Tuesday, March 22, 2016

$50 Never Looked So Good; EZ Charge? Where Is The "Easy?"

After a few days of EZ Charge I am thinking I should have taken the $50...

It is no surprise that NRG seems to be the only network the card works with (they are the admins of the program after all)

Despite getting an email from AV within a few minutes verifying my registration, the card does not authenticate at the station. So once I called in and they verified a few pieces of info and started the charge manually. Last night, I tried the same thing and the AV rep simply refused to help me when I mentioned EZ Charge. She directed me to a department that was closed. I advised her I had done the exact same thing a few days earlier and the AV rep was able to look me up and start the charge remotely. The rep last night "Doreen" said that she could not do that.

Blink is still NA as there is some sort of technical issue registering on their site (along with everything else wrong with Blink) and still waiting for some sort or resolution email from them.

So that leaves NRG. I have used NRG at Tacoma Mall 4 times and my biggest gripe is that they do not provide charging statistics so I have no idea what charge I am getting. This forces me to calculate the charge which I can do but this ties me to the car to monitor the charge rate via LEAF Spy which is no good. I want the option to hit the bathroom if need be. Its less than a 5 minute walk and my Fitbit appreciates me when I go!

But I also noticed another issue. Unlike AV which starts the charge over 48 KW, the NRG maxes out at just under 40 KW...sometimes. In 4 sessions, I saw 39.5 and 39.8 KW to start when another 2 sessions one max'd out at 20.2 while the other session got no higher than 19.8 KW!

Well, it did not take me long to notice that both the lower sessions had someone on the L2 station. Am I to believe that the Fast Charger has to split the circuit with an L2? So the L2 gets 20 and I get 20?

On a station that bills by the minute, is this acceptable? or even legal?

Its not hard to see why Tesla is so popular. Their supercharger stations had 10 KW modules from day one. Such a simple and obvious solution...


  1. Well, that's a bummer Dave. I have not had the experience of eVgo chargers dialing down when there was a L2 in use, mostly because in this state there are still so few EV's around that generally the chargers (if they're working) are vacant. I have had the experience of the card reader not validating my card at some stations and having to call in as a result. This happened at 2 of 4 different locations I've used. This happens with some Chargepoint stations too, though there are not many of those around any more.

    What really needs to happen though is that EV's have to gain the 250 mile range point and that will greatly reduce the need for so many public chargers. Eventually I think EV's will cross the 500 mile mark, but that may still be a few years off, and longer still until all of the manufacturers catch up probably.

    Hopefully they'll get this worked out. Good luck Dave, and thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply James! I think 250 mile EVs will be here within the next 3-5 years but the 100 mile EV is not going anywhere anytime soon. They will always have a healthy market as long as the price is right and batteries are getting cheaper every week!