Our Gripes at Chargers

I’m doing a new role - an important one at ChargeSafe - and as an aside I’m now getting even more exposure to public, especially Rapid, chargers.

Which is nice

But we must all have annoyances (aside from the ones which just don’t work)

I’ll start:

BP old Polar chargers where the contactless markings have rubbed off

But - :roll_eyes: every time :roll_eyes: - rocking up and trying to tap RFID at these little beauties. Where does it go?


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blue RFID sign directly under the screen?


Ah! So you knew it :+1:

Straight away, or you already knew? :thinking:


to be honest we have one of the really old Osprey chargers near us but it has the same issue - I must have tapped every square inch of the thing for 20 minutes until I finally twigged!!! It’s one of those things that is blindingly obvious…but only once you know it… rest assured it had me fooled for long enough - I suspect you may have worked it out way quicker than me!
The new Mer ones near me also have a similar issue…why they can’t just use the same card reader (or all use NFC instead of RFID cards) is beyond me…


This charger looks familiar, Banbury?

I once arrived at it in the rain, at night, and was close to giving up until i popped my torch on and noticed the RFID reader hiding under the screen. Cue frustrated laughing :laughing:


Not much escapes you! :+1:t2::joy:

Phew - it really isn’t just me then. Yes it’s HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT :man_shrugging:t2::scream:


Here’s some of my favourite sources of EV Charging confusion:

Electric Blue ABB Charger - Where do you tap a RFID Card?
Totally obvious right? You just tap it where the ‘www.’ part of their website is vinyl wrapped over the card reader. No mention of this at all on the charger though.

The old Ecotricity DBT Chargers - Where do you tap a RFID Card if it has old software and is relying on a smartcard while offline? They stuck a QR Code label over the card reader.

EVBox Troniq Charger as used by Geniepoint - Where do you tap your RFID Card? The screen is the card reader! Does anything actually explain this? Of course not! Just ‘Tap your card on the reader’

Chargemaster Ultracharger on the Chargeplace Scotland network - Where do you tap your RFID Card?
The big contactless symbol beside the credit card terminal, right?
No, of course, just to keep you on your toes and be different, you tap ALL cards on the credit card reader now instead.
(Except if you’re actually paying by contactless credit card of course… Then you have to tap BOTH readers to start a charge, but only the right hand one to end the charge)


Knackered touch screens where you have to guess where the correct part of the screen is for the next step (looking at you, BP) or screens that have no protection from the sun meaning you can barely see them even when they do work!


Those DC cables, so hefty and cumbersome.

However, I realise the necessity for this.:older_man:

Just treat it as a workout and cancel your gym membership!

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Or get grandmasuec to lift them.:older_man:


That’s probably why they make them to short in places :grinning:

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Shorting DC current not the best for health… :man_shrugging:


Here’s a few…

  1. Will I get a fine whilst charging. I have never had to consider whether I had to pay for anything more than the fuel when stopping at a petrol pump (unless of course I’m tempted by a bag of sweets in the shop when paying).

  2. If the charger is in the car park of a pub or restaurant, do I need to be a customer. E.G. If I park in a Macdonalds and use an Instavolt is it OK or “morally” right to go into the KFC next door? This may also be in breach of the parking terms.

  3. Buggy software and poorly thought out processes. Do you plug in first or have to step through a series of questions on a badly lit or scratched screen? If you do plug in first does the system or car lock the charge cable in place?

  4. Inconsistent apps - tap to start, swipe up / down / left / right to start. I know that this is part of the uniqueness of design and each designer has their own ideas but from a user perspective it’s frustrating and just adds to the time before you start the charge if it’s not an app you use regularly. Gridserve is one of the simplest I’ve seen no app, just tap and if the readers broken it defaults to free vend which is a really good incentive for them to fix it.

  5. Availability and proximity. When it’s 15 minutes to the nearest rapid charger it’s really frustrating when you get there and the charger(s) are in use. Do you wait for an hour or drive another 15 minutes in a different direction in the hope that the next one is available? I’ve had to give up and return home before with 5 - 10% less charge than I went out with. The future is here it’s just not evenly distributed.

  6. Membership. I don’t have to be a member to buy petrol. I get the idea of loyalty schemes, but there are still some chargers where you have to use an app and sign up to start them or they make it difficult to just pay by credit card - no cash alternative which may be a concern for some.

  7. BP Pulse. They seem to be the worst example of a charging network at the moment. I find the app is really just an indicator of chargers to avoid. I’ve spent so long on the phone because the RFID tag isn’t recognised or have returned to find that the charging has stopped. The 3 pin sockets they have don’t seem to close properly or need significant force. Many of the 50kw chargers only seem to be providing 20 - 30kw. I spent half an hour on the phone again today trying to get a charger with a Chargemaster label working (one of the networks they bought) only to be told that they can’t do that as its Charge You Car which is another network they bought but don’t seem to have properly integrated. The new 170Kw chargers I used recently again had to be started by phone as the card reader doesn’t work and you can hardly see the screens. The quality of their service is really something I think On.to need to take up with them. This isn’t providing value for money with the Onto service and is really irritating when charging is part of the cost of the service but you have to pay for an alternative because the ones in the contract are broken.

OK, rant over, but you did ask :slight_smile:


Indeed (and welcome to the forum) :+1:

That lot resonates with me - I realise I’ve just forgotten some, or accept them without questioning nowadays

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Several threads over previous year(s) regarding this and Onto have definitely followed up on this with BP.
You should keep any receipts that you have had to pay for out of your own pocket when included chargers don’t work and forward to Onto.

Worth flagging @Adam_at_Onto for senior management that BP Pulse is still the worst performing network and regularly appears at the bottom of independent surveys.


What other network would you like ONTO to replace BP with?


Always a dilemma. :notes: Should I stay or should I go? :notes:

A couple of things you could try before deciding. Some network apps show how long the charger has been occupied. Some chargers show by lights how full the charging vehicle is. Some show the SoC and elapsed time on the screen (others go blank during charging). At some charging points, there are even decent human beings that are happy to tell you how long they’ll be!

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Charge place Scotland for us poor Jocks :grinning:


[Sarcastic Aside Mode]… one that works? :man_shrugging:t2: