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Discussion Starter #1
I will be making journeys long enough to require charging away from home regularly enough that having access to the widest range of networks is important.

To that end, what on earth is going on with CYC, who seem to actually be BP Chargemaster, who run Polar but that seems to be out of fashion in favour of the chargemaster app, which doesn’t show the CYC chargers, which in turn don’t seem to work.

Visited a council operated charger that’s listed on CYC today, couldn’t activate via the app which eventually decided the charger was out of service. This charger does seem to work reliably with rfid card, and that fits comments I’ve seen about CYC. Tried calling them, gave up despite how important my call was to the speech synthesis bot passing for a phone system.

So is the CYC card worth getting at £20?

Does anyone know whether the Polar brand is going away?

It does seem the largest charging network is all run by one company with at least three heads that don’t talk to each other.
 

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CYC was taken over by Polar (BP Chargemaster) and it was a originally scattered network of random councils, small networks and corporate charge posts.
The exception to this is Scotland where it's still a "thing" (ChargePlace Scotland).
It's slowly dying out, for instance here in Manchester it's been completely replaced by the Be.EV network as part of a big refresh.
So...IMHO, unless you're going to Scotland, don't bother.

I think the Polar branding is getting replaced by BP Chargemaster but I don't think that affects the chargers.
Others may know better as I don't use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I’d noticed the Scotland network seems to be a bit more coherent. I suppose it’s a question of how often the app fails to communicate with the charge points, vs using a card. I suspect the polar sub is more useful, if it turns out I would use it enough. Time will tell.
 

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I didn't think a Polar Plus card worked for Chargeplace Scotland although same company? I too am confused. I'm sure you'd need a spreadsheet and a grid of which card works for which, CYC, Chargeplace, Polar, BP.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you’re right. Cyc cards can access chargeplace Scotland points but no suggestion polar cards work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just registered for an octopus juice card, already got a card coming for the Ireland charge network, might as well get a cyc and chargeplace Scotland too. Anyone got the full set?
 

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Don't get both the CYC and ChargePlace Scotland cards as they are the same. I would suggest a ChargePlace Scotland card. Never had a problem with it in 11 months. There are some Polar units in the south of Scotland and they are also free with the ChargePlace Scotland card.
 

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I think you’re right. Cyc cards can access chargeplace Scotland points but no suggestion polar cards work.
Correct. With exception to the Ultracharge units on the Chargeplace Scotland network. It's not an official feature. Just more likely someone was lazy when configuring the software and as a result they accept a Polar card.

CYC/CPS/D2N2 etc. Cards are all the same just with different branding. They will allow access to all CYC and CPS (and other regional chargemaster brands) quite happily. They don't allow the use of Polar brand units though.

Polar cards allow access to Polar/BP Chargemaster units, but also CYC in England, but won't officially work on any of the CPS units north of the border.

CYC Isn't really a network to rely on, but if you want to access them a RFID Card is essential. The app isn't reliable, and lots of their units are orphaned and no longer have a network connection, meaning the app won't connect to them. It only uses the internal database of RFID cards to allow users to charge at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That makes sense. Having looked around the websites I can see it’s all BP Chargemaster. They seem to be in a great position to offer a coherent service but either it’s being catastrophically mismanaged or there’s just not enough money in it.... or both. Calling their helpline is a particularly soul destroying experience.
 

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As an example 80698, the rapid units in Kelso and Melrose in the Scottish Borders are BP Chargemaster units with the option of using a ChargePlace Scotland RFID (currently free - no app for CPS) or a Polar card (I assume) or contactless for 20p/kW. Interestingly they don't appear on the new BP Chargemaster app, which is a much improved app compared to the previous Polar Instant app.

I presume the rapid north of Lauder at Carfraemill Hotel is one of the Ultracharge units as it cannot be operated with CPS RFID but does appear in the new BP Chargemaster app at 30p/kW using a Polar card, BP Chargemaster app or contactless.

Perhaps the local council has taken over the two rapids in Melrose and Kelso as most charge points in Scotland are maintained by the local council as far as I am aware. Other units in the Borders are Siemens rapids and I have never had a problem in 11 months with any of them other that the one at Coldstream which seems to have been abandoned. I have notified CPS about it and still out of action for CCS (connects but does not start a charge!)

I have used the CPS RFID in Northumberland without a problem, but found others on the CYC network poorly maintained.
 

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I have used the CPS RFID in Northumberland without a problem, but found others on the CYC network poorly maintained.
Worth noting that the majority of them are going over to the Electric Blue network sooner rather than later, so your CPS Card won't be so useful when travelling south of the border. The majority are just sitting in free vend mode right now, not needing a RFID Card or app because COVID stopped them from transitioning when planned, but it looks like they are finally starting this work again now... Much better network than CYC, but you must pay to use them.

no app for CPS
Just to correct this, CPS Customers can use the CYC App to start charges. It's just not very reliable. Looking at Kelso, the rapid charger there is showing in the CYC App for me... Charger ID 52386 In The Knowes Car Park. Is this the one you are talking about?
 

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Did not know that Electric Blue were taking them over. Thanks for the info. I have that app already so I'm covered! I had to pay when using CYC rapid chargers in England with CPS RFID or CYC app.

Yes, there is no app for CPS, only an on-line map via their web site. I have used the CYC app and yes it appears there. True, not the most reliable app! Yes, its the one in The Knowes Car Park.

Do you know if Electric Blue is also contactless?
 

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Do you know if Electric Blue is also contactless?
The chargers they are taking over from CYC Sadly don't. It's RFID or App only. But all of their new installs (they are also gradually replacing the ones they take over, mostly with 2+ Chargers per location too!) do have contactless card readers.

The first location is Hexham I believe. They have their planning permission in for the removal of their current ex-CYC charger and to replace it with two of their own contactless enabled units.

The chargers they use most are Circontrol Raption 50. The same chargers that you see used a lot by Engenie/Osprey, and also by Chargeplace Scotland's recent installs too. Quite easy to use, and reliable too.

Electric Blue.jpeg
 
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