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It's been reported via Twitter that one of the sockets at the Chester St "charge point" is damaged. It looks like one of the sockets has melted or snapped so is unsafe to use. Please take care if around this unit.

Apple Maps have a fairly complete list of publicly available charge points around the world and now give the locations of public charge points on the Isle of Man. The content is provided by Moovility, a smart phone enabled, mobile web app.

EVIOM has worked with Moovility to provide the public charge point data and arrange for those charge points to appear on Apple Maps which is available on iOS and MacOS devices.

Simply search for EV Chargers in the app to display a list of nearby EV charge points, tap one of the map pins to see more information and set a route. Hopefully this will help both local and visiting drivers find an appropriate charge point. Isle of Man charge points details are also available via other EV map apps such as Plugshare, Zap-Map and of course here on the EVIOM map page.

It has been a while since we last did an update on the status of the public and business charge points around The Island so here we go.

North

Northern Swimming Pool - Out of action due to damage. It's unclear how long it will take Manx Utilities to repair the post.

Market Square, Ramsey - Out of action due to damage. It's unclear how long it will take Manx Utilities to repair the post.

There are no other public charge points available in the North of The Island.

South

Port Erin Commissioners - In working order. 2 hour time limit and use of parking disc is still required. These charge points are now only available in office hours on week days.

Castletown, Long Stay Car Park - In good working order. Both charging bays have now been marked as EV only.

East

Chester Street Multistory, Douglas - Still the slow and aging commando sockets. The wallbox is looking very worn now. Pay and display rules apply and there is a 3 hour limit on Level 2 where the charge bays are located. Both bays have been painted green to help highlight these are for EVs only. These charge points are very busy.

Manx Utilities Head Quarters - In good working order. Primarily for Manx Utilities own vehicles but available for visitors and if needed. Ask at Reception.

Ballavartyn Equestrian Centre - 2 charge posts with commando sockets available to customers visiting the centre, cafe or holiday lets. You'll need an adapter to use these with your Granny Cable.

West

Tynwald Inn, St Johns - Available to patron of the pub. Its a Rolec charge post with commando sockets similar to Chester Street so you'll need an adapter.

There is still no public charge point in Peel. It's possible one will be installed as part of the regeneration work but it has not been confirmed when this will be.


Information is available about the status and location of each charge point on The Island at eviom/map.

If anyone has any updates on public charging around the island or if you own charge point you would like to make available to the public or to your customers let us know. If you would like to know how you can go about getting a charge point installed we can offer advice and put you in touch with the right people. Use the contact form or mail@eviom.im.

Port Erin Commissioners, Bridson St.EVIOM has had confirmation that restrictions have been put in place at public charge points by Port Erin Commissioners. It is with annoyance that we have to report that these two charge points are now only available in office hours. That's between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Thursday and 09:00 and 16:30 Friday. This means that the charge points are not available in the evenings or at weekends.

Initially when this was reported to us by an EVIOM follower we treated it with as much anger and the driver who was unable to charge while spending time in the town. However, after confirming the situation with Port Erin Commissioners we have learned that the restrictions are in response to abuse of the free facility. EV/PHEV drivers have been using the chargers overnight and collecting their cars the next morning before 9 am.

When the Commissioners installed these charge points, for their own EV van, visitors and residents, they asked that a two-hour limit be observed and parking discs be displayed. It looks like a minority have not been observing the two-hour limit put in place to deter people overstaying, hogging or abusing the free service.

When asked about enforcing the two-hour limit we were told that due to the cost of employing workers, especially out of normal hours, to monitor the charge points would be costly to the rate payer and the only option in the short term was to reduce the hours available to when the building is occupied.

As inconvenient as these restrictions are we can see that strictly enforcing charging times out of office hours could be costly. The most upsetting part is that that enforcement or restrictions are necessary at all, due a abuse by a minority. This is/was a free service that the Commissioners didn't have to provide but did. Now that the charge points are no longer available at weekends or evenings it puts them out of action when they are probably needed the most by shoppers, diners and holiday makers. We hope a cost-effective solution can be found that allows these chargers to be turned back on at useful and convenient times.

After some thought I've come to the conclusion that a pay per use system is the only way to stop chargers from being taken advantage of. A charge to charge (even a small one) would put off casual use. Those that could charge at home or elsewhere. Money earned could then be put back into maintaining and expanding the infrastructure. As we have seen at Chester Street car park in Douglas, a free service with an unlimited stay seems to encourage abuse. The end result is the service being reduced or removed for all. Authorities and businesses are still ignorant about charging EVs and how chargers will be used or how much it will cost them. Treating the chargers in this way does not help us encourage locations to install chargers and improve the state of public charging on the island for all residents and visitors. As EV converts we know how little it costs to charge an EV and this minority are only saving themselves a few pence, or a few pounds if they are committed to squeezing every last watt out of the free chargers. It hardly seems worth the effort and the real inconvenience to other EV drivers.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Are these restrictions understandable or should something else have been done? How would you like public charging to be implemented on the island? Should it be in the hand of local or national government or would you prefer it to sit solely in the private sector?

Details of available charge points on the island can be found on our map page https://eviom.im/map. Share and enjoy!

Manx Utilities has announce it will freeze electricity prices for another year.

The statutory notice announces there will be no increase in electricity prices for 2017-18 and charges will be unchanged, as follows:

  • Electricity charges for domestic users and commercial users will be frozen at 16.00 pence per unit.
  • The standing charge will remain unchanged at 19.5 pence per day for both domestic and commercial customers.
  • Electric Vehicle tariff will remain at 8.75 pence between midnight and 7am (GMT).

The Chairman of Manx Utilities, Dr Alex Allinson MHK said:

I am pleased to announce that electricity prices will be frozen for the coming financial year. Manx Utilities is committed to delivering high quality and dependable essential services for the Isle of Man. We are very aware of the impact our charges have on the people of this Island and the local economy and have made the decision to freeze electricity prices this year whilst only increasing the water rate by inflation.

We welcome the commitment in the Programme for Government for an independent review of Manx Utilities’ financial position to assess the ongoing stability of our long-term financial plan and look forward to working with Tynwald to ensure the future growth and prosperity of the Island.

In addition Manx Utilities announced that the emergency credit available for prepayment customers will increase from £3.00 to £6.00. Also a 6.4% increase in the water rate, based on Manx inflation (RPI), along with an increase in the sewerage rate at 98.00 pence in the pound. Water and sewerage rates to come into effect from 1 April 2017.

Source: Latest - Electricity, Water and Sewerage Pricing

EVIOM is pleased to report that the anomaly surrounding vehicle duty for zero emission vehicles has been raised in the House of Keys this week (Tuesday 14th February).

David Ashford (Douglas North) asked the Minister for Infrastructure, Ray Harmer, "what consideration had been given by his Department to varying vehicle duty for alternative fuel cars?" Mr Harmer advised he intends to take a revised Vehicle Duty Order to Tynwald this March. This interim order will address a number of different issues but he did confirm that he proposes to include a zero rating for electric vehicles. Over the next 12 months the Department will carry out a review of road pricing and attempt to address the balance of maintaining revenue with the Government commitment to reducing carbon emissions and incentivise "desirable behaviour". The review will involve looking at strategies employed by other jurisdictions and will include some kind of consultation.

Recognising that Electric cars, or EVs, are the predominant type of zero emission vehicle Mr Ashford pushed for confirmation that all types of alternatively fuelled vehicles will be included in the review and close attention paid to changes announced by the UK Chancellor in their 2015 budget for April this year. From April, in the UK, zero emission vehicles will have a standard rate of £0 but if the list price is over £40,000 they will pay the additional rate of £310 a year for 5 years. The Minister confirmed that he will "take a very close look at what is happening in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom."

It is not just about carbon emissions; it is also about affordability and the commercial sector.

Ray Harmer MHK - on the subject of vehicle duty based on CO2 emissions

MHK for Ramsey Dr Alex Allinson also highlighted the current anomaly of zero emission EVs paying more duty than low emission or hybrid vehicles. Dr Allinson went on to ask if there would be any other incentives to try and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the Isle of Man? Mr Harmer confirmed his Department would be looking at this but warned that in order to introduce a similar scheme to the Plug-in Car Grant in the UK it could cost the Manx tax payer in the region of £300,000.

Those other schemes such as grants could be looked at, but we have also got to take into consideration budget factors.

Ray Harmer MHK - on plug-in vehicle grants

The lack of public charging infrastructure and how this could hamper attempts to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles was also brought up during the discussion by Mr Ashford. Mr Harmer didn't reply with any specific plans in this area but did say that he would like to work with other Departments and the MUA on the provision of public charging as well as encouraging overnight charging when demand is low and off-peak tariffs are available.

I do think it is something to actually work together as a Government looking at both the economic benefit and also the potential new innovations in the future.

Ray Harmer MHK - on the question of public charging infrastructure

Audio from 3 FM article - http://www.three.fm/news/isle-of-man-news/car-tax-exemption-for-electric-vehicle-drivers/

EVIOM are pleased this is finally being looked at as we have been highlighting vehicle duty anomalies since 2013. We look forward to seeing what changes will be made in the short term and hope for much greater encouragement of EVs on the island in the long term. If you haven't seen it already I encourage you to take a look at this post on EVIOM entitled EV Disincentives – A Letter to Your MHK a post that outlines what we see as the main disincentives to owning an EV on the Isle of Man and what we'd like the Isle of Man Government to consider in order to encourage the uptake of EVs. In it we ask you to forward this letter, along with a covering letter/email, to your own MHK.

Sources:
14 Feb 2014 House of Keys Rolling Hansard RHC 
DVLA - Vehicle tax (VED) is changing…

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EVIOM has written the letter below outlining what we see as the main disincentives to owning an EV on the Isle of Man and what we'd like the Isle of Man Government to consider in order to encourage the uptake of EVs. This would go some way towards helping meet the island's climate change targets as well as improving our air quality. We'd like as many people as possible to forward this letter, along with a covering letter/email, to their own MHK.


The Isle of Man – Zero Emission Transport

Back in 1996 the island was reported to have the highest car ownership levels in the western world[1] . In the UK alone the increase in the number of diesel cars registered since the year 2000 has gone up over a staggering 3000%[2].

Yet reducing emissions from vehicles by the introduction of zero emission technology is only seen as a “long-term” aim in the government's Climate Challenge Mitigation Strategy[3].

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) technology is now highly advanced and vehicle manufacturers are gearing up to switch to electrified drive trains in the next couple of years.

The Isle of Man is an ideal place for this type of vehicle but we are concerned that, given the track record of previous administrations and despite having a 5-year plan, very little progress will be achieved over this period.

Some of the detail given below may seem extremely trivial but the debate on climate change strategy has been going on in government since the mid-90s and still we have nothing to show for it.

When you read on, remember it is not about money or government revenues but about getting ready and being prepared for a new generation of cleaner, emission free transport systems. But, more importantly, providing a healthier environment to live in. The government has not monitored the air quality for the last 7 years[4] and this should have been done as part of a duty of care and the health of its citizens[5].

We have waited 20 years for the Isle of Man Government to act, let us hope that further inaction over the last 3 years will not be repeated and some hard decisions made very soon.

Purchase Incentives

There is no Isle of Man government grant towards the purchase of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) as introduced into the UK in 2011. Twenty-two European countries currently provide financial incentives for consumers to purchase plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)[6].

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) there is to be a “range of initiatives to encourage the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles”.

Will this range of initiatives include purchase incentives?

Another incentive required is to ensure that all car sales outlets on the island give a commitment to the government that they will allow the purchase and maintenance of BEVs. There is only one outlet currently that sells and maintains BEVs.

Home Charge Points

In other countries the take up of BEVs has been encouraged with an offer of a grant towards the installation of a home charge point. This currently isn’t the case in the Isle of Man.

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) there is only a commitment ‘To investigate the provision of incentives to encourage the installation of charge points in domestic properties” 

Will it really take 4 years for this investigation? We need this type of incentive now to encourage the take-up of BEVs.

Charge Points

When all electric motorcycles were introduced at the TT motorcycle races in 2010 (then known as TTXGP) the government asked the electricity authority (the MUA, previously the MEA) to provide ‘charging points’ for ‘electric vehicles’. They provided three 16-amp ‘Caravan’ type hook ups in Chester Street car park, Douglas and car parks in Castletown and Peel. These were not BEV charge points and were simply an outdoor electricity supply. A modern BEV would have to park for possibly 3 hours at these points to gain a significant charge, that is if they can get to park at one, as they are frequently occupied by fossil fuel burning cars (ICE or Internal Combustion Engine). Added to this you had to register and be given a key to unlock the covers over the socket outlet.

The MUA currently operate 3 BEVs (Peugeot iONs) and DEFA acquired a BEV (Nissan Leaf) and it soon followed that modern charge points (CPs) were provided at DEFA and MUA headquarters and also later in Castletown and Ramsey. These CPs are slow chargers with a maximum 32 amp output, the same as a ‘home’ charger. In 2016 Port Erin Commissioners also provided their own slow CP on their premises.

The initial signage at some of these points designated them as ‘parking’ bays when in fact they were ‘Charging’ bays. This caused lots of confusion, particularly for users of the Chester Street bays. When charging an EV at any of these points the electricity was free and there were no parking fees. Some EV owners took inappropriate advantage of the situation and the reaction of the car park operators (Douglas Borough Council) was to reintroduce the parking fee. So the only incentive here was the free electricity and at the current supply rate, amounted to a few pence over a maximum allowed 3-hour charge period. Why the operators could not just impose a parking time limit, as happens in Port Erin, is not fully understood. In Ramsey, one charge point has a time limit and the other does not.

The charge points in Castletown and Ramsey have proved problematic, both in design and reliability. The two in Ramsey have been physically damaged and the Castletown one was off-line 8 months waiting for parts, which could have been bought from a DIY store!

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the current administration” (up to November 2016) it is stated that “we will commence a programme to increase the number and distribution of ‘fast’ charge points”.

How far has this programme developed and will there be any consultation with BEV owners where these CPs will be situated, so as to avoid the issues we currently have using the existing CPs?

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the following administration” (after November 2016) it is stated that we will “develop and extend the existing network of CPs targeting key strategic locations around the island.”

Again, will the previous problems with introducing new CPs in a piecemeal fashion be addressed? Can we have an assurance that a standard set of guidelines are created with regards to type of charger (slow, fast, rapid), signage, time limited charging and cost of using the service?

Vehicle Licences

Under the old system, before CO2 emission related vehicle duty was introduced, an all-electric vehicle was categorised in ‘Class L- Electric vehicles’ and currently this rate stands at £14.00 per annum.

Back in 2013/2014 BEVs (e.g. the Nissan Leaf) were categorised as Category ‘B’ a ‘Standard Motor vehicle’ and duty was charged in accordance with the information on the registration document. However, the cubic capacity of a BEV is ZERO and the system will only allow the input of a positive number (e.g. 1cc) and this is how they were charged until it was brought to the attention of the Post Office that the cylinder capacity was non-existent. Refunds were applied to all registered BEVs that had been incorrectly categorised; including the BEV operated by the Post Office themselves!

Following the introduction of the CO2 emission related vehicle duty, whereby duty payable depended on the amount of CO2 (g/km) emitted by the vehicle, the licencing department omitted to include all Category ‘L’ Standard motor vehicles in the banding for low emission vehicles. This has been the case for almost 3 years and the lowest category – Band ‘A’ still refers to vehicles with ‘up to 50’ g/km CO2 emissions. This implies 0-50g/km but the department has stated, “in order to have a license based on emissions the vehicle has to have some emissions”.  They are still issuing renewal forms for fully electric vehicles and printing “1cc” on the forms.

There is NO acknowledgement the ZERO emission vehicles exist and this has led to BEV owners paying almost 3 times the licence fee paid by a polluting vehicle.

As an example the owner of a ZERO emission car such as a Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe pays almost 3 times the licence fee as the owner of a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 GX3h Auto or a VW Golf 1.4 TSI GTE DSG and we all are aware of how accurate the emission data is for these vehicles as both manufacturers have been taken to court over this very issue!

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020), in the section entitled “what we will do during the current administration” (up to November 2016) it is stated that we will “commence work to introduce a vehicle licensing regime based on an initial point of sale levy (from 1st. April 2019) commensurate with vehicle emissions and the existing Manx scheme thereafter.” And “to commit to lowest practicable licence fee for Electric vehicles until 2020.”

Does this mean we will have to wait 3 more years to fix the ludicrous situation where zero emission vehicles pay more licence fee than polluting vehicles?

Owners of BEVs have paid the wrong vehicle tax for 3 years now and it looks like they will only be guaranteed to pay the lowest rate for 1 year. How is this an incentive for anyone to own a BEV?

The DOI’s inability to fix this disparity,  an “oversight” in their words, despite assurances that it will be corrected each year does not inspire confidence that the new “regime” will be fit for purpose. What assurances can be given that this will be a fair system and also encourage BEV up-take?

Reduced cost electricity

As more and more people registered with the electricity authority (the MUA) they offered to change the electric meters for domestic customers to one that offered a dual operation. i.e. the standard tariff from 07:00 a.m. until midnight and then an ‘off-peak’ rate midnight to 07:00 a.m.

This was the ONLY major incentive for BEV owners on the Isle of Man BUT…….

when we say ‘off-peak’ there now appear to be two rates of ‘off peak’ electricity.

The off-peak rate has now been increased for anyone wishing to charge their car whilst other domestic off-peak users continue on a lower rate.

Clearly there is no sense in this either as ‘off-peak’ is well defined and rates should be the same for all. (In fact the lower ‘off-peak’ rate actually operates within part of the peak load times - 14:00-16:00, and this makes even less sense.) I.e. on the lower rate ‘off-peak’ rate you pay less for some ‘peak’ time electricity.

In the 5-year plan (2016-2020) part of the ”range of activities to encourage adoption of BEVs and BHEVs …... could include an attractive electricity tariff structure”

It also recognises that “supplying BHEVs and EVs with electricity may be a useful application for spare grid capacity”.

As an incentive to EV ownership, will those who choose to charge their EVs and BHEVs at home, on a domestic tariff, be given a better ‘off-peak’ rate that those on other domestic ‘off-peak’ rates?

Conclusion

This document highlights the current lack of incentives for anyone on the Isle of Man to own an EV. In fact, any small concessions that have been given in the past have been eroded and no longer serve as even a small incentive to own an EV.

The concern is that the government has been slow to recognise the existence of EVs and their important place in the drive to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

A further concern is that the government’s strategy towards significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will not be achieved until hard decisions are made and more immediate action taken, effecting, amongst other things, the take-up of zero emission transport. The plan for the first 5 years, in respect to EVs, needs to achieve more in the short term to encourage residents to consider a change in the type of vehicle they purchase or drive.


A download of this document and a suggested covering letter is linked to below as well as the document covering the Isle of Man Government's Climate Challenge Mitigation Strategy.


[1] Isle of Man Today Article - So, how did we get here 10/11/16 - http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/columns/so-how-did-we-get-here-1-8225006

[2] SMMT - MVRIS New Vehicle Registrations UK - https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/mvris-new-vehicle-registrations-uk/

[3] A climate challenge mitigation strategy for the Isle of Man 2016 – 2050 section 2.8 https://www.gov.im/media/1351764/mitigation-addressing-our-climate-challenges.pdf

[4] gov.im - Air Quality - https://www.gov.im/about-the-government/departments/environment-food-and-agriculture/environment-safety-and-health-directorate/environmental-protection-unit/air-quality/

[5] Public Health Act 1990 section 88 - http://www.legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1990/1990-0010/PublicHealthAct1990_2.pdf

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_incentives_for_plug-in_electric_vehicles#Europe

 

IMG_20160130_140244Here's an update to the previous update: We can confirm that the public charge point in Castletown is now working. We have tested both Type 2 sockets that were tripping out whether you were charging at the low or high rate. We had a Leaf charging at 3.3 Kw and a Zoe charging a 7.7Kw for over an hour with no problems.

Still no sign of the new charger promised by Port Erin Commissioners in, erm, Port Erin. It's understood that this will be installed outside the commissioner's building for use with their Nissan eNV200 as well as the public. We hope this one arrives before the summer.

Ramsey Market Square hasn't been commissioned yet, we understand that the damage cause by a vehicle driving into the post will delay this one going live even more.

I checked out the new CP in Ramsey today. The bay's are marked (both of them!) but there's still no power to the charge post. Any news on when we can expect it work Ramsey Town Commissioners?#EVIOM #iomcharge

Posted by EVIOM on Thursday, 10 December 2015

Also, please also remember that the casing on the Northern Swimming Pool charger has been damaged so take extra car when plugging in and out of that one.

12107182_10208778746975347_9144391598922399454_n

If you're out on your travels and spot anything regarding the islands charging infrastructure submit a post via the Facebook page, on Twitter @EVIOM77 or send us an email to mail@eviom.im and we'll post it here.


Update to the update of the update:

The Ramsey Swimming Pool charger has been damaged further, as a result Manx Utilities will probably have to power off the post until they can get replacement parts and schedule the repairs.

12523176_898342433620324_1957568532800540642_nThe post has either been deliberately or accidentally damaged but the facility clearly hasn't been respected and unfortunately will now be out of action for everyone for the the time being.

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With British Summer Time ending this Sunday my mind turned to the dual rate meter and electric vehicle tariff. Especially now I am charging two cars I want to do it as cost affectively as possible and at a time when there's less demand from the rest of the house, and of course, the grid.
Screenshot 2015-10-19 08.45.02Manx Utilities EV tariff give you a reduced rate per unit of 8.75p per unit between midnight and 7 am GMT. It had been a while since I'd opened up the meter box to have a look and I discovered that the clock was wrong. I assumed it would be by about an hour as we are still in BST and the Manx Utilities literature does state that the meter operates on GMT. However, it turned out to be 48 minutes out. Not a massive difference but shows that the clock in these meters don't keep very good time so need checking on a regular basis.

Discussing this with EVIOM Senior prompted a check of his dual rate meter and this is where the real shock was (no pun intended). The clock on the meter was out by about 10 hours! Going back over old bills showed that the unit consumption on the overnight rate had been falling since January until the reduced rate was now being applied during the day.

We will both be contacting Manx Utilities to ask them to come round and adjust the clocks on our meters to the correct time (GMT). EVIOM suggests that all Manx Utilities customers with a dual rate meter check theirs regularly and ask for the clock to be corrected if it's found to be out.

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