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Discussion Starter #21
So is it an EA engineering failure or a Chevrolet failure? I haven't read many reports about other companies' chargers.
I have not yet seen a single report of a DCFC initialization issue with a Bolt and a chargepoint charger
 

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So is it an EA engineering failure or a Chevrolet failure? I haven't read many reports about other companies' chargers.
I don't know. I would think with my non-engineering mindset that it would be nice for EA or Chevrolet to acknowledge the issue and give their opinion. I would not be surprised if it becomes a finger pointing game but at this point I don't think anyone has acknowledged that someone, under certain circumstances, has to hold the nozzle up. I know a couple Bolt owners who visit a charger 90 miles south of me that I met in Illinois. I was L2'ing it at a Target and one of them was at the DCFC side and had to do the lift the handle game to get it to work. I watched it, stood next to him. He didn't get it right so actually had to do the dance twice. I don't go to many other forums, I have not heard of it on the BMW i3 forum, but I'm not on any others so that means very little if anything. I visit a couple Tesla forums, but also of no value.
 

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I have not yet seen a single report of a DCFC initialization issue with a Bolt and a chargepoint charger
Good point, I'm going to message two of my friends to get their opinion. I'm not a resource for this discussion, I L2 only, at home 99.9%. It would be nice to find out if any other EV make/models have ever had to lift their thingy to initiate.
 

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Thank you Wonderbolt for putting together these thoughts. I try to comment on PlugShare as "unable to charge" to lower their score. I'll be sure to report them directly to EA in the future.

Unfortunately, avoiding the EFACEC chargers is impossible for me. Herkimer NY has no DCFC alternatives, and it's a wide gap from Albany to Waterloo. I have been fortunate that, for the most part, at least one charger has worked when I needed it. I see that they are all down right now - hopefully EA repairs all four of them ASAP, as I have a few trips coming up.

As much of a pain as EA is, they are still a boon to EV drivers. I've been driving EVs since 2012, long before CCS was even a thing. I don't think Tesla can go it alone, and I want to be part of the solution in providing more options for the market. So I will keep on supporting EA and EVGo.
 

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Unfortunately, avoiding the EFACEC chargers is impossible for me.
There was an issue with EFACEC over the summer that especially affected EFACEC chargers in hot climates. The manufacturer provided a fix and EA rolled out that fix to all of their stations. That is probably the reason that EFACEC locations have a lower PlugShare score. So it might be that today they are just as reliable as the others.
 

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But does that explain why the EFACEC chargers in Herkimer NY went down in late January, and still aren't up (according to PlugShare)? I mean, I get that it could be coincidence - even the highest reliability chargers aren't perfect. But right now, 4 of 4 chargers are out of order, in a cold climate.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
There was an issue with EFACEC over the summer that especially affected EFACEC chargers in hot climates. The manufacturer provided a fix and EA rolled out that fix to all of their stations. That is probably the reason that EFACEC locations have a lower PlugShare score. So it might be that today they are just as reliable as the others.
These are continuing issues, Erie is down now, Herkimer is down, both all four chargers, and only two of four chargers are operational at Waterloo and fredonia ny.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
But does that explain why the EFACEC chargers in Herkimer NY went down in late January, and still aren't up (according to PlugShare)? I mean, I get that it could be coincidence - even the highest reliability chargers aren't perfect. But right now, 4 of 4 chargers are out of order, in a cold climate.
As of today EA has reported that both Erie and Herkimer are back up, I have travels planned soon and would like to take the EV, I would like to see successful check ins before I travel too...
 

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...EA appears to have used four different DCFC station manufacturers, EFACEC, ABB, Signet, and BTC.

  • EFACEC stations have the handles/connectors stored on the side of the station
  • ABB stations have the handles/connectors stored in front and the card reader between the connectors
  • Signet stations have the handles/connectors stored in front and the card reader above the buttons
  • BTC handles/connectors stored in front LEFT justified, cabinet lock to the right of the connectors, card reader below the buttons
Pictures attached below.

For the small sample of stations I looked at I was unable to draw any conclusion between ABB, Signet, and BTC, however it quickly became clear to me that where EA used EFACEC stations those locations have proven extremely unreliable.

Conclusion:

  • Avoid EFACEC stations wherever possible
View attachment 28295 View attachment 28296 View attachment 28297 View attachment 28298
FYI: adding to your efforts here, I just noticed that a new design popping up from Signet also have the handles on the sides.

3F5BF077-0A2E-45B8-A3F2-5D12321749AE.jpeg
 

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It’s too bad they don’t design some kind of “Self-Check” or “Test Mode” into these charging stations where you could simply press a button on the unit to run it (kind of like “Lamp Test” on an electrical panel). Seems like it’d be a good idea to have such a feature since these stations have no “supervision”.

Even though I don’t own an EV yet, I would still press the button at the stations local to me to auto-update their statuses (or even report the findings on a website for others’ benefit ... wouldn’t take long to do, and I go by these stations at least weekly)...
 

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It’s too bad they don’t design some kind of “Self-Check” or “Test Mode” into these charging stations where you could simply press a button on the unit to run it (kind of like “Lamp Test” on an electrical panel).
I'd be pretty surprised if these stations aren't network managed and report faults as soon as they're detected. The problem is that you can't really detect some faults until the unit tries to swipe a card or it put under load.
 

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In my experience, the issues at Electrify America sites typically occur early on. Essentially, the more the site is used over time, the more reliable it becomes.

In a recent video, one of my suggestions to EA is that they reach out to the local EV communities and invite owners to participate in an opening ceremony. Have a variety of different EVs charging with technicians onsite: work out the bugs, load test the system, etc.
 

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@wonderbolt - I have definitely had issues with a Chargepoint DCFC - the one in Blue Earth, MN. And others have as well. Both times I used it, I had to call for assistance and we did eventually get it working but it was not a smooth, trouble free experience.
 

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Are we talking about the failure to get past initialization after plugging in? I believe this is a known problem with the Bolt and many EA chargers. I've had this happen quite a bit and can sometimes work around it by lifting the charge handle during initialization so the mechanism will lock. I've never had the issue on the few ChargePoint chargers I've used.
It is a problem with the Bolt EV and HUBER+SUHNER cables, which are heavy, liquid-cooled cables. For most of the country, only Electrify America uses H+S cables, but in California, EVgo and Recargo also use the H+S cables at their 150+ kW charging sites.

The Bolt EV does not have an issue with ChargePoint's cables that I have experienced, including a 125 kW CPE 250 charger that I have used. I do not know if that was the same cable as ChargePoint's liquid-cooled cable capable of supporting up to 500 kW, but if it is, it indicates that the H+S cables are unnecessarily heavy and unwieldy.

I'll say that activating a charging session in the Bolt EV while using those heavier cables is definitely an issue; however, it seems like there's plenty of blame to go around.
 

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In my experience, the issues at Electrify America sites typically occur early on. Essentially, the more the site is used over time, the more reliable it becomes.

In a recent video, one of my suggestions to EA is that they reach out to the local EV communities and invite owners to participate in an opening ceremony. Have a variety of different EVs charging with technicians onsite: work out the bugs, load test the system, etc.
(y)

I wish there was a way to know when they were going to go live with the tech's on site. I would gladly drive out and help them test if I could. Waiting for the ones to open in Alabama, where there will be few alternatives if we have issues early on, a multi vehicle test would be very beneficial for all involved. My Bolt is ready to go. I know of several others in the Atlanta area waiting to get the infrastructure through Alabama up and running as well.
 

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(y)

I wish there was a way to know when they were going to go live with the tech's on site. I would gladly drive out and help them test if I could. Waiting for the ones to open in Alabama, where there will be few alternatives if we have issues early on, a multi vehicle test would be very beneficial for all involved. My Bolt is ready to go. I know of several others in the Atlanta area waiting to get the infrastructure through Alabama up and running as well.
Maybe we can keep after them. I've already reached out to EA through their website about a local site that is coming online soon. My local EV advocates group wants to host a ribbon cutting event with local elected officials. I still haven't heard back from EA.

Perhaps I should make another standalone video addressing it directly and suggesting that they invite local EV owners to a soft opening. Something as important as the first public DC fast charging site in the state of Alabama should probably get a little press.
 

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(y)

I wish there was a way to know when they were going to go live with the tech's on site.
The obvious answer would be to have them post a PlugShare comment a few days ahead of time along the lines of "the site will go live on 2020-xx-xx and we invite people to come and test their vehicles while the techs are onsite". I'm sure they'd get plenty of takers and it saves them the trouble of trying to figure out who to contact in the local community.
 
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