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Hi guys, do you believe the EV charging infrastructure is currently very fragmented ? As an EV driver i find it inconvenient to use one or another application to search for the charging stations and then vendor specific application for the the payment and stuff.
What is your impressions ?

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Ahsan
 

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You are not alone.

The networks in the UK are catching on and allowing payment by debit or credit card. But it’s not everywhere yet.

App access is a close second. But really shouldn’t be necessary, especially if you have to add top-up credit.
 

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The best there is at what I do
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The coverage of public chargers has improved no end over the last 5 years but I'm suprised that someone hasn't brought out an umbrella card that allows use of any charger from a single card, there is such a scheme called Chargemap Pass but it doesn't seem to be used in this country much, the logical approach to payment would be by using contactless and some operators like Instavolt and Chargemaster are rolling these out.

I think the MSAs need to provide much more reliable charging facilities, if a minimum of two chargers was located at each MSA offering all connector types that would be a major improvement but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
 

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Yes. At the very least, you shouldn't need some pre-arranged contract or pre-payment to use any public charging infrastructure.
Secondly, they really should allow users with billing accounts from one organisation to access charge points run by another organisation. That doesn't stop the charging network from offering special deals for frequent users.
E.g. There's no technical reason why someone with a Pod-Point account couldn't use the pod-point app to activate a charge on a Source London charge point, and the tariff should be no more than Source London charge for it's non-subscription users. RFID acceptance is entirely possible, and is regularly done in other countries.
 

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As someone interested in the current EV market I'm asking all the EV drivers about the biggest pain point with regards to EV charging.

Is there a problem of discovering EV recharging srtations?
Is there a problem of having to use one particular application for one particular provider and then having to have multiple applications?
Is there a problem of payment, is it inconvenient or anything in particular ?
Something else?

Finally I'd like to ask what would be your ideas for improvement and your thoughts on automation of the recharge process (think about automatic discovery of nearby recharging stations when needed and automated payment solution)

Thanks!
 

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Replace every charge point with Instavolt and we would probably all be happy. No app required, contactless payment, and a display that actually gives you useful information during the charging process.
I think quite a few thousand Zoe owners might disagree.:oops:

If only the Instavolt chargers had a type 2 socket on the side to provide 22/43 kW AC charging they would be ideal, especially if you could charge AC and DC at the same time like some of the PodPoint rapids do.
 

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Certainly seems to be less fragmented in Scotland, from what I read on here.

Would seem to be primarily down to the ChargePlace Scotland scheme: one card, free or paid for charging depending on the host.

In the 9 months that I've had my Zoe I've only used an Ikea Ecotricity charger a couple of times, and only needed the app once, when it wasn't on free-vend.
 

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Defragmentation implies, to me, a consolidation of the market into fewer suppliers. This will probably happen naturally as networks acquire other networks. However, that in itself is less likely to be beneficial to the consumer.

The main issues that I see are related to user experience and bad tariff structures. Let's think about how we fill up an ICE vehicle:

  1. Arrive at petrol station
  2. Hook up to petrol pump
  3. Pump a quantity of petrol
  4. Pay for the amount of petrol you used by bank card
When you arrive at a charging station you may need an app, rfid, bank card, account with the network provider, mobile coverage for both your phone and the charging station, the right connector, the right cable, charge by the minute, charge by the kwh, charge a connection fee, stay as long as you like, charge for a limited time, charge at this rate, that rate. How utterly complicated is it? And that is assuming the charging station is even powered on.

So how about some regulations:
  1. Every paid for charging station to support contactless bank cards
  2. Paid for charging to be per kWh with no connection fees and no time based fees (except for overstay)
  3. Overstay fees on 40kW+ chargers based on time when not charging
    1. Amend this value when 40kW starts to be considered slow
  4. Fines for parking in an EV bay when you are not hooked up to the charger
  5. Allow networks to have loyalty discounts through apps/rfid/etc. but set the per kWh bank card fees to not be excessive (but enough to make a profit)... there is little competition to drive prices down at the moment so this may need regulation to start with. If you are a tourist in an area and only visit once a year then paying 69p per kWh is not going to be a pleasant experience. Even worse if you need to order an RFID to use any charging stations.
Make the experience so easy for consumers that they want to use a charging station. Make it as easy and simple as using a petrol station.

I also think locations need better advice on destination vs rapid. You sometimes see rapids in places where cars are left for many hours and destination in places where cars only park for less than an hour. It doesn't make any sense!
 

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While I don't like the fractiousness of the EV networks, I do prefer reliability, and it seems most networks have fairly reasonable reliability. Only 1 network springs to mind as having a massively under spec network of legacy chargers that are often lacking in relevant sockets at sites (still no CCS at locations even though its been the EU standard for 5+ years etc), over priced for the poor level of support cover too oh and they've stitched up sites meaning their are anti-competitive. Guess who that is?
 

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Its early days and change will come. there are already a number of businesses that have realised that selling electricity at low profit brings customers to your shop or cafe. And it is the cafe that makes the money. The cost of installing a rapid charge point or two is nothing like the cost of installing a petrol pump, and the running costs of the charge point are also far less. Any road cafe chain on its own premises will soon start installing rapid chargers. Though you may find it is a 50% off your next charge voucher with a meal!
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Its early days and change will come. there are already a number of businesses that have realised that selling electricity at low profit brings customers to your shop or cafe. And it is the cafe that makes the money. The cost of installing a rapid charge point or two is nothing like the cost of installing a petrol pump, and the running costs of the charge point are also far less. Any road cafe chain on its own premises will soon start installing rapid chargers. Though you may find it is a 50% off your next charge voucher with a meal!
Early days? Is it? I've been driving EV for 6 years, and I waited 4 years until there was some sort of UK wide network before I jumped on the bandwagon.
 

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I guess it is fairly fragmented but I'm not bothered by it.
a. I hardly ever use public charges as I have a 64kW car and a home charger
b. I have yet to have any issue and have mostly just chosen contactless-card ones and it's just worked

It must be odd to be in the charging industry with battery size going up because it gives and it takes in terms of usage
 

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Definitely for it to be taken seriously by most people. I've seen people saying they tried an EV and hunted for hours for a charger etc and undoubtedly they were relying on some basic outdated map built into the car or a single provider's map, as they're not nerds who would think of going on internet forums and learning that Zap-Map is a thing. Not sure what the answer to that is (probably Google continuing to improve their EV feature, plus Apple doing similar, and generally putting them in more places and making them more obvious).

The finer point though is that they're for nerds right now. And even as a nerd, fine, I don't mind having a folder full of charging apps on my phone, but I loathe standing there for 5 minutes in the rain or gale force winds trying to scan a QR code, failing, typing in the number by hand, or trying to get a solid enough signal, or waiting for some network's map to load etc. Contactless and a clearly displayed price should be mandated everywhere including retrofitting IMO. Possible public funding help for retrofitting to put a bit of sugar on the draconian law if need be.
 
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