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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
News has just hit that Chargeplace Scotland (CPS) who have used Charge your Car for their authentication and billing for the last several years will be switching to SWARCO eVolt starting in July:


This is an interesting albeit not unexpected change. What does it mean for end users?

Will existing RFID cards continue to work or do we need new ones? Will CPS accounts (which are basically just CYC accounts and use the same CYC app) be migrated across or will we be needing to create new accounts?

Will CPS cards stop working on CYC sites in England and will CYC cards stop working on CPS sites in Scotland?

Will CPS finally get their own mobile app instead of just using the CYC branded app and a fairly useless web browser based lookup?

While I of course recognise eVolt and a lot of rapids on the CPS network are already eVolt units, I have no knowledge of their ability to run a back end authentication and billing system, although they're unlikely to be worse than CYC.

So, good news? Bad news? Ambivalent ? :unsure: To be honest it's quite a while since I've used a CPS charger!
 

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News has just hit that Chargeplace Scotland (CPS) who have used Charge you Car for their authentication and billing for the last several years will be switching to SWARCO eVolt starting in July:


This is an interesting albeit not unexpected change. What does it mean for end users?

Will existing RFID cards continue to work or do we need new ones? Will CPS accounts (which are basically just CYC accounts and use the same CYC app) be migrated across or will we be needing to create new accounts?

Will CPS cards stop working on CYC sites in England and will CYC cards stop working on CPS sites in Scotland?

Will CPS finally get their own mobile app instead of just using the CYC branded app and a fairly useless web browser based lookup?

While I of course recognise eVolt and a lot of rapids on the CPS network are already eVolt units, I have no knowledge of their ability to run a back end authentication and billing system, although they're unlikely to be worse than CYC.

So, good news? Bad news? Ambivalent ? :unsure: To be honest it's quite a while since I've used a CPS charger!
Hey, great piece of news. Swarco are a capable outfit. I'm assuming and hoping the back office service will greatly improve!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hey, great piece of news. Swarco are a capable outfit. I'm assuming and hoping the back office service will greatly improve!!!!
My concern is that the biggest failures of CPS have always been maintenance and repair of individual charger units - which was never the responsibility of CYC - they just passed fault reports along to the owners of the chargers (usually local councils) but apart from that were pretty powerless to ensure devices got fixed in a timely fashion. In other words no end user facing entity was responsible for charger repairs and maintenance.

While there were a few notable cases of back end authentication issues and outages especially in the last year, (which must have surely contributed to this switch) by and large I think the backend was working reasonably well most of the time and was far from the worst of CPS's issues.

So I'm not sure this will necessarily translate to a significantly better customer experience and reliability of charging services, but I would love to be proved wrong!
 

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My concern is that the biggest failures of CPS have always been maintenance and repair of individual charger units - which was never the responsibility of CYC - they just passed fault reports along to the owners of the chargers (usually local councils) but apart from that were pretty powerless to ensure devices got fixed in a timely fashion.

While there were a few notable cases of back end authentication issues and outages especially in the last year, (which must have surely contributed to this switch) by and large I think the backend was working reasonably well most of the time.

So I'm not sure this will necessarily translate to a significantly better customer experience and reliability of charging services, but I would love to be proved wrong!
All above points absolutely true.
For me the only time I came close to being stranded was a back office blackout!. Had to beg a charge from a total stranger (the shame!!!).
I think eVolt will offer councils decent maintenance and emergency repair options:its mostly their kit and a lot of the earlier dogs dinner of various off suppliers has been changed out (I don't have any knowledge of your neck of the woods so may be wrong in the West). I'm certain Transport Scotland would have had some clauses in the tender. OK I'm an optimist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm, just got an email from Chargeplace Scotland to say that they've failed to take the £20 a year fee for the RFID card and to update my payment details. My debit cards have not changed or expired in the last year...

When I try to do this the only payment option available to add is direct debit ???! I'm almost certain that I used a debit card last time and I don't particularly want to set up a direct debit to them especially when charge your car will be losing the contract in a few months time...and the direct debit will be with them.

Can anyone check in their Charge Place Scotland account to see whether their payment method is card or direct debit?

In the access card section of the account it says "Payment for Access Card Renewal will be taken automatically from your registered payment card unless you cancel auto renewal prior to the Access Card expiry date. ". So there is language elsewhere referring to payment cards...

Not happy about being forced into setting up a direct debit, I might just cancel the whole thing as I never use them anymore...
 

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I paid with my credit card on auto renewal last month. There is a direct debit option in the payment section as well as the Payment Cards option..
 

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I paid with my credit card on auto renewal last month. There is a direct debit option in the payment section as well as the Payment Cards option..
Swarco are setting up a new office to support the CPS Network. To be based in Dundee at the Michelin Innovation site.

This is a good move, they have some good people, technology and now being based in Scotland, things are looking up.😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I paid with my credit card on auto renewal last month. There is a direct debit option in the payment section as well as the Payment Cards option..
Not for me there wasn't. Definitely no credit card option - I looked everywhere. Contrary to what I said earlier my previous debit card had in fact expired since last March and there was no way to add a new one. So maybe it is only allowing auto renewals on existing cards that are still valid but not allowing adding new cards. I ended up having to use direct debit. Especially annoying in light of Evolt's tweet above. :(

Still no word whether they will issue new RFID cards? I've tweeted them to see if they will spill the beans.
 

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Good news about scrapping the £20 fee. But to be honest, I'm not that bothered about paying it - it was more the inconvenience of having to decide a couple of weeks before going to Scotland, and I don't work like that!

Hopefully they'll be quicker to send out RFID cards, or allow you to use an existing card.
 

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Hopefully they'll be quicker to send out RFID cards, or allow you to use an existing card.
Swarco do issue RFID cards generally (register on their website and they will send you one - no guarantee they will automatically work on CPS points when they take over though). They don't allow you to use your own, but maybe they will import the existing CPS cards and allow them to continue to be used until they expire?
 

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Not for me there wasn't. Definitely no credit card option - I looked everywhere. Contrary to what I said earlier my previous debit card had in fact expired since last March and there was no way to add a new one. So maybe it is only allowing auto renewals on existing cards that are still valid but not allowing adding new cards. I ended up having to use direct debit. Especially annoying in light of Evolt's tweet above. :(

Still no word whether they will issue new RFID cards? I've tweeted them to see if they will spill the beans.
I get the feeling that there will be an end to free charging. It's already happening in certain council areas. I see no reason it'll not happen in other areas. In Barrhead I've already notice several Tesla Model 3s using the one and only rapid charger. Love it... buying a £40k motor with proper rapid charging speeds. ..to sit and there and suck on a free 50 kW charger for over an hour... utter bottoms.
 

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I get the feeling that there will be an end to free charging. It's already happening in certain council areas. I see no reason it'll not happen in other areas. In Barrhead I've already notice several Tesla Model 3s using the one and only rapid charger. Love it... buying a £40k motor with proper rapid charging speeds. ..to sit and there and suck on a free 50 kW charger for over an hour... utter bottoms.
Free charging was just an introductory offer and a condition of funding in some cases.
So far as I know, all the East Coast Unitary Authorities already charge, different rates apply.
Not sure I understand the comments about the M3s. Can't see why they shouldn't use the Barrhead Rapid the same as anyone else.
 

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The problem I have with the Tesla Model 3 owners is that they sit there for well over an hour charging to 100%. Before them it was the Black Cab taxi PHEVs hogging it. It is simple freeloading... and the sooner all the rapids start charging you money the better. I typically grab 30 mins of charging at it when I need to and then granny charge at home. If the CPS rapid is unavailable I'll head straight to an InstaVolt. I've no problem buying electricity. Yesterday, I drove from Stockport to Gretna, charged my Zoe on the Ionity for 20 mins, a 12.67 kWh splash, and then headed home to Barrhead. A whopping £8.82... but worth it as it meant I completed the 235 miles in under 5 hours.
 

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The problem I have with the Tesla Model 3 owners is that they sit there for well over an hour charging to 100%. Before them it was the Black Cab taxi PHEVs hogging it. It is simple freeloading... and the sooner all the rapids start charging you money the better. I typically grab 30 mins of charging at it when I need to and then granny charge at home. If the CPS rapid is unavailable I'll head straight to an InstaVolt. I've no problem buying electricity. Yesterday, I drove from Stockport to Gretna, charged my Zoe on the Ionity for 20 mins, a 12.67 kWh splash, and then headed home to Barrhead. A whopping £8.82... but worth it as it meant I completed the 235 miles in under 5 hours.
Still have no idea why you are picking on the M3 owners. They aren't breaking any rules. Lol, they are not even inconveniencing you as you have Instavolt and your Granny😜
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's a page with more info:
How will I pay my invoice after the handover?
Under the new operator, members will make one monthly payment for their usage in the previous month, with the first payment under the new operator being taken in August (for usage in July). An invoice will be created and emailed to members and subsequently payment will be taken via direct debit.

Will I need to set up a new direct debit?
Members who currently use the direct debit provider GoCardless will have their details migrated without having to re-register. Other members registered via a different Payment Services Provider will have to set up a new direct debit.
Bingo. Now I know why people like me whose debit cards had expired are being funnelled into setting up a direct debit and not being given an option for debit card - so they can migrate the direct debits across to the new provider, who will only be using direct debits...
 

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A lot of information on that page - still a little vague in parts!

One nugget that I noticed was that existing CPS RFID cards will still work, and that although the £20/ year fee is going away, there would be a joining fee (unspecified) for new customers.

For me, this means I may as well pay for a CPS card now, rather than wait until SWARCO takes over. I don't know if or when I'll next be visiting Scotland, but I know it will be a pain waiting for delivery of a card. It doesn't sound like app/ contactless will be much more robust than now in the short term.
 

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One nugget that I noticed was that existing CPS RFID cards will still work, and that although the £20/ year fee is going away, there would be a joining fee (unspecified) for new customers.
Yes, and there's no indication if ordinary Swarco cards will work or if this is completely separate, although it does say you won't need to be a member and can access via the website/app (I see they have a website already where you don't need to register to charge). So maybe the RFID cards will be generic Swarco ones and they are introducing a fee for sending cards out? In which case you might want to register with them now to get a free card!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No mention of whether CPS RFID cards will work at CYC sites in England post July...
 
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