Electrify America Charger Unavailability

In Southern California, the demand for Electrify America chargers seems to be taking a toll on reliability and availability.

As I've described previously, the stations in SoCal seem to be fairly busy. It is common for all stations in driving distance to be full, often with lines. Even ones that say there is a charger open often turn out to be a mirage, with that one charger half broken, only CHAdeMO working and sitting empty waiting for one of the last Leafs to show up.

Even in the brief time I've been taking my Ioniq 6 to EA stations, I've seen all sorts of problems.

Fully Out Of Service Chargers

First off, some stations have a large number of chargers out of service. One nearby has 4 out of 6 chargers out of service. At least they are labeled in the app, so you can see before heading over that you'll be waiting for just 2 working chargers.

One aspect of EA chargers I hadn't really noticed until recently is that they have two cables for each charger. This provides several benefits. If one cable fails, the charger can still be used with the other one. And if both are working you can pick the cable that is closer to your charging port. Some chargers are CCS on one side and CHAdeMO on the other, though.

These mixed chargers are one source of confusion. If the CCS cable is broken, the entire charger is of no use to CCS drivers, the majority of people going to EA stations. (I have yet to see a CHAdeMO cable in use.) However, the charger with a dead CCS cable and a working CHAdeMO cable is listed as working, and will cause a station to show a charger available. Look in the charger details carefully before committing to a station.

Ghost Chargers

Another issue is chargers that are listed as available but are actually malfunctioning. They look like they are working, the screen welcomes you to the pump, but they cannot charge your car. I've seem this take 2 forms so far.

The first failure mode is when the charger never even sees that it has been plugged in. I'm not sure whether the cable has failed or the latch is broken, but at least a couple of times I've seen chargers that just won't detect that they've been plugged in.

Second, in a few cases I've seen the charger indicate "Connecting to Vehicle", then "Reconnecting to Vehicle", then nothing.

Report Problems to Help Other Drivers

When you encounter a station that isn't working, please report it to EA if you have the time. You can call them up or just report it in the app. I reported one that was listed as working but nonfunctional, and it was marked as "out of service" by the next day in the app. It seems EA can't tell (or doesn't want to show) certain types of errors as out of service. Letting them know helps get those pumps out of service, saving people the trouble of driving to a broken charger.


Last modified on 4 May 2024 by AO

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