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Yes, it seems to take a few minutes after plugging in for Octopus to take control and stop the charging. Probably like you, I find it a little scary as you’re not quite sure Octopus will kick in and you’ll be charging at the 41p rate!
The FAQs are quite clear that it can take up to 30 minutes for Intelligent Octopus notices your vehicle is charging. If you are concerned about the peak rate unit pricing in those first few minutes, simply stop the charge yourself via the MMI after plugging in at home. Octopus will still notice your Q4 is plugged in and ready to charge, and will setup an overnight charge plan accordingly.

Check back later (after 6 PM and at least 30 minutes since you plugged in) via the ‘Devices’ tab in the Octopus app to see the schedule it has picked. Whilst you are there make sure your target state-and-charge and departure time settings are set in the Octopus app appropriately. If you change either of them, check again later after giving the algorithm some time (another 30 minutes?) to adapt its charging plan based on the new settings.

I don’t really think it’s stable or reliable yet and it requires constant monitoring to ensure that it charges when it’s supposed too
That hasn’t been my experience. Intelligent Octopus has worked seamlessly at the times it said it would — confirmed with both my charge point’s app (after unplugging the charging cable if you have a PodPoint like me) and my half-hourly smart meter readings. Having said that, I do agree some additional status and diagnostic information in the Octopus app would help improve its trustworthiness.

  • Are you sure you haven’t also set a schedule via your home charge point or in the Q4 itself?
    (Multiple schedules will interact and interfere with each other in non-obvious ways)
  • Is your target state-of-charge in your Q4 set greater than or equal to the target state-of-charge in your Octopus app?
    (It will pick the lower of those two. For example if you set the Octopus app to a 100% target but the Q4 is set to 80%, you will in effect have an 80% target)
  • Does your Q4 have good 4G/LTE mobile coverage where it is parked at home? Check the LTE signal strength on the MMI, as Cubic Telecom may use a different physical cellular network than your mobile phone.
    (Octopus uses enode’s API to access Audi Connect’s servers, which then in turn communicates to your Q4 via its built-in LTE mobile broadband connection)
 

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last night I put the car scheduler on to finish charging by 05.30,(end of cheap tariff), and therefore it didn’t start charging when plugged in. Octopus schedule had it starting early yesterday for me at 21:30. Which it did.
Multiple schedules in the car, chargepoint and Intelligent Octopus can interact in non-obvious ways. I imagine with your setup you wouldn’t have benefitted if Octopus had chosen to extend the cheap rate period for you beyond 5:30. I’ve seen some charges with additional off-peak slots from 6:30 to 7:00 or 7:00 to 7:30.

If you are concerned about the peak rate unit pricing in those first few minutes after plugging in at home, simply stop the charge yourself via the MMI on its Charging menu. Octopus will still notice your Q4 is plugged in and ready to charge, and will setup an overnight charge plan accordingly. I’ve tried it myself and it works for me.

It’s button (5) on the screenshot from the owner’s manual below. I think you might be able to do it from the ‘Goodbye’ screen that appears when you switch off the ignition too – although I’m not in a position to double-check that at the moment.
Font Technology Parallel Screenshot Logo
 

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e-tron 55 quattro Launch Edition 2019
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The FAQs are quite clear that it can take up to 30 minutes for Intelligent Octopus notices your vehicle is charging.
Interesting. I didn't know that, or maybe they've updated the FAQs since I joined last October. I've never had it take more than 5-6 minutes. If Intelligent Octopus hasn't taken over by then, it's been because Audi's servers are down (such as nearly every Sunday evening!) and it can't communicate with them.

If you are concerned about the peak rate unit pricing in those first few minutes, simply stop the charge yourself via the MMI after plugging in at home. Octopus will still notice your Q4 is plugged in and ready to charge, and will setup an overnight charge plan accordingly.
That's useful to know, I didn't think of doing that.

  • Is your target state-of-charge in your Q4 set greater than or equal to the target state-of-charge in your Octopus app?
    (It will pick the lower of those two. For example if you set the Octopus app to a 100% target but the Q4 is set to 80%, you will in effect have an 80% target)
I've always ensured the % target in the car matches the app, but you're saying I can just leave the car at 100% and control it (such as to 80%) in the app? That would be very useful.

  • Does your Q4 have good 4G/LTE mobile coverage where it is parked at home? Check the LTE signal strength on the MMI, as Cubic Telecom may use a different physical cellular network than your mobile phone.
    (Octopus uses enode’s API to access Audi Connect’s servers, which then in turn communicates to your Q4 via its built-in LTE mobile broadband connection)
Cubic Telecom uses Vodafone. A bit off-topic, but does the Q4 have a regular SIM-card slot that can be used with any network? I use a SIM-card in my regular (non-Q4) e-tron as it's a fraction of the cost of Cubic Telecom.

Lastly, for me, Intelligent Octopus still tries to take over when I'm charging away from home. I have to catch it at exactly the right time to bump charge, or it will stop altogether. I went back to my car once at a motorway service station, and it had stopped charging (because of Intelligent Octopus) and the charger had a big green 'charging complete' light on it. I could sense the evil stares from the queue of motorists waiting to charge thinking I was one of those drivers who leaves their car for ages once it's finished!
 

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I've always ensured the % target in the car matches the app, but you're saying I can just leave the car at 100% and control it (such as to 80%) in the app? That would be very useful.
I think so — although like yourself I’ve only ever had them set the same. I’ve only done a single charge to 100% to date.

Cubic Telecom uses Vodafone. A bit off-topic, but does the Q4 have a regular SIM-card slot that can be used with any network? I use a SIM-card in my regular (non-Q4) e-tron as it's a fraction of the cost of Cubic Telecom.
I don’t know, I think it might be an eSIM. I haven’t personally discovered a regular SIM slot, and haven’t seen it mentioned in the owner’s manual.

Lastly, for me, Intelligent Octopus still tries to take over when I'm charging away from home. I have to catch it at exactly the right time to bump charge, or it will stop altogether. I went back to my car once at a motorway service station, and it had stopped charging (because of Intelligent Octopus) and the charger had a big green 'charging complete' light on it. I could sense the evil stares from the queue of motorists waiting to charge thinking I was one of those drivers who leaves their car for ages once it's finished!
I haven’t had that, and I’ve charged a few times away from home recently. In that scenario, where does the myAudi app think the car is parked? I imagine they must be using the same location data.
 

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2020 etron 55 quattro
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Ah, ok. Thinking about it though, they're happy to move people from Agile to Intelligent without a 30 day wait.
So, due to the high Agile rates at the moment I decided to try Intelligent again. It took a couple of attempts to do the test charge (had to start it manually through the Zappi) but it worked and they've given me 11pm to 5.30am as a charge period. Let's hope it works.

@lozzd just checked the terms and you don't have to be on a non-smart tariff for 30 days before moving, you just have to stay on a tariff for a minimum of 30 days before switching be to another tariff.
 

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So the car was due to start charging at 11pm according to the Octopus app. 11pm came and went and nothing happened.

Does anyone know if this would be due to my Zappi charger being in Eco+ mode?

Does anyone else have a Zappi? I could put it in Fast mode but then I think it would charge all the time.
 

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So the car was due to start charging at 11pm according to the Octopus app. 11pm came and went and nothing happened.

Does anyone know if this would be due to my Zappi charger being in Eco+ mode?

Does anyone else have a Zappi? I could put it in Fast mode but then I think it would charge all the time.
Intelligent Octopus will only work if the Zappi is in fast mode.

If you want to use surplus solar to charge your car,the only option as far as I’m aware is to temporarily switch off Intelligent Octopus in the app, and then switch the Zappi from fast to eco+ mode. You’d then have to switch IO back on in the app if you want to use it.
 

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I should have added that having the Zappi in fast mode won’t mean that your car will charge all the time. You just use the Octopus app to tell it what charge you want and when, and IO will then communicate with your car to decide when to activate the Zappi. Have a look at the FAQ on the Octopus website, which explains this in more detail.
 

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This is where the technology just isn't reliable. Plugged the car in this evening, charging started and IO slots created - excellent. But the car just kept on charging. 45 minutes later I've had to set the Zappi charging mode to Stop otherwise it just keeps going. I know the Audi servers were down again this evening (my automation couldn't log in) so maybe that was the issue? Also, as I have a 2020 e-tron, I couldn't find a way of stopping the charge from the car - it doesn't have the charging icon on the charge page as in @Andrew Lee's image above.

I've set some automation to switch the Zappi back to Fast at 11.29pm for now, 1 minute before the first slot.
 

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@Steve Shrewsbury ha, that last post, as a fellow Zappi owner, is why I did just make the jump over to Agile... for us we charge maybe once a week at most so I can mostly wait until the price goes back down again, but I did pick a horrible week to switch to Agile.. although we're using heat pump for heating so the 9p less all day still works out in our favour.

I too was absolutely hating the nervousness of hoping that IO would kick in and stop the charge. So I set the Zappi to boost 11:30-5:30.... but then missed out on various charging slots outside of those hours and ended up with an undercharged car.. it's just too many variables all at once, I'd rather use Agile and then the Zappi can stay on eco+ for PV excess and boost when the price is low.

(You were right, I misunderstood the T&Cs. No worries moving from IO to Agile instantly)
 

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Yes @lozzd I'll probably switch back at some point. Fortunately the automation switched Zappi back to Fast at 11.29pm and then everything behaved itself. I'll see how it goes over the next few days. I tend to plug the car in every day so it just stays topped up but I'm also ok with charging every few days - love the e-tron but the range isn't great.

I think charging at really low rates on Agile may outweigh the fact that you may have to charge at high rates once in a while.

One thought though, for Intelligent, do you need to let Octopus control it? I'd sooner use Home Assistant to automate charging on the 6 hour slot as I charge a battery too. If I need to charge to full over a couple of nights that's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #154 ·
Reading the comments from users on Agile with e-trons has been really interesting. As a Q4 owner, we really are all being part of a giant beta test for the makers of EVs and the providers of charge. My view on Intelligent is it is the next evolution on from Go for the everyday EV owner and from a provider who still offers an EV tariff!

At least when I signed up for Intelligent, Octopus did say as a Audi driver it was in beta!
 

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Quick update. I emailed OE support with the issue that the charge to get the timeslots doesn't stop but have yet to get a response.The problem happens every time if I let it do it's own thing.

However, I have solved this using automation. For anyone who has a charger (zappi for me) and other IoT devices they want to control (PV battery, hot water heating (Eddi), Nest etc) and has an interest in tech, then I strongly suggest getting a Raspberry Pi 4 and downloading the Home Assistant software. I use the automation to switch the Zappi to Fast mode for 1 minute when the car gets plugged in then switch back to Eco+. This is enough time to get the charging slots. I then set it back to Fast when a time slot starts and Eco+ when the slot ends. This way, the Zappi is in Fast mode when it needs to be for Octopus, and Eco+ the rest of the time to make use of PV generation. I also use it to charge the battery overnight and set the amount of charge based on predicted solar generation the following day and heat the hot water. It's an interesting project to play with and has some real world benefits.
 

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