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the north!

  • 12-09-2022 11:17am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭

    Visited titanic yesterday, Sunday late lunch time. 173km there and back. 346km return journey on motorway which is absolutely borderline for me. A quick 2-3 min stop and I'd be fine. But visited 3 charging sites on the way to titanic without being able to charge. 1 at castlebellingham which was busy (while there's ~8 tesla stalls empty). The north ones on the way to belfast were out of the way & off the main road. There's traffic while your driving around shopping centres looking for chargers, each site I got to was busy, with other electric cars circling around the sites like sharks. In the end I was able to plug in at titanic car park where I got a drip feed of a 3kwh during the visit which was enough to get me home again.

    The north is joke and we can't control that. But a hub just south of the border is badly needed (for non-tesla).



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Or just buy a Tesla and charge on the way up and on the way back as needed :P

    The north is a black hole

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Closest you're going to get to a non Tesla hub on M1 is Ionity City North

    It's not well placed for travel from Dublin, but it's a lot better than the joke that is Castlebellingham or the journey back into the middle ages that is the NI charging network

  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭mc2022B2TF

    Its mad there are 16 tesla superchargers between North and south at CB and they are rarely being used. And then u look at the non tesla chargers there and they are brutal

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    They are not "rarely used", I dont know where this perception comes from. They are V2 chargers so ideal use is 1-4 in use with the rest as backup. Anytime I've charged there I've never been the sole tesla. (Granted there was always a queue on the peasant 50kW too)

  • Registered Users Posts: 247 ✭✭eltoastero

    Castlebellingham Northbound/Southbound would be the perfect spot for a raft of Ionity chargers (for anyone making a trip to or from the North) - not that'll happen (unless the rumours of the Tesla chargers being moved are true, and other non-tesla chargers use the abandoned infrastructure).

    The single 50kW ESB charger (northbound) has been in use every single time I've pulled in there in the past year (6 or 7 journeys maybe) so I never consider it in my plan (instead I hope for the best when I get to my destination; hope the "50kW" near my destination is outputting more than 9kW, as it was the last time).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭mc2022B2TF

    15 of 16 free right now and the same for most of the weekend which you would expect to be busier.

    I'm not complaining but look how many they have installed at other locations over the past few years - nowhere near that number.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Well, you know what you can do if you have an issue with the load factor on Tesla superchargers? Either buy a tesla and take advantage of the ease of charging which has been funded by tesla owners, or come online and complain about it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭mc2022B2TF

    Not sure what your point it. U were disputing the fact that I said they were rarely used. Then you change your point when I pretty much prove they are indeed rarely used

    If tesla were installing again today there's no way they would have installed 16

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,680 ✭✭✭Genghis

    Was in the north recently too. What is the rationale for ESB chargers being free?

    A big part of it is freeloading. 2 22Kwh chargers, one occupied for 8 hours, the other for 5 was the situation on my visit to Lisburn. Out on the Sprucefield roundabout the fast charger occupied for 80 mins and driver AWOL..The only other 22kw ESB charger in Lisburn under repair.

    Meanwhile 8 Chargepount chargers nearby totally unused, but costing 43p/kWh.

    Just like ROI, make them all fee based and there will be no issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Supposedly there's legislation blocking charges being introduced, and because the charging is free ESB wouldn't fix anything until they got more funding

    Now there's nothing stopping them from using a different payment model, like charging by the minute

    Also I'm pretty sure there's other chargers in NI which charges for the kilowatts so I think ESB might just be full of it. I seem to remember the one near IKEA required payment

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭RoadRunner

    Argh, I didn't know about this site. I don't think my car showed it as an option 🤨.

    Knowing about this one helps a bit now 👍️ If you could pick it up an move this site 50-60km north it would be even better!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    The point is they are not rarely used. They are used as intended. Enough stalls to keep queuing to a minimum. Target occupancy on a V2 is 3-4.

    I disagree, I think they would install the 16 again. In one site, its the main Dublin to Belfast route. AFAIK the new dublin north (not the SC) site has 12 chargers going in with room for further expansion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Yeah I'd recommend using ABRP for route planning, but maybe tell it not to use any chargers in NI as it's a tad optimistic. You can set a preference for 2 chargers minimum which cuts out most of the junk sites

    ESB tends to get the visibility since they're very public every time they open a charger, but Ionity have been rolling out since 2019 I think. There's also a planned expanson to Ionity in the next few years but I don't know if they'll get any traction

    I guess installing a single HPC is a cause for celebration in ESB but only a job 25% done for other providers 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    One thing I noticed about the UK is that when you have proper charging hubs (4 or more chargers) then the queues are either very short or don't happen at all

    When I went to Ionity Stafford, there was one other car charging. Pretty quickly the reaminging 4 stalls filled up (including 2 Taycans 😁) and there was one Cupra Born waiting on a charger.

    He was only waiting about 5 mins though as another car finished and moved off, and then I was done and moved on

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,891 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The root cause here is the North never introduced legal structure to allow cost associated with charging due to the collapse of the Assembly in relation to the Irish Language issue.

    Therefore no-one would invest in new chargers or maintained existing ones.

    This led to years of backlog and lack of investment that is going to take a long time to overcome. The North also has power issues and a tendency for short term leases, both of which also impact new investment in chargers.

    In short (having travelled through and around the North quite a bit with an EV) either buy a Tesla and charge to the max in Castlebellingham or buy a long range EV or plan on Granny Charging at accommodation and plan this for the next 3-5 years minimum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,680 ✭✭✭Genghis

    Interesting. But just wondering how do networks like Chargepoint charge for charging? As I mentioned above, I have used the Chargepoint chargers in Lisburn at 43p/KwH. Are they not legal so?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    That's why I think the excuse that ESB were giving is BS, they were looking for more funding, plain and simple

  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭cromelex

    Is it really that bad in the north? Are there any fast chargers that are reliable and can be counted uppon to be working?

    I have family visiting from abroad and they wanted to go visit the Giant's causeway and nearby area. From the City North Ionity charger it looks like around 230km each way. If we drive around a bit, it looks like even the full range on my EV6 (~500km) wouldn'd be enough. Will need to do a top up somewhere.

    Any tips?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,891 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The legislature was only passed recently AFAIK

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Personally I'd top up in Ionity City North and then the IKEA Belfast charger. It's a paid charger from Gridserve so less likely to be blocked

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  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭cromelex

    Thanks for the tip, I'll have a look.

    Are they pay as you go, can you just pay by card there and then without subscribing for anything? Had not heard of them yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,035 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    They've got this mad concept in Gridserve. Basically they put a card reader on the chargers and you can pay using a debit card

    Utter madness 😁

    Actually a lot of the chargers in the UK are like that, they introduced regulations a while back saying all DC chargers needed to provide debit card readers

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,029 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Yes. Bring a petrol or diesel if you can. Consider renting a car if needed.

    For the truth on the real status of NI chargers look at plugshare app. Those that do work are crazy busy with queues and most others are broken for years.

    If you must go EV consider a very long range EV. Drop top speed to stretch range. Try book overnight accommodation with chargers. Assume you will never get a public charge. Charge in ROI say Dundalk to near 100% before crossing border. If you do need a charge check status in esb app and plugshare app and maybe zap map. Try to charge plenty early assuming charger will have a queue or not work. Have multiple backup options including your own AC cable and a granny cable and extension lead. Look for unusual chargers on the plugshare app such as Lidl Belfast, IKEA, or other non esb options.

    Fees can be applied in NI and were due to be applied this year but for some reason esb seem to be not installing as planned and don't intend introducing fees until they have replaced a lot of the broken chargers. It's the worst area in all UK including ROI. Even Tesla and Ionity have no sites in NI.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭dsandson

    Ive heard that the legislation was in regard to DfI Roads car parks where the only thing that can charged for was car parking. Many of these have passed to the local councils but the offending legislation remains. Nothing official from ESB to confirm that though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭dsandson

    Try for the slowly increasing number of rapids that are paid for:

    EasyGo have 2 new ones in Belfast. Shore Road would be handy. Castlereagh Road is off your route but due to open this Saturday.

    Gridserve as discussed but can be busy due to the aforementioned lack of chargers.

    Also on your route is the Maxol charger in Antrim Town Parks. Just like Gridserve card only.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,662 ✭✭✭✭mfceiling

    Portrush have a new 50kw charger at the maxol petrol station. There's also 2 x 22kw ones in Portrush. I think there's a few paid ones in the caravan parks nearby.

    I must be lucky when I've been up north. My parents live near Dungannon and there's a couple of reliable 22kw chargers in the town. Cookstown also have a reliable 22kw one at the glenavon hotel (we normally go here for dinner). Armagh has a couple of good 22kw ones also. I've been to Belfast a good few times and I park in castlecourt (they have a good amount of free Tesla and non Tesla ones near the top floor).

    Edit - just checked plugshare and there is a 22kw charger at the giants causeway park and ride.

  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭mc2022B2TF

    And remember you're driving a Southern reg so maybe factor in the charger location lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,190 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Yes there's for sure at least one of the ecars chargers located in a very UK focused side of the north, shall we say. It was like being parked in the center of liverpool. Sitting there for 30 minutes in my leaf a few years ago I was very uncomfortable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 600 ✭✭✭mr chips

    There's also a (presumably) 22kw charger in Ballycastle which was working last time I was going past there a couple of weeks ago and saw someone had plugged in. Could be a good spot to top up while getting some grub after visiting the Causeway, rope bridge etc - certainly a nicer place to stroll around than Bushmills. The "southern reg" fears tend to be a bit overhyped, but in any case that certainly won't be an issue in Ballycastle.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭cromelex

    Thanks all for the tips.

    Looks like there's a few options to charge around the Causeway coastal area. If I can manage to fill up 50% of my range in the area that would be enough to allow me to drive back home on the EV6.

    Southern reg factor might or might not be important, but as a non irish I'd have less sensibility and awareness of said areas, so that is still good advice, better safe than sorry.