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Elmo/Connected Kerb partnership - free month

723 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  ajtaylor
Hi all,
I hope this is the correct place to post this. I'm wondering if anyone else has taken advantage of the free month with Elmo and Connected Kerb (only in very specific locations). https://elmodrive.com/connected-kerb-council-partnership . The aim is to encourage EV uptake among people who don't have a charge point at home.

I'm just finishing my free month, and would be interested to hear others' experiences.

Pros: Elmo was great to deal with, and the Renault Zoe they sent was brilliant

Cons: charging has been a nightmare

This was not a representative experience; since I could charge for free on Connected Kerb and at my own expense on other networks, I tried to use only Connected Kerb charge points, using the RFID card they sent me. But the RFID card didn't come with instructions, and I could only get the car to charge successfully on about half the occasions I tried. I still don't know if it was something I was doing, or something wrong with the charge points, or both. Google reveals plenty of publicity for Connected Kerb, but very little real-world experience from people who have used their charge points.

I can imagine that owning an EV without a charge point at home might just about be feasible, given full access to all charging networks. But I can also imagine that it's an anxiety-inducing headache. I did use a couple of other networks - ESB rapid chargers worked fine, once I could find one that accepted contactless (the first three I tried usually accepted contactless, but the facility wasn't working). BP Pulse provided free at a local museum worked (slowly) but mysteriously locked my charge cable, and I had to get security staff to cut power to the unit so I could drive off.

Much of this could be put down to teething troubles - and I feel hesitant to complain about something I wasn't paying for. But it hasn't been a great experience overall.
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How do you get free charging with Connected Kerb, is this an Elmo thing or something Connected Kerb are offering? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

We have Connected Kerb near here, I've never used them but others have, they seem to work fine from the App, and they were quite quick to check out why one of the posts wasn't delivering full speeds.

With the BP Charger you used, it's likely you'd have needed to use a RFID Card/App to start the charge, and you'd have needed to do similar to release the cable from the post. Or, some of the BP Units will release the cable if you press the Open Flap/Eject Cable from within the car - once it sees you're not charging it just releases.

You'll find decent chargers and locations and not so decent ones, and you'll soon learn which to use and which to avoid!
Thanks @ajtaylor. They've entered into a partnership to offer this free month (when I applied, they were framing it as a "competition" but they don't seem to be doing this now!). Basically, sign up for a month with no fee, and free Connected Kerb charging thrown in, only open to people living near the on-street chargers in Coventry and Halton.

I suspect that once I acquired a bit more experience, it would be fine. But if they're doing this for good publicity, giving a total beginner an EV and an RFID card with no instructions probably isn't the best way of doing it! I take your point about the BP Pulse charger. This was at a museum, and the staff had a key they lent me to unlock the charge point and plug in. The key I used to start did not work to finish the session - and I had no way of knowing in advance that I'd need to do something special to finish the charge.

The month is up now and the Zoe has just been collected. I'm going to miss driving it, and might consider longer-term EV ownership in future, but for now while we don't have a charge point at home, I'm sticking with our petrol hybrid as it doesn't require hours of research and admin to work out how to fuel it...
Out of interest, what's the last three letters of the Registration Plate you've just returned?

Is the Free Connected Kerb charging just a one month thing or would it have been permanent if you'd kept the car? I only ask because they are/were doing a similar partnership here - but your offer of no fees etc is better than we have!

It's definitely worth giving that feedback to Elmo - I'm regularly talking to Lucas for example, and they do take a lot of it on board.

Don't let the bad experiences get you down. I fully rely on public charging and it works alright for me, most of the time. It's very strange to see a BP Pulse unit that just vends electricity, I've certainly not come across one before. Normally you'd stop the charge with an RFID Card, or on the App, for example. That would unlock the car.
I don't know about the free charging - I suspect it would only have been for a month. It may be that charging would have been more reliable using the app but I was instructed not to use that and to use the RFID card alone - which worked, but only sometimes.

Lucas was brilliant in my dealings with Elmo! If his bosses are listening, he's a great asset to you ;) Car reg ended in CKF - 700 miles on it when I got it, about 1150 now.

We live very centrally in a city, and have one car for a family of two adults - so this was a luxury month of dual car ownership for us. It was nice to have two cars but it's not something we truly need, so the question is whether we're ready to have an EV as our only vehicle. "Perhaps" is the answer to that. I've never considered car leasing/subscription before (we've previously just purchased lightly used cars, then driven them until they die) so this has been interesting from that perspective, not just the EV side of things.
I can't see any mention of the free Connected Kerb charging on that webpage you linked to initially. It's strange though, would they have disabled the card after a month? Very odd. The not using the App is likely the same reason as BP Pulse not allowing Elmo/Onto users access - they can't (yet) separate the individual users. So RFID Card it has to be.

I've been asking Elmo to add more charging providers for a while now, as their offering is really sub-par compared to Onto's - Connected Kerb wouldn't hugely benefit me but would be a start.

Thanks for the reg plate - my Elmo Zoe is being swapped on Monday and I wondered if you one you'd returned would become mine, but they aren't the same.

I'd be happy to have a ZE50 as our only car (but we need two generally). We have kids, so even at motorway speeds we'd need to stop after two hours for food etc and so we can get a charge at the same time. You'll find EV driving much easier if you have charging facilities at home I suspect!

Maybe go back to Coventry Council as well and mention about their charging provision and how they can better it? Even mentioning about the RFID card with Connected Kerb being flaky I'm sure they'd look in to it.
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