Electrify America price gouging for Niro EV CCS charging

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Texas Niro EV, Jun 15, 2019.

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  1. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV Member

    I have an Electrify America Pass+ membership and I use it to charge my 2019 Kia Niro EV here in Texas. According to the information on the Electrify America website, I should not get charged more than $0.15/minute if I don't charge faster than 75 kW. I charged at three different 150 kW chargers at three different Electrify America locations.

    I have NEVER charged faster than 75 kW at any of these charging sessions and I extremely rarely even charge at a 75 kW but I ALWAYS get charged at the much higher rate of $0.42/minute for the up to 125 kW. The chargers don’t even care how fast I charge, they just start charging me the higher rate as soon as I connect up my car. I have always been a strong supporter of Electrify America and I have been the first to charge at many of the Electrify America charging stations but I feel violated by theses pricing practices.

    I have plans to use the Electrify America stations a lot over the next few years. The pricing practices for my car means that it will cost me almost three times what I was expecting to pay to drive my electric vehicle on long trips and the pricing will make me extremely reluctant to use the Electrify America stations for shorter trips. Electrify America needs to honor their advertise pricing for charging under 75 kW.

    I know that the Bolt EV owners are only paying the $0.15/minute. So as soon as the EA chargers see that it has a Niro EV connected to it the charger uses the higher rate regardless of what the actual charge rate is. What does Electrify America have against Niro EV owners?
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  3. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    Have you tried talking to EA about this? Perhaps they could provide a refund since you were not charging at that rate. I had wondered if it would be based on time at each tier or if it would be a flat tiering from the peak. From the sounds of what you experienced, it is going to be a flat rate from the potential tier regardless of the actual charge rate.

    We haven't charged our Niro EV with them since the app went live (so before the tiered pricing). And currently we can't get the app to work. We have 2 EVs so we want to have all the apps attached to one email address for simplicity purposes when both my husband and I might be traveling separately and need to remember logins. When we were registering for EA something went wrong and now it acts like we have an account but it will not let us log in and when we try to reset the password it just doesn't send the reset. While trying to get that straightened out, they called us back indicating that our Audi E-tron (not our car) had been successfully added. We have yet to get them to actually fix either problem (our email or the wrong car being listed).
  4. Clifford Ryer

    Clifford Ryer New Member

    Is there any way to throttle the charging rate of the Niro when on dc fast charge? I was at an EA station and briefly peaked at 78 kw, which put me into the $0.69 tier, which set my rate for the entire charging session. It would ne nice if you could set the Niro to only accept a max charge rate of 74 kw, to keep you in the lower tier. Just a thought......
  5. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    We had a chance to use the app to charge at EA the other day for the first time. It would seem that even if a charging session never reaches the 75kW rate (e.g. Max charging rate for this session: 74.63 kW) -- we still got charged the middle-tier 125kW rate ($0.58/min in OH) with our Niro. The rates must be defined somewhere in EA's back-end programming on a per-vehicle basis. I would have much rather paid the $0.21/min rate. FWIW, I've written in to complain about the pricing for the Niro/Kona based on our last charging session.

    <EA Rant>
    We'll see what that gets us, though I'm not optimistic at this point. It took us writing in/calling 5 separate times over a period of a week-and-a-half originally to fix a single account issue to allow us to get our account setup properly. While they were always friendly, they weren't always helpful. They have yet to respond via email once, and if by chance you happen to miss their initial (only) callback, you might as well forget about that ticket and open a new one. They have never followed up more than once by phone without having opened another ticket. Customer service while away from the charging station is not stellar, and more resembles non-existent. I guess it's still better than nothing, and better than not having these stations to get around.
    </EA Rant>

    We can generally set current rates and desired target charge level for the AC charging within the Charge Management section on the Nav console based on 120V versus 240V charging, and even program location based selections for current rates. However, there doesn't appear to be any option other than desired target charge level (max %) for DCFC. It was worth a thought.
  6. Texas Niro EV

    Texas Niro EV Member

    I would like to point out that the rate at which you are billed has nothing to do with your peak charging rate. The billing rate is set as soon as the car hand shakes with the charger, before the car actually starts charging. The Niro EV does allow you to set the rate at which you AC charge but not the rate at which you DC charge, but I think their is a lot of merit in your question.

    I don't see any reason why the charger can't ask you what the maximum rate at which you want to charge your car. Just like you can select Premium, Midrange or Regular gas at the gas pump you should be able to select the maximum charge rate you want to charge. Even if you can charge at much higher rates I can think of plenty of reasons why you might want to charge slower and get billed at the lower rate.

    I have had multiple conversations with Electrify America on this issue, including conversations with a senior executive, but they keep saying they are investigating the matter. In my last conversation with EA I told them they should change the programming on the chargers that allows people to select the maximum charge rate before the chargers start charging. Several of the suggestions that I gave Electrify America I am sure were echoed by a lot of people but they have been implemented so there is a good chance that EA will listen to this suggestion.

    I would encourage everyone that uses Electrify America chargers, especially Niro EV owners, to contact Electrify America and tell them that you want the programming changed on the chargers so that we can select the maximum rate that we want to charge. This problem is only going to get bigger as more and more cars capable of charging faster than 75 kW hit the road. If enough of us complain to Electrify America about this issue they will have to come up with a fix.
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  8. Clifford Ryer

    Clifford Ryer New Member

    I would think that KIA could also address this. The NIRO already modulates the charging rate KWh during Charge cycle to prevent battery heating and prolong battery life. Seems the software could be modified to allow the driver to select DC charging rate, which as you pointed out is already a feature or AC charging. This would be communicated to the EA charger at the beginning of the session. That way, you could throttle your max charge rate to 74 KW and that would set the tier for your charging session.
    TandM likes this.
  9. laughingwell

    laughingwell New Member

    We used an Electrify America station in Waterford CT recently and got ripped off by this issue. I called and complained. They reiterated that the rate is based on the initial handshake with the car. The Niro EV reports 77kw is the maximum rate that it can handle, so we get charged at the 75-150 tier rate (which in CT is $0.58)! The actual charge rate never exceeded 55kw as I was already at 65% capacity when I started charging. I will never used their stations again unless they change this stupidity.
  10. laughingwell

    laughingwell New Member

    A good article on this subject: https://electrek.co/2019/08/12/kwh-pricing-ev-drivers-miss-benefits/
  11. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    At session initiation there is a handshake where the car tells the charger how fast it can charge. The Niro, Kona and Soul all tell the charger it's 77 kw; EA charges the higher rate beginning at 75 kw. The reality is that these cars will only accept 77 kw for a very short time, under ideal conditions, before stepping down to 50 something. So it just doesn't pay to charge at an EA charger over 50 kw...
    laughingwell likes this.
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  13. laughingwell

    laughingwell New Member

    Your last statement is very true, but I don't think there is any way to control this. The Niro doesn't have a way to limit the DC charge rate, and as far as I could tell, the EA station didn't have that as an option either.
    So until EA changes something, there is no chance of me charging at an EA station. I would always prefer the EVgo station.
  14. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    Hi Marty,

    Wondering if you might have an official source for this 77kW maximum charging rate beyond personal experience? When I talked to one of the Electrify America support representatives a couple of weeks ago they indicated the max negotiated rate was 84kW. I've asked two dealerships and they don't seem to have a good answer for this, though, like you, we've very seldom seen more than 75-76kW even from a very low state of discharge even on a cool day.

    Thanks in advance!
  15. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Here is the actual charging rate vs. SOC %. 50 kW chargers are going to be equivalent to 150+ kW chargers if you arrive at 70%+ SOC. First step down from 77 kW is not until 40%. Source.

    mf989 likes this.
  16. MartyDow

    MartyDow Active Member

    I have not seen annything official from Hundai Kia group. What I have seen are articles with charts like the one above. Also, Bjorn Nyland, aka Tesla Bjorn, a very well kknown Youtube video blogger and EV advocate, has done exhaustive testing of every EV imaginable, including the Niro. His analysis of DC fast charging rates for these cars is consistent with the opinions expressed here. To my knowledge, no one has ever reported getting mre than 77/78 kw rate. I don't think limiting the max charge rate on the car is the right approach; I think EA should allow us to select the charge rate and cost we are willing to pay, just like we select fuel grades at the pump...
    laughingwell likes this.
  17. twc3000

    twc3000 New Member

    How do we know what these cars are really communicating with these charging units, are we just suppose to take their word? These are the sad A' hats that fooled the world with their diesel engines. Not sure if you can use the OBD connection to monitor this handshake to call them out on BS. The is just going to be more of these charger now seeing that Ford is now in-bed with VW (or at least not hiding it now). Maybe we should be filing cases with the Better Business Bureau. Maybe there is a law suite here waiting to happen.
  18. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

  19. hobbit

    hobbit Well-Known Member

    Makes one mull the concept of a widget to sit on the CAN line between the BMS and
    the charge control module and creatively lie about the max charge power.

    Unfortunately, the time/resources to build such a thing might exceed the cost of
    quite a few overpriced charge sessions...

    I've also hammered on GougeAmerica a couple of times, but it's looking more
    and more like the community is simply being permanently stonewalled.

  20. 2-Dog Niro

    2-Dog Niro New Member

    I've been on an extended Road Trip for the past two weeks across the US from Massachusetts, currently camping near Phoenix Arizona. We've been charging at EA stations exclusively, 17 sessions so far. Every session was priced in the 2nd tier even though the kW delivered only once hit 76kW for about 2-seconds, then stayed at 74-75kW for about 10-minutes. Every other session I received juice in the 40 to 50 kW range, even though at times I pulled in at 10% SOC.
    Clearly, EA has significant problems with their pricing and delivery. This is a known issue with the Kia e-Niro, but EA Customer Service says there's nothing they can do about it.

    At a few stations, I had to try several ports until I could find one that worked, and in two cases I had to go through every port until the last one finally worked. There's no reason why such a new network should perform so poorly.
    I'm very interested in working with others who feel like they are being ripped off by EA and I'm considering filing a class-action lawsuit to address this problem. I've already warned EA that a suit is coming, but we'll need to collect lots of evidence to present in court. Please let me know if you're interested in a class-action.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2020
  21. Electra

    Electra Active Member

    I have a solution. EA should set the maximum tier 1 rate up to 85 kW. This would solve the problem. Can we start a change.org petition?
  22. CanuckTom

    CanuckTom Member

    I think the solution would be that EA be petitioned to simply change their logic to charge based on the actual rate delivered, it can't be that difficult for them to calculate how long a charge session spends in each tier - like Tesla superchargers. That would be the fairest way to charge all vehicle drivers as it represents closest the actual value of energy delivered.

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