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Is it my imagination or do more and more chargers seem to be out of order these days? I've had an EV for over 3 years now but when I search on ZapMap these days it seems that so many chargers are not working. Why? I can't ever remember seeing a petrol pump out of order. An EV charger should be working 100% of the time, or if it breaks down, the charger should automatically notify the provider who should fix it within 24 hours. Some chargers have been broken for weeks! POD Point seem to be particularly bad, followed by Polar.
 

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Don't always trust what Zap Map says. I've seen a lot of people recently reporting chargers as broken because they aren't free vend anymore, or because AC43 only charged their non-Zoe car at only 7kW for example.

The chargers are just as reliable as ever. Some brands like Ecotricity have actually gotten a lot better in the past few months. Any chargers that are breaking down right now I assume they have less people out and about maintaining the chargers because of COVID-19 so it is definitely taking longer to get an engineer out with some brands than it used to.

Instavolt, Geniepoint, Ecotricity and Electric Blue appear to be the only networks that have maintained full service throughout. They appear to be getting out to repair chargers mostly within 48 hours, and also regularly cleaning their chargers too.

As a side note, if you see a charger that isn't working. Contact the network and tell them. They don't look at Zap Map. And certain issues don't get automatically reported. Sometimes they will already be aware, but I have called in an issue before after people had been complaining about it for almost a month on Zap Map. When I told them about it they had no knowledge of the problem, got it reported and it was up and running again by the end of that week.
 

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Maybe they should proactively keep an eye on what people are saying about their chargers on zap-map instead of waiting for an irate customer to phone in ? ;)

Maybe make a deal with zap-map to automatically receive info about chargers reported to have a fault so it can be investigated. I though zap-map already sent this data to some of the networks ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Don't always trust what Zap Map says. I've seen a lot of people recently reporting chargers as broken because they aren't free vend anymore, or because AC43 only charged their non-Zoe car at only 7kW for example.

The chargers are just as reliable as ever. Some brands like Ecotricity have actually gotten a lot better in the past few months. Any chargers that are breaking down right now I assume they have less people out and about maintaining the chargers because of COVID-19 so it is definitely taking longer to get an engineer out with some brands than it used to.

Instavolt, Geniepoint, Ecotricity and Electric Blue appear to be the only networks that have maintained full service throughout. They appear to be getting out to repair chargers mostly within 48 hours, and also regularly cleaning their chargers too.

As a side note, if you see a charger that isn't working. Contact the network and tell them. They don't look at Zap Map. And certain issues don't get automatically reported. Sometimes they will already be aware, but I have called in an issue before after people had been complaining about it for almost a month on Zap Map. When I told them about it they had no knowledge of the problem, got it reported and it was up and running again by the end of that week.
I always report it to the provider but often they do nothing. Particularly in Brighton where several chargers have been out of action for weeks!
 

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A co. that does not know the status of their product is doomed. Looking on Zap map the chargers seem to be interrogated every 3-4mins or is this only some. True some chargers are out for weeks, CYC seem to be the worst?

Need to set up a team of enthusiasts to monitor chargers in their area.
 

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A co. that does not know the status of their product is doomed. Looking on Zap map the chargers seem to be interrogated every 3-4mins or is this only some. True some chargers are out for weeks, CYC seem to be the worst?

Need to set up a team of enthusiasts to monitor chargers in their area.
Only some networks have live status feeds. But that still doesn't feed back everything. For example a charger that has a faulty chademo connector. It's paired with the CCS since they are both DC. If people are still regularly charging on CCS instead the network would have no idea about that fault until they are either told about it or visit it for themselves.

CYC Is more or less a dead brand. The chargers and posts are mostly very old, and owned by the hosts or council. They came with a one year maintentance contract which will all be long finished by now meaning that it's down to the owners to sort out problems and not CYC. A few councils have been good with this but most have just abandoned them, removed them, or signed up to new contracts with other companies like Elecric Blue or Hubsta to take them over or replace

There are still rumors going around that CYC Will be axed in the near future. The few chargers and posts that they still have interest in will be moved to Polar (having already been replaced with Polar's AC posts or DC Ultrachargers with temporary CYC stickers, and all double-listed on Zap Map as a CYC AND as a Polar location. I could definitely see this happening.
 

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Yeah I’ve reported many faults in my area but from the attitude/response received from the provider, I won’t be wasting my unpaid time to help them out again.
 

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A co. that does not know the status of their product is doomed. Looking on Zap map the chargers seem to be interrogated every 3-4mins or is this only some. True some chargers are out for weeks, CYC seem to be the worst?

Need to set up a team of enthusiasts to monitor chargers in their area.
Any data that is not accurate causes more problems than it solves. People such as ABB offer chargers that they can monitor and repair. It is not rocket science. ZapMap relies for some kit on user reported data so this can be variable. A charger can be reported broken because someone cannot get a charge on CCS but the thing works on ChaDemo. If a connector is not fully pushed in the same thing can happen. Biggest problem is MSA's most kit is not self monitoring and the "offline" can mean anything. MSA chargers do not allow ZapMap any live data from EH. I am using dirty diesel and am sadly bemused at how long it is taking to get a decent national network in place.
 

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I wouldn't trust Zapmap. I used a chargemaster last week that Zapmap said was out of service. It wasn't marked as out of service on Polar's map and when i got there is just needed a reset. At work we have several chargers some of which are publicly accessible and some aren't but zap map only points to the innacessible ones marked with a comment to say they aren't accesible. Mind you I wouldn't trust Polar's map either as I regularly use their chargers and have yet to see my occupation of one actually appear on the map.
 

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I wouldn't trust Zapmap. I used a chargemaster last week that Zapmap said was out of service. It wasn't marked as out of service on Polar's map and when i got there is just needed a reset.
Why these things do not have a watchdog circuit and autoreset by now baffles me. Then if a unit keeps needing a reset something is wrong and needs repairing. But in this situation was ZapMap actually correct ? And you realising it needed a reset actually fixed the problem ? A lot of average joes just would not realise there even was a reset.
 

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Also depends how the charger is funded, and who is responsible for repairs. Many for instance have been installed by councils with government grants, but theres no money for repairs, so if they break they get ignored
 

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Also depends how the charger is funded, and who is responsible for repairs. Many for instance have been installed by councils with government grants, but theres no money for repairs, so if they break they get ignored
This appears to be the primary reason. Most councils installed CYC points years ago which are no unmanaged, in these instances I just poke the local MP/Council to state if they want a more eco friendly area they have to supply reliable infrastructure. So far, almost have taken note and installed additional points or fixed originals.

I note a lot of people seem to mark things as non functional on zap map yet others say it’s working, so I do question user error at times.

Haven’t even got my vehicle yet but been keeping an eye for a few months, as I’ll be reliant on public charging points.
 

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The thorny problem of broken chargers and response times to get them back online has been around since the first EV ventured on the roads. Some years ago I suggested that rather than throw government grant money at Milton Keynes and various Local Authorities to install and forget chargers there should have been a countrywide network of electrical engineers set up financed from the grant funding.

That workforce to be tasked with same day repair visits and all charger companies to supply them with a range of spares and authority to access and fix their units. A far better use of central funds than providing the units themselves as the various companies would have money and incentives to expand as the repair and maintenance side of the business was off their shoulders.

Over time, that gov't funded resource could be gradually wound down and the central pool of engineers funded by a levy on the charge owners.

The present shambles of unreliable chargers is yet another disincentive to new EV owners. But if they saw such a positive and effective workforce that jumped on every downtime report - with penalties for non-compliance - then more people would be persuaded to risk an EV as a single car to cover all travel needs.
 

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Currently monitoring 2 Instavolt charging locations in Dorset 50mls apart which were charging 4 EVs when all of a sudden Zap map said all 4 chargers were out of service! Could be that EV chargers are on leccy contracts which allow them to be disconnected to help keep the grid balanced. I guess we will never know.
 

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And now the one in Plymouth as gone down whilst charging. Perhaps a comms thing and in fact all are still working.
 

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Plymouth is showing as unavailable on the Instvolt site. So probably accurate information on ZapMap. But no redmark on the ZapMap icon. ZapMap get a live feed from Instavolt.
 

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The issue of reporting is also significant.

I recently stopped in Kirkcaldy to charge while the wife was at a friends, and the thing wouldnt start. I messed about with it for 10minutes, and eventually rang the number on it to report the problem and/or see if they could fix it. After 5 minutes in a queue i decided to drive elsewhere, held on the line for another 5 minutes while i drove to another charger thinking i should still report the issue, but still no-answer, so i gave up.
 
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