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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone seen this?
 

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I think there is a general issue with either the specs for smart EVSEs and chargers not being well enough defined, or with EVSE and/or car manufacturers not following the standards well enough.

Zoe, Kona and Golf GTE have all had issues with the Zappi, and if you browse the MyEnergi forums most EV brands crop up with issues / workarounds / firmware updates.

I think MyEnergi resolved the Zoe and GTE with firmware updates - I am not saying the Zappi was the problem (I have one and I like it), rather that MyEnergi are keen to develop their product and support their customers, even if they have to fix EV manufacturers' problems.

From the sounds of it the ID3 issue is relatively minor, affecting only ECO+ mode. Hopefully it will be resolved, but it would not put me off an ID3, which is due at least one software update early next year.

If you were to ask the owner of another EV brand they might be keen to make out this is a much bigger issue than it is 馃槈
 

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A later post says...
We are already receiving reports of posts on the ID3 Facebook page that people are having to unplug their car and plug it back in again to charge on Economy 7 tariffs - that's with other makes of charger, nothing to do with zappi!

So basically VW are not adhering to standards. They will need to get it fixed.
 

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A later post says...
We are already receiving reports of posts on the ID3 Facebook page that people are having to unplug their car and plug it back in again to charge on Economy 7 tariffs - that's with other makes of charger, nothing to do with zappi!

So basically VW are not adhering to standards. They will need to get it fixed.
It probably doesn't feel like it if you have just bought an ID3 but if the problem occurs with multiple charger brands that is a good thing.
VW will get more heat over the problem, and less wriggle room to pass the buck to EVSE manufacturers.
 

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2017 Golf GTE
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Anyone know if this issue has been fixed yet? My ID3 delivery is looming and I rather fancied a Zappi.
 

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Anyone know if this issue has been fixed yet? My ID3 delivery is looming and I rather fancied a Zappi.
There has been constant dialogue from end users, myenergi back to VW via dealers and other means.
VW need to create and issue a software update.
The latest myenergi post 2 weeks ago states this... (P.S.) suggest you join the forum and get a Zappi anyway.

Unread post11:15 PM - 15 days ago#44
Woodulike wrote:
12:28 AM - 16 days ago
I had an email back on Friday afternoon saying my email was passed onto the technical team who are aware of the issue with the Zappi and developments are in progress.
It then went on to say that myenergi would be in contact when the problem had been resolved. It made it sound like the Zappi needed the changes. @myenergi_Dr_Chris. I would like to go back to them saying the Zappi isn't at fault and that I expect them to update me when there's a software update for my car.
Would I be correct in saying that?
Yes - that is correct.
We have had a contact from VW and provided them with full details of the problem including detailed test reports. We are now waiting for them to come back to us with an update.
 

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This explains the problem:

It might be easier to quote the article in full:

Important information regarding the new ID3 as well as e-Golf and e-Up

Thanks to one of our customers, we have had the opportunity to carry out extensive tests on the new VW ID3.
The majority of the tests worked well however there are two important issues that we have identified.
  1. If the ID3 does not receive a start charge message from the EV charge point within 30 seconds of being plugged in, then a red led appears next to the charge port and the EV won't wake up when the charger (ie zappi) tries to start the charge. This can be overcome by setting the "Plug-In Charge" option on the zappi
  2. More worrying, if the charge is interrupted for ~3 minutes then the ID3 may fall asleep and cannot be woken again unless a) you press the key fob to wake the car up b) you open one of the front doors or c) you leave the drivers door open
It appears that VW expect the ID3 to be connected to a "dumb" charger.

Unfortunately this means that, for the time being, the ECO+ mode cannot be used reliably with the ID3.
The ECO mode works perfectly and still offer zappi owners with an ID3 the opportunity to capture excess generation whilst continuously charging the at a low rate. This will also ensure that the boost timers work as programmed.

In "real life" testing our customer reports that
  • Timed Boost works OK overnight but I always start with a "clean charge" - unplugging the car and then plugging it back in again once the PV has stopped generating
  • ECO+ works OK but after a few charge cycles the ID3 won't wake up again
We have observed similar problems with the e-GOlf and e-Up, although the results of our testing were less conclusive.

As you would expect we are trying hard to make contact with the right department in VW. This problem with smart charging potentially causes issues with the OLEV requirements for smart charging of new EV's and also the rules in Germany (VDE 4100) which allow the grid operator to interrupt an EV charge. It also means that the VW EV's do not comply with the Standard IEC61851-1 which is the standard for AC charging.

If you own a VW EV please help us by raising this issue with your VW dealer and by posting on the VW forums.
 

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It might be easier to quote the article in full:

Important information regarding the new ID3 as well as e-Golf and e-Up

Thanks to one of our customers, we have had the opportunity to carry out extensive tests on the new VW ID3.
The majority of the tests worked well however there are two important issues that we have identified.
  1. If the ID3 does not receive a start charge message from the EV charge point within 30 seconds of being plugged in, then a red led appears next to the charge port and the EV won't wake up when the charger (ie zappi) tries to start the charge. This can be overcome by setting the "Plug-In Charge" option on the zappi
  2. More worrying, if the charge is interrupted for ~3 minutes then the ID3 may fall asleep and cannot be woken again unless a) you press the key fob to wake the car up b) you open one of the front doors or c) you leave the drivers door open
It appears that VW expect the ID3 to be connected to a "dumb" charger.

Unfortunately this means that, for the time being, the ECO+ mode cannot be used reliably with the ID3.
The ECO mode works perfectly and still offer zappi owners with an ID3 the opportunity to capture excess generation whilst continuously charging the at a low rate. This will also ensure that the boost timers work as programmed.

In "real life" testing our customer reports that
  • Timed Boost works OK overnight but I always start with a "clean charge" - unplugging the car and then plugging it back in again once the PV has stopped generating
  • ECO+ works OK but after a few charge cycles the ID3 won't wake up again
We have observed similar problems with the e-GOlf and e-Up, although the results of our testing were less conclusive.

As you would expect we are trying hard to make contact with the right department in VW. This problem with smart charging potentially causes issues with the OLEV requirements for smart charging of new EV's and also the rules in Germany (VDE 4100) which allow the grid operator to interrupt an EV charge. It also means that the VW EV's do not comply with the Standard IEC61851-1 which is the standard for AC charging.

If you own a VW EV please help us by raising this issue with your VW dealer and by posting on the VW forums.
Interesting. That was dated September. Presumably no progress yet.
 

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Until the full software is released by VW there won't be any progress.
I don't expect any progress to be honest. I don't see VW moving on their mass production car, for a small, limited problem with an unknown charger.

Anyway, you look at it, VW are the 200kg gorilla and Zappi is a grain of sand under their paw.

PS: you should also notice that Zappi realize that, and are trying to make the owners "shame" VW on social media, as I'm assuming they got nothing from approaching VW directly.
 

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VW have been listening and have been in contact with myenergi. They are supposed to be working on a fix, although with the amount of updates it sounds like the ID3 will need I can't imagine it is too high up the list.
As the car isn't compliant with the charging standards I imagine they will have to fix it at some point.

It is enough to add another line on the list of reasons I haven't ordered one yet.
 

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As the car isn't compliant with the charging standards I imagine they will have to fix it at some point.
How do you know that?

Or do you take myenergi's statement?
 

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The problem is not only with the Zappi but with all smart chargers. It's not an insignificant issue with only minor consequences. It prevents people from utilising time of use electricity tariffs or any method of stop-start charging. It's a clear divergence from the standards.
 

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The problem is not only with the Zappi but with all smart chargers. It's not an insignificant issue with only minor consequences. It prevents people from utilising time of use electricity tariffs or any method of stop-start charging. It's a clear divergence from the standards.
What are the standards, any links anywhere?

Do the standards, whatever they are, cover the kind of use required by the Zappi etc?
 

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What are the standards, any links anywhere?

Do the standards, whatever they are, cover the kind of use required by the Zappi etc?
Good question, VW should be able to confirm which standard and features the car supports.
 

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See here;
J1772A: SAE Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler - SAE International
where the latest will cost you $83.
I have an older version, I believe the fundamentals remain the same, acc to descriptions in wikipedia etc.

The J1772 standard covers the state-transitions, i.e. what happens to the signals & voltages etc when things happen, like plugging in, car decides to start a charge, some problem happens at either end, etc.

While I haven't been following the Zappi issues in detail, it sounds to me that the ID.3 goes to sleep after a period of inactivity, and fails to wake up, or something like that?

If the EVSE changes the signals from its end, it expects the car to be alert & respond. Within typically 5 seconds. The main thing I'd expect Zappi to be doing is cut the square wave signal off to tell the car "Zero Amps available right now". Whether the car reacts by signalling "End of Charge" (stops drawing current, opens it's own contactor & disengages the resistor (changes DC voltage on CP wire), i.e. saying "you can unplug now"), or whether it sits there paused, with contactors closed, ready to take more current, I don't know. Whichever the car does, I'd expect the Zappi to be happy, as it's been designed with exactly this in mind.

EVSEs couldn't really care less about the voltage they see on CP line, except when that resistor is removed (car stopped the charge) they'll signal 0 Amps, and open their own contactor, and when that resistor is engaged they'll check the cable max capacity, close their own contactors, & signal whaver amps they have available. They don't go to sleep on the job. And during a solar session with periods of 0 Amps taken by the car, it's no skin off their nose whether the car does a full shutdown, or not.

I tested out what my Ampera does, if I cut the "Current Available" square wave from my Viridian Controller. I simply set the control resistor on it to "0A to be signalled to EV" setting, to see how Ampy behaved when "paused". Ampy decided this meant "End of Charging has been indicated by EVSE" which is actually wrong. Green charging LED on dash went out. Then, when I altered the resistor to say "Amps now available to charge with" Ampy decided "A whole new charging session has started, let's get going" and did just this, with contactors clunking on etc.

So it worked, with one slight snag: Ampera gives a double-beep on the main horn when a charge starts!!! Just what you need, to keep waking up the neigbours having gentle snooze on sunny-ish afternoon. Fix was to devise a circuit to de-power the horn in this scenario.

The Ampera should, I think, when "0 Amps" was signalled, have opened the contactors at its end, as this is a constant current-drain that's wasteful. And the moment "Amps available" was signalled, it's then free to close the contactors and start a charge, without any horn-beeping. But clearly it has to stay awake monitoring the CP line at all times while the charging cable is plugged in. Sounds like it's falling asleep on the job though... not expected to happen with German workers, surely? :)
 

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VW ID.3 Worst Edition
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See here;
J1772A: SAE Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler - SAE International
where the latest will cost you $83.
I have an older version, I believe the fundamentals remain the same, acc to descriptions in wikipedia etc.

The J1772 standard covers the state-transitions, i.e. what happens to the signals & voltages etc when things happen, like plugging in, car decides to start a charge, some problem happens at either end, etc.

While I haven't been following the Zappi issues in detail, it sounds to me that the ID.3 goes to sleep after a period of inactivity, and fails to wake up, or something like that?

If the EVSE changes the signals from its end, it expects the car to be alert & respond. Within typically 5 seconds. The main thing I'd expect Zappi to be doing is cut the square wave signal off to tell the car "Zero Amps available right now". Whether the car reacts by signalling "End of Charge" (stops drawing current, opens it's own contactor & disengages the resistor (changes DC voltage on CP wire), i.e. saying "you can unplug now"), or whether it sits there paused, with contactors closed, ready to take more current, I don't know. Whichever the car does, I'd expect the Zappi to be happy, as it's been designed with exactly this in mind.

EVSEs couldn't really care less about the voltage they see on CP line, except when that resistor is removed (car stopped the charge) they'll signal 0 Amps, and open their own contactor, and when that resistor is engaged they'll check the cable max capacity, close their own contactors, & signal whaver amps they have available. They don't go to sleep on the job. And during a solar session with periods of 0 Amps taken by the car, it's no skin off their nose whether the car does a full shutdown, or not.

I tested out what my Ampera does, if I cut the "Current Available" square wave from my Viridian Controller. I simply set the control resistor on it to "0A to be signalled to EV" setting, to see how Ampy behaved when "paused". Ampy decided this meant "End of Charging has been indicated by EVSE" which is actually wrong. Green charging LED on dash went out. Then, when I altered the resistor to say "Amps now available to charge with" Ampy decided "A whole new charging session has started, let's get going" and did just this, with contactors clunking on etc.

So it worked, with one slight snag: Ampera gives a double-beep on the main horn when a charge starts!!! Just what you need, to keep waking up the neigbours having gentle snooze on sunny-ish afternoon. Fix was to devise a circuit to de-power the horn in this scenario.

The Ampera should, I think, when "0 Amps" was signalled, have opened the contactors at its end, as this is a constant current-drain that's wasteful. And the moment "Amps available" was signalled, it's then free to close the contactors and start a charge, without any horn-beeping. But clearly it has to stay awake monitoring the CP line at all times while the charging cable is plugged in. Sounds like it's falling asleep on the job though... not expected to happen with German workers, surely? :)
So, as I suspected it all sounds quite complex!

I鈥檝e only ever used my Ohme box as a 鈥榙umb鈥 charger and set the car to do charge scheduling, which I appreciate isn鈥檛 ideal when you鈥檝e got EVSE boxes on the market designed to use the cheapest electricity at a given time.

I鈥檓 not sure how deep asleep the ID.3 goes, it always wakes up via the App when I want to check the SOC or start a pre-heat or charging, so it鈥檚 obviously able to be 鈥榳oken鈥 fairly easily.

I suppose what I鈥檓 trying to understand is, are the manufacturers of the smart boxes trying to do more than the design standard/spec states they need to, or are VW designing to the spec and no further, or even not properly implementing the current spec?

I just get the cheapest green 24/7 tariff I can find, so I can charge at any time, which will be even more important when the second EV arrives in the next few months.
 

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It is complex, that's why there's a standard: so that each piece of equipment performs as expected under a range of prescribed circumstances. Unfortunately most of the vehicle manufacturers didn't fully conform to the standards and in particular the need for charging to start and stop multiple times during a charging session which may last multiple days.

I can understand how the issue could happen from a software design perspective: you have a whole range of complex requirements around safety and maintenance (such as preventing the 12v battery from going flat). Until very recently, almost all EVSEs were either on (and offering full current) or off. It's an easy assumption to make, but entirely erroneous.
 
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