Charging problems with Smart EV

Discussion in 'General' started by Mr M R Haines, Oct 21, 2018.

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  1. Mr M R Haines

    Mr M R Haines New Member

    I took delivery of a replacement Smart EV and immediately ran into charging problems at home. The car will not connect to either the 13 amp charger or a Chargemaster 7kw charger. I had all our electrics checked and the Chargemaster unit replaced and the car then charged. However a couple of days later the same problem arose. If I plug in in the neighbours garage there is no problem. I can only think it is something to do with the quality of the power being delivered to our house. Everyone is baffled including 4 different electricians who have been out to investigate. I will leave out the story of the EV which had to be rejected as that is another saga without a conclusion.
     
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Can you add some technical details:
    • City and State?
    • a replacement Smart EV - year and new or used?
    • The car will not connect to either the 13 amp charger or a Chargemaster 7kw charger.
      • The 13 A, L1 charger that came with the car? (photo would help)
      • Model of Chargemaster, perhaps URL to the specific one? (photo would help)
    • electrics checked - what was their diagnosis on the bill?
    • Chargemaster unit replaced - was it under warranty?
    • A couple of days later the same problem arose - what plug(s) are you using? Can you post a photo of the plug?
      • Do you have a volt-ohm meter to take some measurements?
      • What age is the house?
      • Do you have any other electrical issues in the house?
    • If I plug in the neighbours garage there is no problem - you both have the same type of power outlet?
    • something to do with the quality of the power being delivered to our house. Everyone is baffled including 4 different electricians who have been out to investigate - over what time period and different companies?
    • I will leave out the story of the EV which had to be rejected as that is another saga without a conclusion. - What year, make, and model?
    Let me share some hypothesis:
    1. Assuming USA, one phase, there are two, has a problem. Knowing the type of connector and the voltages between each pin lets us check it:
      1. Neutral - this is the center tapped wire from the power pole transformer.
      2. L1 - one hot phase from the transformer, 120VAC to Neutral
      3. L2 - second hot phase from transformer, 120VAC to Neutral
      4. Ground - independent of Neutral, this is a safety path so internal shorts do make the case shock and start fires
      5. L1-to-L2 - this is 240VAC
    2. Possibly a ground problem. Normally used for ground fault detection and safety, the chargers may be detecting a ground fault that causes the problem.
    3. A loose or corroded wire to the plug or in the power distribution panel from a failing circuit breaker can cause all sorts of intermittent problems.
    Bob Wilson
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  4. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    If you have had four electricians look at the issue and they can't figure it out, then have the power company come out and check their end.
     
  5. Mr M R Haines

    Mr M R Haines New Member

    Thanks for the responses. I did suspect an earth problem despite the 4 electricians reporting no problem. Finally called out power company who were at first puzzled but suspected my earth. They rigged up an alternative earth system temporarilycand that solved the problem. They then disconnected the earth electrode and did a proper check which confirmed very bad earth contact. Doesn't give you much confidence in domestic electricians and they were from well respected local companies with a good track record. Car is a 2018 Smart for 2 electric. Location UK. Dealer also had no ideas on what was wrong. A very good learning experience which I shall pass back to Smart and Chargemaster.
     
    bwilson4web likes this.

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