RFID cards and memberships for best public charging rates. Still confused!

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Goaty
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 3:27 pm

Post by Goaty » Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:26 pm

I know many public charging points allow people to pay via a contactless swipe - which is great - but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the lowest charging tariff.

Do we have a definitive understanding of which RFID cards we should be keeping with us for charging around the UK? Or if not RFID cards, memberships and apps we should have handy to ensure we’re benefiting from the lowest prices?

I have so far got my Skoda Powerpass and Chargemap cards ready although to be honest, I’ve no idea if they’re actually going to be useful yet.

I heard that we should also have a Chargeplace Scotland membership too (for Scotland) as many EV points there don’t accept contactless payment?

It’s definitely a bit of a minefield. I’d like to understand the UK system first before thinking about what’s required for continental Europe!

Thanks.
iV 80 Loft ordered 25/5. Build week 36 (w/c 6th Sept). Black, 21”, 125kW, Heated seats all round, Asst Drive Basic (company car, replacing BMW 520d). Tethered PodPoint.

orrery
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:22 pm

Post by orrery » Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:42 pm

There are networks which require you to deposit money with them, there are networks which require membership and a monthly fee, there are networks which require Apps, some have RFID cards and sometimes these cards cost money, some allow you to allocate any of your existing cards to be the RFID for their charger, some allow you to just pay by credit card.

The whole thing is a complicated mess. You need to investigate which chargers operate in the areas you wish to charge. If you get caught out then you can often join at the charger.

I have some historic memberships of charger networks which have gone under, and some that have been taken over - I have membership, but I'd guess it wouldn't work if I tried it now. Now, which networks did I have to deposit money for? Could those that have gone under have £10, £20, £30 of my money?

There isn't a definitive answer. There are some networks which you just slap your card on, are reliable, reasonably widespread and don't cost the earth - InstaVolt being a good example. For anything else, consult Zap-Map.
On order: iV80 Lounge 1st October 2021. Estimated delivery 1st June 2022 :shock:
Currently driving: Leaf 40. Previous EVs: Leaf 40, Leaf 30, Leaf 24. EVing since 2014.

RichR
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:53 am

Post by RichR » Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:45 pm

There have been some YouTube videos fairly recently from people like EVM summarising the current (or at least a month or so ago) status, and which networks it was worth getting RFID cards or apps for.

What is worth doing though is spending a bit of time on Zap-Map (the desktop web page version I found better for this), looking at places you might travel often (eg visiting a relative elsewhere in the country, or travelling to a port or airport) and what chargers there are along that route. For example, for me to drive to my mum's (north Cornwall) from here (south North Yorkshire), I'd probably do a 15 minute charge somewhere near Birmingham, then another short charge around Bristol (and get lunch), then a bigger charge near Exeter to ensure I get to my destination with about 40-50% remaining. I'd aim for Ionity or the new Gridserve chargers for the big charge, but the smaller ones will probably be Gridserve/Shell/Instavolt on or just off the M5/M6.
Ordered Aug 2021: Enyaq iV 80 Sportline, Energy Blue, 125kW charging, Assisted Drive Plus, Transport, Heat Pump, Infotainment Plus, Convenience Plus, Comfort Seat Plus.

Goaty
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 3:27 pm

Post by Goaty » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:01 pm

/_\ Thanks both. I could be travelling anywhere to be honest and sometimes with less than 12 hours notice (limiting time for pre-planning).

I don’t think I’m too worried about not being able to charge at all - our little rock called the United Kingdom isn’t large enough for that !!! I think what irks me the most, is not getting the best rate available (knowing I can only claim back 4 pence per business mile) and memberships etc are meant to help with that I think. I suppose experience will help a great deal.
iV 80 Loft ordered 25/5. Build week 36 (w/c 6th Sept). Black, 21”, 125kW, Heated seats all round, Asst Drive Basic (company car, replacing BMW 520d). Tethered PodPoint.

RichR
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:53 am

Post by RichR » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:23 pm

I guess though you'll be travelling on the motorways at least some of the way no matter where you're going? In which case it's mainly Gridserve/Ecotricity, InstaVolt and Ionity that provide the bulk of them (in England anyway). Just need to spend maybe 10 minutes checking in ABRP/Zap-Map to see what might be on the route. At least with an 80 you can cover a decent distance between charge stops if you need to, so can be a bit selective if you want to.
Ordered Aug 2021: Enyaq iV 80 Sportline, Energy Blue, 125kW charging, Assisted Drive Plus, Transport, Heat Pump, Infotainment Plus, Convenience Plus, Comfort Seat Plus.

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