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Frequently Asked Questions about the trial and electric vehicles

What does Ultra Low Emission Vehicle mean and why does it matter?

When does the trial start?

How many chargers are in the trial?

What types of chargers are in the trial?

How many installations have been completed so far?

What speed are the chargers?

How did you choose which streets to put electric car charging bays on?

What about residents’ parking spaces?

How will you make sure that the local electrical grid can cope with extra cars charging?

Can someone unplug my car while it is charging?

How will you stop charging bays being misused?

I’m not in the trial, can I use the chargers for my EV?

Is my car compatible with the public charging points in Oxford?

What kind of cable do I need?

How can I start charging?

How far can I travel in an electric car?

How long will it take to charge an electric car using the chargers in Oxford?

What about rapid chargers?

What if I can’t find somewhere to charge my electric car?

How can I get a home charger installed?

I don’t have a driveway; how can I charge an electric car in Oxford?

Can I drive an electric vehicle in the rain?

Can I use the electric car chargers to charge any other equipment?

Q. What does Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) mean and why does it matter?

A. ULEV stands for Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. Only ULEVs are eligible for the governments’ plug-in grant of up to £8000. Currently ULEV vehicles are defined as emitting less than 75g/km C02 and being capable of at least 10 miles of zero emission driving. To check whether a vehicle is eligible for the grant please check the Office for Low Emission Vehicles' Plug in Car and Van Grant page.

Q. When does the trial start?

A. Many of our chargers have been installed, and we started to interview our volunteers in June 2017. As the last installations are completed in September and October 2017 we will collect information about how often and when the chargers are used, as well as feedback from volunteers using the chargers for 12 months.

Q. How many chargers are in the trial?

A. We are installing a total of 39 chargers – made up of 6 different types. We will be comparing how well they work and looking at our trial volunteers experiences of using them.

Q. How many installations have been completed so far?

A. You can view updates reagarding the installaitons by visiting our installation status page

Q. What types of chargers are in the trial?

A. Information about each of the technologies can be found on our charging information page.

Q. What speed are the chargers?

A. All our chargers are standard or fast charging. You can find out more about charging speed for each on our charging information page.

Q. How did you choose which streets to put electric car charging bays on?

A. We have chosen streets as close as possible to where our trial volunteers live, where there is an electricity supply we can use.

Q. What about residents’ parking spaces?

A. Wherever possible we have tried to install chargers in existing short-term parking bays so resident bays won’t be affected.

In some cases we have to use part of a residents’ bay, or create a completely new bay. We believe the potential impact on parking is minimised, as the spaces will be used overnight by local residents taking part in the trial.

Q. How will you make sure that the local electrical grid can cope with extra cars charging?

A. This is one of our key questions during the trial. We have consulted with our local energy network operator SSE to ensure that all our chargers have enough power, and we are upgrading the network locally where it is required.

Some of our chargers use ‘load balancing’ technology to help manage the way energy is used for charging, to avoid putting too much pressure on the local grid. You can find out more about grid blanacing by visiting this page.

Q. Can someone unplug my car while it is charging?

A. No. Charging cables lock in place when you start to charge and are only unlocked once you finish using the charge point.

Q. How will you stop charging bays being misused?

A. Drivers can only use the bays for charging an electric car and during the day there is a time limit of 3 hours. In resident parking zones you will be need a permit to use the bay overnight.

Any cars which are not plugged in, over-stay or don’t have a permit when needed will be liable to receive a parking ticket.

Q. I’m not in the trial, can I use the chargers for my EV?

A. Lots of our chargers are available for anyone to use – to see which ones you can plug into visit our map page.

Public chargers are available for anyone to use between 8am and 6pm for up to 3 hours. 

Q. Is my car compatible with the public charging points in Oxford?

A. All our public chargers are fast chargers which most cars will be able to use.  To double check your car compatibility, you can ask your car dealer, or check online with Zap Map.

Q. What kind of cable do I need?

A. All our public chargers have a standard Type 2 socket. This is the same socket as found on most public standard and fast chargers. You may already have a Type 2 cable to fit your car, or they can be purchased easily from your manufacturer or online retailers depending on what make of car you have.

You can find out more about what type of cable you need to connect your model of car to a type 2 socket from  your car dealer, or online from Zap Map. 

Q. How can I start charging?

A. To use public charge points you will either need a charge card from New Motion or you can call the New Motion Hotline to get set up for instant access. To get your free RFID card you can register at www.newmotion.com

The standard cost for energy in Oxford is 25p per kWh, and the connection fee is 35p per session (incl. VAT). After 20 transactions per month no transaction costs will be charged.

Local residents can get a special discounted rate for energy of 18p per kWh. We will be releasing more details about how to apply for the resident’s discount soon.

 Q. How far can I travel in an electric car?

A. Driving range for electric cars varies between models, and also depends on whether you choose a fully electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid. Most cars have an advertised range of around 100 miles, and some are over 300 miles. Go Ultra Low provide lots of information about advertised, and ‘real life’ driving ranges for various different cars which can be viewed here. 

Q – How long will it take to charge an electric car using the chargers in Oxford?

A – All the public chargers in the trial are ‘fast chargers’ meaning they can charge an average electric car from empty to full in around 3-4 hours. 

Q. What about rapid chargers?

Rapid chargers are not included in the Go Ultra Low Oxford trial. There are rapid chargers near Oxford where you can charge a car to 80% in around 20 minutes depending on the model. Go Ultra Low provide more information about charging speeds and where to find your nearest charger.

Not all vehicles can use a rapid charger – so check your car’s compatibility before planning your journey.

Q. What if I can’t find somewhere to charge my electric car?

A. There are electric car chargers all across the UK.  If you are looking to charge up in Oxford you can find the active public chargers on the Go Ultra Low website.

You can even use a journey planner to help you plan a long journey via charge points on the way, there are a number of these avaiable online so it worth having a look to see which one you like best.

Q. How can I get a home charger installed?

A. If you have a driveway or other off-road parking you can get a home charger from many different companies. You can also get help from the government towards the cost.

Q. I don’t have a driveway; how can I charge an electric car in Oxford?

A.  Our trial is helping us to find out the answers to this question! When we have finished our trial we will be installing many more chargers on streets around Oxford . 

If you are thinking about getting an electric car in the future and would like to suggest your street for a charger in the future, you can send let us know you can email the GULO Project team.

Residents in flats with a car park can ask the owner of their building to provide EV charging

If you are already an EV driver, you will be able to use any of our on-street public charging points for up to 3 hours between 8am and 6pm. To find out about other public charging points in the city you can visit this Go Ultra Low link.

Q. Can I drive an electric vehicle in the rain?

A. While you can’t use your electric vehicle as a submarine, it can be safely driven in the rain.

Q. Can I use the electric car chargers to charge any other equipment?

A. It is not advisable to attempt to use the electric car chargers for any other purpose than charging an electric car or van. The chargers operate at very high power, which cannot safely be used for any other equipment (e.g. mobility scooters, electric bicycles etc.)