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Hi.
I just drove my brand new Leaf south from Warrington late afternoon recently. The car was fully charged, and I thought I should be able to make Warwick services. As it happened, I was left with 11 miles showing and I reckoned 7-8 miles to the Services. :(

The car was complaining, asking me if I wanted to re-route, and I chickened out. I ended up at a Podpoint charger at Parkway Rail Station. As I'd expected to make the Services, the only app I had on my phone was Ecotricity. I downloaded the PodPoint App, loaded £20 onto it and hoped the charger would work. I had some difficulties, but after 30 mins I was able to head for the services and the rapid charger there.

I've since checked other routes I might be taking and it seems I may need Polar, CYC, ChargePoint, PodPoint, Ecotricity, Source London, as well as the apps for finding the stations in the first place! So how many apps do I need on my phone? Thoughts?

P.S. I'm also considering having a second (charged up) phone in the car so I can turn on charge points. Anyone know of a PAYG data-only Android sim that lasts for several months without expiring? Thanks.
 

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All of the apps, and then some more. What a right mess it all is.
Zap-map seems to be handy for finding the chargepoints, and has links to show you which company you have to pay.
As for the pay and go data sim, most providers sell pre-loaded data sims (three.co.uk seem a reasonable one) with a few GB on there, and they last about 1 year once activated.
If you do have a spare phone in the car make sure it's hidden from view, don't want the thieves having an excuse to break a window.
 

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Snap loads of apps on my phone, signed up for the free 6 months with Polar
it is quite bonkers - in reality we have used an Ecotricity rapid a total of three times all other charging is at home and I don't think I will be doing it any differently as time goes on - I have already set myself a calendar reminded to cancel the polar card before it starts to cost anything.
 

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+1 for the "three" classic PAYG sim if you want to keep an emergency phone in the car it is probably the cheapest way - we have one, just remember to disable app updates and usage via Mobile data except the ones you absolutely need.

Keep a usb charging lead with the phone so that when you get it out for the first time in a few months it can actually be powered up!
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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I think apps wise, I only have Ecotricity and Pod Point. I mostly use Polar chargers using a card, and I have cards for CPG and legacy Source London posts.

In reality, it really isn't as bad as many people on here make out.
 

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I've since checked other routes I might be taking and it seems I may need Polar, CYC, ChargePoint, PodPoint, Ecotricity, Source London, as well as the apps for finding the stations in the first place! So how many apps do I need on my phone? Thoughts?
If you get a BMW Chargenow card so far it seems to work at any Polar, CYC or Chargemaster posts. Free for the first three months, the £7.85 pm, doesn't charge the new Polar £1 connection fee, most 3kw and 7kw posts are free and most rapids are 11p a kwh no connection fee, unless the vendor has some other fee structure but that will be listed on zap-map. I don't ever remember it asking if you have a BMW or your car reg when you apply online.

In my i3 I just have a BMW chargenow card, pod-point card, on my phone I have the ecotricity app. pod point app and zap map. Pretty simple.

P.S. I'm also considering having a second (charged up) phone in the car so I can turn on charge points. Anyone know of a PAYG data-only Android sim that lasts for several months without expiring? Thanks.
Back a few years a go when unemployed in 2010 I switched to Tesco mobile PAYG. That was pretty good. you used to get 3 x "free minutes" that expired each month but the original purchase minutes lasted until used.

So say you bought 60 mins for £5 then you got 120 mins free for a 180 total but the 120 mins free only last 30 days, but get used first.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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If you get a BMW Chargenow card so far it seems to work at any Polar, CYC or Chargemaster posts. Free for the first three months, the £7.85 pm, doesn't charge the new Polar £1 connection fee, most 3kw and 7kw posts are free and most rapids are 11p a kwh no connection fee, unless the vendor has some other fee structure but that will be listed on zap-map. I don't ever remember it asking if you have a BMW or your car reg when you apply online.

In my i3 I just have a BMW chargenow card, pod-point card, on my phone I have the ecotricity app. pod point app and zap map. Pretty simple.



Back a few years a go when unemployed in 2010 I switched to Tesco mobile PAYG. That was pretty good. you used to get 3 x "free minutes" that expired each month but the original purchase minutes lasted until used.

So say you bought 60 mins for £5 then you got 120 mins free for a 180 total but the 120 mins free only last 30 days, but get used first.
That's basically the gist, although a Polar Plus card works exactly the same (albeit some specific BMW dealer chargers won't accept it sometimes).

Not wanting to be mean, but I think some of the facts in your post need correcting:
  • Chargemaster is the parent company of both Polar and CYC - the latter two are the individual networks. Chargemaster do manufacturer charge posts, most of which are either on Polar or happen to work with their subscriptions but some may be setup by their own operators to not accept Polar subscriptions.
  • A Polar Plus or BMW Chargenow card should work on any post that's on the Polar or CYC network, but some older CYC posts can't have the card whitelist updated (notably 3-pin posts) so might not work. For clarity, you cannot use CYC posts using the Pay As You Go Polar subscription known as Polar Instant.
  • The connection fee you refer to is a CYC connection fee, which applies only to previously free-vend posts on the CYC network when used with a CYC account. You correctly state that a Polar Plus/Chargenow account will not attract this charge, which is effectively covered in the subscription fee
  • Posts which have non-standard pricing on Polar Plus sadly aren't all marked as such on Zap Map - the official advice is to use the Polar Plus map (which should be the same as the Chargenow map) to identify if a post has non-standard pricing. More seem to now than when they first introduced this, annoyingly!
In summary, though, just the Ecotricity app will get you pretty far. Ecotricity plus Polar Plus now covers a huge proportion of the country, and for insurance in some specific areas you might want to join up to one of the other networks....
 

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Polar Plus covers CYC and some of the Charge XXX (east, west south etc) points, plus you can register it for Genie for use in the South West and West Sussex, plus the ecotricity App for use in extremis.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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Polar Plus covers CYC and some of the Charge XXX (east, west south etc) points, plus you can register it for Genie for use in the South West and West Sussex, plus the ecotricity App for use in extremis.
Source East doesn't exist anymore - it's been split between Polar, ChargePoint and another network I forget (Engenie?).

Where are the ChargePoint Genie points in West Sussex? They sound useful!
 

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I'm going to say 14.

Seriously I'm glad I just got a new phone with an SD card slot. The old one was full, literally, with all the apps.

I can't see anything changing.
 

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Hi.
I just drove my brand new Leaf south from Warrington late afternoon recently. The car was fully charged, and I thought I should be able to make Warwick services. As it happened, I was left with 11 miles showing and I reckoned 7-8 miles to the Services. :(

The car was complaining, asking me if I wanted to re-route, and I chickened out. I ended up at a Podpoint charger at Parkway Rail Station. As I'd expected to make the Services, the only app I had on my phone was Ecotricity. I downloaded the PodPoint App, loaded £20 onto it and hoped the charger would work. I had some difficulties, but after 30 mins I was able to head for the services and the rapid charger there.

I've since checked other routes I might be taking and it seems I may need Polar, CYC, ChargePoint, PodPoint, Ecotricity, Source London, as well as the apps for finding the stations in the first place! So how many apps do I need on my phone? Thoughts?

P.S. I'm also considering having a second (charged up) phone in the car so I can turn on charge points. Anyone know of a PAYG data-only Android sim that lasts for several months without expiring? Thanks.

Also I hope you paid the parking at Warwick parkway, they have this stupid ANPR thing with fines in the post if you don't pay. £5 I think it is for parking there. Grr.

(Worth noting you can get parking for free if you apply)
 

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god its chaos.
doesn't Europe have one central card that works with all schemes?

I'd be happy with one card/app, associate my payment card. then that works on all PAYG services.
options to add subscriptions in the app.

Cant we crowdfund something? can it be THAT hard?

if you rented a car and they gave you a card so you could pay at each petrol station.
 

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I'm going to say 14.

Seriously I'm glad I just got a new phone with an SD card slot. The old one was full, literally, with all the apps.

I can't see anything changing.
Apart from the ones that really *need* an app, I just bookmark the web page for those that support it, like pod point, CYC and a few others.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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I'm going to say 14.

Seriously I'm glad I just got a new phone with an SD card slot. The old one was full, literally, with all the apps.

I can't see anything changing.
How are you getting to 14? I am driving 15,000 miles across the whole country per year entirely on public chargers and the majority of my time it's one of three networks.
 

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How are you getting to 14? I am driving 15,000 miles across the whole country per year entirely on public chargers and the majority of my time it's one of three networks.
Oh. I just made it up. But let me think

plugshare
zap map
evhighwaysomethingorother
pod point
polar minus
ecotricity

OK...for me it's 6. Happy now!?!
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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Oh. I just made it up. But let me think

plugshare
zap map
evhighwaysomethingorother
pod point
polar minus
ecotricity

OK...for me it's 6. Happy now!?!
Six seems more reasonable....how many of those do you use regularly?

It seems nowadays you need six different apps to send text messages to different people, we all seem to manage!
 

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Six seems more reasonable....how many of those do you use regularly?

It seems nowadays you need six different apps to send text messages to different people, we all seem to manage!
Four regularly I'd say. I'm not complaining. I mean, I was complaining about my ridiculous phone without an SD slot, but I don't mind using separate apps so long as they work properly *ahem polar*.
The best one of all is the pod point one though, as you can plug in before you use the app. Worst case at least you get *some* charge.
The worst is definitely ecotricity - you have to stand there like a melon trying to scan a code in the dark, and if it's raining? Good luck with that. Want to check if a charge point on your trip is working? You can't just choose it from a list, oh no, not that simple, you have to pretend you're there already.
Sometimes something that seems clever might in fact be clever, but actually not very good to use.

Honorable mentions to polar for their cable hokey-cokey of having to put your left plug in, your left plug out, in out in out too bad the charger's out (of signal range)
 

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The worst is definitely ecotricity - you have to stand there like a melon trying to scan a code in the dark, and if it's raining? Good luck with that. Want to check if a charge point on your trip is working? You can't just choose it from a list, oh no, not that simple, you have to pretend you're there already.
It has been said often enough before, but no harm repeating it: ignore the barcode scanner, just type in the number. It's only 4 digits and you can enter it from inside your car.


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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The worst is definitely ecotricity - you have to stand there like a melon trying to scan a code in the dark, and if it's raining? Good luck with that. Want to check if a charge point on your trip is working? You can't just choose it from a list, oh no, not that simple, you have to pretend you're there already.
Why not just tap in the number of the charger? I normally do it whilst I'm sat in the car, so I only need to get out once the charger is ready. When it's raining I only need be outside for 10-20 seconds!

I don't understand what you mean by checking the status of a charger. There's a search box; search for the charger you want and it'll show you that and all the nearby ones with their live status.
 
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