Search for locations with X amount of connectors

I have a seemingly simple requirement that I can’t seem to resolve. I want to be able to search for locations where X number of connectors are available.

e.g. “Show me all locations near here with a minimum of 4 chademo connectors” or “Show me locations with a minimum of 6 CCS connectors”

Using the web interface I can’t do this. Has anyone managed to do this query? Surely I can’t be the only one with this requirement?

Essentially, I want to filter the map to remove sites with only one or two chargers as in my experience these are often busy / broken / unreliable. I want to stop at charging hubs or locations with multiple chargers so that it is more likely I can just arrive and plug in.

I am now looking at querying the API myself and maybe making my own google map pulling in this data. The NumberOfPoints property in the data doesn’t make sense as seems to count all connectors - e.g when a site has multiple slow chargers and one rapid it might show 10.

My only hope now would be to pull all the data and filter it client side, counting the number of connections where ConnectionTypeID matches the criteria.

Anybody got any thoughts about this?

This is a valid request and one which I have seen asked on forums elsewhere too. Given the growing penetration of EV and the growth of charging services in Europe, many drivers now want some resilience built into their journey planning, and the option of route-planning by using either multi-charger sites, or multi-vendor sites where possible.
The conversation came up here at some point back - I thought there was a specific thread on it, but I can’t find it now (but is mentioned here: Update of symbol colors - #11 by RonnieLast) - OpenCharge map doesn’t group by “site” and it could definitely do with improvements around charging supplier hardware - such as creating hardware profiles for charger-types instead of the current system of individual plugs.
If the data is aggregated by GPS location by an app, I suppose some site grouping can be inferred, but having this built into the database at the charger level would be better.
Maybe Christopher has views on the ease or probability of implementation of such?

Yes it could be done although with our current data model the value would be limited, it would first require implementation in our API then implemented in our app. The limitation is mainly that our data model is not strict enough.

NumberOfPoints has come to mean number bays/units (e.g. number of people who could charge at the same time), so it’s kind of a misnomer. We do have a field for quantity in connection info (e.g 6 ‘CCS Type 2’, 1 ‘Chademo’ etc) but it can also be entered as 7 individual connection info entries each with the type set.

Really, where we want to get to is individually documented EVSE connections (grouped per unit), so that we could theoretically report the status of each one, but this has never been done (and nobody wants to enter 10 connections all with the same info etc). This requires data model updates, API updates and app changes. All volunteers welcome.

Regarding having your own map, that’s exactly why our API exists. Thousands of apps/services use the API to do all sorts of specific visualisations.

I think in practice the current NumberOfPoints semantics are probably about optimal as they are now. As we increasingly see multiple chargepoints operated from a single power cabinet, the notion of “unit” becomes rather nebulous.

At one site you might see a single chargepoint, with integrated power electronics and two connectors. At another site you may see what looks like two separate chargepoints each with one connector, but in fact both fed from a single power cabinet containing the power electronics. The difference between these two sites would essentially be purely aesthetic - and tracking this stuff would be well neigh impossible.

And then you get things like the Kempower S-Series, where the all the chargepoints on a site are supplied by a central bank of power cabinets that can dynamically route power to any chargepoint. Is that really one “unit” with a very large number of connectors?

I suspect that we will see a lot more of this kind of architecture in the future, so I think that the number of cars that can charge simultaneously on a site is pretty much the only clear, well-defined metric that could be practically maintained.

Personally I’d find filtering on NumberOfPoints very useful as I’m interested in following the roll out of larger charging hubs (which can charge say 6+ cars simultaneously). Being able to see just those on a map would be very useful for journey planning - as I would always favour such sites to a single unit installed in a petrol station, where I have the option.

EDIT TO ADD: I also strongly suspect that these larger hubs are generally better maintained, as they are the operators’ larger flagship sites - which is another reason to prefer them.

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