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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the CCS SAE V1.2.1 standard, connectors and inlets are required to interlock to prevent removal while current is flowing. You can press a button to turn off the charger, but it should not have any mechanical effect until the charger is certain that no current is flowing. This is an extremely basic standard of safety to prevent arc flashes, fires, connector damage, etc.

At many EA stations, any random idiot can walk up to a charger, press on the latch and immediately rip out the connector while 150+ amps are flowing through it. If it's a 350 kW station, this could be as much as 650 amps. Either the connectors on these EA stations are damaged, and EA has bypassed the safety software to disable the locks rather than replace / service them, or the connectors were built and shipped without the safety interlock.

The particular connector that is vulnerable to this issue is made by Huber Suhner. It is pathetic that EA or its suppliers have allowed this to happen and I am surprised that I can't find any reporting on it.

I never had any issues with CHAdeMO connectors supporting this in several years of using a LEAF. The connector always locked in tight. The same goes for Tesla's inlet; if anything, people have issues with them staying locked too often.

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I can probably fast charge again like this, but should I? The connector smells like sulfur. Replacement is like $350 plus labor. Will GM cover it? Will EA?
 

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Sounds like EA should be responsible for offering defective service. Hope you report, and document, the issue to EA.
 
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Was the locking tang at the top of the handle broken? It's been broken on EA CCS chargers in my area numerous times (I call those in along w/another fellow (now former) Bolt driver). I've also seen them broken on a nearby EVgo DC FC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like EA should be responsible for offering defective service. Hope you report, and document, the issue to EA.
I've reported it in the app. May file an NHTSA

Was the locking tang at the top of the handle broken? It's been broken on EA CCS chargers in my area numerous times (I call those in along w/another fellow (now former) Bolt driver). I've also seem them broken on an nearby EVgo DC FC.
I don't think it was broken. Specifically, this is EA charger 200182-02, CCS port 2. It is exactly the type of unprotected, non-locking lever latch you find on an L1 or L2 EVSE.
 

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IIRC, on EA's DC FC with Huber+Suhner handles, I recall there might be two stages: pressing part way might push a switch that that commands something to stop charging. A few seconds later, the charging should stop and the car should release the charging lock.

But, maybe it's possible w/a non-broken tang to do it too quickly or with too much force and cause arcing?

I posted PSA: On CCS1/SAE Combo DC chargers, best to stop the... and commented on some discussions on the best way to stop charging on CCS chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
IIRC, on EA's DC FC with Huber+Suhner handles, I recall there might be two stages: pressing part way might push a switch that that commands something to stop charging. A few seconds later, the charging should stop and the car should release the charging lock.

But, maybe it's possible w/a non-broken tang to do it too quickly or with too much force and cause arcing?
The controller inside the charging station should be able to handle this perfectly fine in a functioning system. The lock is supposed to release after current drops to zero. If it is possible to demate the connector while current is flowing, it's violating the CCS standard.

I posted PSA: On CCS1/SAE Combo DC chargers, best to stop the... and commented on some discussions on the best way to stop charging on CCS chargers.
I see how this makes sense in a "get er done, I need to charge" sense, but on the other side, when you're talking about somewhere near a megawatt of high voltage power being handled by unprotected human hands, there should be no wrangling. There needs to be zero tolerance for interlock failures. The risk of arc flash here is substantial and will only increase as cycles build up on the connectors.

Imagine if we used current-gen gasoline pumps to fill our cars with hypergolics. There would be fatalities on an hourly basis.

We will never reach >50% adoption if you're only one defective charge station away from electrocuting yourself in an arc flash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you imagine the recoil against EVs if even one EV driver gets minorly injured at a public charging station from a hardware failure?
 

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Subscribing. Do yourself a favor and walk in as a positive problem solver. No one is trying to fail here at your expense, standards and practices improve over time and it's also entirely possible (if not probable) you're an anecdote that's not statistically relevant enough to pull the plug (omg sorry) on the whole thing and upend progress.

It's clear in general the interface with EV connections will need to get better, I think any of us who have done any kind of CCS charging have had to tug at the thing in ways they felt uncomfortable or unsure whether or not charging really ceased.

It would be pretty shocking if things like this didn't come up across widescale adoption of a new technology. EA is moving at light speed to deploy, they're going to hit brick walls along the way (a phenomenom as Bolt owners I think we can now agree we're all intimately acquainted with). In politics a wise man once said, "hate the idea, not the person" and I think that kind of fits here. Be angry at the problem but not the people involved and you'll (hopefully) be treated like a rock star in your limited role in getting down to the bottom of it all.

It might help to think of the industry as a whole in a loss-leading phase. Companies are happy to lose money on you while they figure it out. It's a bit different than later when they try to exploit the crap out of you for every penny. Helps with your sanity when you're dealing with all of the crap we gotta deal with by being on the forefront.
 

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Even at home L2 I push the latch button and give the signal a couple seconds before I pull the plug out just in case. I wish the Bolt locked the plug like some other cars. But to your point, once past us early adopters the system needs to be fool proof, due to the typical owners that don't even check their oil or tire pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There are two issues here that are misunderstood. CCS only supports 500A, not 650A Maximum voltage is 1000V. Only 800-900V systems can support 350KW, 400V systems can only support 200KW.
That's good, I guess.

Secondly the CCS standard requires that the vehicle controls the lock, not the charger. see this link, page 10.

I would not interpret the title "Locking of Connector by vehicle in dc supply mode" to literally mean that only the vehicle is responsible for locking. Every other CCS/CHAdeMO/Tesla fast charge connector I've used has a proper interlock inside of the charger connector, you can often hear it latch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Even at home L2 I push the latch button and give the signal a couple seconds before I pull the plug out just in case. I wish the Bolt locked the plug like some other cars. But to your point, once past us early adopters the system needs to be fool proof, due to the typical owners that don't even check their oil or tire pressure.
It isn't even user error. The hardware is explicitly designed to lock in an uninterruptible way during DC fast charging. If it is even possible to unplug while DC power is flowing, the whole system has failed the spec.
 

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Why does DCFC require several seconds to de-energize when L2 does it nearly instantaneously?
Because the PP ( Proximity Pilot) for AC charging is a mechanical switch that opens the circuit to cut off energy at the cord.

In DCFC, PP is apparently not used at all, and uses digital communications between the EV's BMS and the EVSE using the Control Pilot pins (CP). The EV is expected to control locking the cable. So if you "Stop" charging from the EVSE, it sends a signal to the EV (over the CP pin) to open the circuit and unlock the handle. You can also use the network app, MyChevrolet App to stop charging. Given information flows, network speeds, etc, it can take time with some of the methods.
 

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That's good, I guess.


I would not interpret the title "Locking of Connector by vehicle in dc supply mode" to literally mean that only the vehicle is responsible for locking. Every other CCS/CHAdeMO/Tesla fast charge connector I've used has a proper interlock inside of the charger connector, you can often hear it latch.
When you initiate charging on DCFC, you hear a latch connecting (on the DC power pins) as it initializes, presumably the EV does this. So it would seem the Proximity Pilot may play a part in establishing a secondary latch.
 

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There are two issues here that are misunderstood. CCS only supports 500A, not 650A Maximum voltage is 1000V. Only 800-900V systems can support 350KW, 400V systems can only support 200KW.

Secondly the CCS standard requires that the vehicle controls the lock, not the charger. see this link, page 10.

CCS actually doesn't specify a maximum current. 500 A is the peak rating to enter the current maximum power class (HPC).

 

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FWIW, my Bolt manual (like on page 26 of https://my.gm.ca/chevrolet/en/conte...9-chevrolet-bolt-ev-owners-manual-english.pdf) has plenty of warnings about DC FCing like
"Do not attempt to disconnect the
DC vehicle plug while charging is
active. This action may damage
vehicle or charging station
hardware."

It then continues about how to stop charging.

As a Leaf follower and former driver for almost 8 years, I've never heard what was in post 14 before.

I can't speak to this scenario w/CHAdeMO and its boundary cases (I used the CHAdeMO inlet on my 1st Leaf ~16 times) but FWIW, I had been pretty annoyed by some of the Leaf and Leaf + CHAdeMO haters in Bolt FB groups + some CHAdeMO haters over at "TMC". Now, CHAdeMO is pretty much toast in the US and we're down to CCS for non-Tesla DC FCing here. Oh well.

CHAdeMO had a few more years to evolve and does things differently... It's not to say CHAdeMO is awesome either. Some of the early Yazaki handles were not intuitive to use and it was way too easy to do everything wrong (connect and disconnect) if you didn't follow the instructions.

I prefer to stop DC FCing (if it hasn't already) via either the stop button on the charger or car's infotainment system.
 
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