Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Have your say: The consumer experience at public chargepoints

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
989
594
North West
It’s great the UK .gov is taking charging seriously. Intervention has to be better than the current charging farce outside of SuCs. Good on them. They’re listening, let’s see if they act.
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
318
157
Basildon
My thought with super chargers was... Ultimately, when public charging is equally rapid, everywhere, competitive pricing and just as easy to use - which is the goal - then what's so special about them anymore. I'll side step the edge case of free super charging.

My view was to make all DC chargers as good as Tesla super chargers, just plug in and it works. But other payment options will be needed, such as for hire cars.

There will be many business drivers who need a solution that gives the same benefits of a fuel card. Also, there won't just be cars charging, so we need to think about motorbikes, vans, etc. I do like that thought is going into accessibility.

My hope was they also have a long term vision, especially when defining the data fields.

I got an email from Octopus energy yesterday and have now applied for their new "electric juice" card. They currently have about 4 or 5 networks online (with more to follow apparently) and you just use your octopus card at their chargers and get billed straight to your home electric bill.

Certainly a move in the right direction I reckon!
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: john19951

BK11SBY

Member
Dec 9, 2019
34
17
Northamptonshire, UK
Agreed, I'd talked my Aunty into an electric car since i've had the Tesla. She chose the Skoda CitiGo which Skoda has now stopped selling already. Her experience from charging out and about couldn't be more different from that of mine using the Supercharger network. Lot's of failed charging, lots of different apps with different logins or cards to apply for. She now only ever charges off of her solar at home and it's really put het off driving it on longer journies.
She is only 65 and fully understands the need to transistion but is very unhappy with ther experience so far. Lets hope the other Automakers start to invest in the charging network to support their customers, along with some Government regulation.
 

btc1k

Member
Jan 18, 2021
334
210
Bristol
The difficult thing, as always is striking the balance between regulation, competition and commercial viability.

Lots of comments in the thread about gov forcing charging operators to do x/y/z - when in reality, you put too many barriers in place and investors won't want to know.
 

btc1k

Member
Jan 18, 2021
334
210
Bristol
I got an email from Octopus energy yesterday and have now applied for their new "electric juice" card. They currently have about 4 or 5 networks online (with more to follow apparently) and you just use your octopus card at their chargers and get billed straight to your home electric bill.

Certainly a move in the right direction I reckon!
Octopus are really leading the way, great stuff.
 

SpareHeadOne

Member
Oct 27, 2020
236
138
UK
Lot's of failed charging, lots of different apps with different logins or cards to apply for. She now only ever charges off of her solar at home and it's really put het off driving it on longer journies.

I definitely think that's a big problem at the moment. If you have an ICE car you go to any petrol station, fill up and then pay cash or card.

No-one forces you to pay twice the price because you haven't signed up to pay £7.99/month to Shell or whoever, no-one insists that you give them a load of personal data before they will let you buy fuel and you don't have to have a different app for every supplier.

I don't think that mandating contactless payments at every charge point is the right answer, but maybe mandating that I can use anyone's fob at any charge point might be a better idea, that way I can sign up for (say) FastNed, but go and charge at a BP Pulse point while just paying through my FastNed account - preferably without my personal data being exchanged. Naturally that throws up other problems - maybe you would need to allow a reasonable mark up for "roaming", so that I don't suddenly find I'm paying twice the price because I used someone else's network for example, but there's still some incentive for suppliers.

ChargeYourCar would be an example of a step in the right direction, I think.
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
933
1,053
Chester UK
With fuel I would expect to clearly see the advertised price before choosing which location to fill at, authorise £99 at the pump on my card & stop filling when needed.

No issue for me if that was the same for all EV charging & I expect it would satisfy most people transitioning across from where they are today. Unless using 'free' Supercharger miles it's basically what we do with our Teslas anyway, albeit we have fewer charging options on a longer journey & pricing is shown for each location.
 

SpareHeadOne

Member
Oct 27, 2020
236
138
UK
Surely mandating contactless means that you can use a generic “fob” on every charger and it magically just debits your account? Also solves your “roaming” and “privacy” issues.
Still seems to me to be the best option. Personally I don’t see why I should need a fob in the first place.

No, as noted by GRILLA earlier in this thread, adding contactless payment terminals adds significant complexity and problems to the charge point - including additional connectivity for the online authorisation that would be required. It would be both a barrier to entry for new players and a significant expense to re-fit existing charge points, but most of them already have RFID based authorisation systems in place.

I'm not saying that charge points can't have contactless payment options, just that it shouldn't be a legal requirement.

Actually, I'm not even saying they should be legally required to have RFID either, you could use something like RingGo or PayByPhone. Or how about a cash machine like they have in some car parks - I used to have an electricity meter that you put 50p pieces into.

What I'm really saying that that the current system is broken and it's getting worse because many of the big players are in silos; the time to stop that is now before you have 100 apps and/or key fobs.


I think my preferred option would be that my car exchanges some data with the charge point and bills me when I plug in via an account that I get to choose (Tesla, CYC, whoever) so I don't have to bother thinking about it - basically the convenience of Supercharging but at any CCS charge point. That's probably a bit "next gen", though, as it has even worse problems than retrofitting contactless points to every charge point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cnixon

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,274
1,008
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
I suspect a Supercharger experience is indeed what we should aim for.
In the meantime, I’m not convinced that a contactless terminal adds that huge amount of complexity. Connectivity is a given, even for fobs as the chargers needs to validate the account and bill it so that’s no different.
Granted, I am not an industry insider but when you can go to the local church and there’s a contactless pad for donations it would suggest that the technology has now advanced to the point of it being trivial to implement.
I resent registering with companies. Your analogy is perfect, I don’t need to register with Shell to go to their forecourt so I don’t see why I should need to do that with any of the electrical car charging providers. I agree with you wholeheartedly: the current system is broken beyond belief, to the point of being almost unusable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NewbieT

Neilio

Member
Jul 8, 2020
849
503
Brentford
I suspect a Supercharger experience is indeed what we should aim for.
In the meantime, I’m not convinced that a contactless terminal adds that huge amount of complexity. Connectivity is a given, even for fobs as the chargers needs to validate the account and bill it so that’s no different.
Granted, I am not an industry insider but when you can go to the local church and there’s a contactless pad for donations it would suggest that the technology has now advanced to the point of it being trivial to implement.
I resent registering with companies. Your analogy is perfect, I don’t need to register with Shell to go to their forecourt so I don’t see why I should need to do that with any of the electrical car charging providers. I agree with you wholeheartedly: the current system is broken beyond belief, to the point of being almost unusable.
As much as I love the relative reliability of the supercharger network I don’t think it’s feasible for public chargers to have the same level of reliability. Mainly from a software point of view. A supercharger has to handshake with roughly three different cars. Probably two as I believe the charging on an S and X are pretty much the same. Both from the same manufacturer. As apple have shown with the iPhone it’s much easier to have reliability and consistency with electronic equipment if the hardware and the software is manufactured by the same company.
Maybe that’s part of the solution? The hardware will always be different but can the software for each public charge station be standardised?

I guess quirks will be ironed out in time. Has anyone seen the out of spec video where her does the cannonball run in a Taycan? Certain 350kw chargers were bombing out when he preconditioned the battery. His theory was that the Taycan was asking for full power then not being able to handle the 350kw. Things like that are fascinating and show that car manufacturers and chargers suppliers need to work together to ensure the cars communicate properly with the chargers
 

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,274
1,008
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
But surely that’s why standards exist? It shouldn’t really be a big deal for any car to handshake with any charger and request any charge rate provided both meet defined standards (and I believe these have been out for some time now)?
Mind you, I CANNOT get the older Ecotricity PoS chargers to handshake with my M3 on CCS rapid mode, so I suspect the tricky thing is to ensure standards are adhered to.
Another role for legislation?
It’s quite exciting being in the early days of a brand new industry for sure, albeit infuriating in equal measure :)
 

tomorrowman

Member
Mar 10, 2020
204
168
Hampshire
Concur with others on this. As much as I am in favour of the UK government looking to ensure a standardised easy to use charging infra structure in place that that allows suppliers to make money and users easy access from, from the survey I kept getting the impression their mindset was based around current ICE car fueling processes (mandating displays, covered area - I don't stand at the charger when using it so why ?).

Telsa Supercharger like model that's not manufacturer specific, with pre-registered payment methods and supporting app should be the goal.
 

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,274
1,008
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
It’s not unreasonable to mandate a display with price/status information.
I agree on the covered area bit, though. I’ll either be inside the car or elsewhere while it charges, can’t see that a roof would make my life significantly better...
 

Neilio

Member
Jul 8, 2020
849
503
Brentford
But surely that’s why standards exist? It shouldn’t really be a big deal for any car to handshake with any charger and request any charge rate provided both meet defined standards (and I believe these have been out for some time now)?
Mind you, I CANNOT get the older Ecotricity PoS chargers to handshake with my M3 on CCS rapid mode, so I suspect the tricky thing is to ensure standards are adhered to.
Another role for legislation?
It’s quite exciting being in the early days of a brand new industry for sure, albeit infuriating in equal measure :)
I think you're right but technology advancements far outstrips the speed standards can be updated.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top