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Hopefully this cable will work better than the liquid cooled ones. Eliminating cooling pumps, and leaky seals might improve their operating rate.

 

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Hopefully this cable will work better than the liquid cooled ones. Eliminating cooling pumps, and leaky seals might improve their operating rate.

Unfortunately, those cables don't support 150 kW charging. The peak of 300 A is interesting, which means they can support ~120 kW for a short period; however, these cables will really be limited to "100 kW" chargers, which EVgo is already deploying. Their 200 A units do not require liquid cooling, though, unfortunately, they are also power sharing.


I actually think those 100 kW chargers are probably the best option for dine-in restaurant and grocery store locations because they are well-suited for 30-minute to 1-hour stops.
 

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I agree that it's necessary to make a qualitative assessment of the PlugShare score by reading the comments; however, what you observed about the check ins works both ways. I also see a number of sites where every failed attempt is registered as a separate check in. A single individual with a negative experience can easily offset 8 to 10 positive check ins. It's why the sites with scores of 8 to 10 out of 10 are actually doing a lot better than I think people might give them credit for, and even sites with scores of 5 to 7 out of 10 might not be as unreliable as people might presume.
Agreed. In fact, when planning on some trips, I’ve reviewed many reviews where people said they weren’t able to charge because there was already an EV there charging. That dings the site, but it obviously isn’t nearly as bad as a site with a bad unit. Makes a huge difference.
 

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I drove from OK to CO today, stopping at 5 different EA sites. The first charger I tried worked at 4 out of 5 sites. At one site, I tried a couple times but couldn’t get a charger to initiate, moved to the next one over and was good to go. Overall pretty good, just wanted to report a positive experience. (I did leave a failed (and also successful) PlugShare checkin for that site and submitted a trouble ticket to EA.)
 

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2022 Bolt EUV Nov build
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Reliability really need to exceed 95%. Wonder if the charge initiation would still be an issue with Plug-N-Charge...
 

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Reliability really need to exceed 95%. Wonder if the charge initiation would still be an issue with Plug-N-Charge...
The charge initiation issues we're seeing right now are mostly with older Bolt EVs that don't seem to have CCS charge ports that are built to proper tolerances. There's a really big question as to whether Electrify America's plug-and-charge functionality will even work with those older Bolt EVs, which (as I understand it) lack the ISO/IEC 15118 communication standard. If Electrify America made their plug-and-charge feature backward compatible, it should actually improve the reliability for Bolt EV owners whose cars fail to support the cables properly. Basically, the simple instructions would be:

Plug in and lift the cable until you hear actuator engage.
At that point, the charge session should have initiated, and supporting the cable is no longer needed.
 

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The charge initiation issues we're seeing right now are mostly with older Bolt EVs that don't seem to have CCS charge ports that are built to proper tolerances. There's a really big question as to whether Electrify America's plug-and-charge functionality will even work with those older Bolt EVs, which (as I understand it) lack the ISO/IEC 15118 communication standard. If Electrify America made their plug-and-charge feature backward compatible, it should actually improve the reliability for Bolt EV owners whose cars fail to support the cables properly. Basically, the simple instructions would be:



At that point, the charge session should have initiated, and supporting the cable is no longer needed.
I've wondered how many of my EA failures are not holding up the handle properly, maybe both EA and I are getting better at things.
 

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I've wondered how many of my EA failures are not holding up the handle properly, maybe both EA and I are getting better at things.
It's possible. As much as I fast charge, I still have times where the plug didn't seat properly, and I need to activate a second time. It could be awkward positioning of the cable/charger or just a lack of attention, but it still happens to me occasionally. Overall, though, I think I've gotten pretty good. Outside of actual charger issues, I think I'm definitely over 99% activating on the first attempt.
 

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It's possible. As much as I fast charge, I still have times where the plug didn't seat properly, and I need to activate a second time. It could be awkward positioning of the cable/charger or just a lack of attention, but it still happens to me occasionally. Overall, though, I think I've gotten pretty good. Outside of actual charger issues, I think I'm definitely over 99% activating on the first attempt.
I do not fast charge often but the tip of pulling up the handle during initiation has been very helpful. I got that tip from one of your videos. I do keep running into the problem of the charge dropping after 2-10 minutes into the charge. It has been extremely frustrating on a couple of instances. I seem to get a successful charge when I have the cable supported somehow the entire charge duration taking weight off the plug-to-car connection(not just when initiation the charge). I usually have to support it on the other charger cord or the concrete pylons protecting the chargers from being bumped into. Makes me want to try and get a monopod or tripod that can hold up the cable but this seems ridiculous hoop to have to jump through. Could EA have a tension cable holding the cable from the top of the charger taking some of the weight off the car to plug connection? I have not looked at each EA charger manufacturer at these sites but if I stop there again I will try and get the information off the nameplates.

Has anyone else had this issue?
 

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt
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I do not fast charge often but the tip of pulling up the handle during initiation has been very helpful. I got that tip from one of your videos. I do keep running into the problem of the charge dropping after 2-10 minutes into the charge. It has been extremely frustrating on a couple of instances. I seem to get a successful charge when I have the cable supported somehow the entire charge duration taking weight off the plug-to-car connection(not just when initiation the charge). I usually have to support it on the other charger cord or the concrete pylons protecting the chargers from being bumped into. Makes me want to try and get a monopod or tripod that can hold up the cable but this seems ridiculous hoop to have to jump through. Could EA have a tension cable holding the cable from the top of the charger taking some of the weight off the car to plug connection? I have not looked at each EA charger manufacturer at these sites but if I stop there again I will try and get the information off the nameplates.

Has anyone else had this issue?
Yes. A couple of people have invented different ways of supporting the charging cable:

It's not just the Bolt. I've heard of similar problems with at least the BMW i3.
 

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Just had to QC again today, and one of my two stops was at an EA unit.
No issues (whew). ;-) Charge stayed at what I expected for the 20 minutes I was there this morning...
(I do use the 3D Printed part mentioned above, but not sure if it made a difference. Didn't try it without it.)
Also had a good experience this afternoon at a Chargepoint QC...

It's funny, before all this battery stuff, I had QCd my '17 Bolt twice.
In the last 4 months, I have QC'd it 4 times. ;-)
Not because of the limitations, just life has asked me to do a couple of longer runs...
So far so good.. ;-)
 

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Yes. A couple of people have invented different ways of supporting the charging cable:

It's not just the Bolt. I've heard of similar problems with at least the BMW i3.
I actually have the Bolt spacer but I have not been able to get the charge to initialize with it in place. Might need to sand it a little smaller because I can't get the click when inserting the plug with the spacer in place. I will check out the other links you posted. Appreciate it.

Wonder if a twistlock plug would make sense as a standard. Gets a much tighter fit.
 

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I've wondered how many of my EA failures are not holding up the handle properly, maybe both EA and I are getting better at things.
Our Canadian equivalent of "Electrify America" is (of course) "Electrify Canada". Unfortunately EC doesn't provide RFID cards, so I've downloaded the EC app to charge with.

I had three successive failures trying to use EC chargers in Hope and Squamish, despite being very careful supporting the plug in the charge port and making several attempts. In each case I was able to charge at a nearby charging station on another network, so I know it wasn't the car's fault.

Then a few days ago I had occasion to try an EC charging site again. As usual, I plugged in, used the app to activate the charger, and held the plug carefully. I heard the latch engage and the transformer fans spool up, but like before the charging light stayed orange. Then I happened to glance at the screen on the charger and noticed that it was displaying the pricing information with "Cancel" and "Continue" prompts at the bottom. So I hit "Continue" and the charger immediately started to deliver power.

I had another chance to try today at a different site that I had failed to charge at before, saw the same screen, hit "Continue" and charging started successfully.

So I'm thinking that in my failed attempts I didn't see this screen (because my attention was focused on the app and on holding that [email protected] plug properly) and because I didn't hit "continue" the station eventually timed out and shut down.

The Electrify Canada charging site at Hope, BC:
Tire Sky Wheel Car Vehicle
 

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Charged at an EA site today.
1st station: Wouldn't start and timed out.
2nd station: Made whirring noise like it was starting but would not charge.
3rd station: Said charge error. Disconnect. After disconnecting it said out of service.
4th station: Finally worked.
While sitting there a Porsche pulled up to one I didn't try and it didn't work. Some guy was leaving so he hopped onto that one.

This was at a station rated 10 on plugshare because it gives top rating just because you were able to charge. So if you eventually find a working one it's a 10! Stupid. So I gave it an "unable to charge" rating because a site with at least 4 bad stations should not be getting a 10.

On the plus side, for some reason it was free.
 

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Our Canadian equivalent of "Electrify America" is (of course) "Electrify Canada". Unfortunately EC doesn't provide RFID cards, so I've downloaded the EC app to charge with.
EA doesn't have RFID cards either.

Also, I've personally witnessed some EA sites w/BTC Power chargers in the middle of a hot day have their screens more than washed out. They are unreadable, totally black on most or almost the entire screen, presumably because sun beating down on the LCD made it overheat. I've visited that site many times before (at night) and after at night and those screens are fine during those times.

One may have to semi-blindly get thru their UI (or use their app), wait for timeouts (e.g. to auto-advance) or press those hardware buttons.

I don't know about their other vendors: Efacec (never seen one of theirs on EA), Signet and ABB.
 

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The Electrify Canada charging site at Hope, BC:
View attachment 38158
This is a station layout I can get behind. Awnings to protect you from rain/snow. Remove that fence, and you have convenient pull-through parking for towing a trailer (Truck and SUVs are here now!). I have never seen a station first-hand with either of those features.
 

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Did 5 EA charges last weekend. First one (Placerville) NFC reader didn't work but the app did. Next stop - first charger wouldn't activate at all (NFC reader broken, app showed unavailable), second worked with NFC. Third stop (Bishop) worked on the first try. Fourth stop (Bridgeport) appeared to work, but I discovered charging was limited to 30kW. Final stop (Tracy) again worked on the first try but limited to 32kW.

On balance, I'd say EA is getting less reliable over time.
 

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My only EA experience so far is with one of their solar-only stations at a Kaiser medical office site. Those have 2 J1772-only (not CCS) plugs that share the output of the big panel that covers the awning over the spaces. I got there a little too early in the morning, apparently, and only got about 15 miles worth of charge in the 2+ hours I was there - average rate ~3.5 kw under summer conditions (3.5-4 miles/kwh) . Shared with a Mercedes hybrid in the other space (plugged in). It was completely free - no need for app or anything, just plug in.
 
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