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  4. Charging electric cars and bikes in gites

Charging electric cars and bikes in gites

Would the Owner of your gite fill the tank of your petrol or diesel car?
Should electricity for vehicle charging be included in the tariff of the property?

Charging Electric Vehicles – Some background information….

There are THREE possible routes to charge electric cars

TYPE 1 – Most electric cars are supplied with charging cables that plug into an ordinary 230v socket

TYPE 2 – Domestic use dedicated chargers which are installed on their own dedicated circuit

TYPE 3 – Public use charging points

Approximate Power Consumptions
1) Charging cables (Type 1) will run at approx. 2Kw ( the equivalent of a large convector heater)
2) A dedicated domestic charging unit (Type 2) will run at approx. 7kw  (Equivalent to a decent pool heater)
3) Public charging points (Type 3) will run at between 100 and 350kw.

A car charging with a charging cable (Type 1 above) will only increase its range by approximately 8km (5 miles) for every hour that the car is on charge, so a 10 hour overnight charge will only increase its range by 80km (50 miles).  (A typical electric vehicle will have a range of 500-600km / 300-350 miles)
A top rated 350kw Public charging point (Type 3) may fully charge a car in 90 mins.

More detailed information can be found on the RAC UK site and other motoring organisations

What does this mean for Owners and Guests?

For busy Guests doing a lot of visits and touring the electric bill at the end of the stay could be quite substantial.
The ethos of a self catering rental is that the accommodation is the core of the letting arrangement, and as is frequently found with pool heating and maybe after stay cleaning, electricity for car charging falls outside the ethos and Guests should consider it reasonable to be charged for this.

There are some other considerations:

1) Suitability of supply Nearly all electricity supplies will be rated only as domestic supplies, and it is quite common for gites to have consumption limiters on the electric supply.

2) Insurance There have been cases where insurers have refused to pay claims to Owners arising from damage from overheating chargers as the supply was not rated for electric chargers and the chargers and cables to the sockets were not the Owner’s property.
From the Guest’s point of view anyone charging a bike, car or other electric vehicle at a rented property must be prepared to accept liability for any damage caused that may arise from charging electric vehicles of any type: This may include construction, redecoration and loss of earnings should future bookings have to be cancelled.

3) Location of sockets Many properties will not have sockets close enough to parking areas to access the car’s charging cables. Extension cables will cause voltage drop, hence slowing the charging process further.

4) Attention – If vehicle charging is permitted, the property must be attended and the charging must take place during waking hours.

I own or manage a gite – What do you suggest I do?

Electric vehicles are here to stay, and will become more common. It is likely that you will be driving one before too long.
As numbers of electric vehicles are still relatively low, In the short term you should either find some way of measuring the electric used or forbid the charging of vehicles at the property, and give Guests guidance to the nearest public charging points.
(It is relatively simple to read the electric meter before Guests arrive, and again after they leave: Make an allowance for normal domestic use and charge the remainder to the Customer)
For the longer term – probably within the next 3-5 years – HL Holidays suggest that you plan to install a Type 2 Domestic charger which can be either metred or credit card operated so that the specific charge for the electricity used passes to the Car Owner.
At October 2023 this type of charger is available to purchase at around £700GBP / €800EUR plus installation: It should be considered an upgrade to the property facilities.

I drive an electric car – What do you suggest I do?

Firstly, all Owners and Agencies hope you will refrain from bending or breaking the Terms and Conditions regarding electric cars, especially where you are renting an isolated property without anyone else on site.

If you drive an electric vehicle you should be prepared to pay for electricity used for your car if charging at the property is available / permitted.
If charging at the property is not permitted, you should find information readily available either at the property or on the internet about local availability of public charging points where you can spend a couple of hours to get your car charged
The RAC (Royal Automobile Club) of the UK list a few websites to help you on their Charging Cars in Europe page

The Team at HL were delighted during Season 2023 when a Guest who charged an electric car at the property he was renting worked out how much electric he had used for the car, and contacted the Office to request that the amount was deducted from the Security Deposit and paid to the Owner.
HL are advising Owners to consider installing Type 2 chargers at properties in the near future, so over the next 3-5 years the issue should become easier, but until then please accept the mild inconvenience if charging is not permitted. At present the percentage of electric vehicles is small, and the cost of installation cannot yet be justified for many Owners.
Unfortunately electric charging is somewhat slower than stopping at a fuel station.

Summary – Contact us

At this time (Autumn 2023) electric cars are becoming increasingly common and becoming capable and reliable enough to handle long journeys, thus will become increasingly common for holidaymakers. It will not be long before rental companies are also making electric vehicles available in large numbers.
As with the internet 10-15 years ago, popularity and necessity of electric vehicle charging will increase rapidly, and Guests will be selecting properties on availability of vehicle charging, so Owners who do not address this in the near future may be at a disadvantage in the long term.

For further discussion please contact HL Holidays via their Contact page or if they can help with marketing your gite or holiday home, please see the Owners Page

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