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Discussion Starter #1
This thread has got me thinking - How bad is Ecotricity electric highway.

It sounds like a lot of people are moving away from Ecotricity on MSAs to new ‘hubs’ put in by other providers. Or, at least only stopping off at locations that have more than 1x CCS per location instead of the single charger locations.

My question is, how do you find them? Do you just know they’re there and route to them manually, or is there an app that I can get that will allow me to plot routes across the country only stopping in multi-charger locations?

I know I can filter Zap-Map to only show Instavolt, or ABRP to prefer Instavolt, and that in itself will help as Instavolts tend to be at least 2x CCS per location. But I know Polar have at least one multi-charger hub now too, so I wouldn’t want to exclude multi-charger hubs from other networks.

So how do you do it? Is there an app I can get that will route me across the country only stopping in multi-charger locations? Or do I have to click on each location in Zap-Map in an area one by one until I find one that has more than one CCS?
 

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It possibly takes a lot of research. I know of no apps, websites etc, that will give that information in an immediately usable format. Just like trying to find a holiday camp, cottage or hotel with charging facilities.

You still have to trawl through things like Plugshare or ZapMap and inspect every charger along your route to see what facilities are available. This is really a shame, but the information just isn't there in a handy format yet.

Instavolt, as you say, reliably has double charging posts at most locations.
 
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There is one app which can do this...

The overview screen in WattsUp will show you which sites are multi-charger - it's indicated by the number of coloured oblongs (which, in turn, show availability - green available, blue in use, red unavailable, grey unknown).

The oblongs are actually the specific number of available connectors for your car. It takes the guess work out for drivers!

133948
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is one app which can do this...

The overview screen in WattsUp will show you which sites are multi-charger - it's indicated by the number of coloured oblongs (which, in turn, show availability - green available, blue in use, red unavailable, grey unknown).

The oblongs are actually the specific number of available connectors for your car. It takes the guess work out for drivers!

View attachment 133948
Well this looks great! Are you the developer? I’ll download it now and play around with it.

How up to date are the chargers in it? Is it missing many or is it pretty complete? Also, are there any route planning options in it or does it just show locations?
 

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Well this looks great! Are you the developer? I’ll download it now and play around with it.

How up to date are the chargers in it? Is it missing many or is it pretty complete? Also, are there any route planning options in it or does it just show locations?
Thanks. Yes, I'm one of the developers.

The database is likely to be the most accurate you'll find. We work in partnership with the majority of UK network operators.

The app is designed for longer journeys and so we only show 50kW+ chargers. Although it can be used for route planning, we hope it will be used in the car, i.e. set a destination and we'll show you all of your options en route (with live status and so allowing drivers to decide when to stop).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. Yes, I'm one of the developers.

The database is likely to be the most accurate you'll find. We work in partnership with the majority of UK network operators.

The app is designed for longer journeys and so we only show 50kW+ chargers. Although it can be used for route planning, we hope it will be used in the car, i.e. set a destination and we'll show you all of your options en route (with live status and so allowing drivers to decide when to stop).
Sounds really nice, kind of like Apple trail their new EV mode in Apple Maps to be, but who knows if/when that will actually roll out. Plus I’m sure you’ll have a lot of features that Apple don’t as they tend to keep things basic.

So, if I set my destination and your app says “ok, cool, I’ll plan a stop at this charger along the way” and then as I’m driving, that charger changes to be in use, does the app dynamically pick a different charger to route me to?
 

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Sounds really nice, kind of like Apple trail their new EV mode in Apple Maps to be, but who knows if/when that will actually roll out. Plus I’m sure you’ll have a lot of features that Apple don’t as they tend to keep things basic.

So, if I set my destination and your app says “ok, cool, I’ll plan a stop at this charger along the way” and then as I’m driving, that charger changes to be in use, does the app dynamically pick a different charger to route me to?
Before setting off, you can add 'preferred chargers' in the overview screen by tapping the '+' symbol. These chargers will be shown on the right hand side of the driving screen at all times (with distance remaining and status too).

All other chargers are shown at the bottom of the screen in the status bar. These will move along automatically (allowing drivers to change their planned stop, if necessary). We let the driver choose their charge strategy!
 

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Hi Michael, any progress with getting this working in CarPlay? I believe that Apple are opening CarPlay up to allow EV charging apps from the launch of iOS 14...?
 

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Hi Michael, any progress with getting this working in CarPlay? I believe that Apple are opening CarPlay up to allow EV charging apps from the launch of iOS 14...?
We're keeping a close eye on beta developments.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’ve been playing around and it’s a pretty cool app! Don’t think I’d use it for navigation unless you get it into CarPlay, but I will probably use it for planning my journey over other apps that are out there for journey planning.

The great thing about it is how clear and simple the interface is. Let’s say I was heading on a journey and thought I’d have to stop after 90 miles. Maybe actually traffic has been slower than I thought, and I realise as time goes by I’ll actually go 120 miles before I need to recharge. I reckon I could pull into a lay-by, and find a new charger a bit further out to route via instead within seconds. Other apps I have I find clunky for doing this, and replanning on the fly takes much longer. So, nice job!

Shame you don’t have Polar live availability, but I guess that’s probably Polar’s fault rather than yours.

What your app does show me is just how rubbish the UK’s charging network is! I put in 3 common trips I take from Gloucester into your app to try it out, and there wasn’t a multi-charger location at around the 80-120mile mark on any of the journeys! :ROFLMAO:
 

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This thread has got me thinking - How bad is Ecotricity electric highway.

It sounds like a lot of people are moving away from Ecotricity on MSAs to new ‘hubs’ put in by other providers. Or, at least only stopping off at locations that have more than 1x CCS per location instead of the single charger locations.

My question is, how do you find them? Do you just know they’re there and route to them manually, or is there an app that I can get that will allow me to plot routes across the country only stopping in multi-charger locations?

I know I can filter Zap-Map to only show Instavolt, or ABRP to prefer Instavolt, and that in itself will help as Instavolts tend to be at least 2x CCS per location. But I know Polar have at least one multi-charger hub now too, so I wouldn’t want to exclude multi-charger hubs from other networks.

So how do you do it? Is there an app I can get that will route me across the country only stopping in multi-charger locations? Or do I have to click on each location in Zap-Map in an area one by one until I find one that has more than one CCS?
Surely it's better to just have the live usage data?

E.g. There's a single unit that has serves two cars at time near me, but what's the point in priotising that if they are both in use when you get there?

ABRP has that built in. The Hyundai blue link Nav in my Ioniq will automatically reroute you if the charger is in use at the time. I think ABRP does that as well.

ABRP also lets you ignore certain chargers completely (for example if you know that's a typically unreliable one).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Surely it's better to just have the live usage data?

E.g. There's a single unit that has serves two cars at time near me, but what's the point in priotising that if they are both in use when you get there?

ABRP has that built in. The Hyundai blue link Nav in my Ioniq will automatically reroute you if the charger is in use at the time. I think ABRP does that as well.

ABRP also lets you ignore certain chargers completely (for example if you know that's a typically unreliable one).
That’s a cool feature in the Hyundai nav... maybe my VW nav does the same, I’ve never tried to be honest! Always use CarPlay, but I’ll experiment with that.

Does ABRP reroute you based on charger usage? I didn’t think it did last time I looked into it, but maybe I missed something... it’s quite an involved app is ABRP! A lot of settings to tweak before trips. I probably just need to invest some more time into getting the most from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
@Michael Gill - One idea for Polar: I know that on their live map, although they don't show availability they do show "last charge time." Not sure if they provide this via API, but if they do you could do something whereby if the last charge time isn't within the last 24 hours, it shows as red in your app. Not true availability, but would at least mean you could spot the ones that are very likely dead in your list at a glance.

Also, ability to open the locations in another app like Apple Maps or Google Maps would be extremely useful. I know you probably don't want to encourage this as you want your app to one a 'one stop shop', but until you have Apple CarPlay support I think most users will want to do this.
 

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Well that WattsUp app does look great, but it's not very helpful when it thinks I'm in Leeds and I am actually in Newbury. I don't see how to turn on location information either (Android).

Edit: Oh it somehow seems to have sorted itself out now.

Another edit: There doesn't seem to be any option for user reports, which is an extremely useful feature of Zap Map.
 

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Well that WattsUp app does look great, but it's not very helpful when it thinks I'm in Leeds and I am actually in Newbury. I don't see how to turn on location information either (Android).

Edit: Oh it somehow seems to have sorted itself out now.

Another edit: There doesn't seem to be any option for user reports, which is an extremely useful feature of Zap Map.
Glad you got it working Jeff.

Not having user reports was a conscious decision. We think the best data will come directly from networks and so this is shown.

It’s also often the case that drivers tend to report bad charging experiences and not when it has gone well. As a result, many chargers in apps which rely on user checkins show a disproportionate number of negative comments (which may not accurately reflect the current functional status).
 

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@Michael Gill - One idea for Polar: I know that on their live map, although they don't show availability they do show "last charge time." Not sure if they provide this via API, but if they do you could do something whereby if the last charge time isn't within the last 24 hours, it shows as red in your app. Not true availability, but would at least mean you could spot the ones that are very likely dead in your list at a glance.

Also, ability to open the locations in another app like Apple Maps or Google Maps would be extremely useful. I know you probably don't want to encourage this as you want your app to one a 'one stop shop', but until you have Apple CarPlay support I think most users will want to do this.
Thanks for your thoughts. Over the past few months, we have approached all of the U.K. network operators with 50kW+ chargers to discuss providing data. The majority have been keen to do so and see the benefits in widely sharing accurate details of their chargepoints. We do this as a free service.

Unfortunately, despite national regulatory efforts, there is no compulsion for data to be shared with third party organisations. Therefore, some choose not to do so.

Our view is that drivers will tend to use chargers which show as live and operational. Having this instantaneous information can only provide confidence to EV owners. Hopefully, we’ll see the last few operators on board at some point.

Thanks for your idea re. sending location info to other apps. We’ll look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for your thoughts. Over the past few months, we have approached all of the U.K. network operators with 50kW+ chargers to discuss providing data. The majority have been keen to do so and see the benefits in widely sharing accurate details of their chargepoints. We do this as a free service.

Unfortunately, despite national regulatory efforts, there is no compulsion for data to be shared with third party organisations. Therefore, some choose not to do so.

Our view is that drivers will tend to use chargers which show as live and operational. Having this instantaneous information can only provide confidence to EV owners. Hopefully, we’ll see the last few operators on board at some point.

Thanks for your idea re. sending location info to other apps. We’ll look into it.
Thanks! I might actually contact Polar to ask them about why they don’t provide this info to 3rd party apps. Every little bit of customer pressure helps eh!
 

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Just been playing with WattsUp. A bit depressing - I'm near Southampton and on the near me screen it shows about 20 within 25 miles, but only 2 are multis - both Instavolt twins.

The app does seem to lack something I'd like - To pick an area, say a town, I know I can get to but want to charge nearby and get the overview based on there. (I realise it's meant to be a live app, but I like to get an idea of what's ahead.)
 

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Just been playing with WattsUp. A bit depressing - I'm near Southampton and on the near me screen it shows about 20 within 25 miles, but only 2 are multis - both Instavolt twins.

The app does seem to lack something I'd like - To pick an area, say a town, I know I can get to but want to charge nearby and get the overview based on there. (I realise it's meant to be a live app, but I like to get an idea of what's ahead.)
Hi Mike. You can change the start point by selecting ‘Advance Plan’. We have been considering whether to rename this button (suggestions welcome)!
 

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You can change the start point by selecting ‘Advance Plan’.
Aha. Got it (y)

We have been considering whether to rename this button (suggestions welcome)!
I think you are using the word "Advance" as for 'Ahead of' but people are reading it as "Advanced" meaning 'complicated'.
How about "Future journey"? That fits better with the 'New journey' button as once the location is entered it looks much the same.

Incidentally, I had a job getting the app from the Play Store. It kept trying to give me that damn messaging service, and when I got past that I found WattsUp is a magazine service :oops:
Eventually I went to your website, clicked the Android button there, and that finally brought it up in my Play Store. Did you annoy Google or something? :)
 
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