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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I made what seems now to be a schoolboy error today.

Having successfully used the (pricey) Shell chargers near my office here in Windsor the other week, I decided to charge at this end today, having run my battery right down to low teens percentage.

I get there today and both of them, despite showing zero indication of failure (screens lit up, green lights on) are according to their call centre "completely offline". I had tried every possibility of payment option, and even their useless app before calling them, wasting 45 minutes I'm not getting back.

I've worked in telecoms and IT for 25 years. There is no reason a device cannot know it's network connection is offline; it should poll it periodically and then provide helpful messages to the user. In the case of rapids like these, they have a screen capable of giving a host of relevant information.

Every time I think another network is approaching a level of competence something like this happens.

Back to InstaVolt, then, and back to planning a charge when I've still got half battery (apart from the odd ad hoc granny charger session I can't charge at home).
 

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Peugeot e-208
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There is a rule of thumb in cricket captaincy on what you should do if you win the toss:

9 times out of 10, you should bat first. The other time, you should think about bowling, then bat first.

The same is true here. Every time I'm standing next to a failed charger with steam coming out of my ears, I curse myself for not driving an extra 10 minutes to the Instavolt. I don't bother with phone calls any more. On the occasions when I get through to a human (50/ 50) the human has only once been able to help me. (And that was a very helpful guy from Fastned whose suggestion to 'try it again' did actually work!)
 

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Audi e-tron 50
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I week or so ago I rocked up to the Shell rapid charger in Woodbridge to find it saying it was down and an out of order tag was hanging on CCS holster. Reading the screen a bit more, it suggested pressing the emergency stop button might help so I did and the charger started working.
 

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I week or so ago I rocked up to the Shell rapid charger in Woodbridge to find it saying it was down and an out of order tag was hanging on CCS holster. Reading the screen a bit more, it suggested pressing the emergency stop button might help so I did and the charger started working.
On Aug 6th I was due to go on hols in Woodbridge from the Sat for 1 week, so I checked zap-map & found that this Rapid had been reported as off-line 3 days earlier. So I got onto Allego helpline who run them, and it turned out that it had been bust for prev 2 weeks, also had missed it's annual maintenance & service! And by some coincidence an engineer was due to come & repair it this very same day! I used it on the Saturday & it was fixed by then, still working when we left a week later.

But I discovered during the week that other users will use the Emergency stop to stop a charge, as there's no button on-screen to allow this, and it's not clear to newbies how to stop one! And when pressed to do the emergency stop, the button toggles on & the machine is permanently down!!! And then it's not at all obvious you need to toggle the button again to remove the "offline" status & get it going again!

So I facebooked them to suggest maybe they could put instructions on-screen to tell people how to stop a charge (tap your card to wake the display up, then the Stop button appears) and also change the panic button to be s simple press button, as the software will have noted the emergency-stop request, and should reset the m/c again by itself rather than locking up uselessly. Facebook responder promised to forward these novel ideas to whoever. Maybe they'll improve the user interface a bit?

edit: typo fixed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On Aug 6th I was due to go on hols in Woodbridge from the Sat for 1 week, so I checked zap-map & found that this Rapid had been reported as off-line 3 days earlier. So I got onto Allego helpline who run them, and it turned out that it had been bust for prev 2 weeks, also had missed it's annual maintenance & service! And by some coincidence an engineer was due to come & repair it this very same day! I used it on the Saturday & it was fixed by then, still working when we left a week later.
Aha. That's when I used it on my first lunchtime visit. You'll see I wrote a glowing review of it then on Zap Map, much to my regret.

I'm writing this at my favourite InstaVolt, the Soul slurping down the electrons at 61 kW pace.

Afraid it's going to take a lot of improvements from the Big Oil boys before I use their chargers again.

There were a couple of reliable BP Pulses I was using during my trial subscription, but I found their 40 kW output disappointing. I only charge in the sweet spot up to 80%, and 61 kW makes a big difference to total charge time.
 

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Instavolt maybe a little more but they always work😁
We've always had no problems with Instavolt until recently... The two sites nearest us have only one of two units operational. The other is bagged over in both cases. We contacted them and apparently they are awaiting delivery of parts for repair... Praying this really is a temporary supply issue.
 

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Aha. That's when I used it on my first lunchtime visit. You'll see I wrote a glowing review of it then on Zap Map, much to my regret.

I'm writing this at my favourite InstaVolt, the Soul slurping down the electrons at 61 kW pace.

Afraid it's going to take a lot of improvements from the Big Oil boys before I use their chargers again.

There were a couple of reliable BP Pulses I was using during my trial subscription, but I found their 40 kW output disappointing. I only charge in the sweet spot up to 80%, and 61 kW makes a big difference to total charge time.
Do you have the new Soul or the classic?
 

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Audi e-tron 50
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We've always had no problems with Instavolt until recently... The two sites nearest us have only one of two units operational. The other is bagged over in both cases. We contacted them and apparently they are awaiting delivery of parts for repair... Praying this really is a temporary supply issue.
Yes. While we've had our e-tron 50 for nearly a year now, we haven't done many journeys where rapid charging has been necessary. When it has been, Instavolt has been the poster boy for rapid charging excellence.
Long may this continue.
 

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Corsa-e 2020
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A new service area has just opened on the A14 at J54 Sproughton. I was watching with interest as the site was developed. It's a Shell station with a Starbucks, Greggs and several other similar outlets. I had a look at the planning application and it showed 2 EV charging bays.

Went for a drive through to check it out and no EV chargers, just an air & water pump where the EV chargers were supposed to be. I asked a staff member where the EV chargers were and they replied that there weren't any and no plans to install them either.

Just goes to show that the big oil companies are just greenwashing with their EV charging advertising. Doing the minimum to be seen as compliant but in reality, avoiding putting off the inevitable for as long as they can.
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
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A new service area has just opened on the A14 at J54 Sproughton. I was watching with interest as the site was developed. It's a Shell station with a Starbucks, Greggs and several other similar outlets. I had a look at the planning application and it showed 2 EV charging bays.

Went for a drive through to check it out and no EV chargers, just an air & water pump where the EV chargers were supposed to be. I asked a staff member where the EV chargers were and they replied that there weren't any and no plans to install them either.

Just goes to show that the big oil companies are just greenwashing with their EV charging advertising. Doing the minimum to be seen as compliant but in reality, avoiding putting off the inevitable for as long as they can.
Sounds like yet another Euro Garages bait-and-switch. 🤬
 
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