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'18 Zoe ZE 40 R110 + '21 VW ID.4 1st
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone, now that I've picked up my VW ID.4, I can finally experience the world of rapid charging. I've done quite a bit of motorway charging with my Zoe, but as it can only do 22 kW AC the ID.4 is a whole other world I've not researched. We are planning our first big trip (Yorkshire Dales in mid-April) and though the cottage host has offered to let us plug-in while we stay, just for ease of mind I've like to do one charging stop to ensure we arrive with at least 40% battery. From what I can see, the two main contenders when it comes to CCS rapid charging are Ionity and Instavolt. Ionity has much faster charging (will get the full 125 kW the ID.4 is capable of, versus 50 kW with Instavolt), but it is significantly more expensive (69p/kWh versus 35p/kWh on Instavolt). In your experience, is the faster charging really worth double the cost? Are both networks similar in terms of ease of use/reliability? For this trip it would be a difference of a ~17 minute charge on Ionity versus ~28 minutes on Instavolt, though the Ionity station is a bit out of the way so any time savings may be lost there...

Am I missing any other big CCS networks? Is it worth even considering Ecotricity? Can Gridserve build their massive charging stations (like the one in Braintree) any faster? :-D
 

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'18 Zoe ZE 40 R110 + '21 VW ID.4 1st
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you really need us to help you with that? :)
I've been an EV owner long enough to know sometimes reliability trumps price! 😂 I've never used either, so I mostly want to make sure Instavolt doesn't have a terrible reputation (or to make sure I'm not missing something obvious)
 

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Corsa-e 2020
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Ionity may have 350kW chargers but I’ve never had any charge noticeably faster than I would get from any other rapid provider in 50kW or 125kW chargers. Paying a premium of 69p/kWh for a mediocre speed delivery is just not worth it.

Yesterday I charged at 2 Ecotricity chargers, one an old single unit that took 3 attempts to get the charge to start but when it did, it was giving me almost 50kW/h and the other was a brand new unit that worked instantly and again delivered at almost its max rate.

The day before, I also charged at an Instavolt and it was equally reliable but a bit more expensive. Personally, I think Ionity is overrated and bloody expensive. I’d use them as a last resort.

Anyway, your charging rate is a maximum of 125kW/h but only under ideal conditions and with a charger that is actually able to deliver as promised. Mine‘s a ma immune of 100KW/h but the best over ever seen was 78kW/h on an Eon 350kW charger when my SoC was down around 20%.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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642 Posts
If anything instavolt trump ionity on reliability alone, let alone cost. Never used ionity and only used instavolt only once. But the charge speed won't be vastly different as I assume you'll arrive at the charger with around 40%-50% (if you planned to arrive at your destination with 40% as you say) so the faster charger will maybe only be slightly fast for a matter of minutes, certainly unlikely to make the extra diversion worthwhile.

If an ecotricity charger is the easiest option without diverting (they are at most MSAs) then I generally try that, but have an Instavolt, or even a Lidl as backup (23p per kWh there). In my experience the ecotricity have always worked for me and also often on free vend, YMMV.

Use the instavolt app too and a referral code and you'll get a free £5 credit once you make your first 10kWh charge.
 
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The higher price of Ionity may mean a greater chance of arriving at a vacant charger?. ..... which would mean a significantly faster charge compared to waiting for an Instavokt to become free? Perhaps a ‘price worth paying’ for occasional holiday use?
 

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BMW i3
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I tried an Ionity yesterday for the first time, 4 x 350kW chargers (all empty) plus a good shop/cafe/facilities nearby.

If it was a regular occurrence I’d baulk at the cost (61p/kWh I think, using my Shell RFID card) but this was convenient.

At approaching half the price Instavolt and Osprey are my preferred rapids but the only other en-route was Ecotricity and they didn’t even have CCS - looking forward to Gridserve bringing them into the 21st century!
 

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Peugeot e-208
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Don’t overthink it. You’re talking a few quid, and a few minutes.

InstaVolt have a reputation for being very reliable. Ionity for being expensive (and usually at a proper service stations, but not sure which one you’re planning on visiting), but not always as fast as promised - especially Leeds.

Go to the one that’s most convenient for location/ other facilities while you wait. Unless a few minutes is really important, then go for ionity.
 

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VW ID.3 1st Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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In your experience, is the faster charging really worth double the cost? Are both networks similar in terms of ease of use/reliability? For this trip it would be a difference of a ~17 minute charge on Ionity versus ~28 minutes on Instavolt, though the Ionity station is a bit out of the way so any time savings may be lost there...
I wouldn’t go out of my way to find an Ionity charger over an Instavolt one.

You’ll only get 125kW under a very specific set of circumstances, ie arriving at the charger with a warm battery and single figure SoC.

I expect you’ll get a solid 50kW from plug in to plug out on the Instavolt charger, some of them are 62.5kW as well.

Shell Ultra chargers are worth seeking out if they’re on the route, my own car seems to work very well with them, high 60s in kW terms until quite late in the charge percentage.
 

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Have a look in the WeConnect app - as an id4 owner you should be able to get the middle subscription with no monthly fee which brings the Ionity price down to 45p:
BCFC3D82-7232-43D3-98EF-E779011063DA.jpeg
 

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Ze50 GT Line Elmo Referral ISB2GG for mutual £50 off
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In case you can find cheaper >50kW than ionity’s , this should be the id4’s charging curve:

142650
 

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'18 Zoe ZE 40 R110 + '21 VW ID.4 1st
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Have a look in the WeConnect app - as an id4 owner you should be able to get the middle subscription with no monthly fee which brings the Ionity price down to 45p:
I haven't been able to connect to the WeConnect app yet - I think my ID.4 is behind one update... Once I do, I'll definitely look into that!
 

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Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
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Be aware that Gridserve are taking over the running of Ecotricity's charger network, and have claimed that they'll replace all 300-ish units in the next 3 months with new dual-head ones.
They also say that they'll then add banks of 6-12 new chargers at all the Ecotricity-served motorway services.

 

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Hyundai Ioniq 28
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Am I missing any other big CCS networks? Is it worth even considering Ecotricity?
You don't say where your journey starts to give a clue about the direction of approach to the Dales. Better advice would be available if we knew that detail as there are different installations depending upon that info. But in general terms I would agree with others. Instavolt first choice but to avoid a second 'comfort' break they have to be co-located with decent facilities.

I actively avoid Ionity on the grounds that the only way to pass the message that they are well overpriced is to not fund their Rapids at all. I realise that Ionity is using a price and discounts regime to favour the OEMs who funded their units.

Their plan is to keep them for the exclusive use of their patrons and to discourage the plebs from soiling their exclusivity and bringing the tone down by parking inferior bargain-basement EVs on their hallowed grounds. Rationing by price is a particularly irksome elite discrimination that I despise in general and this is an easy one to both avoid and denigrate in equal measure. You may be able to detect that I'm not a fan of Ionity. And once Grideserve has upgraded the EcoT Rapids at MSA's I hope that more and more people will join me in avoiding them except in dire emergency.

For your Dales visit, I understand the preference to arrive with a decent level of charge and a Rapid stop somewhere on the outskirts of the park where there are toilets and coffee makes much sense. I would just look for an Instavolt pair somewhere en route that has facilities as well. And relax over plan B and C at overpriced alternatives because they won't be needed.
 

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VW ID.3 58kWh
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I'm awaiting for my ID.3 to be delivered so below is only my theoretical research :sneaky:
Shell and BP seem to have 150kW chargers. Shell costs 41p/kWh and BP 42p/kWh (unless you have their membership and then it drops to 27p/kWh).
Not sure how reliable they are.
 

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VW ID.3 1st Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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Their plan is to keep them for the exclusive use of their patrons and to discourage the plebs from soiling their exclusivity and bringing the tone down by parking inferior bargain-basement EVs on their hallowed grounds. Rationing by price is a particularly irksome elite discrimination that I despise in general and this is an easy one to both avoid and denigrate in equal measure. You may be able to detect that I'm not a fan of Ionity. And once Grideserve has upgraded the EcoT Rapids at MSA's I hope that more and more people will join me in avoiding them except in dire emergency.
Putting aside whether that’s actually the plan or not, I’d rather the approach of allowing access to all EVs, albeit at prices that wouldn’t make them the first choice, rather than a closed/private network like the SC network.

I used a SC for the first time yesterday, it was as painless an experience as everybody says, but speeds were unremarkable to be honest, the only difference between it and Instavolt was the swipe of a debit or RFID card.
 

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I haven't been able to connect to the WeConnect app yet - I think my ID.4 is behind one update... Once I do, I'll definitely look into that!
Interesting...I’m still waiting for my car to be delivered but have the VIN from the order form and entering that into the app allows me to access the reduced rates. (I ordered the charging card from Volkswagen through the app, all you need to do that is a Volkswagen login.)
 

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Someone in here rocked up to an Ionity for the first time, and found they couldn't simply use their debit card pay-as-you-go! Seemed you had to sign up to their app etc. Always a good idea to have a test-run to get the bugs out of your payment system! Let us know how it goes for you, please. I just might need to use Ionity on trip to south west, would like to know for sure if app req'd, or whether contactless works out-of-the-box or what.
 
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