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Usually an advocate of EVs, Petrol Ped (worked with Moggy on the Classic EVs series) get frustrated in the this video. TBH I don't blame him.

I saw that, and it was totally totally fair in my view. It’s what we’ve all been saying on this forum for a very long time,
  • The Ecotricity monopoly is disastrous as their chargers rarely work, and they’re at the most visible and important places for the average motorist - motorway service areas.
    • It remains beyond my comprehension that the Government doesn’t fix this. Even the most ardent free-marketeer must surely accept that if there were ever a need for Government intervention in anything, it’s in the MSA charging situation. If Ecotricity’s exclusivity agreement is so watertight that even the Government can’t get around it, then the Government needs to bite the bullet and pay to take Ecotricity into public ownership.
  • Single-charger sites are a pain in the backside, because if you get there right after another EV has plugged in it becomes hugely inconvenient.
  • Accurate location data in mapping apps for chargers is hit and miss. Not helped by the UK’s propensity for putting them in weird, out of the way locations.
I really do stand by my view that the best thing the UK could do is start ripping out existing chargers and starting again with all this. Unless it genuinely is the only charging option serving a large area (which is bad in and of itself!), I would rip out every single charger location and make it illegal not to install at least two chargers per location.
 

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It remains beyond my comprehension that the Government doesn’t fix this. Even the most ardent free-marketeer must surely accept that if there were ever a need for Government intervention in anything, it’s in the MSA charging situation. If Ecotricity’s exclusivity agreement is so watertight that even the Government can’t get around it, then the Government needs to bite the bullet and pay to take Ecotricity into public ownership.
Perhaps EV drivers, pariticlarly those who live in constituencies with Conservative MPs, need to start writing to their MP en masse.

It’s a hidden problem for the vast majority of people, and of even those few MPs that maybe drive EVs, a good proportion, like Grant Schapps, probably have a Tesla and so don’t personally experience the issue to the same extent.
 

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Perhaps EV drivers, pariticlarly those who live in constituencies with Conservative MPs, need to start writing to their MP en masse.

It’s a hidden problem for the vast majority of people, and of even those few MPs that maybe drive EVs, a good proportion, like Grant Schapps, probably have a Tesla and so don’t personally experience the issue to the same extent.
That’s a good point, and I might do that.

But even so, the UK’s target to ban the sale of ICE cars by 2030 was a huge policy announcement. There must have been a small army of Civil Servants working on that. If none of them noticed how rubbish Ecotricity is in that work then I’ll be amazed. I can’t believe this problem really is invisible to officials in the DfT. They’ve probably just calculated that it will be expensive to fix it, so they’re hoping that alternative solutions (non-MSA charging hubs, probably) mitigate the problem enough that it will go away.

I can kind of see logic in that, if my navigation app says to me “hey, instead of the MSA, why not go to this brand new rapid-charger hub with a coffee shop and 24 hour toilets in it nearby?” then that’s good enough for me. But I’m a tech-savvy, nerdy guy. The average motorist is just going to want to follow a sign on the motorway that says ‘Services’ on it... the Government pretending differently is just them burying their heads in the sand in my opinion.
 

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Yeah, I’m fairly confident things will be much better by 2030, but personally I’d rather not wait that long and I strongly suspect this Government’s current intention is to let the market try and work it out, and only step in as an absolutely last resort, if (when) it becomes a nationally significant issue. From my perspective, they seem to have a habit of being reactionary, and as it’s an issue for many of us EV drivers now, and is actively hindering the uptake of EV by others, I’d much rather it was sorted ASAP. I strongly suspect the vast majority of MPs have absolutely no idea about the issue.

My guess is that the sort of things officials in DfT, BEIS and OZEV are focussed on is getting grid connections sorted out for eventual banks of ultra rapids at each MSA. Whereas what needs to happen yesterday is just booting out Ecotricity and very simply replacing their knackered old DBT units with some 50kW Tritium / Chargepoint units run and maintained by Instavolt. Once the legalities of it were sorted, the physical work could be done in days/weeks.

We need an immediate, short-term intervention and fix, and in tamden with that we need the work to be done on the bigger and better grid connections for the banks of ultra-rapid we’ll be needing in the run up to 2030.
 

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That’s a good point, and I might do that.

But even so, the UK’s target to ban the sale of ICE cars by 2030 was a huge policy announcement. There must have been a small army of Civil Servants working on that. If none of them noticed how rubbish Ecotricity is in that work then I’ll be amazed. I can’t believe this problem really is invisible to officials in the DfT. They’ve probably just calculated that it will be expensive to fix it, so they’re hoping that alternative solutions (non-MSA charging hubs, probably) mitigate the problem enough that it will go away.

I can kind of see logic in that, if my navigation app says to me “hey, instead of the MSA, why not go to this brand new rapid-charger hub with a coffee shop and 24 hour toilets in it nearby?” then that’s good enough for me. But I’m a tech-savvy, nerdy guy. The average motorist is just going to want to follow a sign on the motorway that says ‘Services’ on it... the Government pretending differently is just them burying their heads in the sand in my opinion.
Hopefully, the new Rugby MSA will be the model going forwards. 12 Superchargers & 14 high-power rapids.
 

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Hopefully, the new Rugby MSA will be the model going forwards. 12 Superchargers & 14 high-power rapids.
That would be nice, but who believes Ecotricity are really going to deliver that at this point? I mean, is Rugby even open yet? If it takes them this long to sort out one of their MSA locations, how long will the other 100 or so take?
 

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When did the BP chargers at Stafford get put in? They're not on ZapMap yet. There's definitely some issue with MSA locations getting held up.
 

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That would be nice, but who believes Ecotricity are really going to deliver that at this point? I mean, is Rugby even open yet? If it takes them this long to sort out one of their MSA locations, how long will the other 100 or so take?
Rugby's opening was originally scheduled for last summer, but was delayed for hopefully obvious reasons.
It's now due to open sometime in the Spring.

 

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Rugby's opening was originally scheduled for last summer, but was delayed for hopefully obvious reasons.
It's now due to open sometime in the Spring.

That’s fair enough re: obvious reasons. But nevertheless, one decent new charging location does not a proven track record make. I think Ecotricity have given us more reasons over the years to be sceptical that they can fix their network than they have given us reasons to trust it.
 

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That’s fair enough re: obvious reasons. But nevertheless, one decent new charging location does not a proven track record make. I think Ecotricity have given us more reasons over the years to be sceptical that they can fix their network than they have given us reasons to trust it.
Agreed. I guess everyone's looking at the GridServe model now.
 

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Rownhams Services both north and south are CHAdeMo and AC only, not CCS, catches a lot of CCS owners out who are on a run, and expect CCS to be available, an absolute disgrace in my book. I understand that there is plans to put a bank of chargers in Rownhams south bound and is awaiting a decision on planning permission.

EV's with large capacity battery's, that are very efficient in the warmth of the summer just don't give up the energy in cold weather, in my experience the miles just drop away in Winter especially at 70mph. My advice, and I have learnt this the hard way, as many others have, when on a run always factor in a charge every 100 miles or so at a reliable predetermined charger. It's a pain when you own a long distance EV but it does save stress and hassle in the long run.

It's not just Rownhams! Only 66% of MSAs have CCS, and those that do are often not working because the chargers were not designed for CCS so they had to engineer a solution, add to that these chargers are over 6 years old, when working they only charge at around 43kW so all in all not the best solution.

The way other vendors are installing chargers close to motorway junctions MSAs will soon become irrelevant to EV owners, wonder if the MSAs are aware that Ecotricity are losing them customers.
 

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It's not just Rownhams! Only 66% of MSAs have CCS, and those that do are often not working because the chargers were not designed for CCS so they had to engineer a solution, add to that these chargers are over 6 years old, when working they only charge at around 43kW so all in all not the best solution.

The way other vendors are installing chargers close to motorway junctions MSAs will soon become irrelevant to EV owners, wonder if the MSAs are aware that Ecotricity are losing them customers.
I still fear that new EV drivers / prospective EV drivers are going to look for charging at existing MSAs and, when they don’t find it, will be put off.

But maybe the solution is just a new category of service areas signage on the motorways? Signs at motorway or A-road junctions could advertise “EV Services” or similar if there is a location within a mile or so from the junction that has at least 6 rapid chargers available for all EVs to use (Tesla superchargers wouldn’t qualify, therefore) and 24/7 toilets and food of some description.

Amusingly, then, few existing MSAs would be allowed to use this description. Only some of the Ionity ones, or Rugby when it opens up would be allowed to call themselves EV Services.
 

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I still fear that new EV drivers / prospective EV drivers are going to look for charging at existing MSAs and, when they don’t find it, will be put off.

But maybe the solution is just a new category of service areas signage on the motorways? Signs at motorway or A-road junctions could advertise “EV Services” or similar if there is a location within a mile or so from the junction that has at least 6 rapid chargers available for all EVs to use (Tesla superchargers wouldn’t qualify, therefore) and 24/7 toilets and food of some description.

Amusingly, then, few existing MSAs would be allowed to use this description. Only some of the Ionity ones, or Rugby when it opens up would be allowed to call themselves EV Services.
IIRC, Corley was having 4 Instavolts installed on either side a while back. Nothing on Zap-map yet though
 

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2-3 years for the grid infrastructure at MSAs to start being put into place....which is too long IMO.


“You need the comfort that you can charge on route at speed, so the challenge is the grid. The government has put funding aside and a policy in place. You’ll start to see future proof capacity going into motorway service areas in the next two or three years, in plenty of time for a hockey-stick uptake in electric car sales.”

If the Government sits back and allows Ecotricity to keep promising replacement chargers which never materialise, and meanwhile thousands of people switch to EVs and (hopefully) start travelling a lot more post-peak-Covid, including a lot more holidaying in the UK, then I can see a bit of a shitstorm brewing, and potentially quite a big backlash from mainstream drivers who just won’t be prepared to put up with it like most of us have, until now.
 

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Rugby's opening was originally scheduled for last summer, but was delayed for hopefully obvious reasons.
It's now due to open sometime in the Spring.

As well as the lack of action, it’s their lack of transparency and honesty that really pisses me off. I honestly don’t think I would feel quite so annoyed by them if they would at least just be up front about what they can and can’t do, dates etc.
 

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I saw that, and it was totally totally fair in my view. It’s what we’ve all been saying on this forum for a very long time,
  • The Ecotricity monopoly is disastrous as their chargers rarely work, and they’re at the most visible and important places for the average motorist - motorway service areas.
    • It remains beyond my comprehension that the Government doesn’t fix this. Even the most ardent free-marketeer must surely accept that if there were ever a need for Government intervention in anything, it’s in the MSA charging situation. If Ecotricity’s exclusivity agreement is so watertight that even the Government can’t get around it, then the Government needs to bite the bullet and pay to take Ecotricity into public ownership.
  • Single-charger sites are a pain in the backside, because if you get there right after another EV has plugged in it becomes hugely inconvenient.
  • Accurate location data in mapping apps for chargers is hit and miss. Not helped by the UK’s propensity for putting them in weird, out of the way locations.
I really do stand by my view that the best thing the UK could do is start ripping out existing chargers and starting again with all this. Unless it genuinely is the only charging option serving a large area (which is bad in and of itself!), I would rip out every single charger location and make it illegal not to install at least two chargers per location.
Could not agree more with every word.

It is now becoming urgent that the government gets to grips with the motorway service area situation. I don't trust a word that Ecotricity say and I don't believe they have the will or the funds to fix the situation now. They are serial bullshitters and their continued strangling of the network, as a company that is meant to be a green advocate, is no longer tenable.

There are now dozens of reviews of the charging experience on youtube and every single one, without exception, has a terrible experience with ecotricity. How much longer must we out up with it - it must be having an impact on EV uptake.

I feel that we should, as a community, start writing to MPs about this now. I am going to do so this week, direct to Grant Shapps. I'd write to my local MP but I can't stand him and don't want to end up on his mailing list so he can spam me with his marxist nonsense.
 

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It's not just Rownhams! Only 66% of MSAs have CCS, and those that do are often not working because the chargers were not designed for CCS so they had to engineer a solution, add to that these chargers are over 6 years old, when working they only charge at around 43kW so all in all not the best solution.

The way other vendors are installing chargers close to motorway junctions MSAs will soon become irrelevant to EV owners, wonder if the MSAs are aware that Ecotricity are losing them customers.
I really hope it is costing the MSAs sales. It is beyond my comprehension that they (some of them) renewed their exclusivity agreements with ecotricity less than 2 years ago. Upon what evidence did they see that as a positive business decision? They deserve to lose business.
 

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Would it be worth someone starting a new thread with a sort of call to arms to encourage every member of this site to write to their MP, Grant Schapps and anyone else who might have a modicum of influence. Perhaps with a template letter - or at least some bullet points.
 

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That would be nice, but who believes Ecotricity are really going to deliver that at this point? I mean, is Rugby even open yet? If it takes them this long to sort out one of their MSA locations, how long will the other 100 or so take?
They will never do all the others. They don't have the funds. They are, in my view, holding out for a buy out. They cannot seriously suggest they still have the roll out of EVs at the core of their mission.
 

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Would it be worth someone starting a new thread with a sort of call to arms to encourage every member of this site to write to their MP, Grant Schapps and anyone else who might have a modicum of influence. Perhaps with a template letter - or at least some bullet points.
Maybe one of those online petitions too? I think they have to be debated in parliament if they get enough signatures, but I guess EV owners is still a small enough market that getting that many is unlikely
 
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