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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The nearest DBT/CEV Ecotricity charger to my home is still down! This is the sarn park one. Before I carry on with this post I'm very grateful for Ecotricity installing these chargers - with out them I would not be driving an EV. Also without Ecotricity I would not have been able to get home after picking my leaf up from the dealer 270 miles from my home!

This charger still has the dreaded earth fault when trying to initiate a charge. Which seems to be the main problem with these chargers.

Below is the history of this charger - which bearing in mind I wouldn't have thought has been used that much as I have only seen two leaf's in the wild in the last two years or so.

22nd August - Installed
18th December - Electric highway starts tweeting charger status.
28th December - offline
6th January - online
12th February - back online
28th February - online
28th February - offline (failed for me in the evening meaning I had to cancel my plans)
19th March - Online
20th March - Offline

Ecotricity posted on twitter a few weeks ago that upgrades will be rolled out to all chargers to improve this common problem. Have these been carried out? Has it worked? Has it been done to the sarn charger?

What are DBT/CEV saying about this situation on their terrible reliability?

Are Ecotricity going to try a different company for future EV rapid charging installations like the ABB stations?

I just find the situation terribly frustrating. I'm sure Ecotricity is finding the situation frustrating too - repairing brand new substandard electrical equipment that's hardly been used!

Let's just hope Ecotricity switch to ABB, Siemens or Schneider electric and the like for their future installations !
 

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I used three today, all worked fine, but two of then were offline last week. I agree, dodgy reliability means we are rapidly moving from range anxiety to charger anxiety! Can it be listed on the wiki?
 

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One of the main reasons that got me interested in the Leaf was the rapid growth of the Ecotricity rapid network.

Despite the reliability issues I am still eagerly anticipating the arrival of my Leaf.

However I do not plan on taking any long distance trips which would rely on a DBT rapid charger until we reach a time when all chargers are online simultaneously. I don't expect perfect reliability, but to see the network in this state for a time (even if only a brief moment!) would be a great confidence boost and to me a signal that the general reliability issues had been solved.

More redundancy would be nice as well.
 

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However I do not plan on taking any long distance trips which would rely on a DBT rapid charger until we reach a time when all chargers are online simultaneously. ...
Standby to change your mind quickly. More chargers are appearing all the time and certainly on the M1 (S of Leeds) and M4 (E of Swindon) there are tons! According to Ecotricity many of their points will have a double installations - soon (what ever that means); however, do remember that redundancy doesn't necessarily mean co-location. Lastly you will quickly learn that long legs are NOT the solution to long distance on an EV.
I recommend you use the range between 20 and 80% - except on the last leg of the day.
In this case you will always have a minimum of 20% - to indicated zero!
Running the battery to < 10 miles is a fallacy as it takes much longer to get the rapid charge going! Similarly charging the battery beyond 85-90% - its a case of diminishing returns!
Good luck with the new 'motor' and do talk through the different techniques!
Someone should write an EV Drivers Handbook, that could be issued with ever new purchase!
 

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I totally agree with @brian orr ... 20% to 80% is good. In fact, if you have the chargers to do it then 20% to 50% is even better as the charging rate drops once the charge gets above 50% with the Leaf and quite likely with other EVs with similar range.

Ecotricity posted on twitter a few weeks ago that upgrades will be rolled out to all chargers to improve this common problem. Have these been carried out? Has it worked? Has it been done to the sarn charger?
Nothing I have seen suggests to me that there is a common problem. There are recurring issues (ground fault, card readers not working, broken cables/connectors etc) but I have seen no evidence that suggests that they have a single "fix".

What are DBT/CEV saying about this situation on their terrible reliability?
Nothing and I don't expect them to as they don't have a communications channel to us the end user AFAIK.

Are Ecotricity going to try a different company for future EV rapid charging installations like the ABB stations?
Nothing suggests that they are at all willing to consider changing supplier.

I just find the situation terribly frustrating. I'm sure Ecotricity is finding the situation frustrating too - repairing brand new substandard electrical equipment that's hardly been used!
Agreed but we are at the mercy of Ecotricity and DBT.

Let's just hope Ecotricity switch to ABB, Siemens or Schneider electric and the like for their future installations !
Yes but don't hold your breath... it would cost a fortune!
 

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Yes, some of the chargers are reliable though but many have returning earth faults, some have been vandalism and user abuse such as the shroner services charger where the chademo connector had been forced in the wrong direction.

The DBT units are poor compared to ABB chargers however in time I am sure that they can be made to work, it doesnt help your confidence with trips right now though. I am lucky as most of the trips I need to make over the normal range of the car I am very well serviced for rapids even allowing for failures, it just makes the trip a little longer.

I have stopped publicly moaning about the chargers for now as I am sure Ecotricity are well aware of the issues however new owners do need to know the situation as it stands.

I mainly charge at home though and apart from 1 trip I have been able to make the journeys I needed, DBT need to get this sorted promptly though as it must be having a negative effect on sales for the partner companies.

I am biting my lip a little as others have complained I complain too much and should pat them on the back for what they are doing, which I do anyway, Nissan must make this happen it was part of the promise for many I am sure as it was for me when the bought the car.

Now I am back on driving my car off my solar panels I feel a lot happier though and just enjoy the car for what it is but will be super pleased when the rapids are more reliable as that will be the icing on the cake although by then all those pesky BMW I3 and Tesla model S will be hogging the chargers! wink wink!
 

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It is interesting, for example I don't often see the Milton Keynes IKEA unit out of service (if ever), or the Newport Pagnell M/Way services, but others "nearer" here (Warwick, Toddington) seem to have many more issues.

Toddington is the only one that's dented a planned trip so far, and it wasn't essential.
 

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With luck the end of the current OLEV funding round will bring about a more commercial attitude amongst vendors and an improvement in reliability. Until then I think this is as good as it gets o_O
 

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It is interesting, for example I don't often see the Milton Keynes IKEA unit out of service (if ever), or the Newport Pagnell M/Way services, but others "nearer" here (Warwick, Toddington) seem to have many more issues.

Toddington is the only one that's dented a planned trip so far, and it wasn't essential.
Is the reliability of the MK Ikea one due to it being quite well sheltered from the weather with it being placed in a covered car park?
How are the other rapids performing that are not exposed to the weather?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I know ikea Cardiff had a fault a few weeks ago. Not sure exactly what. Also I have seen ikea Wembley has faulted a few times. Is this charger sheltered?
 

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Well I know ikea Cardiff had a fault a few weeks ago. Not sure exactly what. Also I have seen ikea Wembley has faulted a few times. Is this charger sheltered?
The Ikea Wembley rapid is located right at the front of the store entrance so it takes the full brunt of the wind and rain.
 

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Why does ecotricity use the DBT chargers? What other charges are available? Are they anymore reliable?
Maybe the taxi company can replace their DBT charger?
 

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That's the only rapid charger within 10 miles of me which makes me think there's no chance of me getting a full EV in the next few years.
until last week we had no rapids near us, the nearest was about 45 miles away, did not stop me having a leaf, the ones I needed were strategically placed about 50 miles in all directions so worked out well.

The new one is a chargemaster one so wont be using that at their published rates
 

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Although I am not party to the facts it is known that Nissan is supporting Ecotricity in some way. Nissan is on all the Highway chargers. We also know that Nissan developed that DBT charger in some partnership or collaboration with DBT, again, the details of which are not known. However, I think it might be fair to say that the reason Ecotricity went with the DBT charger is precisely because of the Nissan/DBT collaboration.

Again, this is assumption and extrapolating from what we already know but that is a reasonable assumption IMO.

It it highly likely then that there are significant financial benefits from using the Nissan/DBT chargers. They might even have been free and donated by Nissan... or at least some of them. So it might be that without this Ecotricity/Nissan/DBT partnership the Highway may never have come about in the first place.

So, if these assumptions are anywhere near correct, and it is my believe that they are somewhere close to the truth, then it follows that for Ecotricity to ditch DBT it would also be ditching Nissan as the DBT association was through Nissan in the first place. This would then mean them having to pay for the replacement of all 120 odd (or however many there are now) chargers and they would then be paying for replacements for chargers that they probably didn't have to pay for in the first place. This isn't very likely given that the per charger cost is likely to be in the £10k+ bracket plus the installation, plus the retraining of staff etc. Not cheap. Not likely!

There are other makes. The one make that I know is pretty reliable is ABB.

As for C&C taxis. Again, I don't know their situation, how they funded it, what their contract was when they purchased etc. However, again, unless they can return it for a refund I fail to see how they could replace it just like that. Perhaps they can!
 

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There seems to be some kind of deal where if you lease 3 or more cars you get a rapid charger thrown in. No idea of the details - anyone know any more?
 

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In the UK Nissan made available large numbers of CHAdeMO chargers for 'free' and OLEV funded the rest... I'm not aware of anyone who has actually purchased a DC charger with their own cash.

Replacing the CHAdeMO chargers will be expensive... iirc @dpeilow and I were quoted more than £30K for the ABB product without installation.
 
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