DATA UPDATE: New in the Unified API: Electric Vehicle Rapid Charging Points


#1

You can now access the locations, types and live availability of the TfL rapid charging network, launched earlier this week by the Mayor of London. Find out how in this blog post from our developer, Phil Moir


#2

I have been using this API and it is a useful resource. However, I have been noticing that the commonName for a connector seems to keep changing which I can’t really understand - surely the names should remain constant with ID. Here is an example from two JSON files run using the same API call within minutes of each other:

(A)
{
“$type”: “Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities.Place, Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities”,
“id”: “BritishGasChargePoint_CPBG-8cedcabf-1762-4a0a-97be-a8af00d5d712”,
“url”: “/Place/BritishGasChargePoint_CPBG-8cedcabf-1762-4a0a-97be-a8af00d5d712”,
“commonName”: “BP Thamesmead GP10357 Connector 3”,
“placeType”: “ChargeConnector”,
}

(B)
{
“$type”: “Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities.Place, Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities”,
“id”: “BritishGasChargePoint_CPBG-8cedcabf-1762-4a0a-97be-a8af00d5d712”,
“url”: “/Place/BritishGasChargePoint_CPBG-8cedcabf-1762-4a0a-97be-a8af00d5d712”,
“commonName”: “BP Thamesmead GP10357 Connector 2”,
“placeType”: “ChargeConnector”,

}

Also I was wondering if there was any documentation noting the exact meaning / definition of each field - some of these are self explanatory but for others it would be useful to have a bit more information.


#3

Hi Michael
We get the data from British Gas so I’ll ask them why the commonName is not consistent and get back to you.
Thanks for raising this!


#4

Thanks - is there any update on this? Seems to go through periods i.e. a week or so when this is not an issue then other periods when it keeps happening. Also, the live availability data seems to go hours without being modified - not sure if there is a target for how often this should be updated but I would say 3 or 4 updates a day is not really live data.


#5

Any update on any of this?


#6

Hi @Michael

Sorry for the delay. We have been investigating the issues you raised with our technical team and now have a response.

1. Frequency of occupancy data
• ChargeMaster and ESB are only two providers that supply separate location and state data feeds. The locations for these are updated daily, the state is updating every 5 minutes.
• For all others we only have a single location feed and they updated hourly. This is something we could look at improving if the concessionaires are willing to make the changes to their feeds.

  • If you have any specific examples of locations not being updated within these parameters, please let me know and we will investigate further.

2. Genie Point/Charge Point/British Gas common name
Unfortunately, Genie Point don’t provide a unique name for each connector in the feed they supply to us. They provide a nondescript name for a location. It was agreed at implementation to combine location, the nondescript name, and an instance key to give a “common name”. This is not an id. If the order the connectors come through from British Gas changes, so does the common name. Sadly the task we use to import places is not a locate record and update mechanism, but a wipe out and insert new. This again is something we can look at improving but subject to other priorities in our delivery pipeline.

Thank you for your feedback on the rapids data - we really value input from developers who are using our open data feeds so we can use it to plan future improvements.