport
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TOPIC: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #1

The Government’s £30m “Plugged-in-Places” scheme (www.dft.gov.uk/topics/sustainable/olev/r...ng-electric-vehicles) has stimulated the development of national electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Matched funding is now available for the installation of these charging points through eight regional “Plugged-in Places” hubs across the UK.

Local Authorities have taken the lead in the installation – and the regionalised nature of the schemes has led to divergent approaches to public electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment in general.

Many areas of the country lack even basic electric vehicle charging points as funding is only available inside the “Plugged-in Places” regions.

Have you taken advantage of available funding to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure?

It’s expected that around 80% of electric vehicle charging will take place at home or the workplace. So public charging points will need to be located in targeted, key locations where it will be needed.

A range of power levels are available - from 3.6kW single phase to 22kW three phase and 50kW DC. The power level determines the speed at which an electric vehicle can recharge its battery.

Electric vehicle charging can be confusing to understand as there are a range of plug types, power levels and compatibility issues that manufacturers are yet to agree on. What is clear is that high power charging equipment in public places will be a valued service for electric vehicle drivers - offering them the opportunity to recharge quickly.

The “Plugged-in Places” funding will end in mid 2013. The government expects that a commercial market will develop for electric vehicle charging in the long term. Private players are already entering the public electric vehicle charging infrastructure arena. Interoperability and the adoption of common standards will be vital whatever the market structure.

What are your long term plans for public electric vehicle charging infrastructure?
RWE npower is a leading provider of home and business energy services including electric vehicle charging infrastructure solutions. We offer a range of electric vehicle charging equipment from 3.6kW units to 22kW three phase and 50kW DC. We also provide a range of management, billing and reporting functionality for electric vehicle charging equipment.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #2

My concerns is that there are amount of products’ on the market and claiming all kinds of saving with no real evidences to back this up. 

What I would like to see is a trial of a number of products in a real situation on a vehicle in use by a local authority or transport company to work with the manufacturer to come up with some figures so we can evaluate the savings and enable the end user to calculate the viability of the product

Also I would like to see the vehicle manufacturer involved and to have input on any effects on performance and warranty issues which may arise.

I am meeting with Nissan this week and have looked at the leaf and other full electric vehicle. The problem with electric vehicles is the price in the present financial climate I cant  justify paying double the cost for a vehicle with restricted mileage between charges and a battery life span of five years.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #3

There is the detail, and the bigger picture, for which "enabling" is the key word. Town centres designed around car use simply encourage more driving. The European cities we love to visit have walking, cycling and joined up public transport built in. Electric vehicles are part of the mix too and their low urban emissions will improve air quality and health. But just as the oil companies distorted the market to create the car industry, a similar creative distortion is now needed to make choosing an EV attractive - it will benefit people, the environment and business. For now hybrids can bridge the gap. Croydon Council is lucky to have a Vauxhall Ampera on loan as part of its Zipcar car club fleet. It is giving staff and Zipcar members a chance to try out this exciting vehicle. Or get the tram or bus when that’s the better option.

A three-pronged approach – supporting technological improvement to overcome range anxiety (and de-carbonising the grid), designing towns for sustainable travel and giving parking preference to EVs needs the support of all the players in a community.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #4

Aside from the fact that they are still, universally crap electric cars are not the answer to anything but local emissions. Presented as a 'green bullet' by those with a vested interest their only benefit is that they don't spew fumes out of their tail pipe - but the fumes are still produced given the way that we currently produce electricity. That they are produced further away from population centres doesn't make them any less noxious. Car manufacturers love electric vehicles because they project an aura of green-ness and allow them to carry on with business as usual. The environmental costs of car production, the problems of congestion and health associated with the widespread use of private cars and the environmental nightmare of battery production and disposal. None of these problems can be solved if we all buy in to electric cars. Because it's cars that's the problem - not what kind of motors they have.

Emperor/clothes. Don't believe the hype.

And don't get me started on biofuels.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #5

In the Netherlands and many other countries, electricity is available at the click of a switch to meet demand as and when required. It is the task of grid management to prepare the grid for the future; the future of charging electric cars.
If too much energy is produced, for example, through the energy of windmills, you need to deliver and store it somewhere, otherwise the energy grid will be overloaded. Conversely, if insufficient energy is available, firms and consumers may suffer if demand exceeds supply. A solution needs to be found to balance energy supply and demand. On average the Dutch consume around 40% of their energy per household on transport. Electric cars are considerably more economical than petrol, diesel or gas run vehicles and can enable a reduction in the 40% consumption. In addition, CO2 emissions will also fall, especially if green electricity is used. If a large number of cars are electric, then this immediately solves a big part of the energy balancing problem,
as car batteries can provide both storage and backup. However, market demand for electric cars will be very limited if there are not enough charging facilities available. A charging station network is therefore needed around the globe to break the status quo. Are we doing enough to get people out of gas guzzlers and into electric vehicles and is what we are doing going to be sustainable ?

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #6

This has been the subject of debate for some time and for those in certain metropolitan areas should be expanded for a realistic trial. I am aware of various issues concerning installation and use but if there has been some research and application it needs to be shared more widely.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #7

From other research we've done looking at people saving energy or behaving in a more green manner, we know that alongside any infrastructure of charging stations is created, there needs to be motivation to use them from the public. And from what we know, much work needs to be done in this area to create motivation.

We've seen that this desire could be quite passive - i.e. I feel I really ought to do this and they have made it so easy for me, it's hard not to (like many councils have done with recycling). Or it could be a more deep-rooted desire - e.g. travelling in this manner is so exciting, futuristic and modern I really like it and love this car.
I'm certainly no expert on the subject but from work I have done in the automotive industry and comments here re the cars themselves it may be that the latter is not something likely to happen in the near future for many but the former may be feasible. However, even if it is feasible, we are some way off this now and something quite fundamental needs to happen between now and the creation of many more charging stations to change the mindset of the public on this subject. Humans aren't logical creatures so just because the charging stations and there and just because we should, doesn't mean we will use them.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #8

As other commentators have noted, the problem with cars in cities is not so much the fuel they use but the space they take up and they way they take over streets and places making them unsafe for childrento play and pedestrians to gather and socialise. Combining electric cars with car clubs may be a way of combining the polllution benefits of electirc cars with the space-reducing effects of car clubs.

Re: Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure #9

Funding the infrastructure required to power enough electric vehicles to meet future demand, especially in public areas such as outside workplaces, will continue to be a major challenge. Free electric charging spaces used at present will not be viable in the longer term as demand increaces.
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