Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Ermagerd! An EV charging point in Scotland

Will the coincidences never end?

One day I write about battery/electric ferries, the next day the media carries news about EV charging point every 50 miles on Scotland’s roads, then…

I bump into a genuine EV charging point in a Scottish car park!

Elektrobay panel

Elektrobay panel – there’s another the same, around the back

To be fair to the laws of coincidence, I did actually know this one was there, but didn’t expect to see it quite so soon.

You can find this charging point in the car park in Allison Drive, to the south of Main Street Cambuslang, behind the shops. It’s in the south east corner, and can supply two EVs.

Elektrobay

Technically, this is known as ‘slow charger’ as it is basically a normal 240 V 13 A supply, so would take a few hours to fully charge a depleted battery, but would serve a top up for someone going shopping for an hour or two. The connector is a standard UK/European type, conforming to IEC 62196-2 “Type 1” – single phase vehicle coupler – and reflects the SAE J1772/2009 automotive plug specifications.

Public charging stations conforming to IEC 62196 that have a specific socket type such as  SAE J1772 can be used with other plug types by means of adapters – however the current will not be enabled unless an IEC 61851 presence signal pin is connected and the current will be limited to 16 A unless an IEC 62196 charging mode signal is detected that specifies a higher current level.

It illustrates a problem that is yet to be solved with public EV charging systems. As I’ve noted before, we are 5 years behind America (and maybe quite a few others) with regard to EVs, and that socket is only good for slow charging, while the Americans have standards that allow their EVs to be charged from high-speed chargers, taking only an hour or so to fully charge an EV. However, America, Europe, and Japan are still using different connectors, so there can be problems depending on where an electric or even plug-in hybrid has come from.

Worse still, manufacturers have their own ideas about connectors and charging systems, with companies such as Tesla having their own systems that only fit their own cars, although they do have impressive charging rates compared to ‘universal’ systems.

For example, the SAE connector below handles various charging standards, both slow and fast. As you can see, it’s never going to work with the socket seen above (I’m not suggesting it should, merely noting the existence of incompatibility):

SAE charging connector

The target of having only one charging connector has probably been missed already, with Japan and North America having a single-phase connector on their 100-120/240 V grid (Type 1), while the rest of the world (China and Europe) has chosen a connector combining a single-phase 230 V and three-phase 400 V grid (Type 2) connection. The SAE and ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles) are trying to avoid a similar difference for DC charging by crating a standard that adds DC to the existing AC connector types such that there is only one “global envelope” that fits all DC charging stations – for Type 2 the new housing is named Combo2.

Back in the real world, here’s the other side, so you’ll know what an EV charging point looks like (well, this particular make and model anyway), and can recognise one if they ever start to breed:

Elektrobay

I don’t suppose I’ll be using it any time soon, so if you happen to be in the fortunate position of being able to play with this for real, let us know. It would be shame to think of it sitting there doing nothing more than gathering dust, or pretending to be a piece of modern sculpture.

Who knows – maybe it will appear on the:

PlugShare – EV Charging Station Map – Find the nearest location to charge your electric car!

Site we were told about in the comment below.

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February 8, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Your top photos depict Euro J1772, or IEC 62196. The third photo is North American J1772 CCS. A Euro J1772 CCS is going to work with the socket seen above.

    If you would like Scottish charging points to be recorded and shared, try the class-leading plugshare.com format.

    Like

    Comment by finecadmin | February 17, 2013


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