There are already many threads about charging, charger types, superchargers, companies installing them and about ICE cars blocking EV spots.
This thread is in particular dedicated only to practical solutions to offer your local long-term/estate parking, how to solve the associated obstacles (see below the following links). This thread is not about superchargers or public charging stations, nor private house garage where you have almost full control already.
My prediction is that the success of EV implementation in HK is highly dependant on successful installation of practical and usable charging facilities in your "local estate parking" or equivalent. If HK legislators are any serious about EVs they would make it a requirement by law, even for existing parking garages (within a time frame), to implement charging availability, and enforce it as well (i.e. remove/clamp/fine ICE cars).
For other similar issues, please see the following existing threads:
Hong Kong Supercharging
Where Would You Suggest Tesla To Build Their Supercharging Stations In Hong Kong?
Charging stations and public parking:
Monthly-Paid Parking Space With Charging Points?
ICE cars blocking EV spots (EVs being "ICEd"):
ICE vehicle parking at EV spot...
Charging with 220V 13A socket in Hong Kong
Companies installing chargers:
Now back to the subject of this thread.
Many of us in Hong Kong live in a place where we do not own, nor have control over "our" local, long term parking spot - the place we would park most of the time (i.e. when we are at home, or maybe at work).
So we need to find ways to incorporate charging solutions, and make it edible for technicians, estate owners associations, managers and car park owners. There is a lot of resistance, fear and misconception of EV cars and charging. One single BYD charger event, which was installed by someone who lacked the skill to do it right, is sufficient for people to be afraid the charging is added risk to their estate. How about each car with a tank of gasoline or LPG? We need to overcome these obstacles by providing information and solutions, to make it easier to get chargers installed in your local parking lot.
I don't yet know enough about the subject, hence this thread. Eventually, I intend to make a PDF guide or a wiki, and presentation slides which can be used in meetings to inform (and convince) the relevant powers.
First of all, here is a provisional list of challenges to be met:
- Regulatory and certification restrictions limiting the installation of chargers. Paperwork exercises!
- Practical restrictions (i.e. cabling capacity)
- Allocation and reservation of dedicated EV parking-charging spots, and keeping them ICE free (provide clear signs and floor paint, use least desirable locations etc)
- Rotation of EVs- if required/possible - of EVs to maximise use of charging capacity when charging finishes
- Charging stations which cover more than one spot (i.e. installation of a charger in the corners where 4 spots intersect, so charging cables can be moved without shifting cars)
- Provisions for metering and billing individual car owners/users, and preventing other people from either unplugging a charger prematurely, or leeching of another users account)
First of all, these would to some extent be overnight or long term parking spots, so to keep it simple, I will focus on 13A installations here. 12 hours of 13A charging should give 140-150 km worth of extra range, which should be sufficient for most owners, as long as it is their long term parking spot. For public and semi-public parking where charging is offered for a typical short-term parking, it's a different story about 13A, see those separate threads.
I thought about it for a while, and came up with some thoughts about it.
Routing cables of sufficient capacity from the local switch room to the intended spots, where the meters will be located. A number of metering cabinets, a bitlike this type, but with a personal lock, one for each user:
The cover of the metering box would have an opening at the bottom, so the 13A charging cable can be connected inside, while the cable is connected to the car. This design has the following ...
- Only the approved user(s) who has/have the key (or keypad combination) are able to use the charging meter that goes on your account
- Other people will not be able to unplug your car, while you aren't there, as the socket is inside the locked cabinet
- Service staff are able to read the meter through the window for regular billing, without having the key to your box
- Community boxes with loaner keys could be kept for guest users needing to charge, for direct billing as required
- A 13A charger requires pretty simple and cheap installation of standard 1-phase 230V AC cabling, a cabinet with a lock, meter, circuit breaker and socket. Standard socket should work for all electric cars, though the charging is slow (about 12 km/hr for a Tesla)
- No need for octopus installation, connectivity and charges, just regular reading of the meter for billing
- Unless you have a solid extension cable, your box will only work for a few adjacent spots (this will be a problem once EVs become more widespread and parking lots have many EVs)
- People who really want to commit vandalism can still cut your cable. But then, they can also slash your tires and scratch your paint
- The spots will only be open to a limited number of users, or each user need to have multiple meters around.
- If you need to charge your 85kWh MS from 0 to 500 km range, you need to occupy the spot and the charger, for about 1 1/2 day (at 13A charging)
As for prevention of ICE blocking of EV spots, here are some suggestions:
- Make clear signs over and behind the parking spot, English and Chinese. Amongst other information, write in large font something like "Please report non-EV parking to XXXX XXXX for fast towing"
- Paint the surface in a bright colour, with a "plug" symbol on it (See Marks post of the Tesla fast charging spots with two roadsters in)
- Place a boom or a sign placed on the floor which must be manually moved to access the spot, clearly stating "Electric Vehicles only - others will be towed, clamped and fined" or something
- Issue wheel hydraulic car shifting jacks and wheel clamps, or equivalent, to allow service staff to move illegally parked ICE cars
This is how HK Electric octopus enabled chargers work:
HK Electric Investments - System Busy
I cannot see from this guide whether or not the cabinets lock. Could other people unplug your charger from the socket, maybe even charge on your expense? Can it be used in a private/restricted parking lot, or will they only install it in public accessible lots?
Octopus charging would be a good and flexible solution, if it protects you from being unplugged, and if it isn't overcharged (pun if you like or not!), but somehow I think it will cost quite a lot to get it installed, and run it.
Let's hear your thoughts, how do we approach these issues, and make the most of it?