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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Heading to Aberdeenshire for a getaway with the family and was wondering about using charge place Scotland without the RFID card. I would have ordered one but this is kinda a last minute plan as we all need a break.

I have the app but it does state some chargers only work with the card due to dodgy data connections.

It’s going to be a long drive up from London and not going to be much fun when the baby is awake but hey ho, it will be trial run for when we go to India later this year and have a 10 hour drive from the airport to my in laws.

Any advice on Charge Place Scotland will be welcome.
 

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The app is pretty good, though some chargers don't seem to be on it :(.
I have found that if a charger has lost its data connection and is not on the app, just use any RFID card (I last used a bank card) and this initiates the charger.
If you still have credit there are BP chargers at Perth and Ionity within a 30 second drive (at Perth Triangle). 50KW is the Max (with about 3 exceptions...) for any Chargeplace Scotland chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The app is pretty good, though some chargers don't seem to be on it :(.
I have found that if a charger has lost its data connection and is not on the app, just use any RFID card (I last used a bank card) and this initiates the charger.
If you still have credit there are BP chargers at Perth and Ionity within a 30 second drive (at Perth Triangle). 50KW is the Max (with about 3 exceptions...) for any Chargeplace Scotland chargers.
I don’t have a launch edition so no BP credit, but thanks for the information especially about the RFID cards….I wonder if my London Oyster card will work 🤣
 

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BP has a free 3 month membership which allows you to use their 150kW chargers for £0.45/kW
Outside of Ionity, it's the best pricing I've seen for rapid chargers.

It adds an option as there are a few BP Pulse stations along the route to Aberdeen (not all are in Google maps as I've found)
 

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Hey all,

Heading to Aberdeenshire for a getaway with the family and was wondering about using charge place Scotland without the RFID card. I would have ordered one but this is kinda a last minute plan as we all need a break.

I have the app but it does state some chargers only work with the card due to dodgy data connections.

It’s going to be a long drive up from London and not going to be much fun when the baby is awake but hey ho, it will be trial run for when we go to India later this year and have a 10 hour drive from the airport to my in laws.

Any advice on Charge Place Scotland will be welcome.
FYI - Ionity Gretna Green is OK, there is a CPS/CYC charger at Abington village just off the A74 which I have used a few times, but not for over a year (check current status before planning to use it) and it has a small cafe about a 2 minute walk from it for coffees, cakes etc while you wait., better than the single Ecotricity at Abington services, but that may have changed following the Gridserve take over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FYI - Ionity Gretna Green is OK, there is a CPS/CYC charger at Abington village just off the A74 which I have used a few times, but not for over a year (check current status before planning to use it) and it has a small cafe about a 2 minute walk from it for coffees, cakes etc while you wait., better than the single Ecotricity at Abington services, but that may have changed following the Gridserve take over.
I was planning on stopping at Gretna Green but both Google and ABRP suggest I stop at Lancaster services on the M6 and won’t need to stop again till well after Gretna Green, services on M74 or Abington depending on which route I take.

Appreciate the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The offer I’m being given by BP is 1 month free then 7.99 a month but you get £9 credit every month for 5 months, so basically free for 6 month.

I would prefer the 3 month free offer as I don’t really use Rapid or fast chargers unless I’m travelling, either way if I need to stop at BP I’ll sign up once there.
 

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We did the NC500 in May and started on the South coast. 2k Miles in 2 weeks, car was brilliant! My experience was the CPS RFID was essential. I did start the Charge once with the app because the screen was broken on the charger and it did work. Phone signal can be a bit dickey. The one good thing is CPS do have a 24/7 call centre and I had to call it twice the charger in Aviemore was totally hosed and they couldn't fix it but directed me to the closest next. The falls of Shin charger wouldn't start but they kicked it remotely and it was then fine. They can start the charger remotely I never needed it but it seemed possible. The chargers in May were very under used which was good we didn't wait anywhere but that was partly because we lined up an alternate sometimes very close by. So two places someone was on the first pick so we went on to the close by second choice. Price was also good at 30p/kw not sure what it's gone to now. They seem to be maintaining them the Aviemore one was fixed on return leg and we saw a service car at another where there was two and one was broke.

Ionity Gretna was rammed both times up and back, queue was 5 cars when we left on the way up and we'd waited to get on but was head of queue. On the way back we got a stall without waiting but it was throttled horribly really killed our timings we got the minimum we needed and left really disappointing. Queue built up again. Make sure you have an alternate. Perth Ionity had open stalls both times and delivered although charge didn't start on way up ended up changing stalls then it worked. Blackburn Ionity was also very open and in the direction we needed when coming South. There's a FastNed around Stirling which was on my alternate list. Once you cross Hadrians wall I'd say CPS is pretty much it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We did the NC500 in May and started on the South coast. 2k Miles in 2 weeks, car was brilliant! My experience was the CPS RFID was essential. I did start the Charge once with the app because the screen was broken on the charger and it did work. Phone signal can be a bit dickey. The one good thing is CPS do have a 24/7 call centre and I had to call it twice the charger in Aviemore was totally hosed and they couldn't fix it but directed me to the closest next. The falls of Shin charger wouldn't start but they kicked it remotely and it was then fine. They can start the charger remotely I never needed it but it seemed possible. The chargers in May were very under used which was good we didn't wait anywhere but that was partly because we lined up an alternate sometimes very close by. So two places someone was on the first pick so we went on to the close by second choice. Price was also good at 30p/kw not sure what it's gone to now. They seem to be maintaining them the Aviemore one was fixed on return leg and we saw a service car at another where there was two and one was broke.

Ionity Gretna was rammed both times up and back, queue was 5 cars when we left on the way up and we'd waited to get on but was head of queue. On the way back we got a stall without waiting but it was throttled horribly really killed our timings we got the minimum we needed and left really disappointing. Queue built up again. Make sure you have an alternate. Perth Ionity had open stalls both times and delivered although charge didn't start on way up ended up changing stalls then it worked. Blackburn Ionity was also very open and in the direction we needed when coming South. There's a FastNed around Stirling which was on my alternate list. Once you cross Hadrians wall I'd say CPS is pretty much it.
Regardless of where we stop I’m expecting a minimum of 45 mins to an hour for the little one to stretch his legs and get ready for the next leg. Before he was born I was a road warrior and used to stop for fuel and a quick pee much to the dismay of my wife. Now it’s all about the little mans comfort and schedule.

Blackburn is out of the way for me as I’m plan i using the m40, m42 m6 to Scotland, May consider using the A1M on return especially if traffic is horrible on M6, as we will be starting later in the day. I’ll be doing about 1200 miles minimum in 4 days. Which will be the longest trip in the car 6x over as longest so far is only 230 miles return with no charging stops.

My planned stops at present are M6 Ionity Stafford, M6 Lancashire Services, then all depends on how we are doing for time if I use the scenic route to Edinburgh or stick to the motorways to Perth. Since I’m leaving at 0400 on a Thursday I don’t expect too many charging issues for the first two stops, unless the chargers are not working.

Thanks for the info on Gretna I would be expecting to be in the vicinity at around 11am so expect it to be rammed by then.

Pity this is a last minute trip, planned it yesterday to depart on Thursday so no time for the rfid card to get to me, would be great if we could just pick one up in a shop in Scotland and link it to the app or something but it is what it is.
 

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The offer I’m being given by BP is 1 month free then 7.99 a month but you get £9 credit every month for 5 months, so basically free for 6 month.

I would prefer the 3 month free offer as I don’t really use Rapid or fast chargers unless I’m travelling, either way if I need to stop at BP I’ll sign up once there.
No surprise they've changed their offer!! I only signed up last month to the 3 months free. I think I'd have preferred the current deal.

Regarding the offer, they don't activate the reduced cost charging for about 5 days in advance as they have to "approve" your account/direct debit, which is frustrating
 

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We also used MFG at Crow Orchard J27 M6 total nightmare. We had trouble starting the charge and so did everyone else that arrivied. Just an I-Pace that hit it first time. Then the other stupidity was you had to go into the gas station and register on the parking system to avoid a parking ticket. Worst a full sized Etron pulled up next to the signage which warned you and basically blotted it out for everyone else who arrivied. I'm sat there thinking what sort of igit would put a row of 8 150kw rapids in and have a 30 minute limited time parking system or any parking system at all as there was no other real spaces.

We headed down into the Peak district so Blackburn was fine for our purposes let us go on the other side of Manchester. Had we been going directly down South then agree it wasn't particularly useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, if you are heading up the M74, there are nice new (a bit pricey) FastNed super fast chargers at Hamilton. I gave them a go just for fun as its the nearest over 50Kw chargers to me, but wasn't at a low enough SOC to see what they could deliver - Scotland’s biggest ultra-rapid charging station opens in Hamilton (fastnedcharging.com)
Thanks that was the charger Google and ABRP were recommending if I went via M74. Tbh I don’t mind the pricing as I’m charging for free wherever possible and have done 10k miles for £400 so if I need to spend some every now and again so be it. It’s more about convenience when on a 10hr drive than anything else.

What are the facilities like at the charging station? With a 2 year old it’s about keeping him entertained when stopped, driving and doing anything at all lol.
 

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Thanks that was the charger Google and ABRP were recommending if I went via M74. Tbh I don’t mind the pricing as I’m charging for free wherever possible and have done 10k miles for £400 so if I need to spend some every now and again so be it. It’s more about convenience when on a 10hr drive than anything else.

What are the facilities like at the charging station? With a 2 year old it’s about keeping him entertained when stopped, driving and doing anything at all lol.
There is a Macdonalds, Pizza Hut, Nandos, Cinema, ASDA hardware stores, NEXT etc etc. There is a retail park across the road and the MCd's and PH are on the same side in a business park you almost enter to get into the chargers.
 

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Apologies if I'm covering old ground, but my regular options travelling M6/M74 and further north in Scotland are:
  • BP pulse 50kW at Gretna Green Blacksmiths. The only wait I've ever had was a 1 series BMW idling across the charger when I arrived who was swiftly moved on. Gives a reliable 50kW and there's adjacent cafe/toilets/visitor attractions (could be good for a stop anyway with a 2yo @Icesingh ). Just don't tell anyone - much more pleasant experience than the Ionity lottery at the services.
  • Burton-in-Kendal northbound M6 services - new Gridserve 350kWs
  • MFG Crow Orchard - never had a problem initiating a charge and adding a reg number when grabbing a coffee isn't exactly a hardship.
  • Ionity at Polmadie (Glasgow M74) - rarely used as I live not too far away but rarely busy and quick
  • BP Pulse and Iontiy at the Triangle at Perth - maybe drop the wife and kid at Tiso's across the roundabout.
Haven't used the Hamilton fastned yet (24 miles from my house) but it's nice to know it's there and has led to some more adventurous charge planning (negative arrival%).

Edit - to answer the original question. I'd say you will be fine without the RFID card provided you aren't going rural. Many of the chargepoints in the highlands may not have good signal across all networks for phone activation/helpline assistance. The helpline are very friendly and useful, the infrastructure varies in age and condition due to the ownership/operator arrangement, and the common issue at the moment of demand exists here as well, although often not as severely. Last point of note -again due to the operator/owner model, there isn't a consistent pricing model across the network. Most chargers are owned by the local councils and will be consistent across an area (e.g. free in Stirling), some are owned by independent businesses etc and set their own prices (including things like arbitrary overstay charges).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Apologies if I'm covering old ground, but my regular options travelling M6/M74 and further north in Scotland are:
  • BP pulse 50kW at Gretna Green Blacksmiths. The only wait I've ever had was a 1 series BMW idling across the charger when I arrived who was swiftly moved on. Gives a reliable 50kW and there's adjacent cafe/toilets/visitor attractions (could be good for a stop anyway with a 2yo @Icesingh ). Just don't tell anyone - much more pleasant experience than the Ionity lottery at the services.
  • Burton-in-Kendal northbound M6 services - new Gridserve 350kWs
  • MFG Crow Orchard - never had a problem initiating a charge and adding a reg number when grabbing a coffee isn't exactly a hardship.
  • Ionity at Polmadie (Glasgow M74) - rarely used as I live not too far away but rarely busy and quick
  • BP Pulse and Iontiy at the Triangle at Perth - maybe drop the wife and kid at Tiso's across the roundabout.
Haven't used the Hamilton fastned yet (24 miles from my house) but it's nice to know it's there and has led to some more adventurous charge planning (negative arrival%).

Edit - to answer the original question. I'd say you will be fine without the RFID card provided you aren't going rural. Many of the chargepoints in the highlands may not have good signal across all networks for phone activation/helpline assistance. The helpline are very friendly and useful, the infrastructure varies in age and condition due to the ownership/operator arrangement, and the common issue at the moment of demand exists here as well, although often not as severely. Last point of note -again due to the operator/owner model, there isn't a consistent pricing model across the network. Most chargers are owned by the local councils and will be consistent across an area (e.g. free in Stirling), some are owned by independent businesses etc and set their own prices (including things like arbitrary overstay charges).
Thank you for the information, I’m not exactly going rural as I’ll be staying just outside Aberdeen so will have access to chargers etc once there and as I don’t expect to do more than 200 miles a day whilst in the area I should be fine by charging on return or before heading off daily, to visit the Banff coast etc or the National Parks that aren’t too far.

Ill probably head off via the A7 as whenever I go to the highlands I prefer the scenic routes and me and the Wife have a regular picnic spot in Langholm on the banks of the River Esk that the boy should enjoy conveniently there’s a charger installed in the parking area there now as well. It all depends on how we are doing for time etc.

I’ll share some pics of the P2 in some majestic locations on my return, now all I need to do is survive the Mrs shopping trips for a 4 day holiday……before she starts shopping for the 5 weeks holiday we will have in mid October in India.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just an update on my journey. Just for the record, I don’t speed I use the car limiter on automatic and that prevents the car from going +2mph of posted speed limit.

Left London at 4am on a 93% SOC and decided to go with Google Maps recommendations for charging stops, but set preference as Ionity.

Google Recommended Ionity Stafford Spitfire Park, stated I would arrive with 27% SOC at about 6.20am I arrived at 0615 with 39% SOC. I stopped and charged to 88% I regret stopping as the little man was asleep and could have gone further but Ionity is pretty scarce so stopped. If anyone is interested in stopping here there are no issues with the chargers (1 is off line but other 7 work fine). Facility wise only a Starbucks and that doesn’t open 0630 nothing else apart from car showrooms. As the baby woke up it took him an hour to get ready to go again so hence the full charge lol.

Anyways shortly after I started charging an Etron arrived and the driver was having problems but I left them to it (fussy baby) until I was about to leave and asked if she needed help, she couldn’t get her bank card to authorise payment even though she was logging in and confirming it was her making the payment. She had been there struggling for about an hour, anyway I offered to help and swiped my plug surfing card, she offered cash but I didn’t feel like it was right, she insisted and I said if she spots someone else in problems just help them, I felt good for helping, she felt happy someone helped her so all good, then I got the message her charge cost more than mine lol.

2nd Stop Google Maps recommended Gretna Ionity, stated I would arrive with 5% SOC, but kept climbing the entire way, anyway 2hrs later baby demanded to be let out so we stopped at Tebay services, a small service station with a farm shop and excellent food (no fast food or international brands here plus 3hours free parking. 2 Gridserve Chargers stating 120kwh, 1 has 2 ccs connectors, other ccs and chadmo. Neither allow dual charging and there was TM3 already there and a Peugeot 208 E Charging, luckily he finished 5 minutes later. I charged back to 90% think I was at about mid 50s SOC on arrival.

3rd Stop, From Carlisle I diverted on to the A7 to visit our regular picnic spot at Langholm on the banks of the River Esk, only about 40 odd miles from Tebay so arrived with about 75% SOC plugged into the charger as why not it’s available and cheap 25p per kWh and as I didn’t have the ChargePlace Scotland rfid card I had issues, ended up calling help line who stated my account is blocked As I didn’t register my direct debit details within 72hrs of creating account, I took 78hrs….. 10mins later account unblocked told to close and restart app and off we go with a cheap charge. Spent another hour here for the boy.

I wasnt going to stop again unless I had to, Google Maps stated I would arrive at Aberdeen Hilton Teca with 0% charge which changed to 5% by the time I got to the M90. Baby had other ideas.

Stop 4, Kinross services M90 1 Gridserve 120kwh charger with ccs and CHADmo but a couple of 22kW chargers available too. Charger empty and I charged as the baby demanded a stop after his nap was done, took an hour, car charged back to 90%.

Arrived at Aberdeen with 49% battery. Journey time 13.5 hours….. 4 stops all a minimum of 60 minutes one was longer (Tebay took about 90 I think). Google predicted 10hrs 45 minutes including stops.

If I had no baby with me, my first stop would have been after 180 miles near the M6/M62 turning. I know I can make it here doing 70 as I got from London to Anfield without stopping. Second stop would have been Langholme and then I wouldn’t have stopped again unless I absolutely needed to. Car could have done it my wife’s bladder another story lol.

So today I’ve done 530 odd miles charged 4 times but never got close to even needing a charge whenever I charged lol. Baby made the trip interesting that’s for sure, but he was happy and comfortable which is the main thing.

Oh and I saw 2 thunders one in Dundee which was travelling in the opposite direction (mine is a thunder too) and the second from Forfar to Aberdeen I was basically tailing it all the way before I turned off lol. Hello to both drivers if your on here and thank you as you both were the only P2s I saw in 13hrs. I think I saw the second P2 a second time as I was going to Tesco to get some milk for the baby, but can’t be 100% sure if it was the same….likelihood of bumping into 3 thunders on same day? Highly unlikely right.
 

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2hrs later baby demanded to be let out so we stopped at Tebay services, a small service station with a farm shop and excellent food (no fast food or international brands here plus 3hours free parking.
Solid journey, in my old Focus, it was approx 8.30 to Aberdeen (well Dyce) so an extra couple of hours, with baby is not bad at all, and anyone wanting to stop, Tebay is on par with Gloucester for food and drink.
Plus the local pies are WELL worth the stop even if you don't need a charge.
 

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Yes Tebay is a good services and always winning awards for its farm shop style fare instead of your usual fast food etc, its just over an hour for me to there, so rarely stop there when en route to Scotland, but used to use it a lot when doing some work in Carlisle. Sounds like a fairly uneventful trip despite the 4 charging stops and the young un on board. you mention wifeys bladder range, getting older that is more of a concern than car range for many of us :p
 
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