The weekly supermarket shop
Arriving at the charging point
Huw often uses the rapid EV chargers at his local supermarket on the edge of Newport in South Wales when he does the weekly shop with his teenage daughter. He knows that these chargers are easy to use and almost always working, and they are right by the main entrance to the shop.
Today he drives along the row of chargers and can see that one is available, without needing to get out of the vehicle to check. As Huw drives past, he notices that one of the chargers is not working, but he knows from experience that it is likely to be fixed the next time he comes past.
He also knows that, although his van is big, the side doors and the charging socket are all on one side of the van, so he can park in any charging space as they all have enough space down at least one side.
I love that I can always park my van when I come here
Preparing to charge
Huw glances at the screen on the charging unit to check the cost of charging this week, as he knows that his budget is tight until the end of the month and he is about to do the weekly shop.
The cost per unit is easy to read on the screen from inside the vehicle, despite the bright sun.
Huw is a member of a charging scheme and prepares to charge using an app on his smartphone before he gets out of the van.
He gets out of the vehicle using the side lift and waits by the van while the lift returns into the vehicle and the door closes.
When they return from the shop, Huw’s daughter is on the phone to a friend so Huw stops the charge and checks on the charging unit screen how much he has spent, which he can see easily despite having forgotten his reading glasses.
He unplugs the cable from his van with one hand, and hooks the connector onto the arm of his powered chair. The cable weight is supported overhead, so it does not fall when he unplugs it and does not feel heavy when he pulls it back towards the charging unit.
He returns the connector to its holder on the charging unit, which he can comfortably reach from his powered wheelchair.
He is reminded of a difficult experience at another car park recently where a bollard and a kerb prevented him from getting his powered chair close enough to reach the connector easily. On that occasion he had to wait for a passing pedestrian to pick up the cable for him when he dropped the connector, as that charging unit’s cable was not supported and trailed on the ground.
Huw gets back into the van using the side lift and closes the door. His daughter loads the shopping bags into the back of the van, returns the trolley, and gets in. They head home to put the food in the freezer.
More case studies
Each story is made up of insights from several individuals, to share as much of our research as possible and to illustrate the impact of good and bad design on real people.
Take a look at our suggestions for making public EV charging more accessible