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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems all the charging networks are the same in this. They don't like to admit their chargers fail. So when an error is reported on the Zap-Map or the like they don't show any visible response. They don't acknowledge the fault. They don't give us an estimated time to fix. They don't tell us when it is fixed. So people avoid the charger locations where the last journal entry is a failure. That means even when it's fixed the status doesn't get updated, because nobody tries it.

Charging networks need to monitor these popular channels. They need to check failure reports, comment on them. Their engineers need to put their visits and outcomes on the journals
 

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Some networks seem to be active on Zap Map. I've seen comments from Osprey and Alfa Power recently, in response to user complaints.
 

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It seems all the charging networks are the same in this. They don't like to admit their chargers fail. So when an error is reported on the Zap-Map or the like they don't show any visible response. They don't acknowledge the fault. They don't give us an estimated time to fix. They don't tell us when it is fixed. So people avoid the charger locations where the last journal entry is a failure. That means even when it's fixed the status doesn't get updated, because nobody tries it.

Charging networks need to monitor these popular channels. They need to check failure reports, comment on them. Their engineers need to put their visits and outcomes on the journals
I don’t really agree. There should just be multiple chargers per location so that if one (or more!) is broken you can still get a charge.
 

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Osprey, Electric Blue and Instavolt all seem quite active on Zap Map and do interact with users who post problems. Also some of the charger manufacturers like ABB for example have built in monitoring, and those networks who have maintenance contracts with the manufacturer simply sit back and let the charger call for an engineer as and when it is needed so it gets fixed quickly.
 

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Paying someone to trawl through comments on each of the charging apps and reply to each would be ridiculous, what is needed is a specification that parties can implement as an API that can be used to query current status report failures. . . Oh wait there's about 27 independently designed ones already no doubt all slightly different and hardly anyone has bothered to implement any of them.
I'm sure one or two popular ones will emerge eventually, at that point hopefully things will improve, but first I think we just need more chargers, single lonely units need to be the exception rather than the norm.
 

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When they can start accepting authentication credentials from other networks, then they'll at least be part way to having a joined-up experience. As has been said, some networks are already reporting real-time usage via some clearing house system, so for instance, if you look on Hubsta's map, you can get to see how busy an Osprey, Hubsta or Ionity charging location gets.
To be honest, even without using Zap Map or other third-party system, a network should be able to identify some failures remotely, like number of authentication attempts vs kWh delivered. If that figure goes outside of expected tolerances, or if a previously busy chargepoint doesn't even have any attempts to use it.. or if it keeps dropping offline.. then it's worthy of a fault ticket for someone to investigate.
Sometimes it will be because someone at the site host has parked a construction site in front of the chargepoint, in which case they can flag that as unavailable on the maps.
Some of that investigation could be to look for reports on Zap Map, Plugshare, Openchargemap or whatever.
Often it would involve an engineer visit.. and I hope the network has at least the contact details / contract details of someone who can be tasked to investigate.
 

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Just had a semi related thought, there may be an opportunity for a network to offer a potential "free" charge to a local friendly user in exchange for confirming fault reports? Probably cheaper than sending out a man in a van, if they get a fault report, but nothing looks wrong on their system.
 

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We'd always recommend reporting any faults/problems directly to the network operator. By doing so, the feedback loop is closed. Comments made through third party apps don't necessarily lead to a prompt fix.

So people avoid the charger locations where the last journal entry is a failure.
This is exactly the problem. There's also a tendency to report failed charges and not successful charges (an in-built bias)!
 

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Paying someone to trawl through comments on each of the charging apps and reply to each would be ridiculous, what is needed is a specification that parties can implement as an API that can be used to query current status report failures. . . Oh wait there's about 27 independently designed ones already no doubt all slightly different and hardly anyone has bothered to implement any of them.
I'm sure one or two popular ones will emerge eventually, at that point hopefully things will improve, but first I think we just need more chargers, single lonely units need to be the exception rather than the norm.
I think the recent government consultation proposed an API for all operators, based on a standard (although I can't remember which one)
 

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Finding a way of solving that issue would be great - I'm not yet an EV owner but have been idly looking at zap map to see whether I could accomplish planned road trips if I got an EV.
Seems half the CCS chargers in the highlands are reported as faulty, while the chademo/AC ones are fine.
Will they be working if I get there? Unknown! They're all clearly 'one' rapid unit, so there's 1x CCS, 1x Chademo, 1x AC 3ph, so if the CCS is dead it'd mean a longish drive to the next charger, or a slower AC charge.

Granted I'm not yet at the point of using them (doubly so with the lockdown), but it's very much a valid thought!

Furthermore, I guess that as more and more chargers get installed, this issue self-resolves; in the event you encounter a dead charger, there'll be two or three others in the same town, or certainly one the next town over.
 

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Finding a way of solving that issue would be great - I'm not yet an EV owner but have been idly looking at zap map to see whether I could accomplish planned road trips if I got an EV.
Seems half the CCS chargers in the highlands are reported as faulty, while the chademo/AC ones are fine.
Will they be working if I get there? Unknown! They're all clearly 'one' rapid unit, so there's 1x CCS, 1x Chademo, 1x AC 3ph, so if the CCS is dead it'd mean a longish drive to the next charger, or a slower AC charge.

Granted I'm not yet at the point of using them (doubly so with the lockdown), but it's very much a valid thought!

Furthermore, I guess that as more and more chargers get installed, this issue self-resolves; in the event you encounter a dead charger, there'll be two or three others in the same town, or certainly one the next town over.
Most of the Chargers in Scotland are made by Circontrol, which only have both buttons, and monitoring for AC and DC, not specific connectors. For whatever reason they linked the DC status feed to Chademo and that's why the CCS availability always shows unknown. If Chademo is available, CCS should be working just fine too. The chargers made by other manufacturers will have a live status feed to Zap Map (and their own network map) for all available connectors.

142935
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Osprey, Electric Blue and Instavolt all seem quite active on Zap Map and do interact with users who post problems. Also some of the charger manufacturers like ABB for example have built in monitoring, and those networks who have maintenance contracts with the manufacturer simply sit back and let the charger call for an engineer as and when it is needed so it gets fixed quickly.
I reported an error on one of the Instavolt chargers at KFC Duckmanton (M1 j29A), a few weeks ago. The card reader wasn't working, though the other bay was fine. I reported this on the Zap-Map and by Twitter DM. A couple of other people reported the same problem on Zap-Map after me. Apparently it's now fixed but we only know that because someone reported a successful charge later on. The last time I reported a similar fault, equally little feedback. It's not really possible for chargers to report every fault, and when they do we need to know there's a fault, and we need to know when it's fixed.

When we're planning a journey we don't check every network's app.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Paying someone to trawl through comments on each of the charging apps and reply to each would be ridiculous, what is needed is a specification that parties can implement as an API that can be used to query current status report failures. . . Oh wait there's about 27 independently designed ones already no doubt all slightly different and hardly anyone has bothered to implement any of them.
I'm sure one or two popular ones will emerge eventually, at that point hopefully things will improve, but first I think we just need more chargers, single lonely units need to be the exception rather than the norm.
It would be easy enough to write an application which would check the journals relating to a network's own chargers looking for new fault reports. And it would be trivial for engineers to log a journal entry when they visited a site to report they fixed it, or they failed to fix it, or they found no fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don’t really agree. There should just be multiple chargers per location so that if one (or more!) is broken you can still get a charge.
In an ideal world, but locations don't always have an adequate grid connection, or enough parking bays that can be committed. And even if you have a whole row of chargers common-mode failure is still possible.
 
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