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I've noticed the majority of electric / PHEVs have charging points at the front or left side of the vehicle. Given the layout of my driveway, this is really inconvenient for me. I'd ideally like the socket at the back right corner of the car.

Other then aesthetics, are there any technical reasons why manufacturers don't provide multiple sockets on the car so you can hook up at the most convenient location?

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Adding another charging socket would add more weight (slightly), complexity, and cost to each car produced of that model. And given the generally cheap and plentiful availability of power extension cords I doubt it's actually a problem for many people so why go to the effort/expense of doing so?

2

Have you tried putting the vehicle on the driveway the other way, i.e. reversed it on or driven it on forward. This will switch effectively switch the side of the vehicle presented to the property.

I can think of two cars with multiple filler caps; the original 1960's Mini Cooper S and some of the old Jaguar XJ's. I can't think of a single car today which has more than one fuel filler point so it could be argued that this problem isn't restricted to EV's. It's easier to solve on an EV with a long charging cable. The amount of times I've seen someone pull up to a fuel pump and realise the filler cap is on the wrong side always makes me chuckle.

Of course there could be a practical reason that they don't have more than one socket. I remember seeing old photos of Minis being filled from two fuel pumps. Try this in an EV and you may potentially introduce a potential difference across the ground poles plus you may plug electicity of a differing phase into another port. If they had two ports you can guarantee that some fool would try plugging them into two electricity supplies thinking it would charge twice and fast and end up shorting something out, starting an electrical fire or even hurting themselves.

  • Unfortunately I live on a one-way street and have a sideways drive, so I can only sensibly park one way round without having to do a 3-point turn every time I park and leave. – xorsyst Oct 19 '18 at 13:17
  • I can't think of any modern gas stations where you can't pull up at either side of the pumps, so the analogy isn't very good. In any case, the pump hoses are long enough to reach to either side of the car. In Europe at least, about half the cars have filler caps on the left and half on the right, so the queues on either side of the pumps are usually about the same. – alephzero Oct 19 '18 at 14:05
  • Surely you either have to reverse into the driveway or reverse into the street? – Steve Matthews Oct 19 '18 at 14:26
  • No, my drive is such that I have to parallel park onto it. It's not deep enough to go in straight. It would be very difficult to parallel park facing opposite the direction of traffic. – xorsyst Oct 19 '18 at 15:10
  • I’d suggest a long charging cable and pass it underneath the vehicle in that case. – Steve Matthews Oct 19 '18 at 15:12
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You should note that electric cars may come with an extension cord that is so long that it reaches the charging station no matter which way you park your car.

For those cars that don't come with a long extension cord (which you can purchase later with your own money), your question is similar to asking why won't car manufacturers sell their cars with a full fuel tank (you can fill it up later with your own money). Costs, you know...

In fact, I would say that conventional cars chose the same approach: why can't you fill them with fuel from either side? It's those extra costs. If the manufacturer can cut costs by allowing filling up only from one side, the manufacturer will do that.

  • But the difference is that with conventional fuels, I'm going to a filling station where I can park either side of a pump. With electric, I'm charging at home where there are limited options for mounting a charging point. Also, having an extension lead all around the drive and plugging in on the road side of the car is definitely sub-optimal. – xorsyst Oct 19 '18 at 15:08
  • With electric, you are not limited to charging at home, many motorway service stations (at least in some civilized countries) now have electric charging points - usually with the Tesla logo all over them... And extension cables are SO heavy... – Solar Mike Oct 19 '18 at 16:07
  • one could argue that you need to have the charging station installed and therefore install it where it's needed. – John Lord Oct 19 '18 at 16:08
  • @JohnLord where it's needed would be in the way of getting on the drive! The physical arrangement means it can only reasonably be installed at the rear right of the vehicle. – xorsyst Oct 21 '18 at 8:10
  • ok i think i commented that before i found out you park sideways. Can you get an extension cable? I've heard that some of the cars come with them – John Lord Oct 22 '18 at 17:05

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