Charge place Scotland

Hi folks - wondering if anyone here has any experience with CPS since its switchover to SWARCO at the end of last month.

I have registered on their website and set up a direct debit. What’s not clear is if I’ll automatically receive an RFID access card and if so how long this might take.

We’re planning a trip to more remote locations in Scotland later this month and I’ve heard that sometimes the app can be unreliable and an RFID card is recommended. That said, they’ve just launched a new app, so maybe it will be better now.

All advice appreciated.

You’ll automatically be sent a card at a cost of £10 now you signed up. They’re on high demand though so who knows how long it will take to be sent out.

The app, while better than the old CYC one is still only as good as phone signal is. Depending on how remote you’re going this may still be a bit of an issue. Definitely plan alternatives along the way in case you can’t start a charge with the app somewhere.

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Thanks @Koda. So at some point they should take £10 from my direct debit and send out a card…. I guess I’m in for a nervous wait. I allowed 2.5 weeks for the card to arrive but am sensing that’s cutting it fine.

Have emailed CPS and will see what they say.

They said they were giving out the new cards for free if you requested one before the app became available - I think I just sneaked in (but haven’t received the card yet).

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Swarco, the company that now operate CPS haven’t been great at it recently. I signed up to Swarco’s E.Connect network in early March. It took until late June for my RFID Card to arrive.

Don’t quote me on this, but I believe the £10 charge is only invoiced following the first use of the card, then the direct debit would come out shortly after that. So it’s likely you will receive it before any charge is applied to your account.

If you don’t get a reply to your email try talking to them on Twitter. They are very responsive over there since the changeover.

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Great tip. Thanks for the info folks.

I’ve just come back from a 1,400 miles road trip round scotland in my first EV. I 3-pin charged overnight mostly for top-ups where I was staying, but I did use CPS twice, however I just used the guest Webpage to start a charge. One of them was free, so all I got was a £10 auth charge, which was refunded.

The APP is absolutely awful, can’t even login even though I created an account.

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Sorry to sound stupid, but what is the address of that page. I tried following the link I found on the CPS website but I just get an error page:

http://chargeplacescotland.org/guest/

Hmm. That is the exact website I used. I got it from the FAQ section on the main webpage. Maybe it’s down for some reason.

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Just wondering if your card has arrived yet, @BillN. Needless to say, mine has not.

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Oh, no, had forgotten all about it tbh!

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Ha! Not nervously waiting for the post each day like me. We travel up on Sunday. Odds don’t look good.

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Thats cutting it fine. Do you have Plan B and C ready?

Hope that the chargers take contactless payment, hope I can start using the app, and hope that the call centre can start the charge.

What’s slightly odd is that the charger I want to use overnight is showing up on the CPS app as permanently “occupied”, on their website as “unknown” and on Zap-Map as available. The chat on Zap-Map suggests at least one person has successfully charged over the last few days when I’ve been stalking the charger.

Oh well. We’ll see. There are a few other sites near by and there’s always the granny charger for an emergency.

Welcome any suggestions!

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That must be one of the few chargepoints they still haven’t managed to migrate over yet. Since it’s offline it will only be rubbing it’s internal whitelist - CPS (and likely CYC) cards that have been active for a good while, and only newer ones that have been used there in the past and authorised whenever it was last online. The app or call centre won’t be able to assist.

Avoid anything unknown on the map. Swarco have no communication with those units so in your situation they wouldn’t be usable to someone who is relying on remote starting chargers by phone.

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Thanks Koda. Sounds like it’s gonna be a no go then. There are a few others nearby that are showing as online, thankfully!

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Well, would you believe it? My new CPS card turned up today :muscle:

Still, sounds like it’s unlikely to help with the charger I want to use :rofl:

The adventure begins…

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Enjoy and post your trials and tribulations when you get time. Good luck. :+1:

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I’m off to Irvine next week and no sign of my card either and also the app seems to not function, luckily there are 3 separate instavolt locations near me, so I should be fine :crossed_fingers:

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Well, we survived! Just back from a couple of nights in the Fort William area and thought I’d share a little of the EV experience.

First up, we benefited from a couple of pieces of good luck. 1. Our new ChargePoint Scotland card arrived the day before we set off. 2. The charge point near to our Airbnb that I’d been planning to use overnight appeared back online the day before we left, having been offline since the CPS network changed operator in late July.

In fact, though, I think we’d have been fine without the CPS access card as the app is very good. And while the nearby overnight charger helped, we’d have found another way to top up charge.

We started the 160 mile journey to Fort William from East Lothian with almost a full battery in the ID3 (which claimed 230 miles of range) and could easily have made it there without a charge. However, knowing that charging options in Fort William were going to be limited, we stopped to charge from about 30% up to about 80% at Tyndrum, a popular stopping off point at the junction of a couple of main roads, just 50 miles south of Fort William.

At Tyndrum, there are two old evolt rapid charge units on the CPS network at two different cafes just a hundred metres apart. We first tried the unit that charges 25p/kWh but (per Zap-Map chat) couldn’t get it to start the charge on CCS. Seemed to fail communicating with the car. The next day I saw someone reported a successful charge there using Chademo. At the other unit, which charges 38p/kWh, we had one further failed attempt (again seemed to fail to establish communication to the car on CCS) but we’re lucky second time. Made use of the CPS card here but had plenty reception so assume app would have worked too. Units seemed capped at 44kW.

We extended our drive a bit by doing a detour via Glen Etive but still arrived in Fort William with around 70%. Later that evening, we drove to Corpach station near to our AirBnb and hooked up to a 22kW AC CPS charger (18p/kWh).

This was another old unit. Again I think evolt but can’t be sure. I got myself into a state trying to get the charge started quickly so that we could jump on the train that was arriving imminently (the last of the day). The instructions on the tiny LCD display were really hard to follow. After I tapped the CPS card and connected to the car, it again said “show card.” It took me several attempts to work out that this in fact referred to the other socket and so I kept disconnecting my charge by accident. In the end I used the app here which was much more user friendly and successfully charged to 100% overnight (ID3 capped at 11kW of course) and also made the train!

We did relatively little driving over the next two days as we were mostly walking in the hills, so we made it back as far as Edinburgh on the return journey before a short top up on an Osprey 50kW unit and then continuing the final 20 miles home.

Suffice to say that even with patchy and unreliable CPS network at the moment, with a bit of planning it was perfectly easy to do this trip in the ID3. I was surprised how the ascent we did in the car did not seem to zap the battery as much as I was expecting. I suppose it’s not exactly the Alps.

A quick post script just to note a bit of frustration back at our base in East Lothian. There are several CPS chargers in the town but only one free one: a BP Pulse unit at the train station. Guess what… unresponsive to BP Pulse card and CPS card… and when I called CPS they metaphorically put their head in their hands. Apparently they have dozens of tickets open with BP Pulse now for dead units that they’ve inherited onto their network and BP Pulse have stopped responding.

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