thinksmall
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:16 pm

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:06 pm

Thanks for trying the chargers! I tried a 150K one today at the same location in Vancouver WA. It worked perfectly using the phone app while holding up on the cord. After the charger started and the green light lit I was able to let go of the plug and the charge continued normally. This makes 5 documented cases of successful charging using 5 different BCC chargers in 4 different locations on 4 different Sparks. There is hope :P

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:21 am

thinksmall wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:06 pm
Thanks for trying the chargers! I tried a 150K one today at the same location in Vancouver WA. It worked perfectly using the phone app while holding up on the cord. After the charger started and the green light lit I was able to let go of the plug and the charge continued normally. This makes 5 documented cases of successful charging using 5 different BCC chargers in 4 different locations on 4 different Sparks. There is hope :P
I hope you mean ABB chargers. I will be testing three or four ABB 150 kWh chargers today at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore, CA. None of these chargers worked for me before and there are 8 of the 150 kWh ABB chargers at this location.

17 Jan 20 Update: San Francisco Premium Outlets has 8 of the 150 KW ABB chargers. I tested 6 of the 8 chargers. 5 worked and 1 didn't. Of the other two, 1 was dead (no signs of life) and the other I will check next week. What I did notice on the one the I could not get to work was I had to significantly twist the handle to get it inserted in the DCFC socket on the car. The handles on the 5 that did work required little, if any, twisting effort to insert the handle into the DCFC socket.

Ramerica
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:04 pm

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:37 am

thinksmall wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:06 pm
Thanks for trying the chargers! I tried a 150K one today at the same location in Vancouver WA. It worked perfectly using the phone app while holding up on the cord. After the charger started and the green light lit I was able to let go of the plug and the charge continued normally. This makes 5 documented cases of successful charging using 5 different BCC chargers in 4 different locations on 4 different Sparks. There is hope :P
Hey, this is the dude who couldn't charge in Albany! When I was stranded there, I tried just about everything I could think of with the cable and port. Is it more of an issue of the silver retainer on the spark capturing the plug?

Randy960
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:43 am

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:56 am

Hi, I just got my 2016 Spark EV a couple of days ago, and I've been checking out the DCFC stations in the area (Buffalo, NY). There's not many around, but Electrify America has 4 chargers at a Walmart here. All of them are Efacec brand, two 350kw, two 150kw. I am unable to charge at any of them. I talked to customer service (extremely friendly and helpful, btw), and they said they are aware of issues with the Spark charging at both ABB and Efacec units. I held the connector at various angles, pushed/pulled/twisted, everything I could think of with no success.

The odd thing I noticed was that while it was trying to initialize, the car connected to my phone's Bluetooth, even though the car was off, and had disconnected. I noticed it first while I was on the phone with customer service, but even without being on a call, it does the same thing. I turned off my Bluetooth and tried again, just in case it would make a difference, but no dice.

Another odd thing is that despite not initializing, it does set the parking brake on the car. So it must be doing at least part of the handshake process.

I successfully charged at a fast charge point at a newly built NY welcome center, but I didn't catch the brand (definitely a lighter duty 50kw charger) or notice the Bluetooth thing.

I am currently at a Bosch 25kw DCFC at a chevy dealer (there's a few around, and oddly enough they don't show up on onstar's list of charge points) and it didn't turn my Bluetooth on while initializing.

Edit: here's the Walmart location with Efacec chargers.
https://www.plugshare.com/location/166722

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:50 am

Ramerica wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:37 am
thinksmall wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:06 pm
Thanks for trying the chargers! I tried a 150K one today at the same location in Vancouver WA. It worked perfectly using the phone app while holding up on the cord. After the charger started and the green light lit I was able to let go of the plug and the charge continued normally. This makes 5 documented cases of successful charging using 5 different BCC chargers in 4 different locations on 4 different Sparks. There is hope :P
Hey, this is the dude who couldn't charge in Albany! When I was stranded there, I tried just about everything I could think of with the cable and port. Is it more of an issue of the silver retainer on the spark capturing the plug?
Yesterday, I tried 6 of the EA ABB chargers where last year I could not get any of them to work. 5 of 6 worked using a method another Spark EV driver posted. Here is what I I did:

1. Pull up close to the charger so the left cable is aligned with the left side of your Spark EV.
2. Turn on your phone and activate the Electrify America APP. Locate the charging location and charger you are going to use. Go to the screen that starts the charging cycle by sliding you finger across the screen.
3. Plug the charger handle into the car's DCFC socket. If you have to use anything but a light twisting force to get the handle and socket to align, it probably will not work.
3. Plug the handle into the DCFC socket and make sure it is completely seated in the socket.
4. Gently push in on and lift the handle to counter any pulling by the heavy cable.
5. While doing step 4, activate charging on your phone by sliding your finger across the screen as shown on the screen. I put a piece of anti-slip material on my hood and put the phone on it so I can use one hand to activate charging while supporting the handle.
6. The charger screen should show INITIALIZING. Continue to hold the handle in place until you hear the car's horn beep. Then you can release the handle and the car should be charging and will continue until the battery is full or you interrupt charging.

Please let me know if this works for you. I am beginning to think the heavy charging cable plus having to forcefully twist the handle to get it into the socket may be the problem.
Last edited by MrDRMorgan on Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thinksmall
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:16 pm

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:49 pm

Yes, ABB chargers not BCC. Thanks for the correction. I am old and my brain sometimes fails me! Thankfully most other parts still function, ha ha. It looks like we are getting somewhere with this problem. I wonder if replacing the Spark charge port might fix the problem? Maybe the one on the Bolt would work. It would be interesting to closely inspect the Spark and Bolt sockets side by side.

Randy960. Has your Spark had the charge port mod done? There is a tread about it here somewhere or google it. Mine is a 2016 and when I first got it I could not get it to charge on my nearest fast charger which is an eVgo brand. After the simple mod it has always worked fine except on the ABB chargers. Oh, here is a link to the mod info. Hope this helps.

https://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/09/so ... harge.html

MRDRMorgan. Thanks much for all your input!

Randy960
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:43 am

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:15 pm

thinksmall wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:49 pm
Yes, ABB chargers not BCC. Thanks for the correction. I am old and my brain sometimes fails me! Thankfully most other parts still function, ha ha. It looks like we are getting somewhere with this problem. I wonder if replacing the Spark charge port might fix the problem? Maybe the one on the Bolt would work. It would be interesting to closely inspect the Spark and Bolt sockets side by side.

Randy960. Has your Spark had the charge port mod done? There is a tread about it here somewhere or google it. Mine is a 2016 and when I first got it I could not get it to charge on my nearest fast charger which is an eVgo brand. After the simple mod it has always worked fine except on the ABB chargers. Oh, here is a link to the mod info. Hope this helps.

https://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/09/so ... harge.html

MRDRMorgan. Thanks much for all your input!

Supposedly, the charging port was fixed for the 2016 model. Mine *looks* like the correct shape. I personally haven't done anything to it.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:34 pm

Randy960 wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:15 pm
thinksmall wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:49 pm
Yes, ABB chargers not BCC. Thanks for the correction. I am old and my brain sometimes fails me! Thankfully most other parts still function, ha ha. It looks like we are getting somewhere with this problem. I wonder if replacing the Spark charge port might fix the problem? Maybe the one on the Bolt would work. It would be interesting to closely inspect the Spark and Bolt sockets side by side.

Randy960. Has your Spark had the charge port mod done? There is a tread about it here somewhere or google it. Mine is a 2016 and when I first got it I could not get it to charge on my nearest fast charger which is an eVgo brand. After the simple mod it has always worked fine except on the ABB chargers. Oh, here is a link to the mod info. Hope this helps.

https://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/09/so ... harge.html

MRDRMorgan. Thanks much for all your input!

Supposedly, the charging port was fixed for the 2016 model. Mine *looks* like the correct shape. I personally haven't done anything to it.
When I leased my first Spark EV, a 2015 2LT with DCFC, I had charging problems at the one EVgo DCFC station in my area. I carefully made the charge port modification and most of the problems went away. I also found that there is an o-ring in the handle that creates a tight seal with the socket in the car. Occasionally, it would not slide freely into the socket. A little coating of HV spark plug grease fixed the problem.

Chevy modified the socket for the 2016 model year.

thinksmall
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:16 pm

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:01 pm

My Spark is a 2016 and I had to modify the charge port but if it looks right it probably is. Good luck

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:28 am

thinksmall wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:01 pm
My Spark is a 2016 and I had to modify the charge port but if it looks right it probably is. Good luck
Looks like I made a bad assumption. My 2016 was manufactured in June of 2016. Maybe GM made a change sometime during the 2016 model year assembly window.

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