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Ping4Power
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I’ve been driving a 2017 Nissan Leaf here in Glasgow now for some 2 and a half years, and quite honestly, I have found both the car and the whole electric experience fantastic.

I’ve done several trips down the UK, stopping quite a lot it has to be said since those hills in the Lake District don’t half drain the battery – but still, I would really struggle to go back to diesel/petrol.

The one thing that is a pain however, is charging. Or more specifically, number of good, working and available charge points. We know of big plans to improve this, but man is it slow coming.

So, having found myself stuck, waiting for someone to unplug so I can charge, only to realise after half an hour waiting, they probably are not coming back anytime soon, I had an idea.

If I had a way to tell them I was waiting, hopefully they could tell me they won’t be long, or that they will be an hour type thing. I can then decide to move on.

I could find no app or similar method to do this, so you know what – I got with a friend of mine (who drives a Zoe) and we’ve created a simple little app that does just that.

Idea is, as you roll up to a charging point to find someone is already plugged in, you can simply use their registration number to ‘ping’ them that you are waiting. They get a notification and simple, one button options to say things like ‘be back in 10mins’, ‘be back in 30mins’ or ‘ignore’ (if they feeling nasty )

This sends a notification back to the originator, so help decide whether to wait, or move on.

It does nothing else, just that. But I think it’s a very useful way to be courteous to each other and I would personally feel bad if someone was desperate and I was just sitting getting that slow 95%-99% extra charge, when I could let them plug in.

Our plan is to share this with anyone that wants it and publish it to app store. We are just going through the process of having the simple app tested and checked.

We may have to charge a little fee, so we can get back some of the money we spent setting up and building the app, but we may also open it up free for some initially.

I guess we really don’t know if this is something others are that interested in, but I know we are!

Appreciate any feedback, thoughts on whether you would like this app? We expect to be ready in a matter of days now, and you can checkout our basic web page here Ping4Power – Ping4Power

Paul
 

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I think there is also an option in plugshare to do this assuming the person has checked in at the charger?

Although using the reg as a way to contact the person rather than going they are on plug may be a good idea.

I'd be up for trying this, but it needs adoption to be useful & sadly I suspect the phev drivers who sit on rapid chargers for hours at a time will probably never go near this :(


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I have adapted one of those parking cards with adjustable clock fingers to show when I will be back at the car - with a narrative to explain that. It's an easy way to inform others so that they can make decisions.
 

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I have adapted one of those parking cards with adjustable clock fingers to show when I will be back at the car - with a narrative to explain that. It's an easy way to inform others so that they can make decisions.
Yeah I keep thinking about getting something like that.

Or leaving a note to message me via plugshare.

Or just get one of those 75p burner phones from EE add leave the number...

One day I'll be organized lol

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Passed one of my local 7kw posts today, both bays occupied, last check in on both plugshare and zap-map were weeks ago.
(I checked as one of the cars was a model S with a cool paint job)

Got to a rapid I was heading to add was waiting behind a taxi. Last check in was 4 days ago saying the CCS & chademo were broken, but both writing today.

As I said above this is a good idea but without user take up those that do use it will get frustrated as stop. There needs to be something to drive user adoption.



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I have adapted one of those parking cards with adjustable clock fingers to show when I will be back at the car - with a narrative to explain that. It's an easy way to inform others so that they can make decisions.
I like the idea but the downside is that it tells any passing ne'er-do-well how long they've got to do whatever comes to their mind.
I might be inclined to just put a note/card with my mobile number, though that has some downside too I suppose.
 

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EVEZY code d55d6 *** Try my car cost calculator
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I have adapted one of those parking cards with adjustable clock fingers to show when I will be back at the car - with a narrative to explain that. It's an easy way to inform others so that they can make decisions.
I like the idea but the downside is that it tells any passing ne'er-do-well how long they've got to do whatever comes to their mind.
I might be inclined to just put a note/card with my mobile number, though that has some downside too I suppose.
I had a similar idea just yesterday, but it involved using an old, almost worthless Android phone and installing on it an app called ‘Time Until’ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brunoschalch.timeuntil&hl=en_GB

With this you can create a custom message with a timer running beneath it.

The idea being that you leave it on display in a window when you are charging (whether you are in the car or not) and then people can easily see (including in the dark), and without needing to disturb you, when you are planning to vacate the charger.

I haven’t tried it yet, and not yet sure if I will, because it would draw attention to the car and, at the end of the day, to a would-be thief, it could look like a phone worth having, even if only to fund a quick fix.

There are possibly also insurance issues with leaving a ‘valuable’ deliberately on display.

Maybe what we need is for cars to have this built-in - so when you plug in, you select what % you are aiming for and it will start an appropriate, visible timer.

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