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According to a tweet by Brittany Ferries, work began yesterday (Tuesday) at Plymouth Ferry Port where Vehicle Charging Points are being installed. There is currently no estimate on when these will be available to use. Hopefully the same will happen in Portsmouth in the very near future.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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Not sure how this will work, I did read a few months ago that Plymouth were putting 'paid for' electrics in to allow lorries to run fridges / freezers whilst waiting - maybe a car could use that, however they would not be in the normal lanes.

Owners also regularly ask for charging points on ships which might be easier to manage, however I am not sure I would be happy with cars charging on board for safety reasons. I would not be surprised if electric cars end up banned in ships - a car fire is in an electric car is incredibly difficult to put out.

Edited by David Williams

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How long does it take to charge a electric car?if they do start to let them charge up on ferries. I would of thought they would be safety back included in the system.a fire in any car petrol,diesel,gas,electric is a safety issue on a ferry.yet would a charging point on a ferry cause a safety problem that is to big risk to allow?

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Several cars charging at once at a decent rate would almost certainly put an appreciable load on the ship's generating capacity. Certainly some expensive modifications would be needed to deal with the loading and extra wiring etc. And of course electric vehicles would need to be parked in specific locations rather like cars with disabled occupants are parked adjacent to lifts.

Given the average range of electric cars at the moment, just how many get taken abroad anyway - are there lots of compatible charging points in France?

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Strange but true... Modern rechargeable lithium ion batteries don't contain lithium so there's nothing elemental to leak out and catch fire, the non rechargeable ones you buy for your torches and tv remote controls do.

The are just as safe, if not safer than the one powering your mobile. Do you worry about that catching fire in your pocket or when it's charging in your car, at home or at work?

Under very minimal circumstances they can be heated to temps outside of their comfort zone but modern charging is very, very safe and as the battery is enclosed there's no chance of sunlight affecting them either.

HGV's have been plugged into 32 amp IP44 sockets onboard ships for years which are more of a drain on the ships generating capacity as they are used for direct power rather than a battery charge.

We have a Chargemaster at home for the wife's Hyundai Ioniq, fully charged in around 4 hours and it cost's less than a fiver and you get a Tesla compatible socket so there's thousands of places around Europe. As an example St Malo has around 7 or 8 charging places, we've used the one at the petrol station by the Ibis.

...and if BF wanted to fit them at all of the ports and onboard there's substantial gvt grants to assist funding.

Edited by jonno
ilI, Illittter... can't spell!

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I’m surprised they haven’t had them at Plymouth and Portsmouth port for years I live in a wee town of 5000 folk and we’ve had 4 that I can think of of the top of my head for at least 5 years.

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I heard the same. Several charging points on the old gravel-landing just before the car-lanes! Having them at the port rather than onboard certainly makes sense too...

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How long would charging take? Jonno mentioned 4 Hr for a full charge, it would mean turning up hours early.  Charging on board would be more logical if power is available, the vehicle is parked up not going anywhere for a few hours.  The main problem would be running leads around the car deck or having to park all electric vehicles in one area.

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Given the amount of flat space on top of certain ferries, and Galicia/Salamanca are good examples, would it not be possible to install solar panels to provide some of the energy required by the vessel and also charge electric vehicles? Obviously in the night that wouldn't be an option (unless the energy could be stored in batteries) but on a trip to Spain they'd have more than enough daylight hours available and across the channel the night time crossings are longer so the onboard generators would not have to work so hard. Ed. 

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I was just responding to the notion that charging aboard a ship is dangerous and that there's an opinion that they may be banned. There's more chance of a kitchen fire. Many new build vessels have one or two installed already. There's nothing special about them, they use the same domestic power as a cordless drill or Dyson and also come with a 3 pin plug. My missus plugs hers in using an extension lead under the garage door when we use the car to visit her mum and dad.

Having them at Plymouth Port is a great idea, there's around 50 in the area already but a quick charge before boarding sets you up for your onward journey plus until they become a more mainstream form of private transport it doesn't really make sense for BF to install them aboard a ship...

 

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

Given the amount of flat space on top of certain ferries, and Galicia/Salamanca are good examples, would it not be possible to install solar panels to provide some of the energy required by the vessel and also charge electric vehicles? Obviously in the night that wouldn't be an option (unless the energy could be stored in batteries) but on a trip to Spain they'd have more than enough daylight hours available and across the channel the night time crossings are longer so the onboard generators would not have to work so hard. Ed. 

Seems like a lot of effort for a minimal gain, when you think about the drain of charging points and electric vehicles.

On a similar note though - Stena have an all-battery ship now don't they. I beleive it is part of a 3-phase test plan with the goal eventually being an entire sailing being done using nothing but the batteries!

And with regards to charging in Plymouth - I am sure just like with your phone, you could "top up" whilst you were waiting. I doubt many people would plan to arrive at the port when the battery was just about empty!

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31 minutes ago, Solo said:

How long would charging take? Jonno mentioned 4 Hr for a full charge, it would mean turning up hours early.  Charging on board would be more logical if power is available, the vehicle is parked up not going anywhere for a few hours.  The main problem would be running leads around the car deck or having to park all electric vehicles in one area.

It all depends. On longer journeys the secret is to keep the charge up plus many cars can go farther now. We can do Harrogate to Sutton Coldfield on a single charge, same to Liverpool and still manage speeds of 70-80mph on the M1 & M42 or M62.

It's the stop/starting on journeys to places like York which is only along the A59 or if we go the opposite way and head toward Preston then the M6 travelling to Liverpool that way, we tend to plug in again around Clitherow.

We've used the car on a BFE member deal with no problems. We stop twice travelling to Portsmouth anyway so plugging it in for half an hour while we're sitting in a Costa or Starbucks makes no difference and we're certainly not spending the same as we would be on diesel.

Charging them onboard would mean uniform coverage across the decks, you can't just fit one or two realistically, a reason why it's not cost effective to have them, plus I'd think they'd be above head height in order to stop the leads being a trip hazard. They'd also need to overcome the obstacle of fitting them to decks which lower or raise, at the moment the HGV 32 amp sockets are fitted to fixed points along the outer hull frame and inner casing.

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

How long would charging take? Jonno mentioned 4 Hr for a full charge, it would mean turning up hours early. 

I am often surprised at how many cars turn up very early at Plymouth. There is plenty of space around the BF offices for parking.

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18 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

I am often surprised at how many cars turn up very early at Plymouth. There is plenty of space around the BF offices for parking.

We turn up early as it’s such a long drive you have to leave plenty wiggle room for delays etc (especially on the M5) far too long a drive for an electric car , I suspect a lot of the folk who turn up early are travelling from far afield.

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24 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

We turn up early as it’s such a long drive you have to leave plenty wiggle room for delays etc (especially on the M5) far too long a drive for an electric car , I suspect a lot of the folk who turn up early are travelling from far afield.

Why don't they kill time enjoying the delights Plymouth has to offer instead of sitting in their cars?

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Just now, BobCrox said:

Why don't they kill time enjoying the delights Plymouth has to offer instead of sitting in their cars?

Millbay's delights are few and far between (despite the regeneration!) from my experience.

But more to the point... if you NEED to charge, you can. Surely that's all there is to it? It's a facility. BF are not saying that if you drive an electric car you MUST charge it before embarkation! :)

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In fact - Millbay is so close to town, and the Hoe - it is almost perfect. Turn up early.... Charge you car (also whilst enjoying free parking).... Walk to town..... Enjoy the delights.... and return to a charged motor. Brilliant!

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We travel to Spain from the Midlands two or three times a year normally from Plymouth and back to Portsmouth (Plymouth on the return is a pain) Charging points on the ferries would be great for us as we could get to Plymouth on one stop.  Fully charged the car would then give us 150 miles.. We use our 2018 Nissan Leaf for most journeys within the UK but are not brave enough to arrive in Santander without a full charge to use.. Our small 1.5 Diesel is used for travelling around Spain but if we were sure of a full charge when arriving then we would use the electric car as a lot of the hotels we use do offer charging facilities.

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2 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

In fact - Millbay is so close to town, and the Hoe - it is almost perfect. Turn up early.... Charge you car (also whilst enjoying free parking).... Walk to town..... Enjoy the delights.... and return to a charged motor. Brilliant!

Agreed. So much close to Millbay. Look ! 

IMG_0444.JPG

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They are starting to pop up on ferries - Ulysses is as far as I know the first UK ferry to be so equipped -

https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/frequently-asked-questions/general-information/electric-cars/

This is how they are laid out on a Japanese ferry, the Ferry Osaka II.

image.png.5c2a430af0594e048fab1fa0b9e31ed8.png

This story of BF trying to be helpful is of interest though...

https://www.speakev.com/threads/brittany-ferries.15070/

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That looks like deck 5 of Bretagne after a lick of paint. I know because i've spent about 18 months of my life sitting up there waiting to get off!!! 😮

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5 hours ago, neilcvx said:

We turn up early as it’s such a long drive you have to leave plenty wiggle room for delays etc (especially on the M5) far too long a drive for an electric car , I suspect a lot of the folk who turn up early are travelling from far afield.

It's not too long for the Ioniq, you get an 80% recharge after half an hour using a dedicated charger, that's around 120 real world miles and cost around 6p per mile, they're sprouting up everywhere along the motorway corridors. Plymouth would again be a two stopper from Harrogate. After 16 months there's no hint of a charge drop off either as the batteries don't have memory issues like standard auto and leisure batteries have nor do they discharge if not used.

Having chargers at Millbay would see the car fully recharged even if you plugged in 40 minutes before you embark.

They'd be part of one of the national networks so all owners will benefit from using them too.

I'm a big fan and all for it.

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