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State of Pod point, Polar chargers

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Krokkodillo, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Krokkodillo

    Krokkodillo Member

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    Hi all,

    Is it me or most of public charging point are not maintained properly? Pod points near my place are down and awaiting maintenance for few weeks, Polar/TFl rapid chargers are broken or unresponsive. I think companies providing public charging facilities should invest not only in infrastructure but keep it in good order.
     
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  2. Epico

    Epico Member

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    Went to Whiteley shopping centre between Portsmouth and Southampton the other day. 4 chargers in one car park with only 1 actually working, all 4 showing fine on the Podpoint app...

    On a plus the new ones springing up at Tesco's have so far been great
     
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  3. Interside

    Interside New Member

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    Mixed experiences for me so far.

    My local Tesco Podpoint is great. Free charging (for now at least), and all of them work, however it hasn't been there very long.

    There is a car park near me with Polar chargers. I recently parked in an EV bay, but then discovered 2 of the 4 chargers weren't working. On top of that I only then realised that you need to signed up for a subscription at £8 a month, so didn't bother plugging in. I don't really get Polar's business model. I'm sure there are some EV drivers that have to use them since there aren't any other options. But personally I don't see why I should pay £8 a month to charge my car, especially when I have other local options. Just doesn't seem like a good way of encouraging people to switch to EVs.

    Also, one of my nearest superchargers (Winnersh) is out of action. It was flooded a couple of weeks back and according to the Tesla app is still not working. So doesn't even seem Tesla are that quick at fixing problems either.
     
  4. jdeacon

    jdeacon Member

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    I've had my Model 3 for two months and I used the Pod Points at my Sainsbury, where they are free. Excellent. However, only about a third of them ever displayed the white status light that seems to indicate ready. And even out of those a couple didn't actually deliver current.

    Then just after Christmas not a single one was working. Two (out of about 30) had status lights but neither of those delivered current.

    I reported this to Pod Point and got a reply that Network Assurance were looking at it.

    I went in today and all the points had their status lights on white. So I tried one of the ones that never used to be on. And it still didn't deliver current. I went back to the bank that I had been using before. One white light point didn't deliver current; but thankfully another did. There were also a couple of other vehicles plugged in (again only to the points that had worked previously) so I guess it's back to its pre-Christmas state. But additionally, to frustrate newcomers even more, twenty-ish points now say they're ready and they're not.

    Crazy.
     
  5. tsh2

    tsh2 Member

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    I spent £15 charging at home last month, so I can imagine a £8 monthly subscription would be effective for anyone able to connect overnight - even if that month was exceptional. What doesn't make sense IMO is strongly discouraging non-members from using rapid chargers. Of my 4 supercharges in 2 months, I think only one was non-discretionary (those 1000 miles expire in 6 months). So I might spend £8 total in an average month on rapid charging - but that extra 10p/kWh means I won't be improving the utilisation of many of these rapid chargers (and the tie-in threshold is far too high, even if the Tesla network wasn't available).
     
  6. Adopado

    Adopado Active Member

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    You've noticed then!
     
  7. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    #7 VanillaAir_UK, Jan 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
    Thats the problem with free and cheap. Even worse if you pay decent price for them.
     
  8. MOBB

    MOBB Member

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    Went to Milton Keynes over Xmas, took 3 attempts with 3 chargers to successfully plug into one of the Polar chargers - even that one took a few minutes to "connect with server"

    If that had been my only experience of charging I would have been pretty pissed off
     
  9. MaDProFF

    MaDProFF Member

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    I have noticed that it seems to take a lot longer to fix the older 7KW ones these days, I have recently been to several that were out of order. dammed canopying tbh as I pay the monthly subs, and do not use them all that often.

    I get the impression they do not like spending money for no return, and concentrating on the pay higher out put chargers.

    Pretty close to cancelling the monthly subs.
     
  10. NorfolkMustard

    NorfolkMustard Active Member

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    Polar 50kW CCS chargers take contactless too, (some old units may need upgrading) and are then 25p/kWh which is the same as some superchargers

    FAQs - Polar Plus
     
  11. NewbieT

    NewbieT Member

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  12. davidmc

    davidmc Active Member

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    If you shop around (drive around!) the 50kw Polars, sometimes you find the hidden gems that charge 20p/kWh on tap and pay which is cheaper than the instant app ;)

    The app still shows these at 30p for tap to pay
     
  13. davidmc

    davidmc Active Member

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    Charged this morning using tap to pay on the Polar - price still the same and cheaper than using the app :) - My little GEM in Derby and has been very reliable (Only once did it not work)

    IMG_20200107_062923.jpg
     
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  14. Rooster6655

    Rooster6655 Active Member

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    They often have free chargers if they are new as well!
     
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  15. Krokkodillo

    Krokkodillo Member

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    Yeah I've stumbled across a free bpchargemaster one 150kw in Colchester. Sweet

    Coming back to the original question, is there an authority we could send our sorrows regarding appalling state of some charging networks? Why should I pay for subscription to a charging network which is not maintained properly?
     
  16. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, the "authorities" are largely the source of the problem. Lots of points installed with government grants (several different schemes) which provided the capital cost but made no provision for maintenance.
     
  17. Cowpring

    Cowpring Member

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    #17 Cowpring, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    I've had my SR+ almost 3 months now, and all of my charging is done at public points so have used most of the providers.

    In regards to PodPoint, i've found them pretty reliable. Only on once occasion has one not worked. I love the free ones in the Sainsburys car park near me, so handy having them there even if the spaces are often ICE'd.

    Polar is my main source of charging and i've found them pretty hit and miss to be honest, my issues are:

    - Contactless is very unreliable. I've had many failures using just my bank card before my Polar card arrived.
    - Often find chargers that are out of service, and even if you ring their helpline and wait AGES to finally be connected, they say the point isn't responding and a technician needs to be sent to fix it.
    - Not once have I ever got 50kw from any of their chargers. I've used two local to my flat, one local to my office and one in Derby, not a single 50kw got more than about 40kw. Most of the time its 20-30kw.
    - The units are placed at the front of bays, not the middle or back. This is fine if you're driving an e-taxi or Nissan Leaf which charge from the front, but for a Tesla you have to get creative with your parking. You have to reverse in against traffic. This also means some charge points can't be used at all - like on a dual carriage way.
    - The cables aren't long enough. One of the points near my flat has a shorter cable than all the other units i've used, and doesn't even reach the car when parked in reverse!

    That being said, the Polar network is massive, and I love that you can use all CYC chargers with a Polar card. Went to Manchester last month and was able to use all of Manchester council's EV chargers free of charge.

    The slower 7kw 'Chargemaster' points I have found pretty reliable though. Never have any problems either starting charge, nor with speed, I always get 7kw or even 8kw sometimes. Plus they are totally free, which is great. When was the last time I got a free tank of petrol or diesel? Never!

    Quick overview of other points i've used for reference in case anyone was thinking about other charging options:

    SourceLondon
    - Very very expensive but super reliable. Never had a failure from them yet, always get 7kw.
    Shell Recharge - Works well but expensive
    GMEV (Manchester council EV chargers) - Worked well for me, completely free of charge as well (as long as you have a subscription to CYC or other service like Polar that's on the CYC network)
    Ubitricity - Found in lamp posts on residential streets. Work well but pretty expensive (£0.24/kwh) for the speed you get.
    Ecotricity - Worked OK for me, but expensive. Didn't get full speed, and only some chargers have CCS.

    In general the public charging infrastructure isn't there yet, it needs way more investment.
     
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  18. davidmc

    davidmc Active Member

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    Twitter & Facebook is the only place at the moment. But your right they do need some sort of "OfEVCI" (Office of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Authority)
     
  19. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    It's called OLEV.

    There are various powers under the The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations 2017 and the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018. There's an obligation on the Secretary of State to enforce, and they've got knocking-down-doors powers for enforcement. Unfortunately, none of the immediately-exercisable powers relates directly to maintenance.

    You could argue that a rapid charger with a working CHAdeMO but a broken CCS is breaching the "must have CCS" requirement of the AFIR and should be enforced on that basis, but it doesn't help with single standard units such as typical AC slow posts.

    AEIA has provision for regulations about maintenance - see para 10(1)(b) - but none have yet been made. So write to your MP....
     
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  20. Rooster6655

    Rooster6655 Active Member

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    Yes often with the rapid chargers that have 2 spaces there is only 1 space that you can use in a Tesla due to their leads not being long enough
     

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