Recharging points - increasing numbers?

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guymark
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:32 am

Recharging points - increasing numbers?

Postby guymark » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:54 pm

I have had a bit of a read through and if I am about to make some sort of dreadful faux-pas, then I apologise in advance.

Notwithstanding the wonderful idea of "free" which we all love to bits, is there not some REAL merit in encouraging jo-public - even if they are NOT an EV owner/driver, from putting a fairly simple sort of plastic box on their outside wall (assuming on street parking etc etc and all other things being equal) - and providing a private "recharge point". - knock the door, pay Mrs Smith £2 and she pushes the button in the house and it connects up a 13A & 16A socket in the box for a total of 4 hours (or £1 for 2 hours)

For unattended use, a cellular system could be used to both pay for the charging point (Txt BOX345678 to 112233 and your account will be dedcucted £1.50 and the box will receive an SMS bleep which will activate the power sockets for the next 3 hours - or until you remove the socket and the door closes.

If the system was houses in a tough polycarbonate base, no coins / cash inside and the SMS reception / relays etc were on the INSIDE of the wall), there would be very little of interest to a vandal - and the cost ought to be fairly modest. A basic SMS-triggered relay/timer would be all the box would need and the billing system would be ONE pay-per-product type SMS system - the correct account to credit (and box to turn on) being identified by the six digit box code. SMS controlled switches are not that expensive if you shop around.

ON A MORE PRACTICAL LEVEL:-

The same as above - but placed at petrol stations, roadside cafes and supermarket carparks. Either coin-op, token-op, free use (supermarket promos) or "cashier controlled" so the person goes into the kiosk, hands over the cash and the job is done.

For places like travel-lodges etc, is there not a polycarbonate box they could buy which plonk in perhaps four or five charging bays reserved JUST for EV's. Go into reception, hand over your cash, they hit the button and you charge while you sleep.

As someone who is not yet an EV owner, I am perhaps able to look at this in a fairly simple commercial way. I own a small B&B, I have other little interests dotted about the place - and if I could make an honest income from providing a service I would happily help to increase the number of charging points. I suspect though, that there is no-one yet offering a simple 13A / 16A polybox with a remote switch (SMS triggered or even just a relay timer back to a staffed desk).

It is nothing complicated to set up (other than the SMS payment front end which is too much hassle for a one-off), but I wonder if there would be a good market in "unattended charging points" which people could buy and install as small microbusinesses.

I expect a metal chrome and LED's twinkly pillar box has a four or five digit price tag. Most people are not going to buy that in exchange for 25p in the £1 profit margin. A box which costs them less than a colour TV and might earn money while they sleep for the next few years might JUST get a look in.

Kind Regards

Mark

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ChrisB
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Re: Recharging points - increasing numbers?

Postby ChrisB » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Have a read of what Kevin Sharpe's doing, very similar to what you are suggesting, although his are totally un-controlled.

Yes the nice shiny charge posts with LED's DO cost a lot, how ever there are several reasons they have to, for Highway use they need to pass a fair few tests, they also have to have a fair amount of compliance with different regs, all of which add to the overal cost, theres also the fact that at the moment thier usage is fairly low, but as it increases people/councils/firms wont be happy just to "give" away the electric for nothing (although you are not allowed to sell it for a profit) so there has to be somesort of metering/contol etc buiilt in, theres then the whole safety aspect that needs to be considered etc ............the list is endless really when it comes to having something in the public domain and that any Tom, Dick or numpty can plug stuff into it ..........and sadly this is part of the reason why they cost what they do :(

Some of the commercial charge posts are already GSM controlled which of courses adds more expense to the units, you then need a back office to run the whole thing again costing more money, eventually I can see them all being on either a PAYG system or where you will just wave your credit card at the post and it will charge you what you use.

Its still REALLY early days I think and there are still lots of folks offering lots of different designs, although they have finally agreed on a industry standard opperating frequency which means all charge posts will work with one card so you will be able to go from one area to another with out issues, where as currently in London I seem to think you cant even go between boroughs :? which is just daft.

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

guymark
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:32 am

Re: Recharging points - increasing numbers?

Postby guymark » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:42 pm

Thankyou for that. I will have a look at what Kevin is doing or proposing to do.

I remember the electricity reselling rules and regs though I admit I did not know they applied in this way. I am guessing that will have to change fairly quickly as it will be increasingly obvious that the inability to make a modest profit from a charging point will result in no business and no facilities - which helps no one. Either that or increasingly tortuous loopholes.

"Electricity is comepltely free - but there is a booking and administration fee of £2 to switch the box on"
or
"Elctricity is the current rate supplied by Npower, there is also an additional 50p booking fee and a 25p socket rental surcharge"

I am sure someone with a better legal mind than me could find SOME credible loophole that few would see worthy of taking to court.

As you say a non-standard card payment system does seem daft - but daft ideas and councils are not always too far apart.

I will see if I can find some posts from Kevin, daft to re-invent a wheel.

Have a good weekend

Kind Regards
Mark

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Kevin Sharpe
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Re: Recharging points - increasing numbers?

Postby Kevin Sharpe » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:10 pm

guymark wrote:Thankyou for that. I will have a look at what Kevin is doing or proposing to do.
you will find some background info on our projects here;

http://www.zerocarbonworld.org/programmes/electric-vehicles

And a photo of our first Charge Point hardware here;

http://twitpic.com/3q8jan

The website is in the process of being updated and will include details of the latest hardware and sites that we have installed at. We also have a number of "ambassadors" who are EV drivers who visit potential sites and encourage them to deploy Charge Points.
Kevin Sharpe - Founder and Patron for UK registered charity Zero Carbon World. Founder and Chairman Mainpine Group. http://about.me/kevinsharpe


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