Rapid Charging at Frimley Park Hospital

[Part 1 is here]

As expected we got most of the way to our destination in Surrey without having had a chance for a proper rapid charge. The plan was to charge at Frimley Park Hospital, and if that failed to go to Church Street car park in Fleet. Driving an EV long distance is all about having a plan and a backup plan!

i3 charging at Frimley Hospital (Image: T. Larkum)

i3 charging at Frimley Hospital (Image: T. Larkum)

We needn’t have worried – Frimley turned out fine, eventually. We knew the charge point was in the covered part of the (very large) car park and found it pretty easily. However, things did then get a bit tricky. Zap-map indicated that there were two CCS-capable charge points there, with one of them offline. In fact there was only one (the other charge point could only do AC and Chademo) and it was showing an error on the screen; naturally I was worried that this was actually the offline unit.

I cancelled the apparent charge session and re-initialised it (just following instructions on the screen) and it seemed to clear. I started a new session using my Polar RFID card (it’s a CYC charge point, but CYC is now part of Polar). When I first connected the i3 and began a charge, however, it only lasted about a minute, and then stopped with an error on the dash. Anyway, I persisted and the second time it worked fine.

We were fully charged about 45 minutes later – that was longer than I expected, particularly as we plugged in with 32% charge, so that implies to me that the charge point may not have been giving its full 50kW power (perhaps as a result of the initial failed charge?). Nonetheless, it’s hard to complain when the charge was free, and even £3 for the parking seemed reasonable as we were able to pass the time sitting in the nearby hospital cafe with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The charge issues and long charge time notwithstanding, it was a pretty good experience and I’m sure we’ll use Frimley again. We left with 99% charge and had enough not just to get to Surrey but to show off the i3’s acceleration a few times while there, and then return all the way back to Northampton without a further charge. Hats off to the i3 once again!

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  1. Pingback: AC Rapid Charging an i3 94Ah | Fuel Included

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