ESB eCars advises electric vehicle owners to ‘disregard’ its own app

App and website publishing conflicting maps of working and available network chargers

An ESB eCars app which tells electric vehicle drivers which public charging points are working and available, should be disregarded, eCars has said.

An ESB eCars app which tells electric vehicle drivers which public charging points are working and available, should be disregarded, eCars has said.

 

An ESB eCars app which tells electric vehicle drivers which public charging points are working and available, should be disregarded, eCars has said.

The advice to motorists follows conflicting maps of working and available charge points being published simultaneously on the app and the eCars website, at the weekend.

The situation is likely to make Christmas shopping more difficult for users of electric cars.

ESB eCars said a new app was being developed, and would be available to motorists in the near future. In the meantime the utility said owners of electric vehicles should get their information from the website.

The new app under development will allow owners of electric vehicles to use their smart phones to pay recently introduced fees at about 70 fast chargers. However, in the interim the old app is continuing to provide motorists with incorrect information on the status of the eCars network as it is no longer being updated, according to the utility’s 24-hour helpline.

The problem was evident on Sunday morning when the eCars app listed ten standard charge points, two each at Mark Street; Pembroke Street; Earlsfort Terrace and Wilton Place and Ranelagh across Dublin’s south city centre as working and available, when the website was listing them as unavailable.

Fast charging points at Finglas Road, Blanchardstown, Lucan Shopping Centre and Coyne’s Cross in Wicklow were listed as available on the app, while the website listed them as unavailable shortly after 1pm. Conversely a fast charger at Tolka Quay in Dublin Port was listed as available on the website, but not available on the app.

Colour coding

The availability of charges is further complicated by differences in colour coding of chargers between the app and the website. On the website unavailable chargers are blue, while available ones are green. However, on the app available chargers are green and unavailable ones are black.

In a further complication all slower charging stations on the website are listed as “free” as the ESB has not yet begun to charge for their use. In November the ESB began to charge for the use of some 70 fast charging points across the State, but has yet to introduce pricing on a further 15 fast charging points in Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman on the ESB eCars telephone helpline said motorists should disregard the app in favour of the website, as the app “has not been updated” pending its replacement. The eCars website was however still advising “to locate your nearest ESB charge point on the go, down load the eCars connect app”.

There was ongoing evidence of conflict between the website and the app on Sunday afternoon with charging points across the State apparently being updated in real time on the website, but not on the app.