Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

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grindz145   100 MW

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Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 05 2018 12:54pm

Next week my wife and I are heading to Glasgow to start a month-long ebike journey throughout the UK. Though I have had great success opportunity charging throughout the US (see my 2014 trip), I suspect that this will be considerably more difficult in the UK and Europe. We'll be riding two of my Maxwell bikes, which have batteries integrated into the frame, which are not quickly removed. We plan to charge at least once during the daytime, However, I figure it will be much more difficult to find public, exposed outlets in the UK/etc.

So my main question: Can anyone recommend a reliable location for external plugs in the UK? For instance, in the US, most gas stations will have an ice machine which will have an exposed electrical outlet. This is a pretty easy place to charge.

Any Europeans have any experience with this?

Thanks!
-Troy

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by eee291 » Jul 05 2018 3:54pm

Did you check on google?

https://www.goingelectric.de/stromtanks ... ritannien/

It takes a while to update once you have moved the Map

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 05 2018 3:58pm

This is not an easily-googlable problem. Since we need ordinary outlets and not car charging stations it's a bit more difficult.

I should mention that using Zap-Map and open-Charge-Map I have been able to find a few. But they're pretty few and far between.

I'm really looking for general advice for those that have done it.

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 05 2018 4:14pm

Just added the "nextcharge" and "Chargemap" apps to my phone. It seems that particularly with the chargemap app, once the appropriate filters are selected, it does a pretty good job showing available outlets.

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flippy   10 kW

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by flippy » Jul 07 2018 5:21pm

you can ask at resturants or wherever you are for the use of a outlet. most places are quite accommodating. dunno how the french are or the french side of belgium but in holland you can basically ask everyone, even regular houses if you want. all outlets are 240V 16A so no worries there.
Also: check DIY stores. Open a lot and have outlets on the oitside of the building.

if you are in holland (near amsterdam) i would love to take a look at your battery setup and see what can be improved. i can also do a checkup of the battery packs if you want. i am pretty certain you can add a range-extender option to them....
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grindz145   100 MW

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 08 2018 10:10pm

Yeha there isn't a whole lot of outdoor exposed outlet ls like in the US, but that will only make it more fun.

I had a 5kwh bike battery in 2009, so I'm aware of how to make a large battery... It's just not always necessary.

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by markz » Jul 09 2018 9:57pm

When I plan out my route, I just go to Google Maps and go to Street View and see what you can see.
Gas Stations with outlets is an obvious choice
Grocery Stores
Corner Stores
Hey here is a good one, for countries with snow and winter, parking lots with stall outlets.

What I think you should do is convert your pack to one that is easily removable, so you can hit that library/pub/restaurant/pool/gym with no outside outlets and charge up inside while you take a breather.

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by danielrlee » Jul 10 2018 6:23am

Hi Troy

I followed your 4400 mile US cross-country trip in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed the regular vlog. I felt inspired to do something similar within the UK, but that plan was scuppered when the young'uns came along shortly after.

When I looked into the viability of outdoors guerilla charging within the UK, it quickly became apparent that available sockets are a lot less prevalent than in the US. I suspect it have something to do with the strict EU regulations we have to conform to – It always amazed me that there are so many unprotected (non-waterproofed) outdoors sockets in the US.

The prior suggestion of using Google street view to scout a location is a good one, although this would obviously limit the spontaneity of opportunity charging. You'd generally be looking out for grey waterproofed wall-mounted enclosures:

Image

Although not ideal, maybe using EV charge points is the answer for a reliable power source. The following adapter would let you use a regular mains charger with common type 2 EV charging points.

http://evbitz.uk/EVBitz.uk/T2___UK_13A.html

Campsites with mains hookups should provide a charging opportunity if you're looking for somewhere to pitch a tent. The following adapter would be required to do so:

http://evbitz.uk/EVBitz.uk/CEE___UK_13A.html

Our petrol stations tend not to have regular mains sockets outside.

There's a large chain of supermarkets called 'Tesco' and their larger 'Tesco Extra' stores often have kids ride-on toys outside. A cheeky charge can sometimes be nabbed from the sockets powering them.

A 10m mains extension lead would probably be a wise investment so that you could use indoors sockets to charge outdoors.

If you plan to ride through Westbury, you'd be welcome to charge at my house or even sleep on the couch if you needed somewhere for the night.

Dan

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 12 2018 1:22pm

markz wrote:
Jul 09 2018 9:57pm
When I plan out my route, I just go to Google Maps and go to Street View and see what you can see.
Gas Stations with outlets is an obvious choice
Grocery Stores
Corner Stores
Hey here is a good one, for countries with snow and winter, parking lots with stall outlets.
tWhat I think you should do is convert your pack to one that is easily removable, so you can hit that library/pub/restaurant/pool/gym with no outside outlets and charge up inside while you take a breather.
Yeah that works just fine pin north america, so much so that I don't even have to plan, I highly doubt that to be the case other places. We'll just ask to bring the bikes in places nicely and negotiate, I'll keep you posted

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Jul 12 2018 1:27pm

danielrlee wrote:
Jul 10 2018 6:23am
Hi Troy

I followed your 4400 mile US cross-country trip in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed the regular vlog. I felt inspired to do something similar within the UK, but that plan was scuppered when the young'uns came along shortly after.

When I looked into the viability of outdoors guerilla charging within the UK, it quickly became apparent that available sockets are a lot less prevalent than in the US. I suspect it have something to do with the strict EU regulations we have to conform to – It always amazed me that there are so many unprotected (non-waterproofed) outdoors sockets in the US.

The prior suggestion of using Google street view to scout a location is a good one, although this would obviously limit the spontaneity of opportunity charging. You'd generally be looking out for grey waterproofed wall-mounted enclosures:

Image

Although not ideal, maybe using EV charge points is the answer for a reliable power source. The following adapter would let you use a regular mains charger with common type 2 EV charging points.

http://evbitz.uk/EVBitz.uk/T2___UK_13A.html

Campsites with mains hookups should provide a charging opportunity if you're looking for somewhere to pitch a tent. The following adapter would be required to do so:

http://evbitz.uk/EVBitz.uk/CEE___UK_13A.html

Our petrol stations tend not to have regular mains sockets outside.

There's a large chain of supermarkets called 'Tesco' and their larger 'Tesco Extra' stores often have kids ride-on toys outside. A cheeky charge can sometimes be nabbed from the sockets powering them.

A 10m mains extension lead would probably be a wise investment so that you could use indoors sockets to charge outdoors.

If you plan to ride through Westbury, you'd be welcome to charge at my house or even sleep on the couch if you needed somewhere for the night.

Dan

This is tramendous feedback thanks! I'll keep tesco in mind and we'll just see what we come across. What's brilliant about our setups now is that they're perfectly ridable without power (albeit difficult in hilly terrian) So if we go the better part of our days witout assist, so be it. It should be an interesting experiment.

I was thinking about grabbing an RV (caravan) adapter for camping, but it seems that they're different for different regions anyhow.

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by brumbrum » Jul 18 2018 5:36am

Small cafe's and pubs are going to be the most friendliest and convienient options on a daily basis. Both will have sockets in the walls within seating areas and will be family run and not corporate in most cases so they will be less concerned about health n safety.

Here is an adapter for camp sites in the U.K.... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003IJAKLE/ ... th=1&psc=1
You can obviously get longer ones.

If you are coming to Wales, i live Cardiff the capital. If i am around at the time, you would be welcome to charge.
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monster   100 kW

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by monster » Jul 27 2018 6:04am

you can also use the blue comando sockets o zap-map with this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EU-UK-Comman ... SwG1Jakc4W

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by monster » Jul 27 2018 7:12am

You can also buy j1772 adaptor sometimes on ebay for plugging older EVs into type 2 sockets. It will give you a 3 pin plug

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by monster » Jul 29 2018 4:53am

So you can use the all the ev charging network if you have the right cards and aps. Tho your probably not supposed to use adaptors on outdoor chargers incase it rains.
some ev drivers might get irate and complain tho.

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by LockH » Jul 29 2018 5:25am

(Greeting from the funny side of the Lake...)

Choosing Power Adapters and Electrical Converters for UK Travel:
https://www.tripsavvy.com/power-adaptor ... el-1662393

Last map of UK showing cities w/stores selling electric bikes was littered with cities and towns showing "ebike stores". Suspect any/all shops will have outlets and staff as "security" aka "watch dogs". :wink:

Trip sounds awesome. This Canadian kid got to live in England for three years. EG, coming from North America where a hundred year old building is "old". Miss holidays on the Fens and the Broads (think, renting a hotel room that floats and travels through Holland - lands drained by Dutch engineers and featuring a windmill or two. Cruising boat, max. speed four mph...)

Have fun... maybe not TOO much fun. :lol:
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Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

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grindz145   100 MW

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Re: Opportunity Charging in the UK/Belgium/Holland

Post by grindz145 » Aug 14 2018 4:37am

Trip complete and successful. We ended up with about 750 miles total. Pretty mild compared to my 4400 miles in the same amount of time 4 years ago, but wtf, I am old...

Anyway it was a fantastic time and charging wasn't really an issue considering the mileage that was traversed each day, and most days were primarily pedal power with the occasional skyrocket of a hill in Scotland.

Pictures and video to follow.

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