Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:49 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

DCFC Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:11 am

Have a 2014 BEV with DCFC option. Have not been able to experience Level 3 DC charging during the first 4 years when vehicle is still under warrantee. Recently there are some DCFC station (managed by chargepoint) popping up in my area.

Station A (from a Jaguar dealer): After account authorization and plugging into vehicle, most of the time, the charge port lock socket failed to engage, and a fault error will come up on the charger saying lock failed. I would just to keep trying plugging in and unplugging until the charge port lock engaged magically. Usually about 5 to 10 mins of trying plugin and un-plug. Some time re-authorize the chargepoint account by tapping the card again because of time out. I thought my lock socket is probably dying since I realized the lock no longer engaged after I locked my car when plugin to a level two charger. The lock used to engaged on level 2 charging as well after I lock the vehicle. I saw some post in this forum (thanks a tons for the info) on how to replace the charge lock socket. Then I had experience something totally different in a brand new DCFC station, below.

Station B (from a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealer): After account authorization and plugging into vehicle, the charge port lock socket engaged within 3 sec of plugin, and then the yellow light flashing, then about 10 secs later, the lock will dis-engaged and the yellow light stop flashing and white light on, and charging never get started. There is no error on the screen of the charging station either, just saying plug in to charge, or waiting for vehicle to start charging. So I unplug the charger and plug it back into the vehicle to try again. The charge port lock socket engaged again within 3 sec of plugin, then repeat the above. I tried the same steps above (over 20 times) and the charge port lock socket never failed to engaged and locked the pin in the beginning. Only to dis-engaged after 10 sec of communication between the charger and the vehicle. So I can't charge at all after 20 mins of trying back and forth. I called charge point help line and they logged that someone (Chevy Bolt) did charged successfully a day ago. So the charger seems to be fine.

At this point, I don't know if my charge port lock socket is at fault because it seems to works (lock and unlock). It may be BMW software issue dealing with DCFC stations. Both Station A (6 months old) and Station B (2 months old) looks identical to me, and managed by chargepoint as well. I guess I will stick with Level 2 charging since they seems to work regardless of the lock and less complex in negotiating to start charging.
Last edited by keepgoing on Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:00 am

The one and only time that I had to DC fast charge, it took me 5-6 tries with the plug before the EVgo station would finally initiate charging. I read someone else posting that the additional weight of the larger DC cables may cause connection problems at the car, and holding the plug up until charging starts is the workaround. I haven't needed to charge on the road since then to see if it works or not.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:13 pm

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:30 am

I have tried a DCFC Chargepoint at a Harley Dealer in Hobe Sound F.L.
with the same result. Calling Chargepoint twice did nothing.
My conclusion is that those chargers are Only for Harley Bikes.
You could walk in to the store and ask why it doesn't charge.
My guess would be they will turn you away because it's not a Harley.
2017 Rex Deka w/20" :D
Bucks County P.A.

Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:49 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:47 am

The folks in the Harley store is pretty nice and they don't mind any other EV to charge either. That station is charging 10 cents/min with 24kW output. the cost is reasonable, if it actually works. They don't know why it does not work for the i3 either, and suggest me to contact Chargepoint for support. From the charging history of the station, there were other EV successfully used the station prior, such as Hyundai Kona, Chevy Bolt, VW e-Golf, Chevy Spark. But no BMW. I guess it is the BMW software not catching up with new Hardware since my car has not had a software update since Aug 2017. Can't get any update for free since it is out of warranty. This is another instance to jealous of Teslas owner who get OTA update.

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:13 pm

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:57 pm

Thats pretty strange. I wonder if those other cars actually charged, Or just showed
that they just made a connection. I wonder if Chargepoint can shed some light on that one.
2017 Rex Deka w/20" :D
Bucks County P.A.

Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:28 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:09 pm

I had mine at my local BMW dealership which has a Charge-point L3 setup there. I left the car and returned a few hours later to pick it up and found it attached to the charger.

It was funny that they tried a few times to disconnect it. This may be a feature of the L3 charging as it may want to throttle down before letting the plug go.

It was pretty quick to get to ~80% charge from what I was told.
2015 i3 REX

Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:20 am

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:32 pm

I'm sorry we're all having this problem, but glad it's not just me! I have a 2014 Rex model, and attempt to charge at an Electrify America station 40 miles away sometimes. I think only twice out of the last ten times have I been able to plug in and charge immediately. Most of the rest of the time I get the same problem with not being able to initiate the charge. Usually, but not always, I can eventually get one to work. Sometimes I have to drive home on gas. Thank you REX!

Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:16 am
Location: VA

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:18 pm

i’ve had some pretty good luck then. I fast charge almost 3-4x a week without an issue. 2018 model.
2018 I3s rex

Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:30 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA, USA

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:58 pm

The local Harley dealer near me just put in one of those KeyWatt by ies 24 Kw chargers in and it wouldn't charge my car either. Chargepoint was no help, and the Harley folks were adamant that it was for the general public to use, but didn't have a livewire bike to test it with yet. Same symptoms as described above. The car completed the handshake and showed an active DCFC session locked the plug and everything. The Charger just keep saying "waiting for vehicle" eventually it would timeout and the car would unlock the plug. I tried everything while on the phone with CP, wanted to try and get this working since its in a great spot for me and the Harley folks seemed happy to have me there. Never got it work after three separate times stopping in and calling CP. Always the same symptoms, the charger just didn't want to finish the handshake with the car.

I think ies has an issue with their protocol, but I can't say for certain that the charger works with other EV's. The charger showed up on the Chargepoint map when it was first turned on, but since then it has been removed from the CP map and no one besides me has checked in on Plugshare at that location.

I have had no issues with EVgo chargers and the Electrify America chargers work well once I figured out the trick i'll explain below. I'm lucky and still have the ChargeNow DCfast on my car until next fall. So I use the RFID keytag and the EVgo chargers have been rock solid using that method.

The EA charger was a bit counterintuitive to get the session activated, but it worked fine once I figured out the App's UI/UX. The EA customer service recommended using the swipe to start in the app, over the NFC tap to start. Once I knew to just try the swipe to start, I found the EA chargers to be quite reliable, but it's not intuitive. You have to swipe the charger that says "unavailable" It's confusing because you're not sure its the right charger or another one that broken or something. It would be better if it said something like in-use or occupied.

The tap to start using NFC has never worked for me on the EA chargers with iOS. I wouldn't count on the card reader either, they all seem broken at the chargers near me. Maybe that's the issue with the NFC, the reader they went with.

So I think the Harley chargers are the issue, not necessarily your car. Was the Jaguar charger a KeyWatt charger like the Harley one? This is the manufacturer tag

Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: DCFS Level 3 charging not reliable

Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:56 pm

keepgoing –

I've had similar problems with my 2014 BEV. My dealer worked with BMW NA to get them to cover 95% of the repair cost out of warranty.

Very well handled by my dealer and BMW NA.

Charge door no longer locking and unable to CCS charge now

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