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Why America’s EV chargers keep breaking .... article on Politico website

Cosmo Cruz

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Politico article on EV fast chargers

sum it up:
1. home chargers work.
2. Tesla superchargers work, mostly.
3. All other DC fast chargers are unreliable.
4. No penalty for broken chargers; no profit incentive for fixing chargers.
5. "Without accountability, problems are likely to persist."

excerpt:

"Last year, researchers visited every public fast charger in the San Francisco Bay Area and found that almost 23 percent of them had “unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors.” And in a survey of EV drivers, the auto consultancy J.D. Power found the public charging network “plagued with non-functioning stations.” One in five sessions failed to deliver a charge. Almost three-quarters of those failures involved a station that malfunctioned or was offline. "


Thoughts and prayers anyone ?
 
Last edited:
Politico article on EV fast chargers

sum it up:
1. home chargers work.
2. Tesla superchargers work, mostly.
3. All other DC fast chargers are unreliable.
4. No penalty for broken chargers; no profit incentive for fixing chargers.
5. "Without accountability, problems are likely to persist."

excerpt:

"Last year, researchers visited every public fast charger in the San Francisco Bay Area and found that almost 23 percent of them had “unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors.” And in a survey of EV drivers, the auto consultancy J.D. Power found the public charging network “plagued with non-functioning stations.” One in five sessions failed to deliver a charge. Almost three-quarters of those failures involved a station that malfunctioned or was offline. "


Thoughts and prayers anyone ?
Sure. Who wants to do a business to design charging stations by electric car owners for electric car owners?

This can be done. It will be done. Who does it gets the bulk of the pie.

I'm not an electrical engineer, so... I would need to know someone. Finding someone may be possible. Software engineering part I could do though.
 
Great topic.

History teaches us we should be thinking about a free market solution. John Rockefeller built thousands of Standard Oil gas stations to sell gasoline at a profit. It enabled the emergence of the trillion dollar automotive industry and it worked out to be extraordinary lucrative for him too.

Anything the government tries to do or throw money at will fail from a customer service and reliability standpoint. One example: Amtrak.

Public utilities are scarcely any better. With local monopoly power they have very little customer service DNA.

Tesla has motivation to build and run a charger network to exploit its first-mover advantage to sell cars.

Until there is a free market solution we will wallow around in incompetence.
 
Sure. Who wants to do a business to design charging stations by electric car owners for electric car owners?

This can be done. It will be done. Who does it gets the bulk of the pie.
Exactly. The good news is that with such crap for competition, someone is bound to waltz in and disrupt this whole industry.

The key will be the business model. Charging pennies for the electricity itself is not the answer. Think about how WaWa eliminated ATM fees in their stores—and the next thing you know, foot traffic exploded and profits soared on impulse purchases.

To me, the money is in entertaining folks while they are waiting for their charge. Not the charge itself.
 
If one takes the time to read the article: it's the software, mostly. Tesla succeeds because their charger software and their car software are the same = they speak the same language.

Everything else has unique software that doesn't understand what's what: each EV manufacturer has their own in-house car software and each charger brand has their own in-house software, and they don't communicate well. That's why you get weird or no results.
We may expect that Tesla chargers will not work well with other brand EVs. We shall see.

But look up !

In a blink of an eye AI will have a universal code translator like some kind of Star Trek "Q" .
iu


Software engineers will be waiting tables.

Or, everything will be paper clips.
 
Great topic.

History teaches us we should be thinking about a free market solution. John Rockefeller built thousands of Standard Oil gas stations to sell gasoline at a profit. It enabled the emergence of the trillion dollar automotive industry and it worked out to be extraordinary lucrative for him too.

Anything the government tries to do or throw money at will fail from a customer service and reliability standpoint. One example: Amtrak.

Public utilities are scarcely any better. With local monopoly power they have very little customer service DNA.

Tesla has motivation to build and run a charger network to exploit its first-mover advantage to sell cars.

Until there is a free market solution we will wallow around in incompetence.

The CCS "free-market solutions" I've used so far -- Electrify America and ChargePoint -- are utter crap. A friend who had to use CCS public chargers while waiting to get his garage wired for home charging found the most reliable chargers in Naples, FL to be those of Florida Power & Light.
 
The CCS "free-market solutions" I've used so far -- Electrify America and ChargePoint -- are utter crap. A friend who had to use CCS public chargers while waiting to get his garage wired for home charging found the most reliable chargers in Naples, FL to be those of Florida Power & Light.
As the article states and an observation by the reader, the companies are heavily invested in petrol product lines. R&D has extensive costs. To continue the norm, this is guaranteed and predictable sales.

If I was said company without the necessary efforts or readiness for EV technology and cars, I would do the bare minimum and ensure the experience to be unpleasant. Poor experiences would then continue to fuel petrol car purchases.

A free market solution would be a company willingly getting into the field for long term success and viability. If there are others seeking a solution via business, then I would gladly join such a startup or found such a startup. The incentives for said startup would be completely different than a program funded due to government punishment. Thus, Tesla as a free market solution has an edge. An independent startup company would also have an edge by willingly work with any number of brands to diagnose and troubleshoot issues quickly.
 
As the article states and an observation by the reader, the companies are heavily invested in petrol product lines. R&D has extensive costs. To continue the norm, this is guaranteed and predictable sales.

If I was said company without the necessary efforts or readiness for EV technology and cars, I would do the bare minimum and ensure the experience to be unpleasant. Poor experiences would then continue to fuel petrol car purchases.

A free market solution would be a company willingly getting into the field for long term success and viability. If there are others seeking a solution via business, then I would gladly join such a startup or found such a startup. The incentives for said startup would be completely different than a program funded due to government punishment. Thus, Tesla as a free market solution has an edge. An independent startup company would also have an edge by willingly work with any number of brands to diagnose and troubleshoot issues quickly.

Electrify America was created by the Volkswagen Group. The Volkswagen Group has announced plans to transition their entire line to electrification in the coming years, which will require EV charging stations, not petrol pumps. If the theory is that private capital incentives are the only way to get a reliable charging network, please explain the hot mess that is Electrify America for the past five years.
 
Electrify America was created by the Volkswagen Group. The Volkswagen Group has announced plans to transition their entire line to electrification in the coming years, which will require EV charging stations, not petrol pumps. If the theory is that private capital incentives are the only way to get a reliable charging network, please explain the hot mess that is Electrify America for the past five years.
There is still conflict of interest because of the parent company. What would Volkswagen benefit from having other brands cars working on their charging stations? What initiative would other brands have in working with Volkswagen to support their bottom line through charging stations? It's a hot mess because it is a hot mess of interest conflicts.
 
There is still conflict of interest because of the parent company. What would Volkswagen benefit from having other brands cars working on their charging stations? What initiative would other brands have in working with Volkswagen to support their bottom line through charging stations? It's a hot mess because it is a hot mess of interest conflicts.

This is actually an argument against relying on private interests to provide infrastructure on which the broad public depends or will come to depend.
 
Ah yes. We aren't allowed to talk politics here. So no more discussing EVs and public charging infrastructure on this site!

(did anyone notice the article is from Politico ? And... it's one of the better articles I've see explaining the issues.)
 
Ah yes. We aren't allowed to talk politics here. So no more discussing EVs and public charging infrastructure on this site!

(did anyone notice the article is from Politico ? And... it's one of the better articles I've see explaining the issues.)
No need for politics. I think the divide in consensus though lies in an individual's fundamental perspective of government's role in society. Good conversation though and in good spirits.

I did some research. There are indeed a set of fairly new standards undergoing somewhat frequent revision for charging and EVs. Turmoil in the standard alone will wreck havoc on the experience as companies keep apace at different rates.

We are in the early stages of the Internet, except for EVs. The dust will settle within the decade.
 
Ah yes. We aren't allowed to talk politics here. So no more discussing EVs and public charging infrastructure on this site!

(did anyone notice the article is from Politico ? And... it's one of the better articles I've see explaining the issues.)
I’ll allow it. My son works for Politico!
 
Great topic.

History teaches us we should be thinking about a free market solution. John Rockefeller built thousands of Standard Oil gas stations to sell gasoline at a profit. It enabled the emergence of the trillion dollar automotive industry and it worked out to be extraordinary lucrative for him too.

Anything the government tries to do or throw money at will fail from a customer service and reliability standpoint. One example: Amtrak.

Public utilities are scarcely any better. With local monopoly power they have very little customer service DNA.

Tesla has motivation to build and run a charger network to exploit its first-mover advantage to sell cars.

Until there is a free market solution we will wallow around in incompetence.

I disagree with much of what you say. My job would be difficult to do safely and reliably, if big, bad government didn’t have their fingerprints all over it. That’s all I’ll say about that.
 
Electrify America was not a free-market response to market demand.

It was part of the Dieselgate settlement VW agreed to with the Dept of Justice.

It seems charging companies see a pathway to profitable charging in urban cores. There are over a dozen networks serving major North American cities.

There isn't enough throughput for rural chargers to be profitable. Electrify America is the only CCS network installing chargers on a large scale in rural areas. Though unprofitable they are necessary for interstate travel.

When the Biden administration agreed to give Tesla charging infrastructure subsidies in exchange for Tesla opening roughly half the Supercharger Network to CCS cars the Biden administration said open Superchargers would focus on serving "underserved rural communities."

What will VW do after they have served their penance? Will the continue pouring money into EA and maintaining the network or let it wither? Announcing plans to fully electrify and following through are two distinct things.

Initial reports are the CCS Rivian Adventure Network works well. As of now only Rivian trucks may use them.

And Mercedes has announced plans for their own Mercedes branded CCS network as well.
 
Politico article on EV fast chargers

sum it up:
1. home chargers work.
2. Tesla superchargers work, mostly.
3. All other DC fast chargers are unreliable.
4. No penalty for broken chargers; no profit incentive for fixing chargers.
5. "Without accountability, problems are likely to persist."

excerpt:

"Last year, researchers visited every public fast charger in the San Francisco Bay Area and found that almost 23 percent of them had “unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors.” And in a survey of EV drivers, the auto consultancy J.D. Power found the public charging network “plagued with non-functioning stations.” One in five sessions failed to deliver a charge. Almost three-quarters of those failures involved a station that malfunctioned or was offline. "


Thoughts and prayers anyone ?
I have owned a lucid air GT for over six months now and I constantly have issues with charging at the EA stations. It seems that no matter where I stop only half of the stations are functioning to begin with. And then when I do try and charge, I always get the authentication error or some other BS message. It’s rare that I can pull up to the charger and plug in and have it work. I’m going to say it works maybe half of the time at best. It doesn’t seem to me that EA does a good job of keeping all the stations running. And waiting on the phone for customer service can sometimes take you half an hour or more. And waiting online for Lucid Service can take forever , not a good way to support the car. I’m hoping that Lucid can come up with other options such as Tesla chargers, and ChargePoints which seem to be everywhere. Lucid should negotiate with those other companies to get the free Lucid charging also. It would eliminate a lot of frustration with owners.
 
I have owned a lucid air GT for over six months now and I constantly have issues with charging at the EA stations. It seems that no matter where I stop only half of the stations are functioning to begin with. And then when I do try and charge, I always get the authentication error or some other BS message. It’s rare that I can pull up to the charger and plug in and have it work. I’m going to say it works maybe half of the time at best. It doesn’t seem to me that EA does a good job of keeping all the stations running. And waiting on the phone for customer service can sometimes take you half an hour or more. And waiting online for Lucid Service can take forever , not a good way to support the car. I’m hoping that Lucid can come up with other options such as Tesla chargers, and ChargePoints which seem to be everywhere. Lucid should negotiate with those other companies to get the free Lucid charging also. It would eliminate a lot of frustration with owners.
What version of software are you on in your Air?
 
I have owned a lucid air GT for over six months now and I constantly have issues with charging at the EA stations. It seems that no matter where I stop only half of the stations are functioning to begin with. And then when I do try and charge, I always get the authentication error or some other BS message. It’s rare that I can pull up to the charger and plug in and have it work. I’m going to say it works maybe half of the time at best. It doesn’t seem to me that EA does a good job of keeping all the stations running. And waiting on the phone for customer service can sometimes take you half an hour or more. And waiting online for Lucid Service can take forever , not a good way to support the car. I’m hoping that Lucid can come up with other options such as Tesla chargers, and ChargePoints which seem to be everywhere. Lucid should negotiate with those other companies to get the free Lucid charging also. It would eliminate a lot of frustration with owners.
Honest question, did the free charging push you over the fence of purchasing? If not, then why not try other chargers and just use those if they work better to reduce frustrations? Free charging is not a benefit if it causes so much headache and frustration, IMO.
 
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