Electrify America charging issues, truck was culprit...

kizamybute'

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I haven't gotten around to gathering the details of my last road trip. Some good data that I will share when I get some free time. (teaser photo below)

But, wanted to share a charging issue that may be helpful to some in the future....

My first time trying to charge at an Electrify America charger a few months ago was a challenge. I have a prior post regarding that scenario. Simply put, charger had to be rebooted and it eventually worked after 30 minutes on the phone with them.

I've been fortunate that I hadn't had any other issues with charging since then, until Friday night.

Took a nearly 400 mile trip up north. Stopped once to charge along the way with no issues. Was a complimentary session, which was a pleasant surprise, saving me around $35. Turns out, it was apparently complimentary for everyone at all chargers over the weekend, so my entire trip was free of charge.

I arrived to my location, which was close to a charger. Went to charge the truck then go to dinner while it charged to 100%, to get me most of the way home the next day. Tried 6 different chargers at that location and none of them would work. On the phone with EA and they rebooted two machines (four charger plugs). No luck. Others were charging at the same location. Was going to wait for one of them to leave and try one of those chargers since they were clearly working.

Finally, the EA representative on the phone basically gave up and said, "I can't help you", "sorry", and added a complimentary session to my account for future use.

I then decided to do a full reboot of the truck after about 45 minutes of trying multiple chargers and going in circles getting nowhere. Did the full reboot (hazards / left button). That did the trick and was finally able to charge.

So many have had individual issues with EA chargers. In this case, it was the truck that was the problem for some reason. Another learning experience. Next time I have issues, I now call EA quickly. Now I will include a truck reboot into my troubleshooting so I don't waste so much time next time I have an issue.

Stopped once on the way home the next day and had no issues. But was reminded at how delicate this network can be. Arrived at my charge location to find three of the four chargers out of service. Would have been a challenge had the one charger not worked as I was pretty low on range. Interesting, the Rivian app sent me a notification while driving that my range was low. The annoying part was looking across the parking lot at some 20 Tesla superchargers sitting there, likely all working just fine. I hope Rivian has the charging network high on their priority list. The supercharger network was what made it possible for Tesla to succeed. Rivian could benefit equally as much if they can get a solid network of Rivian chargers built up.

Strange thing is, I was lucky at my first charger on the way there. The screen was completely sandblasted and couldn't read a thing on the screen. Knowledge told me to always plug in first. I then swiped my phone as I remember doing that at a prior session. I did that and the truck started charging. Figured, my experience saved me in that case. Little did I know that it was a complimentary session and the truck just happened to start charging on its own once plugged in. So, no clue what would have happened at that charger if it had not been complimentary since you couldn't see anything what so ever on that sandblasted screen (in the desert). Probably dodged a bullet in that scenario. Guess EA needs to starting thinking about how to protect their screens in high-wind desert areas.

I was happy to see on one of my charging sessions at a 350kw charger that it peaked at around 210kw on the screen. Was down to 202kw by the time I grabbed my phone to take a photo (see below)

One on the right said charger unavailable. One on the left was powered off.
1664941988617.png



Was missing my Tesla when I couldn't get the truck to charge.......
1664942042608.png



202kw charging rate (peaked at 210kw)
1664942487036.png



CHECK OUT THESE NUMBERS!!! (This was at 4:00 in the morning)
1664942678205.png

 

MoreTrout

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I have used EA just about exclusively on longer trips. I have been able to charge successfully every time, and every session has been complimentary since early September. The screen says they are in the process of upgrading their systems starting Sep 7th. Don't know if that has something to do with it. There is one on my most common ~200 mile trip and I don't really have to stop to make it, but as long as its free I'm going to stop. And the Taco Bell across the street appreciates it.

I'll occasionally see it peak around 205-225, but it pretty quickly pulls back to ~150-175 until the taper starts. That is still plenty fast to get me to 70% with a trip to the bathroom and Taco bell (surely related events), but I usually sit through the slower charging to at least 85% because its free. I'm up to around 4200 miles on the truck. Home charging is mid day when my solar can provide between 60-95% of the power. I don't track it that closely, but I'm certain I have spent under $150 total for that 4200 miles. That would have been somewhere around $700 of gas in my old Escape.
 
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kizamybute'

kizamybute'

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I have used EA just about exclusively on longer trips. I have been able to charge successfully every time, and every session has been complimentary since early September. The screen says they are in the process of upgrading their systems starting Sep 7th. Don't know if that has something to do with it. There is one on my most common ~200 mile trip and I don't really have to stop to make it, but as long as its free I'm going to stop. And the Taco Bell across the street appreciates it.

I'll occasionally see it peak around 205-225, but it pretty quickly pulls back to ~150-175 until the taper starts. That is still plenty fast to get me to 70% with a trip to the bathroom and Taco bell (surely related events), but I usually sit through the slower charging to at least 85% because its free. I'm up to around 4200 miles on the truck. Home charging is mid day when my solar can provide between 60-95% of the power. I don't track it that closely, but I'm certain I have spent under $150 total for that 4200 miles. That would have been somewhere around $700 of gas in my old Escape.
Glad to hear. So far, I've probably used public chargers around 10 times. All of them were Electrify America chargers. The first time, had an issue with the charger. The 8th time, had an issue where the truck wasn't reading any of the chargers I tried. The other 8 of 10 times were pretty flawless. I upgraded my account this week to the $4.00 per month membership to get from $0.43 per kw to 0.31 per kw. Turns out, I didn't need to since it was free. Have another road trip planned for next week. Hopefully it's still free then. If not, still much cheaper than gas, especially in California.
 

bhopkins

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I then decided to do a full reboot of the truck after about 45 minutes of trying multiple chargers and going in circles getting nowhere. Did the full reboot (hazards / left button). That did the trick and was finally able to charge.

So many have had individual issues with EA chargers. In this case, it was the truck that was the problem for some reason. Another learning experience. Next time I have issues, I now call EA quickly. Now I will include a truck reboot into my troubleshooting so I don't waste so much time next time I have an issue.
I had a similar problem on my road trip this summer. Turns out, a failed EA charger at an earlier stop "corrupted" the communications module used during the charging process. Finally figured it out after trying three other charging stations and then calling Rivian. Rivian had me do a hard reset but cautioned that doing so wipes all logs. So, they recommend only doing so after talking to them....I guess so they can pull the logs for diagnostic purposes. Like you, once I did the hard reset, charging worked well.

Strange thing is, I was lucky at my first charger on the way there. The screen was completely sandblasted and couldn't read a thing on the screen. Knowledge told me to always plug in first. I then swiped my phone as I remember doing that at a prior session.
On my road trip, I found most EA screens unreadable. I got to the point where I relied on the EA APP to start all sessions as I found the majority of the NFC readers not working.
 

jjswan33

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I had a similar problem on my road trip this summer. Turns out, a failed EA charger at an earlier stop "corrupted" the communications module used during the charging process. Finally figured it out after trying three other charging stations and then calling Rivian. Rivian had me do a hard reset but cautioned that doing so wipes all logs. So, they recommend only doing so after talking to them....I guess so they can pull the logs for diagnostic purposes. Like you, once I did the hard reset, charging worked well.
For what its worth (and off topic) this changed to some degree in 2022.31 update. Now when you do a hard reset you get a message that logs are saved and service can access them after a reset somehow.

Also I'm skeptical that the EA charger corrupted the communications on the truck, sounds like an excuse for a problem with the trucks software.
 


Blueassassin

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EA is a pain I had a charge where i left the truck went into a walmart and when the time was up that I was supposed to charge for I looked at the app truck was only charging at 40kw but the charger was charging me per min. I was pissed called them up yelled at the guy he made me move to a different charger that one said the credit card reader wasn't working and to call the same guy I was talking to which made me realize EA is a joke right now. Had to download the app get an account blaa blaa blaa all in the rain finally he turns it on I'm charging at over 200kw and I was charged what I needed in like 5 min it felt like.

I'm sure we all have some sort of F*** EA chargers story.
 

jjswan33

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EA is a pain I had a charge where i left the truck went into a walmart and when the time was up that I was supposed to charge for I looked at the app truck was only charging at 40kw but the charger was charging me per min. I was pissed called them up yelled at the guy he made me move to a different charger that one said the credit card reader wasn't working and to call the same guy I was talking to which made me realize EA is a joke right now. Had to download the app get an account blaa blaa blaa all in the rain finally he turns it on I'm charging at over 200kw and I was charged what I needed in like 5 min it felt like.

I'm sure we all have some sort of F*** EA chargers story.
Sucks that the station wasn't working great, it happens. Also the CC readers at most chargers (not just EA) are spotty at best. Having a stable of apps is a necessity for road tripping.

I personally am not going to say anything negative about EA. I'm very grateful it is available so widely. Yes it isn't perfect but what other choice do we have? I mean just try relying on CP, EVGo and others to get anywhere and report back. Longer term when RAN is built out, Tesla opens their network, etc then the market forces can drive better reliability and availability.

Also using per minute pricing (with a Rivian) with EA where required is a gift, not going to find cheaper electricity. Even at 40kW charge rate, while the cost is high it isn't higher than some other charging stations.
 

 
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