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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As someone new to the EV world (well, soon to be anyway), does anyone have a 'handy' list of accounts required to setup in order to use the minefield of the UK public charging network? Most of my charging will be done at home but I don't want to get caught out when I do need to rely on public charging.
 

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a Small list of apps on my phone....
Ecotricity
POD Point
Plugshare
Zap Map
Smoov
ChargePoint
Source London
Fastned
Polar
BPChargemaster (Polar)
Ionity
It is a nightmare at the moment however i suggest you use something like Zap Map to see which company is prevalent in your area
 

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Thanks @MarkG47.. Do any of those require specific RFD tags or are they simply a case of registered account and credit card..?
 

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All depends on where you live and where you typical tend to travel too.

For Local chargers, if you go to a specific set of towns or regions then use Zap-Map and figure out what they typically use - they also tend to be 7/11/22 chargers ... although some car parks now are 50kW DC. Although locally you'll probably never use them because you won't use the 200miles.

However for Long Distance journeys you will be down to 50-150kW DC chargers. This is what I would get as a start.

Electric Highway (Ecotricity) - Typically broken or being used, but are the in most UK Motorway Service Stations.
BPChargemaster (Polar)
Shell Recharge
E.ON
ChargePoint

Ionity - Use in an emergency only - most expensive network there is.

A lost now use Credit Cards.


Finally use Zap-Map or A Better Route Planner to plan a route and find out what chargers you'll need to use in advance and download them. For example if going to Scotland you are best to get the Scottish card before you travel as the app sometimes doesn't work and the RFID cards tend to work better.
 

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I only have a RFID tag for the ChargePoint. Most either use an app or web page. Ionity is terrible, Ecotricity and PodPoint are some of the easiest to use and have good customer service. There is a growing trend for pay-at-pump type functions
 

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Thanks @MarkG47.. Do any of those require specific RFD tags or are they simply a case of registered account and credit card..?
Get an RFID card that's free or only a few pounds. It's extra back up if the App doesn't work on your phone.

RFID cards that cost £10 or more ... well you'll have to make that call. How much will you really use them or need them? If there is a stretch of a journey you use a lot and you know you'll end up charging there a lot, then it's worth the £10-20. If you are never going to be there ... then don't spend the cash and if you ever are, hope the App works or they just take card payments.

Note: All new chargers must provide a Card Payment method. What the government never told the energy suppliers was to make sure the Card Payments always work :rolleyes:
 

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Basically don't rush in and install every app and buy every RFID card and put money on lots of accounts, as I did! Take your time, aim for contactless at first, ideally without needing an app. Instavolt rules the roost for reliability and ease of use. Shell is close behind. Older Polar chargers are awful and to be avoided but the newer 150kW ones seem better.

The key is to use ZapMap to not only find chargers, but most importantly read the user comments. You'll soon get a feeling for which networks are reliable, and which individual charging points are great or hopeless.

In two years I've only ever bothered to use Instavolt, or once each with Engenie (now Osprey) and Shell literally just to see if they worked (which they did). I tried Ionity once; the first charger failed completely, the second charger bombed out after 10 minutes and I had to phone them to reset it (twiddle thumbs for 10 minutes) and give me a free charge.

Avoid Ecotricity at all costs unless it's one of the new chargers being rolled out.

Actually the most important advice is always have a plan B. Or ideally a plan C too within the range of the car!
 

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Note: All new chargers must provide a Card Payment method. What the government never told the energy suppliers was to make sure the Card Payments always work :rolleyes:
I think the rule says contactless payment which some providers will class as an app, but it has to be instantly accessibly so you can sign up then and there (if you have a internet connection) and not have to pre register and jump through loads of hoops and setup a direct debit
 

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I believe it's not a rule and not law - it was an advisory and recommendation from the Government, but not legislation. However they do all finally seem to be going that way.
 

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Basically don't rush in and install every app and buy every RFID card and put money on lots of accounts, as I did! Take your time, aim for contactless at first, ideally without needing an app. Instavolt rules the roost for reliability and ease of use. Shell is close behind. Older Polar chargers are awful and to be avoided but the newer 150kW ones seem better.

The key is to use ZapMap to not only find chargers, but most importantly read the user comments. You'll soon get a feeling for which networks are reliable, and which individual charging points are great or hopeless.

In two years I've only ever bothered to use Instavolt, or once each with Engenie (now Osprey) and Shell literally just to see if they worked (which they did). I tried Ionity once; the first charger failed completely, the second charger bombed out after 10 minutes and I had to phone them to reset it (twiddle thumbs for 10 minutes) and give me a free charge.

Avoid Ecotricity at all costs unless it's one of the new chargers being rolled out.

Actually the most important advice is always have a plan B. Or ideally a plan C too within the range of the car!
Good advice, you don't want too many apps. I was totally confused at a free Pos Point Tesco charger. I could not authorise the change, the interface had also changed. Took me a few minutes to realise I had opened ZapMap and not PodPoint.
 

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To add to my post from 2 months ago, I'm happy to report that the most recent 3 Polar (BP Pulse) chargers have now all worked perfectly, so they are making progress. This is backed up by my occasional scan of ZapMap comments of Pulse rapid chargers on routes I do (/did) frequently which are definitely reporting more successful charges now. Apparently they did a huge software roll-out to the newer chargers a couple of weeks ago which has helped enormously. So I'd say - guardedly - that you can start to consider BP Pulse chargers now, but read the ZapMap comments first!
 
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