Electrify America De-Rating chargers

benk016

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Just thought I'd make a thread on this since it can affect a lot of people.


@OutofSpecKyle Was talking about this last week on InsideEV's podcast and on the EQS charging video.

Electrify America currently has limited A lot of 350kw stations to 350amp when they are normally rated for a max of 500amp. This basically makes the 350kw units as fast as a 150kw unit for the MME. The only cars that can get higher charging currently on those are 800v cars.

Sounds like newer signet units are still able to do the full 500amp though.

This is something that I've been digging into since I updated my GT with the new charging curve and haven't been able to get over 123kw no matter what I tried. Originally thought that it was the update that was only requesting 350amp from the charger, but it turns out EA has turned the max speed down.

I did my charging curve test on a ABB charger that previously has given me 150kw-160kw consistently. This same charger now only can give my car 123kw, so it is something that changed in the last couple of months.

 

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Just thought I'd make a thread on this since it can affect a lot of people.


@OutofSpecKyle Was talking about this last week on InsideEV's podcast and on the EQS charging video.

Electrify America currently has limited A lot of 350kw stations to 350amp when they are normally rated for a max of 500amp. This basically makes the 350kw units as fast as a 150kw unit for the MME. The only cars that can get higher charging currently on those are 800v cars.

Sounds like newer signet units are still able to do the full 500amp though.

This is something that I've been digging into since I updated my GT with the new charging curve and haven't been able to get over 123kw no matter what I tried. Originally thought that it was the update that was only requesting 350amp from the charger, but it turns out EA has turned the max speed down.

I did my charging curve test on a ABB charger that previously has given me 150kw-160kw consistently. This same charger now only can give my car 123kw, so it is something that changed in the last couple of months.
Wonder if they were seeing failures more often at the higher speeds?
 

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On my way to/from Florida over the winter break, when I was in *warmer* climates, I was regularly getting over 150kW (I think the record may have been 168... but only *briefly* and then it backs off). But it does stay pretty high. Also I think the state of charge was probably around 15-20% when I'd hit those numbers. If I was over 50% ... I don't think I ever got those numbers.
 
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benk016

benk016

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For reference, this is what I'm seeing for a charging curve on a 350kw ABB Electrify America station currently.


MMEChargingCurve.jpg
 
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benk016

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On my way to/from Florida over the winter break, when I was in *warmer* climates, I was regularly getting over 150kW (I think the record may have been 168... but only *briefly* and then it backs off). But it does stay pretty high. Also I think the state of charge was probably around 15-20% when I'd hit those numbers. If I was over 50% ... I don't think I ever got those numbers.
Its not ALL EA stations that are doing this. And I'm not even sure when it happened. I used to always hit ~150kw for the 2 minutes when DCFC. See above what I'm getting now on a 350kw station. maxes at 123kw.
 


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For reference, this is what I'm seeing for a charging curve on a 350kw ABB Electrify America station currently.


MMEChargingCurve.jpg
I was just going to ask about environmental temperatures. Are you running the cabin heater during charging now when you weren't before?

(To be clear, I think it's unlikely to be the issue.)

We never got better than about 120 kW during our charging at EA chargers in AZ and CA this past weekend. But after trying on a 350 kW charger and seeing no difference, we didn't bother to use the faster rated charger any more on the theory that there might be someone who could use that higher rate.
 
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benk016

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I actually raised the issue with Ford, And they sent one of their charging testers to a station that @Mach-E VLOG used in his charging curve test video.

Ford got the same result of a limited charging session and raised an issue with EA directly, and that was the last I heard about it from that side. I also tried to contact EA but they wouldn't give me any info.

Its been kind of a mystery at what was going on until Kyle said EA was limiting the chargers to 350amp which is exactly what I'm seeing on my tests.
 
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benk016

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I was just going to ask about environmental temperatures. Are you running the cabin heater during charging now when you weren't before?

(To be clear, I think it's unlikely to be the issue.)

We never got better than about 120 kW during our charging at EA chargers in AZ and CA this past weekend. But after trying on a 350 kW charger and seeing no difference, we didn't bother to use the faster rated charger any more on the theory that there might be someone who could use that higher rate.
This test was done with the battery warm enough to get full speed charging and the outside temps were in the 60's that day. I tried to cover every variable I could to get a perfect charging test.
 

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Something else I've learned about EA ... to help them control pricing (I don't know if they do this *everywhere* or just at some locations) they use batteries. They charge their batteries when rates are low ... so that if you happen to be charging during what would otherwise be a peak-demand period, they don't have to pay the highest rates for power ... they charge you from their stored battery energy.

It is a clever idea. But it also makes me wonder if you happen to hit stations when battery reservers were low so they de-rate the voltage? Not sure ... just thinking out load.
 
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Something else I've learned about EA ... to help them control pricing (I don't know if they do this *everywhere* or just at some locations) they use batteries. They charge their batteries when rates are low ... so that if you happen to be charging during what would otherwise be a peak-demand period, they don't have to pay the highest rates for power ... they charge you from their stored battery energy.

It is a clever idea. But it also makes me wonder if you happen to hit stations when battery reservers were low so they de-rate the voltage? Not sure ... just thinking out load.
EA confirmed with Kyle they have limited the current though. Sounds like there might be a bad part that they are waiting on replacement parts for and it will be de-rated until that is fixed.

It's definitely possible that adding in the battery reserve is causing the issue, and I'm not sure if the site I was using for testing was one with a battery reserve or not. It's about 50 miles from my house or else I'd just go check.

A 350kw charging station requires 2 of the big beige power units that are in the fenced area of an EA station, while a 150kw unit only uses one. So its possible its an issue with how they are tied together, or just pushing that 500amp though it was causing issues. Really just a guess at this point.
 

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EA confirmed with Kyle they have limited the current though. Sounds like there might be a bad part that they are waiting on replacement parts for and it will be de-rated until that is fixed.

It's definitely possible that adding in the battery reserve is causing the issue, and I'm not sure if the site I was using for testing was one with a battery reserve or not. It's about 50 miles from my house or else I'd just go check.

A 350kw charging station requires 2 of the big beige power units that are in the fenced area of an EA station, while a 150kw unit only uses one. So its possible its an issue with how they are tied together, or just pushing that 500amp though it was causing issues. Really just a guess at this point.
I posted about this in another thread, but I saw a video from someone, I forget which YouTuber it was, but in the interview the EA rep said there were faulty chips in some cables and those were being replaced. But you would get a de-rated session if you got one with one of these faulty cables.
 
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benk016

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I posted about this in another thread, but I saw a video from someone, I forget which YouTuber it was, but in the interview the EA rep said there were faulty chips in some cables and those were being replaced. But you would get a de-rated session if you got one with one of these faulty cables.
I'm not clear if this is the same issue. I was thinking this was when the charger would only give 32kw max.

That was probably this video:
 

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I'm not clear if this is the same issue. I was thinking this was when the charger would only give 32kw max.

That was probably this video:
Yeah that’s the one, and yeah think that was for the very low speeds
 

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When the cable chillers fail, they definitely limit the current to 125A and that provides at most 43kw on a 400V car. I have seen this many times with the ABB EA units, I have never seen it on the newer Signet units. I also notice on the ABB units, when the chillers are working, they are very loud, but on the Signet units they are much quieter. A tech had one of the Signet units opened up at a new site and he showed me the chiller, it is basically looks like a little AC compressor and is running liquid through a copper coil.

I suspect the 350A limit is only on the ABB chargers. The ABB 150kw units are all marked as 350A max, so those have always topped out at ~125kw for 400V cars. The 350kw units from ABB are marked as 450A current limit, and those are likely the ones being throttled. I actually had this happen to me in Tucson on a trip recently, I charged at a 350kw charger that a Taycan (800V) had just used and the driver said it was working great (270kw). I only got 123kw, rather than the 160kw I would normally see as a peak.

On the other hand, last summer I charged at a 150kw Signet unit in Las Vegas, and it gave me the full 150kw.
 

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For reference, this is what I'm seeing for a charging curve on a 350kw ABB Electrify America station currently.


MMEChargingCurve.jpg
Thanks for sharing this. The 80% cliff is still.... a cliff. Current drops by half. I am hopeful the chargers can ramp that down a bit more gently with future MME sw updates. 40KW is better than where we were, but is is less than 0.5C which is kinda wimpy.

 

 
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