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Is it silly to go for an EV with no homecharging?

  • 10-03-2023 5:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭

    Recently, I have been considering getting a newEV as a sort of treat. I have an eleven year old diesel car which does me fine and has done for many years. I have never bought a new car before. Ive test driven a few EV's recently and was very impressed (I suppose ANY new car would be in my situation). MG4, Ioniq 5, Kona, Renault EMegane?, Cupra Born, Tesla 3 and Tesla Y. (Any KIa or VW garage I went to just shrugged their shoulders as to availability and had nothing to test drive). I have even put a deposit down on a TeslaY. I live in a rented apartment so can't charge at home but could do at work as a few already do. But now I'm having doubts about charging when not at work. A lot of the youtube videos make a big thing about the tesla superchargers as being a major advantage but they are mainly American and from what I can see, there are not many in Ireland. So I was wondering:

    Do many of you have an EV with no home-charging? How do you find it?

    How do you differentiate between the different charging stations as regard reliability, compatability, availability, charge time and cost?

    Which are the better ones to use?

    Any thoughts between the different EV models?

    Any thoughts regarding the Tesla Y RWD(or your own model)? Do you love it or do you regret getting it (particularly for anyone who can't charge at home)?



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,792 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Yes it is silly. Do not do it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,788 ✭✭✭mailforkev

    I wouldn’t recommend an EV without home charging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,130 ✭✭✭joe1303l

    Yes, it would be madness

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,889 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Depends on where you live and how much you will need to use the car. Always ask the people who think it's silly or mad how much experience they have owning an EV without home charging. You'll find most of them have no experience and are projecting.

    The main things to be concerned about are the availability of charging infrastructure in the local area and the costs of charging. The costs with a subscription can be substantially different based on the fact you are charging much more than a customer who doesn't charge in public.

    The financial savings may not be the same compared to a night rate charger, but people buy cars for many reasons not just financial ones.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,552 ✭✭✭Thumper Long

    You did say you can charge at work, depending on your usage profile, distances you need to travel between work charging and the speed of your work charging I.e. is it fast enough to get you to full during your work day and is there enough availability? Do you risk driving to work and not being able to get a charge? If work charging can do the majority of your charging needs you may only have 4-5 weeks a year where public charging is a necessity. As Liam said if you need lots of public charging a subscription service may work depending on the infrastructure close to you

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,827 ✭✭✭Alkers

    Exactly this, if work charging is reasonably near to home and availability is expected to be reliable I would go for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭JimiMac

    54km commute, one way. Availability should be ok.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Yes in my opinion.

    The first few days or weeks it will be exciting going out to charge at public points and telling yourself sure I want to get out for an hour anyway.

    It will eat away at you quickly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭Redfox25

    If its not silly, it at the very least wont be smooth , not as smooth as having the ability to plug in at home and save money that way.

    Is it doable, for sure, is it worth it to you, only you can weigh that one out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,685 ✭✭✭✭wonski

    Unless you can plug in at home it is going to be a nightmare.

    Work chargers are ok when they are ok, but you will probably have to pay as well (normally business rates) and they have no obligation whatsoever to have them working or available at all times. Not to mention what if you change a job (you never know).

    Save yourself and stay away until you can charge overnight at home.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 65,212 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!

    A lot of kneejerk "no" reactions from people who haven't really read your details. Your weekly commute is 540km, the Model Y has a WLTP range of 440km. Unless you do a huge amount of weekend / social driving, you only need to charge in work twice a week (for free) to cover pretty much all your mileage. Say on Monday and on Friday

    Do make an assessment of how reliable work charging will be going forward. If you didn't have any work charging, and no home charging either, you will rely solely on public charging, which is not very good in this country. And costs a lot more than home charging too. Also consider what would happen if you changed jobs. Also have a look at where public charging points (fast and slow) are around you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    I've done it for over 3 years. It entirely depends on your circumstances but it can be doable. The big thing is how close you are to your nearest AC charger, if you're within walking distance of one or near enough to one and have a second car you'll be completely fine. Without that forget it.

    The first 18 months I was in an apartment and had to drive to a charger and catch the Luas two stops home, which I thought was fine. Now I can walk five minutes to the nearest AC charger and the thought of going back to the previous situation would fill me with dread. There's actually a socket on the outside wall of the house here and I can run an extension lead around the side passage to charge if I'm really stuck but I find it less hassle walking 5 minutes to the charger than uncoiling the extension lead so I just do that. It's twice the price to charge at the AC charger but it's a company car so I expense all of the AC charging to the company, without that it would make far less sense. There's other things to consider like how busy the charger may be, I would always try and keep it fully charged for the weekend in case something comes up and I need to do a good bit of unplanned driving. The charger here used to be quite busy on Thursday/Friday but since they introduced paid charging (it was free until last summer) there's not been too many problems with availability.

    I have a 2019 base Model 3, the official range is something like 385km I think. I would get about 200km driving per charge, you will get absolutely nowhere near the stated range for your use case. You will charge to 90% as standard (that's up to you but you are advised by Tesla to only charge to 100% periodically when you need the extra range) and you will never really want to let it go below 10% as you don't want to end up in your apartment underground car park with a dead battery. So you're only ever really using 80% of the battery. You will lose charge while you're parked up overnight, a percent or two, my Tesla does anyway. In the winter the battery gets cold and when you get into it in the morning the car will tell you this and the energy available to you will be lowered until you're driving for 15+ minutes. All of that may have changed on the 2023 models but it's just my experience from the car I have.

    Personally if I had the money to buy a brand new Tesla Model Y I would probably get something else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,659 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Beware work chargers may become very busy, or be broken for months or become very expensive or you may change jobs or your commute distance may change. I would avoid it if I were you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,457 ✭✭✭✭ted1

    Yea madness, Especially when you look at how many new EVs are sold each month Vs added public chargers.

    some people have got away with it when public chargers where free and available, but those days have gone

    over winter having the car preheat it mains power to 23 degrees is by far one of the biggest advantages of an EV, you’ll never experience that

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,870 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    That's a hard no from me, typical work year is 232 days, leaves a lot of other days and also factor other employees in work occupying those chargers. Public charging is expensive and life is to be enjoyed, not stressing over driving around and queuing/waiting for "fuel".

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    Going to go against the flow here.

    My view is that anyone wanting to buy an EV should primarily have a home charger, but if a work charger guaranteed daily, then this would be fine with a caveat; you should also have a slow and fast charger within 10 minutes of your home. Otherwise to rely on the public network you are asking for regular pain.

    Stay Free

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,165 ✭✭✭Paul Kiernan

    +1 on this and what unkel said above. Relying on public chargers is a complete no-no. So it all depends on your work setup. If you work for a large multinational with 2,000 employees and 2 chargers blocked by two people you don't even know it won't work but if it's a small company where you're guaranteed exclusive access to the charger it's a most definite YES. You'll need 15-20 hours charge per week so even 2 or 3 people could share a charger. There are plenty of people who never charge at home purely because it's free at work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭Redfox25

    If its free at work atm, best to check if its going to remain free. My old job had people fighting to get to the multiple chargers when they were free, now that they have started charging a silly amount per KW, they are mostly un used.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,889 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    Those days are still here, there's plenty of people who aren't in the privileged position of owning a home parking space. The charging apocalypse isn't here yet. It's very much something you need to evaluate based on the local charging situation.

    As to your comment about pre-heating, even my old e-Up! from 2014 had the ability to remote pre-heat on demand from the battery. OP mentioned looking at a Tesla, he'll still be able to pre-heat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,212 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!

    Here in Ireland the overwhelming majority of EV owners have home charging. In continental Europe I'd say it's a minority. Yet EV ownership penetration there is higher than here. Is public charging better over there? Yes, it mostly is. But like @liamog says, it can be very much a local thing. Before making the decision to buy an EV, check around for local charging. Talk to a few people in your area who also have an EV but no home charging.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,792 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Mine wasnt knee jerk it was from having to do it when I was moving house a couple of times in the past couple of years. I had work charging too.

    The only car I'd even consider it in would be an LR 3/Y. If I did little to no driving I'd cover about a weeks usage in my 3 between charges. But you still have to go and charge. Charging is still very expensive at public charging. It's also a hassle. You also would never get 440km from a RWD 3/Y. I would say 320-350km is the absolute max without severe precautions and that's in one go with preconditioning, no battery loss when idle, and arriving at a charger or home with 0.

    I would never ever recommend anyone get an EV without home charging. It removes possibly the two biggest plus points of an EV. Cheaper to run, and no hassle for regular driving.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,792 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Even my leaf 24 could preheat from the key, the app, or a timer, when not plugged in. AFAIK it's only the korean cars that need to be plugged in to preheat.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,870 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    If looking at local charging I'd discount ESB chargers from your area, they are woefully undependable/occupied. If you are getting a Tesla and near a SuC that that's best case scenario for public charging

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  • Registered Users Posts: 65,212 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!

    @ELM327 - "I would never ever recommend anyone get an EV without home charging. It removes possibly the two biggest plus points of an EV. Cheaper to run, and no hassle for regular driving."

    Even considerably cheaper again if you have free work charging. Like the OP does. And with his substantial commute, the savings are many, many thousands a year compared to not buying an EV. Worth at least some in depth analysis of his situation before dismissing the idea. Unless of course he doesn't care about having a few grand more or less in his pocket 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭Newoven

    A lot of doom and gloom so far on this thread…! I’ve a 2022 Model 3 RWD with the LFP battery. Tesla encourage us to charge to 100% regularly so I get the full range from it. That means 375km (approx) in day to day driving, 320km on motorways. It charges at 11kw AC so a full charge at an ECars slow charger takes a little over 5 hours.

    I live in a terraced house in Dublin 8 and work from home so I am entirely dependent on public chargers, I haven’t even unwrapped the granny cable as I can’t safely string an electrical cable across the pavement. I use ECars AC chargers on Adelaide Road, Wilton place and Earlsfort terrace regularly, usually plugging in on a Sunday afternoon or weekday evening when parking is free and leaving the car until it hits 100%. Those chargers are highly reliable and I have never had an issue with them, though of course very occasionally they might be busy. The ECars app shows me which ones are free so I don’t have to wander around searching for a free one. I sometimes use faster chargers in places like Blanchardstown and John Rogerson quay if it suits me. They can be busy so I wouldn’t want to rely on them, plus because of the 45 minute limit you won’t get a 100% charge on the 50kw DC chargers. On motorway journeys north, south or west the Tesla superchargers at Ballacola, Mahon, Enfield and Castlebellingham are fantastic and are the main reason I chose a Tesla rather than a Kia EV6.

    I would struggle if I didn’t have a selection of AC chargers in walking distance. A year ago I thought Dublin City Council would roll out neighbourhood AC charging on streets like mine but there’s no sign of it, if anything they seem to be resisting it. I asked my golf club to consider installing EasyGO chargers but they said no. But I won’t go back to ICE. The model 3 is a great car and I can work around the charging limitations, but I’m not sure it would be the same if I lived in an area without relatively convenient public chargers. If I had access to charging on a regular basis at work as the OP does then I’d be perfectly happy and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy an EV. The ideal situation is to be able to charge, preferably cheaply, while your car is parked there anyway. Sounds like the OP has that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 745 ✭✭✭Dayor Knight

    I drove my Id 3 for almost a full year before our home charger was installed. My regular commute is relatively low (maybe 50 km daily usage in total). I really wanted to get a feel for public charging and didn't feel under pressure to get the home charger in. Coming from the I.C.E. environment, I enjoyed driving electric, the good feeling of generating no emissions, no pollutants. And as this was before the big electricity hikes, it was quite a bit cheaper to run, even on the public chargers.

    If you're in a big hurry all the time, you will find public charging annoying, particularly in you need to charge up a few times a week. But you will probably find that you identify the best chargers for you and when to use them, and you build that into your routines. Of course if you have only one or two options near you and you find them constantly hogged by taxis, that may start to grate on you... (no offense to taxi drivers....).

    The home charger is hugely beneficial for sure, but....based on my experience, it 's not silly nor madness to have an E.V. even without one. And if you have charging at work... even less of an issue. As usual, it all depends of your own circumstances.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,127 ✭✭✭innrain

    In a few weeks it is going to be 4 years since I started to drive an EV. We're a 2 car household and initially we kept a petrol car as assurance we're not going to be left stranded. In May of 2021 we changed it for another EV because we realized we're not using the ICE, not because we're not need it but the EV was the first choice. To date have driven 70k+ km on the first and 45+k km the second. (lower than expected due to lockdowns). So around 30k km a year. The property management, I contacted about 5 years ago, is still looking for quotes from installers. Last week the OMC board contacted me if I want to help with the grant application, as the board it is going to take the matter in their hands, the agents proved to be incapable to manage. It probably be another 18 months until I'd see the chargers installed. Life it is easier with home charging no doubt, but where is the challenge? :) I'm a planner so for me it is very easy to know when and what car needs charging. Both cars are long range Kona and 3LR and efficient with easy predictable ranges. I'm lucky enough to have paid fast charging close to work, some free AC charging close to home, and a SuC 5 minutes from home.

    I got used to charge while shopping, going out, and so on. I'm familiar with the charging points around Dublin very well, although I don't use ESB DCs anymore. When I learn I need to drive to an unknown location, I check plugshare for charging spots. For some might sound too much but again I'm the planner guy. Before driving EVs I would still pull a map and search for parking spaces around destination so not much of a change. OP, rent an EV for few days and see how you manage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,457 ✭✭✭✭ted1

    but that uses battery as oppose to mains. Which means more trips to public charging. Pain in the arse

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,889 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    It's much more convenient to use a bit of the battery to pre heat than it is to move house so I can have a driveway. The effect on range is negligible. For my Mini it's linked to an Alexa skill, the heat pump is very quick to make the car toasty.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,856 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    Anyone tying themselves to a specific job for work charging is off their head.

    Anyone advising buying an EV because the person currently has access to a work charger is equally off their head.

    It's a madness proposition start to finish.

    Buy something else or move.

    This isn't treating yourself it's limiting yourself and your choices.