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EV charging: A Ti manifesto

9 months ago

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Ben Oliver | Journalist


19 September 2023

For years, I’ve been an apologist for our public charging network. I’ve told friends thinking about switching to an electric car that if they’re typical users they’ll do the vast majority of their charging at home, and will only need to use the public network on long journeys. From experience, I tell them that the inconvenience and uncertainty of using public charging on those few days will be offset by all the others on which they wake to a fully and cheaply charged battery and never have to go near a petrol station. I’m on my fourth electric daily driver now, and I wouldn’t go back.

If you have off-street parking, all of that remains true. But 40 per cent of us do not, rising to 60 per cent in urban areas. Those without may be forced to use public charging after the ban on sales of new ICE cars. And today, viewed in isolation, the public charging network just isn’t good enough. Its failings shouldn’t need to be offset against the convenience of charging at home, assuming you can.

Sometimes it works seamlessly, and it will always get you there: your car won’t die by the roadside unless you’re a complete idiot. But all too often you’ll arrive at your planned charging stop – which you may have gone out of your way to reach – to find a disorganised queue, or a bunch of chargers out of order, or that you have to try two or more times before you can persuade one to talk to your car, or that your card payment won’t go through, or that the charger runs way below the promised speed, or cuts out randomly.

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