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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning,

There was in interesting discussion on You & Yours on Radio 4 yesterday lunch time (and yes: that is the right episode, despite the title!! Go to the 21.54 mark) about a new Electric-only Garage Forecourt recently opened, with a Greggs and Costa-to-Go.

It got off to a rocky start with an unsupported Smart car and an ID3 whose owner had trouble connecting the charger.

There was also a discussion on the confusing multiplicity of different methods of public charging, providers, RFID cards, contactless etc etc.

Can anyone recommend a resource that pulls all this information together in one easy to use package? What works best for you? I think Zap-Map might have something, but I wondered what the best resource is.

As an about-to-be-new-user, it is all a tad daunting. Most of my charging will be done at home, but there will be some long trips and I want to be practised and knowledgeable before embarking in the public charger world! I have seen too many people obviously struggling to work out what to do when they pull up at a public charger!!
 

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Good morning,

There was in interesting discussion on You & Yours on Radio 4 yesterday lunch time (and yes: that is the right episode, despite the title!! Go to the 21.54 mark) about a new Electric-only Garage Forecourt recently opened, with a Greggs and Costa-to-Go.

It got off to a rocky start with an unsupported Smart car and an ID3 whose owner had trouble connecting the charger.

There was also a discussion on the confusing multiplicity of different methods of public charging, providers, RFID cards, contactless etc etc.

Can anyone recommend a resource that pulls all this information together in one easy to use package? What works best for you? I think Zap-Map might have something, but I wondered what the best resource is.

As an about-to-be-new-user, it is all a tad daunting. Most of my charging will be done at home, but there will be some long trips and I want to be practised and knowledgeable before embarking in the public charger world! I have seen too many people obviously struggling to work out what to do when they pull up at a public charger!!
Zap-Map has a set f useful filters in the menu section so that you can select the type of connector your car will use (most rapids are CCS now in the UK, with Chademo for Nissan drivers). You can also select contactless payment chargers which accept debit/credit cards, which is what I use.

Bjorn Nyland on Youtube did a video a couple of years ago on all the different RFID and apps he has to use around Europe. And for actually plugging in and using a charger, Fully Charged have produced a couple of useful tutorial videos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Zap-Map has a set f useful filters in the menu section so that you can select the type of connector your car will use (most rapids are CCS now in the UK, with Chademo for Nissan drivers). You can also select contactless payment chargers which accept debit/credit cards, which is what I use.

Bjorn Nyland on Youtube did a video a couple of years ago on all the different RFID and apps he has to use around Europe. And for actually plugging in and using a charger, Fully Charged have produced a couple of useful tutorial videos.
Thanks for this @Gadget Geek
 

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Kona 64
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Good morning,

There was in interesting discussion on You & Yours on Radio 4 yesterday lunch time (and yes: that is the right episode, despite the title!! Go to the 21.54 mark) about a new Electric-only Garage Forecourt recently opened, with a Greggs and Costa-to-Go.

It got off to a rocky start with an unsupported Smart car and an ID3 whose owner had trouble connecting the charger.

There was also a discussion on the confusing multiplicity of different methods of public charging, providers, RFID cards, contactless etc etc.

Can anyone recommend a resource that pulls all this information together in one easy to use package? What works best for you? I think Zap-Map might have something, but I wondered what the best resource is.

As an about-to-be-new-user, it is all a tad daunting. Most of my charging will be done at home, but there will be some long trips and I want to be practised and knowledgeable before embarking in the public charger world! I have seen too many people obviously struggling to work out what to do when they pull up at a public charger!!
ZAP- MAP is your friend so get that app. I remember being daunted when I got my Kona 3 years ago, now nothing fazes me. I do love never having to pull up at the pumps as most charging is at home.

Use Zap Map to see what chargers you might use on a long journey on routes you take. If you rarely do more than 250 miles there & back you will rarely have to charge away from home. Locally, try out local chargers just to put a £1 worth in and get used to how it works. If you have a local Tesco with free Pod-Point chargers that is a good introduction. Get the Pod-Point app as they have a lot of free chargers on their network.
There are more and more networks accepting contactless payment which is the easiest. Instavolt, which is a top notch network, GridServe which is good on motorways are two good ones to look at. No need to sign up for everything at this stage. Just add to your portfolio as needed.
 

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Kona64
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I find I check potential places with zapmap and plugshare, to read people's experiences and double check where/what . Also v good idea to try an instavolt / others before with a car full of inpatient passengers on a long trip where you are already running late !
(also think of a rapid giving 39kw for time planning / expectation setting , and if you get faster Happy Days -- around a % a minute of charging into our 64battery cars )

Kona wise:
I hardly ever use the inbuilt Kona " nearest charger tool/search " , I find it dreadfully out of date (even when I press live), confusing in what types / filtering when I most want it for rapids, and it really winds me up it will show a Nissan dealer with cha only as a potential nearby place.

I'm a bit too tight at the moment to pay for zap map premium to have it work through the CarPlay facility, but I might later in the year/.

Also my regular hint re Tescos --- check if the one near you or perhaps next nearest, or en-route mega trip, check if it has 3 sets of chargers instead of the 2.
Where it has a rapid, then the stumpy post is a freebie 22kw max, and I see 11.2kw on the dash when I use those. So if you arrive at Tesco with a Rapid, park up at the stumpy if it's available.
Look on the top of the stumpy to see what rating it has.
Where it doesn't have a rapid, both the advert board and the stumpy post there are 6.8ish.
 
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Well, you have done the most important step of all: thought ahead and asked around. The people who run into problems don't do that and that is exactly why they run into problems.

So with your preparedness and a few great answers in this thread you are perfectly good to go.

No need to be worried.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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I've had a got at writing something in the past and it's challenging. It very quickly becomes far too long, full of caveats and more likely to scare someone off than be helpful. This forum, and no doubt others, can help with more specific queries.

The common problems seem to be dead chargers, users not having the relevant account/app, lack of understanding about how the car charges (AC vs DC) and how fast their car is capable of charging. I've seen a lot of fault reports on zap-map because someone has connected their Kona or whatever to a 22kW AC charge point and they're only getting 7kW - which is exactly as expected - but that hasn't been explained by the dealer.

In practice, as of today, for your occasional longer trips it's worth looking at Gridserve, Instavolt and Osprey rapid chargers. They tend to work, take contactless payment, just painless. It's all about doing a little bit of planning, for which I use zap-map, to identify a couple of sensible options in case of failure or queues. Motor Fuel Group - MFG are opening some large hubs too. I have no experience with these but hopefully they're going to be a solid option.

One word of note with filters on zap-map, it's not always obvious you have a filter turned on. So always double check that if there seems to be no chargers in an area you're visiting, and that seems strange to you. I've been caught out by this before.

I'll echo the advice to go try out a rapid charge locally, maybe on a couple of different networks. I did exactly that. It hammered home that Instavolt worked and the crappy old council owned rapid on the charge your car network did not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ZAP- MAP is your friend so get that app. I remember being daunted when I got my Kona 3 years ago, now nothing fazes me. I do love never having to pull up at the pumps as most charging is at home.

Use Zap Map to see what chargers you might use on a long journey on routes you take. If you rarely do more than 250 miles there & back you will rarely have to charge away from home. Locally, try out local chargers just to put a £1 worth in and get used to how it works. If you have a local Tesco with free Pod-Point chargers that is a good introduction. Get the Pod-Point app as they have a lot of free chargers on their network.
There are more and more networks accepting contactless payment which is the easiest. Instavolt, which is a top notch network, GridServe which is good on motorways are two good ones to look at. No need to sign up for everything at this stage. Just add to your portfolio as needed.
Thanks for this advice @Electra Glide in Blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I find I check potential places with zapmap and plugshare, to read people's experiences and double check where/what . Also v good idea to try an instavolt / others before with a car full of inpatient passengers on a long trip where you are already running late !
(also think of a rapid giving 39kw for time planning / expectation setting , and if you get faster Happy Days -- around a % a minute of charging into our 64battery cars )

Kona wise:
I hardly ever use the inbuilt Kona " nearest charger tool/search " , I find it dreadfully out of date (even when I press live), confusing in what types / filtering when I most want it for rapids, and it really winds me up it will show a Nissan dealer with cha only as a potential nearby place.

I'm a bit too tight at the moment to pay for zap map premium to have it work through the CarPlay facility, but I might later in the year/.

Also my regular hint re Tescos --- check if the one near you or perhaps next nearest, or en-route mega trip, check if it has 3 sets of chargers instead of the 2.
Where it has a rapid, then the stumpy post is a freebie 22kw max, and I see 11.2kw on the dash when I use those. So if you arrive at Tesco with a Rapid, park up at the stumpy if it's available.
Look on the top of the stumpy to see what rating it has.
Where it doesn't have a rapid, both the advert board and the stumpy post there are 6.8ish.
Great advice @gladini
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've had a got at writing something in the past and it's challenging. It very quickly becomes far too long, full of caveats and more likely to scare someone off than be helpful. This forum, and no doubt others, can help with more specific queries.

The common problems seem to be dead chargers, users not having the relevant account/app, lack of understanding about how the car charges (AC vs DC) and how fast their car is capable of charging. I've seen a lot of fault reports on zap-map because someone has connected their Kona or whatever to a 22kW AC charge point and they're only getting 7kW - which is exactly as expected - but that hasn't been explained by the dealer.

In practice, as of today, for your occasional longer trips it's worth looking at Gridserve, Instavolt and Osprey rapid chargers. They tend to work, take contactless payment, just painless. It's all about doing a little bit of planning, for which I use zap-map, to identify a couple of sensible options in case of failure or queues. Motor Fuel Group - MFG are opening some large hubs too. I have no experience with these but hopefully they're going to be a solid option.

One word of note with filters on zap-map, it's not always obvious you have a filter turned on. So always double check that if there seems to be no chargers in an area you're visiting, and that seems strange to you. I've been caught out by this before.

I'll echo the advice to go try out a rapid charge locally, maybe on a couple of different networks. I did exactly that. It hammered home that Instavolt worked and the crappy old council owned rapid on the charge your car network did not.
Great advice and much appreciated @idiotzoo
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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When people say 'the government should implement chargers for a faster adoption of EVs' I tend to be wary. It's not that I am someone to think 'the market will fix it' but charger operation is not a public service in my opinion. However, what is going on now is that a lot of operators want to fence in their users by forcing them to use dedicated apps for their network, with sometimes having to pre-load the app with credit and no way of getting it back. This is where the government should intervene. Public EV chargers should allow standard payment methods: credit and debit card and perhaps even coin / bill payments. A major portion of the population will not be able to find their ways through all the apps they need to use, let alone be able to make a payment through it. A mandate should be made that within one year all chargers must accept standard payment methods, or their license will be revoked. If they wish to add value by e.g. offering the possibility to plug & charge by using an app to register your car in the network then fine. But basic functionality should be accessible by anyone with an EV and a bank card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When people say 'the government should implement chargers for a faster adoption of EVs' I tend to be wary. It's not that I am someone to think 'the market will fix it' but charger operation is not a public service in my opinion. However, what is going on now is that a lot of operators want to fence in their users by forcing them to use dedicated apps for their network, with sometimes having to pre-load the app with credit and no way of getting it back. This is where the government should intervene. Public EV chargers should allow standard payment methods: credit and debit card and perhaps even coin / bill payments. A major portion of the population will not be able to find their ways through all the apps they need to use, let alone be able to make a payment through it. A mandate should be made that within one year all chargers must accept standard payment methods, or their license will be revoked. If they wish to add value by e.g. offering the possibility to plug & charge by using an app to register your car in the network then fine. But basic functionality should be accessible by anyone with an EV and a bank card.
Wise thoughts @Xinix

If I remember rightly, the Competition & Markets Authority is looking into something about EV chargers 🔌
 
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