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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my Leaf a couple of weeks now and today was the first family trip where we needed a charge to get home again. We were meeting some friends for lunch in Windsor (50 miles away) so I checked Open Charge Map and realised that there's a ZeroNet 32A charger at the Macondald Windsor Hotel just over the road from the pub we were eating in.

Knowing that parking in Windsor town centre is pretty tight at the best of times, I phoned the hotel yesterday to check they were ok with me using it despite not being a resident. To their credit, they said it was fine and gave me the postcode to get to the carpark entrance at the back. I thanked them and told them I'd be in the next day at lunchtime. All looking good, I should be able to charge back up to full over lunch. Textbook!

I took things steady on the way down and arrived with 35 miles left. The concierge told me the hotel car park was full, including the EV space (though not with an EV). I explained that I'd phoned and he said that whoever I spoke to should never had told me I could park there on Sunday lunchtime because it's always busy. He was very apologetic though and offered to phone me when there was some room.

Having spent some time finding some parking elsewhere and walking back across Windsor, he phoned me back. I returned, collected the car, drove to the hotel, found the EV space, parked up and plugged in. Nothing. No flashing lights, just some beeps. I tried everything, plugged in and out, different cable, flicking the station RCD off and on, nothing. Lots of apologies from the concierge but there's no maintenance staff there so there's nothing they could do. Oh well, I'd have to go for plan B once we'd eaten.

Plan B was the rapid at Nissan HQ which was 12 miles away. Luckily for me, I happened to check twitter for #ukcharge and noticed a tweet saying that the station was down over the weekend. Ah.

I hadn't though about a plan C but Heston services on the M4 seemed the best bet, although I couldn't find it on the Leaf's nav. By the time we got there, I had 15 miles left and was getting worried. If that rapid was down, things would be getting desperate.

Thankfully it wasn't and within 30 minutes we were charged enough to get back home. I even bumped into @brian orr there, nice to put a face to the posts. Thanks for the marmalade Brian!

So overall, we made it but it wasn't pleasant. It also highlighted how far things have to come in terms of getting charging information to users. I was having to use OCM, Ecotricity's website, in-vehicle nav and Twitter. Most people just wouldn't be bothered with it all.

Still loving the Leaf though. I'm hoping things go more smoothly next time!
 

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@Jon Clark firstly I would like to apologies for your bad experience at the Macdonald Windsor and my colleague @Cara Naden has started an investigation and will report back. Unfortunately, this is one of the few ZeroNet locations that does not have two Charging Stations installed although the hotel should have offered you a 13A socket as an emergency backup.
 

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I have used the Macdonald Windsor charger whilst staying there. I would always advise phoning at least 24hrs in advance as they do not have many spaces and will reserve the bay if they know, otherwise it becomes just parking space which is understandable.

@Kevin Sharpe is this a Zeronet charger? I remember asking the quest a while back, I thought the conclusion was that it was just a rolec unit and was not one of the zeronet units?
 

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@Kevin Sharpe is this a Zeronet charger? I remember asking the quest a while back, I thought the conclusion was that it was just a rolec unit and was not one of the zeronet units?
The "Gen 2" ZCW donations are modified ROLEC WallPods, not standard ROLEC items. The very latest donations ("Gen 3") are rebadged Mainpine Type 2 Charging Stations (7kW and 22kW).

Update: @Cara Naden has confirm the Macdonald Windsor is NOT a ZCW donation but a ROLEC Charging Station purchased through a third party.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Jon Clark firstly I would like to apologies for your bad experience at the Macdonald Windsor and my colleague @Cara Naden has started an investigation and will report back. Unfortunately, this is one of the few ZeroNet locations that does not have two Charging Stations installed although the hotel should have offered you a 13A socket as an emergency backup.
Thanks Kevin. No need to apologise, just one of those things. As I say, the hotel were very helpful and it's good to know that the fault is being followed up so that the next owner doesn't hit the same problem.

They didn't mention a 13A socket but the stupid thing is that there was one right there and I didn't think to try it. Doh! It wouldn't have got me home but it certainly would have avoided anxiety on the way to a rapid. There's a chance that it also would have been dead though because it was clearly on the same circuit as the level 2 and I'm not convinced there was any power going to it. Certainly flicking the isolator switch from on to off had no effect on what happened when I plugged in.
 

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They didn't mention a 13A socket but the stupid thing is that there was one right there and I didn't think to try it.
All ZeroNet locations are asked to either install a 13A socket for redundancy or make one available to the driver in an emergency.

Certainly flicking the isolator switch from on to off had no effect on what happened when I plugged in.
My guess is that the maintenance staff are switching off the charging station "to be safe"... we had that at another location and the remedy was a change in policy - leave it switched on!

I'm sure that @Cara Naden will get to the bottom of it and we will all benefit from your experience :)
 

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OCM shows its operator as ZCW so I assumed it was a ZeroNet station.
ZeroNet is a network of charging stations of different manufacturers and capabilities. Most ZeroNet locations use ZCW donated hardware but not all. To qualify for ZeroNet the location must maintain a level of reliability, redundancy, and accessibility. Failure to maintain the high standards will result in removal from the network.

I can't yet comment on this specific location because I don't know what went wrong. @Cara Naden will update us all asap.

Going forward it will be for the new ZCW trustee with responsibility for ZeroNet to set and maintain the networks standards. I hope to announce that appointment next week :)
 

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I hadn't though about a plan C but Heston services on the M4 seemed the best bet, although I couldn't find it on the Leaf's nav. By the time we got there, I had 15 miles left and was getting worried. If that rapid was down, things would be getting desperate. Thankfully it wasn't and within 30 minutes we were charged enough to get back home. I even bumped into @brian orr there, nice to put a face to the posts. Thanks for the marmalade Brian!
Still loving the Leaf though. I'm hoping things go more smoothly next time!
Hi Jon - I'm not sure that your trip was that unusual - its always best to have a Plan B & C! I had arrived from MK (Coachway) with Northampton (N&S) Newport Pag (N&S), Toddington N&S, IKEA M/K, Chargemaster (Luton) and Nissan (Maple Cross) - all u/s! I was arriving with a range of 2! Which was better than IKEA, where I arrived with -4 miles (Turtle Award!).
You've obliged me to put in a 'commercial' for Auntie Val's 'Bespoke Marmalades'!
See http://www.auntievals.com/auntie-vals-products.php
Auntie Val's are sponsoring our particpation in the upcoming WAVE Exped - great people, great product and located in Pulborough - near you! No drop by and tell them where you got the 'taste'!
I have to confess having a supply of jam and marmalade has come in very handy to reward hotel receptionists and car salesmen for their providing 'ad hoc' charging!
I like to think that extressing thanks, in this manner, creates lasting good will. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
We understand that giving an receiving gifts is part of WAVE 'tradition' - so I'm on the lookout for other 'give-aways' - to smooth our way to the start of the event!
Any offers - we've stll got logo space?;);)
 

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ZeroNet is a network of charging stations of different manufacturers and capabilities. Most ZeroNet locations use ZCW donated hardware but not all. To qualify for ZeroNet the location must maintain a level of reliability, redundancy, and accessibility. Failure to maintain the high standards will result in removal from the network.

I can't yet comment on this specific location because I don't know what went wrong. @Cara Naden will update us all asap.

Hiya all - so i've eventually managed to make contact with the head concierge David who is a helpful guy. He believes he was there and that the Charging Station was on and there was an issue with the car itself charging. Their Charging Station doesn't have a light indicating that there is power to it. I requested that they would leave the Charging Station switched on as they shouldn't consume any energy if there isn't a car plugged into it (they have a policy to switch off all electrical appliances to reduce energy waste which is good) and this would help EV drivers to be able to pug in straight away and charge up.
It is worth noting that they have a small car park which can only be accessed through a gate so if that is a charging destination for you, best to call well in advance to book the Charging bay so they will cone it off. Though he did say that they would do their best to accommodate passing EVs if that means tracking down and asking the ICE owner to move a car out of the bay.
So the outcome is they will leave the Charging Stations switched on and monitor to see if they consume any power. He said - do ask the EV driver to return and try out the charging again to demonstrate that it works and they have made things easier....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@Cara Naden, thanks for taking the time to look into this. I'm pretty confident there's nothing wrong with my car since it works fine with every other charge station and I used my same lead. It did seem to me that there was probably no power to the unit since flicking the isolator switch from on to off had no effect on things.

Hopefully it was as simple as them switching things off from the main distribution board. I'm not likely to be visiting Windsor again in the foreseeable future unfortunately so won't be able to retest.

@Kevin Sharpe Out of interest, which aspect of this site makes it bordeline for ZeroNet?
 

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@Cara Naden, thanks for taking the time to look into this. I'm pretty confident there's nothing wrong with my car since it works fine with every other charge station and I used my same lead. It did seem to me that there was probably no power to the unit since flicking the isolator switch from on to off had no effect on things.

Hopefully it was as simple as them switching things off from the main distribution board. I'm not likely to be visiting Windsor again in the foreseeable future unfortunately so won't be able to retest.
No problem, always happy to help. I believe that the head concierge was actually referring to another EV user and not you as I get the feeling he wasn't at the hotel when you tried to charge using their Rolec Charging Station - your issue is clearly different to the EV Charging problem he was describing. Apologies again that you didn't manage to Charge your EV when you visited and I hope that from now on Macdonald Windsor Hotel will leave them switched on from their distribution board ready for EV Charging.
 
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