BMW i3 REx, Andy – Living with an EV: Public charging

BMW i3 REx, Andy - Living with an EV: Public charging

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What is the make, model and year of your EV?

BMW i3 REx


What do you think of public chargers generally?

Public charging is like the Curate’s egg – good in parts! In particular, in the South West of England there seems to be a great supply of working public chargers in Cornwall and a dearth in Devon and Somerset (particularly along the M5)!


What and where are your favourite public chargers?

In my experience, Exeter has good, working free chargers in the public car parks. Plymouth has chargers in some car parks and when they’re working they’re fine. Otter nurseries (on the outskirts of Plymouth) has free public chargers and have become a favourite if we need a charge in that direction.


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What’s been your best experience with a public charger?

We wanted to stop for a top-up charge on the A30 in Cornwall. The map said there were some at the ‘Cornwall Services so we pulled off there. They weren’t easy to find at the far end of the car park but there were a lot of units and most seemed to be working. We needed the top-up so we connected, linked with the phone app, set things going then headed right across the parking area and inside for a coffee and a wait. We’d just received our coffees from the services when the phone ‘pinged’ to say the charging was complete! Topped up to full in under 15 minutes. Brilliant!


What’s been your worst experience with a public charger?

Motorway chargers that don’t work all the way along the M5 between Exeter and Bristol! I’ve not found one that worked reliably no matter which motorway services I stopped at. In one case none with the right connector, in others they’re just not working, charge for less than a minute and then stop, or are ‘ICE’d’. It’s a good job our car has the (petrol) range extender or we’d be stuck on the M5 to this day. We no longer try driving north from Devon, we take the train instead.


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