plj
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:52 pm
Location: Davis, California

DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:24 am

A couple times I've now had difficulty starting a DCFC (Level 3) fast charge. Talking to technical support from both Recharge and Electrify America, I learned to lift up the cable (close to the car port) to help make that connection. So far, the lifting enabled the 'handshake' to occur. I gather from the tech support people that this difficulty is relatively common in Bolts, especially early production models (which mine is).

I will be taking the car in for service and I plan to bring the difficulty up with Chevy. Has anyone had experience with Chevy on this issue? Is there a fix? Is this a warranty item?

theothertom
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:01 pm

It's a known issue. The high power EVSE's (aka "chargers") are heavy due to insulation and built in cooling to handle all the power and heat generated by that power. Since they are heavy they don't lock well when connecting to your car. EA is aware of this and, I think, is redesigning the cords. It's really not Chevy's fault so I imagine the dealer doesn't have a "fix".

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paulgipe
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Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:58 pm

theothertom wrote:It's a known issue. The high power EVSE's (aka "chargers") are heavy due to insulation and built in cooling to handle all the power and heat generated by that power. Since they are heavy they don't lock well when connecting to your car. EA is aware of this and, I think, is redesigning the cords. It's really not Chevy's fault so I imagine the dealer doesn't have a "fix".


Eric Way has written about this on the other Bolt forum and it does appear it was an early defect in the Bolt's port. There is a problem with EA's heavy and short cables that Eric describes. Later Bolts seemed to have less of an issue.

I've never had an issue with it, but I am also aware of the problem so try to avoid it.

I've written about my Canadian colleague who was stranded overnight because he couldn't get his port lock to release. He thinks it was related to tension on the lock not allowing it to release. The article is on here somewhere and on my web site.

Paul
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, used, sold
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

plj
Posts: 39
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Location: Davis, California

Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:50 pm

Thank you Paul. Do you mean chevybolt.org? I looked there, and see yours and others references to him, but not his posts. If it's easy for you, could you point me towards the post you're thinking of? Thanks a million.
Peter

plj
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:52 pm
Location: Davis, California

Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:35 pm

I learned that Eric Way goes by News Coulomb. I found he has some discussion of the "handshake" issue on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5tYyyP ... ex=19&t=0s

My question remains. Does GM have a fix? Is it a warranty issue?

theothertom
Posts: 61
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Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:39 pm

plj wrote:My question remains. Does GM have a fix? Is it a warranty issue?

Sounds like Eric may have contacted GM about this. You can email him and ask what he found out. Check the "about" section of his YouTube channel for his contact info.
Let us know what you find out.

Pigwich
Posts: 240
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Location: Southern California

Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:17 pm

I'm under the impression that the CCS standard just isn't as robust as the big stupid CHADEMO connectors with their CAN bus interface, at least as popularly implemented. The weight of the cable seems a bit excessive for the mechanical size of the plug and the plastic. Maybe they need to water cool the 50kW cables just to save weight? I've had protocol problems with my SparkEV, my Bolt, and our eGolf. Maybe the connector vendors are just sucking at the specifications? But yeah, CCS seems to go down a lot compared to ChadeMo. Maybe it's because it's getting used more nowadays. I'm confident they'll figure it out, I just don't want to have to drive around with a special stick in the trunk to hold the charging cable up.
(´・(oo)・`)

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paulgipe
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Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:36 pm

Pigwich wrote:I'm under the impression that the CCS standard just isn't as robust as the big stupid CHADEMO connectors with their CAN bus interface, at least as popularly implemented. The weight of the cable seems a bit excessive for the mechanical size of the plug and the plastic. Maybe they need to water cool the 50kW cables just to save weight? I've had protocol problems with my SparkEV, my Bolt, and our eGolf. Maybe the connector vendors are just sucking at the specifications? But yeah, CCS seems to go down a lot compared to ChadeMo. Maybe it's because it's getting used more nowadays. I'm confident they'll figure it out, I just don't want to have to drive around with a special stick in the trunk to hold the charging cable up.


You don't need a stick to hold up the cable. Once the car latches the cable, you're good to go. Eric has an early Bolt. I haven't had this issue--but I haven't charged at any EA stations yet. They have kiosks all over this part of California, but no transformers. . .

Paul
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, used, sold
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

JeffN
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:32 am

Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:29 pm

Pigwich wrote:I'm under the impression that the CCS standard just isn't as robust as the big stupid CHADEMO connectors with their CAN bus interface, at least as popularly implemented. The weight of the cable seems a bit excessive for the mechanical size of the plug and the plastic. Maybe they need to water cool the 50kW cables just to save weight? I've had protocol problems with my SparkEV, my Bolt, and our eGolf. Maybe the connector vendors are just sucking at the specifications? But yeah, CCS seems to go down a lot compared to ChadeMo. Maybe it's because it's getting used more nowadays. I'm confident they'll figure it out, I just don't want to have to drive around with a special stick in the trunk to hold the charging cable up.

The “hold up the cable” issue with the Bolt is a mechanical issue with the motorized clamp at the top of the car inlet trying to grip onto the top of the cable plug. If the plug sags down at an angle then the lock mechanism isn’t able to grab ahold of the plug. The car notices this and reports an error back to the charger.

There is no need to support the cable after the car’s clamp successfully locks on. You only need to hold up the cable for a few seconds at the very beginning of the charge initiation after the payment has been authenticated.

I have heard some Spark owners report charging problems at some (but not all) new Electrify America chargers but I don’t know what the exact underlying issue is.

What problems have you experienced with the eGolf and what model year was the car?

As for CHAdeMO, we don’t have a liquid-cooled CHAdeMO plug yet so who knows what issues it could have.

SparkE
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Re: DCFC: Difficult "handshake" to initiate charge

Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:29 pm

JeffN wrote:I have heard some Spark owners report charging problems at some (but not all) new Electrify America chargers but I don’t know what the exact underlying issue is.


Spark EVs seem to be able to successfully charge at EA locations where BTCP chargers are installed. However, Spark EVs are having ABB charging problems across the US. (the charge routinely fails during the "initializing" stage.)

On Monday, July 15, a Spark EV owner met with reps of both EA and ABB to demonstrate the problem. ABB was able to isolate the problem after churning through the data they collected. No fix (or timeline) has been announced.

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