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Ecotricity Electric Highway

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Kevin Sharpe, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    twitter @ZCWmarketing "#ukcharge @ecotricity M6 Charnock Richard Services M6 Southbound 13Amp working #ev #electriccar Type 2 still not"
     
  2. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    twitter @ZCWmarketing "#ukcharge after some fiddling about & witchcraft the 13Amp @ecotricity M6 northbound Charnock richard is working :)"
     
  3. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    twitter @ZCWmarketing "#ukcharge @ecotricity Welcome Break M6 southbound - post turned off at mains due to stealing my #EV cable. No charging available any type"
     
  4. ecotricity

    ecotricity Member

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    Hiya all,

    This is a plea from us to you to help us get it right.

    We acknowledge there are still some issues with our network that fall short of our aspirations, but in order to get to where we want to be – we need the help of you pioneers. We’ve had some great assistance from a lot of you already, thanks!

    We take this very seriously, and no matter how issues are reported or by whom – we want to deal with them as quickly as possible so that our Electric Highway becomes the useful and reliable service we all want it to be. We’re on the same side.

    Could I ask Electric Highway customers to continue to call us on 08000 302 302 or email us at [email protected] with any issues? That would be really helpful and will give us the chance to actually see any faults through to a resolution, plus put support in place via Twitter etc.

    This is new to us – we’re in the business of generating and supplying renewable energy. And there’s much for us to learn about getting that energy from the grid and into EVs.

    Here’s what we’re going to do in the short-term:
    Next week we’re sending engineers to each of our Charge Points to give them a thorough shakedown, identify any issues and fix them
    We’re also producing clear instructions to be displayed on all our Charge Points
    And, we’ve speeded up the investigation of how we can support our customers better – (inc via social media) and how quickly and effectively we can respond via other channels.
    Please also bear with us while we investigate reported faults and modify the way we work – so that our Electric Highway can live up to all of our expectations and aspirations.

    In the long-term, we plan to have things sorted so that there are no issues to be reported!

    As a company campaigning for a better, cleaner world – this is part of our vision for the present – not just the future – a vision I think we all share.

    I’m pretty sure that together we can fix this.

    Thanks again
    Paul
     
  5. fraccy

    fraccy Member

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    yeh looks very similar, though the colours are different.

    I never knew about that button, whats that do, a sort of reset? I was getting the same effect sliding the switch on the tesla connector.
     
  6. fraccy

    fraccy Member

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    Have heard back from ecotricity. They suspect either my connector wasn't pushed in sufficiently, or that the post hadn't "reset" since the last user, recommending I should have pushed that button.

    I'm pretty sure the connector was in fine, I did reconnect it several times. I repeated everything more than once, and the door was definitely closed when I arrived so I don't see how it wasn't reset..

    ... but anyway, will try pushing that button next time, will update here if I do.. but very interested to know if anyone else manages to use michael wood southbound or membury m4 westbound in the meantime? still half wondering if its something up with my mennekes cable or something.
     
  7. ecotricity

    ecotricity Member

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    Hiya David - yes we're very aware of this. I actually came on here to help our customers. As I said - I won't be responding any more to Kevin - I had to make that clear otherwise people might think we were just ignoring the 'issues'. It's actually quite difficult to start, never mind maintain a conversation with anyone else though... I only saw your post by chance just now!

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  8. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    If I understand correctly the theory is that it was the previous user who upset the Charging Station and therefore it required a reset prior to your arrival. I suspect a reset means a site visit by the supplier based on the fact that a Type 2 cable got stuck in a Charging Station yesterday and they couldn't release it remotely for the Ampera driver.

    Personally, I don't think it's possible for the connector to not seat in properly.... these things are pretty foolproof IMO.

    I've tried pushing this button at Green Park without success... unfortunately, this was before we started videoing the problem so can't provide any useful context.

    When I approached Tesla about these issues they were adamant that they have not seen any problems in Europe with their Type 2 ("mennekes") cable.

    I know that some Leaf drivers had problems and success with a Dostar cable and the Ampera driver yesterday was using an ITT cable and experienced both success and failure. Personally, I've had both success and failure with both the hcsharp and ITT Type 2 cables with my Tesla.

    ZCW have invested a great deal of time and energy debugging these issues (especially with the supplier behind the scenes) and we are currently reviewing our commitment to this going forward. I think it's up to the EV community to decide how best to resource this effort.
     
  9. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    One thought.... when you plug in the Type 2 connector into the Charging Station is the slide switch on the Roadster connector in the "on" position?
     
  10. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    #50 Kevin Sharpe, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    For completeness here are the videos of charging success and failure at M6 Keele Services (where the Ampera cable got 'stuck'). As I'm sure you can imagine, documenting these failures is a time consuming task and I'm not sure how much resource ZCW will commit to this in future...





     
  11. fraccy

    fraccy Member

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    #51 fraccy, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
    Yeh good point I was thinking about that. The last time I tried I'm sure it was off the first time I plugged it in, thats my normal habit - its the last thing I switch on. I repeated a few times and I'm pretty sure I'd have tried it with it in the on position, but is a variable I'll try changing next time. When I slid it on and off having plugged in, it would appear to "reset" and again flash twice before doing nothing. The thing that makes me suspicious there was a fault with the post (or my equipment of course) is that on previous occasions, I've just plugged in and charged, no thought or fiddling about.

    If I get time I'm going to tour 3 or 4 of these points one evening, including a chargemaster little chef one I know to have worked previously. I need to resolve this at least for myself, as the next time I take a longer trip I'm not going to know what to trust. I never previously appreciated reliability as being the awful problem it really is with electric car charging points - as soon as you lose trust that its going to work, life gets a lot more difficult. Its worrying - I'm technically skilled, and passionate for electric cars, and more than happy to put up with problems - but how this could ever go mainstream with people who just want to go from A to B without thinking or engaging with the technology... well, currently it can't, that much is obvious.

    I really appreciate ecotricity's charging posts, they're a reassuring presence in useful public locations with 24 hour access, but with question marks over reliability they instantly become useless in terms of planning a journey. When they work they're pretty cool and a lot better than chargemaster's irritating interface on their upright posts, but when they fail they immediately appear hugely over-complex and over-engineered. I'm loathe to comment on what I know is a long running divisive issue and frankly I don't care - I just want to charge my car - but from my perspective as a consumer, I guess the simplicity of ZC's approach scores a major point here. At the moment I certainly trust ZC points the most, despite having only used them a couple of times so far.
     
  12. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    "As I was leaving I saw a White Van Man pulling into the reserved EV spaces - sneaky little ICE'r. What did I do? I confronted him, that's what.

    'Funny looking electric car you have there, mate.' I said, loud and proud. Ish.

    But it all turned out for the best. He was there to start the process of installing a DC rapid charging station. Apparently 27 Welcome Break locations are having them installed by the end of the year.

    With that good news I was off on my travels to my next stop."

    1000 miles in an Ampera: Day 1
     
  13. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Just received in my email from Ecotricity:

     
  14. Alexandersims

    Alexandersims Member

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    Hi all,

    Being a relatively new Tesla owner, I have no where near the experience of Kevin, David and others and reading through this forum I can understand the frustration at times, but on how many occasions has anyone actually been 'stranded' (except for the guy whos cable was stuck!)?

    I get the feeling that we are blowing this up to be bigger than it needs to be. If we find a fault, report it and try and work with who ever the provider is to eradicate the issue. I can understand it may be difficult when there is competition between providers but we must surely support each other and get the charging network improved so these issues do not occur again.

    Then when members of the public who want to use an EV for general use without wanting to support the technology, it will work and fewer disaster stories will be told.
    Lets surely work together on this and put aside our differences to keep working for a better EV network.

    Alexander
     
  15. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    #55 Kevin Sharpe, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
    I know several drivers who had to use a flat bed to get home following these failures. One in particular gave up driving the Leaf long distances after the third time and Nissan suggested they might not get any further assistance.

    Ecotricty are now replacing the old 'green' Charging Stations with 'white' versions that seem a lot less prone to failure in the few times I have used them with my Roadster. You'll have to decide for yourself whether they had a genuine fault with the 'green' hardware.

    The issue with ICE cars parking in Ecotricity charging spaces has not gone away... several people have reported this issue in the last week and on Friday I found all three spaces ICE'd including the DC charger (one car did eventually move so that I could get to the Charging Station);

    IMG_1997.JPG

    - - - Updated - - -

    The only way you will know that is to try using the network and report your experiences here and on twitter (use hashtag #ukcharge). My suggestion is that you always have a second charging location that you can reach because the public infrastructure will let you down at some point. Many Leaf drivers are about to start traveling for the first time following the recent deployment of DC chargers... only time will tell whether this second phase of deployments is better than the first.
     
  16. Talkredius

    Talkredius Member

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    congrats to your new car :biggrin:

    I can't say anything about the UK ( but will be there for the first time June next year :smile: ) so I'm talking mainly about Germany.
    The Roadster is my only car now and I'm driving about 60.000 km /year , Odometer = 118.121 km now. I have learned never ever to rely on this Smartcard / Panel driven charging stations, I always have a plan B and C often also D :wink:
    My experience is , 30 % of these charging stations are not working for different reasons : they are not there where they should be, or not connected to the grid ( just used for advertisement) or never been tested with an EV before or.......long list :biggrin:
    Keep in mind usually you have only one charging station at one place. As Roadster owners we have the luxury of big a battery, if one charging station isn't operating we can drive 50 km more to the next charging station, other EV drivers don't have this luxury.

    I only rely on "community" operated charging station networks. like Kevin's Zerocarbonworld or Park & Charge in DACH (Germany, Austria, Swiss) or Drehstrometzwerk in Germany.
     
  17. Alexandersims

    Alexandersims Member

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    I apologise Kevin. HAving never been stranded myself and having spoken to relatively few EV owners, never known them to get stranded I thought it was perhaps very uncommon.
    For these posts to fail once or twice is still not acceptable but we must try and help the industry improve constructively.

    Regarding the ICE vehicles taking up the spaces I agree it is a very real issue. Have you any suggestions on how to improve this?
    If we put up barriers or bollards then you might need smart card access or a code which many may not have, plus adds another obstacle to ease of EVs.

    Perhaps just needs to be clearer that it is an EV zone, not Disabled or normal parking. The lime green paint is quite similar to the yellow and I have found disabled cars parking in the EV spaces.
     
  18. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    #58 Kevin Sharpe, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
    No apology necessary :smile:

    I completely agree... my response is to try and build a reliable network Zero:Net... I think it falls to the EV driver community to help the other networks improve :wink:

    I suspect this is where these deployments will fail. The problem is that this is controlled by Welcomebreak who no longer even patrol the car parks (they rely on outsourced camera surveillance and are only interested in parking time violations). My suggestion is that drivers get together and 'encourage' Welcomebreak to improve signage further but I'm not sure that will help much...
     
  19. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  20. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    Do you know what's changed? I thought it was 40 sites :confused:
     

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