Things you wish you had known

Hi everyone,

When I get my car from the @Onto-Team, it will be my first EV (and the first time I have had access to a car for more than a few weeks).

Is there any advice anyone can give, that they wish they had known to start with such as planning routes, how to use public chargers or anything else :question:

Also, what is the etiquette when using public chargers :electric_plug: . . . can I park there and leave it all day? or should you come back and move it as soon as its charged. If somebody else’s car is fully charged, can you unplug them and start yours (is that even possible)?

Already planning to go and charge first time at my work which is shut just now for most people, as the EV charger is in a quiet place, and my work is shut and I can make all my silly mistakes with nobody looking on at me like a doofus! :crazy_face:

I hope I get the call soon, desperate to get the delivery date so I can book a week away! Without the car I’m stuck here :slight_smile:

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That is a subject of great debate in the EV community!

Zap-Map app is a good resource for locating charging points. Use the filter so you only see the posts you are interested in. For example, only show Polar network (as charging is free for us) and 50kW CCS and 22kW AC if you’ve got a new Zoe.

You can then get extra information from your selected charge point, including comments from previous users. Check any limits on dwell time set by the landowner and/or charge point operator. On Polar Ultrachargers, there is a fine if you stay longer than 90 minutes. ONTO will invoice you for this. In some locations, such as hotels or restaurants, you need to register your vehicle registration number at reception to avoid a PCN.

Ok, a little bit of etiquette to finish up with:

When using a Rapid, if someone is waiting, move on as soon as you have enough range to get to your next charging stop, or your final destination.

Again, if there is a queue for a particular Rapid, unplug when you have 80% charge. It takes as long to charge from 80% to 100% as from 20% to 80%. If you need more than 80% try and move onto a Fast charger if one is available nearby.

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Thanks @E7EV, That is really helpful.

I have also registered with Charge Your Car and they run Charge Place Scotland and have free points all over up here including at my work, was just £20 to subscribe and get the card. So between that and Polar hopefully never too far away.

Some CYC charge points accept the Polar Plus card, meaning you won’t have to pay their rates.

In fact, CYC, CPS and Polar are all run by BP Chargemaster.

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One thing I have learnt is that charge points are incredibly unreliable, always break down, I have 2 rapid chargers near me a polar (which is currently down, again !) And a genie point which has been down for over 2 months now !!

So make sure you travel around your local area getting acquainted with your different charging options and points !!!

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Quick tip: don’t overlook Tesla destination chargers! You can actually use them, if you have Type2. I holidayed in Cornwall last September, and the hotel near where I stayed had a Tesla charger, I used it all week for free. Silver sign means open to any EV with Type2.

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@E7EV, Nice to see they keep it simple and easy to understand :laughing:

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Hi. I’m also pretty new to this (never owned an EV yet, but have driven around 10 different models since 2011). I’m pretty sure you can’t unplug someone else if they’re at 100% purely due to the locking mechanism of the vehicles. Some people leave a note in their window with a mobile number saying “back in x mins, call me if you are desperate”. Chargers being ICE’d by petrol cars is unfortunately common, if you are using a rapid charger at motoroway services etc & plug straight in, go for toilet visit/coffee/stroll and head back to vehicle so you can free-up the spot as soon as ready. For fast chargers at shopping centres etc, it seems different as the charging is slower, you’re more inclined to leave your car parked for a few hours as there are usually more than a couple of points and no-one in a rush to get to next destination.

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Thanks for all the help!

Just had a call and I am getting a Nissan Leaf at the end of July, so will have that for a month (?) or two before I can get my a new Zoe

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To rapid charge a Leaf on DC, you would use the chademo plug. It will only charge on AC at 6.6kW, using the type 2 cable in the boot. So it’s not as flexible as a new Zoe.

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The Leaf is a really good car. Some will say that the range isn’t good compared to a Tesla, but it’s the same argument as you’ll have with ICE drivers…“How often do you relly need to drive over 150-170 miles in a few hours?” Personally, I was about to order a Leaf with ProPilot on a 2 year lease until I saw a deal on an Audi e-tron for only £60 p/m more. I borrowed a Leaf from work and had a great day weekend of 200 miles. Enjoy.

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@E7EV, thanks, that is a handy hint! Still can’t wait for the Zoe, but thought better to be in the road. I’m sick of my house :laughing:

@lsb777 totally agree, it is 200 miles from me to my parents, and I would not do that in one jump without a pit-stop somewhere unless it was a total emergency. Mum has already told dad to clear out the garage so I can charge there :speak_no_evil:

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Great tip! Is there a way of telling this from Zap-Map, apart from reading comments?

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Another fantastic tip! I was thinking of driving down there (from the NW) and noted the apparent lack of local available chargers.

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All the CYC Rapids seem to accept the Polar Plus Card. You can check with Zap-Map. Filter out the other networks and select 50kW CCS. Then choose a point that interests you. Select Info > Payment > Access.

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Charge Place Scotland: Etiquette Guide.pdf

Saw this today on twitter… thought this was a useful summary.

@Lily_at_Onto, maybe On.To should do something similar.

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I remember one of the car clubs changed their policies to make users watch a short video and read a guide about EVs with a short quiz afterwards before they were allowed to access them. It slashed not only the amounts of complaints from other motorists saying the drivers were being inconsiderate at chargers, but also put a stop to people calling up saying they couldn’t get their car to charge, release the charging cable, or were at the roadside needing a flatbed due to poor journey planning.

I really wish it was a national standard whether hiring one for a few hours from a car club, subscribing through a brand like Onto, or buying from a dealership. That tiny amount of education goes a long way to prepare drivers and prevents a lot of hassle later on.

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