Where to 'charge' your electric car

Well, the good news is that the plummeting costs of renewables, combined with slowly shifting socio-political attitudes mean that the economic proposition for coal-fired electricity has already completely collapsed in much of the world. It’s shifting quickly everywhere and new power generation is overwhelmingly low-carbon. More existing coal-fired capacity is being shuttered than is being built. It is increasingly difficult to finance and insure coal mines and coal-fired plants.

I’m thankful that not everyone has an attitude that is basically “My individual actions count for little so I’ll do nothing that inconveniences me even slightly”.


We have a family in our area who own one of the bigger Tesla cars, their designated parking space is well away from their apartment with no power nearby, I must ask them what their car charging strategy is. Perhaps he manages to charge it at work during the day or at the supermarket? Whilst the number of EVs is low this might be ok, but when all cars are EVs its going to need more than this.

As it is the few EV owners compete for the two charging points at our office!

I think that street charging points will invariably start to appear in numbers, but unlike high speed 4G and 5G access, we are not prepared to pay for public EV charging points, yet.

Wealthy countries like Australia and Canada that mine and export vast amounts of fossil fuels really have no excuse. We can afford to pivot, even if the short terms costs are material. Thankfully, mining fossil fuels, even in these countries is rapidly becoming untenable, at least in terms of expansions and new projects. Support for environmental destruction on the basis of “jobs” is waning.

Disclaimer: I’ve been in the mining industry my whole career, including a long time in coal mining. Given a second chance I’d make very different choices.

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Choice of place to live out one’s days after retirement is difficult. A quaint cottage in a picturesque village? An isolated haven miles from anywhere? Both sound nice in their way - but practicality has to come into it, and for all the discussion of electric cars, the reality is that few people are able to continue driving to the end of their days, so availability of other transport and accessibility of key services like food shops are critically important (all hampered by the accuracy of being able to predict 10, 20 30 years from now).

Our criteria are there has to some sort of local minimal shop provision with a sufficient population base to sustain it, ditto nearby public transport to places likely to fulfil other common needs, including a doctor, dentist and optician. The house itself has certain demands including being detached and having a room of adequate size to make a good music room, with alternative lounge accommodation, some outside space (sufficient to grow veg), and the outside not noisy. We do want off-road carparking because we anticipate having a vehicle for a while yet, and that would mean we’d have the potential capability for an electric charging point, but by the time secondhand electric cars with adequate range and of a type we would want become affordable, with the supporting widespread public charging points necessary to support their mainstream use, I suspect it’ll be ‘mobility scooters’ we’ll be charging!

I always love a good quote from The Four Yorkshiremen …

That’s an interesting point - it seems quite likely that there will be an increase in “mobility solutions” which will probably comprise smaller vehicles than we have been used to.

As time goes on there will be a huge increase in solutions for charging - there is of course quite a bit of tension for early adopters who find that the charging network is patchy in places, and more than adequate in others - eg, my daughter is at Edinburgh university which is 185 miles away. Edinburgh has a tiny number of rapid chargers and the last 85 miles have zero reliable rapid chargers so getting there and back in a day in my electric car is difficult on a very cold day. The first 100 miles is plentifully supplied with chargers. Daughter 2 wants to go to Aberystwyth university and there is an 80-odd mile segment with only a couple of chargers (in total).

We live 1.5 miles from the nearest bus stop (and shops), so public transport is mostly very inconvenient to non-existent

Some of the EV lobby are very irritating as, apparently, knowing one person who lives in a flat who can charge their EV means there is no problem - which is plainly nonsense. The non-EV lobby is also guilty of hysteria - completely ignore that things are improving. Rapid chargers are being fitted at every Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s drive through a for example, chargers are going in at many supermarkets etc.

Presumably something like a trolley bus connector that keeps you charging as you creep forward in the queue? :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve only got on road parking but as my car’s a hybrid it’s not too bad. There’s loads of free chargers about I often charge the car in my local tesco, the local shopping centre and various service stations. I even managed to find a free charger at Ikea!

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That’s just shirking the issue. We have to do our bit and lead the way. Share the knowledge and technology. To just put our heads in the sand and do nothing is wrong. Think globally, act locally.


Of course. If as much public funding went into public transport as road building we’d be overrun with buses. Many billions have been lost through the failure it increase the fuel duty levy. Our emissions from transport have started to rise due to this weird addiction to driving round in enormous SUVs that are totally unnecessary. People seem to think that walking a mile to the shops is too far, and as for getting on a bike? What a preposterous idea!


The bike is the answer to local journeys - and the obesity epidemic. But then you’d expect me to say that…


Without trying to be too critical. I think there is likely to be more bad feeling from EV drivers at people who charge hybrids on the open road or at the shops. Hybrids do have a diesel/petrol engine, so a charge is about saving money - its not a necessity. but for someone who had an EV and needs to charge at a public charger, maybe someone without off street charging at home, finding a charger point blocked when you need a charge can be quite irritating.

Its not happened to me before but the EV forums are full of complaints about hybrids or even normal cars blocking EV chargers (even tesla ones).

Having had my tesla a few months now, ive found i only need to charge away from home if doing a long journey, and ive not had problems yet - although its still fairly quiet on the roads.

If here were sufficient rapid chargers available during the weekly food shop, at the office or at other retail areas then I am not sure i’d need home charging. Maybe it could help persuade me to go to a shop and charge rather than buy online from Amazon etc.

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HH, You (and one or two others) have mis-interpreted my post.

My point is that we need to put considerable effort, and I do mean considerable effort, into sorting out climate change, limited resources, greed and a host of other issues. I merely used China and India as straightforward examples of the size and nature of the problem and the term “pi**ing in the wind” as a guide to the effectiveness of our current efforts.

I noticed today that the UN was calling for more effort. That effort has to be meaningful and effective.

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One of the ideas was to have under road charging at traffic lights. Can you imagine the result? No EV would be inclined to jump the lights, and wouldn’t move off the grid until the light have been green for a few seconds - then all the petrol drivers would be hooting their horn

I’m in the same position - Victorian end-terraced property, no current off-road parking, running cables to the street would be a crazy trip hazard.

Hybrid would be my best option currently for a new car I think.

We potentially need new models for using cars.

I don’t need the big family car maybe 90% of the time but when four of us travel as a group with lots of luggage I do, but certainly not for a daily 20-30 mile work commute (in normal times). Having a second smaller car for the 90% of the time is not feasible or sensible, would lead to more parking congestion and incur extra road tax/maintenace costs. I really need a Del Trotter van or old banger for work as it’s a constant hassle parking amongst all the enormous poorly driven/parked SUVs there, mine included, but it beggars belief how some people park and block you in!

If I think back to my childhood for a long time it was one car per houshold at most, mainly parked on a drive, many people without a car. When I go back to my parents’ house which is currently empty I’m conscious of how streets that were virtually empty in the 70’s are full of cars, many parked on grass verges/pavements which no one would have done back then.

I got annoyed by a car parked outside my parents’ house yesterday (in a cul de sac) making parking for me more tricky, but the road is not mine - traditionally people respected other people’s boundaries there, no longer so and has never been the case where I live. Demographics have changed too, neighbours complained there were too many rental properties there now and they had no idea who was living next to them week to week.

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I know someone who used to get very annoyed by the neighbour parking his big white van outside his house. The house was a few feet lower than the pavement which meant he had no view. A lovely man who would do anything for anyone, but in this case he solved it by buying an old small car that he just taxed, but it never drove, and parked it outside his house so at least he could see a bit more of a view.

Sadly he died recently aged 99, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me telling you all. I presume the car is still there :blush:


How old are you? Hope that’s not a rude question but we won’t be forced into EV’s in 2030. That’s 9 years from now so a fair way to go and they’re only stopping the sale of the ice. Buy one of the outgoing ice cars and you could be driving another 10+ years on petrol/diesel.

By that time I’d be amazed if the infrastructure hadn’t improved by then, or you’d retired from driving.

Speaking of which, I had a conversation with someone, who’s father voluntarily retired from driving. Fair play as I’m not sure I’d want to give it up so willingly. However, safety vs capability changes dramatically in old age so is something we all need to consider and I just hope I’m big enough to know when to call it quits.

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My father used to get annoyed by things like this and has probably passed it on to me - others taking liberties and not giving a hoot.

Funnily enough we have an old petrol VW SORNed on the driveway - I’m tempted to find someone who can MOT it cheaply, tax it and park it outside the house with minimal insurance.

The people parking the car I suspect only have a driveway and know my parents have passed away - I just don’t want them parking there to be seen as ‘custom and practice’ in the future. I guess I don’t need to get into an argument anyway, but it still feels like they are infringing on my space as owner of the property now.

We are currently selling my wife’s Mums house, and she is finding is hard to let go due to all the memories. Not easy at all for you. Like the VW idea, as long as they dont then block you in with a mindset of “well we thought we were helping out by making it looked lived in”

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This resonates, they passed away some time ago. I don’t even have probate yet, which is partially connected with emotional attachments and partially as I’m juggling too many balls and haven’t had time to get to grips with the estate due to pandemic restrictions.

It did occur to me the other day that them parking there might make it look more lived in compared to the VW with slow puncture and moss/algae on the driveway - had to give the VW a spring clean the other day after a post-it note through the door offering to take the car away which made me realise people are ‘watching’.