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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that finding and then paying for public charging is a nightmare. Especially as a new EV owner.

There are so many different networks, and given none have universal coverage, you end up having to sign up to loads of different accounts / apps / get cards and hold credit with each of them.

Feels like a unified service that would allow you to pay at any chargepoint through one app would make things a lot easier.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone know of anything that helps with this?
 

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The best way would be to just use a standard debit/credit card to pay. After all, when I had my petrol thing I never had to sign up to Esso/Shell/BP/whatever in order to buy some fuel. Noticed some not far from me which take contactless payment - engenie according to zap map. 36 p a unit though so not cheap but in an emergency....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That makes sense but I can't imagine all of the older chargers getting retrofitted with card readers. Especially eg the lamppost chargers.
And there is normally someone at a petrol station to take payment, whereas most chargers are unmanned, which may change things?
 

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Pretty much everyone, I think. I've been an EV owner for over 6 years and I still get caught out.

I was down in Tring and popped into Tesco to find 2 spanking brand new Pod-Point posts - concrete dust still visible around the install. So, I plugged in, 'claimed' the charger via the PP app and waited for SWMBO to do the shopping.

I check on Zap-Map and there was no entry, so being public spirited I entered the details, and checked to see if they had appeared. And they had - with several reviews over the last couple of days. Eh? How come? They must have already been there, but not updated on my phone in Zap-Map. Odd.

By this time, the charge had stopped for no apparent reason. So, I plugged into the other side of the same post, and again 'claimed' the charger on the app. The same thing happened - it just stopped charging for no apparent reason, only this time it locked my cable in. Luckily, it did release the cable in the end.

Hopeless - what is wrong with slapping a credit card on to a reader (as Instavolt do)?
 

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2017 Nissan Leaf Tekna
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It seems that finding and then paying for public charging is a nightmare. Especially as a new EV owner.

There are so many different networks, and given none have universal coverage, you end up having to sign up to loads of different accounts / apps / get cards and hold credit with each of them.

Feels like a unified service that would allow you to pay at any chargepoint through one app would make things a lot easier.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone know of anything that helps with this?
I guess all EV owners feel this way! Dunno what might help. Government says it wants to phase out ICE in a few years’ time, but EVs without a reliable charging network is like Covid19 without a test and trace system - just a muddle!
 

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Yes it is.

EVs work if you have home charging and never exceed the range.

For long journeys or those without home charging, Tesla is the only realistic EV choice - but then you’ll encounter other issues!

If I didn’t have home charging I’d just buy a nice German ICE with a hefty discount on dirt cheap finance.
 

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Agreed - home charging is very cheap at off peak rates and works well - I have a Rolec charger installed. Driving around Sheffield is great, and without problems. Driving further afield is a modern day adventure, with a granny charger in your boot as your only safety net!
 

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There are so many different networks, and given none have universal coverage, you end up having to sign up to loads of different accounts / apps / get cards and hold credit with each of them.
That is business! You don't expect Shell to let you use the BP app to pay for petrol. Texaco don't give you clubcard points for filling up with diesel
 

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If only there was a universal method of payment you could use at every petrol station.

We could call it a “credit card”.

The problem is there’s just no money in EV charging. The chargers are expensive to install, consumers don’t want to pay more than 30p kWh, and unlike petrol where you’re already spending £60 so might as well buy a sausage roll with a 200% markup, EV drivers won’t cancel out their savings with overpriced food.

I’m not usually in favour of state interference, but without subsidies, there’s no motivation for private enterprise to build charging hubs.

Even Chargemaster is basically a way of BP to siphon off taxable income and take advantage of grants/tax breaks. The EV centre, as much as I love it, is ultimately a “marketing budget” black hole to throw money into to reduce tax liability at year end.
 

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I mean I’m guilty of spending £20 on BK at Welcome Break and £60 on dinner at a hotel while charging, but I think most EV owners are savvier than me 😂
 

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I mean I’m guilty of spending £20 on BK at Welcome Break and £60 on dinner at a hotel while charging, but I think most EV owners are savvier than me 😂
If you scan through the many EV forums, you can see how many people say "just went for a coffee/sausage roll etc etc" while charging"
 

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I've spent more on overpriced food & drinks at MSAs in the last 18 months of EV ownership than in the 10 years before that...

Previously we'd grab stuff from the supermarket, eat enroute, and only stop for toilet breaks, having to stop for 45 mins now anyway, might as well grab something to eat, and £20 for a burger stings a lot less when the trip only costs £10 in "fuel" instead of £60 :p

But yes, I agree, public charging sucks, not just in terms of payment, fragmentation, but also the worry if the 1 charger is going to be working/available...
 

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It seems that finding and then paying for public charging is a nightmare. Especially as a new EV owner.

There are so many different networks, and given none have universal coverage, you end up having to sign up to loads of different accounts / apps / get cards and hold credit with each of them.

Feels like a unified service that would allow you to pay at any chargepoint through one app would make things a lot easier.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone know of anything that helps with this?
Move to Scotland: there's a universal (almost) network here.
 

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40 Leaf
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It seems that finding and then paying for public charging is a nightmare. Especially as a new EV owner.

There are so many different networks, and given none have universal coverage, you end up having to sign up to loads of different accounts / apps / get cards and hold credit with each of them.

Feels like a unified service that would allow you to pay at any chargepoint through one app would make things a lot easier.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone know of anything that helps with this?
I completely agree, I found a guide when I looked into this that said that if you get the following 3 apps:

Pod point
Polar
Electric highway

That you are pretty well covered.

I have actually signed up to polar plus because it’s only about £6 a month it has the largest network in the UK and it makes charging at one of their DC rapid chargers as cheap as charging at home.

We do need a system that allows debit card payment accessible for all chargepoints, or one app that allows access to all at a sensible Kw/h rate.

Instavolt charges are like thisbut they are more expensive to charge at than the polar network if your a member.

I believe they are installing charge points in every McDonald’s car park at the moment.
 

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I’ve had a steep learning curve. I’ve owned my leaf for 1 week, but did a fair bit of researching before it arrived. Using Zap-Map, I’ve set it to only show chargers which are either free, or accept contactless payment ie Engenie/Instavolt. The exception being Pod Point, which I downloaded the app for because my local Lidl has a Supercharger one, and it’s cheaper than the Engenie which is also nearby. I used it just to try out Supercharging, and will only use it if I have to make an unexpected long journey. 99% of my charging will be replenishing the 20% I’ll be using daily for the 30 mile commute, so when my Octopus 5p rate kicks in next week (?) I’ll be able to top up at night. I also had my first ‘freebie’ charge in Doncaster tc yesterday. Free parking (£3.00 saving) and about 75 miles range added. Smug? Oh yes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to avoid any other apps/cards etc, and it’s definitely not worth while paying any monthly subs. Seeing as all new chargers must accept contactless, it seems that pretty soon you’ll be unlucky to drop on a subscription/card only station, so the only reason to subscribe would be for the cheaper tariff. I see that the likes of BP are really expensive at the services, so just like petrol, stay away from them, and use your ZapMap or similar to check the prices before you head to a particular charger.
 

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I’ve had a steep learning curve. I’ve owned my leaf for 1 week, but did a fair bit of researching before it arrived. Using Zap-Map, I’ve set it to only show chargers which are either free, or accept contactless payment ie Engenie/Instavolt. The exception being Pod Point, which I downloaded the app for because my local Lidl has a Supercharger one, and it’s cheaper than the Engenie which is also nearby. I used it just to try out Supercharging, and will only use it if I have to make an unexpected long journey. 99% of my charging will be replenishing the 20% I’ll be using daily for the 30 mile commute, so when my Octopus 5p rate kicks in next week (?) I’ll be able to top up at night. I also had my first ‘freebie’ charge in Doncaster tc yesterday. Free parking (£3.00 saving) and about 75 miles range added. Smug? Oh yes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to avoid any other apps/cards etc, and it’s definitely not worth while paying any monthly subs. Seeing as all new chargers must accept contactless, it seems that pretty soon you’ll be unlucky to drop on a subscription/card only station, so the only reason to subscribe would be for the cheaper tariff. I see that the likes of BP are really expensive at the services, so just like petrol, stay away from them, and use your ZapMap or similar to check the prices before you head to a particular charger.
Sounds like you have it figured out, if your daily drive only uses 20% of your battery I would recommend charging every other day and cycling your battery from 40 - 80%

This can be achieved by setting the battery timer to charge for for 2.5 hours starting when your 5p per Kw/h rate kicks in.

(I have assumed here that you have a 7kw home charge point the leaf 40 charges at 17% per hour on this)

This charging regime will be much kinder to your battery and prolong its life.

About once every 3 weeks charge to 100% to keep your battery balanced properly.

Don’t rapid charge unless you need to on a long journey or have to make an unexpected trip, that’s pretty much all you need to need to know about battery care.

Oh and the app is great for pre heating / defrosting before you leave!

Enjoy your new car! 😃
 

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Soul EV 2020
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Re the 'three apps needed' - hasn't polar been replaced by BP Chargemaster - or did I misunderstand an earlier thread?
 
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