Are new charging points for electric cars being installed on the seafront actually up to the job?
Owners of electric vehicles have been in touch to say the points that have been installed by Hastings Borough Council, combined with the restrictions on how long you can park beside one, make them virtually useless.
Paul Cockerton who owns an all-electric Nissan Leaf told Hastings In Focus: “Hastings Borough Council (HBC) have replaced the RAPID charger in the Marina Car Park for two 7Kw Type2 FAST Chargers.
“It’s clear that HBC has no comprehension about the needs of electric vehicle drivers or what is required to charge them up.
“The previous RAPID charger would charge an electric vehicle from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of your car battery. The FAST chargers they have installed will charge an electric vehicle up from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in between 11 and 14 hours.
“And they have restricted the duration you may use the new FAST chargers to 30 minutes, this at best will give you around five per cent charge or five to seven miles of driving.”
In response a spokesman for HBC said: “‘The RAPID charger we removed from the Marina was old and did not work properly, with only one of three connectors working for at least the last six months.
“The council decided to replace this with newer, working chargers. The new chargers are 22kw FAST chargers, which will charge 80 per cent of a battery in one to two hours depending on the size of the car’s battery and the amount of remaining charge. One hour’s worth of charge should mean roughly 90 miles of driving.
“Most drivers top-up charge rather than waiting for their battery to recharge from empty to full. Charging an electric car is similar to charging a mobile phone; you top it up during the day if you need to and give it a full charge at home overnight.
“There are still RAPID chargers in other locations across Hastings which can be used, they can be found via the Zap Map website ‘https://www.zap-map.com/live/’”
Mr Cockerton, however, is not convinced: “To charge a car like mine on a 22Kw charger from 20 per cent to 80 per cent would, being generous, take approx two and a half hours.
“Although the charger says 22Kw, that doesn’t actually mean you’d get 22Kw speed, the limitation to a 22Kw charger will always be the cars inverter. My Nissan Leaf will only charge at 7Kw on a 22Kw charger and the older style Leaf will only charge at at 3.6Kw. Apparently, very few cars can take 22Kw.
“It also depends on factors like the temperature of the battery, the amount of charge already in the battery and how many of the chargers are in use at any one time so their claim of 90 miles for an hour of charging is a little bit optimistic. However, that is if they are going to let you charge for an hour, the signs still say a maximum of 30 minutes which would see around 35-40 miles in reality.
“These chargers would be more suited to plug-in Hybrid cars which have smaller batteries than a full electric car.
“Their analogy that you top-up your car like a mobile phone is a little flawed. You can charge a mobile phone anywhere you find a three pin plug or a USB. Car charging stations are a little harder to come by. It is a far cry from the nice RAPID charger these replaced.
“If this is an example of how HBC is going to tackle the ‘climate emergency’, I don’t hold out much hope. We need to see some radical changes like free parking for EV drivers and allowing EV drivers to use the bus lanes.”
The larger supermarkets in town are doing their bit to provide facilities for those using electric powered vehicles. Just weeks after charging points were installed at Morrisons in Queens Road, Tesco has installed for dedicated electric vehicle charging bays in their covered parking area at the store in Church Wood Drive.
Three other RAPID chargers in Hastings are located at
- Geniepoint – ESSO in Bohenia Road,
- Geniepoint – Morrisons in Queens Road
- Instavolt – Bannatyne Gym on The Ridge West.