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Public charging - now and in the future

  • 12-07-2022 10:27am
    Registered Users Posts: 267 ✭✭

    Haven't an EV yet but hopefully have one at start of next year and most charging will be at home but just wondering:

    When public charging is used at moment, is there enough chargers available or would you expect to be queuing ?

    And as the amount of EVs on the road increases over the next 3 or 4 years, will there be enough chargers or will queuing become the norm?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,134 ✭✭✭innrain

    Public charging is lagging EV sales even as EVs sales is stalling due to different shortages. Ecars which is the oldest network and owned be the semi-state company ESB is not planning anything for the future just catch up, and with few exceptions runs single chargers locations where most likely you'll find yourself in a queue. Easygo is a small operation with colocating chargers in an urban setting, popping more and more on the map so they might be the most useful for those without a driveway. They are the most expensive domestic player so far so probably you won't queue. There are few even smaller players like epower/gocharge usually at hotels useful but not for day to day. At motorway services there is Ionity which is a glimpse into the future but only 5 locations, 2 on either side of the motorway so basically 4 and one with only 2 stalls so actually 3 reliable locations. They have plans to expand but we heard nothing so far, the last location was opened in 2019(?). Circke K and Applegreen both shown interest to starting building charging networks but I say we're looking at 2023-2025 for something that will count. Dublin councils announced 1650 chargers by 2025 or 2030(?) but don't hold your breath. At last there is Tesla SuC which has seen a big increase in the last 18 months and it is something build for the future, but so far open to Teslas only.

  • Registered Users Posts: 267 ✭✭baby fish

    Thanks for your reply👍️ , doesn't sound great heading towards increased sales of EV's

  • Registered Users Posts: 527 ✭✭✭VikingG

    It seems that public charging is lagging ( and will do in the near term), however I expect that I will do 95% of my charging at home and in work so this will not be an issue for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭mike_2009

    it's either hire a diesel car/van for that day / weekend you need the range and not the anxiety or bring an e-reader, plan alternate charging stops, stop more often but for shorter charging sessions to eek out the range a bit and hopefully over time more public charging options will appear more often than you change your car! Also consider an e-scooter combined with public transport for some journeys. You can also rent an electric car with a longer range for the odd day. the good thing is that the situation is much better abroad so holidays will really show you the difference in investment. Time your charge - early/late may be better than peak times to try to reduce the wait.

    An Post should get into the public charging game - keep a fleet of fully charged EVs, 1 or 2 per site and you can hop into the next EV and keep going while the one you got out of fills back up for the next driver & family?! Bookable via App to ensure you're not left stranded!! A fleet of a few hundred ZOE's would work out fine! For local or relay hire!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,134 ✭✭✭innrain

    If you'd compare with other countries even the Irish SuC sounds bad. The biggest number of stalls 8 while others have 30+. Go to select Europe than France. See where you get until you find an 8 stall one. Our advantage is the size of the country with distances relatively small and low density housing. I think once the number on EVs is high enough and the business case for charging would be compelling, big commercial players would be visible. Maybe eirgrid would catch up as well as they are always blamed for stalling the progress. We have 2 EVs in the household, no home charger and nearly 100k km on public charging in the last 3 and 1/2 years. I don't drive eco, I don't stop the AC and didn't queued for changing. Not saying things are the same as with the petrol or home charging but with some planning and understanding of the process great things can be achieved. Few weeks ago I drove from Sneem, Co Kerry to Dublin without the need to charge. On a Sunday morning I started a 150 km journey with 12% SoC with absolutely no range anxiety. I charged for 8 minutes on the way. No need for e-readers.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,372 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    To an extent it depends on the network.

    ESB is hopelessly overloaded and looks to stay that way for the foreseeable future

    EasyGo aren't really installing anything over 50kW, so they tend to stay away from motorway stops

    Ionity aren't nearly as busy AFAIK, or it's less visible because they build proper hubs

    Tesla are still the best in Ireland if you've a Tesla, and useless otherwise

    It's starting to look like service stations are getting on board with charging. Circle K clonsaugh for example has planning to install 4 HPC chargers and Applegreen are planning to install chargers at some of their sites

    So things are very slowly improving, but as others mentioned the sales of EVs are way ahead of charger installations

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,727 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Public charging is biggest downside of EV ownership. Being a 2 car household helps (one EV one petrol). Having home charging helps. Having a car with a real world range of 300+km helps. Picking accomodation with a charger (such as many hotels) helps. Buying a car with access to restricted chargers such as Teslas supercharger network or Ionity (not available to Nissan leaf) helps. In general at peak times you can expect to queue on main motorway 50+kW chargers. If you plan carefully you can check on app if in use and keep going to next one, but it requires a bit of luck and knowledge of chargers sites and non esb chargers such as Easygo

    Easygo have started installing 75kw capable chargers that can share between two cars as long as one is chademo and other CCS.

    In kinnegad easygo have quantity 2 50kW chargers next to each other next to Dublin/Galway/Sligo motorway at a motorway style services. Easygo are looking for sites in good locations so if you know any site owners such as petrol stations or hotels let them know. They have attended hotel national meetings to canvas sites. They have a 50kw at Starbucks naas near motorway and another 50kW planned in naas lidl. Bray Lidl is 50kW and 5 minutes from motorway. It's also near an ESB 50kW at Tesco so multiple options.

    Over time I expect the situation to get worse before it gets better as many companies are dipping their toe in the market or planning to install in a few years. In most countries the government give big incentives such as Scotland and there are plans here, but nothing firm.

    If I was an ICE owner I would consider all the options such as keeping old petrol car, buying a used EV, buying a new EV, buying a new petrol or diesel and factor in fuel savings but more importantly depreciation of value of car. Used EVs are going up in value while used petrol and diesel prices may crash, particularly gas guzzlers. Going full EV can save substantial amounts in fuel if you have a long commute.

  • Registered Users Posts: 196 ✭✭UID0

    The advantage is a disadvantage when looking at the provision of public charging. In order for the provision of more public chargers to be profitable there has to be sufficient demand. If the public rapid chargers are only busy at the weekend, then there won't be the business case to add more chargers. People may be queueing, but if it's only between 7 and 10 on a Friday evening that there is a queue, but the charger is idle half of the rest of the time, then the provider can't justify adding extra points. If you go to a filling station for petrol/diesel you will see that there are queues at certain times (possibly more queueing than there are pumps) but most of the time there is no queue. Filling stations don't install the number of pumps to meet their peak demand, only enough to avoid queues most of the time. I've stopped at motorway services ion the recent past (not needing a charge, just some food and the toilet) and there was nobody using the ESB chargers and at most 1 person using a Supercharger. It's about what time one arrives at the charger.

    We don't have Tesla Superchargers with more than 8 stalls because we don't need them. I haven't seen anyone complaining of having to queue for a Supercharger here. When there is the proven demand, then sites with more units will start to appear.

    As you've said, you have done 100k km using public charging without having to queue. This shows that there are certainly times where utilisation is low. As more EVs are on the road, and especially as more people are using public charging exclusively, the provision of charge points will improve, and there will be fewer locations with a single charge point. The progression is likely to be single charge point -> charge point that can supply more than one car at a time -> multiple charge points.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,372 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I feel like there's going to be a pickup in public charging soon. A few years back the economics of installing DC chargers was pretty dubious, now it's looking a lot better

    We're seeing more players entering the market already and more investment in existing networks

    Tbh, I don't think we'll have "enough" chargers for a long time. It's better for providers to have sightly too few chargers as it maximises the income without needing additional investment

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