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I've decided to keep you all appraised of my exploits in separate posts - I hope this is not a problem for anyone. If it is please let me know and I'll add my comments to the original thread.

Anyway, I decided that before I attempt to get to the Ecotricity RCs on the M5 I ought to try one out. I had a letter from Hawkins Motors (where I purchased my C-Zero from) informing me of their chargers at Hayle and St. Stephen so I phoned them to make sure their Hayle RC was available. They were very helpful and told me there would be someone there to assist if needed.

I took the opportunity to go as far as Penzance (just at the limit of my range if I tried to go there and back on a full charge). Having got to Penzance I stopped at the Sainsbury's to check their facility - theirs was a post in the car park requiring a mennekes connector. The socket flaps weren't locked so I assume a RFID card is not required. I couldn't test it as I don't have a mennekes cable...... I've just done a bit of research and it looks like this location is managed by Pod-Point - a call back from them reveals that they want £12 for a RFID card and their chargers are free to use. However, they tell me that in a few months they intend to move to a PAYG system.

My next stop was at Hawkins where I found the RC to be easy to use -I was given a run through by an extremely helpful and friendly Suzanne Hawkins and my wife and I were welcome to sit in their customer waiting area whilst the car was on charge. With their permission, I will definitely be using their services again. I have to say I have come across other Hawkins customers who have said how friendly and helpful Hawkins' staff are.

So, after my previous exploit, this was a most pleasant day out.
 

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Peugeot iON 2013, Renault Zoe 50 2020
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Thanks for testing the Hayle RC out - I feel much more confident about trying that out now. Interesting that you found the socket flaps unlocked - I wonder if the RFID card is still required to start the charge? I do have a Mennekes cable (Type 1 to Type 2 plug) so I could try it, as the Hayle RC would be good backup. I'll let you know how that goes if/when I have an opportunity to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a response from POD Point about the Sainsburys Penzance charging point....

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your enquiry, unfortunately ........ the charging point at Sainsburys Penzance is only accessible with a POD Point open card. This can be purchased from our webshop for £15. This is the only fee that you pay to use our charging points., all electricty used is free of charge.
Our PAYG software has been developed but has not been implemented onto our posts yet. This is due to post owners not wishing to go PAYG and charge for electricity.
Kind regards,
Hannah Burton
Manager of Tier 1 Customer Support
POD Point Ltd.
t: 020 7247 4114
f: 0207 788 9631
w: www.pod-point.com
a: 4th Floor, Cityside House, 40 Adler Street, London, E1 1EE
 

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Peugeot iON 2013, Renault Zoe 50 2020
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That's saved me the trouble of trying it - thanks - good information to know.
 

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You really do need a Mennekes cable - 13 amp will become less common. I paid £200 for my Type2/Type-1 cable and teh impoved performance + access to chargers make it a 'no brainer'. As for paying the annual subs to PodPoint and ChargeMaster - its a necessary evil. I guess I've only used my PodPoint twice in a year - but failing to get a charge because of the failure to pay a small fee is a false economy, for a day ruined (potentially)!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You're right, a Mennekes cable is essential. I purchased one and I'm currently using it at the Arundell Arms in Lifton, Devon.
This is the start of my venture out of Cornwall. Fingers crossed!
 

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I live in Saltash. If I can do anything to help while you are down in my neck of the woods then please shout!

Fancy a coffee and top up charge on your way through? I am 2 mins from A38 just the other side of the bridge into Cornwall. :)

That goes for any EVer venturing this way. :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cheers Paul, thanks for the offer.
I was over that way last week and managed to use Waitrose to top up for my return journey.
 

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Here's a response from POD Point about the Sainsburys Penzance charging point....
Further to the response from POD Point I did manage to use the charging post last week - I tried each of my RFID cards and I think I accessed it with my ChargeYourCar one.
Just a word of caution though, do not disconnect your cable from your car until you have disconnected from the post. I found, to my dismay, that my cable was locked to the post because I didn't do it this way - I had to wait an hour for someone to call me back and disconnect me.
 
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