United Kingdom will be one of the first countries which will have BMW i3 seen on its road. BMW i3 is an electric car which most people reviewed as fun to drive around. However, as much as it is fun to drive, there is some difficulties in trying to find a working car charging station to top up the electric car which is the same principle as finding a gas station to top up your car with gasoline for the non electric car.
There are a few websites for you to search for a nearby charging stations, such as ‘Charge Your Car’, ‘Zap-Map’ or ‘OpenChargeMap’, however, it seems like the information displayed on the page is not accurate and it is not always clear which company provides the charger as it only mentioned that membership required. The chargers are provided by different companies such as BP or Shell but each company will require its own RFID car to activate the chargers. It a little bit like the Oyster card. The idea is that you can refuel your car in any charging station but you will need to have their own respective RFID card to make payment.
On top of that the speed of the chargers varies and each charger has their own unique ID number written on them so that when you called up the hotline, you will need to provide this ID for the operator to switch it on so that you can refuel your car in case if you left the RFID card at home. However, it seems like some of the charging stations do not have the ID stick on them so the operator will not know which charger to switch on and as the result he or she needs to try all of them. In some charging station, the driver left the car for charging for two hours and the car was charged 83 miles of range for the driver to drive around.
Although electric car is definitely interesting to drive around, however, it seems that the car charging infrastructure is not yet developed well enough to support it. Therefore, in the case if you want to drive an electric car, you will have to plan your trips carefully.