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Discussion Starter #1
Just been told that our new Kia e-niro on its way. Would love some advice from you existing ev owners:

What subscription-based charging provider would you recommend (we're based in the South of England)?

Which 7kW home-charging unit would you suggest (we have solar)?

Any other issues to think about?
 

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I wouldn't recommend any 'subscription based' outfit !

You might want to take up the 3 month free trial from Polar then see if you save enough to continue when it becomes chargeable - though I'd suggest you might have to do a lot of charging away from home to justify that. I'd also recommend having PodPoint with their minimum balance maintained so that you can use their free charges for more than 15m.
 
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At the moment nobody’s driving anywhere by comparison to before lockdown, so perhaps wait for a subscription and set up pay as you go unless you do lots of miles. I’d also get zap map and see what networks you are likely to use, as polar for example dont always have a local point.

we got an EO mini, very happy
 

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Podpoint seem good and BP
I've signed up to loads and downloaded the apps but only ever used a polar post and BP with a contactless payment worked flawlessly
Chargers? I've installed a rolec 7kw charger at home
I'm not eligible for the grant (no off-road parking) and my leaf is second hand one so no help from the manufacturer
Picked the rolec unit up off eBay and had it installed along with an exterior socket just so I can plug in power tools when I want and £300 I'm happy with that.
Lots of others available but it's really down to what's available and what you like the look of if you have the choice
My rolec so far is faultless
Your new niro should hold a fair amount of charge so maybe no need to charge daily for you 😁
I've driven the niro once before and loved it 👍
 

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Discussion Starter #5
At the moment nobody’s driving anywhere by comparison to before lockdown, so perhaps wait for a subscription and set up pay as you go unless you do lots of miles. I’d also get zap map and see what networks you are likely to use, as polar for example dont always have a local point.

we got an EO mini, very happy
Good point about lockdown.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Podpoint seem good and BP
I've signed up to loads and downloaded the apps but only ever used a polar post and BP with a contactless payment worked flawlessly
Chargers? I've installed a rolec 7kw charger at home
I'm not eligible for the grant (no off-road parking) and my leaf is second hand one so no help from the manufacturer
Picked the rolec unit up off eBay and had it installed along with an exterior socket just so I can plug in power tools when I want and £300 I'm happy with that.
Lots of others available but it's really down to what's available and what you like the look of if you have the choice
My rolec so far is faultless
Your new niro should hold a fair amount of charge so maybe no need to charge daily for you 😁
I've driven the niro once before and loved it 👍
Thank you. Useful advice. Are Polar and BP the same thing. Can one sign-up to BP or is that effectively just signing up to Polar? Sorry if I am being dumb.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Zappi, hands down for use with Solar.

Don't look at as an expense either, look at it as an investment, much like your solar is, they are not the cheapest, but have great functionality.
Thank you EVJ, was wondering about Zappi. Do you find that in practice you can make good use of the solar power?
 

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Thank you. Useful advice. Are Polar and BP the same thing. Can one sign-up to BP or is that effectively just signing up to Polar? Sorry if I am being dumb.
Polar/BP/Chargemaster are all the same thing. Their public charging network currently all goes under the Polar Instant/Polar Plus brand (And they also have control of the CYC Network, it can be handy at times but generally shouldn't be relied upon)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Polar/BP/Chargemaster are all the same thing. Their public charging network currently all goes under the Polar Instant/Polar Plus brand (And they also have control of the CYC Network, it can be handy at times but generally shouldn't be relied upon)
So 'Polar' is the brand name that you actually purchase from.

What do you mean by not relying on them? Do you mean that their chargers often don't work?
 

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So 'Polar' is the brand name that you actually purchase from.

What do you mean by not relying on them? Do you mean that their chargers often don't work?
Yeah, Polar is who you will sign up to be that for the pay as you go app, or the monthly membership card. It's also the name you'll see on the majority of the chargers.

Polar chargers for the most part are reliable. But CYC is an older brand that Polar now own and operate too. They are starting to get forgotten about and typically when they break down there's no maintenance contract in place anymore so they tend to just get abandoned.

Polar Plus membership includes free access to these older CYC chargers too. I'm just saying if you were planning a journey, be sure to check on Zap Map that they are confirmed working, or have a good plan B nearby that you can fall back on if it is indeed broken, decommissioned or removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, Polar is who you will sign up to be that for the pay as you go app, or the monthly membership card. It's also the name you'll see on the majority of the chargers.

Polar chargers for the most part are reliable. But CYC is an older brand that Polar now own and operate too. They are starting to get forgotten about and typically when they break down there's no maintenance contract in place anymore so they tend to just get abandoned.

Polar Plus membership includes free access to these older CYC chargers too. I'm just saying if you were planning a journey, be sure to check on Zap Map that they are confirmed working, or have a good plan B nearby that you can fall back on if it is indeed broken, decommissioned or removed.
OK, duly warned. Thanks.
 

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So, is the consensus that it is not a good idea to sign up for one of the subscription services for the public chargers?
I'd say no, unless you were going to be using one specific network several times a week. Otherwise just get the pay as you go apps/RFID cards for the chargers along the routes you will be driving. I personally have apps for Pod Point, Ecotricity and Polar Instant, and then RFID cards for Chargepoint, Electric Blue, Chargeplace Scotland, Geniepoint, E.On and NewMotion, all PAYG
 

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So, is the consensus that it is not a good idea to sign up for one of the subscription services for the public chargers?
It really depends on where and when you will use then. With Polar Plus you save a lot per kWh but need to use a reasonable amount each month to save overall. I have kept my Polar Plus for now and plan my routes in Zoe (and occasionally Model 3) to use them. This sometimes means a slight detour but they have a lot of chargers now and are reliable.

The future is roaming and virtual networks aka agregators. I have signed up for the new Octopus virtual network and hopefully they will add more physical networks.

 
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Discussion Starter #16
80698 - several times a week! Probably not. Maybe once or twice.

proddick - I guess I need to sit down and do the maths. I have never heard of Octopus, I will have to investigate. Thanks.

Dipped my toe in with the PHEV five years ago and found the apps unusable. Maybe it is better now, but the idea of getting to a charge point but not being able to purchase the power simply because there is no phone signal is really galling. Do all networks have either RFID cards or some non-app method for PAYG?
 

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Do all networks have either RFID cards or some non-app method for PAYG?
:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Sorry, a perfectly reasonable expectation but the default in the modern world is an App for everything. :rolleyes: Generally RFID cards are subscription only, but limited to one network - great if they are predominate in your regular haunts but otherwise rubbish. I refer you to part of the previous input from @80698
I personally have apps for Pod Point, Ecotricity and Polar Instant, and then RFID cards for Chargepoint, Electric Blue, Chargeplace Scotland, Geniepoint, E.On and NewMotion, all PAYG
That's more than me, but par for the course.

Just a note on the PAYG cards - these generally require you to preload them with a minimum of say £10 to be able to use them with a linked credit or debit card which you then have to maintain as your cards expire etc.
 

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In over 5 years with 2 EV I have never had a subscription but I don't often go off the beaten track. And locally to us there's barely any chargers.

Couple of points raised. Podpoint doesn't always need an account with a balance. My only regular destination charge is at Tesco. Free beyond 15 minutes if you "bag" it via the app.

Shell network is simplicity itself, better rates via the app but they do accept contact less payment, but a limited network currently.

100% Zappi, I wish the OLEV grant scheme wasn't so bloody minded otherwise I would use my 2nd car to get one. Perfect companion for Solar.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, so Zappi appears to be the favourite among home charge points for solar users then. Anyone have any idea how much they cost compared with the more straightforward units?
 

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Assume you are getting the larger battery (64Kwh) driven sensibly you can get 250+ miles in summer.
If you do need to charge away from home on regular routes then you will from experience find your preferred supplier.
I have used instavolt, geniepoint, podpoint, engenie, polar and electric highway.
They have all apart from electric highway been working each time.
Instavolt is by far the most reliable and have 2 or more units at most sites, also contactless card payment.
More info on the charging forum and also dedicated KIa motors forum
 
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