Update on Electrify America charger replacement along east coast of US

timbop

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I figured it was best to post this info in a new thread for those interested in the EA chargers along the east coast. I've been keeping an eye on how well the replacement equipment is doing, at least with respect to the checkins on plugshare. In general, it looks like it is taking them 3-4 weeks regardless of the number of chargers. One thing that is clear is that whatever hardware they're using for Chademo is unreliable, but the CCS hardware seems to generally be OK.

The first location I started watching was the Walmart in Richmond Virginia, and that one had me worried at first. They completed the upgrade on September 14th, and immediately on the 16th a use named "EV addicted" complained about lots of issues. Since then the CCS chargers have been pretty good, although every couple weeks the Chademos go down. Regardless, since September 16th there are 7 more successful checkins, and only 1 CCS user couldn't get a charge with his e-golf. That's still not a great average. Florence, SC only had 2 reviews and 1 of them had to try all 4 stations to get one to work.

Other stations I've tracked seem to be doing a lot better for CCS. These stations had 0 CCS users who couldn't charge (completion date in parenthesis): Emporia NC (Oct 7th), Rocky Mount NC (Sep 12th), Smithfield NC (sept 30).

So what's it mean? I dunno, but the success rates on brand new equipment should be better than what they are.
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timbop

timbop

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Yikes, they just reopened the station at the Walmart on North Tryon street in Charlotte, NC and the first checkin doesn't look good:

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 10.39.32 AM.png
 

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I figured it was best to post this info in a new thread for those interested in the EA chargers along the east coast. I've been keeping an eye on how well the replacement equipment is doing, at least with respect to the checkins on plugshare. In general, it looks like it is taking them 3-4 weeks regardless of the number of chargers. One thing that is clear is that whatever hardware they're using for Chademo is unreliable, but the CCS hardware seems to generally be OK.

The first location I started watching was the Walmart in Richmond Virginia, and that one had me worried at first. They completed the upgrade on September 14th, and immediately on the 16th a use named "EV addicted" complained about lots of issues. Since then the CCS chargers have been pretty good, although every couple weeks the Chademos go down. Regardless, since September 16th there are 7 more successful checkins, and only 1 CCS user couldn't get a charge with his e-golf. That's still not a great average. Florence, SC only had 2 reviews and 1 of them had to try all 4 stations to get one to work.

Other stations I've tracked seem to be doing a lot better for CCS. These stations had 0 CCS users who couldn't charge (completion date in parenthesis): Emporia NC (Oct 7th), Rocky Mount NC (Sep 12th), Smithfield NC (sept 30).

So what's it mean? I dunno, but the success rates on brand new equipment should be better than what they are.
You know, now that you mention it.....the new EA stations are different. I've been driving an EV for about 2 years now but have very limited experience with DCFC (just hardly ever need it...). I think the most common issue I have had with the first gen EA stations were problems with accepting payment and problems initiating a charge session. The first issue required a phone call. The second issue had something to do with the locking mechanism for the connector. On my Focus Electric, I had to support the weight of that massive cable so the connector would sit in the socket without tension.....once it locked then I could let go of the cable. I wonder if the new station design addresses either or both of these issues? Maybe I can make some time and swing by one of their new locations and give it a try?

We did one DCFC session with the MME when it was here in town and we had no issues but it was an older station and not one of the newer designs....
 
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The second issue had something to do with the locking mechanism for the connector. On my Focus Electric, I had to support the weight of that massive cable so the connector would sit in the socket without tension.....once it locked then I could let go of the cable.
That's consistent with the issue discussed here: https://www.macheforum.com/site/thr...ess-and-traveling-with-the-mach-e.510/page-67

The deficiency seems to be be that some cars have inlet designs insufficient to support the cable weight before the latch engages.

This is the video missing from the other thread:

Also captured here.
 
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SnBGC

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That's consistent with the issue discussed here: https://www.macheforum.com/site/thr...ess-and-traveling-with-the-mach-e.510/page-67

This is the video missing from the other thread:

Also captured here.
Thanks for the link. I quickly browsed the comments....it's not a BOLT issue. Same issue occurs with the FFE and others. The cables on some of these DCFC charging stations are massive. Heavy, stiff and hard to route to the vehicle. Very inflexible in cooler weather so pick the cable that has the most sun exposure so it will flex a little bit more than the cable hanging in the shade. Now I know what fire fighters go through to manhandle those fire hoses....

My L2 cable at home fights me when it's cold as well. For 9 months out of the year it's no problem.....cable coils back for its holder like a well trained rope. This morning, it was 41 degrees when I walked out to my car. Stowing that cable was like bending pipe.....well, not quite but it fought me a little bit. :)
 

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I think the easiest solution would be to have the latch engage immediately when installing the connector, rather than after the transaction. That would seemingly be something the charger could control over the communications protocol. On the other hand, if cars have marginal latches, that could cause problems for customers. Per the IEC standards, they have to proof test the latch strength relative to the maximum weight of the charging accessory, but it's entirely likely some of these vehicles were designed for lighter cables. Perhaps somewhere in the car specifications a max weight is listed.



Alternately, maybe they could add some strain relief features, like an articulating arm to support the weight of liquid-cooled cables.
 
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