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Discussion Starter #1
Earlier today I tried to charge my i3 using the CCS port at Wheatley Services, Oxford. The blue light on the car's port was merrily flashing away, the cable was locked in, and the app reported the car was charging. Yet, apparently, no charging happened whatsoever!


Before cancelling the charge, this is what the screen showed.


Looking at ecotricity's map it appears the CCS is offline.

So...
  • Did I break it - which is now why it is offline?
  • If it was already offline, why did let me use the charger? And why did my car think it was charging?
  • I know you get what you pay for - but is this what I have to look forward to when public charging?
 

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CCS is still highly unreliable, don't blame yourself. The "standard" is different depending on if you talk to BMW, VW or DBT (or ABB ...)
 

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The CCS at Oxford Services has been faulty for a looooong time - it's not your car. I recall reading many posts about this particular charger.
 

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TL;DR - Highly likely to be DBT unit and not your i3.

That looks suspiciously like a comms issue. There is a blame game being played somewhere, but experience tells me this is yet another DBT bodge that has come back to bite them in the ass.

The DBT CCS units are all one-off prototypes running different components and software versions, no two behave quite the same way, the triple headers seem more reliable than the CCS/CHAdeMO for both CHAdeMO and CCS. I have never managed to charge on a CCS/CHAdeMO unit in my PHEV.

Every time DBT push a "fix" it requires an engineer to go physically do it, its all a bit shonky. I dread to think what the code looks like.

The "standard" is different depending on if you talk to BMW, VW or DBT (or ABB ...)
Not really VAG and BMW implemented the spec as written once ratified**, DBT didn't they shipped early to try and get units out - then had to field fix. The tolerance issue BMW supposedly caused, was within the spec as far as I can tell it was the DBT units that weren't accurate enough - it shouldn't be hard to control output to with +/-5v. ABB was also meant to have the same issue under certain conditions, I believe they patched this remotely on all there units as required.

** both being the principal authors.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just spoke to Ecotricity. They're polite, but a bit useless.

The unit has been dead for a few weeks - there's no ETA on a fix. Apparently their suppliers have a long turn around time.

The software isn't able to disable the unit, or display error messages on screen.

I asked if they could stick a bit of A4 on there with an out of order sign - they seemed to think that was too difficult.

The only way to see if a unit is working is via their desktop website. No mobile app (coming soon) nor api (coming soon). No way to receive a notification when the unit is live again.

All in all a very disappointing experience. Rather glad I got the Rex if this is the state of public charging.
 

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You made a good choice on the rex. that's where I am now... Fri/Sat I tried 9 rapid charges. 6 worked perfectly, three all failed. 2 the units were totally blank, 1 both DCs showed as offline. (the latter 3 were all marked "up" on the ecotricity map)

Jack - you said "I have never managed to charge on a CCS/CHAdeMO unit in my PHEV" - really? Wow.. you mean the i3rex? I've certainly charged just fine on double-headers, indeed I've yet to have a single rapid charging issue *except* when the unit is off, or the unit shows ports as down. I know it's only a restricted set, and as you mentioned, it seems every DBT charger has a unique personality... some get grumpy very easily.
 

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No I meant the Outlander, the CCS/CHAdeMO units (w/o AC) never seem to negotiate properly with my Outlander (2 out of 2 tried recently failed). Just gets stuck in a trying to recover loop, where as the AC/CHAdeMO unit next to it usually works first time.

My REX doesn't have CCS :p and having been in a loaner with CCS for 3 weeks - I can't say I really want CCS either as it doesn't fit my usage profile at present.
 

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Earlier today I tried to charge my i3 using the CCS port at Wheatley Services, Oxford. The blue light on the car's port was merrily flashing away, the cable was locked in, and the app reported the car was charging. Yet, apparently, no charging happened whatsoever!


Before cancelling the charge, this is what the screen showed.


Looking at ecotricity's map it appears the CCS is offline.

So...
  • Did I break it - which is now why it is offline?
  • If it was already offline, why did let me use the charger? And why did my car think it was charging?
  • I know you get what you pay for - but is this what I have to look forward to when public charging?

No you didn't break it, I call into Wheatley services regularly and it has been like that for months, reported it to Ecotricity and they were aware and it had been reported but said they would escalate because it had been faulty for so long.

Will it ever be fixed.......I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Why did you watch it not charging for 21mins?
 

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Zoe Devotee
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First mistake of a new owner. Assuming it's charging. ;) always wait until you can confirm it's charged at least 1% then you've got half a chance it will charge while your away. Even then it can fail 2% later lol.
 

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And beware if you use the 22Kw Fast charge posts because they only charge if the car is locked so if you do like I did and go back to get something from the car you have to restart the charge which is slightly odd:confused:
 

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Just tweeted/prodded Ecotricity about this one again. Such a joke. They should pull this one out of the ground, dump it in the back garden of the DBT chief engineer's house and demand a replacement.

See also: Newport Pagnell South.

Other than that, they're pretty solid these days.
 

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And beware if you use the 22Kw Fast charge posts because they only charge if the car is locked so if you do like I did and go back to get something from the car you have to restart the charge which is slightly odd:confused:
What type of posts are those? Do you mean the ones which can do 3phase? I find all AC 7kW chargers want the car locked. No idea why.
 

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What type of posts are those? Do you mean the ones which can do 3phase? I find all AC 7kW chargers want the car locked. No idea why.
They are the small posts, Zap Map says they are 22Kw 32 Amp but the i3 will only take 7Kw, I've no idea why they insist the doors are locked, I've had to re-start the charge a few times because I've unlocked the doors while charging, doesn't happen at home or with the CCS.
 

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I find the charge always stops when the door is unlocked with Type 2 charging.. though after a while the charge port does relock and charging continues, even if the car isn't locked . This happens at home & out and about. Chargepoints respond in different ways, but generally it seems that if charge is started again fairly quickly (10s of seconds) the session continues. certainly the manchester CYC point I used last week was like that, as was a chargemaster unit I used in a supermarket.
 

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And beware if you use the 22Kw Fast charge posts because they only charge if the car is locked so if you do like I did and go back to get something from the car you have to restart the charge which is slightly odd:confused:
I have never had any problem on the Leaf when charging on Type 2. I can lock, unlock, do the fandango and it keeps charging happily. Very useful when it's pouring with rain and I get back before the car has finished charging. I can dump the shopping before disconnecting.

So in the case of the Type-2 posts, I'd suggest BMW should be your first port of call.

But agree on the DBT ...
 
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