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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm expecting my EV to arrive next month so have no personal experience using charging networks. Am I right in thinking that if using motorways the only chargers available on the services are ecotricity? And these are to be avoided whenever possible due to reliability? The only time I think I'd need a charge is when on long motorway journeys
 

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I’ve had an EV for 7 years but haven’t used rapid charging very often. All the charges I’ve seen/used on the motorway have been Ecotricity. I’ve not had any reliability issues with the units themselves but you can’t rely on being able to get in the charger without waiting.
 

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Am I right in thinking that if using motorways the only chargers available on the services are ecotricity?
Just to be clear, motorway services in general are a NO GO area for EV charging.
However, there are plenty of off junction charging facilities. These may be local fuel station / shop, Bannatyne health centres, Booths supermarket, etc.
For simplicity go to Zapmap, set the filter to Instavolt, and select your stopping points. They should all have at least 2 chargers, then try Polar also, but less often with 2 chargers. Then try other options. Depends where you are based also.
 

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Am I right in thinking that if using motorways the only chargers available on the services are ecotricity?
Until fairly recently, yes - but now there are also 10 motorway/A1 service station locations that have Ionity chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. Seems a pain having to detour because of rubbish monopoly on services, glad some others are coming on the scene though, it can only improve the service with competition. Would you say it's ok to use at quiet times, late night journeys etc or still no go at all times?
 

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Hi, I'm expecting my EV to arrive next month so have no personal experience using charging networks. Am I right in thinking that if using motorways the only chargers available on the services are ecotricity? And these are to be avoided whenever possible due to reliability? The only time I think I'd need a charge is when on long motorway journeys
Ecotricity has developed a poor reputation it's true. Especially for CCS users. Whilst there are usually two 'pumps' at each motorway service centre only one of them has a CCS plug. Which immediately limits the chance of a successful charge. And in many instances that single plug will also fail to charge a CCS car. Not always - but often. This means that CCS drivers who rely on Rapids for road trips tend to choose to exit a motorway and use alternative Rapids with a better track record of reliability close to a suitable junction.

I take a mid-course. I decide in advance where an Ecotricity charge would fit in with my charge plan but then check the next exit after that service station for a close-by plan B at a more reliable alternative. I then try the EcoT unit. If it works all is well. If not I already have plan B ready to roll.

My weapon of choice is Instavolt followed by Polar. Both can be filtered into A Better Route Planner to find chargers near to a motorway exit. Road trips are just a matter of applying the six P's. ( Proper Planning Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance )
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ecotricity has developed a poor reputation it's true. Especially for CCS users. Whilst there are usually two 'pumps' at each motorway service centre only one of them has a CCS plug. Which immediately limits the chance of a successful charge. And in many instances that single plug will also fail to charge a CCS car. Not always - but often. This means that CCS drivers who rely on Rapids for road trips tend to choose to exit a motorway and use alternative Rapids with a better track record of reliability close to a suitable junction.

I take a mid-course. I decide in advance where an Ecotricity charge would fit in with my charge plan but then check the next exit after that service station for a close-by plan B at a more reliable alternative. I then try the EcoT unit. If it works all is well. If not I already have plan B ready to roll.

My weapon of choice is Instavolt followed by Polar. Both can be filtered into A Better Route Planner to find chargers near to a motorway exit. Road trips are just a matter of applying the six P's. ( Proper Planning Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance )
This was my thinking stop as required on motorway services with fingers crossed 1st then swear and jump off to closest CCS if not working. I see why Tesla sell so well now.
 

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Am I right in thinking that if using motorways the only chargers available on the services are ecotricity?
No. This is a common misconception. Ecotricty have an exclusive arrangment at most motorway services but not all. Tesla are at a several with more EH/Tesla locations on the way.

Shell have a few.

For example:
Shell Recharge Bartholomy M6 at A500.


There are also plenty of non EH chargers at locations that are as good or even better than services. It depends on your route.
 

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For the avoidance of doubt OP, Tesla specific locations are irrelevant to you driving an e-2008 - you will not be able to charge up at Tesla specific locations.

(At the risk of being a pedant, Shell Bartholomy isn’t really what I think most would consider a motorway services. It’s just a fuel station, hotel and a Greggs I think on a roundabout next to the motorway.)

There’s lots of reliable charging locations not at motorways services but just off motorways junctions. Best bet I think is to use abetterrouteplanner.com, and plan to have to avoid Ecotricity chargers
 

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Yes, there’s a big difference between what you might call ‘classic’ MSAs - highly regulated, dedicated slip roads, no access from local roads, etc - and ‘a petrol station and Greggs near a junction’
 

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A few non-EcoT Rapids have managed to circumvent the stranglehold on motorway services. But less than a handful. Tesla superchargers are exclusive to their cars of course. There are also a few very convenient alternatives very close to junctions such as the new hub at Lancaster P&R. My main problem these days isn't finding a charge when on a road trip but finding a toilet and coffee. As I said, I stop first of all at a service area. If the EcoT CCS works then it's happy days. If not, it turns into a quick toilet stop and food/drink takeaway purchase then a move on to plan B where the snack can be consumed without wasting time. The puzzle to me is why/how EcoT managed to secure a renewal of their exclusive rights for a further period after their abysmal performance towards the end of their previous monopoly. That decision alone is the root cause of today's problems.
 

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No. This is a common misconception. Ecotricty have an exclusive arrangment at most motorway services but not all. Tesla are at a several with more EH/Tesla locations on the way.
Shell have a few.
For example:
Shell Recharge Bartholomy M6 at A500.
I do not think that Bartholomy is classed as an MSA but the one on the A38/A50 looks like it is for some strange reason. Not sure the easiest way to define it but usually thr name followed by services means MSA such as Keele Services. The MSA's were put there so motorway users did not have to leave the motorways for fuel,food and toilets. EH changed that for most.

For all practical purposea Ecotricity have a monopoly and are abusing it.
 
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BP are now putting high power chargers (good for an e-2008) on their forecourts at Reading Services. Four on each side of the motorway. Hopefully they will do this at other MSAs where they provide the fuel. It seems that there forecourts are exempt from the Ecotricity monopoly agreement.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The puzzle to me is why/how EcoT managed to secure a renewal of their exclusive rights for a further period after their abysmal performance towards the end of their previous monopoly. That decision alone is the root cause of today's problems.
Yeah this I can't understand either, all the bad reports off users and they have let them renew. I didn't know they had tbh and was hoping their contract wouldn't have long left to live and open up to all eventually. Sounds the biggest hinderence to people's experience of EV's is this badly managed network.
 

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There are a few MSAs where there are planning applications to add extra Ecotricity Rapids, in one case 6, in another 10. On at least one site, they seem to be collaborating with Tesla.
 

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BP are now putting high power chargers (good for an e-2008) on their forecourts at Reading Services. Four on each side of the motorway. Hopefully they will do this at other MSAs where they provide the fuel. It seems that there forecourts are exempt from the Ecotricity monopoly agreement.
This sounds more like it make the fuel stations gradually more electric as they wean off the Dino juice. If they separated from the ecotricity agreement then surely shell etc can do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are a few MSAs where there are planning applications to add extra Ecotricity Rapids, in one case 6, in another 10. On at least one site, they seem to be collaborating with Tesla.
Not exclusively for telsa though I presume?
 

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A petrol station with Gregg's and a loo with a nice bank of reliable chargers wouldn't be an issue I don't think as long as not a detour from journey and straight off motorway, prices wouldn't be as high at places like that either.
 

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There’s only 1 charger there.

If you want banks of chargers on motorways it’s currently only really Ionity offering this for non-Teslas.
 
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