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Discussion Starter #1
I was in Bracknell today, on my monthly voyage for work. The High St car park post was working today (hurray!)... except the Type 2 socket was doing its usual thing of saying "connect your vehicle", and then timing out... it just doesn't seem to recognise when you connect it. I packed up the Type 2 cable, and reverted to the 13Amp socket. That worked today, and the door latched properly, and it charged!

Then a man approached me, and introduced himself as the member of staff at Bracknell Town Council responsible for EVs - he said he was the one who had arranged the Chargemaster post. He was asking me how often I use it, how reliable it is, and what I thought of Chargemaster. I gave him the most constructive feedback I could... he asked how things were in MK since the pricing, and I talked about the usage figures.

Interestingly, he said that Bracknell are considering installing some more charging facilities, but weren't particularly impressed with Chargemaster. I suggested exploring other options - I pointed him towards Charge Your Car, and Ecotricity. He seemed excited by both, and said he would look into them.

I demonstrated the Polar "Instant" app, and he agreed with me that it's fairly rubbish. When we then ran some sums on my day, he saw the problem with the Chargemaster pricing strategy (the Bracknell post is still free at the moment):

I was plugged in for 7 hours, and drew 10.5kWh. That would have cost £1.20 x 7 = £8.40. This delivered 40 miles of range, so 21p/mile, or 80p/kWh... for electricity that cost Bracknell Town Council less than a quid. He said that was enough to convince him that Chargemaster weren't the right partner for future posts... so, fingers crossed, there'll be some others in the future as part of the regeneration they're doing down there. I suggested a mix of rapids and fast chargers was a good idea.
 

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Councils locally seem to like the zcw model when I mention it. Partnership working, supporting sme tourism and leisure and with no ongoing costs for the council...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Paul - I did suggest that he should speak to both Sara Bailey @ MK Council, and York City Council, and then work out for himself why MK Council gave EV Motorists such a bum deal in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Councils locally seem to like the zcw model when I mention it. Partnership working, supporting sme tourism and leisure and with no ongoing costs for the council...:)
Forgive my ignorance Steve, but I'm vaguely aware of ZCW - I've been to the website a few times, but never got to the point of working out how to actually use the network, so never have... Is it just me being dumb?
 

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It is the charity Kevin Sharpe set up I think.

Their model is to donate charging stations to businesses in the leisure or tourism industry. The business pays for the installation and commits to making it available to the public. Some charge for the leccy but others don't if you are a customer.

The network is called Zero Net. Big advantage is that no cards or apps needed. Just plug in. They are often in rural areas too where no other public charging available.

Cara Dillon on here may tell you more, I believe she works for them.

Worth phoning and asking even if not planning on being a customer as some happy for you to use charge points still.

Strikes me as a model that can work well on many levels.
 

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Before making contact, it's worth clarifying whether the officer was from Bracknell Town Council or Bracknell Forest Council who are running these. The first is effectively a parish council (probably with only one employee, the clerk) and the second is a borough unitary authority (with a big grant from the Local Sustainable Travel Fund).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's fair... He said he was "the guy from the council who had arranged for the Chargemaster post" that I was using... I assumed the name of the council - my bad...
 

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Forgive my ignorance Steve, but I'm vaguely aware of ZCW - I've been to the website a few times, but never got to the point of working out how to actually use the network, so never have... Is it just me being dumb?
Just to clarify - ZCW Charging Stations have no membership requirements, access cards/keys - most locations on ZeroNet http://zerocarbonworld.org/zero-net offer free charging to EV customers staying at the location, using the services/facilities etc. Some may ask for a payment/donation for the electricity used though we have requested they offer EV Charging in line with their wifi facilities and never charge more than £10
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks very much Cara - I shall have another look at the website and try to get my head around locations for the future :)

I didn't get the chap's name sadly. I have previously had email communication with David Day @ Bracknell Forest Council, and I think it may well have been the same guy. He's [email protected]
 

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Thanks very much Cara - I shall have another look at the website and try to get my head around locations for the future :)

I didn't get the chap's name sadly. I have previously had email communication with David Day @ Bracknell Forest Council, and I think it may well have been the same guy. He's [email protected]
Thanks Julian, I will contact David and take it from there :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I made sure I talked about that car crash of an implementation back in April - remember the period where we had no website, no app, different pricing on the posts/MK Council website/Chargemaster website? The paper Direct Debit forms? The absolute silence from Chargemaster, leaving us all guessing.

Customer-facing companies live and die by the way they treat customers. Chargemaster has treated me with utter contempt, and I'll happily share that as a warning to others.
 
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