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Hi,

I am Pilgrim Beart, the co-founder and CEO of DevicePilot, the Service Monitoring platform for connected devices.

We are planning to engage with local councils in order to try and improve the charging experience for EV drivers – both the quantity and the quality of EV charging points – thereby hopefully seeing an increase in the number of charging points on the road and an uptick in people buying EVs.

As part of this, we would love some testimonials from the UK’s early adopters and end users – you. Do you often find vehicles ‘blocking’ charging points? Is your local bank of charging points always full? Do you regularly come across charging points that aren’t working, and are these faults widespread? These are but some of the problems EV drivers regularly encounter. We would love to hear from you about your own experiences of charging your car whilst out and about.

Ideally posts should be roughly between 50-100 words and focus on your own personal experience of charging your EV when not at home. All comments will be anonymised, and we will probably end up choosing a handful for the final write-up. Please note, you must be happy for your anonymised comment to be published in the UK media.

Thanks,

Pilgrim and the DevicePilot team
 

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The biggest issue is that there are very few “plug in and pay” machines, the fact you need the right app or RFID card to get a charge is utterly stupid. I want to rock up, swipe my credit card and plug in. There are not that many suppliers who allow for that...

I can’t fully articulate my feelings in only 100 words, but above is the nub of the problem for a recent convert to BEV.
 

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Contactless payment essential. No more apps, RFID cards or other nonsense. Drive up, plug in and pay. It should be as easy as using your home charger. Not involve messing around with registering with yet another provider that takes over another contract with no idea.

Regular maintenance is essential. There are plenty of council run posts that are just ignored and left for months broken as whichever numpty put in for the capital finance didn't think to include ongoing maintenance. Choosing charging service providers that don't include maintenance must be stopped. It should be compulsory with an agreed SLA on all public posts paid with public money.

Public chargers should never be free otherwise you get selfish prats sat on them for hours hoovering up free electricity for the sake of it.
 

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You don't need an app or a custom rfid card to buy petrol, my bank card seems to work fine and has done so for decades along with coin of the relm, so why are these needed to buy electricity?

Once the payment system is fixed then you can worry about chargers.
 

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There’s nothing worse than buying a new car and having to pull up to an old, dirty charging machine without a rain cover, behind an M1 service station at 1am. First impressions last, and I’m keeping a list of machines I won’t ever use again. I’ll use and re-use clean, modern units with contactless payment which feel like they actually want my patronage.
 

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Charging points in car parks will never stop ICE cars parking there unless they're supervised and penalised. We don't go to a service station and park an EV next to a fuel pump and walk off to amenities,.it's exactly the same vice versa. Charging areas should be designed like fuel stations and should be covered. On private land, wardens are super quick to stick a penalty notice on your car for the slightest infringement but I've never seen a car blocking a charging space being clamped, towed or ticketed. Also it would be nice if chargers were actually the stated speed. People wouldn't stand for fuel pumps that delivered fuel in a drop by drop manner.
The whole culture towards EV's needs to be equalised.
 

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It would nice to see more providers implement CCS ISO 15118 Plug & Charge or Autocharge where the only thing you need to go is plug your car in. I think Fastned is the only provider I'm aware of that offers Autocharge at the moment.

It doesn't remove the need to register for the first time with a provider but makes it super easy after then.
 

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Agree with all of this. The endless accounts to sign up for, and need to carry RFID cards in case of poor mobile signal is borderline nuts for a technology aimed at people who want to adopt ‘new’ tech. CC payments should be the norm not the exception.


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Hi,

I am Pilgrim Beart, the co-founder and CEO of DevicePilot, the Service Monitoring platform for connected devices.

We are planning to engage with local councils in order to try and improve the charging experience for EV drivers – both the quantity and the quality of EV charging points – thereby hopefully seeing an increase in the number of charging points on the road and an uptick in people buying EVs.

As part of this, we would love some testimonials from the UK’s early adopters and end users – you. Do you often find vehicles ‘blocking’ charging points? Is your local bank of charging points always full? Do you regularly come across charging points that aren’t working, and are these faults widespread? These are but some of the problems EV drivers regularly encounter. We would love to hear from you about your own experiences of charging your car whilst out and about.

Ideally posts should be roughly between 50-100 words and focus on your own personal experience of charging your EV when not at home. All comments will be anonymised, and we will probably end up choosing a handful for the final write-up. Please note, you must be happy for your anonymised comment to be published in the UK media.

Thanks,

Pilgrim and the DevicePilot team
The problem is more fundamental than a broken charger and the council being unaware.

At root the problem is, councils buy in a charger in no doubt as part of some government mandate, with most likely a one year maintenance contract, and then do nothing after that, and until government changes this and provides or mandates a contract with ongoing servicing costs, no smart software will fix this, because that software would be useful to the company running a charger, which isn't a council that has abandoned a charger.

Best thing would be for councils to lease some land and say a 10 year lease with the likes of Instavolt or Polar and then get out of the way other than perhaps having ICED cars crushed and then fired into the sun.
 

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The problem is more fundamental than a broken charger and the council being unaware.

At root the problem is, councils buy in a charger in no doubt as part of some government mandate, with most likely a one year maintenance contract, and then do nothing after that, and until government changes this and provides or mandates a contract with ongoing servicing costs, no smart software will fix this, because that software would be useful to the company running a charger, which isn't a council that has abandoned a charger.

Best thing would be for councils to lease some land and say a 10 year lease with the likes of Instavolt or Polar and then get out of the way other than perhaps having ICED cars crushed and then fired into the sun.
You need to visit Dundee and see how excellent the EV charging infrastructure is: 90% is local body owned and maintained. ( CPS is just the back office).
 

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The biggest issue is that there are very few “plug in and pay” machines, the fact you need the right app or RFID card to get a charge is utterly stupid. I want to rock up, swipe my credit card and plug in. There are not that many suppliers who allow for that...

I can’t fully articulate my feelings in only 100 words, but above is the nub of the problem for a recent convert to BEV.
This and this a million times over, should be no different to 'pay at pump' at a service station, end of story.
 

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Contactless payment and ICEing have been well covered but here are a few more don'ts:
  • chargepoints behind barriers eg. at car parks that shut at 9pm etc
  • chargepoints where the site owner puts a skip, plants a burger van etc
  • ones that are badly lit or hard to find
  • lack of access to facilities e.g. toilet and cafe
  • not convenient for long journeys (for example, the town of Livingston has several rapid chargepoints but they are all quite far from the M8 and most of the users would probably prefer one by the motorway).
  • if a point's live status is visible on Zap Map and WattsUp then that always helps.
 

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We need chargers that work. Maintenance is essential.
All charges should accept payment via a single card. That could be a contactless debt card or a universal RFID card.

Rapid chargers should be in clusters of four or more at locations useful for enroute charging.

What we absolutely do not want is yet another cell phone app.
 

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You need to visit Dundee and see how excellent the EV charging infrastructure is: 90% is local body owned and maintained. ( CPS is just the back office).
Unfortunately Dundee is the exception not the rule around Scotland. Outside of Dundee, Kilmarnock and Perth (with good multiple rapid sites) CPS is mostly just single chargers many broken and most hogged by freeloaders trying to get to 100%.

Apart from the aforementioned hubs I’d normally rather use Instavolt.
 

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@PilgrimBeart - I think that by now you have taken on board the urgent need for all Rapids to be accessed by a standard RFID bank card. Reliability is also an immediate concern. As is a need to duplicate units to partly overcome reliability issues but also to minimise waiting times. The 'hub' concept, with contactless payment, must be pushed at every opportunity as that can solve reliability, waiting and access issues in one place. Clear and obvious signage to avoid ICEing is also a priority requirement.
 
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