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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a free Polar Plus subscription that was bundled with my home charger install, but I’m thinking ahead to when I’ll have to pay for it myself and wondering how I feel about it.

I vaguely remember looking into it once before and deciding that if you rapid charge on a Polar charger twice a month, then your subscription has already paid for itself (might be wrong about this though, been a while since I ran the numbers on that and may be remembering wrongly). So that seems pretty good to me, as I will do at least 2 rapid charges in a normal month.

On the other hand, I wonder whether trying to save money has brought too significant a level of hassle into my life. Often there will be more conveniently located Instavolt or Ecotricity (though I know these ones are a reliability lottery!) chargers on my route, but I will go out of my way* to use a Polar charger instead because it is a cheaper rate. Often finding it’s blocked by another EV charging up anyway as there is only usually one of them per location.

So I’m now thinking, maybe rather than thinking “2x rapid charges per month = Polar Plus is worth it” I should just be charging at whichever network is most convenient each time, and then if it turns out Polar happens to be the one that is most convenient on average 2 times per month, then Polar Plus is worth it.

Just wondering how other Polar Plus members think of it? Do you prioritise rapid charging on that network wherever possible, or do you just use whichever network is most convenient at the time?


*(when I say ‘out of my way’, I know driving many miles out of my way to save money is self-defeating. I just mean, maybe located somewhere that takes me 5/10 minutes longer in traffic to get to. Or not located in the most convenient place for getting the food I fancy eating on my break at the time, etc.)
 

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Only you can do the maths. It will depend on yopur mileage and if you regularly need a rapid charge and Polar is the best for location/cost then maybe keep the subscription. But if your 'real' need for a rapid is rare then maybe not so.

If you are able to start each day with a maximum charge (I do not know what car you have) and that will suffice your needs most every time then perosnally I would go for convenient rapid chargers rather than necessarilly the cheapest. I would also make sure I was on a tariff like GO (I assume you are) so that I could bung in about 25kws into the car during the 4 hour 5p per kw period.
 

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I currently have a free Polar Plus subscription that was bundled with my home charger install, but I’m thinking ahead to when I’ll have to pay for it myself and wondering how I feel about it.

I vaguely remember looking into it once before and deciding that if you rapid charge on a Polar charger twice a month, then your subscription has already paid for itself (might be wrong about this though, been a while since I ran the numbers on that and may be remembering wrongly). So that seems pretty good to me, as I will do at least 2 rapid charges in a normal month.

On the other hand, I wonder whether trying to save money has brought too significant a level of hassle into my life. Often there will be more conveniently located Instavolt or Ecotricity (though I know these ones are a reliability lottery!) chargers on my route, but I will go out of my way* to use a Polar charger instead because it is a cheaper rate. Often finding it’s blocked by another EV charging up anyway as there is only usually one of them per location.

So I’m now thinking, maybe rather than thinking “2x rapid charges per month = Polar Plus is worth it” I should just be charging at whichever network is most convenient each time, and then if it turns out Polar happens to be the one that is most convenient on average 2 times per month, then Polar Plus is worth it.

Just wondering how other Polar Plus members think of it? Do you prioritise rapid charging on that network wherever possible, or do you just use whichever network is most convenient at the time?


*(when I say ‘out of my way’, I know driving many miles out of my way to save money is self-defeating. I just mean, maybe located somewhere that takes me 5/10 minutes longer in traffic to get to. Or not located in the most convenient place for getting the food I fancy eating on my break at the time, etc.)
I pay the Polar Plus subscription and prefer to think of it as saving hassle with apps etc - the RFID card seems to work well and if some months I lose out so what.

The real benefit is definitely the much lower rapid charging prices (15p compared to at least 23p and often more) - there are also some free Polar plus fast chargers around at supermarkets.

I recall in ICE vehicles I was always reluctant to fill up on Motorways - only putting in enough juice to get me to a cheaper petrol source somewhere else - suppose the same goes for charging prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! Yeah, I guess that’s my question really, imagine the scene...

... You’re on your way across the country on the motorway network, it’s time for the 2nd rapid charge of the day, you fancy wolfing down a Zinger burger at the KFC then being on your way... do you,
  1. Pull down the motorway services slip road, plug into the fully functioning and reliable (ahem!) Ecotricity charger, grab that 20 minute charge while inhaling your KFC, and continue your journey, or,
  2. End up driving an extra 10 minutes through rush hour traffic to a Holiday Inn Express, and wondering if it’s bizarre that you’re now eating pudding and ice cream in a hotel, because you wanted to get that cheap rate from the Polar charger they have there?
Option 2 shows the commitment to achieving the most value from your Polar membership that I currently tend to have, and wonder whether I’m making owning an EV more hassle than it should be because of it. Just thought I’d see how others tend to approach these things!
 

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Not sure if this applies to everyone, but we have not been charged the monthly Polar Plus subscription since the last payment in February. Expect we may get charged now as we have used the chargers a few times within the last 4 weeks.
 

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For a recent trip up to Scotland & back, the Polar Rapid chargers were in quite convenient places: Hereford, Haydock Park Holiday Inn (just off the motorway junction), Lancaster P&R (again, just off the motorway). We tend to think of having the subscription as a back up insurance, as there is usually a Polar Rapid charger somewhere convenient wherever we go. A lot depends on where you usually travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
For a recent trip up to Scotland & back, the Polar Rapid chargers were in quite convenient places: Hereford, Haydock Park Holiday Inn (just off the motorway junction), Lancaster P&R (again, just off the motorway). We tend to think of having the subscription as a back up insurance, as there is usually a Polar Rapid charger somewhere convenient wherever we go. A lot depends on where you usually travel.
You know what the problem is I think, well, actually there are two problems...
  1. Even if they’re in convenient locations from the motorway, there’s usually 1x CCS per location. So if you get there and it’s already being used, you’re outta luck. Ditto if you get there and it’s broken, which I find happens less often with Polar than Ecotricity, but does still happen from time to time. Instavolt, for example, usually have 2x CCS at each location in my experience, so you’re twice as likely to get a successful charge and not have to go find a Plan B charger.
  2. They’re rarely in good places for a pit stop bite to eat. They’re usually at hotels or pub chains, so it’s not like you can grab a quick M&S sandwich or something while charging. You have to go in and get something off of the bar menu, which ends up being expensive and more food than you really wanted.
I think the Polar charger locations are good if you want a proper break/meal... but less good for a ’splash and dash’ recharge.
 

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I think the Polar charger locations are good if you want a proper break/meal... but less good for a ’splash and dash’ recharge.
I drew this to their attention recently on twitter - on a post about bringing rapids to a M&S supermarket.

More thought needs to go into placement, rather than just who it's easier to strike deals with.

Rapids immediately off M-Ways and main artery roads. AC 7-22kw at shopping retails destinations in greater quantities.
 

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Thanks! Yeah, I guess that’s my question really, imagine the scene...

... You’re on your way across the country on the motorway network, it’s time for the 2nd rapid charge of the day, you fancy wolfing down a Zinger burger at the KFC then being on your way... do you,
  1. Pull down the motorway services slip road, plug into the fully functioning and reliable (ahem!) Ecotricity charger, grab that 20 minute charge while inhaling your KFC, and continue your journey, or,
  2. End up driving an extra 10 minutes through rush hour traffic to a Holiday Inn Express, and wondering if it’s bizarre that you’re now eating pudding and ice cream in a hotel, because you wanted to get that cheap rate from the Polar charger they have there?
Option 2 shows the commitment to achieving the most value from your Polar membership that I currently tend to have, and wonder whether I’m making owning an EV more hassle than it should be because of it. Just thought I’d see how others tend to approach these things!
Go for the KFC...........
 

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Until they are reliable, have more than one at each location, and are contactless (at no extra charge) then not even on my radar.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I drew this to their attention recently on twitter - on a post about bringing rapids to a M&S supermarket.

More thought needs to go into placement, rather than just who it's easier to strike deals with.

Rapids immediately off M-Ways and main artery roads. AC 7-22kw at shopping retails destinations in greater quantities.
I don’t know why there aren’t more rapid chargers at Costa or Starbucks locations. You’d think that would be a marriage made in heaven... coffee, sandwich, toilet break, all achievable within 20-30 minutes. Car and driver successfully filled up, drives away leaving the charger for the next EV. That should be the easiest deal in history for someone to strike.

If you pull up to a Polar charger and find an EV sitting there on 100%, there’s a good chance he’s sat inside the pub wondering whether to get the cheese plate and the coffee to finish up his meal... he’d have walked in there thinking “might buy a chocolate bar if they sell them...” :LOL:

(I’m sure someone will post now to say they have chargers at their local Costa, but I’ve never seem them out in the wild myself!!)
 

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There's a new Instavolt going in next to a Costa just to the north of Newcastle. It's a perfect location, 1min off the A1, with a decent sized Co-op attached to the fuel station, Greggs and McD too. Or a pleasant walk round Gosforth Park if you want to get your steps in

It is indeed my local Costa, so not much use for a charge as it's 5 min from my house! But I'd love to come across something similar on my travels.
 

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Came across Instavolt rapid chargers (2) at Starbucks on A31 near Wimborne Minster on recent trip to Weymouth
 

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There's a new Instavolt going in next to a Costa just to the north of Newcastle. It's a perfect location, 1min off the A1, with a decent sized Co-op attached to the fuel station, Greggs and McD too. Or a pleasant walk round Gosforth Park if you want to get your steps in

It is indeed my local Costa, so not much use for a charge as it's 5 min from my house! But I'd love to come across something similar on my travels.
Probably Gosforth? Yes, that's a perfect location, just off the A1.
 

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I think it is a bad business model to have different rates for those paying a monthly subscription. When on a long trip I plan to use any charger other than Polar. So far I have never had any problems and it seems to be the only way I can make any kind of objection to their approach.
 

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My personal experience on a regular trip from Yorkshire to London includes a rapid at Bannatynes M18 (instavolt) Holiday inn M1 Crick (Polar instant or contactless) Geniepoint Ruislip chargepoint RFID
A mixed bag reasonable price to top end price but all working each time I use. Bannatynes good starbucks coffee clean toilets. Holiday inn good coffee and a discount if you wingit. Geniepoint is nearest to outlaws.
Never worried about cost its always cheap motoring compared to my previous 40mpg crap Punto.
 

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My personal experience on a regular trip from Yorkshire to London includes a rapid at Bannatynes M18 (instavolt) Holiday inn M1 Crick (Polar instant or contactless) Geniepoint Ruislip chargepoint RFID
A mixed bag reasonable price to top end price but all working each time I use. Bannatynes good starbucks coffee clean toilets. Holiday inn good coffee and a discount if you wingit. Geniepoint is nearest to outlaws.
Never worried about cost its always cheap motoring compared to my previous 40mpg crap Punto.
Agreed, but I think the question asked was, do you have a Polar card either to save money or because it is less hassle? I assume from your post that you do not have a Polar card
 

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... You’re on your way across the country on the motorway network, it’s time for the 2nd rapid charge of the day, you fancy wolfing down a Zinger burger at the KFC then being on your way... do you,
Just off J30 of the M1 there is a Polar Rapid, and Instavolt right next to each other - they have a Costa/KFC/McDonalds near the 2x Instavolt's and then about q 20 sec walk way near the Polar Rapid there is Harvester with an Ibis.

So you can have your KFC and charge at Polar. :D

More seriously though, look at your total spend including the subscription, and the amount you've charged in kWh as an average for the last 6-12 months, then see what the difference would be if you took the same average kWh quantity but at £0.35, that will tell you if it is worth bothering. :)
 

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I would always go for the total flexibility of selecting any Rapid rather than try to plan to always stop at any single system. That stops me paying a monthly fee which must be recouped by a set number of kWhs drawn that month to break even. The way that can force detours and inconvenient stops is not acceptable to me.

If I didn't have home charging it would be different as the use of Polar at a convenient point nearby or on a regular route could easily justify the monthly investment.
 
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