Charging an electric car on the go

20
Posted 25th Feb
Hi all,

Hoping to benefit from your experience!

We have a hybrid car, small battery with a petrol engine. I'd like to be able to charge it when out and about if possible but I'm not too sure on how to go about this. I charge at home using a 3 pin plug, I could take this with me if necessary.

I noticed that Tesco were doing free charging now, so I went to use one of their points last week. However you had to bring your own cable, and not a 3 pin type. A quick look online suggested that the cable required would be about £150, which would take a hell of a lot of charging to even get my money back and that's if the cable doesn't get taken as I can't see how one would secure it when you're not at the car. Maybe you're supposed to bring your own bike lock too and somehow padlock it to the car?

It seems that other places that charge cost more than putting the equivalent amount of petrol in, which I guess is partly because it only has a small battery, it may be better for a full electric car.

Is there a good guide about on how to charge your car when out and about, the different systems on offer and the costs involved? Also when charging in a car park, do you still pay for parking? Does it differ for each car park?

Thanks for any advice!
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Try Zap-Map

You also need to factor in how much petrol it would save by charging up when you are out.
Edited by: "carphead" 25th Feb
carphead25/02/2020 11:44

Try Zap-MapYou also need to factor in how much petrol it would save by …Try Zap-MapYou also need to factor in how much petrol it would save by charging up when you are out.



Thanks. Problem with the Tesco ones for example though, is that you've generally either just left home, or are headed home with your shopping, so unless you happen to have been driving a lot already then you won't save any petrol. I did a few quick calculations.

Say once a week you charge while shopping for an hour, you're getting about £1 worth of electricity (being generous). So after 3 years of doing that every single week you will have saved £150, which is enough to pay for the cable, assuming it hasn't got nicked in the meantime. Granted if you save on petrol then you get your money back quicker, but this is without factoring in the hassle. Surely it's easier just to park wherever and not have to plug in, especially with 3 kids. Time is money after all!
Edited by: "Benjimoron" 25th Feb
Wow electric is expensive.
Found a shell one, looked on the web site:

"Charging costs 39p per kilowatt-hour (kWh)"

That can't be right can it?! I can charge at home for about 11p! At that rate it would be about the same as putting petrol in, without the hassle and delay of leaving the car for an hour. You'd be far better off buying a petrol car in the first place.
Looked at another I could use, works out at about 21p per kWh, but that assumes that you efficiently use it in whole hour blocks, so if you went a minute over you'd pay for another hour one presumes, which would double the cost! If you use under an hour it gets progressively more expensive.
It's a £30,000 car, a £150 cable is a tiny fraction of the cost and most models come with them anyway.

Assuming it's the Type 2 connector used by many makes then the cable should be locked into the charger and only unlock when you unlock the car.
EndlessWaves25/02/2020 12:10

It's a £30,000 car, a £150 cable is a tiny fraction of the cost and most m …It's a £30,000 car, a £150 cable is a tiny fraction of the cost and most models come with them anyway.Assuming it's the Type 2 connector used by many makes then the cable should be locked into the charger and only unlock when you unlock the car.



Fair point, but I'm trying to work out whether it's worth buying one (as the car didn't come with one), and from what I can see, it's not. It would simply cost me money unless I efficiently always used the Tesco ones and therefore had to shop there too, which may cost more than other places. (and the cable didn't get nicked!)

At 39p/kWh, petrol is cheaper and far more convenient for many reasons.

The cable doesn't lock in, you can remove it when the car is locked, same on my Dad's car too, newer model of the Phev.
Edited by: "Benjimoron" 25th Feb
An interesting article about the cost of charging whilst out and about:
whatcar.com/new…833
Another quick calc, if I used the other charging point near where I live (can only see 2 listed), which was 21p per kWh, assuming you can set it to charge for one hour and not go over, assuming you were going to be there anyway, assuming you don't have to pay for parking also as you may have been able to park for free elsewhere, assuming you are going to use the 15 miles range on EV whereas you were going to use them all on petrol, assuming you don't have to change your plans etc to fit around charging, then you potentially save about £1 - £1.50. However if your journey doesn't fit in with all those assumptions, and you get home before using all the charge, then it costs you about 30p per kWh that you didn't use. Bringing your saving down to say 50p, or maybe costing you a quid or two for the privilege!
themorgatron25/02/2020 12:25

An interesting article about the cost of charging whilst out and …An interesting article about the cost of charging whilst out and about:https://www.whatcar.com/news/electric-vehicle-charging-%E2%80%93-what-does-it-really-cost/n16833



Thanks, it all seems expensive!!

The Tesco one, assuming it remains free, seems the only reasonable option (if you're shopping there anyway and have a cable(which doesn't get nicked)). The others are not really any cheaper than petrol.
The cables lock when in use. They lock into the charger and the car. There is often a switch in the car to select autolock/no-lock.

Frankly, you've bought a car with a pointlessly small battery. PHEVs are often despised by EV owners because they clog up the charging network preventing the use of chargers by real electric cars who need to use the chargers.

Many phevs have been bought/leased because of the tax benefits which encouraged manufacturers to make pointless hybrids like yours.
Youtuber did a video about costs the other day

Thanks.

69p/kWh!!!
mas9925/02/2020 12:43

The cables lock when in use. They lock into the charger and the car. …The cables lock when in use. They lock into the charger and the car. There is often a switch in the car to select autolock/no-lock.Frankly, you've bought a car with a pointlessly small battery. PHEVs are often despised by EV owners because they clog up the charging network preventing the use of chargers by real electric cars who need to use the chargers. Many phevs have been bought/leased because of the tax benefits which encouraged manufacturers to make pointless hybrids like yours.


Fair points.

I don't think the locking to the car is an option with these cars, although I'm sure it must be with others.

I can't see how it locks to the charger, how does it know it's you wanting to unplug it? Do you have to connect with your phone when plugging and unplugging? What happens if your battery dies on your phone, are you held prisoner?
Edited by: "Benjimoron" 25th Feb
Shouldn't this analysis have been conducted before the purchase of the car?
Benjimoron25/02/2020 11:59

You'd be far better off buying a petrol car in the first place.


Nail and head comes to mind
Buy a BEV, charge at home.

likely tesco is still a trickle charge @ 3 kWh delivery rate ..zap map will verify this.

Hybrids typically don't have a big battery & if you are going 30+ mph then you are using the engine anyway, so how much journey is actually using battery under hybrid & your atypical route conditions?

Cheap home charging is via the likes of octopus energy with a dedicated car night time tariff. (being tested out) otherwise whatever you are paying at home is cheaper than out & about unless it is free & fast, the commercial aspect has finally arrived.
We have been on the chargemaster network for several years now @ around £8.00 per month, typically only paying extra for a chademo (50 kWh rapid charge) or on a long motorway journey via ecotricity where a top up costs around £2.35
There is a crud series (ok for beginners) that is very repetetive on the fully charged channel (you-tube etc) but other EV channels have covered the matter with more precision & detail.

PS ...DON'T believe the "self charging hybrid" B/S.
Benjimoron25/02/2020 13:27

Fair points.I don't think the locking to the car is an option with these …Fair points.I don't think the locking to the car is an option with these cars, although I'm sure it must be with others.I can't see how it locks to the charger, how does it know it's you wanting to unplug it? Do you have to connect with your phone when plugging and unplugging? What happens if your battery dies on your phone, are you held prisoner?


They lock when in use. Apart from anything else you don't want live terminals unless things are connected so the interlock is a safety feature.
You haven't said what the car actually is so I couldnt comment on how the lock works on yours. On the leaf there is a switch to control locking to 3/7kw chargers and the dc chademo locks automatically. Both type 1 and chademo have a button on the connector which has to be pressed to release the cable.
Mitsubishi Outlander Phev. The charger I have clicks in place, but there's nothing to stop someone unclicking it.
The idea is charge when needed (for BEV's) ..because you need it.

If you don't then you park elsewhere as normal, so someone else with a BEV can use it.

Compared to the t____'s I see with large mitsubishi phevs who plug in & walk off fo several hours "because I can" (from a chademo capable unit) for 2 hours, compared to us staying with the leaf, filling up & moving it within a typical 40-50 minutes.
That *often* reflects the difference with BEV's vs Phevs.

Big companies getting in on the ground of commercial street charging are likely to exclude phev's from their network on the basis that they can charge at home / via engine that they also lug (type of thing) compared to throughput of pure electric vehicles using the system for fuelling & going over a 24 hour period.
Edited by: "Mr_Gus" 26th Feb
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