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Electric Blue Chargers

adsheff

Member
Sep 9, 2019
293
281
UK
Had the misfortune to try an Electric Blue charging unit in Hexham, Northumberland on Saturday. Has anyone else tried one of these? It's possibly the worst system I've used. Requires a terrible app, fiddling with a touchscreen in the rain, pre-paying, clicking confirmations in emails - basically all the things we shouldn't need to do.

After 10 minutes of faffing, and eventually getting the thing plugged in to my Model 3, it came up with "Communication Error' and wouldn't work. I'm alarmed that local councils seem to be installing these awful things - at a time when what we all need is Instavolt style contactless payment.

Has anyone tried one of these and had any success?
 

davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,542
1,638
Leicester
No sorry not seens these before.

I have a funny feeling that this new government funding for EV charging to local councils will get these awful systems put in place! Its always about the bottom line cost and never about the actual system in how easy it is to operate and its compatability.

I think it will be the private companies that will improve here and demonstrate what we actual need. But ofcourse at a cost to us.
 

Electric Dream

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Jul 21, 2016
1,721
2,791
UK
No sorry not seens these before.

I have a funny feeling that this new government funding for EV charging to local councils will get these awful systems put in place! Its always about the bottom line cost and never about the actual system in how easy it is to operate and its compatability.

I think it will be the private companies that will improve here and demonstrate what we actual need. But ofcourse at a cost to us.
I fear you are spot on WRT the funding.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,838
2,712
Shropshire
Is this law now?
I was using a bit of comedic licence. "Spring 2020" is the alleged time when new installations should be tap to pay. no rulling on existing ones that I am aware of.
The optimist in me hopes installers will jump on it sooner.
The pessimist in me says even when they do do it some will make it uber expensive so that they can continue stuff like dumb subscription models.
 

adsheff

Member
Sep 9, 2019
293
281
UK
I wonder if they'll try and sneak around it by offering card payments at a vastly inflated rate, and keep the rate low for their beloved apps and RFID cards.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,071
1,048
Leamington
I wonder if they'll try and sneak around it by offering card payments at a vastly inflated rate, and keep the rate low for their beloved apps and RFID cards.
That's already happening. BP Chargemaster fast chargers are 40p/unit tap and go vs 20p if you subscribe.
upload_2019-10-8_19-34-29.png
 

Big_G

Member
Sep 12, 2019
34
7
UK
I noticed there’s 2 brand new Electric Blue chargers about to be commissioned in the Metro Oasis carpark at the Metrocentre, they’ve been installed in association with NECA. Each charger has a CHAdeMO & a CCS cable. Had a quick look at the signage the other day, it seemed to suggest needing to download their app but bother chargers had a fairly large screen on them, maybe you can contactless pay as well.
 

Andrew_SE23

Member
Jul 3, 2019
135
121
London
I live in London next to a Source London charger so I subscribe to that network. I am in Bristol at present and see that the same company appear to have a Source West charger network (same logo, different app) which is incompatible.

It’s not just different companies with incompatible subscription-based charger networks, but a single company appears to be running incompatible networks.

Without the Tesla chargers, they would have me over a barrel.
 
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Daverh

Member
Jul 7, 2019
273
187
Newcastle
Electric Blue charging unit in Hexham, Northumberland

Was this in the carpark next to Waitrose/Wentworth Leisure Centre? I hope they don't do this in the rest of Northumberland's carparks whcih afaik are currently free. I'll be making regular use of the one in Wylam until they start charging for use.
 

adsheff

Member
Sep 9, 2019
293
281
UK
Was this in the carpark next to Waitrose/Wentworth Leisure Centre? I hope they don't do this in the rest of Northumberland's carparks whcih afaik are currently free. I'll be making regular use of the one in Wylam until they start charging for use.
Yep that's the one. I was lucky I didn't really need to charge, but I wanted to try it out as I might need to rely on it in the future. I also had my father with me and as a Tesla newbie, he wasn't impressed with the 15 minute mega-faff I did.

Had to calm myself down with a half at the Heart of Northumberland pub followed by lunch at Bouchon. Both of which I highly recommend, and can confirm they accept cash and card and do not require an app.
 
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arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,806
1,797
Cambridge, UK
All rapid chargers installed from spring 2020 have to accept one-off card payments

Have any regulations actually been enacted to make that happen? Government have powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act to introduce such regulations, but I hadn't heard of them actually doing so yet. In the summer, there was a press release threatening to use those powers if chargepoint operators don't start doing it voluntarily. Usually, actual regulations are preceded by a consultation phase to resolve the details, and that doesn't appear to have happened.

So I suspect we will wait until spring 2020, then (if they aren't too busy with other matters) the Government will express their shock and surprise that these networks didn't do what they were asked and start consultation on regulations.

By way of comparison, we have the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulations (which were as a result of an EU directive and so are regulations under powers of the European Communities Act). Those regulations require chargepoint operators to provide "ad hoc access" - not requiring an subscription, but the definition has been interpreted to permit requiring you to download an app and create an account, so long as you can do that at the time you want to charge your car.

The timescale on that one was that the EU published their directive in 2014, UK Government produced a draft of the UK version and put it out for consultation for 1 month in Oct-Nov 2016, then the results were published in Sept 2017 and the regulations came into force Oct 2017, but they had a 'sunrise clause' such that the Ad-hoc requirements only applied to new chargepoints from Nov 2017 and old ones from Nov 2018.


I live in London next to a Source London charger so I subscribe to that network. I am in Bristol at present and see that the same company appear to have a Source West charger network (same logo, different app) which is incompatible.

It's not the same company. The similar logo reflects the history that several separate networks were set up under Government grant schemes.
These schemes were deliberately regional, and required separate organizations to make bids for funding; however, having won the funds the winning consortia (which often included academic institutions and/or local government) shared various resources. So Source East, Source London, Source West shared their logos.

Source East and Source London were set up under the Plugged In Places grants in 2010 with 3-year grant funding, the idea being that they should be self-supporting after that time. Source London was run by Transport For London, but when the funds ran out they sold the network to a commercial operator (who were apparently mainly interested in it for their car-sharing service). Source East was run by University of Hertfordshire, and it continued for some years in a zombie state with no funding to do anything until UoH eventually wound it up. Source West was funded under a different scheme, fronted by the local councils, but with operations initially subcontracted to ChargeYourCar (which was another of the original PiP grant recipients). CYC was later bought out by Chargemaster, as was Plugged In Midlands.
 
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CMc1

supercharge.info editor
Aug 2, 2019
1,518
1,389
North, UK
I noticed there’s 2 brand new Electric Blue chargers about to be commissioned in the Metro Oasis carpark at the Metrocentre, they’ve been installed in association with NECA. Each charger has a CHAdeMO & a CCS cable. Had a quick look at the signage the other day, it seemed to suggest needing to download their app but bother chargers had a fairly large screen on them, maybe you can contactless pay as well.

Exactly the same in Whitley Bay. Been there a few weeks with plastic around the plugs. Screen switched off. Not sure when they’re going live.

Tbh, do you need rapid charging at Metrocentre etc? Most people will be there 1+ hours. Seems better to have 6-10 7kW+ bays...
 
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adsheff

Member
Sep 9, 2019
293
281
UK
Exactly the same in Whitley Bay. Been there a few weeks with plastic around the plugs. Screen switched off. Not sure when they’re going live.

Tbh, do you need rapid charging at Metrocentre etc? Most people will be there 1+ hours. Seems better to have 6-10 7kW+ bays...
My thoughts exactly. They are putting rapids in the wrong places. Rapids need to be near major road junctions - at service stations, drive-through places etc. They don't work in places like the Metrocentre, because you'll be there for a while and a bank of 7kW ones would be much much more useful.

It's like cycle lanes - the people in the council who design them don't ride bikes so spend thousands making unusable lanes. I fear we're going the same way with chargers - the people in charge of them don't actually drive EVs so just shove them in anywhere.
 
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