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For anyone who is interested the Polar Charging network is to be relaunched on the 2nd July, all the monthly fees I believe are going and it will be a registration process, get a card and pay as you charge so I have been told... 95p a charge I think they told me... Gary
 

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dpeilow said we would like what POLAR are doing... I have to admit that it looks very interesting.

As long as there is no payment up front then I would support this initiative at 95p per charge... even for a 1hr charge, 95p seems like a reasonable price. 95p at 16A (assuming you have a type2 cable) will give you around 15 miles. I think that although this is more than we would pay at home itis still a reasonable price for public charging. It is still considerably less than petrol with a normal ICE (or using our generator) and so still worthwhile us charging whenever possible. I might sign up if this turns our to be true :)
 

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Yep - I think you are going to like what Polar is doing next. Basically what we all want to see...

(I'm sworn to secrecy but you'll only have to wait until Monday)
 

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OK then dpeilow, you asked for it...

Someone hold him down...

We'll get it out of you... mark my words!

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 

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Its Monday!
come on spill..
 

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Kevin Sharpe said:
dpeilow said:
Yep - I think you are going to like what Polar is doing next. Basically what we all want to see...
PAYG would be amazing :)
Given Monday has been and gone can you confirm this is the move to a £10 p/a subscription? This was being discussed openly at the public lunch after the SMMT meeting so cannot be considered 'off the record'.
 

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so according to David on twitter it is just the £10 annual fee and not the PAYG we had hoped for :(

@dpeilow "So @polar_network card is now £10/year, free electricity til end of March (longer tbd). Covers Polar, Source London, MK, Oxford, Cambridge."
 

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Thx Kevin.

I am holding fire on my assessment of this until I have seen the full details.

There are still a number of unknowns as I write this, in particular:

Have they dropped the 95p per charge?
What charge stations does that £10 allow the use of?
Are there any other charges possible?
What are there rollout plans/timescales for the other locations they say they are installing?
Where are they installing fast chargers (I know not relevent for Ampera drivers but there are some owners of Amperas that own Leafs for example)?

It is certainly an interesting development.

I am with Kevin... if this is true, it would be a huge disappointment it is not PAYG. With the membership scheme still in place it opens up the probability that they will hike charges and membership at some point once we are joined up. I would prefer to have seen then commit to PAYG and to charge sensible rates right from the start instead of this membership scheme approach.

I suppose for many though £10 a year with free charging is probably worth joining... I might be willing to go against my declared position of saying I wouldn't join while we are in the "free charging" period and see what they do with charges in a year or so.

More later when we have full details.
 

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So good news today from Polar. Rather than the £19.99 a month subscription model, they have listened to feedback from EV drivers and are now radically overhauling their pricing. Full details are:


- Annual fee now £10.00

- Free use of the network for charging with a fair usage policy. So no charging for 8 hours a day, 365 days a year.

- Free use is currently in place until the end of March 2013 and they will review at that point.

- Areas covered are all POLAR points, Milton-Keynes, the Source London network, Oxford, Cambridge and some other Chargemaster locations (which if you are not sure, they say call them to check).

- There will be a live i-Phone app available within 3-4 weeks which has route planning, dynamic socket info (available/not available) and other features.


The new offer is live now for a soft-launch and people that want to register should call 01582 400 331 and ask for Tanya Saunders. She will send a form to be filled in, signed and sent back. They then call back to take the £10.00 when processed and send out a smartcard. I guess this will get more automated once demand increases.


I think this is a fantastic offer. £10 per year gets you access to all the 32A type 2 Mennekes points around the country that they are rolling out now, the CHAdeMO chargers that are going to be rolled out (first one live at Abingdon now) and future 43kW three phase posts like the ones they are now fitting in France and the Netherlands. I don't know for sure, but they could upgrade the network to 43kW if cars like the Zoe take off. Their current roll out is 4000 posts, which started in this area so I've already checked out a few of them.


I got a card from Little Chef a couple of weeks ago which was a standard Polar card, so I called them and paid £10 to register it this afternoon. At £19.99 per month it was not good value, I would never have used it enough to justify that price and I doubt anyone else would, but at £10 per year it is a different kettle of fish. It includes Source London, which was already £10, so adding the rest of the country for free is a bargain.


Given that we've all been working towards a comprehensive 32A network with rapid charging overlay on the trunk routes, getting it for £10 per year is great news and this company has some serious private backing to get the job done.


There is mention of the soft launch on Chargemaster's Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chargemas ... 0582238668 - and full details will be added to their website later, but in the meantime call them and they will send you the paperwork.
 

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dpeilow said:
So good news today from Polar. Rather than the £19.99 a month subscription model, they have listened to feedback from EV drivers and are now radically overhauling their pricing.
With respect, the EV drivers that I know have been asking for PAYG not a continuation of the subscription model. I suspect this is simply an attempt to gain market share while they wait for the collapse of PiP's next year. Clearly a £10 subscription can never be sustainable so price's will rise in the future.

Assuming the T&C's are not onerous then using the card for the next few months could be beneficial for some.
 

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Well, I'm sure they will provide full details at some point, but as I understand it the posts support NFC so anything is possible.

If there are unacceptable costs after the first year, I will stop using it. It's as simple as that.
 

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dpeilow said:
Well, I'm sure they will provide full details at some point, but as I understand it the posts support NFC so anything is possible.

If there are unacceptable costs after the first year, I will stop using it. It's as simple as that.
I think the vast majority of EV drivers would have preferred PAYG but I think that perhaps the realities of business means that this is probably the best we might get for now. I agree with Kevin that I think this sets the scene for a significant price hike at some stage but as David says... if they do that and it doesn't suit your needs then don't renew.

In the meantime, providing there is nothing in the Ts&Cs that prevents me from doing so I will join and see how it goes and given that the only cost is £10 for at least 9 months of free public charging you all might want to at least consider it.

One thing it will mean for me though is that if I am to get any real benefit I will need to get a type2 cable!
 

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PAYG means more complicated back office. Maybe at this stage of their development Chargemaster are not ready to bear that cost. That makes sense to me.
 

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dpeilow said:
PAYG means more complicated back office.
Not at all... if you use the existing retail POS networks then prices are a fraction of those in the niche EV space... think mastercard, visa, etc.
 

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Kevin Sharpe said:
dpeilow said:
PAYG means more complicated back office.
Not at all... if you use the existing retail POS networks then prices are a fraction of those in the niche EV space... think mastercard, visa, etc.

You still have to interface between the network and the clearing houses. That will have some kind of transaction fee and fixed costs. There will be anti-fraud systems in there too. It's all extra cost compared to taking a tenner off people and filling in a piece of paper.
 

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dpeilow said:
You still have to interface between the network and the clearing houses. That will have some kind of transaction fee and fixed costs. There will be anti-fraud systems in there too. It's all extra cost compared to taking a tenner off people and filling in a piece of paper.
Sorry, but mainstream POS systems are an order of magnitude cheaper to setup and run... trust me I'm involved in detailed negotiations with several.

If you really want to know what's going on in the EV space then take a look at the CENEX requirement docments, clock words like POD Point and back office, and speculate what all the charging vendors are doing to secure CENEX grants.

Here's a good place to start...

http://www.cenex.co.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=FtKfApJrexE=&tabid=715&mid=1634
 
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