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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have been waiting for a rapid charger failure to require us to need recovery to another charging location and it nearly happened today.

We went from our home near Plymouth to Taunton to see a house to buy and then returned. This meant a rapid charge at Exeter, then one at Taunton Deane then another at Exeter. The Exeter charger worked fine both ways but the Taunton Deane didn't.

It would not read my Ecotricity card. I had a second and it wouldn't read that either. This was all very annoying because it was in the middle of the storm that went through this evening and I got completely soaked through standing at the charger trying to get the card reader to work.

I called the Ecotricity helpline number and they put me through to Harold in tech support. He talked me through it and said that the charger needed to "settle" after my multiple attempts to authorise. 15 mins later he started it remotely and the charge went fine. After it had finished charging to 80% I tried again and the reader still wouldn't work.

They have now taken the charger offline until it can be fixed.

This is all getting a bit silly in my opinion. We really cannot rely at all on the Ecotricity network right now and the end is not in sight yet it seems.
 

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I've had a couple of close calls where the reader couldn't identify my card. Thankfully the card was eventually recognised. There seems to be a knack to it. I agree - the readers aren't reliable enough.

Luckily you managed to get through to the call centre & get a session started.

I'd prefer to see an ID entry system that meant punching in a code.
 

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Yes they need to up the reliability and have some redundancy for sure however this is why the REX is such a great option as you will never have this worry, same thing is happening with Tesla owners in the states, folks are turning up to find the chargers all used up, I can see this happening a lot here in the UK especially when or if they modify the existing ones so other cars like the I3 can use them and its not just a rapid charger problem, many of the level 1 and 2 posts are also out of action when you need them too, the most reliable network is the ZCW network which is a straight socket. I think REX and 3 phase 22kw ac charging is the future.
 

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Same here with the Tesla and why our second car will be the i3 REX :)
If I could afford a tesla I'd be in full agreement.In the meantime I'm happy to live on the edge. If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space.*



*this is of course absolute [email protected]@@@ks - I do feel like I'm taking a gamble every time I set off on a journey that's further than 80 miles!
 

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Tested out a couple of the new rapid charger installs this week at Doncaster M18 and Blyth A1 and at both had difficulty getting the respective machines to read my white Ecotricity card. Both times on the verge of reaching for my Plugged In Midlands back up just as the equipment, almost reluctantly, decided to play ball.

Tomorrow going to attempt completing this week's newbie hat-trick with Woolley Edge. Am I nervous? You bet I'm nervous, especially as Blyth will be a staging post on route. Every trip an adventure - it's like being a rejected teenager all over again.
 

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My colleague who drives a Leaf (Paul, you met him in Waterlooville) was umming and ahhing about driving his in-laws home on Monday, via Winchester rapid. It was going to be his first beyond home range drive and he was leaning towards taking the diesel. I encouraged him to take the Leaf based on reports from others that it had been reliable for the first two weeks.

Unfortunately the charger failed and furthermore the site manager wouldn't let him cross to the southbound. He was stuck limping up the M3 to a Nissan garage and getting a slow charge so that he had enough to reach Reading via A roads.

This is a good indication of why there needs to be backups at each site (32A if nothing else) and why Nissan need to equip all dealers with CHAdeMO. There is a Nissan dealer - Martins of Winchester - just 3 miles from this services and it is perfectly sited to serve both the M3 and A34, but they are balking at the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Leaf55 That is interesting because Harold, the Ecotricity tech man, insisted that all the cards are the same and that no card will be read any better than any other. I told him that some people had trouble with the new white cards but the green ones were better and he said that was just coincidence. He was very insistent on this.

That said... several people have had trouble with their white cards but the green ones worked... me included.

It looks like the Taunton Deane charger is back online after my failure yesterday and I have to go to Taunton tomorrow to see this house again (we might place an offer!!!) so I can try it tomorrow. I am sorry to say that I am not hopeful but I hope I am proven wrong :)
 

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My white card refused to work but the green did straight away when I tested it on Fleet a while back.

Paul, is Tiverton still out of action?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes David. It is still red on the map but I thought I'd try it yesterday on my way up anyway just in case it was fixed but the map not yet updated. It is still out with a "mobile communications error"

I mentioned it to Ecotricity support and they are hopeful it will be fixed before Christmas :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BTW... did you see that the Bridgwater Moto (M5 J24) now has a charger? I will try to get to it tomorrow but we may not have time... I'll tweet on #ukcharge

PS that is 5 now from Exeter to Bristol!!!
 

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Unfortunately the charger failed and furthermore the site manager wouldn't let him cross to the southbound.
That's very poor, surely a complaint to Moto or whomever is responsible for the site is on order here?
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Yes, saw that one. All up to date on http://goo.gl/maps/sRtGO
I had a quick look at the map and there are five points, that I know of, are not listed:-
Kinross, Park & Ride - CYC
Perth, South Inch Car Park - CYC
Asda, Dunkeld Road Perth, - Chargemaster
Asda, New Road, Forfar, - Chargemaster
and one around about Angus council office on the outskirts of Forfar but it seems to have gone from the CYC map.

Having read other posts it may be a case that this map only refers to Rapid Chargers and that is why I cannot see the ones that I use/try to use.
 

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Darren, there was some claim that they have locked the gates totally due to the landlord charging more for access. Smells unlikely to me.

H8ten - these are only rapid chargers. Are what you describing rapid or normal 32A posts?
 

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Darren, there was some claim that they have locked the gates totally due to the landlord charging more for access. Smells unlikely to me.
Indeed, I'll have to take a wander over there and see what's what. getting my Leaf on 27th, at long last.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Hi David, I found in another post that this map refers to rapid chargers, the ones I was referring to are just the 32A / 13A posts. I have seen the two that are located at Perth, Broxden park & ride but only one was functional, no branding/references other than Evolt, and none of them are appearing on the CYC map so I assumed, like the other CYC ones I have found, they are not fully operational yet.

Sorry if I caused confusion.

Ian
 
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