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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that historically the rapid charge network had a bit of a bad reputation but things have really improved over the last year. I think the graph below pretty much sums up how much work Ecotricity have been doing.




The live graph can be seen over on my site, EV Status, here: EV Status


We can also see that a new rapid has popped up at Penrith in the last couple of days using the New Location tracker here: EV Status




Hat tip to Ecotricity and the Electric Highway!
 

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What?? Just because a charger is online doesn't mean it is working. It just means that the sim card in the charger is communicating with the back office. Do you have a graph to show how many successful vs failed CCS Charging attempts. Add that to the chargers that are still offline, that would be a true reflection of quality. Strange that you think having approximately 20-30 offline at any one time is something to celebrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What?? Just because a charger is online doesn't mean it is working. It just means that the sim card in the charger is communicating with the back office. Do you have a graph to show how many successful vs failed CCS Charging attempts. Add that to the chargers that are still offline, that would be a true reflection of quality. Strange that you think having approximately 20-30 offline at any one time is something to celebrate.
The charger being unable to communicate is not the only requirement for Ecotricity to mark it offline on their map. I've attended chargers that are marked offline even though they are still powered up and communicating but somehow fail to initiate a charge, like all the thermal issues we saw a year or so back. Ecotricity leaving these marked as online even though they know they don't work would be a bit silly, wouldn't it. That's why they don't.

I don't have any data at all on the number of charges, attempted or otherwise. My data is gathered from their map, here: Our Electric Highway - For The Road - Ecotricity

The recent number of chargers offline is hovering around 10% of the network. I'm not sure how that number being 10% instead of 30%-40% isn't something to celebrate. Considering Ecotricity provide the network, and the electricity, to us free of charge, I'm incredibly grateful for that and the expansion and maintenance they provide in addition.
 

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The charger being unable to communicate is not the only requirement for Ecotricity to mark it offline on their map. I've attended chargers that are marked offline even though they are still powered up and communicating but somehow fail to initiate a charge, like all the thermal issues we saw a year or so back. Ecotricity leaving these marked as online even though they know they don't work would be a bit silly, wouldn't it. That's why they don't.

I don't have any data at all on the number of charges, attempted or otherwise. My data is gathered from their map, here: Our Electric Highway - For The Road - Ecotricity

The recent number of chargers offline is hovering around 10% of the network. I'm not sure how that number being 10% instead of 30%-40% isn't something to celebrate. Considering Ecotricity provide the network, and the electricity, to us free of charge, I'm incredibly grateful for that and the expansion and maintenance they provide in addition.
To me a Charger online means communication to back office. Charger out of order means its not working.
I know many people that attended Ecotricity chargers that were showing as online and didn't work, so is that taken into account?

Imagine if there was only one petrol pump in your town and it worked 9 times out of 10, would you think that's acceptable. (BTW, 10% failure is certain not a true reflection in my experience) Ecotricity have mad a consious decision to install the poor quality chargers and I know this poor quality puts people off buy electric cars and that really annoys me. They have a monoply and tgis is how they act. Ecotricity could easily buy Siemens or ABB chargers that would be more reliable. But then why would they when people are applauding their poor performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To me a Charger online means communication to back office. Charger out of order means its not working.
I know many people that attended Ecotricity chargers that were showing as online and didn't work, so is that taken into account?

Imagine if there was only one petrol pump in your town and it worked 9 times out of 10, would you think that's acceptable. (BTW, 10% failure is certain not a true reflection in my experience) Ecotricity have mad a consious decision to install the poor quality chargers and I know this poor quality puts people off buy electric cars and that really annoys me. They have a monoply and tgis is how they act. Ecotricity could easily buy Siemens or ABB chargers that would be more reliable. But then why would they when people are applauding their poor performance.
Offline means not working in the context of the Ecotricity map and my graph. There is sometimes an overlap where people report a charger isn't functioning and then the delay for Ecotricity to update the map. It's not an automated process so that can't be helped really. The charger can be powered up and communicating with Ecotricity but not work when someone connects a car to it but they won't actually know that until someone connects a car to it. I don't know how I could take this into account as I don't have any more information other than what is presented on the map, sorry.

Also, you seem to be way off in your comparisons. If the petrol pump in your town was free to use and gave out free petrol, you wouldn't really have any grounds to complain when it didn't work. You don't pay for it, there is no SLA and it seems like a pretty entitled view to have. Given that petrol pumps aren't free as we pay a pretty hefty premium for the petrol they deliver, you have a lot more grounds for complaint as you are actually coughing up hard earned cash for use of the facility. This is also probably the reason you don't see them out of order as much, because they're put there to generate revenue and profit, not for your convenience.

Ecotricity don't have a monopoly either. They're providing an incredibly expensive network to you, free of charge, and not even charging you for the electricity you consume. Have you considered that there simply aren't any other companies out there that would put that much cash/effort into something for no financial return? Apparently it can cost close to £20k to fully install and commission a rapid charger, perhaps someone can verify that for me. I've also seen Ecotricity rapid chargers alongside Tesla Super Chargers, which contradicts the idea of a monopoly.

The only thing that I can really suggest is that you chop up your Electric Highway card and speak with your feet, take your custom elsewhere. If you feel that their actions are as bad as you make out, the only way to make any company pay attention is to hit them where it hurts, in their pocket. I hear ChargeMaster have pretty cheap rates, check them out.
 

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Offline means not working in the context of the Ecotricity map and my graph. There is sometimes an overlap where people report a charger isn't functioning and then the delay for Ecotricity to update the map. It's not an automated process so that can't be helped really. The charger can be powered up and communicating with Ecotricity but not work when someone connects a car to it but they won't actually know that until someone connects a car to it. I don't know how I could take this into account as I don't have any more information other than what is presented on the map, sorry.

Also, you seem to be way off in your comparisons. If the petrol pump in your town was free to use and gave out free petrol, you wouldn't really have any grounds to complain when it didn't work. You don't pay for it, there is no SLA and it seems like a pretty entitled view to have. Given that petrol pumps aren't free as we pay a pretty hefty premium for the petrol they deliver, you have a lot more grounds for complaint as you are actually coughing up hard earned cash for use of the facility. This is also probably the reason you don't see them out of order as much, because they're put there to generate revenue and profit, not for your convenience.

Ecotricity don't have a monopoly either. They're providing an incredibly expensive network to you, free of charge, and not even charging you for the electricity you consume. Have you considered that there simply aren't any other companies out there that would put that much cash/effort into something for no financial return? Apparently it can cost close to £20k to fully install and commission a rapid charger, perhaps someone can verify that for me. I've also seen Ecotricity rapid chargers alongside Tesla Super Chargers, which contradicts the idea of a monopoly.

The only thing that I can really suggest is that you chop up your Electric Highway card and speak with your feet, take your custom elsewhere. If you feel that their actions are as bad as you make out, the only way to make any company pay attention is to hit them where it hurts, in their pocket. I hear ChargeMaster have pretty cheap rates, check them out.
Dont get me started on Chargemaster, I even hear they are starting to manufacture their own rapid charger. That is a disaster waiting to happen because everyone thinks that ev charging is a hardware game when its in fact a software game.
If I chop up my Ecotricity card I cant charge my i3 on any motorway in the uk. That's seems like a monopoly to me. I know of several companies that would (and have offered to) install different chargers on Ecotricity sites if the landlord allowed it. The only reason Tesla are in now is because they threatened them with court action for having a monopoly.
I'd have no problem paying for a service that worked rather than have a free service that sometimes worked but then each to there own.
 

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It is FREE* to use, how can one complain!
If it was paid for then I would find it annoying perhaps..

Well done ecotricity


*at the moment
 

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If I chop up my Ecotricity card I cant charge my i3 on any motorway in the uk.
Unless you use a plugged in midlands, source london or charge your car card instead
 

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It is FREE* to use, how can one complain!
If it was paid for then I would find it annoying perhaps..

Well done ecotricity
*at the moment
While I appreciate that Ecotricity are making available what is effectively a beta service, a service cannot genuinely be described as free to use if it is so unreliable that you cannot make long journeys with peace of mind. That lack of peace of mind can be quantified by asking how much would the average person pay to be able to travel long distances with absolute confidence of being able to charge. I would certainly pay for this benefit.
 

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I must be misunderstanding, but surely "free to use" does not imply any form of service level? It's like "free to use" public Wifi, which can often be flaky and unreliable. (as can paid for wifi on e.g. Virgin West Coast - that's a fiver I will never get back).

Quantifying the peace of mind is fine, however, it doesn't alter the price being charge (zero).

Based on this thread it seems to be the CCS owners who are most upset, so as before I'd recommend their first port of call should not be Ecotricity (or Nissan, who provided the chargers) but VW (who made the half-baked CCS modifications) and BMW (who have done nothing at all).

[Written by a Leaf driver who has been commuting 160 miles for the last few weeks :p]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
a service cannot genuinely be described as free to use if it is so unreliable that you cannot make long journeys
Yes it can, by not paying for it! Reliability has nothing to do with it, there's still no cost.

I'd happily start paying for the Electric Highway now because the introduction of additional funds like that can only make things better, faster. Even a flat rate of £10/month from what must be thousands of users could provide a nice amount of funding towards repairs/upgrades/expansion. It's less hassle as there is no tracking or monitoring of amounts and flexible billing, just a single flat fee. Looking at other providers you'd only need to use it twice to be cost equal and with a few charges you'd probably be saving money compared to your tariff at home.
 

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Of course you're literally correct - and may I also add my appreciation @ScottHelme to what is a brilliant site! I don't want to suggest that I don't appreciate Ecotricity's chargers when they have been working and available, which is most of the time. My main point is that as long as it is a free service it cannot attain business-grade reliability or availability (because of unpenalised abuse) and so I cannot use my car to transport my family for long distances with a clear conscience. Its free status meanwhile has surely held back investment by others in a properly professional electric network.
 

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Even a flat rate of £10/month from what must be thousands of users could provide a nice amount of funding towards repairs/upgrades/expansion
That would be ok if we all used Ecotricity chargers on a regular basis, my nearest is Kinross around 40 miles.
Granted during summer hols and days out I do use them more, but I and many others outside EH covered area would be paying every month and only using occasionally, so not cheaper than home charging for us.

P.S. I will be using the Ecotricity CP at John O Groat's later this year :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That would be ok if we all used Ecotricity chargers on a regular basis, my nearest is Kinross around 40 miles.
Granted during summer hols and days out I do use them more, but I and many others outside EH covered area would be paying every month and only using occasionally, so not cheaper than home charging for us.

P.S. I will be using the Ecotricity CP at John O Groat's later this year :)
True, but there's no reason it'd need to be paid every month. Like any 1 month recurring payment you could just stop it and then pay again for another month as and when needed. It's difficult to try and think up a payment plan really. Setting one off charges tends to penalise heavy users and fixed tariffs penalise low usage users.

Perhaps £10/month or £1 per charge when not on a monthly subscription?
 

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Perhaps £10/month or £1 per charge when not on a monthly subscription?
Yeah, something like that would suit both heavy and light users.
 

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Hi Scott,
Good on you for gathering the data. I was going to try by doing it using data from zap map as the Ecotricity site did not have live updates. However I have had problems with the reliability of the chargers. I have had the Leaf for one month and on my first long trip 50% of chargers I have tried to use have been out of service. (Donnington , Leicester Forest East, and Welcome break Derby). And if you look at zap map some have been broken for some time. I think that Ecotricity chargers have two connectros and if the Chademo is out of service people report a good charge on the type 2. (so this confuses people). What is the Tesla chargers availability percentage ? Also has Ecotricity got a monopoly on motorways/Aroads ? I would rather pay and have high availability. Dale Vince is a bloody hero and a pioneer, But maybe he should handover to a more customer focused management or at least allow other companies to install paid for chargers at Ecotricity locations.

Richard
 

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Great stats. Thanks Scott.
It shows the blip at the end of 2014 but in my mind it was much worse. That is range psychology. At that time many sites were single chargers and the distance to the next charger was greater.

now if you could factor in the distance to the next working charger and average EV range....(y)

Only joking:D
 
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