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I charged last Friday at the EA station in Paso Robles using the app. No problems. Hardly had time to get a cup of coffee before I'd reached my target charge.
Yeah, despite all the complaining about slow charge speeds I often find that fast chargers are too fast to let me do what I want to do and get back in time to avoid having my car sitting idle in a charging spot. It's only when the fast chargers are out in the middle of nowhere that they seem "slow", and for those I keep a book to read in the car or if I'm on a road trip I often take a nap so that I'm nice and refreshed when I continue my journey.
 

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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?
That's not very pleasant. I recently made a long trip on my new EV and didn't found such an issue.
I was using Plugshare trip planner (plugshare.com/trip-planner.html) that was easily view all the best charging locations on the way! You should also try it.
 

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That's not very pleasant. I recently made a long trip on my new EV and didn't found such an issue.
I was using Plugshare trip planner (plugshare.com/trip-planner.html) that was easily view all the best charging locations on the way! You should also try it.
Unfortunately, EA is not only the best option in much of the US, it is the only option. It is understandable that they seem to be putting most of their effort into the west coast, but it makes for a pretty bad experience for the rest of us.
 

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Unfortunately, EA is not only the best option in much of the US, it is the only option. It is understandable that they seem to be putting most of their effort into the west coast, but it makes for a pretty bad experience for the rest of us.
I wonder if part of the disparity might be due to higher EV usage on the west coast that leads to higher utilization of the chargers, faster discovery of problems, and higher demand for repairs? In other words, the squeaky wheel gets the grease...
 

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I wonder if part of the disparity might be due to higher EV usage on the west coast that leads to higher utilization of the chargers, faster discovery of problems, and higher demand for repairs? In other words, the squeaky wheel gets the grease...
It is definitely a chicken and egg argument. Nobody wants EVs outside the west coast because they are too impractical, because you can't go anywhere with confidence, because EA doesn't fix broken chargers here for months, because nobody uses them here.
 

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Tried to use them at the Walmart in Burbank and two different stations didnt want to accept card payments. I tried multiple cards and then called their customer service. They apologized and gave me 30 mins of DCFC for free. I'm sure I'll try them again someday, I hope the card reader is working then.
 

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Tried to use them at the Walmart in Burbank and two different stations didnt want to accept card payments. I tried multiple cards and then called their customer service. They apologized and gave me 30 mins of DCFC for free. I'm sure I'll try them again someday, I hope the card reader is working then.
It wont be. The card readers are trash coast to coast. You have to get the Electrify America app on your phone, set up an account and pay using the phone app... not pay with the "tap to pay" phone option, actually use the app to start the charge.

Keith
 

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Went into Walmart here again this weekend and noticed a Kia Soul (with Quebec plates) pull into the EA Charging Station parking spot. I looked for the "EV" tag on the back end but didn't see it (although it was pretty dirty). The owner got out and started chit-chatting with another couple nearby (who were parked in a normal Walmart spot). As I walked toward the store, I looked back and there was no connection of the vehicle to the Charging Station. So I asked a Walmart employee in the store if they monitor the use of these Charging Stations at all, and the answer I got was, "this 'aint the North ... they can park there for 30 minutes! We never see anybody use those stations anyway!"

Huh?!?! So the guy hears my Boston accent and gives me a wise answer! There's a 10" sign beside each station that clearly says, "No Parking Unless Charging", but I just left it at that, shook my head, and walked away.

Now - I didn't think the Kia Soul even was EV-capable, but it turns out it is! Only has about 100 miles of range, though. Do you think this guy actually had a Kia Soul EV (all the way from Quebec, Canada), or was he just ICEing the EA Charging Station?

Next time I see this I'm going to ask the person how they like their EV and ask how much range it has. Good way to "inform" without being confrontational.
 

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Next time I see this I'm going to ask the person how they like their EV and ask how much range it has. Good way to "inform" without being confrontational.
That's a clever one. I've had to explain to a few people in crowded Walmart parkings that the 'EV charger' parking is for 'electric vehicles'. Everyone has taken it well so far, but you never know.
 

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It wont be. The card readers are trash coast to coast. You have to get the Electrify America app on your phone, set up an account and pay using the phone app... not pay with the "tap to pay" phone option, actually use the app to start the charge.

Keith
I may have mentioned it earlier in this thread, but I've had problems with the app as well as the card readers. Sometimes EA was unable to start the charge remotely. I'm wondering if there is a general wifi/internet connection problem....
 

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It is definitely a chicken and egg argument. Nobody wants EVs outside the west coast because they are too impractical, because you can't go anywhere with confidence, because EA doesn't fix broken chargers here for months, because nobody uses them here.
I was visiting a customer in St. Louis last week, and their parking lot had (roughly) 50 EV spaces with chargers, and they were all full. They appear to be covering the entire lot (which is pretty large) with solar arrays. Given that this is occasionally tornado conuntry, you can bet the supports for those panels were pretty substantial. The Hilton near the airport has a number of both Tesla and J-1772 chargers. It's not just the west coast.
 

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It is definitely a chicken and egg argument. Nobody wants EVs outside the west coast because they are too impractical, because you can't go anywhere with confidence, because EA doesn't fix broken chargers here for months, because nobody uses them here.
I was visiting a customer in St. Louis last week, and their parking lot had (roughly) 50 EV spaces with chargers, and they were all full. They appear to be covering the entire lot (which is pretty large) with solar arrays. Given that this is occasionally tornado country, you can bet the supports for those panels were pretty substantial. The Hilton near the airport has a number of both Tesla and J-1772 chargers. It's not just the west coast.
 

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I was visiting a customer in St. Louis last week, and their parking lot had (roughly) 50 EV spaces with chargers, and they were all full. They appear to be covering the entire lot (which is pretty large) with solar arrays. Given that this is occasionally tornado country, you can bet the supports for those panels were pretty substantial. The Hilton near the airport has a number of both Tesla and J-1772 chargers. It's not just the west coast.
Wow!. That is a crazy huge number. I assume these are J1772? What kind of business was this?
 

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Wow!. That is a crazy huge number. I assume these are J1772? What kind of business was this?
I believe they were all J1772, although there were a ton of Tesla vehicles in the lot. The units are (I think) operated by chargepoint. I was told that charging was (at least partially) subsidized by the company. I probably shouldn't say who it was, but that building was a lot of software development and operations. One wing is a data center. I was impressed as well. A year ago there were far fewer panels and chargers.
 

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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?
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?
I’ve had the same experience several times at EA, I just don’t go there any more... too bad especially because they are located at many places I would use and need!!! I go with EVGo, but they also have issues with the charge jsut stopping... right while you are eating in a restraint several blocks away!!!
 

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I’ve had the same experience several times at EA, I just don’t go there any more... too bad especially because they are located at many places I would use and need!!! I go with EVGo, but they also have issues with the charge jsut stopping... right while you are eating in a restraint several blocks away!!!
Have you tried the techniques listed in posts #14 and #24 of this thread? In short, always use the app to initiate the charge, and hold up the charging cable during the initial authorization process until it locks.

Electrify America is too widespread to avoid it as a charging network. Everyone here knows that it's annoying with the interaction of the heavy EA cable and the Bolt socket. It's also annoying that their on-board authorization systems are flaky too. But I would hate for anyone to get stranded because they avoid EA stations because initiating a charge has some annoying procedures.

I would advise doing another test run with this information and see how it goes.

Side question: Anyone who uses EA chargers and find a failed dispenser. Do you do anything with the station to indicate that it's not operating properly? I've come to understand that people get frustrated because it's not working when they pull up and there's no indication that it's not working. It's not like a gas station, which virtually all are attended, where a report of a failed pump immediately gets a red/yellow baggie over the handle. Anyone given though to trying something similar with EA chargers that are down?

ga2500ev
 

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That's not very pleasant. I recently made a long trip on my new EV and didn't found such an issue.
I was using Plugshare trip planner (plugshare.com/trip-planner.html) that was easily view all the best charging locations on the way! You should also try it.
I wonder if the EA charger problems are due to the fact that a ton of those chargers were government mandated installations to "pay" the fine for dieselgate, so EA never really cared if the chargers were any good. But they should care because the future of EV's for VW depends on that charging network.
 

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I don't think EA problems were deliberate. They had a couple of major issues. First was the fact that they had to get a whole lot of stations up and running with the 1st tranche of money in a very very short time frame (18 months). To accomplish this I believe they were purchasing from 4 different vendors, with a relatively new charging cable type, and trying to integrate in a separate backend for authorization and payment processing. It certainly is a tough systems integration problem.

It is then compounded by the fact that there are different implementations of the protocols on different EVs with different manufacturers. The recent story of the Taycan on the Cannonball run having an issue where it requests 350 kW at the beginning of the session then freaks out when the station delivers it. Or with the latching problem the Bolt has with the heavy cable upon initiation.

I think what happens though is that while other systems have these same systems integration problems, we all learn strategies to manage them. Gas stations have failed pumps. Or handles that won't click. Card readers that don't read. But in general there is someone on site to complain to. There are signals of stations having problems. We just hold the handle that won't click. I feel like as a group we are just learning those same types of strategies for EV charging. Any EA veteran knows to only use the app. Never tap your phone. Never use a credit card. Hold the handle while initiating the charge.

I think both Usain and Eric have pointed out that a failed session should only be declared if the entire site is down and there is no way to get a charge. And while people get annoyed when a session isn't perfect, almost always folks are able to get a charge and continue on.

It's getting to the point where it's the equivalent of: "I took my car to the gas station and one of the pumps had a red bag on it. I'm never going to gas up my car again!"

If possible, every EV salesperson should bring their new EV owner to a DCFC and walk them through the process along with tips for a successful DCFC charge. Part of the problem is that by not explaining the process, including taper, new EV folks equate fast charging to gassing up when they are in fact fundamentally different processes. Second is that because DCFC isn't necessarily required, it may be weeks or months before someone tries their first DCFC session leading to the "I'll never use them again." syndrome.

Part of this is on EA, EVGo, Chargepoint, and Greenlots. But honestly it should fall to EV salespeople to assist in that training. No one would just give a teenager a car and go "here you go, now scoot!" We should remember that many aspects of EV operation are new and different than the regular ICE driving experience, including charging.

ga2500ev
 

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Just drove from LA to PHX and back. Charged at 3 EA chargers along the way. On 1, the card reader wasn't working, so I moved to a different charger, and there were no problems. On the last one, it got stuck at "initializing" and I had to call support. They reset the charger and it released from my car. The rep asked what kind of car I had, and when I told her that I had a Bolt, she said "Oh, with the Bolt, since our chargers are so stiff and heavy, you need to support the cable until it initializes". Anyway, I had no real issues with EA (at the Walmarts in Indio, CA and Buckeye, AZ).
 
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