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Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:25 pm
by sobayimage
Electrify America appears to be designed to fail. On the 6th of July I tried to use Electrify America in Visalia California and again on the 11 of July in Bakersfield California,each for the first time. It took 45 minutes at each to get one charge plug working and charge my 2017 Bolt after failing at 5 other plugs. The lady on the phone instructed me to lift up on the plug to start charging but it never worked. She had to give me a free charge session each time because none on the 6 card readers would work either. The other design problems at Electrify America are: charge cords very short (horse tail short), inflexible (barge pole flexible), heavy (Sumo wrestler heavy) and with screens only useable at night, invisible in daylight. The layout of the charging station’s lanes are great if your charging port is in the front like the Nissan Leaf. Most cars today have the charging ports on the side and Electrify America charging cords won‘t reach. A driver, with a Chevy Bolt like mine, was just leaving as I pulled up at the Bakersfield site because he had given up and was going to the EV Connect charging station down the street. I own three different electric cars, one from 2012, so I have lots of experience at many different charging stations. The best of all is still the Tesla, just plug and go.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:53 am
by theothertom
EA has been hit or miss for me. The card readers are particularly troublesome, so lately I've been using the app which works much better. Sometimes I have to back in and sometimes I have to pull in to make the cords work. It's gotten to the point that I don't bother calling EA if a charger doesn't work, I just pull to the next one. I check plugshare before getting to the charger to see which charger might work best. Some people EA before getting to the charger to get up to date info on which one they recommend.
My real worry is what will happen when the Ford Mach-E and VW id.4 start selling. Both of these are relying on charging at EA chargers. EA needs to get their act together before the tsunami hits.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:49 pm
by BoltEV
I also agree: I was never able to get my credit card to work on EA, so I downloaded the app and joined.

Now the app has worked 100% of the time for me so far.

But I avoid EA if I have a reasonable alternative.

For example there is an EA in Mojave, but EV Connect now has 4 chargers located at the Park & Ride in Palmdale, which uses the same FOB as the EV Connect at the LA Metro Train station in Universal City.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:49 am
by cwerdna
Yes, per https://insideevs.com/news/389891/exclu ... solutions/ don't use the credit card readers and I guess by extension, don't use NFC either. Use the app to start sessions.

As for supporting the handle until the plug's locked to the car, it's been known for a long time and the hint has been circulating around on the net for at least 6 months, if not longer. I've seen it posted so many times on Bolt FB groups and there's https://www.torquenews.com/8861/chevrol ... orrections and https://www.torquenews.com/8861/fixing- ... ng-systems from 2019.

One really stupid thing about EA's iOS app is that I get signed out ALL the time w/my session somehow becoming "expired". So, make sure you have your password saved/handy. About the only iOS app I use which I use that is about as bad in terms of signing users out for no reason is TiVo's app.

I've had so-so luck w/EA but yes, it seems EA is very hit or miss from all accounts, even w/supporting the handle before it's locked to the car. My 1st attempt was at https://mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=581197#p581197.

Fortunately, after pinging them, they eventually followed up with me and ended up refunding the entire 1st charge cost: session fee and time fee.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:59 pm
by imfromjersey
I concur - I had an awful experience about a year ago at an EA Charger in Newport News, VA, it seemed to be working but would only charge for 10 minutes or so and then stop. I was in an area without a lot of chargers, I was able to get enough charge to drive 30 miles up the road to a non-EA charger and then get home (it was a 2 + hour drive from home). I went back and forth with their customer service, they never did end up charging my credit card but I would be hesitant to use them again. Right now due to the pandemic I'm barely driving my car, have only plugged it in 3 times since March but eventually I'm sure I will be driving more...

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:32 pm
by ElectricAdventure
The issues with the Bolt charging on the EA system seems to be pretty weird. I have charged a Bolt on their units a few times and haven't had a hitch. First try, with the app (only just started using a credit card at their locations). Both ABB, Signet. A friend of mine drove his Bolt from Califorina to Utah just on EA chargers and had one crappy charging session at the Chargepoint station in St. George (because the EA station wasn't online yet) and it was because it was hot and only giving 35kW out.

The eSpark however was quite the pain. It finally started working enough for me to drive from Sanatquin UT to St. George on EA stations and every one worked just fine- even if I had to move a stall once. I have at least 18 failed attempts in my spreadsheet I created to document their broken chargers. But like I said, now that they fixed the problem I use them at least once a month to get around.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:22 am
by TheLondonBroiler
If you value your sanity, use the app. If your OS is too old (this was my issue), it's probably time to buy a new phone anyway. The app drastically improves reliable session starting and avoids the potential for getting your card skimmed at a station.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:09 am
by Kirknc
Here in NC and Virginia, they have shutdown virtually all their stations. On PlugShare they have posted messages saying they are “upgrading the site to improve performance “. Any idea what the heck they are doing. Nice they did it right before Labor Day as in many cases they were the only option within hundreds of miles.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:26 pm
by theothertom
Kirknc wrote:Here in NC and Virginia, they have shutdown virtually all their stations. On PlugShare they have posted messages saying they are “upgrading the site to improve performance “. Any idea what the heck they are doing. Nice they did it right before Labor Day as in many cases they were the only option within hundreds of miles.

EA used at least 3 manufacturers of chargers during their start up. Some were more reliable than others. They are removing the unreliable ones and replacing them with more reliable units. They started this process maybe 6 weeks ago....I don't know how long it will take to complete the process.

Re: Charging at Electrify America

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:29 pm
by ElDobro
They are also updating the stations that did work to faster charging ones.