Defective and broken public EVSE's

Discussion in 'General' started by BlueKonaEV, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I charge a lot outside of my home, mostly out of convenience as there are many free chargers around my area near places that I frequent. One thing that I have noticed is that there so many charging places that are defective or damaged.. Why isn't it possible for manufacturers to make EVSE's that can hold up to the use and elements just like gas pumps do? Looks like a lot of cheap materials are used.. I saw many broken handles and yesterday, I charged at the AAA building in Tampa/FL and they have fairly new EVSE's in front and back of the building, advertised as 40 amp, 9.6 kw. So, I went to the front EVSE and the display was off and the credit card reader showed connection error (the EVSE is free but they get the credit card information to enforce a 2 hour limit). So, I just plugged in. It did work but only charged at 1.1 kw. So, I went to the EVSE in the rear of the building. Tried the left plug. Used Samsung Pay to initiate the charge and it started without problems and charging started out at 6.9 kw.. However, after 2 minutes, the speed had dropped to under 2 kw. That's when I disconnected and switched to the right plug. Initiated the charge again and this one was the only one that worked.. Charged for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 6.9 kw without an issue. 3 out of 4 plugs not working correctly. The same thing is happening in many places. How is it possible that public EVSE's are so unreliable??
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  2. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    A lot of factors at work here. This is a young technology and failure is a part of the learning process. The broken chargers are probably the earliest ones installed. Most of the early ones in my service area have broken down and are not being repaired or replaced. I was also discouraged at first with the total lack of available and reliable public chargers.

    This is now changing. The Flo network is expanding in my area (East Ontario Canada) and they really seem to have their stuff together. Petro Canada is installing charging at some of their outlets. Just used one yesterday. A fantastic experience as the kiosk was super user friendly. The charge was also free which I presume they are doing during the introductory period. Canadian Tire ( a nation wide franchise retailer) is also getting in on the act.

    I believe it will get better in most areas although not nearly as fast as most of us would like. Remember there`s really slim if any profits in setting up public charging. The profits come from advertising or getting EV drivers into restaurants or shopping districts while the cars are charging. Keep the faith!
  3. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    Some of the stations I had issues with were newer. An EVSE is a fairly simple device (especially Level 2 EVSE's). There are only a few likely points of failure. Handle, cable, touch screen display. Some of the insulation on the cable of a fairly new EVSE was coming off at the AAA EVSE. Technology with LCD screens exposed to the environment have been around for a whilebon ATM's, gas stations etc but they don't seem to go bad on ATM's and gas pumps but they go bad on EVSE's. The J1772 handles often appear to be made of the cheapest plastics available.. Hopefully, this will indeed improve..
    Look close at the pic.. you can see the white spots on one of the cable where the top layer of the insulation came off..

    Attached Files:

  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    After 3 years of EV, I've observed:
    • Problem of the Commons - especially true when there is no user identification, the users treat EVSE like some public toilets. The abuse is horrendous and non-technical property owners who do not have an EV to charge, don't realize the problem. I've had to educate them about serious safety issues.
    • Derated chargers - there is a local University with rows of L2 chargers limited to 16A, normally these are 40-80A. They also require a University parking sticker. But another commercial charging network (rhymes with 'sing') has many derated to 24-32A which are terribly slow with no external indication or on their web maps.
    • Disconnected EV sales from charging - with no product to support, charger operators do not see them as key to their sales success. In contrast, Tesla does.
    • Disconnected charging from EV sales - I remain aghast the dealers lock up their chargers outside of business hours. They also park ICE cars there and have not realized you can sell to EV owners at your charger ... if you know how to sell EVs.
    • Infantile problems - newer entrants have great designs but no operational experience leading to early failures and unreliability (aka., Electrify America at Manchester TN.)
    • "50 kW is enough" - abysmal myopia, a 50 kW charger (aka., EVgo) has been lapped several times over. Tesla upgraded their 120 kW Superchargers to 150 kW earlier this year.
    • Stupid L2 chargers - home chargers without wireless monitoring and management is beyond stupid!
    I'm starting to pound the keyboard so I'll have to take a break and get some happy Tesla news.

    Bob Wilson
  5. I agree with most of your points except "Stupid L2 chargers - home chargers without wireless monitoring and management is beyond stupid!"
    Many new EVs already have integral wireless charging monitoring and management capabilities, why duplicate an unneeded capability and introduce another potential point of failure with " smart L2 EVSE"?
    R P likes this.
  6. And not to mention extra costs of wifi chargers, when that function is never needed with my car. Also with some wifi chargers (maybe all), like ChargePoint, you have to register to use the charger you just bought from them. So they get to collect and sell all your data. And what if down the road they decide to charge a subscription fee?

    No, I am much happier with my cheaper portable plug-in EVSE that I can take with me on a trip.
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I have a 2014 BMW i3-REx and a 2019 Tesla. Sad to say, they are dependent on external communications and servers. But then I'm a 'belt and suspenders' engineer. BTW, here is recent data from my home EVSE (see PDF).

    Bob Wilson

    Attached Files:

  8. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    Agreed.. I can control and monitor my charge with the Bluelink App.. No need to spend extra money on a EVSE connected to your home wifi. Furthermore, some of those EVSE's with internet connectivity send statistics of your personal use to the company (i.e. Chargepoint). Some people may not want Chargepoint to know when and how often they charge their car or cars. My Bluelink app gives me all the charging information that I need and my EVSE gives me the time I charged and how many kwh were delivered to my car.. That's all I need. Anything more than that is a waste of money for me.. It may be useful for others but I have no use for wifi enabled EVSE at home.. All that I want from my home EVSE is that it can charge at the maximum speed that my car can charge at.. Other than that, I really don't care.
    R P likes this.

Share This Page