Page 1 of 2

Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:23 pm
by paulgipe
On our way to Santa Cruz, California we stopped in Madera to charge our Chevy Bolt EV. Just a few miles north Electrify America--the VW subsidiary ordered to do penance for its dieselgate scandal--is building a much larger fast charging station. So we stopped by to see its progress.

The EA site at a Madera Walmart just off Hwy 99 is hidden behind a privacy fence. Nevertheless, I was able to peer over the top and take a couple of photos with my phone.

Image

There were tradesmen working on the project and lots of equipment stored on-site, including what looks like the charging cabinets. It appeared they've yet to place the concrete for the cabinet pads and curbing, though the re-bar and conduit were in the ground.

I have no idea when EA expects the site to open but from the site's appearance it's unlikely before year end.

According to a posting on PlugShare, EA's site will have four CCS kiosks and one CHAdeMO kiosk.

Image

The nearest existing DC fast-charging station is the two dual EVgo units at Madera's Save Mart. One of those units is only 100 amps.

EA's Walmart site is relatively close to the store. We visited mid-day on a Monday and traffic was heavy in the parking lot with lots of people searching for parking. It will be interesting to see if the stations get ICEd.

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:32 am
by gregb
I’ve leased my 2018 Bolt for the past six months and have really enjoyed reading the posts on this forum. I’ve especially been interested in new charging stations that are being constructed by Electrify America, especially those in Madera and Selma since I reside in Fresno. It’s not so much that I would use these specific charging stations. It’s just that it would be nice to see an improvement in the overall availability for EV drivers.

The distance to Madera from my residence is less than 20 miles, and I thought others might be curious about the progress on the construction of the Electrify America charging station in Madera, so I drove there to check. I’ve posted pictures on the Plugshare app. As you will see, we are not there yet. The equipment is behind the fence but does not seem to be installed. No work was occurring at the site. Paul was right, it is very close to the store. I was there at about 10:30 AM on a weekday and it was very busy with vehicles and pedestrians. Vehicles were parked in the spaces and I’d have to agree with Paul that the potential for spaces being ICEd is high. It will be very easy to access from Highway 99 though, and I’m sure it will be readily visible on the right from W. Cleveland Avenue when approaching Wal Mart and after exiting Highway 99.

Selma is about the same distance south from Fresno on Highway 99 and it’s likely that myself and my wife will be there later this week. I’m curious about this charging station and will post on the plugshare app.

Both myself and my wife have really enjoyed driving the Bolt and our 2007 Prius is really being neglected. It’s not a bad vehicle at all, but the Bolt really shines for our purposes i.e. in-town driving and short, two-hour trips to the mountains. We are looking forward to a longer road trip in the Bolt, thus my interest in charging station construction.

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:41 am
by paulgipe
Thanks Greg for the update. And yes, this is how forums can be useful. ;)

Paul

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:52 am
by gregb
Today, I checked for construction at the Selma Wal-Mart location. I was unable to locate any signs. Since Plugshare is indicating that there will be 7 CCS/SAE and 1 CHAdeMO plugs, the footprint for the construction would be noticeable, I would think. It was busy there due to the holidays, so I mostly drove the perimeter of the Wal-Mart and other stores in the shopping center. I checked the area with the restaurants and didn't see anything that looked like a charger construction site. It’s not an especially large parking lot so I don’t believe I missed anything, but I did not drive through every possible row. I will be periodically in Selma and will keep checking!

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:06 pm
by iwatson
A word of warning about Electrify America Stations. Please don't let your expectations overflow! I live in Memphis Tennessee. Electrify America just went live with their station here, which is the only DCFC station which supports SAE/CCS in a metro area of a million plus residents. The two closest stations are in Forrest City Arkansas (another EA station) which is 70 miles west, or Nashville which is 200 miles east.

Our EA station which is "The Market of WolfcreeK" at 2765 Wolfcreek parkway was under construction for 7 months. Actually it only took 5 months for construction, but sat idle another 2 months after construction was completed before it was turned on. Since becoming operational it refuses to charge my Bolt EV. I have attempted to charge on 3 different occasions and after plugging the car and swiping my credit card it immediately displays an error message:

"Charging session error - Charging has been interrupted. Please unplug."

I traveled to Forrest City, AR to the EA station there and got the same result. When the weather was warmer I also made the 200+ mile trip to Nashville and was able to fast charge at the EVGO station at the "Opry Mills mall".

The EA rep that I talked with on the phone said that some Bolt EV's have been able to charge on their equipment, however they've reached out to GM to determine why there's an incompatibility issue with Some other Bolt EV's. I've read posts from other owners of different EV brands on plugshare and they too report difficulty in getting the equipment to function with their vehicles. One owner of a BMW i3 attempting to use the EA station in Manchester, Tennessee declared that EA stations were "the crappiest, buggiest chargers he'd ever used."

Based on their current trajectory and the speed at which this company works, I'm expecting that I might be able to reliably charge at their facilities by the year 2023.

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:12 am
by gregb
Well, just got through opining about construction occurring in the central California coast region (see below) and am hopeful that Electrify America is learning as they go. Your word of warning is a sobering reminder that the adoption of new technology might come with more than a fair share of hiccups along the way. I'm remembering reports of problems with chargers and other companies, too, that give me pause when considering a longer trip.

Construction is occurring at the Electrify America/Pismo Beach Premium Outlet site. I've posted pictures on Plugshare. It looks like there will be two separate installations, one smaller with perhaps one outlet and a much larger one. They are located at what I think is the North end of the shopping center near the Nike Factory Store. Wish I could have gotten more complete pictures but didn't want to intrude on the ongoing work. A company representative at their service center was aware of the construction but could give no date of completion. A construction worker at the site indicated, "After the first of the year," which wasn't that helpful. It would be good if this site is finished since there seems to be no fast charging stations on the central coast (except SLO). If you are staying at a hotel with a Level 2 charger, you might be okay but otherwise, there are limited available chargers.

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:18 pm
by paulgipe
Yes Greg, that location needs a fast charger after Kon Tiki had ChargePoint remove their inoperative 24 kW station. The L2s nearby are pretty beat up too. Though the L2 at Grover Beach city hall appears to be turned on now. Before you had to go in and register and someone had to walk out and turn the station on. Consequently, it wasn't used much--certainly by me. ;)

Paul

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:22 am
by JeffN
iwatson wrote:A word of warning about Electrify America Stations....

Since becoming operational it refuses to charge my Bolt EV. I have attempted to charge on 3 different occasions and after plugging the car and swiping my credit card it immediately displays an error message:

"Charging session error - Charging has been interrupted. Please unplug."

This problem is most likely the one I wrote about in the article that I have linked to below. It isn’t specific to Electrify America but is an issue with the new liquid-cooled cables being used in the new high-power chargers.

GM is aware of the issue and is looking into it.

In the meantime, there is an easy workaround. You just need to use your hand to help support the cable near where the CCS connector plugs into the car. You only need to do it for a few seconds until the car’s electric latch grabs ahold of the connector (which is done to prevent electrical sparks if someone were to unplug while high-power charging is underway). You can hear when the latch is actuated and can let go when you see that charging has started.

Watch the YouTube video embedded in my article for an example of the workaround.

Some drivers struggle to use new liquid-cooled charging cables
https://electricrevs.com/2018/12/19/som ... ng-cables/

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:18 pm
by iwatson
JeffN, Thanks for the information. I watched the video. I will return to the Electrify America station in my area when I get a chance and give this procedure a try. I'll report my experience. Incidentally, the cables (short length) and connectors at the Electrify America stations look exactly like the ones in the video.

I don't know how i missed this video? I generally watch all of Eric's youtube videos, but hadn't seen this one till now. Thanks again for sharing with me.

Re: Madera Electrify America DCFC Station Underway

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:39 pm
by JeffN
iwatson wrote:JeffN, Thanks for the information. I watched the video. I will return to the Electrify America station in my area when I get a chance and give this procedure a try. I'll report my experience.

I’m looking forward to finding out if this workaround “fixes” the problem you were having.

When was your Bolt EV build? It should be on the driver’s door frame. I’m curious if only or mostly early built cars have this issue or maybe cars that have done a lot of DC charging.