Ebike charging using Street EV chargers for electric cars

vulcanears

Pedelecer
May 23, 2018
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Hey everyone!

I do a lot of long distance ebike camping touring and battery range is just always an issue. Sometimes I can't charge overnight and I have to find different ways to top up.

I always liked the idea of being able to charge my bike using Street EV chargers for electric cars, since they are everywhere these days and I wouldn't have to sit at McDonalds for hours to charge my battery.

I found several adapters from Type2 EV plugs to household UK-3pin or Schuko plugs at fairly reasonable prices.


Has anyone ever sucessfully tried this?
- Are there any charger networks that don't ask for a car model/make+license plate when signing up? (I obviously don't have either for my bike)
- Do they ban users that charge at very slow current, compared to electric cars?
- Any other problems you encountered?

Thank you very much in advance!
 

oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
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It is all very well (or not - depending on point of view :) ) the government allowing e-scooters, but your post points out an obvious issue with e-bikes now and e-scooters into the future.

I would like to see all car charging stations having a low power outlet as well. And, that should be a universal standard. People might need a modest converter or adaptor but not their whole charger. (Into the future, possibly there would be a common interface which would be built-in to new devices?)

Maybe include wheelchairs and similar?
 
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Gavin

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May 11, 2020
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I love your utopian vision @oyster but that would require a government capable of planning beyond the end of the next parliamentary term!

@vulcanears this is an interesting subject, and I really like the idea of being able to tour long distance on an ebike.

Are you in the UK? If so, you'll know that most EV charge points here are in urban environments, which doesn't sound like an ideal camping environment.

What about putting one of these....


....in a trailer so you're totally independent of "the grid"?
 

Ocsid

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Aug 2, 2017
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The fact that we typically for a full recharge only require 10 pence worth of energy, often it will only be a partial charge, seems to hint doing anything to provide this, is not going to be a"good business model".

Particularly in the UK, where providers can't charge more for electrical energy taken from the UK utilities than they pay for it.

So basically there is no financial return to create it.

Maybe there is a case for a membership based system, grossly overcharging in the membership fee to allow any number of free recharges? Even one run by say Bosch for example, or the bike maker/distributor?
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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- Are there any charger networks that don't ask for a car model/make+license plate when signing up?
Yes, some can be contactless card only without any registration. The chargers that US company Instavolt provide are like that and what I've used on my e-car, but they don't have many chargers yet.

However the charger has sensing. First one applies the contactless card to the screen to get the accept coming up, then plugging in. Then there's a short pause while the charger senses the car connection before starting the charge, so it might refuse a very small battery.

I don't know about a current lower limit, but if left charging beyond the 80% limit at 50kW on Rapid chargers, the car continues to accept a charge but the charge reducing progressively as the remaining 20% capacity fills.
.
 
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vulcanears

Pedelecer
May 23, 2018
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Are you in the UK? If so, you'll know that most EV charge points here are in urban environments, which doesn't sound like an ideal camping environment.
Yes, I'm in the UK (Brighton).

The theoretical idea was to camp on some campsite and then ride into a town in the morning, plug the bike into a car charger, do some site-seeing and cycle on when the bike is fully charged.

Or just randomly top up the battery for an hour whenever I come across a car charger over the course of the day.

What about putting one of these....


....in a trailer so you're totally independent of "the grid"?
I try to travel as light as possible (with only 2 panniers) so that I'm able to take everything on a train. The trailer-generator idea would techniacally work, but it's just too much stuff to move around and worry about (locking up, etc).
 

vulcanears

Pedelecer
May 23, 2018
68
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By the way - The Netherlands and Germany have a lot of these Ebike charging stations and they are usually free. This would be ideal, but I've never seen one in the UK.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
47,333
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By the way - The Netherlands and Germany have a lot of these Ebike charging stations and they are usually free. This would be ideal, but I've never seen one in the UK.
The Netherlands under 17 million population buy over 350,000 pedelecs every year. (208 per 10,000 population)

Germany's over 80 million population have almost reached buying one million pedelecs every year. (117 per 10,000 population)

The UK's 66 millions buy a maximum of 50,000 every year! (under 8 per 10,000 population)

So I don't see those chargers appearing here any time in the foreseeable future.
.
 

danielrlee

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 27, 2012
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torquetech.co.uk
Hey everyone!

I do a lot of long distance ebike camping touring and battery range is just always an issue. Sometimes I can't charge overnight and I have to find different ways to top up.

I always liked the idea of being able to charge my bike using Street EV chargers for electric cars, since they are everywhere these days and I wouldn't have to sit at McDonalds for hours to charge my battery.

I found several adapters from Type2 EV plugs to household UK-3pin or Schuko plugs at fairly reasonable prices.


Has anyone ever sucessfully tried this?
- Are there any charger networks that don't ask for a car model/make+license plate when signing up? (I obviously don't have either for my bike)
- Do they ban users that charge at very slow current, compared to electric cars?
- Any other problems you encountered?

Thank you very much in advance!
Totally feasible, although you'll need an adapter that features a manual release switch, such as the one below, else you won't be able to disconnect it from the charger once the charge is complete:

 
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WheezyRider

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Apr 20, 2020
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The fact that we typically for a full recharge only require 10 pence worth of energy, often it will only be a partial charge, seems to hint doing anything to provide this, is not going to be a"good business model".

Particularly in the UK, where providers can't charge more for electrical energy taken from the UK utilities than they pay for it.

So basically there is no financial return to create it.

Maybe there is a case for a membership based system, grossly overcharging in the membership fee to allow any number of free recharges? Even one run by say Bosch for example, or the bike maker/distributor?
I imagine the business model works by having a minimum fee, say £1 per use, or so many £/hr.
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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I imagine the business model works by having a minimum fee, say £1 per use, or so many £/hr.
Some do, but not all. For example:

All InstaVolt chargers cost just £0.35 per kWh to use. There’s no connection fee and no monthly membership fee. Pay only for what you use. That’s it!
.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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Particularly in the UK, where providers can't charge more for electrical energy taken from the UK utilities than they pay for it.
This may be true for domestic supplies, but certainly not for other applications like ev chargers. For example:

"All InstaVolt chargers cost just £0.35 per kWh to use. There’s no connection fee and no monthly membership fee. Pay only for what you use. That’s it!"

Obviously that is far above what they pay the energy supplier.
.
 

WheezyRider

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Apr 20, 2020
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Maybe your best option is to find a coffee shop, sit in it with your laptop, like everyone else...and just happen to have your battery plugged in too ;)

I'm sure if you went to a service station, spoke to the manager and you bought a coffee there, they wouldn't object to you plugging in for an hour or so.

If you have access to 12V outlets (eg car battery) you can get small, say 300W inverters to charge your ebike battery.
 

Gavin

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2020
316
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I've no experience with car chargers but I assume they can be locked at both ends to prevent tampering.

I wonder if your main challenge with a bike would be stopping some little scrote from nicking your charger or just unplugging it for "shits 'n' giggles"!

Would you be camping on organised campsites? If so, blagging some overnight 240v would be perfectly reasonable.

Harder if you're wild camping....
 

Gavin

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2020
316
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Maybe your best option is to find a coffee shop
Or just chuck them some beer money and leave your battery and charger with them. You could cycle off (without battery) to do some sightseeing and return later....
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
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I can just imagine it as we see more electric cars on the road and they come to a charging port and find a bike on it already, the backlash we are going to get...

Maybe the thing to do is make an adaptor that plugs into the charging point that gives two outlets, one for a car and one standard 13A socket for bike chargers. Then ask the car driver if you can charge both at the same time and you give them a quid for their trouble.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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Maybe your best option is to find a coffee shop, sit in it with your laptop, like everyone else...and just happen to have your battery plugged in too ;)

I'm sure if you went to a service station, spoke to the manager and you bought a coffee there, they wouldn't object to you plugging in for an hour or so.

If you have access to 12V outlets (eg car battery) you can get small, say 300W inverters to charge your ebike battery.
See this link about an earlier use of such charging locations for pedelecs.
.
 
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Gavin

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May 11, 2020
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You're spot-on there Wheezy. When everyone's driving/ riding something electric it's gonna be open warfare on the streets as people fight over charging points.

And that's before you consider the load on the grid when everyone gets home from work and plugs in at the same time....
 
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WheezyRider

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Apr 20, 2020
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You're spot-on there Wheezy. When everyone's driving/ riding something electric it's gonna be open warfare on the streets as people fight over charging points.

And that's before you consider the load on the grid when everyone gets home from work and plugs in at the same time....
That's not even telling the half of it...this country is in for a real power sh*tstorm over the next 10 years.

Not only are cars going electric, but people will have to start using electricity to heat their homes as we have to stop burning gas because of our climate change obligations. This is going to require a massive amount of electricity generation capacity and also distribution capacity.

The government think we can all just use heat pumps...but they still need 30% or so of their energy output to be from an electrical input, so still a massive amount...then all houses will need to replace their heating systems, even including their radiators at massive expense.

You can see, it's going to be a total fecking mess, with too many people running the show in government, who haven't got a clue about science.

The last thing we need are a load of 2 tonne electric cars to shift one person around a few km here and a few km there. Electric bikes make much more sense as you use a thousand times less energy than an electric car.

/Rant over...sorry, but you did get me started!!! :)
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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When everyone's driving/ riding something electric it's gonna be open warfare on the streets as people fight over charging points.
Theres already queuing at some charge points and charging companies asking the hybrid drivers to give way to full e-cars.

And that's before you consider the load on the grid when everyone gets home from work and plugs in at the same time....
That isn't the problem it might appear to be. E-cars have charge timers which can be set for various times and some electricity suppliers offer cheaper late times, spreading the load. Half cheap rate after midnight for example, when almost no-one else is using current.

There will also be the increasing number using solar panels and home powerpacks storing the charge current.

And also the increasing number of e-cars sharing their battery current with the grid for profit. Denmark already has this up and running. The grid draws from e-cars out of use at peak demand times and repaying a high rate. The car owner charges at cheap rate overnight and their profit is comes as a deduction from their electricity bill.
.
 
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