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Bonkers Blog February 2019

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10 February (Part 3) - Watts at IKEA?

With nearly every other local blog commenting on the new IKEA in Greenwich why not Bonkers?

I only once went to an IKEA. Many years ago my aunt in East Ham wanted to go to one so I took her to Lakeside after which she said she never wanted to set foot inside one again. I very much agreed with her.

My only interest now is that I make three trips a week by public transport to East Ham but on alternate Thursdays go by car.

The route takes me immediately behind IKEA but last Thursday, the day it was due to open, the traffic at 1 p.m. was if anything lighter than usual.

IKEAAs I hesitantly mentioned a month ago, I have been driving an electric car for the past five months and in the opinion of many, take up of electric vehicles (EVs) is being inhibited by an inadequate charging infrastructure. One could write a small book about that and one of the problems has been a multiplicity of rapid charging standards.

There is a proprietary system originally adopted by Tesla, the Japanese one used only by Nissan - even on their forthcoming 2019 model - the 43kW AC standard used only on the Renault Zoe - and the European Combined Charging System (CCS) that was finalised for use on the 12th October 2011. It has been adopted as the standard throughout Europe.

To comply with that standard Tesla recently augmented their system with CSS in Europe and Renault sensibly announced it will do so shortly.

Only Nissan is still using the Japanese standard which goes by the ridiculous Anglo French name of Charge de Move; usually abbreviated to CHAdeMo. If they don’t make the change to CCS they could before very long find themselves out on a limb. Recently manufactured chargers do not include CHAdeMO.

So what have IKEA done for electric car drivers in Greenwich? They have put in AC chargers and an old CHAdeMo unit.

Oh well, I wasn’t going to go there anyway.

I can’t quite get my head around IKEA installing electric car chargers at all although I acknowledge it is their standard practice but I thought in Greenwich they were trying to discourage car use. And why should anyone use them? Across the road in the Brocklebank Centre there are 15 double headed Fast Chargers which are entirely free to use.

IKEA’s units charge 30 pence a unit (kilowatt hour) although apparently not right now because the communications system isn’t working yet.

The self-appointed experts on EV discussion forums are saying that installing only AC and CHAdeMO is contrary to current law although that is what is often found at Motorway Service Areas where installation predates the law.

It will not of course be IKEA’s failure, they contracted the utterly useless Ecotricity network to install the chargers. Ecotricity has a reputation for not maintaining its outdated charging network and is often held up as a major reason for the relatively low take up of EVs.

I suppose I will be told off if I say that if you can afford the exorbitant cost of an electric car you ought to be able to afford better quality furniture?

Note: Most of the charging points in the photo are 7kW AC (Fast) chargers which most EVs can use but they are slow. About ten hours to fully charge my own car.

The unit being criticised is the larger box to the right which is a 43kW AC/50kW DC (Rapid) unit. Without CCS it will be unable to service any modern fully electric car. Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar, KIA, Tesla or Volkswagen


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