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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I regularly use the MK Coachway station as there are 8x BP Pulse 50kW rapid chargers there. Up until recently, I've not had an issue due to the other faulty charger or with queueing but this Saturday that was different. There were a bunch of MK Connect private taxi vans that were hogging the spaces. One was not even plugged in and two of them were plugged in but not charging (either they didn't start the charge or the charging session was already finished). I was there for over 30 minutes and no one returned, so they might have been there for much longer. I believe these MK Connect vans are owned by the the Milton Keynes council so I have already complained but there were loads of these around.

Unfortunately, impossible to get a single photo of the registration plate and the status of the rapid charging screen and the status of the cable.

Not even plugged in:
146531


Plugged in but not charging:
146532


And (also plugged in but not charging):
146533


And the irony was that 2 other MK Connect van drivers came by to charge. One was very annoyed that he desperately needed a 15 minute charge. Of the other 5 chargers, one was faulty and the other 4 were being actively used.

I hope my complaint gets taken serious and this behaviour is sorted out. Extremely selfish behaviour.
 

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I've noticed this before, went to charge there a couple of weeks ago and they had quite a few vans around - thankfully most in the bays around the edges so not blocking a charger. I wonder if they have "spare" vans ready at Coachway so drivers can swap vans if they need to?

I do wonder if they're left overnight or for long periods - nearer to the actual coach station there's a couple of 7kW posts so surely overnight this would be a better option?


I don't think there are operated by MK Council, I found this - MK Connect: Demand-responsive transport in Milton Keynes. - looks like a weird Dial a Ride system.


Maybe worth mentioning to BP Pulse as well perhaps? They'll obviously have a fleet account with them so worth a mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I left comments on Zap Map which also has numerous other people saying MK Connect vans are always blocking some chargers. Some have noted being left overnight.

I have already made an email complaint to Milton Keynes council and BP Pulse. I used the link you posted to also complain to [email protected]. I also, Tweeted to BP Pulse. Not sure what else I can do. Hopefully enough people will complain so someone actually changes the situation.
 

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It might just be they need some friendly EV tips - such as "Don't block a Charger unless you're using it" and "if you're leaving it overnight at least use the 7kW Posts instead" (plus other greatest hits). The drivers might have just been shown how to charge and not particularly thought of the etiquette. I'd assume if they leave them connected after a charge they might even be incurring the overstay fee, maybe if Ride with Via had this pointed out to them it might stop. Same with the 7kW posts which are cheaper to use per kWh, especially if being left for long periods.

You'd think that if MK Council and BP were supporting this, they could build a MK Connect Only bank of chargers either elsewhere or at Coachway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It might just be they need some friendly EV tips - such as "Don't block a Charger unless you're using it" and "if you're leaving it overnight at least use the 7kW Posts instead" (plus other greatest hits). The drivers might have just been shown how to charge and not particularly thought of the etiquette. I'd assume if they leave them connected after a charge they might even be incurring the overstay fee, maybe if Ride with Via had this pointed out to them it might stop.

You'd think that if MK Council and BP were supporting this, they could build a MK Connect Only bank of chargers either elsewhere or at Coachway.
I actually don't get it. Not blocking a rapid charger feels like common sense. Don't feel like this is something that needs to be explicitly taught. Even for those who are new to EVs. It's not like typical supermarket chargers where the chargers are near the front entrance and people often mistake them for normal spaces. These ones are right at the back furthest away from the Coachway building and they are nothing like the other parking spots. I honestly feel like in this case it's just intentional selfish behaviour.

I don't feel they need their own dedicated chargers and I wouldn't have an issue if they were only using them for active charging sessions. Even if the charging station was busy due to active charging stations, that at least would make me feel like BP Pulse have justification to build out the chargers more.
 

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I actually don't get it. Not blocking a rapid charger feels like common sense. Don't feel like this is something that needs to be explicitly taught. Even for those who are new to EVs. It's not like typical supermarket chargers where the chargers are near the front entrance and people often mistake them for normal spaces. These ones are right at the back furthest away from the Coachway building and they are nothing like the other parking spots. I honestly feel like in this case it's just intentional selfish behaviour.

I don't feel they need their own dedicated chargers and I wouldn't have an issue if they were only using them for active charging sessions. Even if the charging station was busy due to active charging stations, that at least would make me feel like BP Pulse have justification to build out the chargers more.
But some of the drivers might not know the difference between a Rapid and a Normal charger. I doubt they've had any specific EV training other than "here is BP card, here are chargers". They've probably been either told (or found out for themselves) that the Rapids are faster but without explanation.

I do agree with you though. The Coachway Rapid bays are all surrounded by normal parking bays, so if you're finishing a charge on one of the vans and unplugging, you literally need to stick the van in reverse, go back no more than ten metres, and you're done. Perhaps their mentality, wrong as it is, is that there are eight other BP Rapid bays and four(??) Ionity, so plenty of others for people to use - regardless of if they work or not.
 

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I don't feel they need their own dedicated chargers
Maybe this is what they are trying to create. If enough people grumble on ZapMap and Plugshare they may deter people from turning up. I hope you have success with your complaints. They can't and shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. :mad::mad::mad:
 

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some of the drivers might not know the difference between a Rapid and a Normal charger
If someone was parked in a non-rapid charging bay (i.e. one which is designated as for EV charging only - not a shared space like Ubitricity) and was unplugged then I'd feel similarly to the OP on this.

It's one thing to plug in, charge and leave it plugged in until after 100% (which on a rapid is at best very poor form).
It's another thing to park your EV in a dedicated charging bay and not plug it in - that should be PCN territory if you ask me.
 

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If someone was parked in a non-rapid charging bay (i.e. one which is designated as for EV charging only - not a shared space like Ubitricity) and was unplugged then I'd feel similarly to the OP on this.

It's one thing to plug in, charge and leave it plugged in until after 100% (which on a rapid is at best very poor form).
It's another thing to park your EV in a dedicated charging bay and not plug it in - that should be PCN territory if you ask me.
It annoys me when anyone (ICE or EV) is parked at a charger not charging, I agree 100% PCN Territory. There's no excuse if you're an EV driver - hence my point about the MK Connect drivers not knowing - to them it might just be a van/minibus, and they don't understand why it's poor form to block chargers like this. Though as @technoev pointed out that if their own drivers turned up and couldn't charge, it would likely soon get fed back internally anyway and may stop this way. We've made a choice to go EV, and done our research and know what's good etiquette and what's not.


If @technoev lives in (or near enough to) Milton Keynes a complaint to the local press might work as well. MK are trying to be this Electric Vehicle Heaven, so a bit of negativity/bad press like this might give MK Council, BP Pulse and the MK Connect operators a kick up the backside to stop blocking the chargers.
 

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This is why companies who rely entirely on EVs should be required to provide dedicated charging facilities for them. This problem is only ever going to get worse.

We already have problems with DPD drivers blocking chargers persistently, this will not improve unless these companies are forced to provide proper charging facilities.

The public charging network will never be good enough for every business reliant on vans to be charging them constantly. It totally undermines one of the main benefits of EVs - that they charge when and where you sleep.
 

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It seems to be the councils fault that these vans are blocking the Coachway chargers.

I'm just charging here and spoke to one of the drivers and they said it's the council that provides them with the cards to charge here and that they put them on charge when their shift is over for the next driver to take them after two hours or so and at the end of the day they have to put them on charge and nobody comes to move them until the next morning so they block all chargers all night.

The guy said himself that the council really needs to provide them with their own chargers.
 

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It seems to be the councils fault that these vans are blocking the Coachway chargers.

I'm just charging here and spoke to one of the drivers and they said it's the council that provides them with the cards to charge here and that they put them on charge when their shift is over for the next driver to take them after two hours or so and at the end of the day they have to put them on charge and nobody comes to move them until the next morning so they block all chargers all night.

The guy said himself that the council really needs to provide them with their own chargers.
I get sticking them on a Rapid during the day, that makes sense and is what they're for I guess. But overnight there are some 7kW within the complex they could leave at least a few of them on overnight. There is no excuse for them being parked at not charging though.

I assume the Council are getting shafted with multiple £10 per 90 minute overstays each night then?
 

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I get sticking them on a Rapid during the day, that makes sense and is what they're for I guess. But overnight there are some 7kW within the complex they could leave at least a few of them on overnight. There is no excuse for them being parked at not charging though.

I assume the Council are getting shafted with multiple £10 per 90 minute overstays each night then?
Yeah, I saw quite a few of them parked at the 7kW chargers near the exit and three were charging at the rapids when I was there earlier.
 

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Yeah, I saw quite a few of them parked at the 7kW chargers near the exit and three were charging at the rapids when I was there earlier.
Oh then yeah, that's not good if they're charging loads at a time. Maybe someone at the Council needs a gentle nudge about it. Maybe they'll get a huge bill from MP with overstay fees. Though as said the only beneficial way around it would be more Rapids/chargers.
 

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I assume the Council are getting shafted with multiple £10 per 90 minute overstays each night then?
I have a feeling that Chargemaster really screwed up with that. DC charge sessions end the charge session once the vehicle stops taking power - I would be willing to bet that they don't monitor the signal lines on the connector to make sure the user has actually unplugged, and instead only look at the session duration.

Given that ABB chargers are constantly monitoring the signal lines (otherwise how else do they know you've plugged in when they're in in standby....) it must be possible to monitor the lines and make sure people get penalised!

I realise the charge was mainly introduced to stop PHEVs blocking the chargers, but the problem is moving to people just misusing them now!
 

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I have a feeling that Chargemaster really screwed up with that. DC charge sessions end the charge session once the vehicle stops taking power - I would be willing to bet that they don't monitor the signal lines on the connector to make sure the user has actually unplugged, and instead only look at the session duration.
I think some Onto subscribers had been charged the overstay fee in the past, not sure if they were ZE40s on AC or other cars on DC.

Though seeing as BP have such a large number of chargers in MK (and also moved their HQ there) I assume neither side wants to annoy the other.
 

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Perhaps time to recruit some local EV owners and arrange to all jump on the chargers so when they all turn up at the end of the day you are using the chargers and none of them can plug in.
 

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Perhaps time to recruit some local EV owners and arrange to all jump on the chargers so when they all turn up at the end of the day you are using the chargers and none of them can plug in.
I think the best thing is to shame the council though, especially if it’s them who’ve provided the charging cards and told drivers to just leave them there all day/night. Not the best way to say they’re an EV haven. Especially Coachway which is a great strategic set of chargers for long distance drivers to use.

Ten points to anyone who speaks to the local paper and supplies one of those “upset person with folded arms and scowl” photos as well.
 

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I think some Onto subscribers had been charged the overstay fee in the past, not sure if they were ZE40s on AC or other cars on DC.

Though seeing as BP have such a large number of chargers in MK (and also moved their HQ there) I assume neither side wants to annoy the other.
Chargemaster were always based in MK, they just moved a bit further up the hill to a bigger office after BP bought them.
 
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