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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, most of the O2 (and their MVNO resellers Sky Mobile, Giffgaff) mobile data is down.

Net result:
about a quarter of ev drivers in the UK won't be able to use a mobile phone app to start or stop a charge.
Some chargepoints will be offline, and will default to their offline, un-networked behaviour - which in many cases is still fail-useless, rather than fail-useful.

Not sure what mobile networks the various networks use, but I'm pretty sure that Podpoint use EE.
RFID will be more reliable than mobile phone app, especially where the chargepoints have been configured to give drivers the benefit of the doubt, and will reconcile the charge sessions when connectivity is restored.

Good of Ecotricity Electric Highway, despite insisting on a mobile phone app, have taken steps to ensure that in the event of networking failure, their rapid chargepoints fail-useful, and in the event of mobile network failure of a customer's device, but where the chargepoint still has connectivity they provide some sort of wifi fallback.
Good of Source London to fit all their new chargepoints with both DSL and 4G connectivity, with networking failover, and it's mostly activated by RFID.
Fairly good of podpoint to fail-useful if the chargepoint's mobile data is down, and even if the customer's mobile data is down, they at least give a 15 minute charge on the AC chargers (DC rapid chargers don't).
Fairly good of Chargemaster to configure their Ultracharger models to fail-useful in the event of networking failure between it and their backend, though no use for Polar Instant customers who they still refuse to issue RFID cards to.

Charge your Car / Chargepoint Scotland have a huge variety of different equipment on their network, so offline behaviour will vary, but they do make RFIDs available, which are more reliable than mobile data, and they're known to pre-populate whitelists on chargepoints with known regular network outages.

Unknowns: Instavolt's offline behaviour, Geniepoint, Engenie, other chargepoint providers with contactless payment instant gratification.
 

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Thanks Simon, for your report on the impact of mobile network failure and vulnerability of the various networks.

Certainly makes a case for having a dumb homecharger (IMHO).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Simon, for your report on the impact of mobile network failure and vulnerability of the various networks.

Certainly makes a case for having a dumb homecharger (IMHO).
Also worth thinking if any Internet of Things stuff you may have actually loses all functionality in the event of some network outage. Light bulbs, thermostats, charge points, televisions, washing machines, door entry systems, home speakers.
Example: In the event of a network outage, apparently Amazon's Alexa stuff will happily sound a preset alarm but will have no way of turning off the alarm, because all the speech processing is done remotely.
 

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2014 Model S
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Single point of failure is always going to be the mobile phone if you have to use one to charge and have no alternative. If you can use a debit card or rfid tag or app you have 3 chances at it working. With data outages the data on the post could be out even if yours isn't so you may not get a charge anyway.

Never had an issue at a petrol station. That's the level of reliability EV users need. Anything less is short changing us.
 

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Single point of failure is always going to be the mobile phone if you have to use one to charge and have no alternative. If you can use a debit card or rfid tag or app you have 3 chances at it working. With data outages the data on the post could be out even if yours isn't so you may not get a charge anyway.

Never had an issue at a petrol station. That's the level of reliability EV users need. Anything less is short changing us.

I've had a few mobile phone issues, one time I went to visit a friend in Cambridge and lost my phone, I didn't realise that I'd lost it until I got to MK and tried to charge, the next time was just recently, my phone developed a fault with the touchscreen which became an issue when I tried to charge at an EH charger, I managed to locate the charger but couldn't get it to start charging because I couldn't enter a "4" which was one of the numbers of my debit card.

Without a smart phone your quite limited to where you can get a charge and that's before you factor in the mobile networks and backends etc, you shouldn't need to be dependant on a mobile phone to drive an EV.
 

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I have to say, today has been one of the days when having an EV was a real effort. Had a 120 mile round trip for a meeting; which was not even worth thinking about - 7kw charger near the destination, several rapids on the way as backup. Except they all need apps to activate, and my O2 phone isn’t working. So I find public WiFi, only to find after a call that chargemaster/polar use O2 sims in all their chargers.

So none of the chargers anywhere near my route were usable.

So, gloves on, back-road next-level eco-driving later, I got home, but would have failed if my meeting was another 5 miles away.

The infrastructure has got to get more resilient than this...
 
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