Do Source East, Source Midlands and Source London count as networks?
They buy in or contract Pod Point or Chargmaster to install and maintain their posts.
Each network costs £10/year with unlimited charging at the moment but a card from one will work on the others, so you gat access to all their posts for £10. IMO best value network out there (with the exception of Ecotricity)
I am new to all this (Car coming in June) and will mostly be charging at home or at work but if i go to a nearby city what do i need to do to charge my car in car parks? I would prob only need to do it once a month. I'm thinking it might just be simpler to use petrol on my Ampera? If it makes any difference I am in the North West.
An easy place to start is Zap-Map.com. Have a look around your local cities and see what's available. Click on an icon and it'll tell you who runs it. There are a bunch of different operators. Ecotricity, for example is free at the moment but others you have to pay for. Find out who runs the point and look at their website (or post here) and ask about costs. Depending on how often you charge it might or might not be worth joining. That's the Ampera advantage
At the moment finding that information is not at all easy and it is getting worse rather than better as the networks that once were regional spread their wings nationally.
For example, it used to be that Charge Your Car (CYC) were only north-west but they are now national.
I guess the best way is to look closely at maps like Zap-Map & Open Charge Map and try to determine which membership schemes you will need to have cards for. I am not sure there is an easier way at the moment
If you have an Ampera then that is precisely what the car is for... you don't need to charge in public car parks. Charge if it is convenient otherwise just use petrol until you can.
Wow, this is all so confusing...I had no idea there were so many options! This is really going to put more people of going for a pure EV imho.
Had a test drive of the Ampera this week and should be with me for July (as a Co. car).
Think I'll just stick with using fossil fuels when out and about, until I can get my head around it all... which is a shame. Or stick with ZeroNet (but there are not many in Kent/Surrey/Sussex borders).
Wonder how many times I would have to charge, to justify the cost of these different cards and memberships???
If visiting here on a UK/Ireland tour, the NI network is ECarni.com,Although since posting this originally,ESB Ecars now has overall control of the Island wide network. Cards are free to order from the (ESB) site,and charging is currently free,(access is also possible by calling the helpdesk# on the machine) though some fast chargers are located in publicly maintained car parks that have (Business hours) per hour paid parking for everyone (Looking at You,Enniskillen..)... rapids tend to be in freely accessible roadside locations..of 11+ I've seen,5 were on garage forecourts,one was in a Hotel carpark (RFID cards required)....the cards will also work on the ESB.ie network chargers in ROI. Fast Chargers are Siemens 500 series,2x type 2 ports..Some Rapids are by ABB (Terra 52),with one type 2 port and one ChaDeMo tethered.. Triple charge rapids are being rolled out with CCS and 43kW AC ..check the Ecar page on FB for progress..
Alternatively,contact ESB.ie/electriccars for info on their card issuing policy.Some Asda stores here have chargemaster points available(Enniskillen, and around Belfast-Enniskillen Asda has a 2x3 pin plug post),and IKEA offer ecotricity chargers,(their only NI branch is in the retail park adjoining Belfast (City) Harbour Airport (BHD/George Best International) Some reorganisation is taking place with the fast chargers..some have gone,some are being moved..I had an email in the past week notifying me 2 units I'd use are either to be replaced or removed..SC69, SC65 and SC134 are under pressure..
EVcharge.online are supplying new chargers here..There is one of their units newly installed and operational in the car park of the Enniskillen Ambulance Station..It's 22kW and costs 2.50/hr..set up an account online and access the charger by entering an ID code on the unit to start..
Serious consideration to purchase a leaf as opposed to the hybrid I was originally aiming for. Started to look at charge networks and what a nightmare! I will ask the nissan dealer (getting a 24h test drive) what options I have and what they recommend. Problem is that local driving I will not likely need charging (so membership of the charge point down the road is not the stunning block) but if and when we do a longer trip it will be in one of three directions (and which network do I then go for?). I did look at the plugged in midlands site and it seems ideal for one of our journeys to the relatives in the midlands, but the warnings/advice would appear confusing/worrying and counter productive to greater EV ownership.
Please note that charge points in Birmingham City Centre will be moved to the Charge Your Car back office soon. Your purple PiM cards will function for the time being. Further announcements will be made as to the switchover date soon. Some charging points in Herefordshire and Corby will switch soon. Please follow us on Twitter or look out for announcements on this site or via e-mail if you are already a PiM member. You can download the CYC App or order a lifetime CYC PiM card for use with the APT/Evolt equipment here. Please note, when the switchover takes place, you will still need a purple PiM card to access other charging equipment in the Midlands.
So which one do i need and when? And all this concern as I plan to do maybe 2 or 3 journeys per year to that area.
Can I ask a simple question... Why are there networks so stupid. As in Why insist on a charge card. It's like going to buy petrol at BP and them saying, sorry you must join our member scheme or you can't have petrol.
Giving we all carry debit cards isn't it better to charge say 50p a go or even charge 20p kWh etc, rather than making you join a scheme and carry yet another "free" card. Is there something special about EV charging that means we need to be tracked. The only thing I can think is the cost of the electric is quite low so the cost of preceding card payments would be higher than running a cards scheme?
Even a coin operating parking meter style would be preferable to a charge card. Pay by the minute (though not £7.50 for half hour like chargemaster are doing on CCS).
Because the business model was based on a captive customer base - someone they could track and monitor usage. Sure, you could have a wallet of cards and lose the exclusivity, but coin mechs are not the way forward and bring their own problems.
[Please feel free to comment below with additions and corrections. I'll try to keep this first post up to date.).
Paul, this is so helpful!
I have just signed up for SSE ChargePoint ($20 registration fee) to add to my EcoTricity (free). As far as I can see Ecoticity have sorted out the problems they have been having with their CCS chargers and VW owners now seem reasonably well provided in this whole area.
We are gaining confidence. But for the first time this year the sunny day has meant our solar panels have almost entirely covered today's top-up from the 13 amp plug in the garage. The truth is that when you have an old-fashioned car for longer journeys you really don't need public chargers at all often. One day we hope to change to electric only.
Still think one charge card, whichever one you have, should work at all charge points, imagine going to petrol stations and one only takes cash, another visa, then mastercard, Amex, debit card etc, I have three different cards and still can't use all the local charge points