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Discussion Starter #1
Just did a ~800 mile roundtrip between NY and VA and was excited to use the EA Charging network for the first time. The excitement did not last long, both stops on way down took roughly 25-30 minutes of trial and error to get the chargers to work, and this was with a representative after first two failed attempts. Both stations were head in layout so right off the bat it was awkward with Bolt and that short, stiff, heavy cable, it was bending to left and just didn't feel secure. After each failure to initialize the app (on iPhone) would lock up and I'd have to relaunch, but then it would take 1-2 minutes for the charging site to populate on the map, very frustrating. Of course it was cold, wet, windy so just made for a miserable experience. The reps were friendly however and they tried their best to get me up and running but it got old quickly. On trip back to NY I gave it one more chance and on that occassion it only took two attempts and about 6-7 minutes but I'd still had enough and on my last stop to charge I just went with EVgo. Anyone with tips on making it a better experience or is it all hardware/software issues they need to iron out?
 

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I haven't had these issues myself. I use the app to start the charge, and it seems to work reliably. There are many charge pedestals that simply don't work though. I simply move my car to the next one until I eventually find a working charger. I always have, without having to call customer service. I've used EA in upstate NY down to the mid-atlantic (New Castle DE being the farthest south).

Given that you mentioned the app, I assume you were using it to initiate the sessions?
 

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I have experienced your pain. I have a 50% success rate when it comes to starting a charge. When it doesn't work, my credit card isn't recognized and the app won't start the charge either. I wind up calling EA and they look at their data and move me to a charger that has a better success rate. Very frustrating.
IMO, EA is a hot mess. The chargers and/or card readers are poorly designed and they are so unorganized they can't fix it. They claim this is all new equipment and technology and that some glitches should be expected. I say Tesla did it right...why can't EA do it right??? I had high hopes for EA but so far it's been very frustrating. I'm sick and tired of their excuses...just fix it!!!
 

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I use EA in Pennsylvania. I always have found at least one charger working in the bunch of chargers at any given location. That being said it's a pain in the tuckus having to move to a different charger or having to restart when the charge stops. But it has improved from the beginning of last year.
 

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Since I started to use the app for initiating the charge, it has always worked perfectly.

The most consistent thing about EA is that their support staff is very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. I hear that over and over again.

I used to track the success rate of all EA charging locations but it became too time consuming. I'm sad to hear that people are still having a lot of issues. EA needs to get the success rate to around 99.9% if there is any hope for non-Tesla EV's to take off in the US.
 

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I have similar experiences using EA chargers traveling from MA to PA. It was worse before I started using the app as the credit card readers are pretty much useless. I have also found customer service to be friendly and helpful. I've found EVgo chargers to be much more reliable but they are not as plentiful and I need to rely on EA to complete my route. Supposedly they are working on a new system called Plug-and-Charge.
According to their website: "We’re working on exciting new technology that will recognize your car and associated payment method right when you plug in. Stay tuned for new developments." Let's hope things improve. In the meantime plan on trip delays and always have a plan B......arriving at a scheduled charger with enough range left to make it to an alternate charger.
 

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I wonder if VW realizes that EA kind of represents VW, as their funding originates from their past sins? In that vein, why would I buy a VW? If EA represents what VW can currently achieve, then I can expect an unreliable car - exactly what I don't want. Maybe the old saying applies, "Once a screwed-up company, always a ....
 

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Just got my Bolt last Friday and I drove 90 miles on Sat morning and afternoon. Stopped by an EA DCFC station in So. Cal. Downloaded the app on the spot and set up my account and put in my CC. I accidentally click not adding it to my Apple Wallet on my iPhone. When I tried to use the phone to tap to charge, nothing happened. There were 4 stations and no other car there. Two of them were not working. I then just insert my CC to the reader to try to initiate the charge. Then the charger I plugged into became unavailable so I had to unplug and plug the one next to it. Finally I was able to get it going. I had 180 miles left before charging, so it took only 15 min to get to 80% (210 miles range). Including the $1 session fee, I paid $5.80 for 30 miles range. That is NOT cheaper than gas.

Also, I dislike the auto charge on your CC once your account balance falls below $5. There's no way to disable that auto reload feature. I ended up deleting my account on Monday morning. I saw they had a pending $50 charge on my CC. Hopefully they won't really charge me. I'll try Greenlots at work and EVgo near my home next.
 

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Picked up my Bolt last month and drove from Socal(Buena Park) to Norcal(Roseville). 430-450 miles and my 3 rest/charge stops were all Electrify America. Didn’t have any issues using the app. Didn’t like the cc auto-fill either.
 

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I had 180 miles left before charging, so it took only 15 min to get to 80% (210 miles range). Including the $1 session fee, I paid $5.80 for 30 miles range. That is NOT cheaper than gas.
You picked just about the worst scenario for cost effectiveness. Short session, so the $1 fee cannot be amortized. Starting at a high SoC so the car charges slowly (you are paying per minute, not kWh - yet).

My last EA session cost $5.88 for 23kWh. Granted, I also pay $4/month to get the lower rate, but I use EA at least 4x/month. So add $1. $6.88 for 23kWh. At the nominal efficiency, that's about 87 miles for $6.88. At today's gas prices of $2.50/gallon, that's pricing equivalent to 31MPG. For hot-hatch performance, that is cheaper than gas.

I am happy to pay the same as gas at EA. I get 90% of my charge at home, which is much cheaper than gas (less than half the price). Who cares if I don't save for the other 10%? If I take a 300-mile trip, only 1/3 of my energy is from EA. The other 2/3 is much cheaper.
 

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I always use the app, hold the charger up a bit as initializing and it works pretty well for me. It took me a while to get the hang of using EE charging, but I think I've got it now
 

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Just got my Bolt last Friday and I drove 90 miles on Sat morning and afternoon. Stopped by an EA DCFC station in So. Cal. Downloaded the app on the spot and set up my account and put in my CC. I accidentally click not adding it to my Apple Wallet on my iPhone. When I tried to use the phone to tap to charge, nothing happened. There were 4 stations and no other car there. Two of them were not working. I then just insert my CC to the reader to try to initiate the charge. Then the charger I plugged into became unavailable so I had to unplug and plug the one next to it. Finally I was able to get it going. I had 180 miles left before charging, so it took only 15 min to get to 80% (210 miles range). Including the $1 session fee, I paid $5.80 for 30 miles range. That is NOT cheaper than gas.

Also, I dislike the auto charge on your CC once your account balance falls below $5. There's no way to disable that auto reload feature. I ended up deleting my account on Monday morning. I saw they had a pending $50 charge on my CC. Hopefully they won't really charge me. I'll try Greenlots at work and EVgo near my home next.
"Tap to charge" is NOT using the app to initiate a charge, and it don't work worth a crap on IOS with the Electrify America chargers. Anywhere you are charging to 80% you are wasting money, only charge past 66% if you have to, and avoid charging past 50% if possible... and never charge past 80% other than in an emergency.

Keith
 

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I wonder if VW realizes that EA kind of represents VW, as their funding originates from their past sins? In that vein, why would I buy a VW? If EA represents what VW can currently achieve, then I can expect an unreliable car - exactly what I don't want. Maybe the old saying applies, "Once a screwed-up company, always a ....
I believe the number of people that connect EA to VW is in the hundreds at best. It's really not that well known. I'm looking forward to seeing what VW is going to offer. They may have funded EA, but EA doesn't represent VW in my opinion. I want VW to succeed, we need more success stories.
 

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Two things I have found that increase success dramatically-Use the app, not a credit card or NFC on the phone, and hold the charger cable a little up and into the charger port in the first 5-10 seconds of the charge initiation. As others have noted, the Bolt is prone to have problems with DCFC nozzles locking onto the charge port, especially when using the very heavy and stiff EA cables, as they are a cooled cable.
 

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If it won't stay in place when you plug in, sounds like a design problem of the plug... did EA design it too small to prevent it from getting stuck while at the same time causing it to fail in locking?
 

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Well, only my opinion, but I think the main problem is the torque that heavy and stiff cable puts on the port. Plus, the cable needs to be about 3 feet longer, as it literally puts the entire weight of the cable onto the charger port, as there is no sag at all. This leads to the plug not being in line with the charge port and trouble locking onto the port. By lifting up on the cable and perhaps pushing it towards the charge port, it negates the weight of the cable and puts it back in line.
 

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I've had trouble with the weight of the cord problem which is mostly solved by (like others above have said) holing up on the cord while the charge initiates. The other issue I've had is when the charge does fail and throws an error code there is no way to exit out of the error and return the unit to a ready state and try again. You have to move the car to another stall and try again because it seems to me anyway that it takes 5 minutes or so for the error screen to just naturally disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, and as I said every time it failed to initialize the app would freeze up, i would have to close it and relaunch and then wait another couple minutes for charging sites to populate on the map in order to initiate a new session.

I haven't had these issues myself. I use the app to start the charge, and it seems to work reliably. There are many charge pedestals that simply don't work though. I simply move my car to the next one until I eventually find a working charger. I always have, without having to call customer service. I've used EA in upstate NY down to the mid-atlantic (New Castle DE being the farthest south).

Given that you mentioned the app, I assume you were using it to initiate the sessions?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, I will definitely try supporting cable during initializing, seems many have similar issues with short, stiff, heavy cable and insecure connection.
I always use the app, hold the charger up a bit as initializing and it works pretty well for me. It took me a while to get the hang of using EE charging, but I think I've got it now
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think you're absolutely right, I imagine the sites where the layout allows you to pull Bolt up to the side of the charger has higher success rate, the cord can hang freely and not so much torque on the Bolt's connector.
Well, only my opinion, but I think the main problem is the torque that heavy and stiff cable puts on the port. Plus, the cable needs to be about 3 feet longer, as it literally puts the entire weight of the cable onto the charger port, as there is no sag at all. This leads to the plug not being in line with the charge port and trouble locking onto the port. By lifting up on the cable and perhaps pushing it towards the charge port, it negates the weight of the cable and puts it back in line.
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