Category Archives: Charging

New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility

Wireless EV Charging Standard Agreed

The world’s major electric car makers and charging equipment providers have agreed on a standardised specification for wireless EV charging points, allowing companies to develop components going forward that will seamlessly work with each other anywhere.

Although not as exciting on the surface as say a new high-powered rapid charger, the standardisation of wireless car charging is of vital importance to the EV market in the future.

New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility
New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility

All of the main EV and PHEV manufacturers are planning on incorporating wireless charging into future models, while it is also a crucial element of autonomous EVs that can drive off and charge themselves when not in use.

The new SAE J2954 standard will charge at either 3.7 kW or 7.7 kW in Level 1 or Level 2 respectively. These use current commonly found charging rates, with a Level 3 set-up charging at 11 kW planned for later this year.

The agreements were made at a meeting at Audi HQ in Ingolstadt, Germany, chaired by Jesse Schneider who has worked on the project since 2010.

Mr Schneider said:

“Charging your vehicle should be as simple as parking it and walking away — and wireless charging with SAE J2954™ enables that freedom and convenience to do this automatically. Automakers believe that wireless charging can greatly help to make both electrified and autonomous vehicle mainstream, and they have been active supporters of our standardization efforts.

“Reaching a decision for a common J2954™ RP test station, equipped with circular topology, provides automakers with the technical direction for their wireless charging system design, development and production release plans to meet industry compatibility, interoperability and performance standards. It is a major step forward for the industry.”

Source: Next Green Car

The derelict Crowood Petrol Station next to the dual carriageway on the Cumbernauld Road as you enter the wee town of Chryston on the edge of Glasgow (Image: byronv2 via Flickr)

Shell and Total Plan Electric Charging at Service Stations

Shell and Total plan electric charging at service stations, but BP’s Aral pushes back

The rapid charger with three standard charging points draws its power from solar panels (Image: Borough of Poole)

The UK government has said that it wants to ‘ensure there is provision of electric charge points’ at large fuel retailers. Oil giant Shell has said it will install charging points at petrol stations in the UK and the Netherlands, and rival Total has said it will do the same in France.

However, Aral, part of oil giant BP and the largest petrol station chain in Germany with 2,500 service stations, is much less enthusiastic about installing electric charging at its own stations.

Read more: Autovista Intelligence

BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)

Government sets out new powers to shape electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The government has set out its plans for the future of UK electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK, including powers to standardise new publicly accessible chargepoints; requirements for smart technologies to allow chargepoints to help balance the grid; and minimum provision of charging infrastructure at motorway services.

BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)
BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)

The proposals have been unveiled as part of the government’s plans for a Modern Transport Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Within the response to a consultation on proposed ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) carried out at the end of 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) has outlined a series of new powers to increase deployment of charging infrastructure.

Within this are plans to require infrastructure installed for the purposes of charging EVs to have ‘smart’ functionality to receive, understand and respond to signals sent by energy system participants.

This would allow charge points to help balance energy supply and demand in a similar way as battery storage, although the plans did not explain if this infrastructure would be able to access the same revenue streams open to storage.

This measure was met with overwhelming support from respondents, with 90% approving of the plans which could allow EV charging demand to “form a controllable load of immense proportions at a national scale”.

DfT also plans to adopt powers requiring operators of motorway service areas to ensure a minimum provision of electric and hydrogen fuels for ULEVs at their sites. This may mean they need to engage a third-party operator to provide the required infrastructure.

Read more: Clean Energy News

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

UK electric vehicle boom drives new car sales to 12-year high

The number of new cars registered in the UK hit a 12-year high in January, with electric vehicles taking a record share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)
The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

The industry body had warned of a slowdown in the motor trade in 2017 because of the impact of the weak pound, but there was no sign of deceleration in the first monthly numbers of the year.

Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said.

Alternative fuel vehicles, mainly electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, increased by a fifth to reach a record 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations, beating a previous high of 3.6% in November last year.

Read more: The Guardian

Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed

EV charge points to boost Westminster air quality

The City of Westminster is to offer a greater number and variety of electric vehicle (EV) charging points available to drivers in the borough from early 2017.

The council announced yesterday (30 November) that from January 2017, charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed, including some rapid chargers.

The smart grid technology company BPL, under the Source London network, is putting in place a new model for electric charging, while Chargemaster is rolling out public charging network ‘Polar’.

PodPoint will be upgrading the equipment and the council will be working with new operators to increase provision for EV users across the borough. A new range of tariffs tailored for different users of different types of EV technology is being introduced by the operators.

Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed
Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed

Westminster city council was the first local authority in the UK to launch on-street charging points for electric vehicles. It now has over 60 on-street charging points, with an additional 200 available off-street.

The council claims that the expansion of the EV network will also help its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood and other air quality hotspots in the borough by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants.

Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said:

“Poor air quality is a continuing problem for us in Westminster, but we’re doing all we can to help improve our environment through our Greener City Action Plan. This includes encouraging a switch away from diesel vehicles, with easy parking for electric vehicles and improving electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging car club use as an alternative to a private car, reducing freight and waste vehicle movement, promoting more cycling and walking, eliminating vehicle engine idling and reducing emissions from buildings.”

Cllr Acton also explained that the authority is also trialling new measures within its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood which “will help make real improvements to air quality in central London.” And, she added:

“Electric vehicles can help by cutting reliance on more polluting cars. The expansion of the EV network offers an improved service for those who need a vehicle.”

Read more: Air Quality News

eMotor feeding (Image: T. Heale)

Pod Point Home Charger Installation

[Friday 13th January] This post is about gratitude.

Thank you to the following organisations for covering the cost of my POD Point Home Charging Station – UK Government for the OLEV Grant and Hyundai for the balance.

A special heartfelt thank you to POD Point Installation Engineer Leighton for his fast, professional installation in such unpleasant circumstances.

This was the scene when Leighton arrived this morning (Image: T. Heale)
This was the scene when Leighton arrived this morning (Image: T. Heale)
Leighton running cable to new trip (Isolation) switch in meter cupboard (Image: T. Heale)
Leighton running cable to new trip (Isolation) switch in meter cupboard (Image: T. Heale)

The snow had eased off considerably by the time the next picture was taken.

It was still remarkably cold. I mean brass monkey cold. Trust me, I know cold. I’m a man in shorts all year round*

And here was this stranger disembowelling** my house.

POD Point installed (Image: T. Heale)
POD Point installed (Image: T. Heale)

Just over an hour after arriving and two coffees later the charger was in and I’d had a thorough briefing on using it. A very positive (no pun) experience from a professional company.

eMotor feeding (Image: T. Heale)
eMotor feeding (Image: T. Heale)

Thank you to all involved.

I have just heard from Hyundai Bletchley that my Owners Manual will be here soon. When It  arrives I’ll post about the Ioniq’s charge timer function to use Economy 7 electricity.

BTW – The Ioniq eMotor? It is a fantastic machine. Pure pleasure to drive.

Bye for now. I’ll be in touch.

* Picture half a walnut
** Gralloching for you country types

Follow this link to Pod Points website for details:

Electric charge point CMK (Image: One MK)

Number of electric vehicles in Milton Keynes triples

The number of electric vehicle (EV) users in Milton Keynes has tripled over the summer.

Electric charge point CMK (Image: One MK)
Electric charge point CMK (Image: One MK)

In January 2016, Milton Keynes Council was awarded Go Ultra Low City status which through funding support from central government for infrastructure is designed to increase the use of EVs in the city. The number has now increased from 220 in July to 661 by the end of September.

Milton Keynes has more than 170 standard and 56 rapid charging points, with more being installed in the near future.

July saw the launch of the new ‘Green Parking Permit’ for ultra-low EVs which allows them to park for free in purple bays, the red/black employee spaces (Mon-Fri) and in the specified EV spaces. To date, the council has issued 157 permits.

The Green Permit is free if your vehicle fits the criteria of producing 75g/km or less of CO².

Chargemaster, who run the vehicle charging points across MK, has recorded a four-fold increase in their usage.

These latest figures indicate that EVs are becoming more popular in MK and less of a niche choice by motorists.

Cllr Liz Gifford, cabinet member for transport said

“These latest stats are very encouraging and show that people are turning more and more to electric vehicles.”

“It’s important to us to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible and these ultra-low vehicles are the way to do just that.”

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster PLC, the operators of the Milton Keynes charging network commented:

“The policies of Milton Keynes Council encouraging electric vehicles are clearly working. By having a high quality network of charging points, low cost electric charging and with free parking in many areas Milton Keynes is a great place to own an EV.

“In addition, the new initiatives under the Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low plans will keep this momentum going helped by many new electric models coming along from key manufacturers like VW, BMW, Jaguar and Audi. This all bodes well for a high proportion of electric vehicles in Milton Keynes over the next decade which will keep emissions low and air quality at a high level.”

Read more: One MK

Workplace charging (Image: J. Kalb/Plug In America)

£35 million boost for ultra low emission vehicles

Funding committed to low emission taxis and motorbikes, plus more chargepoints for workplaces and residential streets.

Workplace charging (Image: J. Kalb/Plug In America)
Workplace charging (Image: J. Kalb/Plug In America)

A major £35 million package to boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and scooters was unveiled by Transport Minister John Hayes today (13 October 2016).

The fresh funding commitment will see thousands more electric vehicle chargepoints installed on streets and at workplaces across the UK – after the number of new ultra low emission vehicles registered rose by 250% in just 2 years.

The government is also buying 2 brand new Nissan LEAF electric cars for the Government Car Service – on top of 4 that are already in use.

The vehicles are built at the Nissan motor manufacturing plant in Sunderland – a symbol of our world-leading automotive industry which the government is committed to supporting.

The announcement is part of the government’s plans to improve air quality, and it comes as Defra launch a new consultation on introducing clean air zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 – delivering on the government’s commitment to create cleaner air and reduce emissions.

Transport Minister John Hayes said:

No matter what mode of transport you need – a scooter to get to work, a car or a van to run your business – we are here to help you do it with zero emissions.

The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are at record levels and new registrations have risen by 250% in just over 2 years.
We are committing £35 million to help install new chargepoints and offer new grants as we aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050.

The funding announced today includes:

  • next steps of a £20 million competition that will help councils roll out chargepoints for ultra-low emission taxis
  • up to £10 million funding for chargepoints outside workplaces and homes where there is no off-street parking
  • launch of an initial £3.75 million scheme to encourage uptake of zero emission motorcycles and scooters
  • £2 million awarded to public and private sector organisations to deploy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
Norway and the Netherlands have both announced plans to completely phase out vehicles with diesel engines by 2025 (Image: P. Libera/LightRocket/Getty)

Plans for an electric car charging point in every new home in Europe

Car manufacturers welcome plans by the EU to boost the convenience of electric cars by increasing recharging facilities

Norway and the Netherlands have both announced plans to completely phase out vehicles with diesel engines by 2025 (Image: P. Libera/LightRocket/Getty)
Norway and the Netherlands have both announced plans to completely phase out vehicles with diesel engines by 2025 (Image: P. Libera/LightRocket/Getty)

Every new or refurbished house in Europe will need to be equipped with an electric vehicle recharging point, under a draft EU directive expected to come into effect by 2019.

In a further boost to prospects for the electric car market in Europe, the regulations due to be published before the end of the year state that by 2023, 10% of parking spaces in new buildings in the EU zone will also need recharging facilities.

The EU initiative is intended to lay the infrastructure for the sort of electric car boom envisaged by Norway and the Netherlands, which both plan to completely phase out vehicles with diesel engines by 2025.

As well as extending the driving range and convenience of electric cars, the mushrooming number of recharge stations would allow vehicles to feed their electricity back into the grid.

That in turn would open the door to a futuristic world in which cars supply energy to Europe’s power network at all times of the day and night, balancing shortfalls from intermittent renewable energies when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.

“This kind of market stimulus is not just positive, it is mandatory if we want to see a massive rollout of electric vehicles in the near future,”

said Guillaume Berthier, sales and marketing director for electric vehicles at Renault, which recently unveiled an electric vehicle with a 250-mile range.

“The question of how you recharge your car when you live in an apartment within a city is a very important one.”

Read more: The Guardian

Charging at Cherwell (Image: T. Heale)

Rapid Charging an Ioniq eMotor?

Where were we? Ah yes. I have my Ecotricity* Android App and my Chargemaster Polar RFID card. I’m ready for the big leagues. Rapid high current charging here I come. “Gather yourself woman!” I said. “We’re off into the countryside”.

An hour out from Milton Keynes, we’re tootling down the M40 on a misty Saturday afternoon and the Memsahib challenges Satnag to guide us home. Duly programmed Satnag does its thing and Ioniq interrupts proceedings with a message of gloom and disaster.

“You will never see your destination. Doom! Doom again! Woe betide the fool that tries to… ”.

Well that’s what it felt like and now I know what Range Anxiety (RA) can do to a fella. It’s not nice.
The actual message? “You have insufficient charge to reach your destination”. And then as an afterthought “Would you like to know the nearest defibrillator?” or did it say “charge point”? You get how I’m feeling.
Five miles later we arrive at Moto Cherwell Valley. Some semblance of cognition kicks in as I remember that electric charge points aren’t located near the liquid fuels and we play hunt the charge point in the car park.

Look, as evidenced in this image…  We won 🙂

Charging at Cherwell (Image: T. Heale)
Charging at Cherwell (Image: T. Heale)

We didn’t know yet but something was wrong. Not the process, no, that was fine. Introductions went well:

  • Phone, App – Say hello to – Charge point.
  • Charge point – Phone App.

Electronic handshaking takes place. This is so much easier than I expected. “Do you accept the cost?”. I accepted. Grudgingly. I don’t have my free charges yet but £6 is still a bargain.
Found the AC connector. It looked exactly like the one at home (some of you are jumping ahead) and Click! The blue charging lights coming on the App assures me I’ll be told when to come back.

RA sorted, I notice that my back teeth are floating and the cold isn’t helping. Time to get in out of the cold and find the toilets.

Just consider that a moment. Find the toilets.

Why would I have to try to find the toilets? More to the point why would any public place hide the ^%$%ing toilets? I have visited facilities in many service stations. They’ve always been near the entrance and clearly labelled. Moto Cherwell Valley believe otherwise**. Plan accordingly if you stop there.

Mind, body and spirit at ease we look dotingly out of the window at eMotor suckling at the Ecotricity teat. All is well with the world. You know it isn’t but we don’t. Yet.

Let me offer you some simple advice for these times. Bring a book or magazine or something. If it’s going to be a flask and some sandwiches stay in the car so as to avoid being turfed out for not buying anything.

Forty minutes later, I’m feeling concerned. There has been no word from App. We go back to eMotor and the charge lights are off. I’m not concerned any more. We can be on our way and I’ll take App to task later.

In five minutes time I will be talking to a helpful young man (Victor) at ecotricity.

Pre-launch checks show we now have sixteen more miles than what we came in with.
What? Sixteen? One six? Not six zero? Grrrrr at all things electric!
“Breathe” She says. I breathe.
“That cost me six quid!” I breathe again.
“Where’s my phone?” I breathe again.
There’s a number on the charge point if you have any problem.

Turns out that there were two charge points and I parked at the wrong one. You live and learn.

This is for slow charges (Image: T. Heale)
This is for slow charges (Image: T. Heale)
This is for rapid charges (Image: T. Heale)
This is for rapid charges (Image: T. Heale)

BTW – The Ioniq eMotor? It is a fantastic machine. Pure pleasure to drive.

Bye for now. I’ll be in touch.


*Yes their logo is ecotricity but I believe in Capitalization for proper nouns.

** Enter building***. Fight through crowd. Pass the hot drinks turn right. Fight through crowd armed with hot drinks and food. Look into the distance on the left side there is a small sign about two thirds of the way down.  Small sign with even smaller logos representing the genders.

***If you exit the building to the outdoor seated area the doors open automatically so you can look at you eMotor unobstructed. When you walk back in mind your nose (or other protuberance), the doors do not open of their own accord.