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2016 Nissan LEAF SL
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Discussion Starter #1
I Thought I would be the last person to be asking for advice on how to use a rapid charger since I have used the things literally thousands of times, but in my area we are getting a lot of these new style eVolt units installed and I just can't seem to work out what I am doing wrong with them.

Starting a charge:
I tap my RFID Card, select my connector, and then the screen says ready. But the red light above that connector doesn't go out, and the cable doesn't unlock so I can't plug in to my car.

Ending a charge:
I tap my card, it automatically then shows up my connector and the status of the charge. I press the button to stop the charge session, but then I just get a screen that says locked.

I Usually have to call the helpline every time to get my charge started and stopped remotely for me. But today I couldn't get through on the phone for some reason so had to end with the emergency stop after trying to call 4 times. I pushed it and the unit froze. I then tried pulling the stop button back out and it is still the same. Checked back at the charger recently and its still frozen, and the Zap Map status updates are now reporting it as out of service.

Obviously I want to be able to use a charger reliably, and I don't want to be killing chargers and inconveniencing others. Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong and how I am supposed to use these things? After watching another EV pull up at the other charger beside me and effortlessly charge it's clearly something I am doing, so please help!

I've attached a photo below of the model I am talking about:
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MG EZS 2020
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Could it be that it is contactless only and doesn't need (or want) an RFID card or app?
 

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2016 Nissan LEAF SL
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Discussion Starter #4
Could it be that it is contactless only and doesn't need (or want) an RFID card or app?
The credit card terminals (not attached to the charger in the above photo, I just noticed) were completely dead and as far as I know will be for months to come. This network is app/RFID only for access. The screen specifically asks for authorization from a card or app to be able to progress to the next screen.

How do you get a permit to be allowed to use the charger?
This isn't the charger I was specifically using. It was just an example photo I pulled from the internet. But in the case of this photo it's a taxi only charger. So your taxi or private hire plate and/or stickers fitted by the local authority count as your permit for charging at that location.
 

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2016 Nissan LEAF SL
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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, but why on earth didn't you ask him/her what they did? :oops:
They knew very limited English. The furthest I managed to get was being repeatedly told to download the app and plug in unfortunately.

That's why I posted here in the hope that someone else had encountered a similar experience and managed to work out what kind of magic it takes to unlock a charging connector from these machines.
 

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It shouldn’t require any magic, there are quite a few of that kind of charger near me and they’re really straightforward. I wonder if there’s something wrong with your RFID card — to test this, what happens if you tap the screen instead of swiping your card? Basically, is the interaction exactly the same by just poking at the screen vs “waking” it with your card? Because if so, it means your card doesn’t work (for whatever reason).
 

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2016 Nissan LEAF SL
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Discussion Starter #8
It shouldn’t require any magic, there are quite a few of that kind of charger near me and they’re really straightforward. I wonder if there’s something wrong with your RFID card — to test this, what happens if you tap the screen instead of swiping your card? Basically, is the interaction exactly the same by just poking at the screen vs “waking” it with your card? Because if so, it means your card doesn’t work (for whatever reason).
I'll give that a try and see, but from memory I don't think it let's you go past the main screen without authorisation from either the app or a card.

The chip in my card definitely works since I use their other chargers (old style eVolt and ABB) regularly and thankfully have no trouble using them. These new chargers acknowledge my card with a beep too, so I assume that's not the problem.
 

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2017 Renault Zoe (ZE40) Q90
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The one Below is a Swarco charger and has a RFID card and a Credit / Debit card reader
There the same as the Engenie rapid chargers.

If using a RFID card you stop & Start the charge tapping on the RFID Logo
If using a Credit / Debit card you stop & start the charge tapping the Contactless card reader
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Discussion Starter #10
It shouldn’t require any magic, there are quite a few of that kind of charger near me and they’re really straightforward. I wonder if there’s something wrong with your RFID card — to test this, what happens if you tap the screen instead of swiping your card? Basically, is the interaction exactly the same by just poking at the screen vs “waking” it with your card? Because if so, it means your card doesn’t work (for whatever reason).
So I just visited one a few hours ago and gave it a try without touching my RFID Card against it and instead just tapping the screen again. Sure enough, it lets me go all the way through the menus without a card until the ready screen, but again without unlocking the connector. Out of curiosity I tried to tap my RFID card once I got to this point, it beeped as usual, but no change on screen, and still no connector unlock.

The one Below is a Swarco charger and has a RFID card and a Credit / Debit card reader
There the same as the Engenie rapid chargers.

If using a RFID card you stop & Start the charge tapping on the RFID Logo
If using a Credit / Debit card you stop & start the charge tapping the Contactless card reader
The charger I am using is VERY slightly different in design. There is a RFID Reader the width of the screen, just below the screen. And then on its own lower down is the credit card terminal. The credit card readers on these chargers are currently disabled and just have a blank screen. I'm definitely tapping my card on the correct reader.
568752.jpg
 

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So I just visited one a few hours ago and gave it a try without touching my RFID Card against it and instead just tapping the screen again. Sure enough, it lets me go all the way through the menus without a card until the ready screen, but again without unlocking the connector. Out of curiosity I tried to tap my RFID card once I got to this point, it beeped as usual, but no change on screen, and still no connector unlock.
So it sounds like, for whatever reason, your RFID card isn’t being deemed as valid for starting the charging session. Which charging network is this with? Sounds like you need to give them a shout to get this fixed.
 

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2017 Renault Zoe (ZE40) Q90
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Looks like the Charging network is called Electric blue
but it only Mentions : The Electric blue app
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2016 Nissan LEAF SL
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Discussion Starter #13
So it sounds like, for whatever reason, your RFID card isn’t being deemed as valid for starting the charging session. Which charging network is this with? Sounds like you need to give them a shout to get this fixed.
Looks like the Charging network is called Electric blue
but it only Mentions : The Electric blue app
Yep, it's Electric Blue. They're quickly becoming the big network in my area, signing contracts with the councils and replacing the old CYC Network units that have been abandoned.

Most drivers tend to use the app, but the RFID option is very quietly offered if you ask for one. And I had to be one of the first to get the card because as good as this charging network is at fitting new units and actually maintaining them, their app is by far the very worst of them all!

Ill try getting in touch with them about it again. Just seems weird that my card could be considered invalid since it works at all the other models on their network, and that customer service remotely monitor these chargers and can see that I've tapped my card on it without mentioning there is any sort of error or problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Right. I've finally got to the bottom of it, if anyone is looking for the answer in future.

If you're remote controlling it (either customer service or with the app) then you just use the app and it will work without any trouble at all.

But if you're using a RFID card, the software only validates a smartcard after its been woken up but before you've finished setting it up. So you have to touch the screen to wake it up and get to the screen that asks you to pick your connector. Tap the RFID card now. THEN press your connector of choice. You'll get the ready screen and it will actually unlock as expected.

I've always been able to wake up any other charger model by tapping my card. The only brand that doesn't is DBT and they at least give you a very clear prompt to tell you when it's time to present your card. The fact that you can get all the way to the ready screen without a card, prompt to present a card, or even an error message is ridiculous!

Is this a quirk of Electric Blue's software on these chargers, or are these units really just this poor on other networks too?
 

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I've used a good number of these newer eVolt Raptions on both ChargePlace Scotland and Engenie using RFID cards with no issue. Just turn up, tap the RFID, choose connector and plug in. So it sounds more like an Electric Blue issue to me, whether that's software on the rapid or something to do with their RFID card.
 
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