ChargePlace Scotland will soon be moving to a new network operator. Find out more about what will be changing and the impact this will have on electric vehicle drivers in Scotland.
SWARCO eVolt (SWARCO) has been appointed to operate the ChargePlace Scotland (CPS) contract from July 2021, and both SWARCO and Charge Your Car (CYC) are committed to ensuring there is a smooth transition of back-office communications and support systems.
Charge points will continue to remain accessible using the same methods that electric vehicle drivers are currently using and will continue to be commissioned by CYC up until the migration takes place. SWARCO will not be making changes to network operations until they begin operating the contract.
The CPS team appreciates that drivers may have questions about how this will affect them, and has prepared this web page to answer the main questions received to date.
This web page will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
Benefits to Drivers
What are the main benefits to me from the handover?
- No annual membership fee, reducing the cost of running an electric vehicle
- 24/7 customer helpline and social media channels
- A redesigned website with enhanced functionality
- Improved fault processes
- More up-to-date information for drivers on the status of faults
- A CPS mobile phone app offering improved functionality over the CYC app will also be available to download
- Access to more information about your own membership, usage of the CPS network and the state of the network through the website
- Where the hardware is in place, contactless payment will be possible if enabled by the hosts
Functionality before, during and after the handover
Will all the charge points work in the run up to the handover?
There will be periods in the run up to the changeover when some charge points may be unavailable for periods of time to allow for migration testing. In addition there will be a period on the day of the handover when charge points will be unavailable. Drivers will be kept fully informed of when and for how long charge points are expected to be unavailable.
Will all the charge points work after the handover?
There may be a small number of older units on the CPS network that cannot be migrated to the new operator. Transport Scotland is working with the hosts of these older charge points to ensure as many of them as possible can be upgraded to be compatible with the new operator. The new operator’s systems can integrate with all other makes and models of charge point on the ChargePlace Scotland network.
Will how I use the charge points change?
The physical charge points across the network will not change with the handover to the new network operator. They will continue to look and operate in exactly the same manner as at present. Maintenance and repair of charge points will remain the responsibility of the hosts. The public map will be updated within 30 minutes of a fault being reported and regular updates will be provided every 24 hours after the initial 48 hours has passed.
What if my car is charging at the point of the handover?
If your car is on charge at the point of the handover it is likely that the charge session will be interrupted. Prior to the handover the new operator will identify charge points where sessions are underway and make best efforts to restore any sessions that drop out during the handover. Please note that if this happens and your session is restarted you will need to end the session either from your vehicle or by calling the helpline.
Will the new contract mean that there will be more charge points in Scotland?
The new contract doesn’t relate to the installation of new charge points across Scotland. Instead it is about providing customer services and fault management after the charge point has been installed and commissioned onto the network. The new contract is designed to reflect the current size of the ChargePlace Scotland network and allow for its expansion in the next few years.
Will I need a new account?
You will need to activate a new account with the new operator. Data will be processed securely and in full compliance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements, with a new account with the new supplier automatically created for members. Members will then be emailed an activation link which will invite them to visit the website to activate their new account and opt in to any additional services that are now provided if they wish.
Can I still order a new RFID Card?
Orders for RFID cards should continue in exactly the same way as they have done up to this point during and beyond the changeover. There may be a slight additional delay at the exact point of handover due to the requirement to securely move data from the existing operator to the new one, however this should not affect the ordering process.
Will the annual membership charge remain?
Until the transition everything will remain exactly as it is at present. Under the new operator there will be no annual membership charge, however there will be a joining charge for new members.
Will the tariffs change as a result of the handover?
Tariffs are set by the charge point hosts. It will be up to them whether or not tariffs change. The new operator has the ability to allow hosts to set multiple tariffs for a charge point and so you may see changes in the future, however this remains the decision of the hosts.
How can I get up to date information about how much I’ve spent in a month after the handover?
At any point in the month members will be able to check their accounts to see their charging history, monthly balance and historic invoices, all via the website.
How will I pay my invoice after the handover?
Under the new operator, members will make one monthly payment for their usage in the previous month, with the first payment under the new operator being taken in August (for usage in July). An invoice will be created and emailed to members and subsequently payment will be taken via direct debit.
Will I be able to use contactless payment?
The new operator has the ability to support contactless payment and this is dependent on whether the charge point unit has the inbuilt functionality and if the host has enabled that functionality.
Will the helpline be changing after the handover?
The helpline is remaining and the number will remain the same (0141 648 0750) with the same costs applying as at present.
Will the new contact centre team be trained?
The contact centre team will receive rigorous induction training prior to the new operator taking over. Training will not just focus on customer service processes, back-office systems and the different charge point types, but also the core aims of ChargePlace Scotland and what ChargePlace Scotland means for drivers and hosts, placing user experience and customer needs at the centre of the service. Contact centre staff skills will be continually updated based on customer feedback, performance monitoring and the latest developments within the EV sector.
How will faults be reported?
The new operator will have a system in place to identify faults in charge points automatically and report these to be resolved. The operator will maintain oversight of the charge points and manage fault reporting. On occasion when members of the public need to report a fault this can be done by phoning the helpline or via the website. The facility to report faults by social media will also exist.
What if I have a complaint about the new operator?
Any complaints can still be addressed to ChargePlace Scotland and will be dealt with appropriately.
What if I have a care case open at the handover point?
If any case raised prior to the new operator taking over has not been fully resolved at the handover point, it will transition to the new operator. Handover notes of any open case and a briefing will be arranged for the new operator taking over the back office.
Will the CYC app still work?
A new mobile phone app will be created for the ChargePlace Scotland network. This will be a dedicated ChargePlace Scotland app and will be available for download in both Apple and Google stores on the morning of 1 July. The app can be used to locate charging stations and will also allow members to start and stop charging sessions. Until the handover the CYC app will remain operational.
Will the CPS website be changing and will I still be able to find charge points through it?
A redesigned website is being created to the latest web accessibility standards, will be intuitive and easy to use and will be shared with members when it is ready. The redesigned website will have a range of features including a dynamically updated live map (including fault information), news, fault reporting, links to Transport Scotland and Energy Saving Trust guidance, support page with user guides and FAQs, contact information for the helpline as well as providing access to log in to your account. Until the handover the existing website will remain fully operational.
Will the newsletters be continuing?
Newsletters will continue to be issued to all members on a regular basis. Up to date news will also be available on the website and via social media.
Non-Members of CPS
Will I be able to access charge points?
Non-members will be able to access the system by using a dedicated web payment system allowing drivers to begin and end charging sessions, as well as pay for them, without needing to register or provide any personal information. This system will be made available on all compatible public charge points.
How long does the Charge Point Network Operator agreement run for?
The new Charge Point Network Operator (CPNO) agreement will run for a minimum of two years, and Transport Scotland has the option to extend this for a third year and then subsequently for a fourth year.
What should I do if my question about how things will be managed in the future is not answered here?
There will be continual updates, including refreshes of this FAQ document, as the transition moves on and the changeover date approaches. More information will be announced in due course.