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ECars & EV charging in general, in Northern Ireland.

  • 27-07-2020 10:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    I thought this deserved a mention & there's no real existing thread it fits into so....

    I'd be a frequent enough traveller to Belfast & Northern Ireland in general. It's an 800km return journey & often more depending on where I'd end up.
    Decided to EV it last week, seeing as the Ionity Kill northbound was operational & there was also the Ionity in Gormanstown, as a fall back.

    Charged in Kill - grand. I didn't stop again as there were two separate locations with 22kW AC charge points, within a few hundred yards of where I was staying that night.

    So, with the car park free of charge after 9pm, I moved in for the kill.
    Red light. No bueno.

    Called ECars.

    Attempted a remote reboot.

    Nothing.

    Off I trot to the next nearest AC charge point, reassured it was operational & free by the ECars chap.

    Green light but ICE'd :eek:.
    Not even my 10m ICE breaker would suffice.

    Anyway, with a very low SoC & intending to be near the Shore road location early the next morning, I decided to try that for a DC fast charge.
    As I approached it the next morning, it was all clear. We're in business!

    Plugged in, initiated charge, click/clonk. All good.

    11kW max speed! Rapidly dropped to 10kW!
    I took enough charge to carry on, deciding to use the IKEA DC charger nearby.
    An ICE Kia occupied one space while a fully charged Outlander held on to the blue connector. I waited a while, & another while, no one came back.

    On I went, running dangerously low again on range.

    Leaving Belfast, I swooped in to the Boucher Road DC charger. It too was free.
    I hooked up, started the charger &............success :).

    Just 30kW though :rolleyes:.

    There was nothing more to do. I went to Costa, waited until I had enough to reach Ionity Gormanstown & decided I'll never again depend on "destination" charging or indeed, any of the network north of the border.

    I'm all for EV motoring & have surely influenced many to make the switch. However, with the cost of EVs rising & motorway charging looking to become very expensive etc., I'm worried the incentives that were there to go green, are quickly disappearing.

    I know ECars can't monetise charging up north yet as Stormont was inactive etc., but it really is a disaster up there, if my experience was typical :(.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,678 ✭✭✭ graememk


    Apparently the regs are in for them to start charging, But nothing has happened.
    the Network in the north is in a sorry state. And getting worse. Once something breaks its not fixed

    Derry for example, there is 3 charger points i know of that are broken and ive heard they are " beyond" repair. 1 of the 3 arent even on the map anymore.

    Is the Ikea charger Chademo and type 2?

    Haven't been to Belfast yet in the niro but being able to do a Belfast run without stopping to charge was one of the things I wanted to be able to do because of the iffy network.

    There is fines in Belfast for being parked in an EV spot and not charging, but once the wardens are gone, theres nobody there to enforce.

    The Ni EVO FB group has a lot of posts about chargers not working. I havent ventured far yet for obvious reasons. I think the farest ive been since march was to pick the car up. the other half has put plenty of km up on it tho for work!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    graememk wrote: »
    the Network in the north is in a sorry state. And getting worse. Once something breaks its not fixed

    Terrible, isn't it. A market ripe for the picking one would imagine, for a private company such as ionity or EasyGo, to exploit :cool:.
    graememk wrote:
    Is the Ikea charger Chademo and type 2?

    IIRC it's a triple, I didn't check for Type 2 to be honest. CCS & Chademo anyway, an Ecotricity supplied unit.
    The Outlander had taken 5kWhs anyway so he was full - that's the important thing. That would probably have taken him 5 miles up the road :pac:.

    I just realised this thread is useless without pictures.........


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,678 ✭✭✭ graememk


    Kramer wrote: »
    Terrible, isn't it. A market ripe for the picking one would imagine, for a private company such as ionity or EasyGo, to exploit :cool:.

    Yeah they are building a new road bypassing castledawson to the motorway would be prime for a charging hub, (bit from toome to the m22 is already open) roughly at the midpoint of Derry -belfast

    Another prime place would be on the Dublin route, and then also on the m1 out the far side of lisburn towards Dungannon and "the west" as the signposts say.

    I do think easygo has some ac chargers in the north but no DC ones yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,678 ✭✭✭ graememk


    https://www.derryjournal.com/business/major-service-station-plan-new-a6-roundabout-drumahoe-2930186


    No mention of car charging on the proposed application for the service station beside the new road that they would be making

    Would be a good place for a hub as they could get people before they hit the city and serve as a gateway to the north west,

    It would be situated about 110-120km from Belfast.

    WJ chambers owns a sand quarry (and do concrete etc) and also a farm/buildings supply store there. So a big player in the area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,868 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Ionity mentioned on a zoom call they are looking for near belfast site but the local power they needed was not available where they asked. They said they were trying another unnamed site.

    Tesla is planning to open a Belfast store/service centre so they may do something nearby.

    But yes in general the whole NI network is a shambles. ESB want fees and free government money before they do anything. See plugshare app for non esb chargers. If I was in your situation I would have topped up to 80% on every 50kW charger on route as a backup plan on the way up. Or in reality I would have taken the ICE


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    zg3409 wrote: »

    Tesla is planning to open a Belfast store/service centre so they may do something nearby.

    They have a plan to open a service center with Superchargers on site but don't hold your breath on that, supposedly 2020


  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭ finneys13


    I was thinking of a road trip up the north coast and over to Donegal in my M3 SR+, looks like I have some organising to do before to keep topped up


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    finneys13 wrote: »
    I was thinking of a road trip up the north coast and over to Donegal in my M3 SR+, looks like I have some organising to do before to keep topped up

    You'd be OK in a Model 3 with its 11kW AC & Tesla destination charge points/400km range. Just a little planning required.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,782 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    Well we all know how great the eCars network is maintained south of the border and from what I've heard they're doing an even worse job with the ones up north. Your experience seems to confirm this

    Not surprising really, those supposed charging hubs that were promised last year have yet to materialise so I'm not holding my breath.

    I saw Bjorn Nyland explaining that some of the chargers in Norway will just start as soon as you plugin if they lose their network connection. It means that you can still charge even if the charger can't validate you. I wish they'd setup the paid chargers here like that, it'd give you peace of mind that at least a network issue isn't going to stop you charging


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,008 ✭✭✭ ei9go


    Two I am aware of.

    The 22kW at the Outlets Banbridge won't charge a Zoe. Reported it over a year ago and was there a couple of weeks ago, still the same.

    Bizarre one at the Rushmere Centre 22 kW. The outlets and screen are reversed, that had me scratching my head until I saw what was happening. left is right and only one side was working last time I was there, that's why the reversed connectors caused an issue.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    finneys13 wrote: »
    I was thinking of a road trip up the north coast and over to Donegal in my M3 SR+, looks like I have some organising to do before to keep topped up

    Two 22kW chargers in Glenveagh National Park, need to have them started and stopped at reception, free of charge


  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭ finneys13


    slave1 wrote: »
    Two 22kW chargers in Glenveagh National Park, need to have them started and stopped at reception, free of charge

    Noticed that today when looking at the basic itinerary, very convenient. Little bit of forward planning and should be fine, wish a few more hotels had chargers installed to give more options


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    Northern Ireland is a disgrace in terms of charging.

    I live in Donegal but work in Derry, and also go to Belfast about once a month.

    When I went electric 5 years ago, Derry had 6 operational 11kw posts. One was broken and had been for years, the rest were fine. Also 1 rapid.

    Currently there is still the 1 rapid, and (at best) 3 slower chargers.

    *Carlisle Road - dead for 6+ years
    *The Diamond - dead for nearly a year, ecars say its not repairable
    *Train station - out of service due to building work
    *Templemore Complex - dead for years, now removed I think
    *Bishop Street - sometimes 1 side working, sometimes neither
    Strand Road - as above
    Brunswick Moviebowl - both sides working, but not marked and usually ICE'd.

    The Minister for Infrastructure showed up to work in a Leaf but has done feck all since and doesn't respond to queries on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,678 ✭✭✭ graememk


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    Northern Ireland is a disgrace in terms of charging.

    I live in Donegal but work in Derry, and also go to Belfast about once a month.

    When I went electric 5 years ago, Derry had 6 operational 11kw posts. One was broken and had been for years, the rest were fine. Also 1 rapid.

    Currently there is still the 1 rapid, and (at best) 3 slower chargers.

    *Carlisle Road - dead for 6+ years
    *The Diamond - dead for nearly a year, ecars say its not repairable
    *Train station - out of service due to building work
    *Templemore Complex - dead for years, now removed I think
    *Bishop Street - sometimes 1 side working, sometimes neither
    Strand Road - as above
    Brunswick Moviebowl - both sides working, but not marked and usually ICE'd.

    The Minister for Infrastructure showed up to work in a Leaf but has done feck all since and doesn't respond to queries on it.

    I wondered about the templemore one, ive often seen it as the nearest charge point on kia's navigation.. i wonder can that be turned off, as its quite out of date/even would give bad information.

    Yeah and the rapid at Jamsie's Garage on the A6, is on the map in the wrong place, its sorta in the right area, but if you didnt know the area, you might miss it/be looking in the wrong place.

    It is marked by people on google maps thankfully but if you were going on the esb app, good luck to you


  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭ finneys13


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    Northern Ireland is a disgrace in terms of charging.

    I live in Donegal but work in Derry, and also go to Belfast about once a month.

    When I went electric 5 years ago, Derry had 6 operational 11kw posts. One was broken and had been for years, the rest were fine. Also 1 rapid.

    Currently there is still the 1 rapid, and (at best) 3 slower chargers.

    *Carlisle Road - dead for 6+ years
    *The Diamond - dead for nearly a year, ecars say its not repairable
    *Train station - out of service due to building work
    *Templemore Complex - dead for years, now removed I think
    *Bishop Street - sometimes 1 side working, sometimes neither
    Strand Road - as above
    Brunswick Moviebowl - both sides working, but not marked and usually ICE'd.

    The Minister for Infrastructure showed up to work in a Leaf but has done feck all since and doesn't respond to queries on it.

    If I am lucky enough to charge at Bishop Street or Strand Road, is parking free?

    The rapid at Waterside is working alright?

    Haven't many options if staying in Derry


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    finneys13 wrote: »
    If I am lucky enough to charge at Bishop Street or Strand Road, is parking free?

    The rapid at Waterside is working alright?

    Haven't many options if staying in Derry

    Sorry not sure how I missed your post.

    Strand Road and Bishop Street are both paid car parks, only free if you're there after 6pm I think.

    The rapid on the Waterside is working and very reliable, but very busy these days. There is a noticeable increase in EVs in the city and there are a few Teslas, i3s, Leafs and a Kona who are all pretty regular there.

    Thankfully the arse in the white Zoe seems to have stopped abusing it. Probably got fed up with the local population hitting the emergency stop on him in principle, lol.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,868 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    The rapid on the Waterside ...
    Thankfully the arse in the white Zoe seems to have stopped abusing it. Probably got fed up with the local population hitting the emergency stop on him in principle, lol.

    Was the AC cable removed from waterside? According to plugshare app it has, the Zoe might have another reason for avoiding it! ESB app says it has AC..


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    zg3409 wrote: »
    Was the AC cable removed from waterside? According to plugshare app it has, the Zoe might have another reason for avoiding it! ESB app says it has AC..

    The cable was removed briefly but only for repair. Its definitely back now, and working as far as I know. I plugged into it last week but got the "charge delayed until power is available" message as there was an e-tron on the CCS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭ finneys13


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    Sorry not sure how I missed your post.

    Strand Road and Bishop Street are both paid car parks, only free if you're there after 6pm I think.

    The rapid on the Waterside is working and very reliable, but very busy these days. There is a noticeable increase in EVs in the city and there are a few Teslas, i3s, Leafs and a Kona who are all pretty regular there.

    Thankfully the arse in the white Zoe seems to have stopped abusing it. Probably got fed up with the local population hitting the emergency stop on him in principle, lol.

    Thanks a million, hopefully get the Bishop Street charger next Thursday evening, need to get to Dublin the next morning. Derry does look like an EV disaster


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