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Discussion Starter #1
EDIT:
POLAR have now changed their charging structure and are moving towards a PAYG model so please read this thread with that in mind :)
People will charge their Ampera away from home much less often than a Nissan Leaf owner but you will occasionally want to do it.

However, all charging stations are not the same. Some are free to use, provided free to customers of the establishment such as hotels, B&Bs etc. These are great when statying away from home as you can often travel to your destination and then potter about locally in electric mode.

Of course, if you visiting friends or family just plug in to the 13A socket but be careful to us 6A rather than 10A if it is an old socket or circuit.

Most charging in the UK right now requires some kind of membership. I hate these. You have to join the scheme in advance, usually with some monthy or yearly commitment, and then you get a card or tag. This has a chip inside that allows you to open the flap on the charging station to charge up. No card... no charge!

The whole idea of a membership like this is rediculous. You have to pay for charging you don't know you will need in advance and it is often quite a heafty fee... POLAR for instance wants £29.50 per month plus 95p per charge. Now, given that the Ampera can only charge to about 11KWh and given it can only charge at the rate of 16A max (10A if using the supplied cable), you won't get much per charge. It is an exhorbident cost just to get access to charging.

I don't join a club and pay in advance for my petrol, why should it be any different for electricity?

Please, I urge you all, do not sign up to POLAR or any other charging membership scheme without giving it very careful thought. It could cost you a fortune.

PS POLAR seems the worst but there are many of them cropping up all over the country. It seems that almost every town is getting its own scheme requiring a membership fee and a card. It is simply rediculous and unsustainable.
 

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I can sort of see why the charging schemes want to use a smartcard to control access, but it would be much better if they could just arrange for everyone to have one smartcard that would charge based on that person's usage and not require any pre-registration.

Oh, what a surprise, everyone already has a suitable smartcard usually with a Visa or Mastercard symbol printed on it so there's already a payment infrastructure as well. Is there any reason at all why public charging points couldn't just have a credit card reader? Slightly less pervasive but even better would be if they used paywave (or equivalent): the existing RFID readers could probably be reprogrammed for that if they didn't want to take payment.

This isn't rocket science: the other week I stayed in an hotel where the room safe used credit cards: not for the money side, it just read them for identity to lock/unlock.

Or in other words I completely agree with you that the current schemes are dumb.
 

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Duncan said:
Oh, what a surprise, everyone already has a suitable smartcard usually with a Visa or Mastercard symbol printed on it so there's already a payment infrastructure as well. Is there any reason at all why public charging points couldn't just have a credit card reader? Slightly less pervasive but even better would be if they used paywave (or equivalent): the existing RFID readers could probably be reprogrammed for that if they didn't want to take payment.
Duncan, you have spotted it... the elephant in the room... the charge companies seem to have ignored the obvious. Credit card readers are the way to go and the only reason I can imagine that they didn't go down that route in the first place is that the charging stations were not available with credit card processing capability. That might have been an excuse I suppose but now that tech is available and so now there is no excuse.

This isn't rocket science: the other week I stayed in an hotel where the room safe used credit cards: not for the money side, it just read them for identity to lock/unlock.
Perfect... this is the kind of lateral thinking that is needed in the EV charging world.

There was a government project (Common Whitelist Project) to harmonise all the different schemes into a single one but it was never going to work as it was too complex and had too much lag. It got shelved at detailed proposal stage. We don't need more complicated systems to handle the complicated systems we shouldn't have had in the first place. Keep it simple and don't re-invent the wheel.

Membership schemes will fail because no one will pay the rediculous prices for membership nor do we want the hassle of pre-registration.
 

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Paul Churchley said:
The whole idea of a membership like this is rediculous. You have to pay for charging you don't know you will need in advance and it is often quite a heafty fee... POLAR for instance wants £29.50 per month plus 95p per charge. Now, given that the Ampera can only charge to about 11KWh and given it can only charge at the rate of 16A max (10A if using the supplied cable), you won't get much per charge. It is an exhorbident cost just to get access to charging.
It's actually from £19.50 per month but still outrageous.

For what it's worth Polar are currently running a prize draw: the prize is a night in a luxury hotel, a home charging unit and 1 year of free access to the Polar Network. Also, every entrant gets 3 months free access to the Polar Network.

I can't enter yet as I'm still waiting to hear when I get my Volt and you have to include your registration number on the entry form. I'm not even sure that I particularly want the 3 months free access to their network when I know there's zero chance that I'd sign up at those rates, but FWIW, http://www.polarnetwork.com/Competition. There is a skill question to answer, but I'd be extremely surprised if anyone reading this forum didn't know the answer. Closing date 28th May 2012.
 

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POLAR have now changed their charging structure and are moving towards a PAYG model so please read this thread with that in mind :)
 

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Try the ChargePoint App. Free to download, no membership needed, includes all UK stations, navigates to station, access InstaVolt’s network and much more. What’s more it will work with ChargePoint’s home station, records sessions and they are roaming with more and more networks across Europe including UK. Available here Get the ChargePoint App - ChargePoint
 

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Try the ChargePoint App. Free to download, no membership needed, includes all UK stations, navigates to station, access InstaVolt’s network and much more. What’s more it will work with ChargePoint’s home station, records sessions and they are roaming with more and more networks across Europe including UK. Available here Get the ChargePoint App - ChargePoint
I tried to set this up, and got as far as setting up my EV. I entered the make: Nissan then when the model choice came up there was a choice between "Leaf S, Leaf SV and Leaf SL". WTF? Uninstalled.
 

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It's actually from £19.50 per month but still outrageous.

For what it's worth Polar are currently running a prize draw: the prize is a night in a luxury hotel, a home charging unit and 1 year of free access to the Polar Network. Also, every entrant gets 3 months free access to the Polar Network.

I can't enter yet as I'm still waiting to hear when I get my Volt and you have to include your registration number on the entry form. I'm not even sure that I particularly want the 3 months free access to their network when I know there's zero chance that I'd sign up at those rates, but FWIW, http://www.polarnetwork.com/Competition. There is a skill question to answer, but I'd be extremely surprised if anyone reading this forum didn't know the answer. Closing date 28th May 2012.
I just signed up to Polar to try it and I believe every new customer gets the 3 months free BUT you are liable as all Polar users are, for charges (at some sites)

I may switch to the OVO fixed EV rate which has 2 years of Polar subscriptions included... I was going to go with Ecotricity but my questions about the i3 issue and their CCS problem met with radio silence... which is surely a sign
 

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I just signed up to Polar to try it and I believe every new customer gets the 3 months free BUT you are liable as all Polar users are, for charges (at some sites)

I may switch to the OVO fixed EV rate which has 2 years of Polar subscriptions included... I was going to go with Ecotricity but my questions about the i3 issue and their CCS problem met with radio silence... which is surely a sign
This is a pretty blatant case of necrothreading. Polar's offers and charging structures have changed many times since summer 2012, there really isn't much point quoting something I wrote about an offer they had six years ago and hhighlighting in red something about a prize draw they were doing at the time.
 

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This is a pretty blatant case of necrothreading. Polar's offers and charging structures have changed many times since summer 2012, there really isn't much point quoting something I wrote about an offer they had six years ago and hhighlighting in red something about a prize draw they were doing at the time.
That's me told... Monday is it?

At least you taught me a new word.... Anal
 

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£29.50 .... ....£19 .... what happened to the £7.85pm on their website?

I have some sympathy with these networks. They need income from somewhere, they will have difficulty funding a network of chargers that we all use only very rarely, and we'll all get very hacked off if they have a system that encourages subscribers to hog the chargers 24 hour per day (because they are subscribers so are entitled to) so no-one who really needs to charge can get on one. I'd argue that the single most important factor for a charger is availability.

I don't see a business model that will work for both parties until we have rows of 20 chargers and paying users rolling on and off the charge points continuously, so we never have to wait more than a couple of minutes to get on a charger.
 

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£29.50 .... ....£19 .... what happened to the £7.85pm on their website?
You are posting on a thread from 2012!

They had a higher price back in 2012, but everything has changed over the past 6 years!

Please, could one of the mods lock this thread?
 
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