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Taxi only EV chargers

  • 13-12-2021 10:25am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Taken from another thread

    There is taxi only 50kW chargers at Dublin Airport, Dublin Heuston Train Station, Cork Airport, Cork Train Station, Limerick Train station. Most were installed a year ago and are active. I added them all to plugshare app. You need plugsurfing app to activate and pay. Some are accessible to non taxis such as heuston station and Cork Airport, others like Dublin airport are behind a barrier in the Taxi only queue.

    All sites seem to have 2 chargers, CCS and ChaDeMo, max 50kW and tethered AC max 22kW. I think they are ABB units, grey in colour, nothing to do with ESB.

    Below is some history.


    The NTA issued grants for approx 750 EV taxis this year and I believe they have funding for similar for the next two years. Not all of them are going to live in houses with driveways and suitable wiring!


    Feb 2020: NTA taxi industry newsletter

    The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has secured €1.5 million to install fast chargers specifically for the SPSV Industry. While the locations for these chargers are yet to be confirmed it is expected they will be installed near transport hubs. 


    July 2021: Dail debate (Eamon Ryan, Minister for Transport):

    Last year, my Department funded installation of SPSV-dedicated EV charging infrastructure at Dublin and Cork airports, as well as at Heuston, Kent and Colbert train stations. My Department is supporting further installations for SPSV charging at key transport hubs in 2021, with an allocation of €3 million earmarked for that purpose.



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    Cork Train station Taxi only is showing out of order on the plugsurfing app today

    Any sign of new 2021 taxi only sites? What other "transport hubs" would work with taxi only chargers?

    Anyone know if these chargers are busy or used much?



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    Random aside: I'm a taxi driver who has to use the rapid chargers in Dublin. I got an earful one day from an ESB EV driver who complained about 'all you f**king taxi drivers using up all the chargers.' I pointed at his van logo and suggested he complain to the ESB. He didn't think eCars had anything to do with him. I told him the url of ecars was esb.ie/ecars and he shut up. The kinda funny thing was he beat me to a charger the next day and I had to wait for him to finish. Oh how we laughed (not)...

    The NTA should probably be the lead agency on this since they spent €15 million on taxi EV grants this year & put approx 750 EV's on the road. And possibly the same again for the next two years. TBH, I'd never heard of the chargers at Heuston until I asked on here.

    • The four at Heuston look promising but they're in the car park. If Irish Rail operate the car park, it's free to park. If they don't, taxis might have to pay to enter?
    • I don't understand Dublin airport. The Kesh is restricted and only taxis with a pass can enter. So any taxi coming from outside the airport has to drive away and hope there's a free space in the privately owned Petrol Station at the exit (or Clonshagh).
    • Dublin Port: I'd suggest the CircleK has enough room for another 2 dedicated taxi-only chargers. But I don't know how they'd feel about it...
    • I'd suggest there's plenty of room around the side/back of Connolly Station.
    • There's a lot of space around the Raheny rank.
    • Burgh Quay (nr. Dame St) is still a rank but never used. There's a rank on Dame St that's never used daytime either. Both could be a charging point, particularly for night drivers.


    Here's a cautionary tale: https://youtu.be/7pWqg3gr_nI

    This is an 8 min YouTube video from a Sallins-based night-time taxi driver. He forgot to charge his taxi to 100% before he took a few pre-booked jobs which included going to the airport. Sadly, he didn't do his homework and didn't know where the rapid chargers were from DAP to Sallins. He got home with 1% battery. For the general public, there's only 5 or 6 rapid chargers from DAP to Sallins. And there's less than 10 rapid chargers on Dublin Northside and less than 10 rapid chargers on Dublin Southside. For everyone!



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    Apologies if I'm going off-topic.

    There's plans to turn Luas Broombridge (Cabra) into a major/large transport hub. It's probably too small for a dedicated taxi-only charger but there's a very large rank close-by on Faussagh Avenue (Cabra) that's rarely used. You could probably put 2 chargers there & still keep an active rank.

    Point is the NTA should probably ask the taxi drivers where they'd like to see chargers. Within reason - we're not that special :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20


    Are the chargers in Limerick Colbert up and running? They aren't in PlugShare if so.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    I expect they are. They are "coming soon" on plugshare so your filters may have hidden them. They were in place a last march so I assume they should be working. The plugsurfing app shows them as active

    https://www.plugshare.com/location/309056



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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,432 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    What's the question here?

    If it's in relation to taxi only usage then what's the issue, it's aiding another ICE vehicle to be off the road, result!



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    My question was "Anyone know if these chargers are busy or used much?" and also if any sign of more being rolled out.

    Dublin Airport ESB 50kW charger is one of the busiest chargers around with taxis constantly trying to use it, yet there is a much better charger a few hundred metres away. However to access it you need to pay Dublin airport "access fee" or whatever as charger is behind a barrier in taxi collect queue which many taxis at the airport cannot use. I am wondering if these taxi only chargers are busy, do taxi drivers even know about them, are non taxis using them for example at heuston or cork airport and where are they needed and what is the future?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20




  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    I visited the taxi-only chargers in Heuston station today & it didn't go quite as I'd planned.

    The chargers are well located but way down the back of the property in a grim carpark. There were 4 bays and 2 charging points. I don't know if charging by Chademo will limit the CCS charging. They seem to be operated by (edit plugshare.com) plugsurfing.com . Only after turning up did I find out I'd need to download the app, register, set up payment details and possibly order a RFID key. (more generic info - https://plugsurfing.com/drivers-travellers-solutions/ )

    For whatever reason, I couldn't register so I couldn't go any further. According to the (edit plugshare ) plugsurfing app, pricing is comparable to eCars PAYG at ~30c/kWh with a 20c access fee.

    These chargers could be useful to taxi drivers in a large swathe of Dublin (e.g., Crumlin, Drimnagh, Inchicore, Ballyfermot etc) but they'd want to make it a bit simpler. For example, pay by bank card or, maybe more improbably, design one card that could store the details for eCars, EasyGo, Plugshare & Ionity etc. I'm not sure I'd order a RFID card just to use one charging station in Dublin. Also, you need a special pass to access the taxi-only chargers at Dublin airport so they're useless to 99% of taxi drivers across Ireland.

    After that, I went to the next logical rapid charger for me, Circle K Finglas Road, only to find an ESB van overstaying by 20 mins. I guess he doesn't have to pay the fine. Didn't give me a wave or thumbs up when he was unplugging either :(




    Finally, I thought I would put this here for reference. This is a list of EV taxis in Ireland.

    There is a taxi driver who has excellent computer skills and he can write scripts to "talk" to the NTA database. The data are available to other taxi drivers on another website. I don't know how accurate it is but I'd say it's close enough. If you think any EV taxis have been missed, please leave a comment. I don't know the split between 2021 EV grants and pre-2021. E&OE. Any errors are mine.

    206 - Kia Niros (unknown split between hybrid and EV?)

    134 - Nissan Leaf

    108 - MG5

    84  - MGZS

    66  - VW ID.4 (no ID.3's yet)

    22  - Skoda Enyaq

    18  - Tesla's

    8   - Renault Zoe (yes, grants were available for the Zoe)

    The taxi EV grant is due to run for another two years so the numbers of EV taxis will certainly increase.

    Post edited by Dubwat on


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    It's good to get real world feedback.

    Just to point out plugshare app normally shows all brand Irish chargers, but generally cannot activate them and normally has no real time charger data

    Plugsurfing is a different app that shows only some chargers and generally you can pay for them if listed. They have some sort of roaming agreement and same charger might be cheaper on other apps. There is no one app that does all as many smaller providers don't have roaming agreements. For example easygo have agreement to use their app for ESB chargers, but ESB do not allow you to use Easygo chargers.


    All these apps, RFID, fob, touch to pay, not working, busy, blocked is a mess and indeed this charger is not ideally located for taxis and as you say it's not exactly straight forward to even use it, and many taxis may not even know it exists.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20


    Quite simply: there needs to be a centralised & public-domain, national database of chargers, akin to:

    Germany: https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Sachgebiete/Energie/Unternehmen_Institutionen/E_Mobilitaet/Ladesaeulenregister.xlsx?__blob=publicationFile&v=18

    UK: https://data.gov.uk/dataset/1ce239a6-d720-4305-ab52-17793fedfac3/national-charge-point-registry

    ...and so on. Then the payment method is clear and these can all be integrated easily into navigation tools and charging aids.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Out of curiosity, is there a central public domain database that displays the prices of petrol across all garages for ICE cars?



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    @zg3409 Apologies for the typo. I meant to say plugsufing instead of plugshare. I've edited my post after your comment to reflect that.

    There's so many apps to keep track of, it's easy (for me) to get confused! Below is the EV / EV charging page on my phone... Ironically, I've only used eCars so far :)




  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    There is a user-generated website and app called pumps.ie but I'm not sure how active it is.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,535 ✭✭✭ innrain


    pumps stopped working a while ago. It was a sort of plugshare where users would let others know about the pump prices. Community based.

    I don't mind the number of apps. I probably have over 400 appps on my phone. Some added by phone manufacturer which I never use i.e. FB. Having 10 which are useful is not going to slow it down. In no particular order:





  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    Yikes, that's a lot of apps 'just' to drive a car!

    From my own novice POV, I think I'd prefer to keep it simple as I'd need to record these expenses in my tax returns each year. Too many apps and I'd be likely to forget some and land myself with a bigger tax bill 😛



    Anyways, to return to plugsurfing, I managed to create an account on my desktop computer so I'll return to Heuston station at some point and see how I get on. RFID/key cards are €9.95 but you have to create an account before they tell you the price. However they say you can pay via the phone app so I'll try that method.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    There are lots of different public domain systems. Many older cars have no easy update system and on their sat Nav often old obsolete chargers are shown. Such a system would be desirable here, particularly as there may be chargers located at hotels and not listed anywhere. However if suppliers cannot update plugshare with basic info, smaller sites will still never be added. At least plugshare can be updated daily with working/ did not work and tips etc. I would prefer system with open data, open API, open comments, but the reality is that simple croudsourced systems work well in this area, and suppliers like ESB refuse to list other providers in their app. Easygo don't tend to bother updating other apps with their chargers possibly out of laziness.

    As implied petrol stations have no clear standard maps (except ad hock various mapping providers) and petrol pricing changes weekly and there is no real pricing sharing system.


    The UK forced all new public chargers to be credit card touch to pay, bit often at a premium. Easygo has similar solution on newer pay 50kW only chargers, but the fees are relatively higher and so most regular users will use cheaper app option. Suppliers also want THEIR app, so they can sell subscriptions and roaming fees, and they can also hide competitior chargers.

    For taxis I would prefer hubs that could be used by general public when not busy with taxis. All users have issues of lack of public chargers versus right now demand. Dublin airport seems to be worst with nearby non taxi chargers busy with taxis a lot of the time.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    That stopped working years ago.

    It was a small private owner that just lost interest.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    On the flip side, i drive my EV daily and i don't use a single App. They are not a "requirement" if you generally charge at home and are not travelling the length of the country every day.



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    So, I finally got to use the taxi-only 2 charger/4 bay EV chargers at Heuston Station in Dublin. It was not a straightforward process but it worked out in the end (just about).

    I tried to use them a few weeks ago but found out I had to pre-register my details and pre-authorize a credit card. There was no verification that I was a taxi driver. Once done, I tried again today to use the chargers. Initially I couldn't get either of them to work because I couldn't choose the DC50 charger option on my phone. It turned out I had the app filters set to 'Fast charger/Type 2/CCS' and that only showed the Chademo charger, not the DC50. (I don't understand either).

    Once sorted (all filters off), I chose the left charger of the 2 charger/4 bay charging station. Unfortunately, the left charger was stuck at 10kW for DC50 & Chademo (see below) and I've been told it's been like that for weeks.

    Switching over to the right charger gave me 50kW.

    At the end of the session, I believe you can only stop the (money) charging via your phone app - pressing stop on the charging unit doesn't stop the (money) charging. I can't prove it but that was my impression.

    So, all in all, it was more difficult than using the general eCars chargers and they're a similar price to eCars PAYG. I wouldn't be in a rush to use these again but I could see how they could be useful to taxi drivers who live out past Heuston station.

    I nearly forgot... Three positives to finish off.

    1. The cables are longer than the eCars ones so charging 2 taxis side-by-side should be much easier.

    2. I phoned the helpline and got voicemail. But an Irish person did phone me back. On a Sunday.

    3. Charging seemed to be quicker (around 45kWh) compared to eCars (35-ish). (Back of the envelope guesstimate)


    Fig: Charging units are in the car park way down the back of Heuston station. (Apols for the bad photo)




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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,535 ✭✭✭ innrain


    Brilliant, thank you. I think plugsurfing can do monthly bills, but you said you won't use them too much. It is a pity there are no good facilities for a driver's rest. There was a video on fully charged about a charging station for EV taxis in China which looked impressive. (take it with a grain of salt giving the country)

    Why would you charge with only 35kW at ecars I wonder. Is it MG you're driving? ABBs units are more reliable I'm told, but it seems to me a current limit. If you have airport rank access you should try those ones as well. I saw ecars chargers around the airport have somewhat eased since Blanch reopened but are still the busiest in the country 12h vs 14h utilization per day.



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    Yes, I have an MG 5 Long Range and it can take an max input of 80kW. Apologies if I get the terminology wrong - I'm still a novice :)

    I don't charge at 35kWh by choice. I only use the eCars DC50 rapid chargers but, AIUI, they never give out a rate of 50kWh because it has to ramp up and the battery and ambient temperatures can affect the rate. I mostly use the eCars triple charger at the CircleK on the Finglas Rd. The app does warn that you cannot use the DC50 and Chademo at the same time so the power supply is somewhat compromised, I presume.

    So (back of envelope) 35-ish kWh is what I get from eCars when I charge on a cold morning over 30-45mins. [ (kW/time)*60 mins = kWh ]. I also used the 150kW HPC charger at CircleK in Kilcullen for the first time the other day. My battery was warmish as was the day (10C) and it peaked at 56kWh but on average, over 30mins, I only got a charging rate of ~45kWh. I was mildly disappointed, tbh.

    So getting a rate over 40 kWh over 30 mins at 50kW taxi-only Heuston is why I thought it was worth a mention.



    Re taxis and the airport. I believe EasyGo have rapid chargers at DCU/Helix and at their St Pats campus (Drumcondra). Both are kinda on the way to the airport. I'm not sure how either location would react if taxis started turning up en masse and started charging...



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20


    With a rapid-charger landscape like this in Dublin city, who could blame the taxis really?

    https://openchargemap.org/site



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    Just for the record, the NTA grant-aided ~600-700 taxis in 2021 (€15 million) and they have grant money for the next 2 years. I don't know if the money pot will be the same size or if the grants will be the same but if they grant-aided another, say, 600 taxis/year for another 2 years, that's a lot of EV taxis introduced in a short space of time.

    There's ~19,000 PSV vehicles in Ireland. The NTA wanted 10% of the fleet to be wheelchair accessible and they got there with grants. Total speculation on my part but if they wanted 10% of the fleet to be EV's as well (~1,900), they could throw money at the problem. So 700+600+600 could be a reasonable aim, I guess?

    How many won't have home chargers? The 2 chargers at Heuston and the 2 (restricted access?) at Dublin airport won't be sufficient!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,535 ✭✭✭ innrain


    I think this car is best suited for a taxi. We all have been novice once. kWh is what you put in the battery. kW is how fast (kWh/h). Finglas FCP is not a good charger. The limited power does not refer to the CCS and CHAdeMO but overall available power available from the grid. If another car connects to AC side both will get only 22 kW max. I stopped using that charger in 2019 because of power fluctuations. About easygo ones. Helix one is very accessible St Pats a bit awkward. It is 40% more expensive than ecars so not very popular. But when I said airport I meant the ones inside the taxi rank queue which you can find them on epower/myGocharge apps. Unfortunately I don't have access there but should be easy to spot them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,355 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20


    Such a good point - and one which I hadn't considered until now. How many taxi drivers have a driveway or access to a guaranteed charging spot? Few I'd guess - a significant impediment to EV penetration.

    That can only place more pressure on the FPC's as they'll obviously want to keep idle-time to a minimum.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,179 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    I do suspect many EV taxis may not have a home charger. Possibly the taxi Ev grant should be limited to those with somewhere to private charge to keep the load on the public network low. The driver's would also save more money and time home charging. Some taxis do have quiet time of the shift and lots of complaints about taxis sitting on AC and DC chargers reading newspapers. With pubs more or less closed I suspect the normal peak times are gone or have changed but without covid there is a quiet period from say 10pm to midnight mid shift where mid shift charging may be possible. Most bookings are by app or radio so drivers can leave if work appears. In the UK some taxi companies have private AC and DC chargers, but the day of the taxi office with a load of taxis waiting outside seems mostly gone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭ Dubwat


    The taxi-only chargers at Heuston saved my bacon today!

    I got a once-a-year fare from Dublin to Maynooth. My MG5 LR battery read 28% (GOM ~110km) and Google Maps said it was 33km away, but mostly motorway. Got there and battery was 15% (GOM ~50km). The eCars app says the university town of Maynooth only has 2 x 22kWh chargers in Tesco.

    Probably could have made it home but didn't want to risk it so I looked at what rapid chargers were available to me...

    eCars

    Lucan: A Tesla beat me to it by 2 mins!

    Blanchstown: 1 of 2 available

    Finglas: Occupied

    Airport (public): 1 of 2 available

    Clonshaugh: Occupied

    Dublin Port: 1 of 2 available

    SJRQ: 1 of 2 available

    EasyGo

    DCU (St Pats): Occupied

    DCU (Helix): "Unknown"

    So that was all the rapid chargers available to the public on the northside(-ish) of Dublin at ~11.30am on a Friday morning. Luckily I got to the taxi-only chargers at Heuston with 10% battery (GOM ~30km). I think it was the first time I'd let the battery go below 20% in my 4 months of ownership. I'm not too sure I'd be in a rush to repeat it though. Imagine being a businessperson trying to get back to Cork or Galway after a day's business in Dublin!

    Co-incidently, someone from eCars was on the Pat Kenny show this morning and you'll be glad to know everything is ok. One of Pat Kenny's assistants must have written him a list of buzzwords and he just floated them at the eCars guy without any critical questioning. PK asked him about competitors at one stage and (don't laugh) he answered by saying something like Ionity had 5 chargers and, oh, there's another small operator called EasyGo :)

    The interview is on the Newstalk website but there's a long ad before it that I couldn't dismiss. ( https://pd5i4.app.link/DlwOWMDKSeb?$deeplink_path=podcast/47/320770 )



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,840 ✭✭✭ garo


    This complacency is infuriating.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,466 ✭✭✭ Red Silurian


    So they have 1350 chargers currently on their network and hope to add another 300 over 3 years... Not very ambitious I'd argue



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