Three EV Homeowners Say Autos Had been Broken Charging At Electrify America Stations

In Twitter posts, not less than three EV house owners say that their automobile was broken at an Electrify America station. These claims come from three totally different automobile manufacturers (Rivian, Chevrolet, and Ford), and seem to have occurred at totally different stations. We will’t be certain what triggered any of those pretty giant electrical failures, and we’re ready to listen to again from Electrify America to listen to what they should say about this.

Replace: Electrify America acquired again to me and advised me two of the incidents are nonetheless beneath investigation, and that the complexity and variety of variables imply these investigations will take time. The oldest incident (the F-150 Lightning) was an “remoted incident” that was resolved by changing a fuse or circuit breaker. They consider battery module failure was a “second difficulty”.

Let’s check out these tales and see what commonalities there are between them. We’ll begin with the newest one I’ve come throughout from Anson (@snkrticians), a Rivian R1T proprietor:

On this case, the proprietor says he was two hours away from dwelling. After beginning a cost at a 150 kW stall, he says he heard a loud “growth” sound, adopted by a bunch of error codes. The truck couldn’t be unplugged from the charger, even after making an attempt the guide launch and even making an attempt to pry it off. Sooner or later, he mentioned it appeared that the contacts within the connector had “welded” to the automobile, and that the service technician was contemplating taking a noticed to the charging cable to get the automobile unfastened for towing.

The house owners says Rivian responded and supplied him with rideshare credit so he might not less than get dwelling.

One other current story comes from “Malicious Compliance” (@burn_this_app).

On this thread, the proprietor describes one thing comparable taking place to a Chevy Bolt. “Final I checked sparks and smoke coming from the #EVSE on the #ElectricVehicles charging station proper because the dispenser pops and goes black after which my automobile not having the ability to shift our of park or settle for any cost, just isn’t regular process.” they mentioned. In addition they mentioned that the vendor has not been in a position to have a look at the automobile but, and Electrify America is barely providing to presumably reimburse a paid restore bill.

Elsewhere, he offers some extra element about sparks and smoke:

A 3rd story is one from final yr that readers might have already seen.

When requested for extra particulars, he mentioned, “Plugged the Lightning to the EA Charger, began to cost, heard a loud growth, and the charger went darkish and the Lightning threw up a bunch of error codes and wouldn’t begin. Couldn’t even shift into impartial.”

There was additionally a report of smoke coming from a charging cupboard.

In his case, Ford took care of the repairs, and he says he didn’t take care of Electrify America in any respect. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual for broken automobile claims like this to be dealt with behind the scenes between the totally different events which may be accountable, so Ford might be coping with Electrify America in the event that they decided the station triggered the harm.

Sadly, after getting the truck again, Eric mentioned he needed to take it again in once more for a failed battery module, presumably attributable to the station. It has been sitting on the vendor since January 2nd, and he’s nonetheless ready for Ford to ship components to the vendor for the restore. He says the service division recommends making an attempt to get Ford to purchase the automobile again, however he likes the truck and simply needs Ford to ship the vendor components so he can get again on the highway.

What Seems To Be Frequent In These Tales

Let’s make certain we’re being totally truthful about this earlier than we dive additional in. I do should reiterate at this level that we’re solely taking a look at what individuals mentioned right here. I’m not passing these tales alongside as arduous confirmed info, and also you shouldn’t take them that method at this level. I’ve despatched messages to Ford and Electrify America and I’m ready to listen to again from them with additional data (see be aware at starting of article).

It’s additionally method too early to find out trigger. Three horrible failures out of hundreds and hundreds of profitable costs doesn’t imply there’s a widespread downside or that it’s significantly more likely to occur to an EV driver. Given the rarity, these three tales might have three totally different causes. It might be the automobile, or it might be the station. Or, it might be each. Or neither. We’d like extra particulars earlier than we blame anyone.

All of that having been mentioned, there are some frequent parts to those tales.

  • All of them occurred at an Electrify America station with CCS autos (not CHAdeMO, however there are some tales floating round on Reddit about that)
  • There was a loud sound on the time of failure.
  • Display screen went clean on charging pedestal.
  • Automobile’s instrumentation confirmed errors.
  • Automobile was not drivable after the occasion.
  • Smoke was coming from Electrify America gear.

The pop or bang sound might be defined by a pyrotechnic fuse on an EV’s battery pack. The “pyrotechnic” half would possibly sound scary, like one thing out of 2001: A House Odyssey, however it’s an essential security function that exists to forestall an EV from turning into an enormous fireball. If an excessive amount of present goes into or out of the pack, the fuse (which makes use of a tiny explosive cost due to the thick metallic concerned) blows to cease a foul state of affairs from turning into a serious tragedy. So, if these tales are correct, we could also be taking a look at a brief circuit within the charging gear that triggered main present drain (sufficient in a single case to presumably soften the connector pins and weld them).

Tales of smoke and sparks coming from the Electrify America gear would match the problem of a brief circuit fairly properly, too. Plus, there was a video floating round on social media of an Electrify America contractor opening up a cupboard to indicate some severe issues.

Exploding fuses usually is an indication that there was a brief circuit someplace, and phrase from the technician was that that is half of a bigger downside within the Electrify America community with older gear. However, the data wasn’t presupposed to be shared publicly and the technician says he has been fired by Electrify America for sharing the video.

This may increasingly or might not be related to the automobile failures, however there are sufficient similarities that it’s value noting as all of us attempt to run this down. The causes of this sort of failure might be something from faulty gear, set up points, sabotage, or compatibility points with autos.

Extra Info Is Positively Wanted

That is each EV driver’s worst nightmare for charging, so that is one thing Electrify America must get on high of and forestall from taking place once more. Additionally, from what the house owners are saying, it appears to be like just like the house owners haven’t been taken care of like they most likely ought to have, both by the automobile producer or Electrify America. EV house owners must know that the producer and EA has their again when one thing like this occurs.

Sadly, we don’t have so much to go on but, and we are able to’t be certain what triggered these failures. Hopefully I’ll get some extra data from Electrify America and the producers quickly to shed some gentle on this regarding creating story.

Featured picture: a more moderen Electrify America station in San Antonio. Picture by Jennifer Sensiba.




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