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Militant EV driver!
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Discussion Starter #1
I saw another wierd bug yesterday, but I only worked out what it was today.

Basically my car didn't fully charge at work. In fact it only started late afternoon and had added 7 miles when I went to leave in the evening. At first I thought there was a power cut, but in fact it's another centre console software issue (a la radio) because I saw it again today.

When I was searching through the menus on the weekend, looking for the current limiting option, I found the delayed charging option. I saw the "charge immediately / charge for best rate / charge for departure time" screen, looked at what the other options did but put it back on "charge immediately". However, today I saw the reset happen and lo and behold this had change itself to a charge on departure time *by itself*.

Obviously I put this back on the correct option before going in to work, but this is worrying because it didn't happen before I went into that menu a couple of days ago. It's sort of like how I didn't see the seat belt bug until I first had a passenger in there.

So I hope Vauxhall are making a note of all this stuff, as I'd expect a firmware update to correct it all.
 

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There have been a few "buggy" type issues raised on this forum hasn't there. I remember a similar thing with the radio presets being lost by themselves too IIRC.

I hope too that Vauxhall monitor this forum and take note. It is a great source of real-world data for them without the need to have discussions with customers (I know some companies don't like to actually talk to their customers!!!).
 

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I only use [charge by departure time] option as I mainly charge on eco7 timer so I have not seen this issue, If I want immediate charge I do the double plugin thing, that seems reliable.

IF they were to look at overhaulling this in the future I'd put a GPS option in so that the car would charge immediately when plugged in everywhere that was not set as a home location (allow multiples!) when plugged in at home it would use charge by timer as default unless double plugged.


I wonder if they will ever open source the console software I wonder if they realise that the more they sell the more the combined expertise of the customers will outweigh the in-house developers... and with the customers help (for free!) they can make a much better product.
 

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Parax said:
I wonder if they will ever open source the console software I wonder if they realise that the more they sell the more the combined expertise of the customers will outweigh the in-house developers... and with the customers help (for free!) they can make a much better product.
I think that is a great idea but in my opinion hell will freeze over before they release their software to open source!
 

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It's interesting how different companies have reacted in different ways to the customers outweigh developers issue. When the customers started customising the SONY aibo Dog Sony attempted to sue them (see aibohack.com), however when Lego realised that their Mindstorms Robotics controllers were being reprogrammed they opened up the firmware, and now there are hundreds of unofficial variant firmwares.

Only one of these products is still retailed and in use around the world in schools through to universities teaching kids about robotics.
 

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I think that the idea of keeping everything secret and controlled is an old-fashioned notion. OK, there is lots of stuff where things much not be public for all sorts of reasons. But I cannot see any damage to Vauxhall, Nissan etal, for releasing car software unless there are safety issues... and that may be the case with EVs.

Car manufacturers seem to have old-fashioned notions of how to do business, they are slow to repsond and slow to react. I think that the advent of EVs will force them to be more open and more reactive. They are dealing with a different type of customer in these early years of EVs, more techie, more open, more discerning perhaps. I think it will take some time but they will modernise their way of thinking as they modernise their products towards electric.
 

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I think there is also another issue with charging. If you decide to charge by departure time, set it up, plug the car in and then a few minutes later you decide that the departure time was wrong and add 30 minutes without disconnecting the charging lead. In this instance charging did not start at all! I have not had an opportunity to repeat this test at the moment. Have you seen this or can you replicate it.

As for the Radio pre-sets - yes I have lost those and also the radio does not always remember the last frequency/station it was tuned to.
 

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I hope too that Vauxhall monitor this forum and take note. It is a great source of real-world data for them without the need to have discussions with customers (I know some companies don't like to actually talk to their customers!!!).
I recently spoke to a manager from Vauxhall's My Ampera who told me that he doesn't have time to monitor this Forum. That is sad because I think Vauxhall could get valuable feedback from this source.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had my first "uh oh" moment with the car tonight.

When I got home I plugged it in but the EVSE cuts out and shows a fault. Everything is ok when I switch on the EVSE (goes through boot up then shows 6 green lights). However, when I plug in to the car end the orange light on the dash comes on, the EVSE clicks twice as much as usual, then it cuts out and shows the red light against (!).

I'm not sure if this is car or EVSE.

It was plugged directly into a waterproof wall socket and charging all day in some attrocious weather - some of the heaviest showers I have ever seen - and was left plugged in for the rest of the afternoon. When I left work, 36 miles range was showing and I went to the pub for an hour. I then left the pub and drove home on the motorway as usual. The road was absolutely soaking - 5 miles of non-stop aquaplaning at one point. However, I pulled off to run an errand and this meant that I had to do the last few miles on range extender. Interestingly, I went through the entire charge in 26 miles even though I was driving much slower than normal. (I think surface water is not the friend of the EV because I once saw similar in a Tesla.)

Anyway, the car got home but this happened straight afterwards. The EVSE plug felt damp but not sure if this is the cause.


I'm going to see if an hour has dried stuff out and try again now. If that doesn't work, I will make a detour in the morning and try it with the 32A ZCW cable on a POLAR point up the road.


UPDATE: I went back out to try again but no luck.

I shone a torch around under the bonnet, but it all looks pretty dry. Certainly no water around the electrical parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE 2: Tried the portable EVSE again at home this morning. Still a flashing red light so I went to Eastleigh and used the ZCW type 2 to type 1 cable on the POLAR charger there. No joy.

So the car is sensing the cables, switching on the orange light and then immediately cutting out.

The first time I tried it on the POLAR charger, it tried once, stopped and asked me to remove the plug. I unplugged and then tried again. This time it just went into an endless cycle of trying to start charging and cutting out. The relay in the charge station just kept clicking on and off and I had to swipe the card again to release the cable.


I was so hoping this was the portable EVSE, but it appears the charger in the car is faulty. Whether this is weather related will become apparent in due course.
 

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dpeilow said:
I was so hoping this was the portable EVSE, but it appears the charger in the car is faulty. Whether this is weather related will become apparent in due course.
I can lend you some different Type 2 to Type 1 cables and (possibly) an EVSE if you need to dig into this deeper...
 

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David,
Sorry to hear about your charging problem.
Maybe worth trying it in 'Mountain Mode' to get the charge at a differant charge level starting point, it's just a hunch, not based on anything scientific and probably may not work but hopefully it will. Good luck with the next try.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the offers of help.

I called Trevor first thing who in turn called the dealer. They are collecting the car tomorrow morning and loaning me another Ampera while they look at it. So far I cannot fault the service.

Only major downer is that at 125 mpg, I was within touching distance of the claimed Toyota Pi Prius mpg (128 I think). I was so looking forward to photographing that :) Oh well, a minor set back I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I got my car back today.

After the dealer collected my car on Friday and left me their demo car as a loaner, they diagnosed the issue on Friday, ordered a replacement part which was delivered from Germany yesterday and then tested the car and delivered it back today. Trevor has been keeping me up to date the whole time.

I can't fault the service, and if something is going to break - which happens - then this is exactly how it should be handled.

Only concern is that the car only charged to 34 miles before leaving work tonight. Perhaps the delivery driver was giving it some beans. I'll see what happens in the morning. It's also a shame that I'm back down to 114 mpg from 125 mpg after that much petrol running.

Interestingly the silver loan car got silly attention. The whole pub on Friday lunchtime came out to see it. Good job there were some brochures in the seat pockets :)
 
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