TheLondonBroiler
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:25 am

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:49 pm

Wow! What a read so far, this topic is a bit of a wopper. As Norton pointed out, this is all very likely a software problem. I successfully charged on an ABB station a year and a half ago.

https://youtu.be/MKoXq6yP5_E

Electrify America is more or less a forced entity of Volkswagen for the diesel admissions scandal. It's a complete conflict of interest and should never have been allowed. Therefore I'm not surprised that nearly two years after launching their first station, they have credit card readers with horrendous reliability, vehicle compatibility issues, and many examples of poorly positioned stations (both the site they chose and where the chargers are located at the site).

What do I know? (Edit: I do some charging on their network with my Bolt)
Image
https://youtu.be/O8hyzmS5GM4
2015 Spark EV w/ DCFC 46,XXX miles
Purchased 1/20/18 w/ 16,5XX miles
2019 Bolt EV w/ DCFC 55,XXX miles
Purchased 3/16/19 w/ 87 miles

ElDobro
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:40 pm

You would think EA would get it right with an EV VW.

TheLondonBroiler
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:25 am

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:35 pm

I've tried the site in Charlotte, NC twice now with the Spark, and both times, without and then with their App, the sessions were unsuccessful. They are ABB units, so it's not surprising. The last time, I nearly ran out of power, due to two other fast chargers in the area that wouldn't work (4th one was the charm).

As far as action is concerned on this issue, I really don't have any great ideas. Just like the card readers that haven't functioned well since day one (more than a year and a half ago), EA doesn't seem to be in a rush to solve large issues. They are forced to spend this money, even if it means building pretty charging stations that don't always work very well. The only thing that might catch SERIOUS attention, is a lot of negative reviews for their corporate office on the likes of Google. Even still, in that case, they will probably use their "station support" staff (who are friendly, as many of you probably know), to respond and say "Call this phone number and we'll work it out," then run circles around the mulberry bush until you hang up, with nothing resolved.
2015 Spark EV w/ DCFC 46,XXX miles
Purchased 1/20/18 w/ 16,5XX miles
2019 Bolt EV w/ DCFC 55,XXX miles
Purchased 3/16/19 w/ 87 miles

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

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:32 am

TheLondonBroiler wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:35 pm
I've tried the site in Charlotte, NC twice now with the Spark, and both times, without and then with their App, the sessions were unsuccessful. They are ABB units, so it's not surprising. The last time, I nearly ran out of power, due to two other fast chargers in the area that wouldn't work (4th one was the charm).

As far as action is concerned on this issue, I really don't have any great ideas. Just like the card readers that haven't functioned well since day one (more than a year and a half ago), EA doesn't seem to be in a rush to solve large issues. They are forced to spend this money, even if it means building pretty charging stations that don't always work very well. The only thing that might catch SERIOUS attention, is a lot of negative reviews for their corporate office on the likes of Google. Even still, in that case, they will probably use their "station support" staff (who are friendly, as many of you probably know), to respond and say "Call this phone number and we'll work it out," then run circles around the mulberry bush until you hang up, with nothing resolved.
AMEN! Have a Happy New Year.

Engineear
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:19 am

Yeah, have had that issue when I had the BMW i-3. The support structure for Tesla is why I'm leaning that way in the future, but, waiting to see all the other manufacturers offer and if/when the charging stations get better, are more plentiful and batteries gain more miles and fast charge.

ElDobro
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:54 pm

The Spark is brought up in the article.
https://insideevs.com/news/389891/exclu ... solutions/

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

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:12 am

ElDobro wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:54 pm
The Spark is brought up in the article.
https://insideevs.com/news/389891/exclu ... solutions/
Thanks for the post. 6 months ago I reported to Electrify America that my 2016 Spark EV could not charge at any of the 10 Electrify America chargers - I tired them all - located at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore, CA. I even met with representatives from EA and ABB and demonstrated the problem. So far, all I get is "they are working on it"! I even tried 4 EA ABB chargers in Patterson, CA with similar results.

I find it interest that ABB manufactured the older EVgo chargers and I have not had any problems charging on EVgo chargers. You would think ABB could quickly figure out the problem and fix it.

Fortunately, EA chargers manufactured by BTCPower and Signet will charge a Spark EV.

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

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:52 pm

I have followed this thread hoping some solution would be found. I saw a comment on Plugshare where someone was able to charge his Spark on an ABB charger in Albany OR recently by holding up the plug cable. I thought I'd give it a try here in Vancouver Wa. I have tried several of these chargers here several months ago with no luck. Even the customer service could not get them to work although I held the plug in and wiggled it and whatever else we could think of. The credit card readers would not work either. So I tried again today. First I just plugged in and tried the credit card reader since the app was down. I was verified but the charger would not initialize. I reinserted the plug but this time held up the cable with one hand while the card reader verified my card and the charger initialized and started charging normally!!! I was afraid that if I let go of the cable that the charge would stop so set it up on a steel post. I let it charge to 90 % and then as a test removed the cable from the post and let the weight hang on the plug and it continued to charge no problem. That would seem to indicate that the cable only has to be held during initialization. I saw a max of 47 KW which is normal and about what I see on the evgo chargers. Maybe a few others could try this technique and report back. I'm thinking of making a stick I could put under the charge cable to hold it up. Special charging tool # ABBspark ! Oh, and yes I have done the charge port mod which didn't help when I tried the ABB chargers before but helped on the evgo chargers.

ElDobro
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:13 am

At 6 minutes into this video, the poster holds up a piece of plastic, made by another Bolt owner, that supports the cable where it goes into the port. Interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BhwyaArsvs

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

Re: Electrify America Charging Station Problems

Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:48 pm

thinksmall wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:52 pm
I have followed this thread hoping some solution would be found. I saw a comment on Plugshare where someone was able to charge his Spark on an ABB charger in Albany OR recently by holding up the plug cable. I thought I'd give it a try here in Vancouver Wa. I have tried several of these chargers here several months ago with no luck. Even the customer service could not get them to work although I held the plug in and wiggled it and whatever else we could think of. The credit card readers would not work either. So I tried again today. First I just plugged in and tried the credit card reader since the app was down. I was verified but the charger would not initialize. I reinserted the plug but this time held up the cable with one hand while the card reader verified my card and the charger initialized and started charging normally!!! I was afraid that if I let go of the cable that the charge would stop so set it up on a steel post. I let it charge to 90 % and then as a test removed the cable from the post and let the weight hang on the plug and it continued to charge no problem. That would seem to indicate that the cable only has to be held during initialization. I saw a max of 47 KW which is normal and about what I see on the evgo chargers. Maybe a few others could try this technique and report back. I'm thinking of making a stick I could put under the charge cable to hold it up. Special charging tool # ABBspark ! Oh, and yes I have done the charge port mod which didn't help when I tried the ABB chargers before but helped on the evgo chargers.
Very interesting! One thing I noticed is during all of my ABB testing was that many of the ABB cable plugs put a "severe" twist on the car's socket when the plug was inserted. But... even the ones I tried, that had "just a little" twist, did not work either. There is a silver latch in the car's socket that falls into place during the initialization step. Charging will not start if this latch does not drop into place and there was often enough twist to prevent the latch from falling into place. The socket modification you mentioned was corrected in the 2016 Spark EV.

Fortunately, a second EA charging location opened along my Friday route and it has chargers manufactured by BTCPower. So far, BTCPower chargers at a number of different locations have worked for me every time. But... I am going to try supporting the cable during initialization using ABB chargers and see if that works. I will try supporting the cable while also using the EA APP to start the charging cycle. Should be interesting!

The plug in the video is quite different from those I see here in Central California. Still, I would not mind purchasing the adapter if it works for the "California" plugs.

UPDATE 13-Jan-20: I drove to my closest EA charging station which is located 30 miles away in Turlock. I tried the 350 kWH ABB charger and could not get it to charge. Then I tried a 150 EA ABB charger. I supported the plug with one hand while using my other hand to activate the charging session via the EA APP on my phone. IT WORKED!! Now, on Friday, I plan to try the 150 kWh ABB chargers at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore to see if they will work too. Previously, I had a 100% failure rate.

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