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.
Updates as at Friday 23rd July 2021
When is the migration scheduled to take place?
The migration of the CPS back-office communications and support systems is scheduled to take place from 10pm on Monday 26th July. CPS charge points will therefore be unavailable between 10pm on Monday 26th July and 5am on Tuesday 27th July to support a smooth transition, and the CPS helpline may be unable to assist drivers with starting or stopping a charging session during this period. There may be other minor disruptions in service for a short time, such as with the website, during the course of the night. We will work to keep these to a minimum and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.
When will SWARCO begin operating the network?
SWARCO will begin operating the network from Tuesday 27th July, once the migration of the back office-communications and support systems is complete.
When can CPS members expect to receive emails to activate their accounts with the new operator?
To support a smooth transition, account activation emails will be sent out from midday on Tuesday 27th July, over a period of 48 hours. You will be asked to sign up to new Terms and Conditions, and your account and Direct Debit mandate will transfer with you to the new account. All member accounts will still operate as normal, before accepting the Terms and Conditions in the account activation email.
Activation emails will also be prioritised for those CYC members who have provided consent for their data to be shared so that SWARCO can contact them and provide access to the network, and CPS RFID cards are being sent out to ensure you can access the network from Tuesday 27th July.
Will new members be able to join the network from the 27th July?
New members will be able to join the network from 27th July and there will be no cost for new members wishing to join the network from the this date. However, a fee of £10 will apply for any new or existing member who wishes to purchase an RFID card, which will be sent via first-class postage. Purchase of the RFID card will not be a requirement to be a member of CPS and use of the network can be fully managed through the app which is free to use.
When will the CPS app and WebPay be launched?
The CPS app and WebPay will be launched on Monday 2nd August to enable the smooth transition of the existing service, before launching network enhancements.
Will CYC members be able to access the CPS network after the migration is complete?
No. CYC members will not be able to access the CPS network after the migration is complete via CYC RFID cards or the CYC smartphone app, unless using guest or contactless payments.
How can CYC members make a request after 23rd June to retain access to CPS?
Any CYC members wishing to request access to the CPS network after 23rd June will need to register as a CPS member following the migration at the end of July . There will be no cost for CYC members wishing to join the network from the 27th July, unless they wish to purchase a new RFID card. Purchase of the RFID card will not be a requirement to be a member of CPS and use of the network can be fully managed through the app which is free to use.
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 from Monday 2nd August
- 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.
Will my RFID card still work after the handover?
Your current Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) card will be migrated over to the new operator. All data transfers will be completed in full compliance with GDPR requirements. SWARCO and Charge Your Car (CYC) are committed to a smooth transition to the new operator with the minimum of inconvenience to members.
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 I incur any admin fees for the move to the new operator?
No, you will not be charged any additional fees in relation to moving your membership to the new operator.
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 a fee of £10 for any new or existing member who wishes to purchase an RFID card.
Will I be entitled to a refund if I’ve recently joined CPS or renewed my membership?
Existing members, and those who join prior to the changeover, will not be eligible for a refund for any membership fees paid to the current operator.
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 need to set up a new direct debit?
Members who currently use the direct debit provider GoCardless will have their details migrated without having to re-register. Other members registered via a different Payment Services Provider will have to set up a new 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 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 Monday 2nd August. 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.