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Out of power - stranded?

I recall someone saying that the Renault EV rescue service would not assist if you are stranded due to having no stored energy to take you home or t a charging point (as it was deemed similar to running out of fuel). However, looking at the Battery Lease rescue service - running out of power due to a flat battery is explicitly covered, and not a reason to refuse assistance.

Has anyone been in this unfortunate position and Renault/AA have stood by and left you to your own devices?

Running out is covered.

There was a post one here about some argument about it, and being towed with keys in to charge it up, but the service was supposed to be recover to nearest charge point.

Have you guys not discovered how to “Blag and Charge” yet? :slight_smile:

Just ask nicely, most people possessing “Renault Twizy Charge Points” (AKA the ubiquitous 13amp domestic power socket are happy to oblige if you offer them a couple of £ for the electricity.

Pubs are good. While your sat there you’re going to be buying coffee and spending money.

The Twizy is a doddle to push for quite a way if you need to as it’s light and has a low rolling resistance. Just make sure you CAN DEFINITELY REACH THE HANDBRAKE IN A HURRY IF IT STARTS ROLLING AWAY!

If you can’t get the Twizy in drive it won’t charge from a tow. Even if you can I suspect you are likely to have to do 5 miles to get 1 mile range in it because of the losses on the regen and the differences in the regen current verses drive currents.

The high current controller circuit can’t cope with as great a reverse (charge) current as it does a forward (driving) current, it’s the nature of the drive transistor components, they work far better one way than the other. That’s why the Twizy only does braking regen at one fixed power rate (cuts the costs on the controller). It would be far more efficient if it did, but you’d knock the controller costs to almost double, and as of yet I’ve no figures on what the current limit into the battery is (again charge rate is lower than discharge rate because of battery chemistry and cell balancing / conditioning).

Useful to know - as I saw that post and wondered! As for the blag-and-charge, yes not only am I a firm believer of it, I carry a 25m extension cord for just such an eventuality. The only time I had been refused out of turn was at a First Bus garage (Parkhead, Glasgow) when after explaining I just needed a 1hr charge to be on my way, was told “it’s not the kind of thing we do”. The irony wasn’t lost as I pushed past 2 electric buses.

A shopping centre came to my rescue with my lead running in through an emergency exit to get me enough juice to go home.

Not fun, but certainly pioneering!

I heard a little rumor that some lamp posts have domestic sockets in them. Never looked myself.

Will we see an increasing number of Twizy’s hiding in hedgerows with a blue curly lead coming out to the nearest post?

Electricity. One of the most distributed energy sources on the planet, and here’s 3 of us grown ups on an electric car forum, waving our 3 pin plugs and scratching our heads about what to do if we run out… Something is wrong with that, it just seems like it should be so much easier. :confused:

I have become far more sociable with friends and family since having the Twizy. My clients / suppliers / associates are fine about me plug and charging at their premises while I’m there.

Thing is the Twizy spends a lot of time charging at 1kW and 2kW when actually 2.64kw should be safe to pull from a domestic socket in the UK. 2hrs should give you an 80% range addition. I suppose not so other European countries.

A 16A hook up could safely provide 6kW in 2hrs flat. I think there’s quicker ways to charge and I wonder what the charger / battery limitations are, or if we are being held back to be generic across Europe. I know most of IES Synergies chargers can be piggy backed to increase charge rate… (2 plugs, theoretically 1 hr charge). The KERs system in the Twizy F1 is an interesting experiment…

The charging thing with these cars is a real problem, reading the other thread about charging points confirms this.

As the other thread says, charging maps are fragmented, getting to places, finding that there is no charge point, or it seams the wrong charging plug, looks common.

Whats going on with these charge points!

A Twizy charges most of the time at 2200-2300 watts, tailing off above about 95% charge *. While it is true that domestic plugs take 13A, a continuous 13A for several hours is probably more than most plugs will have taken, so I assume the 10A limit is a safety feature. The only domestic appliances that pull 13A for a long time, I think, are tumble-driers. 10A also, I imagine, puts less strain on the battery and (perhaps) makes for a simpler and cheaper charger, and hopefully is the optimum for a battery the size of a Twizy’s.

It looks like that’s a super-capacitor system that can store and release a (relatively) high current for a short period. One hydrogen fuel cell car uses a bank of super-capacitors to enable it to run from a fuel cell only capable of providing the average, as distinct from the peak power requirement of the vehicle. A fuel cell able to provide the peak real time current of an EV would need to be quite large, and is not (I imagine) very efficient most of the time.*

Even if there was a standard like type 2 and it was consistent at least I would be willing to spend the money on an adaptor cable. However there standards are not being applied consistently. The there is the problem of locating any charge point. Too many maps, too many offerings and not always accurate.

So despite the fact it will propagate the issue perhaps we should set up a Twizy/13amp list of places to charge. Including in Pubs, Shops, cafes etc.
Any costs involved and any other restrictions (Times, access cards etc). Ideally this would need to be user maintainable rather than a text listing.

A good idea - but ultimately one that requires care unless it becomes devalued due to inaccuracies in the adding of points - for some, a pin in the locality is sufficient. It probably is if you know where it is and just want a reminder, but if you’re down to the last 2 miles and haven’t a clue - probably not!

A Google map database seems the most promising with a Streetview image showing it in place (if possible).

Yes I want to see a picture of the 3 pin plug charging points in Essex, getting to places and finding out its a type 2 would not be fun! I have my Sourceeast card now, but the maps/info tell me nothing.

The government only funds Type 2 Charging Stations today for public locations and all the old legacy locations will be upgraded or abandoned. Type 2 will be mandated by the new EU directive and enforced by the insurance industry.

Earlier adopters such as ourselves must remember that everything about our EV’s will change… I’ve seen a Twizy with 16A charging and I know someone is working on a 32A charger upgrade… look at the iPhone, every generation uses a new connector standard which users just accept (sometimes begrudgingly).

My EV is a first generation and uses a proprietary connector… I don’t see this as an issue because I simply carry the relevant adaptors… I don’t really understand the issue because all I care about is getting a charge when required.

You have a choice… either support the community charging databases such as OpenChargeMap or wait until a dominant player exists who can collate accurate data (I estimate you will need to wait at least 10 years given how unsuccessful the OEM’s are at doing this today).

Nikki will be stopping work on the Adaptor and Twizy Charging upgrade, now she has decided to get rid. Adaptors for you car are readily available, but all the ones for the Twizy etc are home made, which should mean cheaper. However this is not the case. First the adaptor, ready made in not available and secondly the simple parts to make one up contain one item that is £70+. So even if the Twizy owners want to adopt the Type 2 standard we are being held back. I had a commando adaptor and an extension lead, so covered for some spots but not Type 2. I also do not have any access cards for charge points, no point round here but it would be an issue on holiday.

Another problem you do not face is space, there simply isn’t room to carry a selection of adaptors. We cannot carry the size cable you do as there isn’t space in the boot (at least the Twizy has a small boot not like an Electric m/cycle). We could use a shorter version.

The I-Phone is a poor example as cables for those are available in £1 shops etc all over the country. The phone cables or adaptors are easy to carry on the off chance and only 1 end is Proprietary. Also it is the I-phone that does not use the Standard Micro USB connector.

However as you say there are ways round this and people are trying to get a set of maps together, it just takes users a longer time to sort out what is available at the location they are heading for and some good luck when they arrive. ZCW is at least trying to help, perhaps a range of adaptors would be the next step to bring all EV vehicles up to the type 2 standard. These may provide some income, like the cables you do now.

The Twizy charger upgrades and adapters I have seen are in Europe and not the result of Nikki’s work… no need for the whole Twizy development to collapse because one person is moving on!

Nope… I made the majority of my adaptors and purchased one from an end user in the US…

This is the point, not all updates are actioned and there is no scope for the ‘blagged’ charges. ie Pubs etc. If it was easier to get the updates added and they were done in a reasonable time then OpenChargeMap etc would be the best place to create the list. Additional flags for ‘types’ and for verified would be a help. So that new or updated info could be stuck on by users that have registered and entries verified latter. Or have lots of Moderators for the updates.

People must remember that OpenChargeMaps is not a commercial venture and users have to accept it - like Linux or Android. It works and can be very good when people get behind it.

Kevin takes time to promote a none profit organisation for EV’s to a group that does not fully appreciate it. We need more people like this, championing the EV cause.
Just because we cannot use the Type 2 points does not mean we should ignore the work he does. Rather we should help if were can.

Have a look at Electrobay - they started offering 13a and many locations still do. However many charging maps ignore them completely (the usual offenders) and an email to EB about retaining at least 1 for legacy devices has not been responded to.

What are they worried about? That because there isn’t a queue for Type 2 folk will complain that 13a posts are free?

The issue with the apparent phasing out of public 13A charge-points appears to be partly one of safety and insurance. Obviously, home-made adapter plugs are likely to make the insurance situation even worse. The Twizy clearly isn’t designed to be a long distance vehicle, so I’m guessing that its designers expected most charging to be done at home or off-road. Personally, I think the Twizy class of EV is adequately catered for by regular 13A plugs, and the vast majority of my Twizy travel uses charge acquired at home (and from sun-shine, on days like today!). Long distance EV’s, on the other hand, need larger batteries and much higher charging currents than a Twizy to be practical and comparable with conventional cars.

So I’m hoping that there is space in the market for an ultra-low weight, very efficient personal transport vehicle like the Twizy, and I would like to see the made even lighter and more efficient so that they can compete, energy-wise, with public transport. I can’t see why these need anything other than the normal electric appliance plugs to be perfectly practical. “Mainstream” EV’s will inevitably have to try to emulate existing cars, which will ultimately result in EV’s that use about the same amount of energy per passenger mile as the most efficient conventional cars. They’re going to need to re-charge much more quickly, because if there are ever a lot of them, charge-point congestion will become a massive issue. Hopefully, this will never happen to the Twizy class, if it survives at all.

The ‘safety’ aspect was quoted to me by Transport Scotland. I asked how many fatalities had been recorded from people misusing 13a sockets, and I was told no data was available, in FIVE years! This then proves that it has nothing to do with safety, but a willingness to look for any old excuse in order to support a stance, irrespective of it being a real concern.

As for a Twizy not bring a ‘real’ EV, is nonsensical. How each driver uses it will be unique, I would certainly have not made my purchase if told the Twizy was incompatible public charging points because of political or vested interest pressures. Indeed my city is offering free parking for up to 2 hours but only if I’m connected (and presumably charging). I could recover the cost of a dummy Type 2 plug by saving on parking fees - but there is no reason why I should pay to park when (say) a Nissan Leaf can do so for free. After all, my vehicle is ‘greener’ and consumes less!

I don’t wish to get a chip on my shoulder, but equality appears to have been the first casualty - and Twizy owners quick to appreciate the uneven playing field.

Surely there’s an adaptor which bypasses this problem? If not, get one commissioned and sell them on here :cool:

I’ve not seen anything commercially but a number of home brew solutions… it requires a Type 2 connector, a resistor, a diode, and a 13A socket… hardly rocket science :wink: