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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apart from using the free National Trust charging points, I have never yet used the public charging network. I am soon to travel from N Wales to Cornwall and will need to charge my e-Niro on the way. I understand that I may need different payment cards for the different networks but where do I start? Do I have to map out each possible charging station on my route and find out who owns them and then register with them or is there a far simpler way? I would appreciate hearing peoples' experiences in this respect. Thanks!
 

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2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 64kWh
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Take a look at Zap Map, and set filters to only display chargers from these two networks:
-Instavolt
-Osprey
Both of these networks are nationwide, often have multiple chargers per location, take direct payment from just tapping your credit card, and have a good track record for reliability.

Don't bother messing around with the others like Polar. The two above should be enough to get you where you need to be and save a lot of hassle waiting for others to finish charging, trying to call helplines, or messing about with membership cards and/or apps.

Take a look at a website called A Better Routeplanner (ABRP) - You can also set preferred charge networks on that website too. It will give you an accurate and detailled route plan of where to charge and how long for, in order to get from point A to B quickly.
 

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I like ABRP, seems to work pretty well.

While i get the sentiment about only looking at instavolt/osprey(engenie) (i too have had excellent luck with both of these brands) its worth figuring out roughly where you'll need to charge (using ABRP) and then having a scout around with plugshare or zapmap to a) check comments and reports of those particular chargers, and B) see what alternatives there are incase they are bust.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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Always have a Plan B and C within non-squeekybum range in case the charge points are broken / ICEd / busy when you arrive. Sadly this may mean that you need to do more than one stop but it is better than either being stranded or having to wait for someone else to move.
I'd also suggest that you find places with something available to do at the time you are travelling - e.g. if they are at a Supermarket but it is after hours the carpark is a cold and lonely place at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone! I've not heard of A Better Routeplanner or Pkugshare so will look those up - I already have Zapmap. I thought I might need to have backup in case of problems with charging points so thanks for reinforcing that.
I've just come across ChargePointScotland as I'll be going there on holiday next year - they seem to have a far better organised system than England or Wales. Now that Zapmap have brought out ZapPay, I'm hoping a lot of companies will sign up to that making the whole process easier.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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If you’re definitely going to make use of the chargeplace Scotland network it’s worth getting a charge your car or chargeplace Scotland rfid card.

Both back office systems are run by BP Chargemaster who have a justifiably bad reputation.

What seems fairly common is the servers can’t contact the charger and so the app fails, giving you some crappy error message incorrectly suggesting your own internet connection is the problem. When in this situation the rfid card will usually work.

The Scotland network is considered better than charge your car but maintenance can still be an issue and my experience is nobody answers the phone.... though your call is important.

one small bonus with CYC is they tend to be cheaper than others. I’ve used them a few times as my first preference, if Zap-Map indicates they might work, just because it costs less.

otherwise Instavolt/Osprey.

one note on Zap-Map, as I commented on another thread earlier today, is you can’t trust the charger status information. If it says it’s down, it probably is, but status feeds from the networks can be junk, especially from BP/Polar/etc.You’ll also find non networked charge points listed that haven’t had a check in for 7 years. I doubt some of these exist. I always go by the comments.
 

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Apart from using the free National Trust charging points, I have never yet used the public charging network. I am soon to travel from N Wales to Cornwall and will need to charge my e-Niro on the way. I understand that I may need different payment cards for the different networks but where do I start? Do I have to map out each possible charging station on my route and find out who owns them and then register with them or is there a far simpler way? I would appreciate hearing peoples' experiences in this respect. Thanks!
You're going to need to set up an ecotricity account (there's an app) as that's the main M5/M6
Apart from using the free National Trust charging points, I have never yet used the public charging network. I am soon to travel from N Wales to Cornwall and will need to charge my e-Niro on the way. I understand that I may need different payment cards for the different networks but where do I start? Do I have to map out each possible charging station on my route and find out who owns them and then register with them or is there a far simpler way? I would appreciate hearing peoples' experiences in this respect. Thanks!
You're going to need the ecotricity app and setup an account. That's the main provider on M5 and M6. Your car will give you about 210 on an 80% charge and because high speed charging rates get very slow after 80% to protect the battery that's what you should plan for. They're reasonably reliable but we tended to go 150 with a buffer just in case.

Off the motorway Shell recharge doesn't need an account and their app works well. Instavolt also good. They both take contactless.



Hopefully your dealer provided a 13amp charger. That means when you get to your destination you can trickle charge. We found ours hidden two layers down in the boot.

Zapmap is the app to find chargers. But it's not always right about what's working. Go to the vendor app for the most up to date details.
 

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Fortunately I am in a position where thus far, all my charging has been from home. I do find it daft that so many systems in reference to app's and card access etc exist for public charging. You don't need a particular card or app to fuel up a petrol or diesel vehicle at any distributor. Considering the interaction to fuel an ice vehicle take just a minute or two, why on earth is there such a requirement for evidencing who we are to power an electric car. Why cannot they all be forced to accept a debit/credit card transaction? Identity has plenty of time to be assessed as the vehicle is going to be there for some considerable time. Certainly sufficient time for the Police to be informed if someone attempts to use a stolen card. I just cannot see any justification for the existing adhoc system. Surely all this app or rfid nonsense is purely an attempt to tie you into loyalty to a particular distributor. It would require some government legislation to force them all to comply with simple pay as you go access.
 

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Kia e-Niro 3
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Why cannot they all be forced to accept a debit/credit card transaction?
I'm a newbie to charging, but I thought this should be the case by now. Ref: All new rapid chargepoints should offer card payment by 2020 No doubt I will be corrected on this momentarily.

The Gov possibly didn't stipulate that debit card purchases should be fairly priced vs subscriptions though, because it seems they carry quite a surcharge to punish you for not being a member.
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
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You are correct in saying that all new chargepoints should offer card payment.
The problem is that only a few charging networks are retro-fitting card readers to their existing ones.
 

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2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 64kWh
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You are correct in saying that all new chargepoints should offer card payment.
The problem is that only a few charging networks are retro-fitting card readers to their existing ones.
There's actually quite a lot of existing chargepoints that simply can't support the retrofitting of credit card terminals. It's not so much that they are choosing not to, but rather that it often isn't possible.

Many of the most common chargers you see like the old DBTs (Ecotricity and Chargemaster), EVBox (Genie/Engie) and the Circontrol Trio chargers (Chargeplace Scotland, Electric Blue and a few others) Are examples where it's been confirmed that they simply can't add this support.

ABB, Efacec and the newer Circontrol Raption chargers are the only ones I have seen so far where it has been possible to upgrade with this feature. I have seen some networks starting to do this with these units but i'm told that this work is quite costly and the end result is not always reliable.
 
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