ElDobro
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:28 pm

The EA chargers at the Walmart haven't even been up a year and they're being replaced.

Randy960
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:43 am

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:55 pm

ElDobro wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:28 pm
The EA chargers at the Walmart haven't even been up a year and they're being replaced.
What location?

NORTON
Posts: 1337
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:39 am

Man I hope EA is up and running at the locations 'A Better Route Planner' has me using.

I'm driving my new , to me, '17 Bolt Premier from LA to KC this long weekend.
There seems to be a glut of off lease '17 Bolts on the Cali market! Good! Just what I was waiting for.

24 hrs 48 mins of driving // 11 hrs 1 min of charging! 1621 miles.
It will be an EV adventure ! With lots of Walkabouts.

I'll be pissed if I have to L2 in some of the locations.
Is there a 'Station Status' function on the Premium A Better Routeplanner app. Hope that is real time info....

Geez, the station changed in Baker, Ca.
Yesterday it was at "The World's Tallest Thermometer"
Today it is showing a station 'Ultra Gas and Mart', just down the street.
What's that all about?
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +85k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:10 am

NORTON wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:39 am
Man I hope EA is up and running at the locations 'A Better Route Planner' has me using.

I'm driving my new , to me, '17 Bolt Premier from LA to KC this long weekend.
There seems to be a glut of off lease '17 Bolts on the Cali market! Good! Just what I was waiting for.

24 hrs 48 mins of driving // 11 hrs 1 min of charging! 1621 miles.
It will be an EV adventure ! With lots of Walkabouts.

I'll be pissed if I have to L2 in some of the locations.
Is there a 'Station Status' function on the Premium A Better Routeplanner app. Hope that is real time info....

Geez, the station changed in Baker, Ca.
Yesterday it was at "The World's Tallest Thermometer"
Today it is showing a station 'Ultra Gas and Mart', just down the street.
What's that all about?
OK, first : congrats! I am in the enviable position of having multiple cars for 2+ people, so when I get a 200+ mile BEV, I will be keeping the SparkEV (it won't be an 'exchange', the new EV will be an 'addition'. Well, it will 'replace' my efficient, low-polluting gas-mobile which is my current road warrior ).

Now, about travel. Most important rule : *ALWAYS* have a backup plan. And then a second (and third) backup as well - including the L2 fallback plan : you don't want to run out of juice in the middle of nowhere. Also, use plugshare for planning as well - don't rely only on ABRP!

A note I typed a while back:
I recommend signing up for Electrify America's "Pass+" subscription membership for the month when you are traveling. First, you skip the "connect fee" of $1. Second, you get a lower per minute rate. Just TWO charges during a trip, for 40 kWh total, will mean you will be ahead. Cancel a few days before the end of the subscription (or, if there are no EA stations you plan on using once you get home, cancel right after the trip).

I would also suggest looking the the route(s) you are planning to take, and the area(s) where you will be spending time, and see what DCFC networks are available (for example, ChargePoint, or EVgo, or GreenLots, or ...). If the vendor offers FREE accounts (most likely with their smartphone app), sign up before the trip. They can be great "emergency fall back" choices. (Especially if you have to limp into a town and use their Level2 EVSE for a few hours to add 70 miles to get to the next DCFC).

Download the smartphone apps for each network you sign up for. (If you are a AAA member, you can get the "pay" EVgo subscription for free. So you get the lower electricity rates.) The apps generally tell you whether or not the site you want to use has charger(s) in use or available, can start the charger via the app (if you have cell phone reception), etc. Also download the PlugShare app. It is a third-party "consolidator" that shows charging sites from almost 20 different vendors. It doesn't tell you if they are IN USE or not, but it does tell you their location. Very, very useful.

Also, PLAN your trip. Each stop should have *at least* one secondary choice (“the backup plan”) and you really should have a backup for the backup (3rd choice). Find Level2 chargers around where you might run out of electrons. Being able to charge at 240V/30A for 2-4 hours, enough to limp to the next DCFC, could be a lifesaver.

PlugShare is also available on the web :   https://www.plugshare.com/  .   Use it to see what networks are prevalent in your neck of the woods. Use it to find FREE charging as well.

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:23 am

If there is a DCFC "hole" in your trip (not enough to bridge the gap between units), plan on that stretch being a hotel overnight stop, where you can charge at L2 rate while you sleep. You can use plugshare to identify "hotel" stops, then call them directly to make sure that they have a working L2 unit, and make sure they note in your reservation that it is contingent on you being able to use their charger. If the charger isn't avail, then you wont be staying there. (A reason to pick a town with multiple hotels with chargers.) And call the day before arrival, to make sure the L2 is working and that overnight use is 'reserved' for YOU. Then call the morning of and tell them to put a post-it note on the main lobby screen that the charger is reserved for YOU that night.

(you can also pick a city/town that has multiple public L2 units , and reserve a hotel nearby - walking distance. OR, hotel in small town with shuttle service)

{{ Edit: also, in plugshare, in the "include" portion of the filters (just under 'networks') you can select "residential locations". That will show you homeowners who are willing to let you charge at their house in case of emergency. There aren't that many outside of Calif, but that can be a lifesaver. }}

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:32 am

Not sure how familiar you are with plugshare. Quick and dirty overview.

1) go to www.plugshare.com

2) search for a city / town. It looks like a google map, sort of. There's a " + / - " to zoom the map in / out. If you "hover" your mouse over a button / item, it generally tells you what it does.

3) One the left of the screen, you see pop-down items : Legend, Filters, Pay with PlugShare, Recent Activity, etc.

4) click on "Legend" to see what the little symbols mean ( "green teardrop" means "Public L1 or L2", "Orange teardrop" mean "DCFC", etc.) Then hide it - it's simple to remember.

5) click on "Filters". There are sub-menus "Plugs", Min Power", "Networks", "Include", Amenities", "Min PlugScore", "Extras"

5a) zoom out the map in order to show the full area that you will be driving for your trip.

5b) In Filters, click on "Plugs", and UNselect everything except for "CCS/SAE" (because you are looking only at  DCFC sites - later you can add J-1772 in those places you will stop in order to charge overnight via L2). close the "plugs" pop-down menu.

5c) Make sure to check the settings (inside the Filters area) for  :
- "minimum power" should probably be "0 kW". You *could* set it to 50 kW so that you don't see the old, slow 20-25 kW DCFCs. But to start, try "0 kW" (i.e., all of them)
- "Include" should have "Payment Required" and "Currently in use" selected, so you see pay chargers - not just the free ones AND ones that somebody is using right now (respectively). UNselect "Coming Soon" : those aren't turned on yet, so they aren't going to be much to you on your trip. (they have a "wrench" on them)
- "Amenities" : all unchecked (although if you check only  "Lodging" and set "plug" to "J1772", you an identify hotels that either have on-site charging, or there is charging very close by)

5d) click on  "Networks", and then "toggle all" button to turn OFF *all* the networks. Now just click on ONE (say, electrify America). Look at all the sites that are available. Slowly go thru the different providers (prob starting with EVgo, ChargePoint, GreenLots since they tend to be the biggest ones, but you might as well go thru all of them). You UNselect the previous choice and then SELECT a single new company to see what each one has available. You have now identified the networks that have the most units in the area(s) that interest you. Write those down. Consider getting a free card / account at all of them. Note that there is one "network" called "Other". That is (obviously) all the other networks, including "other networks / non-networked" . 

You can also play a little bit, and (say) :
* In plugs, select "J-1772" as well (green teardrops). Zoom the map in close on/around the areas where you are planning on stopping (for several hours, overnight, or several days). You now see all the charging locations in areas where you will be spending time.
* In "include", UNselect "Payment Required". Now it is showing you all of the free charging locations. Maybe there is free charging downtown, and you pick a hotel nearby. Or near that museum of basket-weaving the wife wants to spend 7 hours in. Or near that park you want to hike in. Or just down the street from the in-laws where you will be staying for 3 days.
* In “include” section there is also “residential locations”. Take a look at those (they are blue / aqua / teal teardrops with a house icon). These can also be lifesavers. They are homeowners (generally with an EV) that will let you charge at their home in an emergency. Sometimes there are none, sometimes a few, sometimes a lot. (There are probably over 100 with 6-10 miles of MY house, but, well , Silicon Valley tech geeks and all.)

Hope this helps ...

Oh, and you *might* be able to use Chevrolet dealers in emergencies. You can identify dealerships along your travel route, maybe around times you would eat anyways, and call them directly and tell them you are traveling through and ask if you could use their charger for an hour or so. You would of course be willing to post on yelp (or elsewhere) how great they were, nice, friendly, accommodating, willing to help out a chevy owner who was just passing through, etc. Since the dealers (that have them!) tend to have the slow units, it would be most advantageous to use them to "top off" from 75%-100%, since the car will only charge at about 25 kW at that level of 'fullness' anyways. Or simply to bridge a gap that you wouldn't otherwise be able to make.)

Ditto Harley dealerships (maybe it is only in CA, but a BUNCH of Harley dealerships have installed 24 kW DCFC units because Harley announced an electric Harley bike). In plugshare, those sites are generally listed under the 'network' : "Other" .

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:55 am

Oh, I may have already typed this, but i should insist and underline : download every app to your smartphone for the networks you might use (EVgo, EA, ChargePoint, ...) . They will show you realtime status (hopefully), allow you to find chargers and initiate a charge from the app, and some (ChargePoint at least) allow you to start a charge with the phone even if you don't have cell service.

DOWNLOAD each smartphone app and test them before the trip !!!!!!

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:01 am

Oh, and there is (are) a device(s) that will 'morph' a Tesla L2 ("destination charger") into a J-1772 plug, useful at hotels. They are sort of expensive, but if you use it ONCE to avoid a tow on your trip, you have come out ahead.

One is : https://shop.quickchargepower.com/JDapt ... PTRSTB.htm

Another is : http://www.umc-j1772.com/index.php?rout ... uct_id=102

I do not recommend either. I do not UN- recommend either. I have neither . They are products available for sale, that is all. (There are a LOT of hotels with Tesla plugs across the US)

You could consider the purchase simply "insurance" - hoping to never have to use it, like most insurance.

Or, if there are places in your hometown that give free charging to Teslas that you could use...

NORTON
Posts: 1337
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:20 am

Thanks for all the info !!

First, I am keeping the Spark EV. My daily driver. She will get the Bolt. Except 1 or 2 days a week I'll drive it in and then when she goes to work at 2 PM close by she'll swap cars at the Free L2 I use daily. We'll see how that works out.
Yes, I am milking the Free Public charging!!

I'll get a 7.2 kW L2 for home to add to the 3.3 I have now, before really cold weather gets here. No hurry.

I am working on your info! Thanks again.

I don't see where to apply my AAA membership on EVgo.
I don't have Greenlots yet so I'll get that going soon.

I have a physical card for CP and one on the way for EA.

Here's a nightmare situation:
I kill my phone getting out of the car at the first DCFC stop....... :oops:

This why I want the cards.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +85k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

NORTON
Posts: 1337
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:27 am

Found it. Got the AAA rates!
Found why there are 2 different DCFC sites at Baker, Ca.
It was sending my to EVgo and now it's sending me to the EA stations.

I didn't know Plugshare has 'lodging' filters. I need to come up with a plan for our overnight stays.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +85k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

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