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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ecotricity have introduced a different style of map for the Highway. Instead of showing the status of all of the chargers at once it now doesn't show the individual chargers until you zoom in.

I HATE IT!

It will make route planning much more difficult as you cannot zoom out and get an overview of the chargers on your route and whether they are faulty or not.

I suspect that this is why they have changed it. No longer is it easy to see how many chargers are red. In fact, it will make seeing the overall status of the network almost impossible.

This is the first move that I have seen Ecotricity make that is clearly against EV drivers interests.

Shame.
 

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It's hard to design good maps, and there's a lot of data to present there. You may have seen the debate on twitter with them about it? Hopefully it will change, it was a strange move and misguided, but I don't think (I hope) not devious on purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I think there might be a hidden agenda in the change. Now it is almost impossible to count the red blobs and highlight the degree of failures.

Paul, you clearly are not as cyncial as me! ;)
 

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How to get a count of working and failed Ecotricity rapid chargers...

1) Open the Electric Highway page in Google Chrome
2) Right-Click a blank area and select "View page source"
3) Press Ctrl-F, then enter "type">DC in the search box -> you will see 1 of nnn where nnn is the number of rapid chargers
4) Change the contents of the search box to "offline">1 and then see 1 of mmm where mmm is the number out of order

This may work in other browsers, but I tested on Chrome

If any of the fast chargers go down they will also show in the "offline" count, but I can't remember when one of those last failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Matt... the charger locations are scripted in HTML.

That doesn't work in Firefox BTW... it finds the occurrences but doesn't give a count.
 

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If our sole objective in going to the Ecotricity site is to count the 'reds' - then that is a travesty. There more important things in life than trying of fault organisations. I really don't think that hiding the 'reds' was in anyway an objective. The reality was that they were cleaning up the interface to handle the even larger number of installations! What pleased me about Ecotricity was that I could see that they now had 108 installations and now had presence in Scotland and N.Ireland!
For me the progress that Ecotricity has made has been huge and the 'teething problem' have to be seen in context on new technologies in exposed locations!
The Ecotricity IS BRILLIANT! The deserve our fullest support AND CUSTOM!
 

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Brian, I agree to an extent. I really liked to old map (but it needed a solution to cases where services each side had chargers, and we need a full-screen map now there are so many chargers) and dislike the revision. I also am very interested in the progress of Ecotricity kicking DBT until the reliability increases so I like to keep an eye on how red the map is. I now can't do that, so had to find a way to figure out how good or bad things were. I understand Ecotricity are planning to improve the map soon, and they are aware that many of us hate the clustered version. What I also am more than happy to do is keep reminding Ecotricity that they have a serious reliability problem and we know about it. We need them to keep the pressure up on DBT and so they need to know that we are not happy (even though we know it is DBT at fault not Ecotricity).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I am with Matt on this one.

I agree they do deserve our support but I am not of the opinion that they should just be left to get on with it regardless of the level of service without comment.

Yes, they are currently free, but they are making them available for us to use and so they must want us to use them (or else why install them?) and if they want us to use them then they must be reliable enough for us to to just that of they are wasting their time and money.

I do not see us raising the issue of their lack of reliability as a complaint. I see it as giving them valuable feedback on how we feel about their current service and a reminder to them, and everyone else, just what is needed to create a viable rapid charger network. It is feedback to them and others as to the current state of play and I will continue to do it.

I have had to cancel a trip to London on Monday because of M4 chargers are down. What am I meant to do? Just say... are well... I haven't paid so I can't complain? That gets us no further forward. It needs us all to give them our support whist raising any issues publicaly.

I want the map to change because this clustered version is rubbish for route planning. However, there is no point in them hiding the red blobs if that was also their intention. The better approach is to fix the issues and turn them green.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It would probably take a bit longer than that. If they are doing what I expect them to be doing they will hold the core data on a database and the map is generated from that database whenever they want to refresh the online map. Mind you, it should take them long create something simple usable across all hardware platforms.
 

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I think they should turn the grey clusters into pie-charts. this would then show the colours at top level.

I think the cluster positions are not quiet right (just any one charge point not a modal or mean average position)
and the grouping area is a tad too large.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I am also a software developer and have used the Google Maps API and that I why I said it wouldn't take long (day or two max IMO)

My point though is that you and I can do what we want... a company normally has other considerations and other interested parties so it takes longer. :)
 

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What you really want is a website where you type in the postcodes of where you are starting from, and where you are goung to. Then have ecotricity plot you a route using google maps, with stops (and backup stops) for RC.
And then let you know if they are offline....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OCM would work great for this kind of app but only if there was a real-time, or daily at minimum, automated data exchange from Ecotricity to OCM.

As it stands, OCM works for location info as that doesn't change much from day to day, hour to hour, but is of very limited use for status info simply because it currently needs manual updates. Get Ecotricity, and the others, to provide a regular, at least daily, data update of status and then OCM starts to look much more viable for this kind of app.

When OCM is interfaced with car systems like OVMS and all cars have it installed, then we might not need these data interfaces. Until then, even when some cars have OVMS, and some people update the status manually, it still is only part of the picture so is of limited use for status reporting.

So, if we can convince Ecotricity, Chargemaster etc to send OCM regular, at least daily, status updates of all their chargers via an agreed data interface/process it would be a good start :)

I think that might be a way off yet :(
 

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I rather think we have been here before? Every aspect of the EV infrastructure is incoherent. The distribution of charge points has never been based on a logical, or physical architecture - with performance and reliability that would have allowed a 'design authority' to demonstrate its coherence?
As I understand it CYC has developed certain APIs and I suspect these are used by other network and charge point operators.
However, I suspect there is a 'little England' mentality here and from what I read the real work, in ensuring inter-operability, is being done under the auspices of the European Commission. I don't know which of the UK players are involved in European Standardisation projects - it gets very expensive to maintain representation in such fora, but that is the price you have to be willing to pay.
Its OK to promote OCM, but in the end its like all open source initiatives, they get crushed - is UNIX still out there?
It could be that the charging infrastructure that we see today will eventually be crushed, absorbed, bought out. Established European industrials will dominate all markets within 5 years - for sure. Charge Master Pod Point and CYC are simply trying to hype their market value and let the Directors retire to the Bahamas!
 
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