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Third party charging

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by LukeT, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. LukeT

    LukeT Member

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    Does the charge have to initiate within a time limit from when you plug in? Like does the car socket flashing light blue signify it's available to connect with?

    My first go on a third party charger was a Charge Your Car one. I have the app but it came up with a "REJECTED" message the first couple of times. I had spent a minute or two putting my card details in. So I unplugged then plugged back in and initiated it again immediately and it worked.

    It's not a bother to me particularly, and the charger was fine, it was pure user error (I think), but it seems to me that a lot of folk just wouldn't have the patience or guess a reason for failure.
     
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  2. booyaka76

    booyaka76 Member

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    Most third party ones just need a few goes/tries to get them to work.

    Each one is different and if you don't do it in the order it wants it done - then it won't work.
     
  3. tess19

    tess19 Member

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    Does tesla provide a rfid card for charging in destination chargers or 3rd party chargers?
     
  4. DJP31

    DJP31 Active Member

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    No. Destination chargers supplied by Tesla are standard wall units with a Type 2 tethered cable, so you just plug in as you would at home.

    3rd party chargers are exactly that and nothing to do with Tesla at all. You need to work out what, if any, you need and subscribe/get a card or do whatever’s required to use the service.
     
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  5. tess19

    tess19 Member

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    Some free chargers need a rfid to use and wonder if our rfid key card will work. Must try it sometime ;)
     
  6. Roy W.

    Roy W. Battery running low...

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    If you’re going to use CYC chargers more than very occasionally it’s so much easier to get their RFID card. You literally just touch the card to the charger, and you’re charging.

    It does cost £20 a year for the card (no idea why it isn’t a one-off charge!) but it’s the only card I’ve always paid for while having my various EVs.
     
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  7. TM3PTN

    TM3PTN Member

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    I used a CYC charger today at my local multi-storey alongside the app (I don't have the card). This was the first time I had tried a third party charger and had the obvious first-time user issues.

    The first charger I plugged into just wouldn't work. I plugged both ends into their respective places and in the CYC app I pressed 'begin charge'. No luck. So I called the number on the charger and the girl on the phone was really helpful - turns out that charger was faulty.

    I then moved to another and tried to follow the vague instructions on the app (plug into car, press begin charge, THEN plug into charger) - strange that I had to press the 'begin' before plugging into the charger :confused:
    Anyway it started charging perfectly at 22mph.
    Then when it came to stopping charge I made the unknown mistake of stopping the charge on my car first. This caused the cable to get stuck in the charger! (doh!!). So I called the number again and this time got a really friendly chap who unlocked it for me and told me that I needed to stop the charge on the CYC app first, then unplug, then stop the charge in the car.

    Apart from these teething problems I thought it worked well with the 'big blue cable' :) plus the electrons are free thanks to GMEV!

    Free fuel - can't complain :)
     
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  8. adsheff

    adsheff Member

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    Can complain. That it is a ridiculous faff to operate what is essentially a power socket. I've had this with Pod Point, Ecotricity and Electric Blue. Just serves to put people off. Also I fear local councils think they're being really progressive installing these things
     
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  9. TM3PTN

    TM3PTN Member

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    I agree that it was difficult but I don't think it will be as difficult when I do it next. A bit of patience and perseverance and everything should fall into place.
    We have to remember that although electric cars have been around a long time, the uptake has only really started to grow over the past year or so, so it is still a novel concept. However! If the government's aim is to stop producing ICE cars by 2040 then they still have a really long way to go, and they need to start getting the infrastructure in place now to facilitate such a seismic shift in mentality.
    In an ideal world it would just be a case of plugging both ends in and pressing 'start charge' in your car/tesla app - this would then send a signal to the relevant charge point provider to release the power and lock the unit (and apply whatever pricing structure that they advertise).

    Simple in principle o_O
     
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  10. Artiste

    Artiste Member

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    I visited Bolton yesterday and parked in the Deane’s Road multi-storey. I didn’t realise the chargers were free - I’ll have to check it out next week.
     
  11. TM3PTN

    TM3PTN Member

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    If you have the Charge Your Car app (or the RFID card for a £20/annum subscription) then the GMEV ones are free across Greater Manchester. I will pay a visit to the Deane Road one at some point - the Topp Way NCP is closer so is ideal. Plus it's on my way out of town, to and from work.

    As Roy W. states above in #6, having the card is probably easier - and £20 for a year of free charging is literally pennies a week! But if, like me, you prefer not to carry more cards than you already do, then the app is a nice option (once you get the hang of it :D).
     
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  12. LukeT

    LukeT Member

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    From me, basically this.

    I can achieve what I need to achieve with these things, and be happy about it as things stand. But I'm both biased and patient. So I'm not the target audience. If public charging is to succeed it needs to be really REALLY easy. Some degree of the agricultural is kind of OK in mechanical stuff because people sympathise and see what's beneath, but in "IT", as charging pretty much is, only a slick experience will do because they can only see the finished product as presented to them.

    So I think a debit card swipe and go is a big part of the answer and although I haven't experienced it I'm very pleased it's in/coming.
     
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  13. Artiste

    Artiste Member

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    I’ve always worked off the principal that you can’t complain about anything that’s free. No one makes you use this free charger - you can always pay to use an expensive one that is easier to to operate. We do seem to live in an entitled society where the slightest inconvenience causes outrage.
     
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  14. jimbo_hippo

    jimbo_hippo Member

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    You do have to ask yourself who tests these things though. I mean, I've sat in some pretty involved meetings for some sophisticated products and there's always a scenario you hadn't thought of because there's about 50 ways to do something. Plugging in a charger and switching it on however ....... (where's my shoulder shrug emoji?)

    And it's a profit killer too. How many unnecessary calls must they get? They must employ lonely people for tech support and promise them some new friends.
     
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  15. LukeT

    LukeT Member

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    Fair enough and I agree, but the issue applies to paid for ones too. Maybe it applies to paid for ones more than free ones, because the payment part of the process creates the complexity. If you aren't paying it really is just a big socket.

    My example was a paid for DC charger and it was intended as observation rather than complaint.

    As an aside, paying by the hour also seems a little odd to me. You don't know what you're getting for your money because you don't know before you start the actual kW charge rate. In this case I paid a perfectly acceptable per kWh rate but I didn't know I would before I started, I had to work it out, and "or part thereof" incentivised leaving the car there once the second hour started.

    I'm happy to pay. In fact I think I'd rather see us pay for what we use because, although it's obviously much better than petrol in this regard, that's a low base - it's still using an important resource and driving some negative environmental impact.
     
  16. TM3PTN

    TM3PTN Member

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    And it’s miles cheaper than petrol in the majority of cases! :)

    AND for the majority of us fuelling away from home is optional unlike ICE cars where, unless you own / have a petrol station at home, you’ll be heading to a nearby place to fuel up ;)
     
  17. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Is this a real issue? How is this any different to the car itself stopping the charge automatically when it has reached the charge limit?
     
  18. LukeT

    LukeT Member

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    As another (irrelevant really) aside...

    I arrived at the place late at night. Very dark, no lighting, raining heavily, and I was tired. Saw little Type 2 free public charge point, got cable out, plugged in. Then saw no power and that breaker behind perspex cover was tripped/off. So fished out bike multitool, undid screw to flip cover up, tried the switch and it worked.

    Felt a bit naughty but needs must. Unmanned hotel, which had said they have a public charge point, family was in hotel room with a 5+ hour journey the next day and I didn't want a very early in the journey supercharger stop.

    Then when we got up in the morning I noticed by app that the charge point had tripped after a couple of hours. So went to look and in daylight found at other end of parking area the CYC DC charger. So felt guilty about not paying and used it. We needed to be there a couple more hours anyway.

    Yet another aside: it was CCS/chademo/type2 so I used the tesla CCS adapter on the assumption that the type 2 plug might've been much slower and AC, but not sure if this is the case. It was available at the same hourly rate.
     
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  19. TM3PTN

    TM3PTN Member

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    Sorry - I mean I stopped it and removed the lead from the car. Maybe that’s what caused the issue.
     
  20. adsheff

    adsheff Member

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    I'm not in the least bit entitled. Just because it is free doesn't mean I can't point out poor design. Most of these points have been paid for by local councils / grants etc, so we've all paid in a roundabout way.

    But the fact is that you can't simply pay to use an expensive one, because at the minute there are often no choices to do so. I am more than happy to pay for the use of a charger, and I'd never demand that it was free, but if a council puts in chargers (eg Hexham), advertises them, makes them free, that is up to them. But please just make them work.
     
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