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Discussion Starter #1
Morning all

I picked up my EV last week. Being new I only got the registration number a few days before and I have been scrambling around since then to order charge cards. I now learn that the requirement to provide the reg no. of the EV is actually not a requirement at all in the sense that you can put in whatever number you like as no one seems to check that it is actually an EV!

Anyhow I have a Source East card that arrived really promptly and I understand that this will work with Source London, PiM and Ecotricity charge points. I was given a Pod Point charge card when I picked up the car. I have not yet ordered any more cards.....

I have to travel over to Reading tomorrow from Essex. Reading seems to be largely free of EV charging points. There is one out at Green Park (by the M4) but that is then a 3 mile walk into the centre of town.

The only other three points I can find are (1) in an NCP car park (2) in one of the two Oracle shopping centre car parks and (3) the Nissan dealer on Rose Kiln Way.

Could I ask for advice please? Both the NCP car park and the Oracle car park state that a Chargemaster card is needed. I don't have one of these. I was thinking of getting one but it seems that this will shortly be (has already been?) superseded by a smartphone app. More in hope than expectation I have downloaded the Polar iPhone app and loaded it up with £20 of funds.

Does anyone know the state of play of Chargemaster/Polar public charge points? Have they all been converted from RFID to smart phone operability, or some, or none? I have looked on the Polar and Chargemaster websites and it is a model of confusion. It seems that RFID cards may still be needed during an interim period....can anyone enlighten me? I sent an email directly to the Oracle shopping centre but so far no reply....

Alternatively, what is the situation with Nissan dealers? Will I need a card to use their charging facilities (and if so, which one)? How do Nissan dealers feel about other vehicles using their facilities?

Thanks for any help you can offer. It is a 200 mile round trip and I doubt I can make that without a recharge!

Thanks
 

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I used the app but then polar/chargemaster sent me a card at no extra charge to use in case there were problems with the app, so I now use both, depending on internet connectivity at the location. So far as I can see, with the sites I have used, either the app or the card will work so I have both.
 

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Have a look through here or search for polar instant and you'll find plenty, this is particularly lengthy: https://speakev.com/threads/polar-instant-app-discussion-feedback.1674/

In short, sign up for Polar Instant and the app should work in all instances. However it's slow and not always reliable. They send you an RFID car too, but that takes a few days usually to arrive.

If you don't fancy giving them £20 "deposit", check here: https://speakev.com/threads/tool-to-top-up-different-amounts-with-polar-instant.3006
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Paul, thanks: I did look at that thread but it rapidly descended into a discussion on compatibility with Android devices, as did the other threads I found on other . I have an iPhone: it just works! At least, downloading the app was simple enough, as was mugging me for 20 quid....as has been noted, I only downloaded this today and any RFID card won't arrive before my trip tomorrow. Also I am not sure that they WILL send me one, at least, not unless they have some means of guessing my postal address from my email address, since I could not see anywhere that asked me for my address.

I'll report back how it goes. At worst, it will be a 55mph crawl back round the M25 I guess :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK will do....I just received this from the Oracle:

Good afternoon
Thank you for your email regarding our electric car charging point in our Holybrook car park.
The EV charging post is working but it does not work with the Polar smartphone application. The charge point is free of charge but requires a charge card. Cards can be obtained for £10 per year at www.chargemasterplc.com/index.php/polar_online which also enables access to a network of charge points.
You can find the information on The Oracle website, www.theoracle.com under the Parking section.
Kind regards

....which is (a) completely contrary to what the Polar Instant website suggests and (b) no good for me as I am travelling tomorrow.

I'm going to call Chargemaster as I actually don't believe this.

Am rapidly thinking that taking my wife's ICE might be easier. Grrrrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good news....as you suggested Paul I called Chargemaster and they could not have been more helpful. Firstly I was right that the charging post in the car park SHOULD work via the Polar Instant app. It is a bit depressing that the car park owners don't seem to know how their own kit works. The only reason it would not work with the App would be a lack of wireless connectivity. Secondly he has personally posted an RFID card to the office I am visiting, first class, in the hope that it will get there before me tomorrow morning. Thirdly he has given me a direct dial number and his name and assured me that at worst I can call him and he can remotely start and stop charging.

So I am currently giving a big thumbs up to Chargemaster. We'll see whether they walk the walk (and whether the spot is ICE'd when I get there after all this.....)

Alex
 

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AFAIK, Ecotricity have their own cards for the Electric highway - I'm not sure your SourceEast card will work at the Mway services.
 

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Some other cards work with Ecotricity machines, but I have no idea if they will work with all Ecotricity machines.

Quite a lot of the older rapi chargers tell you which cards will work with them. Plugged-in Midlands, CYC and Source London/East are certainly some I have seen. IIRC the old Thurrock charger tells you that other cards can be used, but the new one doesn't. I don't bother to use anything other than Ecotricity cards for Ecotricity machines.
 

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One for every network you expect to use ;)

Sorry, flippant reply... but seriously, if you are not travelling outside your local network area then possibly just one (or even none if you only charge at home!) but many areas have charging stations from several different networks so if you travel a lot in that area then you might want one for each network you could possible charge at.

Some of them charge quite a fee so be careful. I know the one at Taunton charged £50pa so although we travel to Taunton quite a bit it is unlikely we will use the network much so we haven't bought the card.
 

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Up to now I have just two cards the charge master and electric highway
And two cables one with the 3 pin plug and one for the polar charge master point
I like the charge master because it's pay as you go and keep this for backup
 

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Sounds good. The one you say is for the polar/chargemaster is in fact for any charger with a type 2 socket... that includes most of the ZeroNet ones and many others too :)

Just thought I'd remind everyone that it isn't just for Chargemaster :)
 

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I have four cards:

- Ecotricity is my main one when I am out and about. Free and excellent charging.
- ChargeMeister is the one I use next. This is mainly so that I can charge at Waitrose and Asda. I also use this card to unlock the charger across the road from the office in Victoria. I have never paid ChargeMeister anything more than the £20 that I had to deposit to get their App
- Charge You Car is a card which I have used a few times, mainly in Bristol. I got this as I was planning an Edinburgh trip which never happened. As they are looking to take over PiM chargers I am hoping to find this more and more useful
-PodPointless I have used twice. Has ANYONE ever used a PodPoint card?
 

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Yep - you need to hold the card on the spot until 2 words appear below - I forget if it's "please wait" or something. At that point that card has been read.
 

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Good news....as you suggested Paul I called Chargemaster and they could not have been more helpful. Firstly I was right that the charging post in the car park SHOULD work via the Polar Instant app. It is a bit depressing that the car park owners don't seem to know how their own kit works. The only reason it would not work with the App would be a lack of wireless connectivity. Secondly he has personally posted an RFID card to the office I am visiting, first class, in the hope that it will get there before me tomorrow morning. Thirdly he has given me a direct dial number and his name and assured me that at worst I can call him and he can remotely start and stop charging.

So I am currently giving a big thumbs up to Chargemaster. We'll see whether they walk the walk (and whether the spot is ICE'd when I get there after all this.....)

Alex
I overlooked this thread or I would have commented earlier but I think I understand why the Oracle centre told you the charging point doesn't work with the app.
Back in July we parked in the Oracle and used the app to connect up to the charging point without any trouble. When we returned to the car though the app just gave errors. Chargemaster customer services attempted to reset the post but it wouldn't respond and they said it hadn't contacted their systems since shortly after we plugged in. In the end I had to find the Oracle centre's phone near the payment machine and call their control room then wait while they sent an engineer to power cycle the unit. By then of course I had gone over the grace period for getting out after paying so I had to call again from the barrier to get them to override the system and finally escape.
So that unit has problems with the mobile connection. I don't know if they've had other users getting the same issue I had, or if they just overreacted to the one incident, but I think that's why Oracle say to use the card. Chargemaster should be aware of this but I think they have a rose tinted view of their network.
 
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