Mains power too low

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New member
Dec 30, 2014

I have a Lolo Smart, 3.7 kW – 16A – 230V Type-2 connector, Mode 3 protocol charger.

When I connect my I3 REX with the charge setting set to maximum, the chargeport will
blink red and an error is displayed: Mains power to low.

However, if I connect with the charge setting set to low it works. If I change (while charging) the charge setting in the iDrive
menu to maximum, it will continue charging without error. Time to "charging ready" is dropping and the Lolo is using the full 16A, giving
a full charge in about 6-6,5 hours.

The New Motion (supplier Lolo) suspects the i3 is not gradually requesting more power from the charger which is required they say.
Normally it should start at about 7 A and continue to eventually 16 A. Strange is, I've also seen this on a public charger (Stichting e-laad).

Has anyone seen this behaviour before? I have a December 2014 i3 REX, so I guess I have the new KLE and latest software.
Dealer has checked the car and have not found issues so far.

There may be some subtleties on how the car ramps up power, but it is the EVSE that announces how much power it can provide, then the car decides how much of that it wants...IOW, the EVSE should be able to provide its full capacity anytime that matches what it says it has, and that includes asking the full amount whenever the power contactor is energized.

I do not know the 'steps' of the i3 menu when you select less than full draw on the EVSE. Essentially, those lower power levels are designed where, while the EVSE might say it has say 20A, it is on a shared circuit, and you know if you try to get that full 20A, because other things are on the same circuit, it will trip the breaker or blow the fuse. Otherwise, it should never be needed...the EVSE should not be lying about what it has, and if working properly, the i3 should never try to draw more power than the EVSE says it can provide. It's possible that the EVSE's signal that announces its power capacity is not calibrated, and it's saying it has more than it is designed for, and it shuts down to protect itself. Course, it's also possible that the i3's reading of that signal is incorrect, and it is asking for more than the device can safely provide. My bet is on the EVSE since the i3 has been checked.
Thanks Jim.

The New Motion has upgraded the firmware of the Lolo Smart, which seems to make it more reliable. I tried serveral times now, and on only one occasion it failed.
Time will tell if this is the solution.

I get this at level 2 chargers in the UK , Ecotricity, when I just plug in AC fast charge. It's annoying however here the trick seems to be to hold the power cable up until,it has initialised and then it will start charging.

The perceived wisdom is that the weight of the level two cable at a fixed installation pulls down on the i3 housing causing certain contacts not to be made. There is a very small amount of flex in the plate and if that is held with a little bit of upwards pressure the connection then goes blue and works. Not sure if this same problem but is learned behaviour here and a frightening experience when getting a red flashing cover for any new i3 owner.
FWIW, the J1772 connector used in North America seems to be immune to this problem as it has a mechanical latch at the top to keep it in place (it's locked when the vehicle is locked) during recharging.

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