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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new CA Bolt Premier owner and struck out on my first beyond range trip. I planned a route north on I-5 using Plug Share and there were 2 DC fast chargers on my route. I decided to stop at both of them, even though I really needed to charge at only one of the two locations. I arrived at the first charger in Williams, CA. It was a Charge Point charger. I used it without incident and was feeling pretty confident. I didn't fully charge through as I planned to stop a second time, and the rate of charging decreases as it gets close to full charge. I proceeded north to the second charger in Corning, CA. A sign was attached to the charger saying it was out of commission for safety reasons. It was also a Charge Point, the same charger I had used in Williams. I realized that proceeding to my destination and returning all the way home would leave me too tight on my battery, so I would need to stop at the first charger again on my return trip. But that would be pretty late at night, and I wasn't thrilled about having to stop late. I finished going to my destination and I arrived many hours early with time to kill and think. So I decided to go to a different town, Chico, CA which has lots of Level 2 and a DC fast charger. I reasoned I could fully charge there, return to where my business was and then make it home without having to stop again. I made it to Chico, and that Charge Point DC Fast Charger had the same notice on it as the one in Corning. It was shut down due to safety concerns. All the Level 2 chargers were being used. At this point, I abandoned the reason for my trip in the first place and followed the fastest route to home. I was afraid that by the time I got back to Williams, that charger might be shut down as well. By driving on secondary roads, turning off the air conditioning and driving in L, I made it home with about 30 miles to spare in "Minimum" miles scenario. But this all left me with questions: 1) Why are the Charge Point DC chargers shut down? 2) What app would have given me that info? and 3) Why was the first one in Williams still working? I felt good that I made it home and was able to alter my driving to increase my range, but overall I don't think this experience helped me with my range anxiety. I hope there is a more reliable way to know if chargers that you are planning to use are working. Also, Plug Share (I don't think) told me that these were Charge Point chargers, so even if I had known there was a Charge Point problem, I may not have known that the chargers I planned on using were impacted by that problem.
 

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Hmm. Did you note your experience in PlugShare? I see a notice on the one in Chico, Dunsmuir, Redding, and Yreka. No notice on the one in Corning or Williams. The ChargePoint app lists the Corning charger as "No Status" along with the others. Williams looks fine.

I haven't been paying attention, but I'm not aware of any sort of recall on those units. Those sites have always worked fine for me. It's those same units installed along Highway 101 that have been problematic.

It seems like really odd timing given the number of 125 A Tritium chargers ChargePoint is just about to bring online along that route. Some are being replaced with faster chargers (Dunsmuir and Yreka), but leaving the route without 24 kW chargers for a few months while those faster chargers are being activated seems, well, dumb.

The route is still open for a vehicle like the Bolt EV as long as you drive cautiously two and from the 50 kW charger in Redding. I'm not sure how well smaller battery EVs would handle it.
 

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A rather large # of those chargers are down at the moment in Calif. For example, on US-101 between San Jose and Los Angeles most of those 24 kW DCFCs are down.
 

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I'm a new CA Bolt Premier owner and struck out on my first beyond range trip. I planned a route north on I-5 using Plug Share and there were 2 DC fast chargers on my route. I decided to stop at both of them, even though I really needed to charge at only one of the two locations. I arrived at the first charger in Williams, CA. It was a Charge Point charger. I used it without incident and was feeling pretty confident. I didn't fully charge through as I planned to stop a second time, and the rate of charging decreases as it gets close to full charge. I proceeded north to the second charger in Corning, CA. A sign was attached to the charger saying it was out of commission for safety reasons. It was also a Charge Point, the same charger I had used in Williams. I realized that proceeding to my destination and returning all the way home would leave me too tight on my battery, so I would need to stop at the first charger again on my return trip. But that would be pretty late at night, and I wasn't thrilled about having to stop late. I finished going to my destination and I arrived many hours early with time to kill and think. So I decided to go to a different town, Chico, CA which has lots of Level 2 and a DC fast charger. I reasoned I could fully charge there, return to where my business was and then make it home without having to stop again. I made it to Chico, and that Charge Point DC Fast Charger had the same notice on it as the one in Corning. It was shut down due to safety concerns. All the Level 2 chargers were being used. At this point, I abandoned the reason for my trip in the first place and followed the fastest route to home. I was afraid that by the time I got back to Williams, that charger might be shut down as well. By driving on secondary roads, turning off the air conditioning and driving in L, I made it home with about 30 miles to spare in "Minimum" miles scenario. But this all left me with questions: 1) Why are the Charge Point DC chargers shut down? 2) What app would have given me that info? and 3) Why was the first one in Williams still working? I felt good that I made it home and was able to alter my driving to increase my range, but overall I don't think this experience helped me with my range anxiety. I hope there is a more reliable way to know if chargers that you are planning to use are working. Also, Plug Share (I don't think) told me that these were Charge Point chargers, so even if I had known there was a Charge Point problem, I may not have known that the chargers I planned on using were impacted by that problem.
When I plan a trip, I don't exclusively rely on PlugShare; they are promoting public and private charging stations. Private stations are for the exclusive of their employees and customer. I always call EVgo first -- their customer service operators are very reliable and helpful. I identify a CCS charge station on PlugShare, then call EVgo or Charge Point to confirm that it is operational by asking when the station was last used. If it was within the past 2 days, I am reassured that the station will provide a successful charge.

If you are at a station and you are having problems, call customer service, give them the number marked on the unit and, if it is operational, they will activate it remotely for you.

It is best to have account with the 3 major providers: EVgo, Charge Point, and Sema Connect. I've been doing this for 6 months now, and have never had a problem. Hope you find this information helpful.
 

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Notice from Plugshare:
"ChargePoint is an independent provider of electric vehicle charging stations. Notice: ChargePoint has chosen to stop providing real-time status data to PlugShare."
They have their own website: https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point
I feel like the updates have always been inconsistent anyway. That's why it's imperative that PlugShare users check in and update the statuses of public chargers they use.
 

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Man that sucks. Nothing really to add, but yeah that for sure is a no good experience. Type of rubbish what makes me think Volts are better for road trippers..

I'm still thinking about ordering up a Tesla adapter dealio and I don't even road trip hardly ever. And I have a gas car. But still considering buying one to expand my options on L2 destinations. Not that it would have necessarily helped in this particular situation.. but I think these incidents shows that for the time being you do have to have multiple options open. Even though it shouldn't be like this. And hopefully one day it wont.
 

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Honestly this is one of my biggest fears when I think about Road Tripping the Bolt, even if you do your research, find chargers along your route (or adjust your route to stay close to chargers, as you'd need to do to travel between NorCal and SoCal) you could run into an inoperative charger and could be completely SOL. With so few chargers in place as it is you could be forced to find an L2 (or sometimes L1) charger and wait around for HOURS just to get enough range to get to the next (hopefully open) charger.

A perfect example is my oft-used scenario of a L.A. to Vegas trip, now there's an EVgo charger in Baker and that's great, but if I made that trip, even keeping speeds down at or below 65MPH (will be getting passed by semis at this speed) I'm going to roll into Baker with under 10% battery. If let's say the night before some tweakers decided to cut the cords off the EVgo station so they can sell them for $3 worth of copper what are my options? There are no L2 chargers in Baker, there is an RV park that will rent you use of a 220V plug but that means I need to either unbolt my JuiceBox from the wall and bring it with me "just in case" or I need to buy a separate portable L2 EVSE. Even then the closest L2 charger is ~50 miles away and the next closest L3 charger is ~100 miles away so you'd be looking at charging for at least 3-4 hours in Baker just to get enough range to go to Stateline/Primm where you would need to spend another 2-3 hours on L2 (at least you'd have something to do there).

There also needs to be a centralized service that shows real-time information/status for all the major commercial charging providers (including the smaller ones like Greenlots). That doesn't need to be PlugShare but it should exist and be functional.
 

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Hmm. Did you note your experience in PlugShare?
Yes, yes, yes! Plugshare's "rating" and comments let you know if there's a problem with a charger, and let you provide feedback to help others avoid falling into this trap. I wish that every EV driver would use it and contribute their experiences.
 

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...If let's say the night before some tweakers decided to cut the cords off the EVgo station so they can sell them for $3 worth of copper what are my options? There are no L2 chargers in Baker, there is an RV park that will rent you use of a 220V plug but that means I need to either unbolt my JuiceBox from the wall and bring it with me "just in case"...
This is exactly why I carry a Tesla UMC with a TeslaTap and adapters for four different plug types. I'm retired, so if push comes to shove and I need to sit around for a few hours charging it's not a deal breaker. To me having emergency charging capability is like having a spare tire.
 

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This is exactly why I carry a Tesla UMC with a TeslaTap and adapters for four different plug types. I'm retired, so if push comes to shove and I need to sit around for a few hours charging it's not a deal breaker. To me having emergency charging capability is like having a spare tire.
It's sad that something like this is effectively an essential item for anyone who's considering road tripping the Bolt. I'm in a better position than most people because I can always borrow the Tesla CMC that came with my moms Model S so I'd only need to buy a TeslaTap to give myself maximum flexibility. Still my spare tire was only ~$150 where a just a TeslaTap is $230 and for a UMC+TeslaTap you're going to pay $530.
 

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Bummer. I've been tracking this for about 3 weeks (mainly the Chico one since I had this happen on a trip back from Vina to Yuba City a couple of weeks ago). The Sierra Nevada Brewery DCFC was out with a note on it about some safety reason; someone on Plugshare seemed to indicate it was an issue with the manufacturer but there's no way to confirm this. Anyhow, I also noticed a week or so later that other units were also down as you described. I've used the one in Chico so many times and it's always been fine and kept in great shape so something must be up. Either it's a recall ... no one has indicated this or it's an upgrade. I did put in a ticket with Chargepoint about two weeks ago and never heard anything back. This is kind of a major issue; a workaround at least if you're going to Redding is just to use the newer 50kwh Chargepoint off of Dana drive near Target; it's much better. I think they're putting another DCFC in Mt. Shasta City which should be wonderful. It's slim pickn's up there when it comes to DCFC. And keep your powder dry.
 

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On another site the official "ChargePoint" user announced a while back that all of their new DCFCs on I-5 (in the CEC plan) would be up "by October".

It's Sep 26th ...
 

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Notice from Plugshare:
"ChargePoint is an independent provider of electric vehicle charging stations. Notice: ChargePoint has chosen to stop providing real-time status data to PlugShare."
They have their own website: https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point
Interesting. That explains why I have not come across a ChargePoint charger this year, if it is not in Plugshare. I have only charged twice using ChargePoint, last year, and one of the chargers was broken. This year, I have used EVgo all the time.
 

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On another site the official "ChargePoint" user announced a while back that all of their new DCFCs on I-5 (in the CEC plan) would be up "by October".

It's Sep 26th ...
A number of them have already been built, from the sounds of it; however, they haven't been listed on PlugShare yet. The Mount Shasta unit has, but it seems like it wasn't posted by ChargePoint. If you look on ChargePoint's app, it's not even listed, and ChargePoint's app even lists EVgo chargers!
 

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Honestly this is one of my biggest fears when I think about Road Tripping the Bolt, even if you do your research, find chargers along your route (or adjust your route to stay close to chargers, as you'd need to do to travel between NorCal and SoCal) you could run into an inoperative charger and could be completely SOL. With so few chargers in place as it is you could be forced to find an L2 (or sometimes L1) charger and wait around for HOURS just to get enough range to get to the next (hopefully open) charger.

A perfect example is my oft-used scenario of a L.A. to Vegas trip, now there's an EVgo charger in Baker and that's great, but if I made that trip, even keeping speeds down at or below 65MPH (will be getting passed by semis at this speed) I'm going to roll into Baker with under 10% battery. If let's say the night before some tweakers decided to cut the cords off the EVgo station so they can sell them for $3 worth of copper what are my options? There are no L2 chargers in Baker, there is an RV park that will rent you use of a 220V plug but that means I need to either unbolt my JuiceBox from the wall and bring it with me "just in case" or I need to buy a separate portable L2 EVSE. Even then the closest L2 charger is ~50 miles away and the next closest L3 charger is ~100 miles away so you'd be looking at charging for at least 3-4 hours in Baker just to get enough range to go to Stateline/Primm where you would need to spend another 2-3 hours on L2 (at least you'd have something to do there).
While that is a valid concern, the truth is that it's still a concern even for Tesla owners. While the specific route you quoted is more robust for Tesla (it's overbuilt, in my opinion), there are many stretches of road where, if one Supercharger goes down (for whatever reason, vandalism, accident, etc.), owners would be stuck for a day.

The primary use case I've seen cited by Tesla owners at the destination chargers I've used is that they were bridging the gap between Supercharger locations (typically, 50 to 100 miles). In those cases, if the Supercharger on either end went down, the two to four hours spent at those destination chargers would turn into an overnight stay.

We're pretty much all in this together until we have redundant networks with chargers every 10 to 20 miles of freeway corridor. And that still wouldn't eliminate some of the extreme cases (we see a number of occurrences where ICE vehicles can be stranded and unable to travel). The wilderness is not a forgiving place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Reading all the comments has been very helpful, and I鈥檓 glad to know it鈥檚 not just me having these problems. I did report my experience in Plug Share and ChargePoint. I also called Charge Point and was told it wasn鈥檛 a systemic problem, like a recall. As a newbie, I don鈥檛 know anything about Tesla adapters. Can someone direct me to where I can find out the pros and cons of getting adapters, as well as what the exact products are that I would need to get. Also I didn鈥檛 know that getting a portable L2 was a possibility. What is that about?
 

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Reading all the comments has been very helpful, and I鈥檓 glad to know it鈥檚 not just me having these problems. I did report my experience in Plug Share and ChargePoint. I also called Charge Point and was told it wasn鈥檛 a systemic problem, like a recall. As a newbie, I don鈥檛 know anything about Tesla adapters. Can someone direct me to where I can find out the pros and cons of getting adapters, as well as what the exact products are that I would need to get. Also I didn鈥檛 know that getting a portable L2 was a possibility. What is that about?
Info on Tesla adapter:

https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/266-chargers-components/25625-teslatap-tesla-j1772-adapter.html

following might not be the best thread, but the title was most applicable for a portable EVSE:

https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/82-...mmendations-light-portable-car-level-2-a.html
 

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Interesting. That explains why I have not come across a ChargePoint charger this year, if it is not in Plugshare. I have only charged twice using ChargePoint, last year, and one of the chargers was broken. This year, I have used EVgo all the time.
Just to clarify: ChargePoint chargers are listed on the PlugShare website, it's just their availability that is not reported.
 

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Just to clarify: ChargePoint chargers are listed on the PlugShare website, it's just their availability that is not reported.
Yes, but it sounds like ChargePoint won't be adding them (like Electrify America has been doing). So it's going to be even more important for the PlugShare community to add them (whether encountering them in real life or identifying them through the ChargePoint app).
 
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