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Kona PremSe64k 2020+bluelink +ohme
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To be honest I haven't used many public chargers. That will gradually change, but with a high range EV like the Kona I find much of my life luxuriating in easy-as-pie overnight "home" charging. I see lots of anecdotal stories around why chargers fail, and experienced at least one. What I am not sure about is whether we're really understanding the full problem. So here are what I think are the reasons I think why a charge might fail and I'd like you're input to see what the top reasons are:

a) Cannot find chargepoint, it's somewhere hereabouts, but...
b) Unacceptable location, eg dark and at night, insecure
c) Inaccessible charger, eg behind a physical barrier
d) Broken/damaged charger connection, eg it's been smashed on the foor and in serious need of repair
e) Car problem, your car simply fails to charge at this type of charger
f) Charging handshake problem, eg it starts and stops. Lots of potential issues here, including very slow charging.
g) Financial problem, eg credit card, RFID card not recognised
h) App problem - not sure if it is the same a f)
i) No/poor internet connectivity
j) Charger completely dead, ie no electricity
k) Cannot read charger display because of sunlight
L) Wrong type of connection, eg CSS, Chademo, Telsa ...
M) Damp/rain/ice etc
N) Inuse - someone else is hogging THIS chargepoint
O) Adjacent inuse - slow charging because you're next / nearby to someone else who is hogging the juice
P) ICE etc vehicle blocking access
Q) Other unknown charger issue

That's my brain dump on the subject. We can blame Ecotricity, or any other company for not maintaining their chargers. My quest wants to understand how much is caused by the car we are driving, lack of planning on our part as humans, payment issues, and how much is down to the charge point provider.

I've seen for example a charge point design in Norway where the charger cable cannot easily drag on the ground and so should get damaged much less. In contrast I've seen some ecotricity connectors looking pretty bad. Is that an inherent design failure where the female bit that goes into your car's charge point is damaged physically? Or are there a handshaking problem between car and charge point caused by poor car charging design as much as the charge point itself.

I thought about running a poll, but decided against that at this moment. What I'd like to do first is to get comments back so we can get the options right and decide if the idea has any meaningful legs.
 

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Generally it's only down to 2 different things in the majority of my experiences:

-Connector has landed on ground and got wet, muddy, dirty and can't connect to the car. Or connector has dropped on ground and cracked or been run over by a car.
-Charger has been vandalised, mostly smashed screens.

I'll also leave an honorary mention for Zoe and her pickiness regarding the standards of the earth resistance.
 

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I used rapid chargers 2 or 3 times a week before covid now it’s 1 or 2 times a week. Last year it was over 230 times.
I haven’t had an unsuccessful charge so far this year. That’s a fact but over the last three years the machines have become more reliable and I depend on them not having used a fossil car for over a year to date. Over 35000 miles of pure electric motoring.

Having helped lots of people use chargers where they had problems. Seen some people pull into charger plug in unplug and go looking fedup angry etc.its not right for everyone.

Heard lots of people rubbish some providers but unwilling to explain exact fault. Wonder if they could work for a rival or may just be anti electric.

Listened to people with problems such as -
stops charging if I unlock car
Stops if I start car
Stops if I turn heater on
Stops if I try to charge phone in car
Etc

Human error, faulty cars, faulty chargers, faulty apps, faulty phones. Yes it happens but we are moving in the right direction.

I am baffled by press releases promising funding that never seems effective. BMW partnership with National Trust a few years ago promised so much but still waiting for NT to get chargers at all sites.VW partner with Tesco seems to be taking forever. I haven’t heard Jaguar, Hyundai,Kia or Tesla physically putting chargers in the ground for everyone to use but I have heard the vehicle users criticising the actual infrastructure.

We can’t make everybody happy but the present charging network works for me. Sorry if you have problems but please direct constructive criticism directly with the providers .
 

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Zoe ZE50 GT Line R135
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Only been in this game for just over a month, but I have been keeping track of my success rate. In that time I've tried 24 rapid chargers on 16 separate occasions.

9 worked flawlessly
5 were busy (I didn't wait), with no spares
6 were out of service or failed (mostly only discovered after attempting to charge)
2 worked but slowly or with errors
1 was being a complete PITA and I didn't want to invest the time or money for a network I might not use again (Geniepoint)
1 user error - I thought wasn't working, but it probably was.

Not a great success rate. And that is after checking on Zap-Map and avoiding the ones with issues.

Surprisingly, Ionity (2/7 success) scored worse than Ecotricity (1/3).

Edited to add: only 12 of those 24 were proposing to charge me any money, and only 4 actually did!
 

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iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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Interesting.

@andyswarbs I'd add the following from my own experience:

  • Charger works perfectly then stops with some unexplained error (Instavolt, twice)
  • Charge cuts out after a timer expires eg 30 minute limit (Ecotricity)
  • 'Card not recognised' when trying to start a Chargepoint charger with a Chargepoint card (maybe a comms / internet issue)
  • Any problem where something doesn't work and the supplier's support service isn't immediately available (Polar the worst IME)
  • Charger seemingly operational but display LCD faulty so unable to operate the unit (Ecotricity)
  • You don't have the right App/RFID /Postcode/special cable/magic wand needed actually to use it
 

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Charge cuts out after a timer expires eg 30 minute limit (Ecotricity)
45 Minutes paid vend, 50 Minutes free vend. It got longer, if you haven't used them in a while.

Card not recognised' when trying to start a Chargepoint charger with a Chargepoint card (maybe a comms / internet issue)
Give it a few seconds and try again. Surprisingly a lot of the time this works. If its your first time using a chargepoint it seems to spend a long time checking, then reject you, then tap again and it works instantly every time in future.

Charger seemingly operational but display LCD faulty so unable to operate the unit (Ecotricity)
First few times, do a Google image search or find a YouTube video to find out what buttons are where. A lot of them do still work despite the broken screen and even better tend to be in free vend mode too!

You don't have the right App/RFID /Postcode/special cable/magic wand needed actually to use it
I don't have a solution to this one. It's a joke and something needs to be done about the insane state of all these different networks that all have different requirements to use them!
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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@80698 yes I get all of that, I'm resourceful and can fix things luckily :) The thread is to identify impediments to Joe Public getting a charge. The EV charging model has to improve so it is no more complicated that the gas station fuelling model that we're all accustomed to using... Roll up. Fill up. Cough up. Go.
 

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ZE50 GT Line R135 CCS, Mar '20
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Only had the car 6 months, and only used 5 or 6 chargers away from home so not a particularly representative sample.
My takeaway;

1) RTFM (or at least the instructions on the screen)
The only real problem I had was with a Polar Rapid. Plugged it in to the car then tried to get it to work and it did not like that.
Whatever I did for this particular charger ended up locking it out until Chargemaster reset it.
Since then; start the setup on the charger/app and plug it in when it says to. Not had a problem since.

2) RTFM2
Pod point free vend at Tesco; you only get 15 minutes if you don't "claim" the charge on the app.
Claim the charge on the app. Or practice your sad face for when you get back from your 3 hour "shop" and it's only gone up 1%.

3) Apps
Find out if the charger you're planning to use needs an app you haven't downloaded yet before you get there.

4) Apps2
If the app/point requires credit, even if on free vend, make sure you have a way of sticking some credit on it.
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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Oh yes that's another total frustration. Apps that need a payment card but don't store it so you actually have to have the card with you, even though you're forced to use an app. Why not link the App with Apple Pay / Android Pay. Or store all of the card details. Or even better, scrap the app and just tap the card.
 

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The app WattsUp shows chargers that can be used with contactless cards at a glance. I have used this to prioritise my choice when charging.
I know It’s yet another app but seems to make my searches for chargers easier.
Just a user no commercial interest in this app.
 

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The app WattsUp shows chargers that can be used with contactless cards at a glance. I have used this to prioritise my choice when charging.
I know It’s yet another app but seems to make my searches for chargers easier.
Just a user no commercial interest in this app.
Zap Map can also do this. There are filters to only show chargers with credit card terminals, or ones that are free to use for example.
 

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Kona PremSe64k 2020+bluelink +ohme
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Discussion Starter #14
A faultless charge at bannatyne/instavolt in Shepton mallet yesterday whilst my wife had a beer and I had a green tea on the terrace.

Some people were having cream teas... Now I know yet another indulgent activity whilst my car goes from 71 to 100% for &£7, though I'll probably need to use more battery first so we're not rushing.
 

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In 5 months with a Tesla I had no failed charges and no chargers unavailable, this was on 2/3 public and 1/3 superchargers. I went to one Chargemaster which was listed as having problems on ZAP Map and when I got there phoned up and got Chargemaster to reset it and it was fine.

I noticed on ZAP Map that a public charger at my workplace was listed as being locked behind barriers, but this is not correct. The public one is exactly where it is marked on the map but a bit difficult to see whilst there is blindingly obvious private one in someone else's locked carpark 50 yds short of the public one.

But then I got a Zoe. It won't charge at the charger at work, which is the one I want to use, and also on one other I tried. For the first time yesterday I found a local Chargemaster at a Harvester already busy (a mini E demonstrator). That particular Harvester is a bit out of the way and is usually empty but I have had someone else turn up and wait whilst I was charging. A Harvester closer to the town centre and housing seems to always show as busy on Polar's map.

Also last week I had a real struggle at a Chargemaster ultra rapid. The card reader on the first of two chargers just didn't seem to want to work, there appeared to be some sort of technique of where and how you wiggled the card and I gave up after 5 mins and changed to the second charger. This time I wrongly selected credit card payment and it took maybe 10 mins for it to decide I wasn't going to give it a credit card before it reset. In the meantime I moved back to the first charger and after a couple of mins of waiving the RFID card at it it went ahead and charged. It seemed to need you to present the card quickly up to the reader, no amout of wiggling it close to the reader seemed to work.

I am only being tight fisted anyway as I now have a charger at home but waiting for a smart meter to be fitted. Whilst Polar/chargemaster are free with the ONTO deal I am going to use them just to save a pound or two (and it gives me an excuse to go out in the car and try things).
 
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