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Moderator Note:

I have removed the last post from Kevin Sharpe.

This is a friendly forum and we cannot allow petty arguments here.


I encourage POLAR and other charging infrastructure representatives to post on the forum but please do not fight amongst yourselves here... please take your fights elsewhere.

Let's all talk to POLAR in a friendly manner eh :)
 

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Can someone clarify, what's the correct sequence for plugging a Volt/Ampera into a Polar charging point?

The Volt instructions are to plug into the mains first then connect the car; the polar card says to plug into the car first. On our way home from collecting our new Volt we stopped off at Waitrose so (even though we only stopped for a few minutes) I plugged into the Polar charger but I had a bit of a struggle getting it to work (not least because of the ridiculously short lead on the charging cable making it hard to close the charge door). I got it to work on the nth attempt but not sure what I did differently that time.
 

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Are you using the 13A charging cable that came with the car? If so then it is simple... when using 13A the correct sequence is always plug in to the power socket first. Let the charging cable block initialise with the green lights, set the power at either 6A or 10A (it remembers the previous time so you may not need to actually change the setting) and then plug into the car.

This sequence is important because the block on the cable must be initialised and active when you plug into the car or else the car with have nothing to "talk" to and it may not start charging.

If you are using a type 2 cable then it probably doesn't matter which end is plugged into first as it is just a cable and other than a few resistors it has no active components... nothing happens until both ends are connected anyway.
 

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If you get a card from polar do test it (hopefully locally) before you head off expecting it to work.

Mine was not recognised by the posts and eventually they realised it was not registered. After registering it does not normally work until the next day as posts download the whitelist overnight. Support helpfully rebooted the post I was trying to use, but the process took almost 15 mins of me hanging around.

My feedback is that their customer service staff could probably use a bit more training, but the support engineer was excellent.
 

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Thanks, it was the 13A cable. That's where I was going wrong then, I was trying to follow the Polar instructions and plugged into the car first.

The card itself worked fine the first time, but it was basically just a test to make sure it all worked.
 

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I used a couple of Chargemaster / POLAR posts on Friday.

The first one was at Little Chef at Chippenham. The 13A socket was working but the magnets that hold the door shut on the 32A were not. Because it wasn't shut, the post thought it was in use and wouldn't offer it to me.

I called it in to Chargemaster customer services later in the afternoon. The girl took all my details and then put me on hold for 5 minutes - so I hung up. She had enough to report it and get it fixed and I was late for giving people a lift. There wasn't any need for the hold IMHO.


The second one I used was one of the 2 Source Bristol posts at Brislington P&R on the Bath Road in Bristol. These were all working, although strangely all 4 doors were also open (I shut them). I tested my POLAR and Source London cards on these and they both worked. I didn't need the charge and stopped 5 minutes, but I was curious to know if Source Bristol was inter-operable with the other schemes and it is.




These posts are at the far side of the car park and there is no signage. I almost gave up looking for them before I saw the blue lights in the corner of my eye.
 

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If polar reboot a post then the doors open - perhaps this is to unlock a trapped cable? They rebooted a post for me when it would not recognise my card and I noticed this affect.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Got my Polar card last week and set off on a 130 mile drive to Eastbourne from Shaftesbury in Dorset, first stop in Eastbourne was the Polar charging points in Waitrose, much to my disapointment when I swiped my card the box gave me the message invalid card, so not the best of starts. Phoned the Polar support hotline from Waitrose after I had convinced customer services that they really did have car charging facilities in their car park, (they didn't know anything about them) although I eventually gave up after being on hold for 15 minutes... called again when I got back to where I was staying and eventually got through, but nothing could be done until Monday as they don't have technical staff over the weekend. Anyway, Monday morning I got straight on the phone and got through to Neil Sharp and his colleagues who I found to be very helpful and friendly and they pointed me to the NCP car park in Eastbourne as there was a communications fault with the Waitrose box and it had not been updated with my card details. Drove there and after a bit of fluffing around trying to get the box to work I plugged the Ampera into the 32 amp socket and set off to the beach with the kids.. returned later to find the car fully charged and ready to go, so all in all my first experience with charging away from home on the Polar network was quite satisfying in the end...

For information if you are travelling to Eastbourne, the charging bays are the 1st 2 bays on the left when you enter the car park although the spaces are very tight and I felt the charging plug sticking out the side of my car was a bit vulnerable...

Gary
 

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I understand this network is new, but with so many reports of problems, I'm not sure I could have any faith in it.

I'd be quite annoyed to do the homework to find a charge post, go out of my way for it, only to find its borked.
 

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It is very annoying but as Ampera/Volt owners at the end of the day it is never going to be the end of the world for us. On the otherhand, I am also a Nissan Leaf owner and if that happens with the Leaf, when your battery is empty, then it might mean that the AA needs to be called.

I am hugely disappointed in the lack of reliability shown by the main charging networks so far. The main reasons seem to be related to RFID cards, whitelists and communication issues. This is the huge benefit of dumb sockets... nothing much to go wrong!
 

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I agree that the problems with the RFID networks are disappointing and have experienced issues with Polar at Little Chefs. However, I suspect the number of users has been very low, as I doubt many people took them up on their subscription offer ;-) As I'm sure everyone will appreciate, with a very low number of users it is difficult to iron out bugs/issues. Hopefully now there are more Polar users and issues are being reporting, things will improve. Support already advised me that the next software update will sense when a user unplugged from socket 1 and forgot to swipe/close the socket.

So far (touch wood) I have not experienced any issues with Pod-Point. I used two more Pod-Points on a recent trip to Doncaster - one at the Leicester Park & Ride and the other at a retail park at Derby.

Incidentally, I met up with a colleague and customer at a four star hotel in the Leics area *. Despite contacting them a week before, they were not able to offer a 13A socket and did not seem very open to the idea that offering a simple charging socket might help their business in the future (I provided details of how they could get "free" charging sockets)

* Before anyone chimes in "why choose that hotel" - I had no choice as the customer chose it. I did check though and there does not appear to be any decent hotel in the Leics area that officially offers charging. Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed - maybe we could lobby the AA/RAC to only award 4 Stars if a hotel has charging facilities :-D
 

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I think it's a great idea to lobby the RAC/AA to add the provision of charging points to the hotel star rating system

What a great way to focus the hotel industry's thoughts!

I think I feel a few e-mails comming on as soon as I find the right people to lobby!

Big Paul
 
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