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Study shows public charging infrastructure inadequate

  • 28-02-2023 2:59pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,439 ✭✭✭

    Our study calculated a score for the M1 (motorway) of minus 19, meaning there are 19 DC Fast EV Charge Points short to meet current demand. For the M8, between our two biggest cities, the score is minus 39. That means the situation is much more serious than stated in the new National EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy published recently by ZEVI. 



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,149 ✭✭✭crisco10

    While I qualitatively agree with the conclusion, I'd be really interested to see the methodology and what the equation looked like.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,588 ✭✭✭talla

    Study doesnt inspire confidence with some very basic errors.

    N2/M2 goes nowhere near Dunshaughlin, that would be M3.

    N3/M3 goes nowhere near Mullingar, Mullingar would be N4/M4.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,449 ✭✭✭Beta Ray Bill

    In other news... "Water is Wet"

    We all know this. There's a heap of reasons why but most of those reasons start with E end with a B and have an S in the middle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,439 ✭✭✭zg3409

    I asked the exact same question to them now, as in how were the numbers calculated. It would be great if they used a system that also was used for UK or elsewhere to compare. I have said we need 3 times as many 50kW+ chargers right now, let alone future needs.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    The actual problems have been caused by service station operators preventing eCars from installing the desired infrastructure. eCars wanted to install a number of sites following the Mayfield model but the operators saw fit to keep their future competition off the ground.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,449 ✭✭✭Beta Ray Bill

    I'm not sure that's correct.

    I know of a guy working for Applegreen and he said they are waiting on ESB to either run cables OR run cables and install chargers.

    The ESB were given the contract to do the work but it's not getting done for some reason, I don't know if there's an expiry date on the contract.

    From a business perspective though it makes 100% sense to get these chargers rolled out ASAP, you're going to have people loitering around for 15/20 mins at a service station on motorway with nothing else to do except go into a shop and buy a drink/food. (This is where service stations make huge money)

    It's almost as if the lads working for ESB are choosing not to do that work in favor of some other work.... 🙄 #joke

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    There's a difference between ESB Networks and ESB eCars. eCars have been blocked from deploying planned EV charging infrastructure in motorway service areas because the site operators wanted to install their own infra. Coynes cross is a great example of Applegreen booting out eCars.

    There is for sure an issue with the turnaround time for ESB Networks on grid connections, they seem to have long lead times and do not prioritise EV connections over any other planned site. They're still operating on the old style planning timelines that are common with any other type of building.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,480 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    another way of delivering the same message repeatedly

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,449 ✭✭✭Beta Ray Bill

    I understand there is a difference, but if Networks have the contract to do say X, they can't just give eCars a contract to do X.

    From what I've heard it sounds like an absolute mess.

    The service stations all want them in ASAP, people hanging around with nothing to do = gold. There is no way they'd block it unless there was a very good reason for them to so (Or they're contractually unable/forbidden from getting anyone else to do it)

    There's been a heap of allegations of back handers in the ESB now going back years (4 facing legal action) and I'd bet this is one of the main reasons rollout has been so slow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,411 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I'd also be more interested to hear about how the analysis was done. The article is a bit vague, saying they based it on the number of petrol pumps and "adjusted" for EV charging habits

    I don't fundamentally disagree with the findings but I think transparency is important here

    It's also worth considering what the survey considers a fast charger. They seem to consider all DC chargers however IMO 50kW chargers are no longer "fast" and should be considered more like destination chargers for places like shops or sports pitches and gyms.

    If the minimum power was raised to 150kW then I imagine the scores would be considerably worse. And even 150kW is showing signs of being outdated with cars charging at over 200kW becoming the norm

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

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Your still mixing up ESBN and eCars. ESBN are not giving any contracts to eCars for the work. When eCars want to deploy a new charger they too have to place an order with ESBN. There is strict oversight to ensure requests coming from ESB are not prioritised over anybody else.

    Service Stations may want them asap but did not engage with ESB Networks for a grid requirements early enough. From an ESB Networks point of view they have a book of work from every housing development and every commercial business that has requested grid connections. Applegreen do not get to jump ahead of a supermarket just because they feel they are more important.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,449 ✭✭✭Beta Ray Bill

    I get what you're saying, but to say that there is "strict oversight" doesn't seem correct to me.

    Like there are some stations waiting years for ESBN to lay a cable (Regardless of who's installing the charger itself), something is definitely wrong.

    Yet some developers can get cable laid very quickly at the drop of a brown envelope.

    Corruption affects everything...

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Which projects should ESBN push down the queue so that you can charge your car? Should we delay housing projects, a supermarket, maybe local business expansions. If an operator fails to build in supplier timelines to their deployment then they need to do what CircleK showed in Norway and deploy temporary on-site battery buffers.

    The current situation means that planning permission is not required to install EV charging infrastructure, this doesn't mean a planned operator can get away with order equipment today and expecting to energise it next week. They need to plan ahead and book network capacity to ensure that they will be able to install and operate the equipment. AG are a global business so should be better at forward planning such a key requirement for success or finding a short term workaround such as buffers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 929 ✭✭✭sh81722

    If it takes a year to get a grid connection perhaps that should be looked into rather quickly. Fine if you're building a new housing estate, less so if you'd like to roll a charging network in a hurry.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Interesting article based on an interview with Fastned in the UK. It echo's my points that the distribution networks just aren't set up to cope with the needs of charging networks.

    “The biggest barrier we face almost always come from the way that the distribution network operators are set up you. It’s not a very sexy subject, but the infrastructure and management of getting power from a big power station into a location just isn’t set up for charge point operators. A big housing development might have similar needs, but having the transformer operational on a certain day isn’t critical when you are on a three-year schedule, so long as it’s operational when you open.

    “We, in contrast, build around a three-month schedule, and can’t do anything until that connection is on; we literally can't sell a single kilowatt hour of electricity without it. That connection, and the legal arrangements associated with it, erode any value in a site until they are complete. In some cases, the process is more complex than it needs to be. Some are pragmatic, but others are the polar opposite of pragmatic.”

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,411 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    To an extent it doesn't matter who owns the utility. If, for example, they have to bring a new power line to the site and build a new transformer then those require planning permission, and it isn't a given that it'll be granted

    Now what's really dumb is that the chargers got installed before the grid connection was in place, or that Circle K and Applegreen didn't apply for the upgraded connection ages ago

    It's another example of our disorganised planning system, where there isn't a single application process for the whole site. Same kind of messing is keeping a lot of offshore wind farms being built

    That's what we would call an expedition fee 😉

    The head of Applegreen was on the news a few years ago moaning about grid connection fees. I'm not sure how much wiggle room there is on price but I kinda suspect they wanted it both fast and cheap

    In my experience that combination only works for lap dances 😂

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

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    It's another example of our disorganised planning system, where there isn't a single application process for the whole site. Same kind of messing is keeping a lot of offshore wind farms being built

    In this case planning permission isn't needed to install the charging cabinets. I suspect if they were going through the planning process they'd be a bit more diligent about booking the slot with ESBN.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,411 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    For the chargers yes, but if there's new power lines or transformers needed then I'm pretty sure they're not exempt?

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

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    The substation is exempt, it allows a charge point operator to exempt the planning process. In the case of network upgrades they would always have been dealt with under a separate planning process anyway.

    I do think the exemption was a bit too restrictive in only applying to 4 charging units.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,923 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    From what I read on that thread we actually don't

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭cannco253

    I know it’s UK news, but Interesting comment from BP - power more important than the number of charging points…I’m sure feedback here would be the other way round

    “The company officially opened the new hub in Kettering, North Northamptonshire, which features 10 300kW chargers that together boast 3MW of installed capacity. The facility can charge up to 20 cars simultaneously at 150kW, allowing each car to gain up to 100 miles in around 15 minutes.

    "We are thrilled to introduce another hub here in the UK," said Akira Kirton, vice president, BP Pulse UK. "It's our largest and most powerful EV charging hub yet.

    "Customers say power is more important than the number of charging points. That's why we're focussing on expanding our ultra-fast charging infrastructure, using the latest technology to ensure reliability, and designed to keep up with the charging speeds of vehicle batteries as they advance. At BP Pulse we believe the EV charging network the UK needs will be delivered through EV charging in the right location, at the right time, and at the right speed."

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    ESB networks is the publicly owned company thats responsible for connecting new customers to the grid. The issue is a question of prioritisation, a housing development and a charging hub have similar grid requirements, why should we prioritise a charging hub over housing.

    At the moment its up to the companies ordering connections to the grid to ensure that they so in a timely manner. Its an item I really hope ZEVI set up a task force for as we should have the capacity to service the requests in a much faster time frame without delaying orders from other developments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,923 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    If ESB networks are publicly owned then why are they screwing the public on prices? If they were publicly owned they wouldn't get away with it

    Hence they are not publicly owned

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,098 ✭✭✭MarkN

    And even when it’s there, you’ve this absolute bollock5 to put up with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,731 ✭✭✭✭mfceiling

    It really needs to become an €80 fine at the minimum for this crack.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Hate to break it to you, public ownership has nothing to do with pricing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,411 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I mean it's easy to say the number of charging points doesn't matter when you install 20 of them 😁

    To an extent, I think they're correct for charging during a journey, you don't want to be hanging around with your 230kW capable EV6 because there's only a 50kW available

    Equally it's pretty annoying when the charger advertises 180kW and only provides 40kW because the grid connection isn't there (looking at you Applegreen 🤨)

    So it's important that there's a decent amount of chargers AND enough power for all of them at maximum power. This is something that some providers already know (Tesla, Ionity) and others learn the hard way

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 877 ✭✭✭sy_flembeck

    And it's the same at that spot every single night of the week as I walk there every evening. I got the shock of my life tonight to see an EV actually charging in the one on the left! But that's what you get when nothing is ever enforced I suppose. Cars are constantly parked on the new plaza right beside it too. The place is a joke

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,160 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    We push the projects where lads were making 1000s of euro into their hands and sharing it around their immediate installations circle to fast track large housing developments down.

    Start there.

    Then I'd start pushing down large commercial developments and hotels down. We've enough office blocks and hotels to beat the band.

    We have climate goals to meet and this carry on isn't helping.

    And the joke/notion that their is strict oversight in ESBN connections is laughable. Its extremely fallible.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,160 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    Actually it does. We can see this in France.

    But let's not talk about other European nations and costs. Ireland is always more special and there is more reasons... many reasons. Or let's call them reasons not to do stuff, we're as good as the UK at that.