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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Smart EQ (ForTwo or ForFour) owners -

Any luck with the "Smart Charging" function in the app? I can't get the car to take any notice of the "smart charging" times I set.
 

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Smart EQ (ForTwo or ForFour) owners -

Any luck with the "Smart Charging" function in the app? I can't get the car to take any notice of the "smart charging" times I set.
You are supposed to set a departure time to enable this, have you done that.
TBH I too can’t seem to get it to work so I have added a “Shelly” controller to the charger and that works fine”
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks - I figured it out in the end after a few emails back and forth with app support.

Essentially, the system's prime directive is to charge the car to 100%, or as close as it possibly can, by the set departure time.

It will then "prioritise" charging during the "Smart Charging" hours you set, but will happily charge outside those hours if it needs to in order to reach 100% by the departure time.

So, unfortunately you can't use the system to set a hard stop time, if for example you want to limit charge to less than 100% to battery-health reasons. This is a shame given that the car's manual specifically says charging to 100% may cause premature battery ageing!

So in short you can use it to take advantage of cheap overnight tariffs, but you can't use it to limit charging to a set maximum or time limit.
 

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I believe that the Smart Car has a big problem; I've asked the company this, and have had no response yet:

My SmartEV charger is a smart charger which is connected to my 24-hour power supply, but I only wish to charge the Smart Car in the half-price Economy 7 (E7) period. The Smart manual on Page 40 identifies that the HV battery should be charged on average to 80% as charging to 100% reduces the life of the battery. So, I have a question on how to I charge my car to 80%?

For my Tesla, I can set the charge start time and the battery charge limit (eg 80%) using options within the car software; I need to know how to perform this function within the Smart car too.

What works

If I use my “granny charger”, which is connected to a 13A socket that only becomes live during the E7 period, the car charges perfectly, but of course it charges very slowly. I cannot however set an 80% charge limit.

What Doesn’t work well

We also have a SyncEV smart charger connected to our 24 hour supply, but during the E7 period, the electricity price is half that of the peak period, so we would always charge during the E7 period, unless there was an emergency.

The SyncEV charger, like most smart chargers, has two modes: BASIC – when the charger will start charging immediately on connection to a car; and SMART, when the charger would charge based on start and stop times set in the SyncEV charger software.

What I did was program the SmartCar to charge during the E7 period and also program the SyncEV charger to also send charge during the E7 period. However, the SyncEV charger (like all other smart chargers) sends a pulse to the SmartCar every 2-3 mins to keep it awake and stop it sleeping, and I get notifications on my phone every few minutes and the relays in the car clatter away.

I cannot believe this is good for the car.

One option I considered was setting the SyncEV charger to basic mode (so no times set), so it always sends charge, but let the SmartCar determine when to receive charge (this is what I do with my Tesla).

However, looking at the Smart EQ Control App if I set the Start time to 1am and the end time to 6am, in the App, there is a warning “In order to use Smart-charging you need to have departure times activated”. However, I do not want to set departure times to precondition the car as I may not necessarily use the car the next day.

Conclusion

Use the granny charger when down to 20 miles; this charges the car to about 85%
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The Smart manual on Page 40 identifies that the HV battery should be charged on average to 80% as charging to 100% reduces the life of the battery. So, I have a question on how to I charge my car to 80%?
[...]
If I use my “granny charger”, which is connected to a 13A socket that only becomes live during the E7 period, the car charges perfectly, but of course it charges very slowly. I cannot however set an 80% charge limit.
This has been exactly my question. I've asked the app support people and they handed me over to my dealer who ignored me until I chased, and then told me to contact warranty support. I told them there is no warranty issue - I just want to know how to properly look after the car's battery. But they've ignored me. I haven't tried calling the warranty people yet.

However, the SyncEV charger (like all other smart chargers) sends a pulse to the SmartCar every 2-3 mins to keep it awake and stop it sleeping, and I get notifications on my phone every few minutes and the relays in the car clatter away.
This is seriously concerning, as I've just ordered a SyncEV and am awaiting installation. I am relying on being able to use the charger's "smart" functionality to stop charging at a set time short of 100%. I shall contact SyncEV and check if this is the expected behaviour. If as you say it will be the case with all chargers, then I'll be back to trying to get Smart to pay attention to me.

What do the notifications that you're getting say?

One option I considered was setting the SyncEV charger to basic mode (so no times set), so it always sends charge, but let the SmartCar determine when to receive charge (this is what I do with my Tesla).
Of course if you do this you still have the problem of it always charging to 100%, against the guidance in the manual.

However, looking at the Smart EQ Control App if I set the Start time to 1am and the end time to 6am, in the App, there is a warning “In order to use Smart-charging you need to have departure times activated”. However, I do not want to set departure times to precondition the car as I may not necessarily use the car the next day.
I just set a "fake" departure time in the late afternoon and then switch it off in the morning before the departure time arrives.
 

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This has been exactly my question. I've asked the app support people and they handed me over to my dealer who ignored me until I chased, and then told me to contact warranty support. I told them there is no warranty issue - I just want to know how to properly look after the car's battery. But they've ignored me. I haven't tried calling the warranty people yet.

This is seriously concerning, as I've just ordered a SyncEV and am awaiting installation. I am relying on being able to use the charger's "smart" functionality to stop charging at a set time short of 100%. I shall contact SyncEV and check if this is the expected behaviour. If as you say it will be the case with all chargers, then I'll be back to trying to get Smart to pay attention to me.

What do the notifications that you're getting say?
I’ve contacted the CEO of Daimler; will escalate the UK next week, as my letter was forwarded to the UK to answer. The car makes serious relay clicking noises and you get these notifiers.

Here is the notifier, every 2 minutes!

147353
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I queried this with SyncEV and this was the answer:
SyncEV said:
The Sync EV unit uses pulse technology to prevent an Electric Vehicle entering "Sleep Mode". If the EV falls asleep then when the start time arrives and the charger activates the vehicle rejects the charge. To avoid this happening the Sync EV pulses the minimum amount of charge that the vehicle needs to prevent sleep mode. This pulse is sent at 4 minute intervals for 15 seconds. The Sync EV charger can also charge the vehicle at the minimum amount required from when the cable is inserted to the start time of full power charge. This will prevent the car sending notifications but also uses slightly more electricity outside of the scheduled times. Also notifications from the vehicles App can be disabled.

There is another option which is to leave the Sync EV charger set to "Basic" and use the vehicles app to activate scheduled charging. This way the vehicle will wake itself up and use no electricity until the times set.
I responded:
benk1342 said:
Thanks very much for that prompt and cogent response. It’s really helpful to at least understand how it actually works!

The reason I can’t use “basic” mode and allow the car to do the scheduling is that unfortunately Smart doesn’t offer a way to stop charging short of 100%. You can tell it when your electricity is cheap and it will prioritise charging during that time, but it will always charge to 100% even if it has to charge outside those hours to do so.

So the key reason I am interested in a smart home charge point like the SyncEV is to allow me to schedule a stop time when the car is at about 80% charged to preserve battery health. I know some people argue this is not worth worrying about, but the car’s manual specifically says that charging to 100% can cause premature battery ageing and as I intend to keep the car for a long time I would like to mitigate this as much as possible.

I appreciate that I can turn off the app alerts - my main concerns are around wear and tear on the car’s relays, and that the car is parked just outside my daughter’s bedroom window and I worry that the sound of the relays “clunking” every four minutes would disturb her.

Can I ask:
1. If I were to set it to the “constant minimal charge” option instead of the pulse, what is the current level? Is it 2A?
2. If my car doesn’t require pulses as frequent as every four minutes in order to keep awake, can this be adjusted? For example half-hourly or even quarter-hourly would probably be fine with me if it would work.
3. Do all smart home charge points use this same mechanism to keep the car awake while awaiting a charge, or do some have alternative ways of doing it?
Their reply was:
SyncEV said:
1. The minimum charge is 6A
2. The time between pulses is a maximum of 4 minutes. It can only be reduced. ( it can be disabled altogether but we cannot guarantee the scheduling charging will work)
3. Most EV Chargers work in this way. Some use the API of the vehicle to wake it up before the scheduled charge. This is not available from all vehicle manufacturers.
So it seems to me that you could try asking them to switch to the "constant 6A charging" mode (if you don't mind it charging at 6A at peak rates until your scheduled time kicks in) - or asking them to switch the pulse off altogether and see if it works.

Separately I have asked Smart whether these pulses are necessary to keep the car awake, and if so how frequent they need to be.

I'm going to ask some other charge-point manufacturers how frequent their pulses are.

What I might try is using the car's Smart Charging system and the SyncEV system layered on top of each other. So, I'll tell the car that my "Smart Charging" hours are 00:30 - 04:30 (departure time 08:10), and I'll tell SyncEV to start charging immediately, but to stop at some time I'll set (02:30 or so). So SyncEV will offer the charge right away when I plug in, but the car itself will "pause" charging until 00:30 (without the pulses being necessary). The car will then unpause at 00:30, and it will charge for a couple of hours until 02:30 when the SyncEV will cut it off.

Any reason to think this won't work? What alert do you get from the Smart Control app when the charger cuts off the charging?
 

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This was my email that I sent over the weekend. No reply yet.

The purpose of this email is to ask you to make a change to the advanced settings on your SyncEV App to allow the keep-alive pulses to be an optional extra in the advanced settings.

I use your charger sometimes for my Tesla and more recently for my SmartEQ ForTwo and I only wish to use the E7 tariff that is half price.

If I set your charger to SMART mode with a delayed charge, your charger sends pulses to the Smart car to wake it up every few minutes to reconnect the HV battery and perform other tasks, I cannot believe that this is good for the car.

If I set your charger to BASIC mode, the simple software within the car can control the charging, but, it cannot set a charge limit and always attempts to charge the car to 100%, which is not good for the HV battery.

This issue could be solved within the SMART settings in your app. In the app there are settings for:
Off-peak start time
Off-peak end time
kWh to charge
Charge by time

What I am asking for is another option for:
Keep-awake signals

If you permitted such an option, I could then use the SMART option and not use the keep-awake signals. I could then set my Synch EV to start at 01:00 and end at 07:00 and set say 10kWh of charge. I could also set the Smart Car to wake at say 00:30 and finish at say 07:30. The Smart car would then wake up at 00:30 and start accepting the charge at say 01:00 without any unnecessary relay clatter, and with me being able to control the kWh of charge applied with the app.

At the moment, I've stopped using my SyncEV charger and am instead using the granny charger and have to wait until the car has 20 miles left (to limit the charge to 85%) before I plug it into an E7 supply that is only alive during the E7 period.

Please could you give this request your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What I am asking for is another option for:
Keep-awake signals
From what they told me it sounds like this is possible from their end (albeit not via the consumer-facing app). They told me:
SyncEV said:
The time between pulses is a maximum of 4 minutes. It can only be reduced. ( it can be disabled altogether but we cannot guarantee the scheduling charging will work)
So your plan sounds good as a way of making sure the car wakes up without requiring the pulses - so I would call them and ask them to switch the pulses off for you.

I've just emailed Ohme and Wallbox to ask about their pulse frequency and options, as I can still change horses if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've just spoken to them. New App coming in 2 weeks, SynchEV recognise the need for a no-pulse option. Let's wait and see, meanwhile I am using my granny charger when the car gets to 20 miles.
Great except haven’t they been saying the new app is 2 weeks away for about 3 months???
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I’ve just heard back from Ohme on their approach. They’ve said:
Ohme said:
When starting a charge, the CP line sends a 0A signal to the car so it's ready to accept charge but none actually passes through. Then, when the schedule is due to start, that changes to provide charge.
So presumably the pulses should not be necessary. Perhaps they are just belt-and-braces?

The key question is will Sync EV (with the pulses disabled) be as reliable as one that was never designed for pulses in the first place such as Ohme - or are they doing something different?

I will likely cancel my SyncEV install unless I can be persuaded of this.

I’ve also got queries pending with Wallbox and EO and will report back.

I’m also going to go back to Sync EV and ask them why Ohme’s approach doesn’t doesn’t work for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Based on the other thread that I've now started on this topic, it seems that the pulses should not be necessary except for Tesla Model 3s that have not received the June 2020 software update.

@RedSmartEQ is your other car a Model 3? I wonder if when your Sync EV was installed, the pulses were switched on for this reason?

Would you mind asking Sync EV to switch your pulses off, and see if it then works as expected with your Smart?
 

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I will add that not only are they not necessary, but I know of no other charge point that does anything this bizarre. It makes no sense at all for a charge point manufacturer to decide to do something that on the charge point/charger interface that is outwith the standards that apply to all charge points, just because of a problem that was inherent in one model of car over a year ago now (the Tesla Model 3, before the June 2020 software update). Given that there will be no Tesla Model 3 cars remaining with this problem now, as all will have had a dozen or more updates since that time, there seems no reason for this charge point to continue to do something so bizarre as this.

It should never have done it in the first place, anyway, as there was a perfectly good work around when Tesla's had the problem. All the charge point needed to do was send a wake up call to the Tesla API, dead easy to do, and well documented, as lots of people did this as a work around, some using home brew methods, some using well-known apps that access the Tesla API.
 

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Based on the other thread that I've now started on this topic, it seems that the pulses should not be necessary except for Tesla Model 3s that have not received the June 2020 software update.

@RedSmartEQ is your other car a Model 3? I wonder if when your Sync EV was installed, the pulses were switched on for this reason?

Would you mind asking Sync EV to switch your pulses off, and see if it then works as expected with your Smart?
I'll ask SyncEV to turn the pulses off tomorrow, meanwhile, as posted in the other thread, I use my SyncEV in basic mode with my Tesla and it works fine and just like the Tesla Charger.

For my Smart Car, I can't use it is either basic or smart mode as I want to use E7 electricity that is half price, so I have to use the Granny connected to 13A sockets that are only live during teh E7 period.

The Tesla and SyncEV are connected via changeover switch to the 24hour supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For my Smart Car, I can't use it is either basic or smart mode as I want to use E7 electricity that is half price, so I have to use the Granny connected to 13A sockets that are only live during teh E7 period.
Yes but, if the pulses aren’t actually required, once they are switched off you should be able to use it as intended with your Smart - by setting the Sync EV to charge for a couple of hours during E7 and then stopping. Or am I missing something?
 
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