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Over the past two months after receiving my EV Ive come across a fair number of charge points that are inoperable, both public & on commercial premises (Chargemaster). Does anyone know the SLAs for networks & whether they are regulated in any way with SLAs imposed?

Thanks
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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Over the past two months after receiving my EV Ive come across a fair number of charge points that are inoperable, both public & on commercial premises (Chargemaster). Does anyone know the SLAs for networks & whether they are regulated in any way with SLAs imposed?

Thanks
I don't believe there is any regulation involved. I very much doubt there are any significant SLAs at present, as it's quite likely that the people buying the charge points simply didn't know enough about them to get the right SLAs into the contract at the time - something quite common for new technologies.

One would hope that now that cars have caught up and the networks are getting a decent amount of use, that not just will we see expansion of the networks but that knowledge of what is required of them will have developed so that appropriate SLAs and MOPs are put in place for the network operators going forward.

For those who don't live or work in a commercial contract driven world....
SLA - Service Level Agreement - in this context, defines the expected performance of the charge points and potentially penalties for not meeting them
MOPs - Measures of Performance - defines the way in which SLAs are measured and may define individually the expected level of performance each measure must attain to be considered to have met the SLA.
 

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Most of the networks are not in a position to impose any kind of SLA, since they do not own or have responsibility for many/any of their chargepoints: they just provide billing/marketing services to the chargepoint owners. The chargepoint owners are typically responsible for maintenance. And the real root of the problem is that many of these chargepoint owners were provided with grant funding to get the equipment installed, but made inadequate (if any) provision for long term maintenance. Of course the networks could take the approach of dropping points from their networks if the owners don't have adequate maintenance contracts in place - but if they did that they'd lose most of their locations and most of their income, so they don't.

However, things are changing quite rapidly at present. The new ownership of Source London has tried to take over control of locations in their area - replacing the equipment with their own and taking over responsibility for them (as well as changing the overall business model). Several new entrants are appearing. Chargemaster's takeover of CYC is a big change, with the CYC brand being maintained alongside Chargemaster's existing several brands. Source East has long been rumoured to be about to change their management, but instead seems to be falling apart and individual locations joining other networks. Chargepoint Genie seems to be re-positioning themselves from a passive operator on behalf of others to promoting their own brand (and perhaps taking more responsibility for quality?).

Interesting times...
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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Interesting times...
Indeed!

The way I see it, we are going through a big shake up now whether we notice it or not. Previously, cars were few and there was a desperation to just get as many charge points out as possible so that people realised the cars were usable - so that's what happened.

Now that the cars are here, the standards are decided for the future, and usage of public charging is really growing, we move further down the product life cycle from introduction towards maturity, and during this 'growth' stage we see that we are currently going through a big shift to turn an immature product into a mature one. The realisation that the networks need to control and maintain the chargers has happened, and we see networks moving to models whereby they are no longer just a payment intermediary and are now actually proper service providers.

It will take time, and it might be a little bit stressful whilst it does, but I am confident that eventually we will end up with a few competing major playors who each have a decent product at a reasonably decent price. The outlook right now is that it's going to be Ecotricity, Chargemaster and Chargepoint Genie, and right now it looks like they are all trying to work out in their own way how they maintain national networks in a sustainably profitable manner.
 

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Hi Duncan,

We have a very comprehensive service level agreement package starting from £16 per month per charging post (public/ commercial). This covers everything from remote telephone support to deploying an engineer to site within 24 hours in the event of an issue arising that cannot be remotely rectified.

We have also found that our charging points (Ensto Chago) can save up to 80% operation costs as a result of robust hardware with the ability to proactively diagnose and upgrade charging points using our sophisticated operating platform.

Please contact us on [email protected] should you require any further information.

Many thanks.
 

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Sadly, the type of SLA described by @Robert Byrne above is the same old model where the chargepoint networks consider the "customer" to be the site owner rather than the drivers. Such SLAs as may exist are a private matter for the chargepoint owner and even when in place the driver faced with a dead chargepoint has no knowledge of what the SLA requires and no relationship with the parties to the SLA to get it enforced.

What's needed is an end-user facing SLA - "points on our network should have xx% uptime and fault reports will be responded to within yy hours" or somesuch. Visibility of the process is almost more important than sanctions for the specified service level not being achieved.

If I were in Chargemaster's shoes - now having acquired a large number of points of variable quality and also multiple sets of branding - I'd want to reserve my premium brand for those chargepoints where there exist maintenance arrangements bearing a decent SLA, and move all the others where quality is at the whim of the site owner onto one of the other brands.
 
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