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What a trip. Makes my 3 hour delay on the way to Yosemite on Friday seem like a walk in the park.

Looking at the map of Oregon on PlugShare, one would think I-5 was well-served but the reality is that about half the locations are 24kW DCFCs, so it doesn't take many failed stations to really mess things up.

I will say that the reliability of the DCFC units is a never-ending mystery. It took me 5 tries on Friday at a station that I've used numerous times before. If there had been any other DCFC within 50 miles, I would've given up after the 3rd try.
 

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Unless you own a Tesla, that is the unfortunate sorry state of public EV charging in the USA currently. Tesla's number one asset is not their battery IP or even their vehicles.. it's their very reliable SC network which you can pretty much count on working all the time.
Except in... California (and maybe a couple other pockets/corridors around the country), which is why I took such exception to the framing of this thread.

While what you say about the Tesla Supercharger Network is mostly true, the bigger advantage the Supercharger Network has is consistency. The lowest speeds you'll see are at 72 kW "Urban" Superchargers, or maybe occasionally sharing a cabinet (splitting 120 kW) or an overloaded site that is throttled to 25 kW. But those are by far the exceptions or poo-pooed as rare inconveniences. Overall, though, every Supercharger a Tesla owner encounters is likely to be matched to their car in terms of speed.

The public charging infrastructure, on the other hand, is judged by its lowest common denominators. Aging 24 kW and 100 A "50 kW" charging sites are still open and available to the public, and though they are not representative even of the majority of the public charging infrastructure, they are often what people point to when they are making criticisms. This has been happening since the Bolt EV first came out.

Dawn Hall made her now famous trip from San Jose to Pasadena in a Bolt EV in early 2017, attempting to drive 85 mph while using 24 kW and L1 and L2 AC chargers, and the failure of the public charging infrastructure was the story. Forget the fact that many other EV owners at the time were leveraging 125 A, 50 kW chargers along those same routes at the same time. I was regularly driving 500 miles up and down California in around 10 to 11 hours in my Bolt EV. Tony Williams drove his JdeMo equipped RAV4 EV from San Diego to the Bay Area in 11 hours. But no, the singleton 24 kW chargers and the woeful state of the charging infrastructure were the focus even then.

Fast forward to today, and despite the fact that there are dozens of 150+ kW public DCFC sites up and down California along major corridors with near-perfect PlugShare scores, the focus is still on the aging, onesy-twosy 125 A or slower DC fast chargers, some of which were installed years before the Bolt EV was even released (and I'm sure are in dire need of an overhaul if not an entire site update).
 

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I agree that consistent charging performance is critical, especially within a charging network. If EA could give all CCS users a consistent experience with all stations working or at least make it so their app updated with what stations were not working they could be a very viable alternative to Tesla. They have plenty of stations, they are well placed and well thought out charging rates. EAs consistency is getting better its just not quire there yet.
 

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I agree that consistent charging performance is critical, especially within a charging network. If EA could give all CCS users a consistent experience with all stations working or at least make it so their app updated with what stations were not working they could be a very viable alternative to Tesla. They have plenty of stations, they are well placed and well thought out charging rates. EAs consistency is getting better its just not quire there yet.
Well, Electrify America is fairly consistent, but unfortunately, it's not always in the best ways.

I'd say that, on average, about 20% of their chargers are partially or fully down and unavailable at any given time. That's not a big deal at an 8 or 10 charger site, but it starts to get worrisome at 3 to 4 charger sites. It also means that, for every four or five perfect sites with zero chargers down, there's a site that might be completely down. I actually think it might be useful to do a breakdown of EA sites by percentage of chargers down versus charger manufacturer. I'm sure EA already has that data, which is why they are revisiting their contracts. Also, before people get hung up on that, it's been my consistent experience that, even when one or more chargers are down, the chargers that are displayed as up activate for me on the first attempt, which is why EA is still the only provider that has given me 100% success at activating a charge at their sites.

Recently, the biggest issue with EA's consistency has been speed. A number of their sites are currently running at 100 A. That's simply unacceptable for a charger that's listed as 150 kW to 350 kW. For cars like the Bolt EV, Kona Electric, and Niro EV, it's not that big of a deal. Your charge is going to take about 20 to 30 minutes longer than it would have otherwise, but hey, you're charging. For bigger battery EV's that can charge significantly faster than 75 kW under normal circumstances (e-tron, I-PACE, Taycan, etc.), that is simply unacceptable. I have a suspicion, though, that EA might have intentionally slowed these chargers down because either the liquid cooling system is not up and running properly or the site is slated for a Powerpack upgrade (i.e., EA doesn't want to have to pay the enormous demand fees while they wait for demand-shaving, grid-tied energy storage). When more faster charging EVs hit the road, these chargers need to consistently be outputting 350 A to 500 A of current.

The other aspect of consistency is in the payment methods. For those who use the EA app, the experience is amazingly consistent. There are still things EA needs to fix with their app (it always forgets your log in after a day or so, it doesn't automatically detect your site location, it is based on your cell phone service so the connection can be dicey at times, etc.); however, past a few small issue, the app is the most consistent way to interface with EA chargers. Plug-and-charge functionality will take it to the next level, but my guess is, it will be another six months before we see that. For all others, the payment method is a mixed back. The Nayax payment system is one of the worst I've ever seen. I can't speak to whether it's that bad on EVgo chargers (I haven't seen the same number of complaints because I use an RFID card), but on EA chargers, they are the last method you want to use for activating a charge.
 

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Well, Electrify America is fairly consistent, but unfortunately, it's not always in the best ways.

I'd say that, on average, about 20% of their chargers are partially or fully down and unavailable at any given time. That's not a big deal at an 8 or 10 charger site, but it starts to get worrisome at 3 to 4 charger sites. It also means that, for every four or five perfect sites with zero chargers down, there's a site that might be completely down.
While my experience with EA has been mostly good, one thing that is missing in the EA app is seeing who charged recently at a site. ChargePoint has that, and it inspires a lot more confidence than relying on random Plugshare checkins.
 

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So I'm sitting in Mt. Shasta, on my way to Oregon, only to find out that pretty much every charger in Grants Pass is blown the **** up. So I spent the better part of half an hour on the phone with Electrify America, and found out a very important piece of information.

REPAIR TICKETS ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED WHEN CHARGERS GO DOWN OR THROW ERRORS!

Customers have to call in failed chargers. This blows my mind a bit, since some of the chargers haven't had sessions since MAY, which seems easy enough to build an algorithm around. But no. You gotta call in every failed charge. Plugshare isn't enough. Yeah, it's a pain in the neck, but while you're sitting on your ass ion a hot parking lot for 6 hours, take the time to call in the failed stations, because nobody else will do it. Hard to believe but true.
And, if you can, turn it off and reboot it.
Before calling. Sometimes they can get it started for you as well.
 

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And, if you can, turn it off and reboot it.
Before calling. Sometimes they can get it started for you as well.
The EA app itself allows you to report a problem. I don't think you need to actually call. I did that on my last EA charge when the unit shut off with an error after just 7 minutes of charging.
 

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The EA app itself allows you to report a problem. I don't think you need to actually call. I did that on my last EA charge when the unit shut off with an error after just 7 minutes of charging.
Yup. I've been hammering the Report an Issue button. I don't have the "contact me" option checked, but maybe I should. It would be interesting to see how quickly they are actually addressing these issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
So here's a burning question sure to ignite another flame war - Do the CHADEMO chargers have as many problems as the CCS? I can't answer this question as I've only driven a LEAF for a week, but it makes me wonder, and correct me if I'm wrong, but is the CCS connection, having a whole modem for the green PHY over the pilot pin and network stack involved, is any less reliable than the simple and comparatively dumb CAN bus that the Chademo uses? Of course, certainly there's room for poor implementations of either of them, but is it the way the machines talk to the car? Or the way the machines talk to the back office servers? Clearly, nothing is on fire at these stations,
 

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So here's a burning question sure to ignite another flame war - Do the CHADEMO chargers have as many problems as the CCS? I can't answer this question as I've only driven a LEAF for a week, but it makes me wonder, and correct me if I'm wrong, but is the CCS connection, having a whole modem for the green PHY over the pilot pin and network stack involved, is any less reliable than the simple and comparatively dumb CAN bus that the Chademo uses? Of course, certainly there's room for poor implementations of either of them, but is it the way the machines talk to the car? Or the way the machines talk to the back office servers? Clearly, nothing is on fire at these stations,
Based on my observations, CHAdeMO connections are just as likely to be down. In the case of Electrify America, it definitely appears that their CHAdeMO chargers are the most issue-prone. However, even with EVgo, their standalone CHAdeMO chargers (I'm not sure of the manufacturer) are also more likely to have issues. It's especially frustrating at the sites that EVgo still hasn't updated. Time and time again, the dual-standard charger is occupied by a CHAdeMO EV, leaving the standalone CHAdeMO charger unoccupied. Most of the time, the EV owner just couldn't get the CHAdeMO unit working.
 

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So here's a burning question sure to ignite another flame war - Do the CHADEMO chargers have as many problems as the CCS? I can't answer this question as I've only driven a LEAF for a week, but it makes me wonder, and correct me if I'm wrong, but is the CCS connection, having a whole modem for the green PHY over the pilot pin and network stack involved, is any less reliable than the simple and comparatively dumb CAN bus that the Chademo uses? Of course, certainly there's room for poor implementations of either of them, but is it the way the machines talk to the car? Or the way the machines talk to the back office servers? Clearly, nothing is on fire at these stations,
As a LEAF owner, yes EA has a LOT of trouble with their CHAdeMO ports. They do get reported more often because with one, when it refuses, you're forced to call to try - and normally fail - to get it working. My last trip was the only one where we only had to deal with one bad CHAdeMO station. My overall reliability with EA and CHAdeMO is less than 50%. I'll typicaly go to EVGo (free anyway) or Chargepoint if I have to do a DCFC, and options exist.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Yeah I think EA sucks. Still do. So I'm back in California, Willow to be exact, and EA was reporting "no account" when the phone was tapped, so using the phone, and my account, I started the charge that way to get a cool 23 KW out of a 350 unit. Switched to a 150 and after another awkward, twice attempted start, got the full 53 KW.

I think EA deployed unproven equipment with unreliable network connections and isn't taking maintenance seriously. Y'all can howl about my ulterior motives and what an ******* I am all you want, but EA is not doing well.
 

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Yeah I think EA sucks. Still do. So I'm back in California, Willow to be exact, and EA was reporting "no account" when the phone was tapped, so using the phone, and my account, I started the charge that way to get a cool 23 KW out of a 350 unit. Switched to a 150 and after another awkward, twice attempted start, got the full 53 KW.

I think EA deployed unproven equipment with unreliable network connections and isn't taking maintenance seriously. Y'all can howl about my ulterior motives and what an *** I am all you want, but EA is not doing well.
Yup. #02 has only been outputting 100 A for awhile now. I've submitted multiple tickets, but it hasn't been addressed yet. I did just get a call back from theme the other day. How is #03 looking?
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Anyways, the Clipper Creek at Mazama Village Campground at Crater Lake was a workhorse and made for some amazing national park action, and SO CLOSE to the campground! Pretty rad. I seriously looked in to a Yellowstone trip. I think it can be done. But as it is, but tent car camping with two adults and two kids in the Bolt is intense. It may be cabins from here on out.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
OK, so I got a full tour of an EA station from a contractor today, I'll spill the beans I'm another thread once I unpack the car. Suffice to say, I'm no longer convinced of their imminent failure, but there's a lot of work to be done to get it working well, and some truly weird although not entirely unexpected problems too.

And I made it back from Oregon.
 

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If you had taken a gas car it would have been just another hum drum drive. But, with the Bolt it has been a memorable experience that you'll talk about for years to come. :)
 

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The problems reported in the first post are why I have a ChargePoint account and an EVgo account (and GreenLots, and ...). EA just isn't reliable enough at this point.

Of course, on the trip you mentioned the ChargePoint choices are pretty crappy, just the 20 kW units. But ... it's the backup plan.
 

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The problems reported in the first post are why I have a ChargePoint account and an EVgo account (and GreenLots, and ...). EA just isn't reliable enough at this point.

Of course, on the trip you mentioned the ChargePoint choices are pretty crappy, just the 20 kW units. But ... it's the backup plan.
That's only for a couple hundred miles after you get into Oregon. Most of the 24 kW ChargePoint sites in California have been upgraded or supplemented with 50 kW Tritium units on-site or nearby, so all the way to Yreka, there were 50 kW ChargePoint alternatives. Even the 24 kW unit ChargePoint at The Olive Pit in Corning is being joined (at some point) by an EVgo charging site across the street.

The North State along I-5 is actually looking pretty solid these days. From Sacramento to the Oregon border, it's covered by Electrify America sites every 100 or so miles and ChargePoint sites every 50 or so miles. From Sacramento to Red Bluff, EVgo is also jumping in, adding sites at what look to be fairly regular intervals (Williams, Willows, Orland, and Corning). Then there's the CalTrans 30-30 plan, with charging sites going in at rest stops outside Maxwell, Willows, Yreka, etc. All-in-all, it looks like it will be a fairly redundant and resilient route in less than a year.
 
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