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Chargeplace Scotland changing from Charge your Car to SWARCO eVolt

22611 Views 259 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  Duncan
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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Seems now from the most recent CPS email that the app won't launch until 2nd August, leaving those without an RFID card in limbo for a week. Also seems activation emails will be staggered over 48 hours. Week commencing 26th July is going to be a mess for me... This isn't the great start I'd hoped for from SWARCO / E-volt. Multiple social media posts / tweets assured a 27th July app launch and now, with 3 days to go, they move the goalposts! :mad:
This is what I've received in the last hour.....

Dear Mr Majika,
We are sending you this email as a reminder that the ChargePlace Scotland (CPS) network will be transitioning to a new network operator in three days’ time and to advise of recent developments regarding the network migration.
From 10pm on Monday 26th July, the CPS network will move to a new network operator. This means that CPS charge points will be unavailable between then and 5am on Tuesday 27th July, and the CPS helpline may be unable to assist drivers with starting or stopping a charging session during this period. Following the successful migration of our back-office communications and support systems, we will announce this via social media and SWARCO will begin to operate the network.
If you are expecting to receive a bill from CPS for recent charging sessions, this will be issued by Charge Your Car in August. Any future bills will then be issued by SWARCO.
What to expect next week
To ensure a smooth transition, we will carefully manage access to set up new CPS accounts and will stagger the delivery of account activation emails to support this process. We will begin sending these emails at midday on Tuesday 27th July and will send these over a period of 48 hours. The new CPS app will be launched on Monday 2nd August.
All member accounts will still operate as normal, before accepting the Terms and Conditions in the account activation email. However, you will not be able to see your online account details until you have accepted the Terms and Conditions via the account activation email and verified your details.
The following methods for accessing the network will still be available:
  • Using your CPS RFID card to start and stop charging sessions
  • Making contactless payments on charge points that support this access method
Please do not attempt to create a new account on the ChargePlace Scotland website before you receive your account activation email, as this may cause duplication of accounts and operational issues. If you have not received your “existing members” email by 5pm on Thursday 29th July, please email us at [email protected]
If you have any further questions about what to expect from CPS, we have developed a webpage to answer FAQs about the transition to the new network operator. You can view the webpage using the link below.
Please do not contact SWARCO directly at this stage. All queries should still be directed through the usual CPS channels.
Thanks for helping us to get Scotland driving electric!
The ChargePlace Scotland team
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I’m heading up to Scotland at the end of next week to see my mum for the first time in 18 months. Hoping that they are using the existing Swarco back office system so I can use my Be.EV rfid card or their app. Have seen the question asked on FB about Be.EV cards and the response was “hopefully”. Got some credit banked with Instavolt if I can’t use the free ones near my mum.
Somebody asked that question on twitter today.

The reply didn't sound too hopeful:




Robert, we are working on that but initially we will be ensuring that all ChargePlace Scotland members RFID cards work first. Onbce we have a stable network then we will develop the reach.
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For me the issue is one of messaging. I'm new to the EV scene, but quite quickly learned that the current administration of CPS is very poor. SWARCO have been on point with messaging and responsive to tweets and social media posts. For a month they've assured the public that they'll provide a smooth transition with a day 1 app available for those without the RFID card.

Had I known about their new timeframes a month ago, I could have ordered my RFID card and avoided not being able to charge. But with 3 day's notice, it's not possible. I take it something has went a bit wrong somewhere along the line quite late on.
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@SCA1972 I've just signed upto InstaVolt with your referral code in anticipation of having to pay a few charges come next week! (y)
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OK, are you moaning on behalf of yourself or some other generic users.
The communications have been pretty good. Are you making journeys on the 27th, 28th, 29th. Can these be delayed.Can you take advantage of alternative charging, at work, at your destination.
General principal is one the same as making an omelette.
It's an observation, that'll affect me and no doubt many others. Fear not, I'll not be left stranded nor lose any sleep.

Their communications and community engagement have been excellent, and they've clearly been treading a fine line so as not step on the current operator's toes with regards to current CS problems. They were forthright in assuring customers that they'd be good to go from day one, which makes this apparent 11th hour change somewhat baffling.

Either way, I'm sure we'll all get through it if we pull together. 😀
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Eleckromotive Chargers will not be compatible with the network going forward.. I think these are the BP specced AC units with sloping tops. Could someone confirm.
That's correct. They confirmed this on Twitter this week. Said they were working with owners to discuss replacements.

EDIT: Misread your question, sorry! No idea what they look like.
Not paying a charge is not really a sustainable position. Vast majority of CPS chargers are not free.
I agree that it's not sustainable in the long term, however, in my (albeit relatively new) experience, most are free. Indeed, the CPS website talks of a "high majority" being free.

Does somewhere quote the figures?

EDIT: On the CPS website you can filter by free and paid which gives a visual indication. It seems the free ones are concentrated around the central belt. I assume that this will be individual council areas setting their own policies / charges?
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The Android version (which didn't display any chargers and also kept complaining about slow internet connection) has been removed so no IOS either although they did say 2nd August.
They confirmed on Twitter that this was a development app on android and was being removed from the play store imminently.

I've been conversing with them via direct message today to get an RFID card and they've been very responsive and are promising to post one out.
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Hi, I’ve been trying to follow the progress of this conversation over the past couple of weeks but, with a bit of dyslexia, have found to quite hard.

We are going to Scotland at the weekend for a week of holiday. I was planning to us the rapid charger at Kirkcudbright which is a Charge Place Scotland charger.

Could someone, briefly, summarise what’s happening and what I need to do to be able to charge at Kirkcudbright please?

Many thanks…
Assuming you don't already have a CPS account, you can sign up for free today.

From 2nd August a new app will allow you to start and stop charges via the app. You have the option of a one time £10 fee to order a RFID card for the chargers, which will start and stop charges for you without needing to use the app.

Delivery timescales for the card aren't clear yet but they do seem to be dispatching cards quickly, according to their Twitter feed.

A third option, and the only one available until the new app launches OR you have your RFID card, is to phone the helpline and have a customer service adviser start and stop the charges for you.

Hope that helps.
The app looks more stable. I've went through the motions of starting a charge and it appears that it would work. I won't be in a position to give it a go until tomorrow now. Will report back.

I think it's been pulled from the play store (until next week), but might now work for those who installed it when it was available. .
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Successfully charging just now using the play store app on Android that was available earlier in the week.

I was hoping that the RFID card may have arrived this morning in the post, but no joy yet.
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I thought you didn't need a RFID card with the new provider, and in any case the old card seems to be working.
Anyone any idea what is going on?
As it stands, any RFID card can operate the charger points. This is a temporary measure because the changeover is a mess. People are charging successfully using Tesco Clubcard just now. At some point in the future that will stop.

Your account and existing card should have been migrated. It looks like your problem is that your existing account has migrated but your RFID card has not. You're the first case of that scenario that I've heard of, however, there's a host of problems with the changeover, so it's entirely believable.

It's poor that they haven't offered to note your existing card details and add this to your existing account, rather than making you pay for a new card. This is what I would be pushing for.

SWARCO, despite their assurances, have royally f****d up this migration and their customer service to date has been appalling, so you might have a fight on your hands. Either way, I'd try and sort things now before they flip the switch which stops all the non valid RFID cards from working.
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