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Bought a 2018 Nissan Leaf and until a few days ago was charging at a near neighbour with no hassles at all. Just had first lengthy trips involving 4 fast charges at Ecotricity pumps en route. Neither the app or the pumps functioned normally though after much faffing about I was able to charge up. Being new to this, maybe there are tips from experienced users which would help? I'd be please to hear them!
 

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They aren't the greatest chargers in the world, but especially on Chademo for the LEAF, they are actually pretty reliable. What problems did you actually encounter while trying to use them? If you can explain what went wrong we can maybe point you in the right direction.

The only thing to really look out for is that the charger may have lost communication and went into free vend mode, where rather than using the app you simply control the charger using the buttons around the screen on the unit itself.
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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Bought a 2018 Nissan Leaf and until a few days ago was charging at a near neighbour with no hassles at all. Just had first lengthy trips involving 4 fast charges at Ecotricity pumps en route. Neither the app or the pumps functioned normally though after much faffing about I was able to charge up. Being new to this, maybe there are tips from experienced users which would help? I'd be please to hear them!
Sorry mate there is nothing to help until all the chargers are replaced and standard contactless payments come in although most Leafers have been ok as Chademo been more reliable. Best have a plan B and try Instavolt and Engenie if you can.

You will find endless stories about Notricity on this forum
 

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OP - if you respond to post #2 with the information requested we may be able to help. You can safely ignore post #3.

The important thing to note is that if it's on free vend the screen on the charger will ask you to select the plug you want (in this case CHAdeMO) and you won't use the app at all. Otherwise the first screen will ask you to use the app.
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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OP - if you respond to post #2 with the information requested we may be able to help. You can safely ignore post #3.

The important thing to note is that if it's on free vend the screen on the charger will ask you to select the plug you want (in this case CHAdeMO) and you won't use the app at all. Otherwise the first screen will ask you to use the app.
Don't deny Ecotricity has become serious liability and should be avoided until they replace extremely unreliable DBT units. I know from experience and would prefer to go out my way to any other network when planning long trip, so no don't ignore advice of experienced EV driver for 6 years.
 

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Don't deny Ecotricity has become serious liability and should be avoided until they replace extremely unreliable DBT units. I know from experience and would prefer to go out my way to any other network when planning long trip, so no don't ignore advice of experienced EV driver for 6 years.
When's the last time you've tried them? CCS has improved a lot this year. I've not had a single issue in the i3 across close to 100 charges recently.

Not going to deny its a different story with some other cars with CCS. But they aren't anywhere near as bad as you're claiming especially now.
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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When's the last time you've tried them? CCS has improved a lot this year. I've not had a single issue in the i3 across close to 100 charges recently.

Not going to deny its a different story with some other cars with CCS. But they aren't anywhere near as bad as you're claiming especially now.
Fair enough just that a newbie not finding them easy to use seems like not improved, I will butt out since I was a CCS user, good luck newbie but I will only give them a go again once upgraded.
 

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Avoid EH, just go for Instavolt or others, shameful story but realistic. MSA should have reliable chargrrs and perhaps that will happen soon, repeated failures - on CCS just means I avoid EH and are able to travel with much greater confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The app seems unreliable - I get quite a few connection errors even when finding pumps. Also I've not been able to scan the QR codes - the image appears on the iPhone screen but there's no button to press to capture the image. So I enter the pump ID manually. Then the app freezes at some point before finalising the transaction. In some cases I've simply used the buttons on the pump to start the charge, but on one occasion I had to phone Ecotricity and eventually they got the pump going by rebooting it.
In some cases I think the pump has switched to free vend but how can I tell?
The pump display screens are hard to read in bright daylight. One at Grantham was almost impossible to read! Somehow I eventually managed to get the charge going!
I am an Ecotricity customer so I'm charged 15p/kW. Other providers are much more pricey, and their pumps are not always in convenient places on long journeys. The Ecotricity pumps are well-sited if only I could rely on them!
 

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I've not been able to scan the QR codes - the image appears on the iPhone screen but there's no button to press to capture the image
I always just type it manually as I'm at the point where I have the 'pump' numbers memorised, but the QR code scanner like most other apps just detects it automatically and doesn't need you to press a button to take a picture. Just give it a few seconds, make sure you're looking straight at the QR code, it's in frame, in focus and has no reflection or anything like that and it will work.

In some cases I think the pump has switched to free vend but how can I tell?
Take a look at the screen on the charger. If it is at a screen asking you to choose your connector, that's on free vend. If you instead have a screen with the Ecotricity logo telling you to use the app, it's in regular paid vend mode. At that point you take your phone out to activate it.

Then the app freezes at some point before finalising the transaction
This happens when you try to activate a charger that is on free vend. The app will hang while it tries to communicate and it won't happen since the unit is offline and has no communications. You'll eventually get an error message, but usually this is after they've taken the £6 pre-auth from your bank account for nothing, leaving you waiting a week for it to drop off.

on one occasion I had to phone Ecotricity and eventually they got the pump going by rebooting it.
If the last session didn't end properly you have to get them to reboot the charger. On the plus side, the charger will sit in free vend mode for 3 minutes after the reboot completes so if you act right away thats another opportunity for a free charge.

The pump display screens are hard to read in bright daylight. One at Grantham was almost impossible to read!
That's a common complaint on a few of the chargers on the network right now. Replacement screens seem impossible to source now. But from what I have heard they are among the priority to get replaced with their new style 50kW chargers in the coming months.
 

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Must agree about the poor screens. You need to find a way to memorise which buttons to press to operate machine for the sunny days.
I carry a large umbrella to shade the screen in full sun or to keep the rain off on many visits.
Please please contact Ecotricity to report problems with details of fault not just it won’t work so they can repair any broken machines. Just a quick email.
When a machine won’t work ring them and most times the pleasant staff get it going.

After hundreds of rapid charges the most common problem is cars left on chargers FULLY Charged or at END OF TIMED session.
All the operators want feed back to keep the machines working but for some reason many failed users just leave without letting them know.
 

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The App isn't very well behaved. I've now got x3 credit cards on mine, one fell out of date, one has just stopped working - it gets rejected every time I try it (nothing wrong with the card whatsoever), so I'm down to only one card working. You have to phone them to get rid of cards from the app.

Ecotricity were the pioneers, rolling out a charging network in the early days. The chargers themselves were really prototypes, or pre-production if you want to be kind, and they've been problematic ever since. I suspect that Ecotricity have just lost money, hand over fist, and a network like this needs real investment to make it work.
 

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The App isn't very well behaved. I've now got x3 credit cards on mine, one fell out of date, one has just stopped working - it gets rejected every time I try it (nothing wrong with the card whatsoever), so I'm down to only one card working. You have to phone them to get rid of cards from the app.

Ecotricity were the pioneers, rolling out a charging network in the early days. The chargers themselves were really prototypes, or pre-production if you want to be kind, and they've been problematic ever since. I suspect that Ecotricity have just lost money, hand over fist, and a network like this needs real investment to make it work.
They tell you to just make a new account when you call them. Which is why my app has this wonderful mess of registered cards:
133143
 

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I just registered the app. worked pretty well for me - with a neat interface. Haven't done anything other than a free vend so far...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all this brilliant advice! A couple of further questions - if a pump is on free vend will it show up as available on the EH app? If a pump is shown as offline, does that definitely mean it's unusable?
 

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Thanks for all this brilliant advice! A couple of further questions - if a pump is on free vend will it show up as available on the EH app? If a pump is shown as offline, does that definitely mean it's unusable?
If it says offline or in use there's a good chance it's in free vend rather than broken. Just be sure you have a plan B in case it really is unavailable.

Available USUALLY means paid vend. But again not always. Check the screen when you arrive before you start trying to use the app.
 

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The app seems unreliable - I get quite a few connection errors even when finding pumps. Also I've not been able to scan the QR codes - the image appears on the iPhone screen but there's no button to press to capture the image. So I enter the pump ID manually. Then the app freezes at some point before finalising the transaction. In some cases I've simply used the buttons on the pump to start the charge, but on one occasion I had to phone Ecotricity and eventually they got the pump going by rebooting it.
In some cases I think the pump has switched to free vend but how can I tell?
The pump display screens are hard to read in bright daylight. One at Grantham was almost impossible to read! Somehow I eventually managed to get the charge going!
I am an Ecotricity customer so I'm charged 15p/kW. Other providers are much more pricey, and their pumps are not always in convenient places on long journeys. The Ecotricity pumps are well-sited if only I could rely on them!
Even if the QR scanning worked it's much faster just to type in a 4 digit number.

I've never tried to scan a qr code on an iPhone but why would you expect a button? The point is the scanner app reads the code as soon as it has it in focus and lined up. If it doesn't line up you can try moving the phone nearer or further away from the code. Like I said though its faster to type the number.

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