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EV owners without a home charger

  • 07-11-2021 4:37pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8

    Hi there,

    Just wanted to hear your experiences/opinions on driving an EV without having access to a home charger.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,922 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    Did it for 18 months. I lived in an apartment on the Luas line two stops from the Carrickmines park and ride where there are four chargers. I'd often drop it down there to charge and get the Luas home, then go back down on the Luas and pick it up later. Although this was far less than convenient than being able to walk to a charger it was also handy enough as you were pretty much 100% guaranteed to find a free charger past 6 or 7pm. Other than that I'd try and park at an AC charger while I was out and about but they're often already in use in Dublin. I'd use DC the odd time too but tried to keep that to a minimum. I've my own driveway now but don't have a charger installed as I'm waiting on a grant application, I'm actually in no rush as I'm a five minute walk from a charger that is free to use and not that hard to get a slot at. I don't drive that much and need to charge the car maybe once a week on average.

    It completely depends on how far you are from your nearest AC charger, how busy that charger is and how often you'd need to use it. I don't mind not having a charger now at all (still want one installed) but I'd have little interest in going back to the situation when I was in the apartment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,005 ✭✭✭✭KCross

    Not recommended unless you are really really keen to have an EV to the point where you are willing to accept inconvenience on an ongoing basis.

    Two possible exceptions would be where you have low mileage and a charge once a week is all you need, then that might be do-able depending on where you live and how close there is a public charge point to you that you can use.

    or you can convince your job to give you work charging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭innrain

    It is definitely not as convenient as having a home charger. I do it since April 2019.and managed quite well considering I drive a bit more that the average commute. We tested the waters with a small EV in the first place then dropped the petrol backup and got the second EV. I have no regrets.

    You need some planning unfortunately it is hard when you don't known the caveats of charging. You'll need to educate yourself on the topic . I've met countless of drivers expecting to get 22kW from a 22kW AC. Charging at AC43 on the motorway because that was the plug they've recognised. They never used the CCS. That will only frustate you. You need to do your homework well before committing. A long term loan would help, research chargers around you, discuss at workplace maybe there are chargers or plans to install. I used to do my own statistics about availability of the ecars cargers. Now you have

    Contact your LA ask them about their plans to install chargers in your area. Discuss with the owners of the parking. Things will move at some point as there is no other option.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,436 ✭✭✭zg3409

    I would not recommend it, there is mostly downsides at little upsides. Even if you have lots of nearby public chargers you may require a 5 or 6 hour wait to fully fill up as most are 7kW meaning a 50kW battery will take 7 hours to fill. Some public faster 50kW chargers might fill car in less than an hour, but they are very busy, sometimes blocked and some when broken remain broken for more than a year. So you can't rely on nearby chargers to be available and working. It does depend on your daily commute, your second car you might have access to, if work might out in chargers etc, but really one if the benefits of EV ownership is filling up at home on cheap night rate power and having 100% range every morning. I would highly recommend you do the research as there is not half enough public chargers and generally they are intended for those who already have home charging, not to be used as someone's personal car charger.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I don't have one even though I can get one fitted at my employers cost. I might revisit the topic but don't want the hassle of dealing with my landlord and want to be able to move with little hassle although I'm settled for the moment. I've got charge cards so it is all the same to me. I've also got free charging in work not that I visit the office since pandemic.

    There is an 22kW charger at the bottom of the hill but it is a very steep hill. I suppose I could swtich 15 minutes on a stepper in the gym for the walk up the hill.

    I'm not a big believer in big batteries and will be trying to avoid getting a big battery in my next EV if possible too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,399 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I did it for a while with the Leaf before I got the home charger installed. I fell into the gap where the ESB stopped doing free chargers and private electricians hadn't really gotten up to speed installing them

    It was a bit of a pain tbh, the Nissan garage nearby has a 50kW unit that's free to use, so I was rocking up there every second evening to charge. It was pretty funny looking since I'd have to park across the pavement and stretch the cable over the fence around the garage. I saw at least 2 other Leafs doing this, so it's a known thing

    When I got my ESB card it got easier since I could use the AC charger near work

    It'd be a lot simpler with the ID.4 now, since I'd only need to charge that twice a week at most. There's also chargers in work, but I can only ever get one to work and my complaints to facilites fall on deaf ears (if you see EC charging units, best to avoid)

    Having a home charger definitely makes life easier though. At the very least, having a reliable charger that's close to home or work is essential IMO

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoDiice

    Thanks all for the opinions/experiences. Like I thought, it would be a pain to own an EV without a home charger when the public infrastructure is not quite there yet. Hopefully there's a push soon, for apartment blocks and public car spaces to feature chargers.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,783 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    All new apartments have the provisions for EV charging built in as part of Planning and Building Regulations.

    Doesnt help older stock though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭innrain

    No it doesn't. Nor our culture of insuring (read suing) every bit of our life. Today I've seen petrol prices above 1.8 for the first time. I bet that will help.

    Used to fill a 45-50 l petrol tank every 5 days. For October ecars bill 26 easygo 78. Used to pay 100 a month for toll. For the month of October I have 87.12 charges from which 49.97 were discounted because of the electric. All these are secondary for me though and I would have driven electric even without these perks.

    I'm preparing for my third AGM of the owners association since I got my first EV but I lost the hope something will be done. Fortunately for me now I have a DC charger at work and a bank of AC chargers within walking distance from home. In the last 6 months I have not used a DC charger from ecars.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,027 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Having a DC charger at work, that renders the requirement almost moot to have a home charger! #knowyourprivilege LOL

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭innrain

    Well somehow. It is the only charger for a carpark of 1400 spaces and also public accessible. It is one of the most expensive @40c/kWh but I still prefer it to ecars. It is only a year old so quite recent install. But yes it made my life easier and probably tipped the balance in deciding to get the second EV.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    In more advanced countries like Norway or the Netherlands it is now the norm to buy a full EV without having home (or work) charging. Their public charging infrastructure is years ahead of ours though.

    Over here it very much depends on how convenient to you a local charge point is and how much of a priority it is for you to have an EV. And even if you had to charge at public charge points exclusively, you'd still have substantial savings on your fuel. And quite likely on the other cost of the car as well, like maintenance and depreciation. For one I would not buy a new diesel car now, nobody will want it in a few years time and your depreciation will be massive

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,222 ✭✭✭✭SteelyDanJalapeno

    I have an ID.3 with about 8 months now with now home charger, I charge it for free in work twice a week, if I need 100% for some reason, I can top it up with the regular outlet in plenty time over night

    I have no requirement for a home charger right now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭bigmac3

    This is what I do, I’m trying to figure out why I need to spend 100s on a home charger?

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    You can get a home charger installed pretty much for free, courtesy of the tax payer. Why wouldn't you?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,577 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Been an EV user - work car - without either a home charger or a work charger.

    Could do two round trips home-work-home easily on one 80% charge, I think that efficient driving and no AC might have got me three.

    Was during Lockdown 1 so there was never any contention for the nearby on-street slow charger, just paid and expensed parking for it; and used the rapid at Supervalu Lucan once a week or so.

    You can do it but I wouldn't recommend it. I suspect now with more demand for public charging infrastructure it'd be horrible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,222 ✭✭✭✭SteelyDanJalapeno

    I've never looked into it, never seen the need, is it really free?

    I'd obviously get it if so

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    If you are smart, buy a second hand charge point or one of the cheaper new ones. And know a friendly electrician who will just charge you for labour and materials and not add €500 just cos it's a subsidy job. Then yes, you can have a charge point installed for around €600. And get that €600 back as subsidy. So free. Several people on this forum have managed to do just that.

    This is obviously for a straight forward install where the charge point is on the outside wall near where the consumer unit is on the inside of the same wall or close to it. Any more complex installs will cost extra.

  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭Jog501

    Any advice on where you can find these cheap chargers? The cheapest I've seen is the Elli and that is almost €500. Nothing much on Done Deal or Adverts in the 2nd hand market and UK is out of the question now due to VAT/customs..

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Keep a lookout., DoneDeal, FaceBook Irish EV owners groups, FaceBook MarketPlace, eBay, etc.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 DavidOstrech

    I never owned an EV charger at home as I live in a flat, but have owned both a full EV (Skoda Enyaq) as wel as a hybrid (Toyota Camry).

    Living in London, it was mostly ok driving with the Skoda, although there a few occassions where I noticed that having an EV charger at home might have saved me some time and money.

    If you're driving a hybrid though, you don't have to worry about this. At all. So in my opinion, for those who dont have an EV charger and want to be on the safe side, I recommend considering a hybrid. Or vice versa, if you have a hybrid, you absolutely dont have to worry about not having an EV charger at home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 196 ✭✭UID0

    This is mostly due to tax incentives, and could be easily replicated here if our government wanted to. In Norway, it's mostly due to the number of EVs creating the demand for public charging infrastructure. In the Netherlands, there are tax incentives for installing EV chargers (which has resulted in NL having nearly a third of the total number of public EV chargers in the EU). Of these, most are <= 22kW (the most recent figures I could find are from 2019, where 2% of the total public EV chargers were "fast" chargers, defined as 22kW). This high number of AC charge points allow people to charge at destinations, and the DC chargers are for people travelling long distances or who don't regularly make trips to places with destination chargers. To achieve a similar ratio of fast charge points to filling stations, we should have 400 fast charge points, which would give us a similar number of fast chargers per capita, but to achieve the same ratio of fast charge points to land area, we would require approx. 1700.

    In Ireland, we don't have enough EVs to warrant commercial operators setting up facilities, and the tax incentives are not in place to encourage the creation of infrastructure which would induce demand. The government seems to be concentrating on stimulating demand among people with off-street parking, which makes sense given the high level of housing with it's own driveway, but ignores that this is more prevalent outside Dublin, where people generally travel longer distances on average, which leads to a higher reliance on public charge points. This strategy is cheaper than providing/incentivising public charging infrastructure.

    The ESB are fulfilling the role that is required of the state electricity provider. They are putting in a level of infrastructure that allows travel, albeit with the risk of having to wait for a charger to become available. On trunk routes, they should concentrate on ensuring there are no single chargers, where there is a single point of failure.

    The problem of the combination of government policy and the ESB's role is that there isn't enough demand for commercial operators to create a network of public charge points, particularly fast chargers.

    There should be an actual plan on how to encourage commercial operators to increase the number of charge points (probably by reducing the cost of a grid connection for a fast charger hub) and to increase the number of chargers at motorway service stations. The state does not sell petrol/diesel, and should only be involved in public charging infrastructure until the market has matured enough that commercial operations are viable, and to ensure that there is the capability to travel longer distances, even if it involves suboptimal routing and potential delay.

    There should also be a dual strategy of continuing to encourage the installation of home charge points, but also to encourage the installation of public fast charge points in towns and cities of sufficient size and population density.

  • Registered Users Posts: 732 ✭✭✭Dayor Knight

    I bought an ID.3 in September and have been driving it now for about eight weeks, without a home charger (will be getting one). So I've been charging using Fast chargers only.

    Based on my experience so far, I would be more than happy to have the EV even if I never had a home charger. I'd say I do about 1000 km per month around Dublin, so 250 km per week on average. I know where the most convenient fast chargers are, for me, so I just make sure to pass those a couple of times a week - if it's free I stop and get a charge boost for about 20 minutes. if not I'll pass again another time. A couple of those per week gives me plenty of charge for my needs.

    Having said all that, I do plan to get a home charger for the convenience of it and of course it's cheaper long term. But I wouldn't rule out an EV if you don't have the possibility of a home charger.

    It will depend on your own likely needs and where you live of course.

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭marc1

    I’d love the group’s opinion if it’s more feasible with some of the new tech cars that can charge at 200+ kW. If you’re living close-ish to a super-fast charger you could charge once week for 15-20 mins and that should do it? Shouldn’t be much more inconvenient than a ICE car? Or what am I missing (other than that 90% of the population doesn’t live close to a 200+ kW charger I guess)

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I sometimes charge at a 150kw charger in a McDonalds car park between the Gym and my home.

    I don't get a full 100kW (which is the limit for my car) out of the charger as the battery isn't up to temperature on a short trip between home and Gym.

    I'd get more like 75kW. If the other stall is occupied I'd only be getting 75kW anyhow.

    I'd usually only stay at the fast charger for 10 to 15 minutes unless I have a book I want to read.

    These days I am mostly destination charging at an 11kw charger in multi storey car parks. Yesterday I nearly fully charged my car while having brunch with a friend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭innrain

    If the gov is serious about it, they should pass the "right to charge" law, basically forcing landlords and or owners associations to consider the issue. California was one of the first state to introduce it and now more and more states in the US are getting it on. What is interesting with this law is that it brings in the framework under which installations can be done. Like who is paying for the install and the level of insurance required. Or how to deal with the case of non allocated parking space. (i.e. short term lease for a minor amount). But most importantly they can't ignore the request. They can come with an astronomical figure but it is a start. Right now from what I have experienced personally and I have been told by others, the issue is ignored completely. We'll see is the answer. Not No, not Yes. It is a typical attitude where people in charge do not want to make a decision and come up with something like "Net 0 by 2050" putting the issue behind them. So get on your elected representative and push for it. Sooner or later it will happen anyway but it will be messy until it does.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭HBC08

    Wow,that's mental in my opinion.

    Imagine paying however much you paid for a car and having all that hassle?

    I can see why you wouldn't go back to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,922 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    The car was bought to take advantage of the BIK rules for as long as possible, the seai grant for business purchases was being removed entirely about a month after I bought the car too. Also I had planned to move to somewhere with its own driveway much sooner but... covid. If I hadn't bought the car at that point I don't think I'd have bothered at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Are you really that surprised? Any time petrol / diesel is stunted with at €0.99 per litre, there are queues for miles with people waiting 3 hours to save €20

    With an EV you could well save €5,000 per year. Well worth having to public charge once or twice a week when you happen to pass a fast charger, have a gap in your schedule and play on your phone / read emails / chill / have a nap for half an hour 😂

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,210 ✭✭✭HBC08

    Look I get it,you're an EV fan and I've read you posts on here before,they're informative and I respect your opinion.However none of it makes any sense to the average working man or woman under the current circumstances. My Mrs is open to getting a old EV for her work commute but we don't have the option of a home charger(like a lot of people so that's out)

    My cars costs €70 and 3 minutes at the new high prices to drive a 1000km.Its a nice coupe, it's fast and it get positive comments and looks everywhere I go,people have often come up to me and asked about it.

    If I want to nap or check my emails I do it when it suits,not when my new EV dictates to me.If I'm paying €50k for something (which like most people I can't afford) I will be needing something that makes my life less rather than more complicated.